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About KevinK

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  • Birthday 28/02/1952

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    Washington State

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  1. KevinK

    Airfix 2019

    Made in India?
  2. KevinK

    Spitfire pilot pistol

    Exactly as my father did when flying 253 Sqn Spitfires over Yugoslavia in 1944/45. He said the idea was that if you came down and managed to link up with the Partisans, you had to be useful to them as a fighting man. Aircrew were often with the Partisans for months before they could be evacuated and a pistol wasn't enough.
  3. KevinK

    US Navy to buy an RAF C-130J

    I once saw an RAF Nimrod crew spoof that, at NAS Pensacola of all places. The USN was celebrating the "75th Anniversary of Naval Aviation" - Eugene Ely's 1911 flight. As a courtesy, they had invited the Fleet Air Arm (two Sea Harriers) and RAF Strike Command's Maritime Group, represented by the said Nimrod. Not long after the Blue Angels display, the Nimrod taxied out, stopped by the reviewing stand, opened an overwing hatch, an NCO in green rompers climbed out, marched along the wing, saluted the assembled brass, turned smartly & marched back in and the Nimrod proceeded into the display. those of us who were Brits present knew exactly what was going on and we all hoped the US brass didn't. Later in the display the FAA Sea Harrier stopped the show. It really did, when the display pilot forgot to put his undercarriage down on finals for a short landing, made it much shorter by landing on the gunpods and blocked the runway. Kevin
  4. KevinK

    Weathering heresy

    That reminds me perfectly of the happy days when I used to fly aerobatics on a Chipmunk. I swear the dH Gipsy dumps more oil than a rotary. On another matter of 'aircraft getting dirty', my Dad used to fly Beverleys to El Adem in the early '60s. After a week's intensive exercises on up-country desert strips, the aircraft were cleaned at Abingdon on their return. They were weighed before and after cleaning, and it wasn't unusual to get 2000 lb of dirt off the aircraft.
  5. KevinK

    Elon Musk For President Of The World!

    Although I haven't met Musk, I have worked with Space-X on a launch vehicle project. One 'secret' to their success is that they have a very flat management structure, with virtually none of the rules, procedures and general 'faff' of traditional aerospace companies. This allows his organization very rapid decision-making, quick product changes and lowers organizational costs and project timescale dramatically. On the other hand, my present - traditional - company is a poster child for pointless bureaucracy, displacement activity and endless, functionless management drones: for essentially similar products, Space-X can be up to an order of magnitude cheaper. Once upon a time, the aerospace industry was not unlike Space-X is today, but the intervening decades since the Apollo era have led to an inward-looking, government-dependent and timid management in most of today's companies. All Elon has really done - and I don't mean this in any way to be negative - is to 'go back to basics'. Darwinian forces are at work here. The 'new space' companies in the launch vehicle area, Space-X, Blue Origin, will drive the others completely out of business. ULA will be gone within three years or so - people are leaving in droves as they see the writing on the wall, leading to a self-perpetuating decline. Boeing and LM will continue of course, they just won't make launchers. Some others will adapt and survive, but there's a big shakeout underway.
  6. Well, I'll go with my last year's confident prediction of a 1/24th Beverley, but I would probably settle for 1/48th if I really, really had to. One year I'll be right - probably 2050.
  7. KevinK

    Airfix 2018

    And since, as we know, Boeing did the Borg thing and assimilated North American (Rockwell) and (McDonnell) Douglas, they probably would claim it. One small correction - yes, all the big engines (F-1, J-2) were by Rocketdyne but TRW, Aerojet, Bell and Marquardt did the various spacecraft engines.
  8. KevinK

    Colourised WW2 aircraft

    It is amazing and and humbling that I found some - indirect - personal connections with two of the mentioned colour films. When I lived in New Orleans, I worked at a Martin / NASA plant at Michoud. On the engineering staff there were TWO former Lancaster tail gunners, one British and one Canadian. When "Night Bombers" was broadcast on PBS sometime in the 1980's, I recorded it and showed it to them. One of them had been at Hemswell and recognized himself in a debriefing scene. He said that Gp/Capt Cozens always seemed to have a movie camera in hand but the aircrew didn't pay much attention and of course, few ever saw the outcome. It is a very, very sobering film, because it's the real thing. The second occasion was a few years later, back in UK, when "Britain at War in Colour" was broadcast. In one of the title sequences, and shown in a slightly longer sequence in the program itself, several Spitfire IXs pull up past the camera aircraft one after another. The first are 73 Sqn aircraft and then a 253 Sqn Spit - "SW" codes - appears; a later shot in the same sequence shows a flight of Spits in the distance with red spinners and "SW" codes - "A" Flight of 253 Sqn. The significance of this is that I was watching this with my Dad, who was a pilot with 253, "A" Flight in Italy & Yugoslavia 1944-46. The film was shot in the summer of 1945 by David Green who was a pilot on 73 Sqn, in 281 Wing with 253. The thing is, Dad had very few photos from his wartime service, and never in my wildest dreams did I think that there would be colour film, with - in all probability - him flying! Kevin
  9. KevinK

    A civil Canberra Airfix 1/72

    Enforcing trade agreements? Seriously, I think it may be because the NOAA, National Weather Service, etc come under the Dept of Commerce so that weather research would be my real guess - but I prefer the first one! Kevin
  10. Ah - a rookie mistake! The photo clearly shows blue chocks and, as everyone knows, these didn't come in until 1946.
  11. KevinK

    Lightning help English Electric type

    There was a gradual change from about 1966/7 (or so, not sure of the exact year) right across the RAF from the earlier blue flying suits to green. The reason/story given at the time came from Transport Command: if an aircraft operating near the lines was on the ground delivering troops, any enemy sniper could figure out that if there were several dozen in Army green, but only two or three in blue, if he shot those he shot the crew and the aircraft wasn't leaving. In any case, it would help in an escape/evasion case in NW Europe to be in green rather than blue, so this change took place across the RAF, but it took years, as flying suits would be replaced as needed, unless, of course a particular C.O. wanted more uniformity. Kevin
  12. KevinK

    Did keeping allied scouts drab give a real advantage?

    When I used to fly aerobatics on a Chipmunk from Farnborough, we used to operate about 10 miles West of the aerodrome, to remain clear of as much traffic as possible. Farnborough Radar used to keep an eye out for nearby traffic: Odiham's Chinooks, other light aircraft, bizjets, etc and I generally got quite good at spotting aircraft from unusual attitudes, but as you say, sometimes you just don't see them. The ones that used to scare me were the sailplanes from Lasham: those things are nearly invisible head-or tail-on and I would usually only see them if they banked in the sunlight. Kevin
  13. I finished mine back in 1964/5 both ways: I built it as a floatplane and then, when the float struts were broken in the inevitable 'play' phase, replaced the floats with the spatted wheels. Probably my first 'conversion' & I still have it. Kevin
  14. KevinK

    B-29 -why not in the European theatre?

    Thank you, Bedders. However, now I read it again, I'm sounding like Uncle Albert Trotter: "... during the War..."
  15. KevinK

    B-29 -why not in the European theatre?

    Just as an interesting data point: when I was on the Space Shuttle program, we changed the External Tank finish after the first two flights, from a white Titanium Dioxide paint finish to the bare foam. The removal (well, non-application) of the paint saved 600 lb in total vehicle mass.