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About XV107

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  1. 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...
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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]
  9. XV107

    Poseidon MRA Mk.1

    Green helicopters are associated with either the Army or the RAF. Grey helicopters are more associated with the RN after the proliferation of grey helicopters from the late 1980s onwards. It translates as ‘attempting to make sure that people see a grey helicopter and think ‘Royal Navy’ rather than RAF or Army’.... Obviously, given the joint nature of helicopter operations (*cough*), ‘not wanting to be associated with those oiks from junior services’ isn’t an acceptable answer.
  10. I was aboard one almost a month ago - code was 'K'. I'm afraid I didn't get to see the code letter of the accompanying airframe in the flight clearly, but it appeared to be a single letter. Couldn't tell you the serial of the airframe; the tailboom was rather grubby (as in the shots here) and the serial wasn't clear, even when boarding the cab...
  11. 208 was in the running. The rumour is that someone in dark blue with a lack of knowledge of their air power history declared that 208 had spent too long as a single-service squadron and was inextricably associated with the RAF, thus a ‘more joint’ numberplate was required. AIUI, after various persons had picked themselves up off the floor and attempted to illustrate that this was a crass failure to understand 208’s history - an illustration which was given a stiff ignoring, 207 (which was in the running because of its RNAS past and still notable seniority) got the nod instead. 207 was emphatically not the obvious choice on the small list of numbers offered up for selection....
  12. Seat on the T-50 is from Martin Baker. Although not guaranteed, the seat - as a means of saving life - is the sort of thing which wouldn't be instantly subjected to objections. The last time there was a ban on the MB seat for Argentina, it was the previous President (Kirchner) forbidding the use of an MB seat on the IA-63 upgrade. A Russian made seat was to be installed. IIRC, the Mirages had MB seats which (unlike a lot of the A-4 seats in 1982) were fully serviceable as a result of ongoing maintenance. Also, relations have improved slightly - the tragic loss of the sub in 2017 saw a Voyager taking kit to Argentina (the first RAF aircraft to land in the country since '82, I think), and members of the Submarine Rescue team went to Comodoro Rivadavia to assist the international group assembled in a bid to try to find the vessel. We haven't yet got back to the point where the Argentines were starting to send occasional representatives to military courses in the UK (and I think at least one RAF officer did the Argentine Staff college), but sadly Mrs Kirchner's approach to diplomacy rather did for that.
  13. That'd have been rather difficult given that the Ark went out of service a year before the 1979 election which she won.... The F/A-18E/F was looked at in 2010, but the UK's position as a Tier 1 (the Tier 1) partner and the industrial advantages of sticking with the F-35 (Boeing wasn't offering that at least 15% of every F/A-18E/F built would be produced in the UK for a start) meant that it was never really an option. Dr Fox was the driving force behind the move to F-35C, which the scrutineers politely suggested was 'lacking in supporting evidence' - i.e. no justification beyond 'the Secretary of State says this is a good idea'. The cost of operating and integrating the MV-22 into the UK ORBAT compared to purchasing more Chinooks made the 'generous offer' rather less generous on closer examination. The same happened with the supposed 'generous' offer of UH-60 some years ago; on closer examination, it pretty much closed down what was then AugustaWestland and the costs of spares, etc, etc made the deal rather less attractive.
  14. XV107

    A400M - so far

    This.... means that my answer to Is 'yes, there are some facts. And they're not pretty. And that's all I'm saying....' Generically, the feeling in my neck of the woods from members of the AT fleets is that the A400M will be made to work, but that it'll take more time and money that it should to resolve the issues, and that some of them may never be fully sorted out. There is also a body of opinion which says that a new batch of C-130Js will be required rather than the retirement of that type.
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