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About XV107

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  1. Not quite what you meant, but... [from http://luckypuppy.net/i-watched-as-the-phantom-crashed/ - crew in this one sighed, muttered something about an interesting day in the office and put the aircraft down in one piece at a slightly sportier landing speed than normally adopted]
  2. If it's the incident I'm thinking of, it was a couple of B-24s. They were sent to conduct a recce of the Kuril islands after the Soviets had occupied them, and some P-63s were sent up by the Soviets to usher them away. The aircraft were from the 28th Bombardment Group, which conducted a number of recces over the Kurils in late August and early September 1945.
  3. Hannants have it on their Future Releases list, so... https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/MSVIT72052
  4. That might be a bit pessimistic (I'd buy two unless Amerang were setting the price, in which case doing a deal with Cosford for the 1:1 scale version would be cheaper) , although not sure that 48th would be the right scale with which to test the market. The FD2 deserves a modern kit because of its significance, even though only two were built. The Novo kits go for fairly steep prices on occasion - there are two on ebay at the moment, both buy it now and neither under £30 (plus p&p), and the last one I watched ended up going for the sort of price one pays for a new Hasegawa kit in 72nd these days. I think it'd sell reasonably well in 72nd, but 48th? Not so sure (even though, as I say, I'd buy a couple, how many others would?). I imagine that the market would be expanded if the option of doing a what if and sticking a couple of Firestreaks on the wings were provided; I have seen, somewhere, a fairly plausible looking FD2 in that sort of get up (plausible looking vice plausible capability), but can't find the photos at the moment. The SR53 - this year marks the 60th anniversary of John Booth's death in the crash of XD151, of course - is slightly less significant as an aircraft, so of the two, my vote would go for the FD2. I'd still buy a couple of those in 48th as well, though. Even if it goes the other way, I'd strongly advocate that consideration be given to kitting it in some form, though, given its history.
  5. MBDA Meteor missile

    If you've not seen it, 1:05 gives you the rear view of a Meteor on a Gripen shortly before it's released.
  6. Hunter GA11 - Bullpups and Sidewinders?

    I seem to recall that the David J Griffin book on the Hunter says that the GA11s were wired for them (as TMB observes above), but didn't actually carry the weapons.
  7. RAF training units question

    At a guess, 5 AGS could be at RAF Jurby - you have 5 Air Observers School (1939), which was re-titled as 5 Bombing and Gunnery School (by early 1940). It was then re-re-titled [sic] as 5 Air Observers School in 1941 (It became 5 Air Navigation and Bombing School in 1944). The name changes make it entirely possible for confusion on the part of those filling in the paperwork, and my speculation (based upon the date of the caterpillar club membership for your chap) is that he might have been on strength at Jurby either in 1940 (so the entry should've been ABGS or AB&GS) or 1941 (when someone transposed a 'G' for an 'O' or some similar faff). This problem still occurs with modern 540s (despite the imprecations of the Head of the AHB when he or members of his staff speak to various RAF Staff Courses)... Imagine, if you will, chancing upon records for 3 individuals. You discover that on 25 December, one of them was at [random choice of number] 1 SS. The second was at 1 SOS. The third at 1 S of S. And that they sat next to each other for Christmas lunch that day, since the three abbreviations refer to exactly the place, but the clerks weren't using the same acronym. 2W 23 could be: 2 Wing [of the Signals School], student on Course No.23; I've seen that format used before (and a derivative of that format can still be found on RAF Staff Courses today)
  8. RAF Blue Phantoms

    The point, though, is that there were different engineering needs for the airframes, and this was tolerable if/when money was more readily available; it wasn't when the decision to drop the creation of the new squadron on 892's aircraft. So standardisation was the way forward. I based my comments about the outer wings on comments by one pilot (Grp Capt, rtd) and a SENGO on a Phantom squadron (also Grp Capt, rtd) in addition to the comments I referenced by Mike Blair; it may well be that their recollections - the last time any of the two I know were involved on Phantoms would've been at least 15 years before we chatted - are at variance with the reality (or that things weren't done by the book...) The point aboit the belly strap is that it's indicative of the need to pay attention to the fatigue index issues generally - specifically when talking about the RAF aircraft, it all comes/came down to the fact that the RAF Phantom force was at the edges of the art of the possible in terms of unit establishment and available aircraft, hence the need for the F-4J(UK), rather than having the ability to take airframes out of storage to meet the need for 29/23 in thhe FI.
  9. RAF Blue Phantoms

    So you've not actually read any of the Air Staff or MoD files which contain the points made in my post... Having an INAS, which is an item which can go wrong, adds to the engineering effort. Not by much, but it adds to it. You also had a situation whereby the outer wings of the FG1 were not the same as those on the FGR2 and thus not interchangeable (the FG1 outer had sustained less fatigue than the FGR2s' outer wings, by the by). Which has implications for engineering, because you need to have two different sets of outer wings (no ability to change parts between aircraft on different squadrons if the need arises, etc); Mike Blair, who was JENGO on 111 in the 1970s has posted about this somewhere online. When the decision to standardise on a single variant of the Phantom at Leuchars was taken, it came at a time when the UK's economy was, to use a technical term, stuffed. Defence spending was pared to the bone (JOs were, in some circumstances, eligible for housing benefit such had been the effect on their pay - see PPrune for references to this, for instance - and anything which saved money, particularly recurrent expenses such as standardising on a single variant was taken as an option. This meant that standardisation, to eliminate the difference in engineering approaches was an obvious course of action to take, even if we're not talking about significant differences., We also have to take into account the fact that had there been enough Phantoms of both marks available, the plan to form an extra Phantom squadron (references found in several files in the AIR 2 and AIR 20 categories on squadron numberplate policy) would have been taken. It was not. 111 flew the FGR2 until late 1979 (source: Jefford, Squadrons of the RAF), but began to equip with the FG1 from January 1978 as RN FG1s became available; 892 didn't disband until December (last 892 carrier launch was November of that year), so the re-equipping could only begin in earnest in 1979. But from 1979, the opportunity to form an extra AD squadron - a squadron which the incoming government had said was needed for the UK's AD, having run its election campaign with a clear strand that the incumbent administration had fallen down on the job - wasn't taken. And this is where the fatigue life, contrary to your assertion, comes into play.If you re-read my original, I did not suggest that the F-4J(UK) arrived in UK service because of Phantom fatigue life issues. I referred to fatigue life and to attrition. By the time the decision was taken that 111would change marks of Phantom, the RAF had lost 14 FGR2s, or 12% of the FGR2 fleet. There were, at that point, one FBSA squadron (41, soon to re-equip with the Jaguar); two RAFG Lightning squadrons which were to re-equip (19 & 92) and 23, 29 and 56 squadrons in the UK. Under the plans which saw 111 re-equip, there were to be five FGR2 squadrons for AD in RAFG and the UK - 19, 23, 29, 56, 92 - and two FG1 units (43 & 111). There was also an OCU (64 Sqn) with the FGR2. That placed a requirement upon the Phantom FGR2 force for approximately 72 in-use aircraft from an overall force of 102 airframes, while the FG1 force required approximately 24 airframes from the surviving 42. These aircraft had to survive, in declining numbers - and in theory because of events - until the Tornado ADV entered service in about 1984 [actually 1987], with the final departure of the aircraft being mooted for either the end of the 1980s, or - if a decision to run on a couple of squadrons were taken - into the mid-90s when something then on paper in a design shop in Warton, or possibly Fort Worth or St Louis would take the job on. The fatigue sustained by the FGR2 in the low-level FBSA role, both in RAFG and in 38 Group meant that rotating aircraft in and out of service to extend the fatigue life to get the force out to the orginally-envisaged OSD required some care. By 1983, when there was a need to create a squadron to replace 23, there were not enough FGR2 airframes overall (another 9 had been lost and one was being bashed back into shape after a mid-air) to allow for this and the sustainment of the F-4 force until the late 80s (because the F2 was now late), and most likely - and what transpired - the early 90s. The point about fatigue and attrition is that the overall stock of FGR2 airframes was insufficient to meet the RAF's requirements, so a new aircraft was required to plug the gap. The point I was trying to make, and which - respectfully - you've missed is that when doing force planning, the RAF concluded that the effects of fatigue, plus likely attrition rates (another 10 complete hull losses before retirement for the FGR2, another 2 for the FG1) were such that it had to buy more aircraft because it could not draw upon the airframes in reserve without diluting the overall size of the Phantom force and thus its efficacy in two vital roles. The size of the force in the FI (seven Phantoms, going down to four) and the fact that these concerns arose shows how tight the margins were by that time. A number of FGR2s had to be fitted with newly-made outer wing panels and a belly strap to get them to their extended out of service date as well. The position with the FG1 was not entirely happy either - by the time of 111's complete re-equipment, 11 out of 50 FG1s had been lost [two from those recently taken on strength by 111 in 1978], which meant that by the mid-1980s a combination of attrition and fatigue issues for overall airframe management ensured that 74 had to reform on the F-4J(UK) as there were not enough Phantoms to go round. Once the F3 came into play, it was possible to ensure that the two Phantom squadrons could be run on, with the idea being that 56 and 74 would both draw upon the remaining FGR2 fleet, and ultimately receive upgraded aircraft to take a force of about 30-36 aircraft (including reserves) out to about 2000 when its replacement with the EF2000 would be complete. The Cold War then ended and Options for Change/'The Peace Dividend' did for the plan and the RAF's Phantoms. That was/those were my point(s). Edit - I should also note that the transition from FGR2 to FG1 at Leuchars didn't occur with 111's move to Scotland - the move took place in 1975, and re-equipment occurred in 1978/79, as observed above. There was a possibility, therefore, that FGR2s and FG1s would've operated alongside one another at LEU had the plan to (in effect) re-number 892 as 74 Squadron borne fruit. But the costs (even if, in the scheme of things, relatively small) and other issues with the FGR2 as noted above meant that having LEU as an all FG1 station while the FGRs were at Coningsby and Wattisham was deemed to be the solution.
  10. RAF Blue Phantoms

    May I ask upon what you base the above, which is, in effect, telling other users of the site that I've made it all up, please?
  11. RAF Blue Phantoms

    It was 111 who changed to the FG1. Originally, the Air Staff had planned to form an extra Phantom squadron with the aircraft used by 892 - this was to be the resurrection of 74 Squadron. Unfortunately for Tiger fans, the Phantom had suffered slightly greater attrition and consumed slightly more fatigue life than had been anticipated, particularly the FGR2s. This wasn't a problem to begin with, since the MRCA would be on the scene to take over before it became a cause of worry to SENGOs at various stations. Then, of course, the MRCA/Tornado ADV/Tornado F3 in-service date slipped and it was clear that unless 'gripped', a problem might arise. In addition, the differences between the FG1 and FGR2 were such as to add to the engineering burden at Leuchars with two squadrons operating different marks of aircraft. The no-brain-really-required decision was to put all the FG1s at LEU, and to use the 111 airframes to eek out a bit more attrition life. The eventual need for the F-4J(UK) hinted at the problem. If you look at the number of FG1 and FGR2s bought and the lack of flex to form one extra squadron in the aftermath of the Falklands, you get a sense of how careful the RAF had to be with managing the Phantom.
  12. Revell 2018

    I'll not feel at all guilty about breaking into my remaining stash, though (although whether I'll actually make all 16¹ before I shuffle from this mortal coil is open to question...) ¹ No, I have no idea how I managed to end up with that many - it just happened... Good job I like Hunters...

    Bear in mind that the Trumpy effort has some erm... obvious flaws (the rear fuselage looks like it's been on a diet), to the extent that even a 'well it looks like a ....' modeller like me thinks 'actually, it doesn't quite look like a Lightning'... as Chally has just posted, go for the Sword kit (which is cheaper, to boot)
  14. Sea Vixen FAW.1 load out

    From the IWM (copyright permissions allow embedding); Sea Vixen, June 1961 [the sub is HMS Turpin, according to the caption] If you go to the IWM page itself (Search for Sea Vixen and narrow the search down to collections) you can - of course - get larger images than this. Which may not be helpful when you see the design of the rocket pods, but it at least gives an idea of some of the