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John B (Sc)

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    Moray, NE Scotland

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  1. By the time the P-51 came along - in a version which could get over Germany- the 109 was a seriously old design. The FW-190 was a much later design. Of course the P-51, like all Allied fighters, benefited greatly from the higher octane fuels produced by the Allies. The story of how those fuels were kept available despite the challenges of the loss of so many refineries and oil types was a fascinating one. Some superb chemistry was involved, and some imaginative blending and transport of critical special materials. The contribution of those chemists is often overlooked. John B
  2. Strewth, that's something I'd not thought of at all. I wonder if there are alternate propeller manufacturers props available. I presume it was a fixed pitch prop not one of the (rare) constant speed conversions? Having now seen a video of the landing, it looks very much as if the brakes were binding or jammed, or for some other reason were on. A nice flare, touchdown, then the tail slowly lifts. Rats. Not a ground loop at all, as far as I can see. John B
  3. It is indeed strange that 'eyewitness evidence' is viewed so highly. Investigations some time ago by a combination of psychologists, police and forensic investigators showed that it is amongst the least reliable, because we immediately interpret what we see, so as to make sense of it. Also we then revise & may adjust that memory each time we think it over to ourselves, even if we don't talk about it with others. It is why we were told years ago that if we witnessed an accident or incident, to immediately write down what we thought we saw, without interpretation, even if it didn't appear to make sense. Hence a note written at the time is viewed as amongst the strongest of evidence. The snag with 'news' papers is that their 'journalists' typically have a fixed pre-conceived notion in mind, so they ask questions solely to confirm that notion. I try not to talk to journalists because most of them will twist your words ! The Daily Fail - say no more...
  4. Mike, 'ouch' indeed - even though the engines are indeed well set back from the nose, both props have hit the grass and stopped rapidly, bottom I'm sure you know that then means the engines will need shock load testing, to see particularly whether any crankshaft bending has occurred. Also called a 'run out' test I think (?) I hope you right and the fact that the impact will have been v close to prop tips and also hopefully at idle into grass has avoided major damage. Fingers crossed; Robin-42 is correct, that can get costly very fast - Gipsy spares are fairly rare and not cheap these days. But at least it's only money. The pilot has my sympathy. Taildraggers can easily groundloop, especially on gusty days (it was up here anyway!) and a tip up is then more likely. (I challenge you to find a tailwheel pilot who hasn't groundlooped, or had a tail coming up worryingly...) Of course sometimes quite a lot of additional damage is done getting the aircraft back on its wheels, so the presence of the crane is welcome. John B
  5. Superb. I have had one of these in stock for a long time, have never started. You make me realise I should.
  6. Thanks - strictly I am an engineer by profession, though I also act as a mechanic from time to time, under supervision as necessary, on my own aeroplanes and some club ones. Just because I can design kit and do the calcs etc. doesn't mean I am competent to look after it ! Still learning, mostly from my mistakes. (Wouldn't like to be found pretending to qualifications I haven't got...) Probably will just jump in and build; the Swordfish is a long time favourite aircraft. A family friend used to fly them during the war, and ditched one in the Med. He spent several hours 'standing' on one wheel of the mostly sunk inverted machine before being rescued. Always wondered if that stroke of luck was what tilted him to becoming a Minister after the war. John B
  7. Wow, that is magnificent & so wonderfully weathered. Hard to believe the exhaust rig and exhaust have not been replaced with metal. Those are really hard to do realistically. Thank you for the information on how to do it. That exhaust pipe makes the mechanic in me want to look closer to see how corroded and thin walled it has become... I'm not sure whether this should enthuse me to get my kit out and start in , or whether it makes me pout it away again because I'll never be that good. ! (Actually It makes me determined to start, and gives me a target - which I don't expect to reach, but trying will be fun! ) Maybe I should practice on the 1/48th version first. The combination of very subtle weathering and 'ageing' plus some subtle oil dribble stains and dirt accumulations in crevices, makes this one of the most realistic looking models I've seen. Chapeau ! John B
  8. Thanks Paul. I do remember reading that somewhere and like you can't remember which plastic was which.
  9. I agree Paul, that is excellent news. One of my Echelon Lightning kits has a yellowed canopy, so it is 'on hold'. Shall keep en eye on this... Strange the way only some canopies are affected - I have two Hunter kits which have still got good clear canopies ! John B
  10. Incidentally, what is probably obvious, is that the gap is deliberate, to let cooling air flow properly.
  11. If you go the VW route - or actually just about any 'classic' style car form that era, be careful the first time you drive it. My elder daughter wanted an old style Beetle for her 21st. I found one in reasonable condition and bought it. Wow - I had forgotten how poor the brakes were on cars of that vintage! The first corner also reminded me of the great improvements in suspension over the years. I learnt on cars like that but memory fades... (And is optimistic!) That Mini takes me back a long time; my mate and I used to take the engines out of our Minis regularly for 'tweaking'. His dad ran a garage. Out and back in same day, finished in time for beer by early evening, heads cleaned, valves reground and carbs sort of balanced (twin Weber conversions). Happy days. We were convinced the cars were faster afterwards, certainly noisier. Back to the Sea Fury - 'Brigbeale' : Interesting. I've never heard of Dettol being used as a paint stripper before. I've always used oven cleaner. Is Dettol good for this? Used neat or diluted? John B
  12. Yep, I agree that's fine if there is time and room to do all that. Might be possible in a Chipmunk or a Bulldog. In, say, a Stampe, there is not enough space available to get the chute out first - and I am fairly slim. The only way is to ditch the straps (both sets - the ones attached to the seat and the ones attached to the airframe) and push yourself out head first, as hard and fast as you can. Of course the really cool way to do it would be to roll inverted and push the stick forward to bunt yourself out, but that sort of implies a working aeroplane, and why leave that? I haven't had to bail out from anything yet, fortunately. though have come near it.
  13. I seem to recall being told that some of the F2As had 'gold' coloured undercarriage legs and bays. That PX32 or whatever would explain it. John B
  14. Actually, quite a few of the older aerobatic light aircraft are set up for seat type packs - Tiger Moth, Stampe and Jungmann aircraft typically had seats with deep buckets to allow for the parachute pack. As well as avoiding fore and aft squash, it makes emergency exit easier, since the pack will be last out, not tending to jam your exit. Like Antti K, I was taught to dive out head first and splay arms and legs if any delay in opening was likely. Look down. pull D handle and in theory hang onto to handle and ripcord for maximum boasting points ! The chutes typically have a spring loaded drogue chute which pops out first. dragging the rest of the canopy with it and the cords follow., They are generally stowed in horizontal zigzags on the back of the pack, held in by rubber bands, and as said by others they feed out to join into the risers which end up either side of your head. John B
  15. Haha - my timing was bad, though perhaps just as well given the attractive force from that 1/32 Lancaster ! My lady would not have been impressed...
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