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About RJP

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    WW II in the air, political and military history, photography.

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  1. Yes, right up to the point of assuming a picture of a late one as indicative of what an early one looked like. The error is likely to be recognised only after the mods. have been made. Grief ensues. Ask me how I know.
  2. Best to be aware that late Wirraways had a plain flap whereby the upper surface was attached to the flap and came down with it when the flaps were lowered. The original variants had a split flap (the upper surface stayed stationery while the lower surface was lowered). Early machines also had a triangular cutout next to the aileron. When the changes were made I do not know but photographs are available on the 'net.
  3. Relic was one of my favourites. Sitting at the counter in Molly's Reach, staring at the new hifalutin menu. "Quickie Lorraine! Who's Quickie Lorraine?" I have now lost any possible excuse for passing on the Airfix Lancaster II.
  4. Civil Aviation Authority lists G-AIFV as a Mk 21. Certainly the interior shots used were a freight carrier, not a Wayfarer.
  5. I have a copy of that photo (also a download) in my files. The caption says they are Monica aerials. I'm not quite sure why a day bomber flying in a large formation would need a tail warning radar though I suppose it could have had other uses. Wikipedia, the font of all knowledge, says the USAAF used Monica as a radar altimeter to drop Little Boy on Hiroshima. I suppose that makes sense though I claim no actual knowledge!
  6. You might have a look for the 1957 film starring Jack Hawkins The Man in the Sky (released in the U.S. as Decision Against Time). It appears on late TV sometimes and is available on DVD. Much of the movie takes place aboard G-AIFV on loan from Silver City posing as a new experimental transport. Hawkins plays a test pilot struggling to bring the prototype back safely after an engine fire and there is much cockpit and cabin footage. My question is this - how much of it is studio set and how much real interior? If it isn't the real thing, Ealing went to a lot of trouble. . .
  7. If you have the serial you can find the block number on Joe Baugher's site: Lots of good stuff there.
  8. It's worth remembering that serials were applied at the factory so with few exceptions were of uniform presentation. Standards for construction and finish - read contractual obligations - had to be enforced, how else can the factory deliver a proper product? Codes are a different matter. They were applied out at the squadrons, several steps removed from the factory. I am not suggesting there were no controls but units exercised a good deal of discretion that wasn't available to the manufacturers. Some Lancaster examples: 12 Squadron machines could be seen with the squadron and individual letters grouped aft of the roundel, 44 Squadron used small squadron letters and larger individual ones. Not all machines, apparently, and not forever. As always, photos tell the tale.
  9. I'm wondering about those crew members. The original Airfix pilot blobs weren't that good, especially back in 1957 or so when this kit first saw daylight. These guys look more like the mid 60s ones and I wonder if the moulds were retreaded as time went by? The rest of the parts seem as I remember them, sixty years (!) on. I must have had one of the very early bagged ones - 29 cents at the time - because I remember painting it Pactra yellow with black blotches to match the bag header.
  10. Because it was the serial number that counted, really the surest way to keep track of an airframe. The code letter, while interesting after the fact, would not have had much relevance to getting the work done. This is not limited to air force units either. My wife has just finished tracking her great grandfather's service in WW I and she noted the wide variation in the paperwork detail between battalions.
  11. I'd like to see more on this, if possible. I've never given it a lot of thought and always supposed that they were standard machines diverted after completion but before delivery to a mod. shop. Then on to trials and finally the squadron. Apart from the disproportionate effort involved, setting up a separate line would seem a sure way to attract unwanted attention?
  12. The country was called Burma back then, so anyone searching for Spitfire references will be more successful using that name.
  13. A link to one:
  14. That certainly brought me up short, a long forgotten detail from the 1950s! My older brother had a Revell (B-29?) that had that impossible contraption but he (and I when I was old enough) early on decided stands didn't help the realism and from then on they were binned as soon as the box was opened. Airfix kits had stands of varying sizes, I suppose to match the size and weight they had to support. The completed models were prone to falling over at even the suggestion of a feather duster and by the time their 1/72 B-29 came along it was simply no longer question. Memory is whispering there was a stand, perhaps big and black. Airfix kits that came to North America in various re-boxings had black teardrop shaped stands with a textured surface. For its new 1/72 series of biplanes Monogram opted for little domes with truly vertical vertical bits. They attached through a small circular hole in the belly - much easier to fill and a lot less prone to having the AMT body putty of the day come dislodged. What a ghastly thing memory is!
  15. Warpaint has the same picture captioned as X8559 of 809 Squadron on Victorious in 1942.