Tras el desembarco de Normandía, el avance de los aliados no fue precisamente un camino de rosas, siendo frecuentes, debido a la fuerte resistencia alemana, los avances y retrocesos en la línea de frente. Muchos núcleos de población fueron tomados, por uno y otro bando, en distintas ocasiones; Caen fue una de esas ciudades y es allí donde sitúo la historia de esta viñeta. En uno de esos muchos rifirrafes, un soldado de las SS captura la motocicleta vanagloriándose aun más de la situación mientras se fuma un pitillo de genuino tabaco americano. Hasta hace muy poco tiempo buscar una motocicleta en maqueta significaba, en primer lugar, limitarse a unas pocas referencias de apenas un par de fabricantes y en segundo lugar, sumergirse en un ingente trabajo para dejarlas en condiciones. Con la aparición de fotograbados específicos para estos modelo se dio un gran paso adelante, pero ha sido recientemente cuando el mercado nos está ofreciendo magnificas replicas con un altísimo nivel de detalle y fineza, que con un poco de cariño dan como resultado excelentes modelos. El caso de la Harley de este articulo es uno de ellos, el modelo WLA, fue uno de los más reconocidos a lo largo de la IIGM, y entre su equipación militar incluía una funda para el transporte de un subfusil Thompson en el lado derecho de la horquilla frontal, luces de guerra. Ademásm en su parte trasera y con vistas al transporte de diverso material ligero, contaba con una plataforma portaequipajes y unos generosos maletines de cuero.
A S HAD BEEN widely expected, the latest US Air Force budget requests have recommended the complete retirement of the A-10 Thunderbolt II attack and U-2S reconnaissance aircraft. Senior officials daim that retiring the A-10 fleet will save S3.5 billion over five years and accelerates the long-standing modernization plan. The service says it will also mothball nearly 30 airlift aircraft and that 24 strategic airlifters will be re-assigned to the back-up inventory. More than 100 MQ-1 Predators will be retired, while Air Combat Command (ACC)'s MC-12 W fleet will be transferred to Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) and the US Army. More than 50 F-15Cs will be divested, but the remaining 179 aircraft will receive the full suite of offensive and defensive system improvements including advanced electronically scanned array (AESA) radars. Released on March 4. the US Department of Defense's proposed S495.6-billion defense budget for Fiscal Year 2015 provides S90.4 tillion for procurement, including S40 billion for aircraft and related systems. Aligned with the strategies outlined in the US Quadrennial Defense Review, the request reflects a balance betwreen readiness, capacity and capability in both the short and long term, reduces the force structure and streamlines modernization programs. Whereas the Departments of the Army, Navy and Air Force are all making deep cuts to their respective force structures in favor of modernization, those proposed by the Army and the Air Force are the deepest and could result in the retirement of well over 1,000 fixed- and rotary-wing manned and remotely-piloted aircraft. Further procurements may still be included in the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) budget request, which will be submitted at a later date. In addition, the sen-ices are expected to provide a list of un-funded priorities for consideration as part of the approval process.
As an ardent isolationist, Henry Ford resisted calls to sell his iconic Model T Fords for use in WWI, although the Allied nations found ways to acquire many of them prior to America's entry into the war. With American participation, Ford opened sales of the Model T to the US Army and foreign governments, and the Model T automobile became one of the most important motor vehicles used in WWI. While best known for its service as an ambulance, the Model T also served as a supply truck, staff car, artillery tractor and in North Africa, it served as an armed patrol car in the Light Car Patrols. Over 130,000 Model T Fords were built for military use, with many others assembled from spare parts. They established an enviable reputation for versatility, usefulness and durability. After the end of the war, the Bolshevik revolution in Russia brought with it a fear of the new communist regime, and for some time, there was little trade between the west and Soviet Russia. As the 1920s progressed, the economic strains that eventually led to the financial collapse of 1929 also led to reduced business for many manufacturers, and as the Soviet Union with its isolated economy was not affected by the troubles in the west, it was seen as a new customer for western companies. Thus, when Russia expressed an interest in western technology in the 1920s, an opportunity presented itself to both sides. The Soviet Union was very interested in creating a national automobile manufacturing industry in Russia, and instituted an ambitious Five-Year Plan to achieve this goal. Russia sent a number of committees abroad to investigate the best ways to create this industrial capacity. They were particularly interested in extensive mass production, as the requirement for new vehicles to meet the needs of the vast Russian countryside was enormous.
Armortek have produced some stunning 1/6 scale all-metal models of tanks over the years, including the likes of the Tiger 1, King Tiger, Panther and more recently, the Centurion, but they have excelled themselves with their latest release, a Mk IV First World War tank! The intention to build the model was announced at last year's Tankfest at the Tank Museum, home to the original full-size Mk IV tank on which the model is based, and the accuracy of this 1/6 scale replica has to be seen to be believed. The Mark IV tank is considered to be the first main battle tank, deployed in nearly every British battle on the Western Front from early in the summer of 1917 to the end of the war. Built on the experience of earlier tanks, it was the first mass production tank with some 1200 being manufactured. The limited edition all-metal kit is being released to mark the Centenary of the First World War, and the attention to detail is more than just skin deep. Images on the Armortek website show the first production model during build up, revealing the wealth of detail that goes into reproducing the running gear and internal structure of this most famous tank, which can be built either as a static model or for radio control.
After 43 years of airline service, the Douglas DC-10 retired as a commercial passenger carrying aircraft on the afternoon of February 24. The final flight was carried out by S2-ACR of Biman Bangladesh Airlines, from Birmingham Airport. The last trip carried aviation enthusiasts on a one-hour pleasure flight over the UK's western coast, before landing and being saluted by an arc of water, courtesy of the airport's fire section. Biman's chief executive Kevin Steele said: "We wanted to share this historic last flight with as many people as possible, and I think we have given an aircraft that served us so well a good send-off. We look forward to welcoming passengers onto our new Boeing 777s on our service from Birmingham to New York, which starts in the summer." S2-ACR was the last but one of the 446 DC-10s built and was delivered new to the airline in 1988. It flew back to Dhaka, Bangladesh, on February 25, and landed with around 80,000 flying hours on the airframe - the engines and any useful parts will be sold, and the rest of the well-travelled jetliner will be scrapped. A number of DC-10s still fly with the USAF (as KC-10 Extender tankers), plus three examples serve on with the Dutch military, two with the Bolivian Air Force, and a handful are operated by civilians on military contracts.
When the A-6 was retired from active service in 1997 it had served for a remarkable 33 years. It was employed in almost all major conflicts and campaigns of its time, from 1965 onwards in Vietnam, in the Persian Gulf, and over Iraq and Bosnia in the 1990s. While its carrier colleague the F-4 would never win a beauty contest (it was soon christened 'Double-Ugly' by one US Navy officer), the A-6 design could easily be considered even more 'pragmatic'. As with most aircraft, the Intruder was subject to modifications and upgrades due to new and different requirements, which finally lead to the A-6E depicted here by Kinetic. The kit plastic was quite thick and heavy, with soft detail and flash that needed to be removed; but ultimately the styrene proved very workable, sanded easily and was responsive to paint and filler. One major issue needed to be considered before the build began...the wing in the kit represented the composite or 'plastic' wing, which was retrofitted to a large number of airframes to prevent fatigue and extend service life. However, after-market decals for these aircraft are rare; one would either have to stick with the decals provided in the kit or search for compatible markings. But Fightertown Decals produces two excellent sheets and no.48059 was used here.