As a starter for the 100th Anniversary of WW1, the first of our Group Build projects for this year is firmly underway. There are a variety of different subjects currently underway, including tanks, trucks and aircraft, all under the heading of 'Equipment'. This particular Group topic will run until the end of March, so if you fee like joining in then p ease do. Just as an idea of what is going on, there of two builds currently in progress with different mode s from the Wingnut Wings range of 1:32 scale WW1 aircraft. Members Gary Radford and Sean Emmott are building the Fokker Eindecker and a Sopwith Pup respective y, and both making their own excellent build logs ('Biogs'), so to give some idea, there are some photos here of their progress part way through the builds. Another long-running project is a so being completed by regular member Johnny Gers, who has taken on the challenge of building the huge 1:35 scale LCT4 made by Accurate Armour, and building a whole series of armoured vehicles to make up the load. It is a lengthy build which is great to drop in on and see.
If you want a great-flying, park-friendly aerobatic airplane that you can have in the air the same day that you purchase it. then you'll want to keep reading! As part of Hitec's Weekender series of planes, this model is made of EPO foam and painted to look very realistic. A landing gear system, wing halves, carbon-fiber wing joiner, steerable tailwheel. prop, spinner, and tail feathers are all packaged with the utmost care. The operation manual consists of a dozen steps and pages, and guides you through the incredibly quick assembly process. Even if you have never seen a model airplane before, you should be able to put this one together. It has a low parts count, perfect parts fit. and goes together easily. The manual states that this model is aimed at novice pilots over the age of 14. If you're a beginner pilot, you may also want to use a buddy box with this model. Even though the manual is short, it is concise and consists of good instructions, which are always appreciated. Aside from plenty of info to get your Extra flying, you will also find a parts list and service contact info. This is cool because if (when) I crash my plane, I'll want to be able to buy a piece rather than a whole new kit; not to mention the guys at Hitec have great customer support. I decided to install the main landing gear first. You will be impressed with its completion as it only requires four screws for a solid attachment. The aluminum gear struts look great and the wheel pants are molded flawlessly. Plastic wheels with treaded foam tires are pre-installed and require no alterations.
No other UK aircraft programme is subject to such tight security as the BAE Systems Tar an is unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) technology demonstrator - and all because of the low observable (LO) technology used on the aircraft. Coring a joint BAE Systems-Ministry of Defence briefing in London on February 5, Philip Dunne, Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology explained the nature of the Taranis programme: 'The reason that it [Taranis] is highly classified is because it improves [the] technological advantage that this country wants to keep control of and not reveal to others that may find potential weaknesses and flaws in the system that could undermine its effectiveness." Artists' impressions, models, images, and distant head-on views of the actual aircraft have been carefully presented to hide aspects of the design. Those related to LO, the exhaust nozzle and aerodynamic control surfaces arrangement were regarded as especially sensitive. On two occasions when the aircraft has been in 'public' view at Warton, on the radar cross-section measurement range and when performing taxi trials, special measures were taken to make it difficult for photographs to be taken from public places. And if any pictures were taken, measures were put in place to ensure they were not published. To the best knowledge of the authors this was successful.
The RAF and Commonwealth squadrons that flew the Ventura GR Mk V in the maritime role from the North African coastline were a pretty nomadic lot, moving from one desert landing ground to another and they all had a very similar routine. Amongst them was 459 Squadron of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), whose nickname was 'The Desert Scorpions', and it was established in Egypt as one of seventeen 'Article XV' squadrons that formed part of Australians commitment to the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (alongside 44 RCAF and six RNZAF units). Under this arrangement Australia, Canada and New Zealand agreed to provide operational units for service under RAF command that were manned by aircrew who were trained under the BCATP in the appropriate country, however the RAAF more than met this demand by providing additional units from within its own numbering system too, such as 10 Squadron, which flew Sunderlands throughout the war, and 3 Squadron which operated a succession of Gladiators, Hurricanes, Tomahawks, Kittyhawks and Mustangs.
Some aircraft never get at good press and received wisdom is often not challenged. Well-known examples of this are the Grumman F-111B (a victim of inter-service and Defense Departmentwrangling) and the Vought Cutlass (a victim of its Westinghouse engines, which, it was said at the time, gave out less heat then the domestic, electric heaters made by the same firm). Both are damned, though neither was an intrinsically bad design. My subject for today is a less well-known machine: the Rockwell XFV-12A. On the face of it, this is just one more on the list of failed attempts by the USA to achieve usable VTOL. What gave me pause to reconsider it was a splendid new book by Eric Simonsen, where this plane is one of his subjects. The book was quite recently reviewed in SAMI by Soren Lorensen. (By the way, keep an eye out for the latter's forthcoming build series on Swedish naval fighters of the inter-war years.) The received wisdom in this case is that the XFV-12A programme was a complete failure but to fail you have to have been allowed a chance to succeed. Simonsen argues persuasively that the XFV-12A was not granted that opportunity. Some background The US Navy, in the early 1970s, faced with escalating expenditure on big, nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, arrived at the concept of the 'sea control ship,' a small aircraft carrier in the 12,000 ton class, intended as an escort vessel for convoys.These ships were to be equipped, along with'sensor carriers' and anti-submarine helicopters, with supersonic interceptors.
SMMI is always delighted to feature the thoughts of individual modellers and manufacturers, and its a pleasure to welcome Schaun Myers, AFV enthusiast and US Army Chaplain... I don't know if you've ever noticed, but many 'author bio's' at the end of articles in modelling magazines start with something like 'after a break of twenty-five years, I recently got back into the hobby' I too can make the same statement in my armour building career. I was a voracious model builder in my teens, and would glue together anything I could get my hands on! I ended up building in 1:35 and was pretty much on top of what was being produced in the early eighties by Tamiya, Italeri, Peerless, and Monogram. But then life happened, with college, graduate school and marriage, three kids and a career. I built a few 1:48 Navy planes while in grad school, but there just wasn't enough time in the day to do the quality of work I wanted. So I put away my airbrush and tools, and boxed up my remaining built models and kits. Eventually I joined the Army at 39 as a Chaplain, and went to Iraq in 2009. I got home and was dealing with post-deployment issues, nothing serious but still things I had to work through. My neighbour graciously gave me and Italeri M4A1, and told me to get back into modelling!
THE WAR in Europe was over and the men who had been prisoners of the enemy were flown back home. With more than 350,000 individuals to transport and process, it was a major logistical operation which, to their credit, those in authority generally carried out with considerable efficiency. The returning men had fought for their country and, in many cases, been held captive for years. Their homecoming, one would have imagined, would have been amongst the most celebrated of the Second World War. At the same time, what tales these men must have had to tell. Fighting, surrender, capture; the trials of internment, their treatment at the hands of the Germans; surely their stories would fill many a volume? Yet when we researched Operation Exodus, as the return of the prisoners was code-named, we found little had been written on the subject, particularly in respect of facts and figures, other than the occasional first-hand account. I suppose people had already moved on. They had other things to think of. Life was going to be very different with the end of the fighting, and not necessarily for the better. Indeed, for some it was a difficult homecoming. Houses had been destroyed, loved ones dead or disappeared.