Friday, October 18, 2013

Jets Magazine 07-08/2013

On a dismal May day, a group of retired fighter pilots and groundcrew from the legendary I I I Sqn gathered on the ramp at RAF Wattisham for the roll-out of back from the brink of the scrapyard' Hawker Hunter FGA.9 XG194. From its glory days as the lead aircraft: in the Black Arrows 22 aircraft loop, its chequered career had led it eventually to RAF North Luffenham where, 'modified' into a facsimile Soviet Sukhoi, it was used by the Army and RAF in training teams to make safe the aircraft of defecting Eastern Bloc pilots. Once its usefulness in this ro e had passed, it was virtually abandoned in the open and deteriorated rapidly both through the weather and the attentions of souvenir hunters. Luckily the aircraft was spotted by aircraft engineer David Burke who, realising the significance of this particular airframe, set about trying to find the aircraft a safe home. Eventually it was taken on by Maggie Aggiss and the team at the Wattisham museum and a three-and-a-half-year restoration project commenced.

Jets Magazine 09-10/2013

In warfare, time is always a paramount consideration. The general rule appears to be if you can operate at tempos above that of your enemy, you gain and hold the initiative. In the Second World War time was critical as it gave the defenders the opportunity to climb to a suitable altitude from which to gain speed and engage the enemy. However; as jet fighters started to evolve, tactics became driven more by the closing speeds between an air defender and an incoming threat. If the enemy aircraft was thought to be carrying a nuclear warhead, it became even more important to get airborne and attack the enemy as far away as possible from home territory. During the Cold War this was not too difficult over the North Sea and the polar wilderness of the Arctic Sea; in Germany however the timings involved were very reminiscent of what happened in the Second World War: with Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) flights needing to be capable of responding at very short notice to threatened incursions by Warsaw Pact aircraft.

World of Firepower 08-09/2013

The marine corps creed has been heard many times, but it's never truer than when you're talking about a rifle you built yourself. thanks to the design of the ar platform, and companies such as del-ton, inc., building your own service rifle is now an easy afternoon activity. If you're wondering how to start this project, you can view the Del-Ton website. They currently offer nine different rifle kit configurations based on the AR platform. Each kit comes with a completed upper assembly and all of the parts needed to build a lower assembly. The only part missing is a stripped lower receiver. Why? The reasoning is that this receiver falls into the legal category of being considered a firearm. You must go through a licensed firearm dealer to obtain the lower receiver, whereas all other parts can be ordered directly from the factory. Del-Ton does sell the lower receivers, but these must be shipped to your local licensed firearm dealer. All Del-Ton upper assemblies are head-spaced and test fired for quality and safety. They use top quality, U.S.-made, mil-spec parts and once you put together the lower/stock assembly you will have a completed rifle worthy of your efforts. Why go to the trouble of building your own rifle? First, by providing the labor, you can order a rifle kit and lower receiver for much less than the going market price of a completed AR. Even more so, you will gain an understanding of the operation of your rifle that will render benefits for years to come.

World of Firepower 10-11/2013

America had just won a war against Spain, liberating both Cuba and the Philippines in the process, and found itself embroiled in a nasty guerilla war with the Moros, Muslim indigents who regarded those islands as their own and fiercely resisted all attempts for peaceful relations. The then-new U.S. service revolver, the Colt Officer's Model .38 Long Colt, had proved a dismal failure in stopping adrenaline-crazed Moros, who readily charged into the middle of groups of American troops, chopping up everyone within reach and then disappearing back into the jungle. In fact, things had gotten so bad that a near mutiny resulted. U.S. troopers had lost all faith in the .38 Long Colt's ability to perform its assigned mission—to keep attackers away—and in a desperate attempt to rectify the problem, the Army rushed quantities of old Colt Single Action Army
.45s to the Philippines and hurriedly issued them with recently mothballed black powder 250-grain, lead flat-point ammunition. As archaic as it sounds, the move solved the problem almost instantly. To the relief of American soldiers, the old six-guns stopped the attacking Moros in their tracks. The U.S. Army quickly retired the .38 Long Colt but was acutely aware that it couldn't continue to utilize an antique, single-action revolver for very long. Nearly every country in Europe was in the process of adopting some form of self-loading pistols, and it was clear that America needed to do it as well.

Classic Military Vehicle 11/2013

In 1931 the Soviet Army conducted trials with the imported British Vickers-Carden-Lloyd tankette. The outcome was very promising. In 1932 the Stalingradskiy Traktorniy Zavod (Stalingrad tractor plant or STZ) decided to base two new tractor designs on this vehicle with one intended for agricultural use and the other for the all-terrain transportation of supplies and towing of artillery pieces for the military. Both designs were influenced by the US International TA-40 crawler tractor. The military design received the designation STZ-NATI-2TB - later to become known as the STZ-5 2TB or STZ-5 for short - while the agricultural version was designated the STZ-NATI-1TA. In the end the agricultural variant would also be accepted for Army use and would then received a military designation, the short version of which was STZ-3, to differentiate it from the STZ-5. However, to complicate things a little more, the full designation was different depending upon where the tractor was built. Those manufactured at STZ where known as STZ-NATI-1TA, while those built at Kharkovskiy Traktroniy Zavod (Kharkov tractor plant or KhTZ) received the designation SKhTZ-NATMTA. The two types can only be differentiated externally by the manufacturer's logo on the upper part of the radiator.

Military Modelling Vol.43 No.11

Tamiya's 1:35 scale British Ambulance Rover 7 (item 35082) and its cousin the SAS Land-Rover Pink Panther (item 35076) were released in 1976. Now approaching 40-years of age the detail on these models is, on close observation, comparable to most high-end models released today. There is little in the way of seam lines, they are void of flash and feature only a few pin-marks. I have had the Ambulance model for years but never really took the time to study it. I did see the model built up once at a show and as I have never built any model subject that was post-WW2, I decided to give this model a try. The kit comes on three sprues moulded in a dark green plastic, a decal sheet, two figures and a clear sprue for the windows. There is very little detail on the interior of the driver's cab and the rear ambulance body is equally void of much detail. On checking for after-market products I found that the SAS Pink Panther variant does have an etched set by Eduard but I was unable to find anything for the Ambulance version. Although it does say on many websites that the Tamiya Rover Ambulance 7 is out of production, I did find many outlets that still carry the model - and for a very good price (all under £10). I measured out the model and it appears that the model is a relatively good representation scale-wise.

Military Illustrated Modeller 11/2013

The combat career of the F4U Corsair stretched longer than almost any other WWII fighter aircraft. The first of more than 12,000 Corsairs was produced in 1940, and the last of these bent wing birds were still doing battle above Central America nearly thirty years later. The Vought Aircraft company had a strong association with the US Navy during the inter war decades, but their focus in the 1930s was observation aircraft, trainers and seaplanes. In response to a US Navy specification issued in February 1938, Vought submitted two designs. With the second of these carrier-based fighter proposals, Vought adopted the simple strategy of building the smallest possible airframe around the most powerful available engine. At the same time, Pratt & Whitney was developing the supercharged R-2800 radial engine. Radial engines had recently lost favour to the sleeker inline configuration, but the US Navy preferred the ruggedness and simplicity of the radial arrangement. Vought therefore designed their new V-166B around the Pratt & Whitney R-2800 powerplant. The brute force of the R-2800 engine had to be absorbed by a correspondingly large propeller. With a diameter of 13' 4", the Hamilton Standard three-bladed propeller assembly was the largest fitted to a fighter aircraft to that date.