This issue includes a full kit review by John Parker of the Alexander Engel U212A fully functioning static diving radio controlled submarine, as well as a major new Feature Plan presented by Glynn Guest for HMS Goliath, a semi-scale radio controlled model of an aircraft carrier. In addition, Brian Cook describes his unique LARC, an unusual and very large amphibious road vehicle that is also a fully working model. We also have show reports from Harrogate, Coalville and Doncaster, that all had some excellent model boats on display. Flotsam and Jetsam by John Parker is about the ship on which he travelled to Australia when emigrating from the UK some years ago, so having great nostalgic interest for him.The Gallery is by David Walter and is of the RXLI Lifeboat Collection in the Historic Dockyard at Chatham, always somewhere well worth a visit on a spare day. Dave Wooley with Range Finder includes a visit to a number of mine countermeasures vessels at Liverpool. These are always popular model making subjects because they can be built to quite a large scale and still be a practical size for model boating. Dave Petts looks at rigging and his methods of making it easy for scale sail models in his mini-series.
Beaufighters by Christmas was the prospect for the personnel of 235 Squadron. Formed just after the start of World War Two in the 'coastal fighter' role, 235 was equipped with Bristol Blenheim IVfs, on shipping protection tasks. As promised, at the end of December 1940 some Beaufighters arrived, but it proved to be a false dawn as they were soon withdrawn. It was not until December of the following year that 235 was eventually converted to the pugnacious Bristol. 'Home' for the unit had been bases in northern Scotland, as its main operating area was the northern reaches of the North Sea and the southern part of the Norwegian Sea. Under the command of Wg Cdr G H B Hutchinson, 235 moved to Chivenor in the summer of 1942 where, in October, Sgt Aubrey Hilliard — nicknamed 'Hilly' — joined the unit after his flying training. He flew his early operations from the north Devon base but, in January 1943, moved with 235 back to Scotland at Leuchars, on the east coast near St Andrews. Hilly and his colleagues mounted patrols over some very inhospitable seas and up along the rugged coastline of German-occupied Norway — sometimes as escort to Handley Page Hampden torpedo-bombers and other times on independent sweeps. Crews sometimes disappeared without trace: as much the victims of weather as to the Luftwaffe.
ON APRIL 15, 1952 the first flight of America's newest warplane - Boeing's enormous B-52 Stratofortress - took place from the company's airfield outside Seattle, Washington. Sixty years later the B-52, a utilitarian weapon of war, has acquired near-mythical status after a career spanning more than half of the 109 years of manned flight, with no end in sight - indeed, it seems more than likely that the last B-52s, built more than 50 years ago, will carry on till they've chalked up their century! Because of its high-profile involvement in the Cold War - and the first war to be extensively televised, Vietnam - the B-52 attracted wide public attention. Stanley Kubrick's movie, Dr Strangelove, featured the bomber and since then popular culture has given its name to a drink, a hair-style and a rock group. Boeing called the B-52 'Strato-fortress', carrying on the Fortress theme that started with the B-17 Flying Fortress and moved on through the B-29 and B-50 Superfortresses. As a result of the carpet bombing of jungles during the Vietnam War it gained the monikers 'Monkeyknocker' and 'Coconutknocker'.
Observers feared the worst, but the details outlined by Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on August 2 in the Project de Loi de Programmation Militaire (Military Planning Act) for 2014-2019 is not as severe as first anticipated. In real terms spending will fall by 7.2% and although the number of aircraft to be purchased or kept in the inventory will inevitably decrease, money will be spent to ensure that development and production capabilities are maintained for the foreseeable future. Investments will be kept at current levels during the 2014-2016 period, and progressively increased from 2017 onwards. The number of personnel will nevertheless be significantly cut, at the rate of 7,500 per year, and the percentage of officers within the military will be reduced from 16.75 to 16%, further he ping keep budgets under tight control. As widely expected, a strong nuclear deterrence concept is maintained and investments will continue to prepare the next generation of nuclear submarines and their associated new ballistic nuclear missiles. Similarly, work to upgrade the air-launched ASMP-A (Air-Sol Moyenne Portée-Amélioré, or improved air-to-surface medium range) nuclear miss' es arming Mirage 2000Ns and Rafael B/Ms will begin.