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Dave Swindell

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About Dave Swindell

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  1. I've not managed to do much in the way of modelling for quite a while now, so here's hoping one of my favourite aeroplanes and group build deadlines will get me going again. This weekend has seen some preparation work done, model room tidied and workbench cleared so I actually have some space to work, plus much perusing of my mosquito library and googling on the interweb for information on my chosen subject which is:- Dorothy, a DH Mosquito PR IX serial ML897 serving with 8 Group's 1409 (Met) flight based at RAF Wyton, late 1944. There are several published photographs of this aircraft, including this classic from the IWM collection AIRCRAFT OF THE ROYAL AIR FORCE 1939-1945: DE HAVILLAND DH 98 MOSQUITO.. © IWM (CH 14467)IWM Non Commercial Licence Sorting through the stash the following were pulled out for the project Tamiya's excellent Bomber/PR kit, Eduard etch and masks for this kit, Paragon two stage nacelles to convert it to a PR IX, ADS DH Mosquito part 1 decal sheet which includes markings for Dorothy, and a couple of stencil decal sheets from Aviaology and Barracudacals. Also shown is the nose sprue from Tamiya's NFXIII/XVII kit, parts from which may be used as patterns to detail the cockpit. From the library the following books were selected Mosquito at war, S/S Mosquito in Action part 1 and SAM Combat Colours all contain photo's of Dorothy, and the rest have good coverage of PR Mosquitos. Some of the best information on Dorothy I only found yesterday whilst googling for digital copies of the images I had, I didn't have much hope of finding any others, but I was lucky and found a couple more very good photo's which revealed several small details and some rather poignant history on some of the airmen that flew her. Mosquito at War has 3 photo's of Dorothy, a crop of the above, one landing at Wyton, and one with LAC Bennett painting a lightning flash mission marking on the nose. On the opposite page are photo's of the famous 105 sqn Mosquito LR503 F for Freddie which had the highest mission tally in Bomber comand of 213 missions. One of the photo's shows F for Freddie after completing operational service whilst on a promotional tour in Canada, Her crew, Pilot F/L Maurice Briggs DSO DFC DFM and Observer F/O John Baker DFC & Bar are shown posing by the nose. They had arrived at Calgary by flying down the main street between the buildings, and after taking off to fly on to the next demonstration, they flew two low level beat ups of the airfield. Unfortunately on the second pass on pulling up to clear a hangar their wingtip clipped a mast, causing the aircraft to crash and killing them both instantly. Why is this relevant? Well what isn't mentioned in the photo captions is that Both F/L Briggs and F/O Baker had just completed their operational service with 1409 (Met) flight, and Dorothy was one of the regular aircraft they flew! F/O Baker's flight records make interesting reading and reveal some very interesting details, some quite useful for modelling Dorothy. It would appear AVM DTC Bennett, head of 8 Group Pathfinders flew Dorothy at least twice, and P/O Baker navigated for him on a mission to Chartres in ML934. Most of the missions are listed as PAMPA's (Photorecce And Meteorological Photography Aircraft) weather reconnaissance prior to raids by Bomber Command and USAAC, but some missions were with or ahead of the main force to update the master bomber on weather conditions, mark and bomb the target, and photograph the raid in progress. Bomb loads mentioned are 4 x 500lb and 3 x 500lb plus green target Indicator. One more detailed entry reads:- 18/8/44 Briggs / Baker ML897 2335 – 0240 A special trip to bomb and photograph Bremen after an attack by the heavies.The route was to 5410N0545E – Rutenbrock – Bremen – 5400N0800E – 5410N0545E – Base. Bombing was well concentrated, fires were found burning, with smoke up to 25000 ft, and the 4 x 500 lb G.P bombs were dropped at 0105, the photographs being taken at the same time, from 20000 ft. Other entries for air tests reveal :- ML897 was fitted with Monica tail warning device ML935 was fitted with S.B.A. Gee and temperature gauge NS747 (PRXVI) was fitted with radio altimeter The photo's I've found show a long aerial from mid fin height either to the positon of the radio mast (not fitted) or possibly to the rear of the canopy. There doesn't appear to be the trailing aerial mast below the fuselage. The combat colours profile of Dorothy shows two whip aerials on the upper fuselage, but I can't see any evidence of these in the photo's. The photo's do show the fairing for Monica below the tail. This left me puzzling over the appropriate radio fit for the rear of the cockpit. The T1154/R1155 as supplied by Tamiya even if originally fitted was most likely no longer appropriate for this time frame. However, the radio fit was usually replaced with combined TR1133 or TR1143 units in the fuselage and the space utilised for Gee nav equipment. This would be logical for the missions flown requiring lone long range navigation, but the info I had said Gee had a 41" whip aerial fitted on the port rear of the canopy, and that isn't visible. After much searching for Mosquito radio fits I found an installation diagram for ARI 5083 and ABK1, it took a while for me to twig that this isn't radio, ARI 5083 is in fact Gee, and ABK1 is IFF Mk III. Note the aerials for both are internal, in the rear fuselage and tailplanes. So Dorothy would most likely be fitted with :- Gee with internal aerials Given her role most likely an Air Position Indicator to assist with DR navigation Monica Tail warning indicator TR1133/TR1143 or possibly TR9F housed in the rear fuselage to make way for the above. One further mystery found yesterday was Dorothy was fitted with a rod aerial on the centre line just in front of the bomb bay, very similar to that used on the NF 30 in this position, was this also related to Monica? The camera fit is also a bit of a puzzle. The twin windows at the forward end of the bomb bay were there, but appear to have been plated or painted over. The SAM Datafile shows a similar pair mounted immediately aft of the bomb bay with a low oblique on the port side. I can't find any photo's of PR IX's to support this, and the only remaining PR IX LR480 has a camera fit as per PRXVI's, so I'm inclined to go with this. The photo's of LR480 also show a fuel cooler on the starboard fuselage below the wing, this is quoted as being non standard but I suspect this may not be the case -a head on period photo of BIX ML963 clearly shows the cooler. I intend commencing the build with parts I know are correct and leave the cockpit details for the time being, so if anyone has any bright ideas on the above conundrums please shout up before I close up the fuselage halves!
  2. Hi Jure I think you are misreading Peter's comments. As far as I'm aware, Mosquito's only ever had one retraction jack per undercarriage leg. The kit provides these. It is the positioning of them that is incorrect, Tamiya has a mirror image assembly for the undercarriage legs with the retraction jacks on the inboard sides of the leg. In reality the undercarriage legs were identical port & starboard, with the jack attached to the starboard side of the leg. I.E. the port leg is correct, the starboad leg has the retraction jack on the wrong side. Personally, I don't think it would be too hard to change, but as Peter says, it's hardly noticable when built.
  3. Nice shot of the Union Flag painted on the carrier deck!
  4. It may not be a term that you or I would use, I'd also generally use it to describe a retrofit solution as fitted to 1-11's, 737's etc. However, it is a "bolt on" addition to an existing engine, and as such could legitimatley be described as a hush kit. RR used similar devices on, for example, the Spey (Trident), Avon (Comet) and Conway (707). These engines, as I'm sure you are aware, were used on aircraft without this nozzle/diffuser fitted. And to bring us back to Pin's question I'd agree with you Pin, exceedingly tricky, and if you do succeed in fabricating one, also not very easy to replicate - moulding and casting would be complicated by the narrow ring surrounding the flutes at the rear of the nozzle/diffuser. I'll be watching closely to see how you get on!
  5. Permanent ballast, whilst not common, isn't unheard of. S.S. Canberra was noted for having several hundred tons of concrete added up front to correct trim and stability problems Indeed they are, but they don't help with static stability. you need to be moving forwards at some speed (typically >15knots, but they can reduce rolling a bit at speeds >10 knots, below that they're pretty ineffective. Ships tonnage is a bit of a minefield, it can be either weight or volume depending on the rules for calulating that particular tonnage. Tonnages are used to determine various fees/dues/taxes payable by ships, and the rules have changed over the years as owners/designers find ways of carring more cargo than the rules intended (eg the Doxford Turret ships) If you want to know the actual mass (weight) of the ship you need it's displacement.
  6. True, but the exhaust nozzle/diffuser that Pin has highlighted was specifically designed for noise abatement.
  7. Indeed - so good they named it twice! ;-)
  8. Raoul Hafner was Austrian and interned as an enemy alien at the start of WW2. He did become a naturalised Briton though.
  9. That's the later MkIII installation Looking good! Yes, I'd go with that. I'd put the top of the PPI box level (or just slightly below) the shelf the black box is sitting on, with the viewing hood sticking up above the shelf. This would leave access to the switches as the flexible rubber hood could easily be bent out ot the way when needed.
  10. The beverley was a General Aircraft design, not Blackburn's.
  11. Hi there, I've been looking for the answer to this question for a long time myself, but have yet to come up with the definitive answer. This webpage shows the kit that would be in the observers (middle) cockpit (not the box on the lower right, that's just a power supply), and this photo shows the kit installed in a Hudson. When in use on the Swordfish, the PPI (plan position indicator) would almost certainly have used a rubber cowl or hood over the CRT display as per this photo in a Fortress. Here's a thread I started a few years back with some supposition on where the boxes go in a MkII, and another thread on the mk III with a photo showing where the PPI was installed. Yet another swordfish radar thread threw up some installation drawings for the mkIII swordfish,a couple with the shelf/hood arrangement common to most MkIII's, and one with an earlier arrangement which might be a clue as to where the kit was on the Mk II. Note the PPI is installed vertically with the screen on top on the starboard centre cockpit framing (note also the hood for viewing the CRT in daylight) This drawing also shows the MkII transmitter aerial dipole on the leading edge of the top wing centre section supported on three stubs projecting forward of the wing. Th Mk II of course didn't have the scanner between the undercarriage legs associated with the later ASV setup. My current theory based on the above (especially the earkly MkIII installation drawing) is that the PPI would be mounted as per this drawing and the receiver, transmitter etc would be mounted under the pilot's seat.
  12. Hi Andy I believe the correct term for this aircraft is a Valsan Super 27. Valsan did the conversion to standard 727's, and as far as external differences I'm only aware of the replacement of the outboard engine nacelles with MD-80 nacelles, and the deletion of the thrust reverser on the centre engine. The MD-80 nacelle is approx 50% larger diameter than the standard 727 nacelle. The thrust reverser isn't really noticable on the kit parts, so that just leaves the engine replacement. Other changes to the aircraft that you can't see would be to the engine systems, control & instrumentation, plus a substantial amount of ballast up front to balance the heavier engines at the back. I don't know where you're getting your info for the wing position from, the wing is in the same position as the airfix kit and I've not seen reference to this as an error before.
  13. HI Andy, G-OSRA is a 727 Super. The port and starboard engines have been upgraded to JT8D-217C's whilst the centre engine remains a JT8D-17A. To model this accurately you'll need the larger engine nacelles from Minicraft's MD-80 (or equivalent). The rest of the MD-80 kit can be used with a bra-z conversion set to make an MD-90.