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John B (Sc)

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Everything posted by John B (Sc)

  1. Having just got hold of this kit, there is one very minor point which immediately struck me. A wee whinge follows ! It's a nicely moulded kit, will be fun to build, but why did Airfix choose two aircraft with such similar serial numbers? The XB series serials, fair enough. But XB984 and XB584 ? Come on, Airfix, if you are giving two examples why not choose numbers which give folk a chance to model a few other examples easily. That might even help encourage the occasional extra purchase. Having given use 9, 8 and 4 , why not make the other serial one from the numbers 0,1, 2, 3, 5, 6 or 7 ? It can't be that hard to find suitable numbers. A very quick search found for example XB640 of no3 Sqn and XB981 of no 4 Sqn., so not even changing the Squadrons provided. OK, aftermarket decal suppliers can fill in, but making it easier and more useful wouldn't hurt, surely? This seems to be a common failing - does anyone think it is deliberate? John B
  2. How is the Harleyford book " Focke Wulf 190 - the Story of a Famous Fighter" by Heinz Nowarra rated?
  3. While to a large extent I agree with Giorgio about undefined quantity and the challenge of more but less capable aircraft, I think there is potential benefit in looking at the results of some DACT exercises some years back. Several examples but one I recall is that the RAF in Cyprus used a combination of Tornado and Hawk aircraft against the US Navy. I believe the USN was still using F-14s at the time. The combination of the two dissimilar types was quite hard for the USN to counter. The Hawk was small, hard to spot visually or on radar and nimble. Although much lower in sheer speed performance, mixing it into a fight between two much more capable machines really made for tricky complexities. I know the FAA's Sea Harriers also caused much difficulty, being small, agile and equipped with missiles good enough that you couldn't just run away from the fight. If they got in close enough to start with, very hard to deal with. A mixed force has many benefits if you know how to use it. That said, Lord Riot is right - I hope we don't ever again have to get into that !
  4. I agree Giorgio. No modern war will require the use of massed bombers - and anyway they don't exist. Sure there are some spare airframes stored in the desert. Getting any number of them back in operation would be a long slow task; they don't have the equipment required and I doubt if adequate spares exist. Attrition will be a major issue in any war. The days of Air Forces holding 75% to 100% war reserves are long gone. I seem to recall the Harrier force in Germany reckoned on having three days of effective action only before attrition stopped effective response, backed up the Jaguars and later Tornados for deeper interdiction behind FEBA. The idea was to slow down the 'Red hordes' long enough for the Army to get in position to defend the Fulda gap. Three days was thought to be just enough. And in those days we still had serious numbers of aircraft - not now ! Penny packet operations using precision weapons - that's all we could do now.
  5. After looking at that other tread - wow. Head spinning (though I had some difficulty sorting through all the banter to get at the meat ! ). I think I may continue building my 1/18th Airfix Sea Vixen and at the same time build one of the 1/72nd Frog and Frog knock-offs I have 'in store'. That way I can use the excellent 1/48th kit as a guide to help me adjust & improve the 1/72nd one. I am not too bothered about 'total' accuracy - which sounds almost impossible with what is available in 1/72nd. Something that looks and feels to me like a Sea Vixen is sufficient. John B
  6. The only other 'scheme' I have seen for a Lightning F Mk2 in natural metal is in AFDS colours - a red over black (or very dark blue) bar either side of the roundel, AFDS badge on the tail. F Mk 2 XN777 'N'.
  7. Ah, thanks Ewan. That sounds like it would have been a good one, like the old style BoB days and Navy Days. It was the norm at one time to launch a large batch of the based aircraft at the end of the display day - great to watch. The days when we had an Air Force with serious numbers and types of aircraft ! John B
  8. I believe it was around then. There are a lot of folk locally who, while happy enough to see the RAF still around, reminisce fondly about the Navy days - and indeed about the 'Navy Days' - it is said RAF Lossiemouth has never had an open day for the local public, though they do regular 'Families & Friends' events strictly for their own clique. That is not particularly popular locally - the Senior Service really did know how to behave ! (The RAF will tell you it is because it is an 'operational base' and hence far too busy. Strange how few flights seem to go on compared to days past ! Ah well, modern security notions are different I suppose, and the old days of distant bases having more freedom to be individualistic are long gone.) Nice to see the Poseidons dropping weapons now. Where was that - in the Firth or further away ? I presume practice/dummy weapons. I wonder how the ex 'Kipper Fleet' folk now back in harness will affect the ethos of those Squadrons. The old MR units had a different style to most of the rest of the Air Force, perhaps because of the role and the need to talk to and understand sailors. John B
  9. All the Lightning squadrons aircraft were in natural metal at first, including most if not all the F Mk 6 machines when first issued to squadrons. I believe the same was true for Mk2a machines- the rebuilt Mk 2 aircraft. The two RAF Germany squadrons, nos 19 & 92, went over to camouflage green over nm in the early Seventies I think. My refs suggest around 1973. As Giorgio said, only 19 & 92 had F Mk 2 and 2a. Early on, AFDS had an F Mk 2, and AAEE at Boscombe also had one and RAE had an F Mk 2a. RR had three variously assigned at times. Cheers, John B
  10. I am glad to know I'm not the only one with the " which box and where the h** is it anyway? " challenge !
  11. I have often been impressed by the athletic behaviour of the professional wingwalkers. We had them, when flying as Utterly Butterly, briefly based with us - and we helped out with some minor aircraft repair. The ladies were very lithe & fit, fast moving and sure footed. Regaining the cockpit quickly in an emergency was regularly practiced, so if possible they'd have gone for that. If the pilot reckoned he had more than around thirty seconds before impact that would be enough apparently. Being on the tip wing when the a/c inverted on water impact would be very unpleasant indeed and darn dangerous too (especially if the water was shallow.) I thought them impressively brave just in normal circumstances! The pilots said handling was quite different when a wingwalker was in place, as you'd expect - all that extra drag well above the centreline. Glad it all went well.
  12. I gather that one of the wingwalking display' Stearman aircraft had an engine problem which resulted in a ditching very close to shore, apparently right outside the RNLI area (handy). The aircraft inverted on landing, both pilot and wingwalker got out OK. Not sure whether the young lady had had time to get back into cockpit before the ditching -think so. . Sounded like badly misfiring engine. The aircraft has been hauled out. Starboard wings fairly mangled and sea water will have seriously damaged the engine. Main thing is, both OK. God job by pilot putting down neatly, avoiding all the boats around, in a spot where rescue could be fast.
  13. I have been tempted to use some Echelon parts on a Revell Hunter too. They were superb kits; Mr Brown did some excellent artwork to go with them, and also good background research had obviously been involved. John B
  14. 'Novelisation' of Hunt for Red October - that puzzles me a bit . It was a book, a novel before it became a film. Where in the book does that appear please? I don't recall there being a Harrier mentioned in the original book, though admittedly it's a long time since I read it.
  15. Like 'rossm' I use small lead shot or old cut-offs from wheel balance weights like 'Tigerausfb'. Rolling them lightly in PVA means they stick well. No plastic reactions seen so far. This provides about t6he highest density filling easily available. John B
  16. Funnily enough I have never had trouble getting in or out of Austers, though I have found Tiger Moths more of a faff - at least for front seat entry. Chipmunks, I agree. The only entry/start challenges I've found with an Auster has been that it is important to take care which way you do a full & free control check. It is possible in some models to knock the throttle open doing it the wrong way round, rather embarrassing if you haven't guarded it ! John B
  17. Is the RAT the object hanging down just in front of the port wing root? What scale is this please - 1/72nd or 1/48th? Superbly done.
  18. Austers. like Chipmunks and Tiger Moths, are an affliction - once you have succumbed the attraction is lifelong, despite the oddities of the breed. Having had many happy hours and well bounced landings in Austers, and the occasional greaser by luck or mistake, they still weave a spell. Quite an understandable addiction Anthony. (Though as someone who also flies Piper Super Cubs, from the same Taylorcraft roots, I wonder how did the Auster end up with such different handling?) That looks like an interesting scheme to resurrect. John B
  19. Thanks Kevin. Interesting, and sobering, thoughts. Turning that sort of picture around will be hard work.
  20. Ouch. I wasn't aware there were still so many problems. Embarrassing for a company as experienced as Boeing !
  21. Thanks Ossington, Simper explanation than I thought - I presumed the cellulose dope coats were underneath with a final topcoat of gloss red finish. Why is the metal paint enamel - I thought cellulose based paints can work well on metal too, with correct primer and undercoat?
  22. Strewth. Those all look a fair bit better than the kit I recall building - made by Frog, way back when. Until I built it, I'd never even heard of the Morane Saulnier 406 ! Famous name, MS.
  23. Precisely. From my own experience, in a different sphere to this, it costs much more - assuming it can even be done. Sometimes once the background capability to make complex item things is lost it cannot be regained, We many learn new ways to achieve much the same ends but expertise lost may be totally gone. That is a major worry. Additionally, while 'legacy' processes and procedures may be acceptable, re-inventing them once lost may not be straightforward under more modern legal and HSE systems. As a simple, silly, example, imagine trying to persuade legislators and safety people to accept cars and trucks, buses as we happily run them today in our cities. "Sorry - you want us to let you run large metal boxes weighing several tonnes at speed right alongside - within a foot or so - of people walking, with no protections? And these large metal boxes are manually controlled by people with a very limited training and check system, and may contain large quantities of highly flammable fluids. Yeyyyes." Sounds mad, , put like that, doesn't it? John B (PS - I am a keen car driver, motorcyclist and pilot. I just like to be clear about what we really do ! )
  24. I suppose one4 snag with all this is that both dayglo orange and red faded fairly fast, at least as paint on finish. The printed panels seemed more resistant to fade. I still have some small self adhesive orange dayglo sections from a roll an RAF detachment left,. I also have dayglo red patches form much later, Both last quite well in sunlight, unlike my dayglo paint. I do recall seeing UAS Chipmunks with dayglo red stripes as well as some with dayglo orange stripes. Can't recall, and haven't found any photos in my files showing Chipmunks with large dayglo red painted areas, only orange. Am fairly sure some RN Vampire trainers were painted with dayglo red areas. Frustratingly many of my early photos were b&w. which makes it impossible to tell which shade of dayglo was used. I have a vague memory of seeing a Lightning two seater with dayglo training bands. Does anyone else recall that, or is that just a What-If of my mind?
  25. Rabbit Leader - Yes I agree, the Gnat was interesting, as an aeroplane and for its colours. I had thought Gnats mostly went straight from the aluminium/orange dayglo scheme to red/white grey, but I have seen comment about there having being a grey/dayglo orange scheme briefly. Presumably that would have used dayglo adhesive patches rather than spray paint. Other than artist's impressions, including the Airfix kit scheme, I have not yet seen an RAF service grey/dayglo Gnat photo. Rod Blievers - Well spotted. A slight shade difference seems fairly normal between metal and fabric surfaces. It is almost impossible to avoid, in some lights anyway. (I am married to an artist & pilot who designed the colour scheme for a classic biplane we have a share in - even with the greatest care & cunning in scheme design, subtle shade differences can be seen between metal & fabric surfaces in some lights , from some angles. Choosing the optimum shades helps - it seems red is one of the awkward colours for that, as well as being apt to fade differentially on different surfaces.) The differences in those designations is probably about adhesion and coverage. Slight chemical differences to aid adhesion is my guess, Possibly to do with the surface tension contact angle effects for laydown and adhesion, which I think differ between fabric & metal. I found some limited information on X.29, but nothing on X.26. Both are obsolete British Standards now. That is a superb photo, quite agree ! John B
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