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Gold Member
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About TeeELL

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    Established Member

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Highworth, Wilts
  • Interests
    Cuban Airforce, aircraft I flew, Armour of WW1.

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678 profile views
  1. Hawker Hart Family

    Thanks Adrian, unfortunately I cannot view any of the photos you posted 'back in the day'! I wondered if you might still possess them?
  2. Hawker Hart Family

    Adrian, is there any chance I could see the photos of your Demon build, to give me some inspiration on building my 29(F) Sqn kite? regards Tony
  3. Red arrows to get new aircraft

    Doh! That should read 2025! It had been a long day at Telford!
  4. Red arrows to get new aircraft

    Well, pass me the salt and pepper! It seems I must eat my hat. I have heard today 'from a reliable source' that the Reds are due to continue to 2030, flying the Hawk T1. Given all the problems perceived, 10 years ago, about how 'we' were going to manage the fleet to make 2018, it seems the canopy and undercarriage shortfalls have domehow been overcome. In addition 100 Sqn will continue to use the T1/1A to 2015. It's a miracle!!!
  5. Airfix 1/72 Phantom FG1

    I have seen the 'pre-production model and it looks really quite impressive. It is labelled a FGR1!!!! It is shown with a variety of stores but includes bits only appropriate to the FGR2 so I suspect it will be packaged as a F4K/M. Best get those Fugitsu Phantoms sold on eBay before everyone else finds out.
  6. Red arrows to get new aircraft

    After 20 years as a Hawk QFI, I always felf very proud when one (or more) of my students or fellow (and female) ex-instructors became team members on RAFAT. One season had nearly every team pilot as someone I had taught. My brief, when I was tasked as FT2A, was - in conjunction with the Hawk engineering team - was to identify the means of keeping RAFAT going until 2018. The problems with the undercarriage legs and the canopy were insurmountable as no replacements were available - there are few or no interchangeable parts between the T1 series and T2. The downsizing of the training system allowed aircraft to be mothballed and those aircraft provided the 'spares' that has continued to keep the Hawk T1/1W/1A fleet flying. For my part, I had heard rumours of more Alphajets being aquired for 100 Sqn! Ascoteer has mentioned the relatively small cost of keeping RAFAT going but the future requires a replacement aircraft - if that aircraft, in the hands of RAFAT, is also supposed to promote UK industry then the choice of replacement aircraft is open to question. As for the B&Q WB TMk1 - I bet it is made in China!
  7. Red arrows to get new aircraft

    H i n t, you have overlooked the cost of redeveloping this item into an acceptable MOPO (Military operated, Publicly owned) item. The necessary modifications, spares - probably prioritised for supply to an overseas country to whom we have sold the same wheelbarrow (WB) WB Tmk51. All of these will drive up the cost of initial WB Tmk1, with the supply problems limiting the serviceabilty and availability of the WB. This will also be an untried platform, requiring extensive testing at Boscombe Down furthermore, the transition from the WB Tmk1 to Hawk Tmk2 might well require a transitional platform. The RAFAT might find some of their manoeuvres somewhat limited 'Concord' to 'Concourse', 'Roll off the Top' to 'Roll of turf off the front', 'Diamond 9' to 'Diamond paving slabs', 'Leaders benefit' to 'Leaders top soil' etc, etc. (This'll be an interesting line of discussion, me thinks!)
  8. Red arrows to get new aircraft

    Now, before I add anything more I should advise you that I retired from the RAF (and, obviously, the Hawk Desk Officer - FT2A) 10 years ago. So, you will appreciate that, if the RAF was concerned about the longevity of the Hawk T1 back then and even then spares were becoming an issue, by now FT2A must have a very difficult challenge keeping 208 Sqn, 100 Sqn and the RN unit running. The Tucano is going to be replaced as that aircraft is worn out and, as I understand it, that replacement will act in the Basic and Advanced Flying Training role prior to the students moving to Hawk T2. All of this is second hand information gleaned from friends still associated with the Flying Training system. I think Spaddad is commenting along the right lines. It would be a difficult thing to justify the cost of buying aircraft 'just' for the purpose of keeping The Reds going. 2018 was always 'the year' because it is the 100th anniversary year of the RAF. Junglierating (that took some double checking until I realised it wasn't a difficult foreign name) when I left RAF Valley, the T2 was a brand new aircraft, when I left the RAF 2 years later it was just going through course development. That it has parts support issues is news to me not least because I have no contact with anyone at Valley or flying the T2. I daresay any spares are sent to overseas operators to keep them sweet. Note: I reiterate: my comments are based upon my experience from a decade ago plus information gleaned by casual conversation from contacts in the Basic Flying Training world. It could ALL have changed in the meantime!
  9. Red arrows to get new aircraft

    In a past life, I was the Hawk desk officer. One of my major tasks, along with the engineering section, was to identify the means of keeping the RAFAT flying until end of season 2018. As has been mentioned, part of the role of RAFAT is as a method of demonstrating/promoting UK industry. Clearly, a non-UK flying platform would be totally self defeating but, with a purchase of onlt 28 Hawk T2s there are no spare airframes to set 12 aside for RAFAT. The initial point that I didn't make, was the difficulty in keeping sufficient spare parts available for RAFAT to last until end of season 2018. Whatever you may perceive, the main U/C legs and the canopies of Hawks are 'show stoppers'. The Hawks in storage may have low airframe hours but they are misding all the parts necessary to keep the current fleet going. Truth is, the Hawk T1 was suppossed to be replaced in 2001 (the airframe was lifed to 25 years) clearly it wasn't. Reflect, if you will, that media reports every year, for at least the last 10, have reflected upon the future of RAFAT. I may be wrong - but I think 2018 will be RAFATs last season.
  10. Cuban Revolutionary F-51

    The build is complete!! Pictures posted in the Gallery. Here are a couple more: The 'through canopy' radio aerial (definitely fitted to FAR 400, unfortunately) has been replicated - and it works, or it would if the canopy wasn't PVA's into position. In fact the canopy was positioned right by the fin when I was tensioning the filament, had to apply the PVA to the canopy, rotate it and slide it forward into position!
  11. Gallery and Poll

    Airfix 1/72 F-51. Cuban Revolutionary Air Force FAR
  12. Cuban Revolutionary F-51

    The build continues - I would say 'at a pace' but that wouldn't be true - were it so to be, I would have finished the Mustang today. As it is, the seams on the main wheels has been removed and the tyres re-painted, the canopy and wind screen have been painted, the aerial wire made provision for (hole drilled in the fin and the rear of the canopy. One of the decals on the prop fell off - no idea when or where but the remainder have now had a dollop of Future coated over them.
  13. Cuban Revolutionary F-51

    Joss, I've not seen one 'in the flesh' as the museum where FAR 401 resides is no longer open. FAR 400 disappeared although remains of a Mustang have been found near Guantanamo - could be 400 but there is also a rumour that a third F-51 was acquired. They were never used in anger as Batista capitulated the day the 2 (3?) Mustangs were finally serviceable.
  14. Cuban Revolutionary F-51

    A couple more photographs:
  15. Cuban Revolutionary F-51

    I have mentioned the paucity of references for Cuban F-51's in some ways a blessing and in more a curse. There is but one photo of FAR400 'dressed' in her final livery - this is what I am trying to copy. http://www.urrib2000.narod.ru/EqMustang-e.html Whilst it is impossible to say for sure, there are a couple of photos of a Mustang with 'uncuffed' propeller, which I am choosing to assume are '400 as seen in the definite image in the above reference. I have noted that there appear to be no tail wheel doors on '400, although they are fitted to '401. References indicate the tail wheel doors were removed on some aircraft to ease the maintenance burden. In photograph, the fuselage stripe is finished as Black?/NMF/Red possibly, although logic would suggest Blue/NMF/Red. Colour profiles show either combination, one even has the Red leading! The museum aircraft, FAR 401, has Black as the leading colour. I have elected to go for Black and initially used clear decal paper for the stripe but the density of the Red was insufficient and it was rather dull: I removed that stripe later - came off in one, to my delight (and surprise). I decided to replace it with a stripe on white decal paper and accept that, whilst I would gain the Red, I would lose the NMF. Here is that option: (I would prefer the NMF but my laser printer cannot lay down sufficient toner to achieve the necessary density). As you will see, the aircraft has had some of the additional Airfix 'stencil' decals applied along with the 'eyes'. The flaps, rudder and prop are all temporarily fitted - the flaps are finished in the same Alclad as the fuselage - but on the grey primer rather than the gloss black - so another different finish.