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iainpeden

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  1. While at the Udvar-Hazy centre (center?) recently I was chatting to some of their volunteers; one is coming over to the UK at the end of November and I said I’d show him around Duxford – so we’re meeting up. I got the e-mail below from him today about Alcock and Brown’s first flight across the Atlantic and the story about Brown doing a “wing walk”. Does anybody have any further information I can send back across the pond? Sorry it's not modelling, exactly Thanks Here’s some irony for you: a few of my NASM Docent colleagues have raised a question about a story that Brown had to do a wing walk on the Vickers Vimy, who, with Alcott, were the first to cross the Atlantic non-stop. It came down to one of us going to the London Science Museum to get the ground truth (bad pun), and since I already will be in the neighborhood, so to speak, I am elected. So, now instead of heading to Oxford as we planned, we’re going to South Kensington after we leave Cambridge. My wife is in favor since she wants to visit the Victoria and Albert Museum as well as the London Science Museum. South Kensington, here we come. Below are the cross-assertions that I am now charged to investigate. Any insight into this lore? Thanks, Joe Extract from Captain John Alcock and Lieutenant Arthur Whitten Brown (aviation-history.com) “As far as Brown was concerned, the only possible way of avoiding a crash was to make a trip out onto the wings. He grabbed a knife and swung his legs out onto the nose. Seeing what he had in mind, Alcock stood up from his seat and tried to hold his companion back. Brown jerked himself free, and, in the blinding snow, he wriggled forward from strut to strut and from cable to cable, holding on with one hand. His left leg caused him difficulty, because it was still stiff from wounds he had received in the war. “The limping lieutenant gradually removed the ice from the inlet connections and cautiously cleaned the inspection window of the fuel intake. The slip-stream tugged at him, and frost nibbled at the flesh on his hands. Brown cleared the air filters of snow--then he had to go back again, back and over the nose to the other wing and the other engine.” From a NASM Docent: “In Robert Harder’s new book, “First Crossing” ha debunks this assertion – ascribed to Alcock’s brother and repeated in a 1955 book by Graham Wallace—and notes it would have been impossible for Brown to accomplish this wing walking with his WW1 injuries and states there is no such gauge on or near the Rolls Royce engines and what Brown did was chip ice off the “Fuel Overflow Gauge” located on a strut three feet above their heads, difficult enough of course and painful for him with his left leg condition
  2. With regard to radomes being changed around. 56 painted a radome with a VF-111 sharkmouth on the FGR.2 displayed at Greenham for the Phantom Meet in 1983. Later that year (possibly '84) the same radome was on display at Finningley but on a different machine.
  3. "I've already got aftermarket decals in the stash and it would be a waste not to use them." "Just one to complete my line up of RAF/USN/USMC Phantoms."
  4. The finish (from ultra matt to satin) could affect the shade of the gray.
  5. Model Junction in Bury St Edmunds had one in the window on Friday morning and they do mail order if anyone is desperate. Super shop, very well established - my only link is an occasional visit when I'm down that way.
  6. A good 24 hours for me. Last night about 9 an RAF Herc went over followed 5 minutes later by an Atlas. 2.10 on the dot this afternoon, Red Arrows right over the house with a slight formation change over the garden and a Crowsnest Merlin this afternoon. (Great Oakley on the southern edge of Corby)
  7. Interesting thought that it was an experimental camouflage scheme, especially as the RAF went black with their trainers to increase visibility. I'd always assumed it was to show VX-4 were special. Mind you, the idea does bring some interesting potential colour schemes to mind - VF-74 in black with red markings for instance, VF-84 and the Jolly Roger in white ......... hmmm.
  8. @bar side Not sure regarding the thickness question - maybe one extended, one retracted? Anyway I have found some pictures of the slatted wing in a Detail and Scale; pm your address and i'll copy them and send them too you. Bear in mind I'm off to Fairford early Friday so be quick!! Iain
  9. looks like you have the bits you need. Enjoy
  10. @bar side I'll start my answer with the caveat that it depends on personal levels of accuracy required; for me, if it looks nearly right I'm happy! First, the slats on the wing; not quite so simple as it first appears but if you take the same route as Esci with their 1/72 kit it looks ok. They provided the 3 underwing actuators (different sizes) and a slat to glue to the front of the outer wing panel. Looks fine. It also needs a fence basically on the wing fold on the upper service. The tailplanes are slotted not slatted (to be pedantic) - basically a strip of metal fixed along the front of the tailplane which restricted over rotation on take off. Slats move. The gun was removed from the E and replaced by the bulge on at the front of the gun housing and the pod was added to the top of the fin. That's the basic stuff. The radome on the G was slightly different to the E )I think) and there were various antennae. Obviously it's your personal preference as to detail. Colours are easy - all available by Humbrol, Xtracolor/Xtracylix - let me know if I can help further. Happy researching on the most capable of Phantoms.
  11. @bar side. I can't tell from the photos but I recall the AMT "G" is provided with an unslatted wing and the Esci one is certainly moulded that way. Consequently you can't make a G from either kit as all of the Weasels had the slatted wing. (and I'm not a rivet counter but it's like building a Spitfire with a Hurricane wing) Colours are much easier to sort out.
  12. @RMP2 A fair point which I hadn't noticed; it would have been helpful if they put the code letter on the nosewheel door! Edit: I have just come across this photo of XV409:H on display. Grey tail and black code. I doubt the tail would have been repainted once white. https://abpic.co.uk/pictures/registration/XV409
  13. Personally I look at those two hanger photos and see a grey tail - it's the same a/c outside as "H" which clearly is grey.
  14. @Tbolt, possible/probable although I do have a picture of 153070 - as the only EF-4B - with the long fairing on the shoulder of the starboard intake. (VAQ-33)
  15. IIRC the B/N a/c had the longer fairing while the J/S a/c had the shorter one.
  16. @canberra kid, that paint info is fascinating and further explains the colours the Js arrived in. Are you aware of BPAG who own one of each of the three RAF variants and who are aiming to restore all of them? I'm sure your information would be invaluable. https://bpag.co.uk/
  17. @Ben Hartmann and I have been kicking around the identities of the VX-4 Black Bunnies - between us we have identified four different a/c. 153783 went to the RAF 155539 went to AMARC ‘86 158358 currently at Pima 158360 Any further info always welcome.
  18. The former - and it's more fun arguing over tail planes v. stabilators and reheat v. afterburner with the friends on the west side of the pond.
  19. From Phantom Spirit in the Skies by WAP. There were 302 J to S conversions planned with 248, possibly 265, completed. 47 were initially delivered without slats and survivors refitted. One of the reasons (I bet cost came into it) that the F-4J(UK) were not fitted with slats is that only so many conversion kits had been ordered and they had all been used; therefore the option was not available. At some time (probably a dark November day) I'm going to check the bu numbers for the S against what we got to see if any had gone through the initial conversion which also included engine and radar updates.
  20. Never refer to them as F-4 F.3 (please!)
  21. Duncan, there was more than one "F-4 Black Bunny (3 I think). The one which became ZE352:G was 153783.(Aeroguide 25: Tiger Squadron Phantom)
  22. Kari, first point is that I am 100% sure the whole tail would have been white not just one side - can't prove it though! As for dates, all this comes from Warpaint No.31 by Steve Hazell. Profile of XV466:D dated June '92 with white tail Representative a/c for 1435 flight (formed 1st November '88 and reequipped with Tornado F.3 July '92)listed as 1988 XV419:A XV433:B 1989 XV438:C XV497:D 1990 XV461:C XV466:D 1991 XV421:F XV442: H 1992 XV409:H XV472:F Only representative because there were four a/c assigned, I have no idea if all four carried white tails at the same time and don't know if the tails and additional artwork was applied in the UK or the Falklands.
  23. @Jabba, you're right that the F-4s picked for the RAF had not undergone the S conversion, which was probably why they came from such a variety of former units; however, by the time they had undergone the extensive rework they were effectively S models. Before somebody shoots me down about the S having slats, well yes BUT the Phantom at East Fortune is an S but doesn't have slats - a fact that really threw me the first time I saw her.
  24. @Kari Lumppio You probably know that the Maltese cross marking, and flight number iirc, were linked to the Gladiators which were involved in the defence of Malta during WW2. The three Gladiators were named Faith, Hope and Charity - which transferred to the Phantoms on the Falklands, number 4 getting the name Desperation - tail codes being F,H,C and D. One thing I don't know is if the names/codes moved from a/c to a/c as they came back to the UK for servicing. The F-4J (UK) only served with 74 squadron and they, eventually, had black tails. The move to coloured tails were, I think, a mixture of the desire to increase visibility following some air to air collisions in RAFG (hence Tornadoes with red and white tails) and the fighter squadrons pushing the boundaries of acceptability and getting away with it for a while. Essentially 56 all had red tails (at the end), 74 (both J and FGR.2) were black, some 19 had blue, some 92 had red tails, XT900 of 228 OCU was blue and the Falklands a/c were white. XV428 had for a short time a blue tail and blue stripe along the fuselage but these had been removed at the time crash at Abingdon.
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