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About XV107

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  1. XV107

    Vulcan XM597 in Rio

    "But even as the Brazilian Air Traffic Controller struggled to understand Trevaskus’s distorted speech, he had noticed that the AEO had failed to reveal both what he was flying in and where he was flying from. The controller tried again and, in heavily accented English, asked once more who they were and where they came from. He wasn’t fluent though and, didn’t, McDougall felt, quite grasp what was going on." Dave Castle, who was the Radar Nav came up with the solution and the controller was informed that they were from Huddersfield. Tony Blackman put the tale up on his website at around the time Vulcan Boys hit the bookshops - Shriking, Rio and Return - Dave Castle It explains the problem with the probe, but not which of the Shrikes hung up. I think may have the detail from one of the Vulcan Ops files from Kew somewhere, but can't be sure. If I have and remember the thread...
  2. And, of course, we've been treated to an idea of what the M345 might look like in Frecce Tric colours already (Farnborough, 2014)
  3. I can guarantee that having F-35s along for Op ELLAMY would've been handy given the RF threat that existed. Iran has a handy AD system, as does North Korea. The Syrian AD system is fairly handy - ask the IDF (who won't tell you all the cunning stuff they do to defeat it, but they do worry about it and defeat it - and one of their solutions is the F-35A Adir), particularly the crew of the F-16I which was bagged by it. We never got on top of the Serbian IADS during ALLIED FORCE (see the loss of the F-117 and F-16). The Russians and Chinese are prepared to sell fairly decent AD systems to client states, while there are strong suspicions that some friends of Iran have at least sought to obtain kit which is a bit more of a threat than a 14.5mm DShK or similar. The 'non-existent' problem exists and has been combated, by the RAF, in the last 24 hours - but as no aeroplanes were lost and no adversaries bombed/shot down, you'll not hear about it until the squadron F540s appear in the National Archives in about 20 years.
  4. I agree that a B1 would be an excellent choice, but suspect that the B2 would be more likely given the range of options possible - white V-force; camo V-force with white undersides; XM607; XM597 with Shrike (giving the opportunity for a Not a Dogfight Double release with a Brazilian F-5E...) and, with a rather dull inevitability, XH588.
  5. Nah, not thick enough...
  6. It's the RN. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear... Unfortunately, in a bid (justified) to overcome some of the press rubbish about the carriers and the F-35, 'we're getting some remarkably good demonstrations as to why sailors shouldn't talk about aeroplanes' (that's from a WAFU, who may be missing an element of self-awareness). Lockheed's open source figures suggest somewhere between an 18,000-19,000lb warload, but even this is pushing it - for the UK F-35, that'd be a couple of 1,000lb class weapons in the bays along with, a couple of AMRAAM, two Storm Shadows and two Paveway III under the wings, plus the outboard ASRAAMs and the gun pod.
  7. XV107

    Mystery Uniform

    Are we sure it's the 17th and that there's not another numeral hiding on the chap's shoulder? I only ask because there were several USAS units in the 170-180 number series in the UK at the right time; the 170th was at Beaulieu - there is evidence in the form of letters from there having passed through the British censor. I've seen some source (a webpage?) suggest that there might have been a 177th Aero Squadron at Beaulieu (East Boldre), although records for that unit appear to be patchy and a quick scan of Mr Google causes some doubt as to whether the unit in fact activated.
  8. Agreed that they're from a book or more than one, where the pages have been filleted for sale as separate portraits. You've got Ron Wong, Robert Taylor and Michael Turner prints, so it'll be something like Markman's Classic Aircraft in Aviation Art. (I don't think it is that book necessarily, just using that as an example of a selection) The fact that the A-10, B-17/Me-262, the Val and the Gauntlet have frames around them in the pagination while the Stirling doesn't says at least two books were butchered to achieve the creation of prints. I imagine that if these are being sold as prints of the originals, some publishers might be interested in speaking to the vendor...
  9. XV107

    RAF Serials

    From an article by Ray Sturtivant in Flight, 21 October 1955: Serial Z9999 was reached soon after the outbreak of war, and it was decided to continue with a similar system which, employing two letters and three numbers, began at AA100. In order to avoid confusion, the letters C, G, I, O, Q, U and Y were not used. Exceptions were that the letter G was used as a second letter, and that the combination NC was employed.
  10. From memory (I am about 350 miles away from the book and the notes I made at Kew on the naming convention drawn from a paper prepared for the body approving the CVA01 Queen Elizabeth name...) - the 1833 Queen was the result of a renaming so that there was a vessel named for the new monarch; although laid down in 1833, HMS Queen didn't launch until something like 1838/39, thus providing a convenient means of providing the new monarch with a ship. As I recall, the Queen (1833) was to be the Royal Frederick or Royal George but renamed. The 1858 Victoria, which became Windsor Castle was in build for years and the name change was presumably to avoid confusion with the Victoria which launched in 1859 - a far bigger (and thus more appropriate) vessel for the monarch. I can't recall what happened to that Victoria but I assume that the name was changed to allow for the Victoria which sank. In my original, I appreciate that it would've been useful to have said that Victoria's first ship was HMS Queen.
  11. It’s named for HMQ, not after. There is a subtle difference, which means that the regnal number isn’t essential, particularly since the other QE died in 1603 - whereas with the George V and Edward VIII, making clear which monarch was being acknowledged mattered because of the proximity of reigns. Note that Victoria’s ship was HMS Queen - she was the first since Anne over 100 years before, so nobody was going to be confused as for whom that ship was named. Also, because of the liner QE2, the risk of confusion - and you see this happening nonetheless - was factored in, and the regnal number not used.
  12. It’s partly true - the cancellation of a 2nd carrier named after HMQ would’ve been just too embarrassing (so the RN thought) but the PofW was still in the ‘Boo, hiss, what about Saint Diana? Boo, hissss, we hate Camilla’ phase of his relationship with the media, which meant that naming the carrier for him was risky. The fact that the name hasn’t been changed even though the PofW has apparently expressed willingness to change (the rumour is that the Queen wasn’t impressed with the idea) is largely sustained by the long-standing policy. I’m not certain how many senior RN truly believed the QE’s name would be changed - I’ve had enough professional dealings with an array of senior dark blue over the last 15-20 years to think that one of them might have mentioned it (if I were more specific, that’d be my rather thin cover blown...) during some of the conversations I had (including one on a long Staff Ride to France with one of the QE’s skippers, albeit before he was confirmed in that command) but none did. PofW, on the other hand, was more of a puzzle to them, given the history of the previous ship of that name with aeroplanes. A change to that name might have occurred, but my understanding - granted, only from two sources, one of whom was reporting his view third hand - was that the concern about King Charles III/George VII/Whatever regnal name he actually chooses not getting ‘his’ ship was high. It was suggested that the reluctance to change was because the Daily Express would declare such a step as a victory for Princess Diana, although I don’t think this was entirely serious... The new bombers aren’t being named after attack boats - look at the battleship heritage to the names, which was a key element in the choice.
  13. Still didn't stop me from managing, while distracted, to end up facing backwards when climbing into it on one occasion..... A little surprised at the way the engine is done, but looks good and my stash will be increasing by at least two of these.
  14. It hasn't, though - the tradition was that wherever possible, a battleship was named in honour of the reigning monarch; clearly, the demise of the battleship means that the aircraft carrier became the ship of choice to continue the tradition of naming a major surface combatant after the reigning monarch. If you go back through the years, the naming policy has been clear on this (the documents in the archives at Kew in which the names for CVA-01 and CVA-02 are decided make reference to the policy). George V, obviously, got KG V - twice! (KG V, originally Royal George, and due for launch in 1911, but renamed in 1910 when he came to the throne, plus the WW2 era KG V). The 2nd of the KG V ships was to be Edward VIII, but he blotted his copybook, and this was renamed Prince of Wales before being laid down. George VI's ship was Duke of York, his title prior to Mrs Simpson rather complicating the line of succession, but as there was a KG V, renaming the vessel as KG VI was only going to cause confusion; had he gone with his birth name (Albert), the ship would've been HMS King Albert I... the use of KG VI for the SSBN is a nice hat-tip to the fact that he didn't have a ship explicitly named for him. Of course, in the era of George V, Edward VII and George VI, it was possible to name major surface units after the monarch and those next in line to the throne as we had rather more of them. The demise of the battleship as the major surface vessel led to the decision to name CVA-01 Queen Elizabeth, and why upon cancellation, there was a concern that she wouldn't get 'her' ship in a break in the tradition. Thanks to her longevity and the 1998 SDR, naming what was then known as the CVF after our current Queen was a virtual certainty. The choice of Prince of Wales for the second CVF is a practical recognition of the fact that Prince Charles's reign is unlikely to be marked by the appearance of a carrier, so 'his' ship has been named early. It's not the naming system going to pot, but a tradition which was, in effect, suspended because the CVS class ships weren't considered large enough (hence the joke CVS = Carrier, Very Small). Naming an SSBN after the reigning monarch was felt to be a little too controversial ('This is BBC Wartime Emergency News Service, with Fiona Bruce. Earlier today, Queen Elizabeth launched Trident missiles against....' ), so the RN simply waited, Mickawber-like, for something to turn up. And it did.
  15. XV107

    Poseidon MRA Mk.1

    Clearly didnt' get that across as well as I wanted - yes, it's little more, as far as I can see, than a polite way of saying 'some our senior [naval] officers are paranoid about the crabs and don't like the joint nature of JHC and JF Lightning, and think that the media and the public believe all green helicopters to belong to the RAF or perhaps the Army. So they want RN helicopters to be grey to convey 'all grey helicopters are Naval helicopters' - ergo, cobblers based on a couple of individuals (for whom George Zambellas would've had hard words, and who'd get a raised eyebrow from Tony Radakin [I was once his Staff College DS. How old does that make me feel?]) not understanding the history of the junglies and attempting to dress up their dislike of their sideways-moving colleagues with corporate guff. See above - it is, from what I can ascertain, some corporate line being spun to suggest something other than a tactical or fiscal element to the decision, which - if that is the case - is, to put it mildly, another instance of individuals drawing the Mess Webley (Wardroom Webley, I suppose...) and shooting themselves in the foot for the very reason you note: look at all the work done by Green painted (or, once temporary finish removed, green painted) CHF aircraft, and 3 Cdo Bde/847 Squadron Lynxes, and you (well, I do) mutter darkly about missing the bigger picture and writing out a massive chunk of your history to... give your history clearer definition. [Thinks rude word Mike would rightly edit out]
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