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  1. Sadly, the Venom FB54 at Grove appears to have been a Kill for Storm Eunice... (from Twitter, original photographer not clear at the mo')
  2. As a further hint that it's the SAAF... The title of their 1970 Golden Jubilee Book was Per Aspera ad Astra, too!
  3. Although 54 is currently serving as the OCU, I believe that the debate as to whether there'll be a third Poseidon-only unit with an OCU function hasn't quite concluded yet. I suspect that the answer will be '120, 201 and 54' when the question is 'which RAF Squadrons operate the P-8?', but suggestions that 42 Sqn might make a reappearance were certainly being bounced around about 12 months ago and haven't entirely gone away (although my source for that is probably a bit out of date now). In early 2020, 22 Squadron's numberplate was still being spoken of as a possible OCU 'plate (think Beauforts and Ken Campbell VC, plus the maritime aspect of its SAR role), but the opportunity to bring it back earlier was taken with its allocation to the JHC OEU. [There had been a debate over the right numberplate for the JHC OEU, but the leading contender as an alternative to 22 - 225 - didn't have a squadron standard, and the decision to remove the 'R' suffix from OCUs/OEUs meant that the rule about current squadrons needing to have a standard kicked in] A previous OC 56(R) did ponder trying to get the Lightning F3 scheme painted on the tail of a Sentinel to mark the squadron's anniversary, but concluded that the chances of him getting permission ranged from 'Not on your nelly' to 'Er... nice idea, but, no'. 74 isn't that far off reappearing, in reality - since 19, 20, 23, 25 and 92 were the fighter numberplates ahead of it and are all now in use (12 & 20 non-flying and air traffic/airspace management related; 23 space operations; 25 Hawk and 92 - Air Warfare Centre tactics unit - I think that 5, 43 and 111 are the only ones with greater seniority and an air combat role association.
  4. Pretty decent, I thought. I toddled over to Hannants and - despite observation on another thread about need to dramatically reduce the stash size - did some back ordering (one can always cancel. In theory...) I'll definitely get a Bucc, a Spit 18 and possibly the XII (I must check how many I in fact have already, since I have a feeling I managed to forget ordering three from somewhere and bought another three. Owning my own flight of 41 Sqn in 1/48 might be a bit excessive...). The Anson will certainly be making an appearance in the stash, and I suspect that the F-86 may - although I have quite a few in 48th already (not all Airfix). The F-80 is pretty certain to be bought, as is the Meteor. I shall probably get a Boomerang or two, and I never got round to getting the Whirlwind - despite a friend building one at a 'bring something to do' day at school in 1980 and me thinking that it would be a good choice for my first helicopter if the local newsagent's model section had one in. And I may have concluded that despite having nowhere immediately obvious to put it, and probably needing to wait another 15 (damn, only 15?) years until I'm retired (probably) and thus able to devote enough time to do it justice, a Spit IX ought to find it's way onto the list... So all in all, I thought it a good effort by Airfix, and my wallet will take various hits accordingly this year/early 2023 (taking pre-emptive hits from Tempests and the like while I wait).
  5. Well, I shan't be buying more than one (very unlike me) because of the price, but equally don't plan to be hammering Airfix over this as I don't think that they can be blamed for starting the pandemic (I look forward, for the 2029 catalogue hearing that they've managed to LIDAR the Pangolin responsible and will be releasing a 1/35 scale kit of it...] or the shipping container cost issues, or the raw material issues. Shame, but there you go It also means that I can then wait for the RAF boxing(s) to appear and end up with three insulating the loft after reducing my now-ludicrously sized stash to manageable proportions (it is a properly, properly bonkers size thanks to the gifting and inheriting of kits)...
  6. Aviation Megastore appears to have them with a provisional price of €29.70. Assuming that a straight € to £ 'conversion' occurs, that does seem a little steep; I'll still get one, but suspect that my thoughts of having a flight's worth of Venoms will be put aside unless/until Airfix produce one for about a tenner less than that (they could, after all, get a decent number of boxings out of a Venom, as discussed before)
  7. This any help? It appeared in either Flight or an RAF magazine in the late 80s, as I recall. Copyright acknowledgement of the original would be to The Crown ('Cheers' Your Majesty!')
  8. Avro 504? And a 1½ Strutter? Be still, my beating wallet...
  9. Well volunteered. High-back Mk XIV fans of the world thank you for your sacrifice...
  10. Hopefully to be followed by an RC-135W with 51 Sqn markings as part of the package....
  11. Indeed - aircraft were to be saved, and those who weren't able to be in them had to do the best they could to escape. There are all sorts of tales about squadrons being 'exiled', but they're not true. 84 is supposed to have been exiled after 1918 because the squadron did something which upset Trenchard. Given that he could've vetoed their continuance as an RAF squadron in the post-1918 downsizing, where he personally selected the squadron numberplates that were to form the basis of the inter-war air force... he was presented with a list of numberplates, made a couple of changes (84 remaining on the list) and then set about assigning the squadrons to their various world-wide locations. People forget how small, relatively, the air force in the UK was in the early 1920s (at one point the RAF had no home-based fighter squadrons at all, albeit only for a few weeks). In reality, 84 was chosen as one of the overseas squadrons because that was where most of them were to start with and stayed overseas. There was never any reason for the unit to return to the UK to become part of the UK ORBAT. You also have comments about streaks of yellow appearing in squadron colours because ground crew were abandoned during the Second World War, only for the evidence to show that the yellow appeared in the inter-war years, requiring a time machine to be involved in the story at some point. One of the other legends, of course, is that after 74 Squadron went to the Far East and painted the tails of their Lightnings black, contrary to the Fighter Command instructions (after 56 rather took the you-know-what with the chequerboard tail), their absence from the ORBAT after 1971 was punishment for this. As well as the obvious point being that they weren't part of Fighter Command when in Singapore and thus could paint the tails black if the local AOC was happy (he was), the Air Staff in fact spent most of the period between 1971 and 1983 trying to reform 74 so that there was a Tiger Squadron, but the rules over seniority kept thwarting them until 39 Squadron was elbowed out of the way (supposedly earmarked for reformation on Canberras, so a different numberplate was needed and - oh! What a happy accident! - it was 74's that was next in line )to be the 'plate for the F-4J(UK) squadron. In between that, as noted elsewhere, the Air Staff looked (and failed) to reform the squadron on Phantom FGR2, Jaguar GR1, Hunter FGA9, Victor K1 [that is not a typo] Hunters again and Lightnings (proposed extra Lighting squadron after 1979). Then the F-4J(UK) came into service and 74 got that job, restoring them to the ORBAT, even if they've now been disbanded for longer than what was seen as an unconscionably long gap in the 1970s/early 80s and are unlikely to return.
  12. It's very outdated and written without the benefit of access to any official documentation, even that pertaining to the First World War. There are a fair few statements of 'fact' which are just plain wrong - the classic is his claim that the RFC didn't practice artillery spotting prior to 1914 - even when there were sources available which might have suggested otherwise. The book is often mentioned in histories of the First World War relating to air power, but is really only worth reading in conjunction with other, more recent work (e.g. Syd Wise's Canadian Airmen and the First World War despite the title, is almost a demi-official history of the RFC, RNAS and RAF, even it it is part of the RCAF's Official History series). I think it gets a bit better when it moves on (thanks to more readily available material, albeit still not official records) but it is designed as a critique and has a slightly polemical air about it. If it's only a couple of quid, I'd get it - part of the value in some ways lies in the book being part of a particular 'school' of critiques. Anything approaching a tenner and I'd wrinkle my nose a bit and think of the Eduard Spitfire dual combos the money might otherwise go towards. It's not that it isn't a reasonable book, just that it's a product of its time and falls into a variety of Pooh-traps that the Bear of that name would've been proud of setting for passing heffalumps, woozles and historians (with apologies to those who either don't have kids or who've not been reading their offspring the Pooh books seemingly every night for the last God-Knows-How-Long).
  13. [WAH Shield Raised] 120 = CXX in Roman Numerals. Some naughty aviators from a neighbouring squadron added the letters 'TS' to the 'CXX'. Imagine that the witty artists (they were doing a fine impression of another form of artist at the specific time of the painting) wished those seeing the painting to imagine that the 'XX' stood for the abbreviation of the United Nations, demonstrating their love, respect and affection for their rival squadron... [WAH Shield lowered]
  14. Although this one, of an addition to the artwork on 120 Sqn's roof (in Nimrod days) after a dining-in-night isn't.. .
  15. Forgive brief diversion, but it's astonishing to think that he passed away nearly 10 years ago. His tongue-in-cheek 'Bondo Industries Difficult Kit Division' (or something like that) always raised a mixture of a smile and admiration as he set about making Mach 2's finest products seem to go together as though they'd been produced by Tamiya. Sorry, back to the C-133. What have they done to the RAF roundels for the Thor?
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