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About KevinK

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  • Birthday 02/28/1952

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    Washington State

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  1. It most certainly should be. The allied air effort in the region, Balkan Air Force, came under Mediterranean Allied Air Forces command. ...and I would like to add my name to the list with a build of my Dad's 253 Sqn Spitfire Mk VIII, which flew fighter-bomber operations in Yugoslavia in 1944/45. Kevin
  2. Thank you, Manfred! I'm afraid I don't have any Shuttle Stack photos, other than those available in books or online: on my work visits to KSC, cameras were a definite no-no for anyone other than officially-recognized photographers. I was a Systems Engineer, mainly working propulsion initially - pressurization, liquid flow, etc, with some involvement in other disciplines. Later, I also worked Advanced Programs such as: ET derivatives and applications, such as Shuttle-C which eventually evolved into what is now SLS; the Gamma Ray Imaging Telescope which involved taking an ET to orbit and converting the hydrogen tank into a cloud chamber to detect and image gamma ray sources; the Propellant Scavenging Study, to deliver 250,000 lb of cryogens per year to LEO; and the start of Space Station Freedom, which evolved into the ISS, of course. I didn't have a lot of involvement with flight-to-flight Shuttle activity so unfortunately I don't have much detailed knowledge of specifics of the STS-6 configuration. However, I am in awe of the information you have gathered so long after the time! One thing I can say, though: NASA "ordered" the tanks from Martin under a 60-tank enabling contract, but actually specified detailed contract batches only four tanks at a time, and often required variations within those four. Within engineering, we used to joke that no two tanks were the same, due not to any manufacturing errors, but to NASA's requested changes, often instrumentation for specific flight experiments. Even within the early LWT series, major changes took place. For example, LWT-6 deleted the LO2 tank slosh baffles to save mass. We predicted underpressurization in the tank ullage early in the flight due to the liftoff "twang" effect of the 1.5 m lb of LO2 causing a geyser into the ullage space and indeed it happened but the presence of some helium in the space was enough to prevent tank collapse until the autogenous pressurization took over. Eventually, this kind of change was routine: observation of flight data on multiple flights would result in analysis showing where margin existed which could safely be reduced. TPS configurations and production methods were a constant engineering change area. Some 40% of the cost of the ET was in the thermal protection: NCFI foam and the SLA. Much effort was made to reduce this by spray automation and other means, with some success. Always visible on the flight tanks were the hand-done final TPS closeouts and pull-test areas, as well as TPS trimming, especially on the ogive for aerodynamics. Kevin
  3. Manfred, I was on the Shuttle program at Michoud at the time. The reason for using a Standard Weight Tank - we called them Heavy Weight Tanks (HWT) at the time - for STS-7 was fairly simple and mundane: STS-7 didn't need the extra performance available from use of the LWT and an extra HWT was in existence and so was used to avoid wasting a flight tank. Congratulations on your outstanding and painstaking work! Kevin
  4. Well, before someone rushes in with a Frog Penguin which they started in 1939, may I mention my Airfix 1/24 Spitfire I, started in 1971? It's still well below the 25% complete rule, so I suppose it would be eligible for a "Longest Project" group build. The problem with it was that, even back then, I could see that there was so much more detail that could be added that I kept putting it off. I'm still successfully doing that - putting it off, not adding detail.
  5. KevinK

    Airfix 2020

    The wrong one, of course.
  6. KevinK

    Sea Fury MiG kill

    Also, there were P-51 and Tempest victories against Me-262s in an earlier, less-well-known conflict.
  7. KevinK

    RAF Serials

    The Nimrod was the H.S. 801, so it is a very clever, knowing, nerdy historian who is perhaps making a point!
  8. KevinK

    Spitfire TR.9

    Well, looking at online photos of MJ627 - it seems to have the same profile and canopy that it had when it was an IAC trainer, i.e. a standard Supermarine conversion. I think that the AZ 1/72 kit even offers MJ627 as an option, does it not?: unfortunately, the OP wants 1/48, so this doesn't really help. For what it's worth, unless you can find cockpit photos which differ, I would go with Seahawk's post, #6 and go with the Supermarine layout.
  9. KevinK

    Spitfire TR.9

    It's probably worth noting that the RAF never used the two-seat Spitfire trainer. There are essentially two official Supermarine conversions: the single T.Mk.VIII demonstrator, which still exists as G-AIDN, and T.Mk.IX builds for some export customers, most notably perhaps the few for the Irish Air Corps which survived to fly into the warbird market, some of which were converted back to single-seaters. Since the original customers for these trainers were air forces, with the instructor in the rear cockpit, I would expect that essentially all aircraft functions - with the possible exception of armament - would be controllable from the rear cockpit. Then there are modern warbird conversions, which may - in some cases - be more intended to provide a "Spitfire ride experience". In these, the qualified pilot is usually in the front cockpit, the passenger in the rear, thus in some of these aircraft there may not be the need for any more than basic controls. Additionally, the modern warbird conversions usually have very different external cockpit profiles. In the "official" Supermarine conversion, the rear cockpit sits significantly higher than the front: many warbird conversions do not feature this. Canopies therefore differ also. As always with model making, know which aircraft you are modelling.
  10. Frog indeed did do the R-100 as part of the Trail Blazers series. The R-101 did crash on its maiden voyage, an attempted demonstration flight to India, but made a number of test flights from Cardington as part of its development. My mother, a schoolchild at the time, recalled seeing the R-101 in flight over Wellingborough. I'm thinking about it.... The R-100 kit is quite simple as far as the airship itself is concerned: most of the work is in the mooring mast / tower, so it makes into quite a nice diorama.
  11. Perhaps they're chanelling the ghost of Matchbox! Not much delicacy in the panel lines either.
  12. I think we can all agree that there's definitely an elephant in that photo. Q.E.D
  13. Yes, it was. The gun "button" was a rocker switch. Press the top and you fire the Brownings, press the bottom and you fire the cannons, press the middle and you fire both. My Dad told me the way to remember it is "BBC": "Brownings, Both, Cannons". It was useful in ground attack, as for firing at soft-skinned vehicles like trucks, the cannon shells were a waste - would go through without exploding - while for locomotives, .303 would just bounce off, while 20mm cannon shells were very effective. Kevin
  14. At last, a use for Humbrol 30?
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