Friday, February 14, 2014

Flypast 03/2014

English Electric Lightning T.5 XS422 underwent two successful engine runs on November 6 at its base, Stennis International Airport in Mississippi. For the last 13 years the Anglo-American Lightning Organisation (AALO) has been working to return the jet to flight. The engine run was the aircraft's first in 27 years, representing a significant milestone for the project. Both Rolls-Royce Avon 302 turbojets were exercised through the full 'cold' range with all gauges indicating perfect performance. Chief engineer Phil Wallis, who is spearheading the restoration, was at the controls. "I don't mind admitting it was emotional, and full credit to the team without whom we would not be where we are today," he said. "The aircraft ran superbly and it is a real tribute to the diligence and professionalism of everyone involved."

Raider Vol.16 Issue 11

As you can most probably tell from the title, I've been reading waaaay too many Batman comics over the Christmas period... Heck who doesn't want to read about the Caped Crusader running around beating up various bad guys like the Joker and Penguin! But now you're most probably sitting here thinking what does any of this have to do with the magazine?
Well, here comes the overstretched, vague and most probably not topical reason as to why I've tried to fit my overindulgence of Batman into the foreword... Over the past few months I've been working hard with the MD to re-launch Raider as a new entity, and with the great power of being Editor; comes the great responsibility of getting such a re-launch right. Going back to last month, I spoke a lot about the close down of operations in Afghanistan, the inability to gain access to much in regards of 'Direct Action' pieces and the chances of coming across interesting pieces that people want to actually read about becoming increasingly hard to come by. So with all of this in mind we sat down at Raider HQ and started thinking of ways we can keep the current theme of the magazine in place but also allow us to widen our horizons and bring in a whole new aspect to the magazine not seen before!

Model Military International 03/2014

The Russian T-26 tank was the mainstay of Soviet light armoured forces through much of the 1930s. It bore a close resemblance to the Vickers Armstrong 6 ton tank on which it was modelled. Having purchased a number of light tank examples from Britain, the Russians were to manufacture many thousands of T-26 tank models with as many as 54 different turret variants being produced as prototypes or service vehicles. These included a wide range of sub-variants that utilised different calibre guns, flamethrowers and artillery pieces, newly armoured turrets and in one case a pair of machine gun turrets. The T-26 was highly successful in the early 1930s. In fact, fascist German and Nationalist Spanish forces offered a reward for the capture of T-26 tanks during the Spanish Civil war due to its effectiveness against Italian tankettes and the German Panzer I. However, by the time of operation Barbarossa, while many thousands of T-26 tanks were still available to Soviet forces, their effectiveness against Hitler's Panzers was greatly diminished due to the T-26's inadequate main armour and armament when confronted by the Panzer III and Panzer IV with their superior 5cm and 7.5 cm main armament and heavier armour.

Model Airplane News 04/2014

It isn't unusual to hear about folks who have been building and flying RC airplanes for most of their lives. While it's true that RC can be addictive, and the friendships that develop may keep us coming back, something else must compel us to put so much time and energy into aircraft that are destined for hard landings and even total destruction. I think that "something" may be that there's always a new experience to try: a challenging maneuver, a bigger or smaller plane, a tail-dragger, a sailplane, a state-of-the-art power system ... the list is endless! Having worked on Model Airplane News for 20 years now, I can vouch that even when the best of the best in a particular field get together, they're asking questions and learning from each other. For our "Getting Started" feature this month, we got our contributors together to answer many of the "newbie" questions that we're asked by folks who have never flown before and even more experienced modelers and pilots who want to add to their skill set. From battery charging to choosing a first kit to radio programming, we've got your "Getting Started" answers here.

Military Machines International 03/2014

The world's first tank was invented in Lincoln in 1916, but any visitor to the City today would have a difficult job finding any recognition of this fact. Next year, this will all change with the unveiling of an ambitious memorial, which will commemorate the creation of the tank and the inventive minds that built it. The Lincoln Tank Memorial Group have designed a monument to be made from Corten steel, the same material that the Angel of the North is created from and it will be surrounded by figures depicting the civilian and military workers who worked around the clock to deliver the new weapon to the Army. The group is still fundraising and has now received a very generous donation of £10,000 from the makers of the phenomenally successful online strategy game World of Tanks. The memorial will be a life size, two-dimensional representation of a Mk I tank of the type designed and built by William Foster & Co. Ltd in 1916. The idea behind the monument is to celebrate Lincoln's engineering achievements and its contribution to breaking the stalemate of the Great War. With planning and fundraising going very well, it is hoped that the memorial will be unveiled next year, coinciding with national commemorations of the beginning of the First World War.

History of War 03/2014

When chauffeur Leopold Lojka took a wrong turn while driving in Sarajevo one summer's morning in 1914, little did he know that he was also about to change the course of history and affect the lives of millions of young men. His passengers were Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir-apparent to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife Sophie, who were visiting the Bosnian capital on business. Hours before, a young soldier with connections to Serbian militant group the Black Hand - who were seeking independence for Slavic people from Austro-Hungarian rule - had attempted to assassinate the couple by throwing a bomb at their limousine, but had failed to hit his targets. Now, as the car trundled off the beaten track, it caught the attention of a second assassin from the group, Gavrilo Princip, who was relaxing at a café. Seizing his chance, he fired seven rounds. Unlike his comrade, he didn't miss. For Austria-Hungary, already irked by Serbian interference in Bosnia, the assassination was the final straw. Its government drew up a list of ten intentionally unacceptable demands for the Serbs, known as the July Ultimatum, then waited for the inevitably reluctant response.

Combat Aircraft Monthly 03/2014

ON DECEMBER 18 the Brazilian government announced its selection of the Saab Gripen NG as its next-generation fighter. The decision put an end to more than 15 years of discussions and speculation, and finally saw the green light given for the acquisition phase of the FX-2 project. The Brazilian Air Force will now negotiate with the manufacturer with the aim of procuring an eventual 36 examples of the single-seat JAS 39E Gripen, worth around $4.5 billion until 2023. The contract should be finalized before the end of the year, and may be launched with an initial 12-aircraft order. The Saab bid will also include various sub-systems, technology transfer, financing and a long-term bilateral collaboration agreement between the Brazilian and Swedish governments. This was bad news for the Gripen's two rivals in the FX-2 bidding, the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and the Dassault Rafale. The French manufacturer responded with a statement describing the Gripen as 'an aircraft provided with many items of equipment of third-party origin, especially US, and that does not belong to the same category as the Rafale'. Dassault highlighted the selection of a lighter, single-engine fighter as a sign of budgetary constraint. In contrast, the Rafale package was valued at around $8 billion.

Britain At War 02/2014

THE DUKE of Wellington once described the British cavalry as being inferior to the French because of "a want of order". The cavalry's problem was that it could not resist charging at every opportunity. The routine tasks of scouting and patrolling were of little interest to the British cavalry. What they relished was the glory of the charge - and the greater the odds against them, the greater the chance of glory. Nothing could epitomise this more than the charge of the Light Brigade at Balaklava in 1854 and the charge of the 2nd Cavalry Brigade at Elouges in August 1914. In neither case was it the intention of the person giving the orders that the cavalry would charge the enemy guns, yet off dashed the cavalry without hesitation. I have walked the fields outside Elouges and John has picked his way through the vineyards that now cover the Balaklava plain. There is surprisingly little difference in the nature of the terrain over which the two brigades charged. In both cases it is open ground and the enemy, his view unimpaired, found the cavalry an easy target.

Airfix Modelling World 03/2014

Northrop's p-61 Black Widow represented a leap forward in terms of engineering and introduced state-of-the-art technology. It possessed immense firepower and its blistering performance was provided by two Pratt & Whitney R-2800 engines. In fact, it was the biggest purpose-built fighter aircraft of its era at a whopping 35,OOOIb (15,875kg). Nevertheless, it was regarded by its crews as a very effective machine and, with its rounded shapes and inboard radar (1942's
fabulous SCR-720), became the first 'stealth' aircraft in the United States' arsenal. Packed tightly inside the sturdy box were 14 runners in pale grey styrene, one clear frame and decals for two in overall black and another in Olive Drab over Neutral Gray. Additionally, there was a superb photo-etched metal fret with details for the interior and exterior, including the engine's ignition wiring. To top this, there was a bonus print which echoed the artwork featured on the box. The well-appointed cockpit comprised 45 plastic and metal components. Care was taken when separating the tiny parts from the runners, as the plastic tended to be somewhat brittle. Despite this, pilot and radar operator seats suffered from multiple fractures.

AFV Modeller Issue 75

Every now and again a model is released that catches the imagination and finds you stepping outside your normal area of interest to take up the challenge. Artillery pieces can be a little bland without a crew but add a stunning set of crew caught in the midst of a desperate engagement and you have the archetypal 'Boys Own Adventure' scenario and it is had not to be inspired. The design of this boxed set with gun, limber and four crew is based on the engagement at Néry in France on the morning of 1 st September 1914 where six guns of the Royal Horse Artillery along with 1 Cavalry Brigade were billeted overnight. The Battery had prepared for an early morning departure with their horses harnessed to their limbers when they came under a surprise attack by German Field Mounted Artillery with the initial German salvo landing amid the assembled battery and causing horrific casualties to both men and horses. Of the six guns several were put out of action in succession and only gun 'F' remained to fight off the German attack. The gun was manned by Sergeant Nelson who was joined by Captain Bradbury and Battery Sergeant Major Dorrell who had been wounded twice when he joined the gun crew.