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XV107

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About XV107

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  1. XV107

    Airfix's new 1/48th Hunter F6 - notes and other things

    Ah, that'll buff out.... ¹ That looks like an 'I learned about flying from that.' article written all over it. Mid-air? ¹ In truth, if it's the incident I'm thinking of, it didn't... until HSA got their hands on it and rebuilt it for another customer.
  2. No, not alone. Seems a good move to me (not necessarily to my wallet, but...)
  3. XV107

    1/72nd Nanchang Q-5 from Trumpeter

    Yes - I’d say that it is in some ways more plausible than some of KP’s choices (and none of KP’s seemed unreasonable to my mind). There’s enough credible supposition that the KPAF might have gone for it, and the belief that they had which a number of sources held for some time is an interesting one. I’m emphatically not trying to say that the KPAF did use it, just that the possibility is sufficiently credible enough for it not to be a surprise should it turn out that they did. The evidence as things stand is insufficient to be certain either way, although I’d tend towards the view that mistaken extrapolation of information led to a firm belief in the 80s amongst credible observers that the Q-5 was in use (i.e. I agree with Modelldoc, just not on the level of likelihood that they didn’t). Trumpeter’s choice isn’t a wildly unreasonable one in this instance, unlike some of their other suppositions/decisions (the control surfaces on the DH Hornet spring to mind...), and it may well be a case of ‘not sure, but plausible enough to include’. Or, given past errors, no thought at all may have been applied... But this is getting (my fault) into J2 assessments of angels dancing on the head of a pin territory, so I’ll leave it there.
  4. XV107

    1/72nd Nanchang Q-5 from Trumpeter

    Forgive me - you're slightly missing my point, but this is because after reading my last, I've missed the point I've not made well enough too... I agree with your view that there isn't sufficient evidence to be certain that the KPAF used/uses (I think the former would apply if at all) the Q-5 (aka A-5 in some sources) Equally, though, what I'm trying to say is that I wouldn't be as absolute in saying Trumpeter have got it absolutely, definitively wrong [insert 'yet again' if so minded...], and that there's no justification for listing the KPAF as a user. Flight may not get everything correct, but there was a sufficient level of plausibility that the KPAF had Q-5s in the 1980s and early 1990s to convince reputable, pre-internet sources including Jane's for a bit (I am not at work and can't look at the array of material from that source which covers the KPAF to ascertain how long Jane's believed this. Flight was no longer including the Q-5 in the KPAF ORBAT by 2008. So we're left with a few possibilities. 1. Trumpeter is not alone in getting this wrong; credible sources, informed by er... informed sources were also off-beam (the level of hints dropped to the likes of Flight and Jane's in the past from people who were paid to make very educated guesses on this sort of thing, plus the use of public source US briefing documents, some of which were derived from offices somewhere in the Langley region of Virginia was sufficient to make their published guesstimates or even firm statements pretty credible. I daresay some information obtained came (very) indirectly from intelligence sources in Seoul when it came to the DPRK) 2. The KPAF used the Q-5, but retired it (probably earlier than Flight thought). Because of the secrecy in place under Kim Il Sung (it's odd to reflect that the DPRK is a more open society than once it was...), we never got to see any photographs and information was at best sketchy. However, since the Fantan would've represented a fairly notable increase in the striking power of the KPAF, one might have thought that their propaganda people would have been tempted to highlight this. 3. If Trumpeter has connections with the PLA - as many businesses do, even if not declared - their representatives reading this thread (via their access to one of our home computers rather than a subscription...) might be quietly chuckling at the fact that they are now confirming that they did, indeed, sell some Q-5s to the North Koreans 4. Someone, somewhere, had a bad day at the office and confused their J-5 or their H-5 with their Q-5/A-5 and.... 5. The KPAF wanted the Q-5 to replace one of their earlier types - probably the H-5? - but did not go through with the procurement. However, while the evidence was convincing enough for Flight and others to publish it, it was - unsurprisingly - incomplete and the failure of the procurement was not known. I think the point that I'm trying to make is that we can't be sure, for once, that this is yet another Trumpeter research error. Although the evidence for their getting it right is slim - and if interested in accuracy in my models, I'd not be putting the KPAF markings on my Q-5 - I think that the caution for fellow modellers is one of 'caveat whatever-the-Latin-for-modeller-is', since your nicely-built model may turn out to be a what if...
  5. XV107

    1/72nd Nanchang Q-5 from Trumpeter

    With respect, the problem here is that the North Korean spotter community is, for some reason, not that large and certainly rubbish at putting photos online... More seriously, the exceptionally tight hold the DPRK government has over its population means that there is a lot which is not known about the NK forces, at least not in the public domain here (lest sources be compromised). Various RAND reports (some based on classified research for the DoD) note that the Chinese and North Koreans do not report on all arms transfers between the two nations (clearly, this is likely to be one way between the PRC and DPRK), which makes it difficult to show whether the reports of the sale of Q-5s to North Korea were accurate, incorrect assumptions or the result of misinformation. However, there are some more credible sources than Wikipedia suggesting that the KPAAF has Q-5s For example, Flight, 29 July-4 Aug 1998, p54, gives a total for the KPAAF of 40 A-5s; this followed on from references in their annual 'World Air Forces' reports (e.g. 29 November 1986, p.74) to the same number of these aircraft, and was still listing this in the 2004 edition. Clearly, the constancy of number of airframes is deeply questionable (no attrition at all in 18 years? For a design of a vintage where attrition was all but inevitable?), but the fact that a credible source, drawing on a number of credible/plausible information sources of its own suggests that we shouldn't automatically dismiss the possibility of the A-5 being in service with the KPAF, particularly when Jane's publications at one point held that there had been a delivery (again of 40 aircraft) in 1982. On the flip side, the hard evidence is apparently lacking. We're into 'absence of evidence is not evidence of absence' territory, and if Trumpeter is linked to the PLA/PLAAF, it may be that we have the interesting scenario where the decal scheme offers intelligence pointers as to the validity of some of that information (equally, there may be a suitably qualified intelligence analyst who reads this site thinking 'Yeah, we've actually known this since 1984...')
  6. XV107

    Eurofighter typhoon

    18 (Belicopter) Squadron might have disagreed... (although they don't use the role suffix at the moment). I imagine that there are several factors which may come into play here - the most obvious being whether Mike Wigston is a fan of the role suffix for 12 Squadron. If he is, then they - and thus IX - will stay as 12(B). There's much confusion over the role suffix anyway, since the use of suffixes was banned in the 1950s or early 60s (I forget which without looking it up) as well as the use of Roman numerals. The only problem was that the RAF possessed - and has continued to possess - a significant number of very senior officers who'd been members of II(AC) Squadron, which allowed the aforementioned unit to pretty much ignore the AM directives because anyone complaining was immediately referred to Air Marshal or Air Chief Marshal So-and-So, under whose imprimatur 2 Squadron was calling itself II(AC); also the argument that there was a real risk of confusing 2 Squadron [fast and pointy things] with 2 Squadron [rock apes] held some water. With the precedent set, 9 Squadron became IX(B) in fairly short order, and we've since added V(AC), IX(F) and CXX (no role suffix for the consumption of comestibles in the maritime environment was ever authorised...) while 42 Squadron referred to itself as 42(TB) Squadron, rising above questions about consumption, having a nasty cough, etc, etc. As noted, 18 adopted the (B) suffix and was certainly referring to itself as such in demi-official correspondence until relatively recently. II(AC) isn't really an Army Co-operation unit any more... [NB that when I say 'relatively recently', I have now reached sufficient 'time in' to discover that the events I fondly imagine to be relatively recent occurred 15-20 years ago. Sigh]
  7. XV107

    Skunkworks (was Kinetic) F-16xl 1/48

    The noise you may have just heard was my credit card sighing.
  8. Mmmm. Quote from Syd Wise Canadian Airmen and the First World War, pp.570-71 An American who had flown with 46 Squadron recalled, forty-three years later, his unit's last operation on 10 November: We went out on a squadron sweep of trench strafing, and I might say that trench strafing was about the bloodiest work we had to do. We found a long straight road filled with retreating German supply trains. We saw horse drawn artillery, motor trucks, infantry and other military equipment of one kind or another. We formed a big circle and dropped our 25-lb bombs. When we got through with that road it was one unbelievable scene of chaos, with dead horses, lorries and dead soldiers all over the road. As I went down the last time to use up what was left of my ammunition and bombs, the two planes in front of me collided. In one of them was a chap by the name of Dowler, who had been a school teacher in Calgary. We had joined up the same day in Canada, but he came to the squadron later than I did. He was a damned good pilot Second Lieutenant George Emerson Dowler and the pilot of the machine which collided with him on 10 November appear to be the last RAF flyers to have been killed in action during the First World War. On the same day 84 Squadron's Lieutenant F.H. Taylor of Toronto was credited with bringing down an enemy machine, scoring the last victory of the war to be recorded in the RAF communiques. So 11am on 10 November wouldn't necessarily be a bad time to launch either a Camel (46 Sqn) or an SE 5a (84 Sqn)...
  9. XV107

    UK wants more Chinooks...

    Not that recent for the first lot of airframes - the first to be upgraded to HC4 configuration had its first flight as an HC4 in late 2010... I imagine that the plan of action will be to retire 16 of the first lot of HC4s to be upgraded to that standard, with a dozen being reduced to produce, Bravo November going to Hendon (Cosford ought to get another given the significance of the Chinook to the RAF) and a couple of others going to museums as well. That'll leave the younger HC4s (the original Chinooks), plus 14 HC6s - the new builds - and the eight HC5s to be joined by these 16 airframes. I imagine that the end state will the HC4s being retired over time as new airframes - more HC6s - come into service and the overall fleet level being retained at about 60. HC4 = Upgraded HC2 HC5 = Upgraded HC3 (the ones which didn't work for ages...) HC6 = new build CH-47F equivalent I assume that the MH-47Gs will be HC7s and that the aspiration for about 2040 will be a mix of HC6 and HC7 (which may have been upgraded to as yet-to-be-defined HC8 and HC9 standard by then).
  10. XV107

    Uk Wedgetail?

    It appears that the cunning plan is to fit the Eyrie kit to our fleet of Voyagers. Yes. Those Voyagers. The ones that do AAR. Which the RAF doesn't own. You might just as well give Airtanker the PIN number for the government's bank account and say 'if you wouldn't mind leaving £2.50 in there so we can pay the milkman, please', cross your fingers and hope you do have enough for a pint of semi-skimmed when it's all over. https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/saab-voices-opposition-to-uk-wedgetail-buy-452945/ The Defence Select Committee are lucky it was Rich Knighton answering the questions. I can just imagine if it had been Phil Osborn: "So why aren't you considering the SAAB offer, Air Marshal Osborn?" Swearing removed
  11. XV107

    UK wants more Chinooks...

    At Cosford, one hopes - the way things appear to be going, someone would try standing BN on its nose so that the belly can be used for a big interactive touch screen if it ends up at Hendon. Or saw it in half with the ramp as the entrance to a new, exciting cafe and the cockpit as the food preparation area.... (Suspicions that I may not have been entirely impressed with some of the tales about 'great new ideas' I've heard from certain sources in the Colindale area are entirely well founded...)
  12. I'd respectfully suggest that the 1/24th FBVI counts as at least some attention for the Mossie from Airfix... As an entirely off-the-wall and wrong suggestion - a Voyager. It's the RAF's largest aircraft and would thus be a 'big' announcement... It'd be a little odd, I think, if the big announcement 100 years since the formation of the RAF and 100 years since the end of the First World War didn't cover a British aircraft. Whether that would be something like a 24th Camel or SE 5a (or a Sopwith Dolphin or Triplane for that hint of 'wasn't expecting that), or (still in 24th) a Meteor, later Spitfire (IX? XIV?) or a Harrier (In 24th, one which doesn't involve slicing a GR1 about; or perhaps a GR7/9 in 48th) might be appropriate. But so, for that matter, might be a Typhoon FGR4 (the current Airfix offering is a bit... well...) in either 72nd or 48th or a Tornado GR4 - in fact, a new tool Airfix Tornado in 72 or 48th would be extremely welcome , even allowing for Revell's efforts in both scales - let's not forget that the Tornado, in GR form, first flew in 1974 (well, in IDS form, to be precise), so 2019 marks 45 years for the type; it marks the retirement from RAF service after 40 years [first one handed over to the RAF in 1979]. Given that the Tornado is, like it or not, one of the most significant aircraft in the history of the RAF, it could well be the year to bring one out...
  13. XV107

    Uk Wedgetail?

    The Firecracker didn't quite meet the specification (ias at low level wasn't high enough). We've now ended up (sort of) with the aircraft which was deemed the best choice some 30 years ago, using a training solution which possibly isn't the best choice... He Firecracker was a decent aircraft, just as the Tucano wasn't/isn't by any means a poor aircraft - but the fourth of Sir Sydney Camm's modern aircraft dimensions determined that the answer to AST412 wasn't the RAF's first choice.
  14. XV107

    June, 3, 1982

    Blackbuck Six makes a late booking for a holiday in Rio...
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