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Chris Thomas

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About Chris Thomas

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    Obsessed Member

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  • Location
    Hampshire coast
  • Interests
    Typhoons, Tempests, other RAF fighters to 1960ish, red wine, painting.

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  1. 609 Squadron Typhoon photos Help required

    Patrice, I know of only one photo which illustrates a 609 Sqn Typhoon from the Normandy; by good fortune it appears in the set of images in the 3rd link 'ben_m' has listed above. Keep scrolling down and it is the the 24th image - PR-J MN706. In addition to the markings visible it would have had D-Day stripes below the wings as well as those visible under the fuselage; the spinner was almost certainly black. It was reported with 609 Sqn by 10 August 1944, so would have been involved throughout the 'Falaise gap' operations. The Typhoon in the photo posted above by Rossm has, in addition to the 12-RP, another interesting feature, namely undersized D-Day stripes. They appear to be 12-inch rather than the required 18-inch width. Stripes 12-inches wide were authorised for use on smaller aircraft, such as Austers, but not Typhoons. In recent years a number of photos have come to light showing these smaller stripes on Spitfires, but from ADGB units (eg 41, 64 and 131 Sqns) not 2nd TAF units. All the Spitfire units so-marked seem to be from 10 Group (SW England). A quick check on MN178's history revealed that it had joined 609 Sqn around mid-September 1944 (as PR-V) and it's previous owner had been 263 Sqn, which was one of the last two Typhoon squadrons to join 2nd TAF from ADGB (in August 1944). The unit had been in 10 Group in July 1944.
  2. Typhoon Target tug and Tuft test questions

    The quick answer is no. As mentioned above, the last Typhoons in service were withdrawn in February 1946, before any changes to the wartime schemes were introduced. However it is worth mentioning that the former 2ndTAF Typhoon squadrons in Germany (BAFO), in the summer of 1945, applied bright colours to their aircraft, although this was in the form of colourful spinners, rear fuselage bands and the inner surfaces undercarriage doors. Back in the UK, Typhoons in training units had serial numbers applied under the wings - and this was done to Typhoons in storage at various MUs, even though they would never fly again. Lastly, by the end of 1947, the only Typhoons left were those employed as instructional airframes in Schools of Technical Training. There is photographic evidence that these machines were repainted in allover 'Aluminium' at Halton, St Athan and Locking at least. Just to be clear, these were non-flying aircraft, issued and carrying 'M' numbers.
  3. 609 Squadron Typhoon photos Help required

    Which Airfix Typhoon Patrice? 1/72 or 1/24? 4-blader or 3-blader? D-Day, Normandy or later?
  4. Typhoon Target tug and Tuft test questions

    I have made some comments on the Flypast Historic Aviation Forum, as that is where the topic recently (re-)appeared, as follows. The colour artwork in the 'Profile' series from the 60s, particularly the earlier issues, has many inaccuracies. In the case of the Typhoon, I know for a fact that the 5-view painting of TP-F, still appearing on decal sheets after 60 years, was based on "notes (allegedly) from the pilot" - no photos. In the same publication there is much amiss with the Typhoons illustrated in colour. The most dubious example being the 'target-tug'; having trawled through all available records and spoken to former instructors and pupils of 56 OTU there has been not the slightest trace of such a beast. It certainly was not SW500, if it did exist, as that airframe was allocated to 84 GSU as a training aircraft and carried the code '49'; by August 1945 it was in store at 51 MU (in those markings) where it was scrapped in March 1946. As a Typhoon from the last production order SW500 had the later sliding hood, not the car-door type shown in the illustration. The white/tufted Typhoon seems to have more of a whiff of reality, though no photos have turned up. The caption (or the drawing) must be incorrect however as Typhoons with cannon and the car-door canopy with transparent rear section were in service until 1942 and Typhoon underwing identity stripes were not seen until December 1942. Typhoons were not frequently transferred between RAE and A&AEE but there was one, R7617, which did undertake trials at both units and which include both Carbon Monoxide tests and 'rudder handling' (as well as many other and varied tests).
  5. Eric Brown's Hawker Tempest V

    Thanks for that Bob. I also illustrated JN735 JF-X with a profile in the same publication. It was based on an IWM photo of 'Lefty' Whitman climbing out of the aircraft and a clip of film showing Tempests taking off from Newchurch.
  6. (Yet another) Tempest *FINISHED*

    No, I didn't think that. I was in a bit of a rush so it was somewhat terse! Of course, I do make mistakes ... but I hate it so much I go to some lengths to make as few as possible. Just to put 33 Sqn's markings in context - their Tempests were shipped out to Malaya as deck cargo and photos show most were still in the wartime Day Fighter Scheme but at least a couple were in the new all-Aluminium scheme. Soon after arrival the camouflaged Tempests were repainted in what the ORB describes as the 'new tropical scheme' but was in fact the Aluminium DFS. Just before conversion to Hornets the Tempests were repainted again in the Long Range DFS, DG/DSG/PRUB, but photos indicate that this task was not completed. Some Tempests appear in camouflage but with silver nose cowlings, either swapped from other aircraft or not yet painted. Unfortunately no serials/codes are visible.
  7. (Yet another) Tempest *FINISHED*

    I stick by what I said in the books. Generally I don't make it up.
  8. Typhoon crash Piltdown, Sussex April 1944 - any details

    Further to my last. I wish I had not been so flippant about F/O D.S.Green (initials confirmed). He was was missing from an air-firing test in MN876 (a brand new Typhoon just received from 51 MU Lichfield) on 11 June 1944 and is believed to have ditched off Dungeness, cause not known. Particularly cruel after surviving more than a year of operations with 181 Sqn, one of the first Typhoon bomber squadrons. CT
  9. Typhoon crash Piltdown, Sussex April 1944 - any details

    Well, the two 83 GSU crashes seem to be the best bets. Group Support Units were tasked with maintaining a pool of aircraft operated by the parent Group, and type-qualified pilots, ready to provide replacements to the operational units of the Group. So they had large numbers of aircraft to prepare for 'ops' and maintained a training flight to type-convert or provide continuation training to pilots awaiting conversion. It looks like F/O Green was a staff pilot as on the first accident he was carrying out an air and gun test. I'm not sure if he was D.J. or D.S.Green as he appears in the hand written accident cards as both. I do know there was a F/O D.S.Green who completed a tour with 181 sqn at the beginning of April 1944 and may have gone 'on rest' to 83 GSU. If so, some rest! The April 7th crash-landing was JP504. This was the aircraft that featured in the well-known photo as OV-Z, some 6 months earlier. Although it was built as 'car-door' it had gone to Hawker for canopy and RP mods on 2 March 1944 and subsequently was reported with 83 GSU on 31 March 1944. It was 'Cat B' after the accident and went to Taylorcraft for repair, subsequently serving with 137 Sqn as SF-E. The accident on 6 May featured JP433, also built as car-door but after service with 193 sqn as DP-U, went for canopy/RP mods at Gloster A/C. After the accident it was also Cat B and probably was also repaired by Taylorcraft. It later flew with 3 Tactical Exercise Unit and was used by the commanding officer. So, did they carry codes at the time of the accidents? Difficult to say, but probably not, going by photographic evidence, although there are examples such as the well-known HE-L JR128 which was photographed after mods at Hawker and retained its codes from previous service with 183 Sqn. So, both aircraft had sliding canopies at the time of the accidents and no codes is more likely. Eagle Typhoon? Best built as a crash. I remember sending away for one c.1957, despite having to cut a coupon out of my beloved Eagle comic. I was so disappointed when I opened the box! If I remember correctly it did not even have an opening where the radiator should have been. You are best without a canopy - it was car-door (allegedly) and dreadful. Fortunately Frog and Airfix soon came to the rescue with 1/72 kits. Best of luck! CT
  10. Good morning Chris

     I would like to know the colour used for painting the  landing gear well interior and doors on TempesT II and VI , I know that on the Typhoon and Tempest V they were painted silver or NMF but on this books 

    https://www.scalemates.com/books/book.php?id=100210  there are pics of a preserved Mk II and I looks like they are painted in light grey ..

    Thank you to help me solve this question ..


    Best regards






  11. Tempest mk II Sqn 33 question on letter color

    There is a black and white photograph of 5R-V PR533 which seems to show code letters the same shade as the spinner and red or blue of the roundel. The squadron ORB of the time records that spinners were painted in flight colours, no mention of the codes which would normally have been black. Traditionally A Flight used red and B Flight used blue so it seems unlikely that the spinner on PR-V (a B Flight aircraft) would have been red, the codes even less so. There are photos of other Tempests which seem to confirm the codes were usually black. So it seems unlikely that codes/spinner were red on this aircraft. Black and blue (respectively), or possibly blue for both, look better bets. CT
  12. 1:24th Typhoon "Car Door"

    I don't think you can be quite so definite about the fuselage colour under the rear of the canopy - on a 'car-door' Typhoon. Most were certainly produced with the camouflage colours extended over this part of the fuselage, whereas all the sliding-hood '(bubble-top' if you must) Typhoons did indeed have the area under the canopy (when closed) painted Night (black to most eyes). No documentary evidence has come to light, and the area is notoriously camera shy, but there are some shots that indicate some of the later 'car-door' aircraft may have had this area in a dark colour, possibly black; maybe a 'field mod'. CT
  13. Airfix Typhoon 1b markings and armament

    This is the tropical filter fitted to production Typhoons from around the end of September 1944, including RB-serialled Typhoons. It was painted the underside colour (msg). It took air in when ground running and fed into the trunking mentioned below. The bulge represents the trunking which delivered air from the frontal intake to the engine. It was painted 'aluminium'. How the part fits in the Airfix kit I'm not too sure but I'm sure someone who has built one recently will be along shortly. CT
  14. Late car door Typhoon question.

    Tom, only the one photo known of F3-P JR249 and that does not show the relevant bit of canopy. Looking at photos of Typhoons in the same range ... JR237 patched, JR244 clear, JR253 patched, JR255 clear, JR294 patched, JR297 clear. So I think that gives you licence to choose what suits! Yes, the whip aerial was offset to starboard - just under 2mm in 1/48. Chris
  15. Late car door Typhoon question.

    Great to see someone modelling this version of the Typhoon, perhaps my favourite. Coincidentally Eduard have just released a kit of this version, but that doesn't help TBC. First point is is that everything aft of the head armour was removed except for the slanting support for the triangular crash pylon and the anchorage for the seat belts. From memory I don't think the latter is represented in the Hasegawa kit but it is, with PE in the Eduard version. Secondly, and this could be the get-out-jail-free card for TBC, there were two versions of the rear transparency. Some aircraft had a completely clear transparency, obviously produced for this version, but others utilised one adapted from an old transparency by closing the gap left by the mast and associated equipment with a simple metal(?) plate. I've not been able detect any pattern in this, both versions seem to be scattered throughout the production run. The snag is, this feature is difficult to see in many photos. So, TBC, do you have any particular Typhoons in mind? CT