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303sqn

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  1. This, and a number of other films made by the Polish Air Force Film Unit can be found on the Polish Squadrons Remembered site: http://www.polishsquadronsremembered.com/ Put your pointer on 'much more' and click on movies. They do not play on line, you have to download them. Click on the picture/icon and the save to window will come up. Most of the links to Pathe News no longer work.
  2. Rudders were sometimes replaced, e.g, MH712.
  3. https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/753227106415136835/ You can find some profiles of Ukrainian aircraft from the period 1918 to 1919 above.
  4. https://www.worldwarphotos.info/gallery/uk/raf/whitley/whitley-v-t4149-with-rocket-containers-sep43/ and the next photo.
  5. Paul Lucas, RAF Photographic Reconnaissance Colours 1939 - 1945, Scale Aircraft Modelling, June 2020. The origin of PRU Pink is even more obscure as there is so little information available about it. It seems to have been available by August 1941 as on I7 August a memo from the Operational Requirements Branch of the Air Ministry to Research and Development (Materials) at the MAP concluded with the following paragraph '4) A specimen cord of the Speciol Pink (as supplied by Titonine's) used for low flying P.R.U. aircraft in adverse weather conditions is also forwarded for record purposes.' The colour of this specimen card is perhaps something like HexTriplet #DFD2D9 which when converted into a British Standard colour is most closely matched by BS4800 24 C 33 that is sometimes referred to as 'Lilac’ This however is too dark and too heavily saturated thus appearing 'warmer' than PRU Pink with an approximate theoretical specular reflectivity of 6l %. There is no close FS 595 match. It has been said that 1416 Flight which became 140 Squadron had a number of PRU Pink Spitfires on charge during September 1941 such as X4784 as illustrated here. Despite PRU Pink apparently remaining available for the rest of the war in Europe, it never seems to have been provisioned for the RAF Vocabulary of Stores and it can sometimes be seen as being referred to as being 33B/NlV meaning 'Not ln Vocabulary’ It is well known that 16 Squadron operated a Flight of Spitfire FR lX's which were finished in overall PRU Pink during the summer and autumn of 1944. Less well known however is the fact that they also operated at least one Spitfire PR Xl in the low level role that was finished in PRU Pink. The Squadron ORB entry for 20 September 1944 states 'F/Lt. G.H. Bostow airborne at I 3.10 for the D.2's and L2's near Arnheim in pink spitfire No. PL834, with 14" oblique to take photographs, observe and report on a big drop, did not return.' F/Lt Bastow was taken prisoner.
  6. ModelMaker have decals for 303 Mustang IVs which include this aircraft. 3 scales 1/32/ 1/48 1/72.
  7. Marek Rogusz post oon the Arma Hobby blog. http://armahobbynews.pl/en/blog/author/mrogusz/
  8. The PWS 26 was also subjected to ‘restoration’. However it looks like the interior may remain original and the khaki does look a darker brown than the exterior.
  9. Translation of caption. Original Painting P.11c On the names, we present a fragment of the original sheet metal of the upper sheathing of the P.11c wing. It comes from the museum's example no. 8.63. Which was renovated at PZL Warszawa - Okęcie in 1986-1990. The top, dark green layer of paint was probably applied by the Germans before the plane was exhibited at the Berlin exhibition. Underneath you can see the original olive brown paint (FS30108 / 20122), which was originally painted copy no. 8.63. As you can see, the current colour of the P.11, which is in the collection of the Polish Aviation Museum in Kraków, differs significantly from the original ...............… Polish Fighter Colours 1939 - 1947 Vol.1 MMPBooks Page 19. In 1987 the PZL factory in Warsaw undertook restoration work, which included removing consecutive layers paint coat layers of the sole remaining P.11c. One layer showed the weight data stencilled on the rudder. Unfortunately, at the time there was no technology available to document precisely the exact colours of the individual layers. After restoration the aircraft was not repainted in correct colours. Page 76. PZL P.11c serial no. 8.63 is the only surviving aircraft of the type in the world. Its PZL construction number was 562 and it was completed in November 1935. When delivered to the air force it was given the serial no 8.63 and allocated to the 121 Eskadra Myśliwska of the 2 Pułk Lotniczy. Its initial underwing code no was 39-E, subsequently changed to 39-K. It was captured by the Wehrmacht, probably about 8-10 September 1939, and (escaping the fate most most Polish aircraft) it was sent to the Deutshe Luftfahrtsammlung in Berlin. It was probably then that it was fitted with PZL Mercury V S2 engine (construction no 4202, built in August 1935) from the stocks captured by the Germans. The aircraft can be seen on display in the Berlin collection, in the photo taken probably in 1940-1941. The aircraft was armed with machine guns, as shown by by the case chutes fitted under the wings. The aircraft in the photo is probably in its original Polish livery, which it had in September 1939: late khaki, blue-grey wing and tailplane under surfaces, black underwing number, white unit emblem and code no. 2 (the latter looks as if refreshed in the museum collection), and white serial number, rarely seen in 1939. No red PZL logo or weight data can be seen on the tail, just the ‘P.11c’ inscription. The first aid kit marking on the fuselage is quite prominent, as are the two diagonal light blue stripes on the rear fuselage. The Polish national markings were applied on the upper wing surface (asymmetrically positioned) and on both sides of the rudder. Those on the wing under surface lacked the white areas. Photos taken during later periods of exhibition do not show the diagonal light blue stripes in the wing upper surface. The aircraft survived the war and long storage in various places, and is currently displayed at the Polish Aviation Museum in Cracow in non-authentic colour scheme (both in terms of the colours and of markings applied).
  10. I use the orange series. The red series are conventional water based acrylics for airbrushing. The orange series are alcohol based lacquer for airbrushing and not compatible with water. They are better suited for artistic effects. The blue series are water based acrylics for brush painting. I buy individual bottles from Super Hobby: https://www.super-hobby.co.uk/catalog/Hataka-Hobby-12947367.html Advice on thinning, air pressures etc here: https://www.hataka-hobby.com/en_US/n/list You can also download a pdf colour chart.
  11. First, ignore the museum P.11c which is now notorious for not having been restored with correct colours. From what I can see in photographs the original paint (several layers) was stripped and much of the airframe was then painted with zinc chromate. The airframe was then painted after it was assembled, the hidden areas left in zinc chromate with heavy overspray where the paint came through the gaps. During restoration it was found that the original factory applied paint had been painted over with darker colours, both the khaki and light blue. There are two articles on the subject of Polish colours that you should read. They are in Polish and there does not seem to be an English version. I have an app in my browser that will translate pages, hopefully the links below will show the translation. If not and you have problems translating the pages I can post the English text for you. https://www-modelpaint-pl.translate.goog/2017/06/24/tajemnice-polskiego-khaki/?_x_tr_sch=http&_x_tr_sl=auto&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en https://www-modelpaint-pl.translate.goog/2017/09/23/polskie-khaki-cz-2-odnaleziony-wzornik-kolorow-radomskiej-fabryki-porsa/?_x_tr_sch=http&_x_tr_sl=auto&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en Hataka admitted there were production problems with their first paints. They were very gloopy and the pigments separated out into layers. You needed to shake the bottle and shake the bottle and ……….. Ten or fifteen minutes and the paint was still not mixed properly. The second you stopped shaking the pigments would start to separate, even when thinned. This would happen in the airbrush cup so if you were painting a large area the colour at the end was noticeably different from that at the start. It did not adhere to bare plastic, you could easily rub it off between your finger and thumb. I solved that problem with Vallejo’s acrylic-polyurethane surface primer. I have not had any problems with the orange series. They need to be thinned. I use Hataka thinners but I did try acetone and everything was fine. I use acetone (nail varnish remover from Poundland) to clean it out of the airbrush. I have not tried it on bare plastic, I always use the Vallejo surface primer. The Jadar Shop used to sell Polish colours made by Czech company Agama. I think they were exclusive to the Jadar Shop which no longer list them. They were matched to the original colours of the museum example. Their Polish Khaki is very similar to Hataka’s Early/Light Polish Khaki. Early/Light Khaki is almost identical to Field Drab and back in the prehistoric times of plastic modelling we used Humbrol H142 Field Drab for Polish Khaki. That is no longer available and I don’t of any other enamel paint for this colour. Vallejo 70.873 rack no. 142 US Field Drab is very similar to the Hataka/Agama colour, a little bit lighter. Model Air 71.024 Khaki Brown looks like the same colour with a different name. Lifecolor list a Field Drab but I know nothing about it apart from some Polish modellers use it. Late/Dark Polish Khaki looks to me to be Burnt Umber and the nearest I have found to the Hataka colour is Vallejo 70.941 rack no. 148 Burnt Umber. The blue-grey colour used on the undersurfaces is more difficult being mixed from blue and grey colours. So there was bound to be some variation in the actual colour. There are a lot of interpretations of the colour that range from a light blue like RAF Sky Blue through RLM 76 and RLM 65 and darker. I found that Agama’s light blue was identical to White Ensign’s RLM76. Hataka’s RLM 76 is also identical. Hataka’s Light Blue is darker and more grey. So far I haven’t found anything that is a near match for it. For years the editor of Polish magazine Mini Replika used Humbrol H27 but more recently he switched to H28. These are greyer than the Hataka colour.
  12. "As I understand it, the “official” insignia of the wartime Polish Air Force always had the red square of the checkerboard at the top left." That is true for the pre-war air force in Poland. When the Polish Air Force reformed in France they were allowed to place the chessboard on the fuselage of their aircraft. The colours were reversed until Poland regained its freedom. In the the UK is seems it was just down to whim.
  13. It’s a printed fabric made by Viennese company Joh. Backhausen & Söhne. Before WW I they manufactured fabric for furniture. Their designs were very avant garde, like Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
  14. It was a mixture of lanolin and resin. Lanolin (wax from sheep wool) is water repellent so stops the ice sticking to the wing. The resin makes it sticky so the paste sticks to the wing.
  15. In 1930 the RWD team conceived a new 2-seat light tourer, designated RWD 5, evolved and refined from their earlier models. The aircraft had a completely new steel tube fuselage with a comfortable completely glazed cabin and a reworked wing wing using Warsaw Aerodynamic Institute's aerofoil section developed by Władyslaw Zalewski for the PZL 3 bomber. Zalewski had made available to the RWD team data from wind tunnel tests of the PZL 3 scale model. LOPP granted a subsidy for the prototype construction but work was delayed by the move from the University's workshop to Warsaw-Okęcie which soon became known as DWL. Construction of the prototype at the new premises began in September 1930 with the expectation that it would be completed by the following March. Due to extreme financial difficulties and othe problems arising from the move, it was not completed until July. The prototype flew for the first time on 7th August 1931 powered by a Cirrus Hermes IIB engined loaned by the Ministry Of Transport. One week later, with the registration SP-AGJ, it flew to victory in the 3rd Tour of Southwestern Poland piloted by Mieczysław Ptonaszko and a few weeks later came first in the 4th National Lightplane Contest piloted by Francisek Żwirko. In the spring of 1932 work began on the first batch of 10 RWD 5s, another batch of 10 followed in 1933. The production model differed from the prototype with having a redesigned undercarriage with medium pressure wheels and a more efficient windscreen and improved cabin windows. The first two production aircraft, the Hermes IIB powered SP-AJA and SP-AJB, were financed by the Railwaymen's Union and officially presented to the Warsaw Aeroclub on the 13th November 1932 named Kolejarz (Railwayman) and Kolejarz II. Production RWDs were fitted with various engines, Cirrus Hermes IIB, Cirrus Hermes IV, de Havilland Gipsy Major or Walter Junior. On later aircraft the wing aspect ratio was slightly reduced, the spane being reduced from 10.5 m to 10.3 m, and the wing area increased from 15 sq m to 15.5 sq m , and a taller fin and rudder employed. The prototype underwent a number of modifications. In 1933 the engine was changed for a Hermes IV, and fitted with a production type windscreen as well as Dunlop medium pressure wheels in place of the original Palmer wheels. RWD 5s achived a number of successes in national and regional rallies and meetings. The 5th National Lightplane Contest was won by Pronaszko in Hermes IV powered SP-AGJ and two Hermes IIB powered RWD 5s achieved 4tha and 5th places. They also participated in several international events, gaining fame in the Tour of Algeria and Morocco that took place in April 1933. SP-AJB Kolejarsz flown by Capt Robert Hirszbandt with Col Bohdan Kwieciński as passenger covering a route of 11,389 km without any problems to win the 'Foreigner's Prize'. All these achievements were to be overshadowed by Skarżyński epic Atlantic Flight. Born 1st May 1897, Skarżyński began his military career in 1916-17 as a member of the Polska Organizacja Wojskowa (Polish Military Organization), a clandestine organization tasked with gathering intelligence on and sabotaging Poland's enemies. He transferred to the Polish Army when it was created in 1918 commanding units engaged with disarming German soldiers in his home town Warta. After that he fought in the Polish-Soviet War being wounded twice, the second time severely which left him with a permanent limp. Because of this he was unable to continue serving in the infantry and transferred to the aviation arm completing pilot training at Bydgoszcz in 1925 and then serving in the 1st Air Regiment. Skarżyński first found fame with his tour of Africa. In September 1931 he conceived the idea, to acquaint the world with the achievements of Polish industry and prove the reliability of nationally developed aircraft, of a long range flight over a difficult route. Deciding of a tour of Africa be selected the PZL Ł.2 obtaining full backing from PZL for the venture. By the middle of November he had the blessing and financial support of the Department of Aeronautics, Ministry of Transport and LOPP. Work to convert the first production Ł.2 was quickly undertaken. Fuel capacity was increased from 150 ltr to 630 ltr by fitting four fuel tanks in the wings. A small fuel tank under the pilot's seat was replaced by an oil tank. Four luggage compartments, one replacing the original oil tank, were built into aircraft. The engine was enclosed in a cowling ring and Col Rayski loaned Standard Steel adjustable pitch metal airscrew from his own aircraft. The aircraft, registered SP-AFA and named Afrykanka, completed its trials in January 1931, and on the 1st February Capt Skarżyński and Lt Markiewicz left Warsaw for the first stage of a long tour. They were delayed for a few days in Kraków because of bad weather in the Tatra Mountains and foggy and stormy conditions in southern Europe. Flying by Gyoma, Belgrade, Soplje, Athens, and Mersa Matruh, reaching Cairo on the 18th February. A damaged piston forced the aircraft down in the desert near Atbara, spares were brought from Atbara and the crew managed to replace the faulty cylinder and fly to Khartoum, where the engine was checked and cleaned of sand. On the 14th March they took off taking the route Malakal, Juba, Kisumu, Abercorn, Luebo, Leopoldville, Port Gentil, Lagos, Abidjan, Bamako, Dakar, Port Étienne, Casablanca, arriving at Alicante in Spain on the 12th April. On the way to Bordeaux the engine seized because incorrect oil had been supplied by mistake at Perpignan. This delayed them by two weeks. Eventually they landed at Warsaw on the 5th May having covered 25,770 km in 147 flying hours. Despite the engine problems, the the tour proved an outstanding success. The aircraft spent more than three months in the open, being exposed to frost, snow, tropical storms and tropical sun, and survived the most incredible take-offs from unprepared fields, stony beaches, deserts, and 2 m high grass with no ill effects. In June 1931, SP-AFA was flown by Skarżyński in the Bucharest Rally. Later it was involved in the first glider towing experiments conducted in Poland, and, fitted with a prototype tow gear assisted the Polish team during the 1932 Rhöne Meeting. For his epic transatlantic flight, Skarżyński consulted the RWD designers and selected a specially converted RWD 5, that became known as the RWD 5bis (modified). The aircraft was completed by the end of March 1933 conforming to the FAI Category 2 requirements (single seat weighing less than 450 kg) and given the registration SP-AJU. Later it became known as Amerykanka. Powered by a 130 hp Gipsy Major engine, its fuel capacity was increased to 752 ltr and oil to 36 ltr giving a maximum range of 5,000 km. 452 ltr of fuel were carried in four 113 ltr tanks mounded side by side in the reinforced wing, and 300 ltr in a large tank fitted in the rear cabin, the doors and windows of which were omitted. To ensure greater comfort on long flights the pilot's seat was provided with rubber cushions that could be inflated in case of an emergency landing on water. Arm rests and foot supports close to the rudder bar were fitted. The intended start date was the 7th April but the IBTL requested further trials before clearing the aircraft. These included a 10 hour endurance flight over Poland, which was made on the 15th April covering 1,650 km. Clearance followed five days later and on the 27th April SP-AJU left Warsaw reaching St Louis-du-Sénégal in West Africa on the 4th May. According to an official statement it was to make an attempt on the International Distance Record for Light Aircraft in category 2 from St Louis-du-Sénégal in the direction of western Europe. Skarżyński's true intention of making the South Atlantic crossing to Brazil was a well guarded secret only to be revealed when he was already on his way. Take-off was 23.00 on the 7th May and after 20 hours 30 minutes landed at Maceió, Brazil, 19.30 local time. Immediately after landing, the chief of the airfield's radio station approached the bare headed Skarżyński in a grey suit and enquired who he was. Skarżyński replied “I am captain Skarżyński of the Polish Air Force. My last take-off was from St Louis-du-Sénégal.” The bewildered official glanced at the tiny monoplane and the casual looking stranger in front of him, and, convinced that it was a hoax, shrugged his shoulders and walked away. Maceió control had been informed about the the attempted crossing (the RWD 5bis did not have a radio) but expected to see and impressive, large transatlantic aircraft, especially as Skarżyński had bypassed Natal, the nearest Brazilian airfield on his route. Only when the registration had been check did Maceió break out in celebration. In fact, on arrival at Maceió, Skarżyński still had fuel reserves for several more hours flying but decided not to extend the flight so as to avoid a risky landing in darkness on an unknown airfield. Skarżyński's flight raised the International Distance Record in the FAI Category 2 to 3,582 km and with an empty weight of 450 kg, the RWD 5bis was the lightest aircraft to cross the Atlantic, and because Category 2 class was later abolished, the distance record was never officially beaten. After triumphal tour of Brazil, including several demonstration flights, Skarżyński and SP-AJU left Rio de Janeiro on the liner Avila Star on the 11th of July, to arrive at Boulogne on the 17t July. After reassembly it was flown to Łódż and then Warsaw on the 2nd August, covering the entire tour of 18,305 km in 104 hr 40 min flying time. Skarżyński was given a hero's welcome and was decorated with order of Polonia Restituta. SP-AJU was presented to him by the Aeroclub of the Polish Republic and subsequently converted to a standard two seat configuration. In 1934 he was promoted to Major and commanding a bomber squadron, and from 1938 was deputy C/O of the 4th Air Regiment in Toruń with a rank of Lt.Col. In April 1939 he became President of the Polish Aero Club. In August 1939 he became deputy Air Attaché for Rumania. When war broke out he helped with the escape of Polish Airmen to France and after the fall of France helped 17,000 Polish airmen move to Britain. In Britain he was made C/O of Polish training schools at Hucknall and then Newton, eventually appointed C/O of RAF Lindholme. On the night of 25/26 June the Bomber command launched a 1,000 bomber raid on Bremen, of which the Polish contribution was 71 Wellingtons, 13 from 300 Squadron, 14 from 301 Squadron, 15 from 305 Squadron, 7 from Coastal Command 304 Squadon, and 22 from 18 OTU. Skarżyński volunteered to fly a supernumerary member of the Józef Szybka's crew in Wellington Mk II Z8528 SM*R. The Welligton suffered engine failure and Szybka ditched in the sea. The navigator launched a dinghy but Skarżyński exited the cockpit on the wrong side, was hit by a wave, and swept away. He was heard calling for help for some time but the sea's heavy swells prevented the dinghy from reaching him and he drowned. The rest of the crew, Józef Szybka, Kazimierz Nowak, Edward Rudowski, and Władysław Szmidt were rescued eight hours later.
  16. S refers to the paint being Type S. C means Cellon, the manufacturer of nitrocellulose dope used on the fabric covered parts. M, only a guess, might mean maintenance.
  17. Cooper had two. The first, Albatros (Oef) D.III no. 253.222 with 225 hp Austro-Daimler engine no. 23443, was delivered to the Central Airforce Depot in Warsaw 31st July, 1919. It was given the unit’s badge and designated number 5 after being delivered to Lwów. It crashed on 22nd November, 1919 flown by Lt Graves during an airshow to commemorate the the 2nd anniversary of Lwów’s liberation from the Ukrainians. Albatros (Oef) D.III no. 253.218 with 225 hp Austro-Daimler engine no. 23514, and two 8mm Schwarzlose M7/12 machine guns, no 45048 & 45027. Delivered to the squadron, 21st August 1919. This was painted identical to the first Albatros with the addition of the red nose to indicate the Pulaski wing which was to commanded by Cooper. Cooper used this Albatros in April and May 1920 during the Kiev Expedition, including combat flights over the city of Kiev. By the end of May Cooper had logged 33 hours an 20 minutes with this aircraft. When the 7th Squadron retreated from Berdyczew, Cooper set fire to the Albatros because of an engine failure that prevented it being flown out.
  18. On May 20, 1936. Four P.11cs under the command of General L. Rayski - Major J. Bajan, Lt. Col. S. Pawlikowski and Captain S. Pietraszkiewicz. The second aircraft with red/white stripes belonged to Pawlikowski. I do not think the identity of the forth P.11 is known. 8.40 had the civilian reg. SP-AYC. 8.14 later served with 142 Esk.
  19. They were not reequiping with Spitfire Mk IIs. In October 1941 they received a number of Spitfire Mk IIs which were used for a short period for training purposes only. At the end of December they reequiped with Spitfire Mk Mk Vbs.
  20. Initial proposal was for a 20 mm cannon in the nose and twin 7.9 mm macine guns in the dorsal and ventral positions. This was dropped because of the adverse affect it would have on performance (speed). Three movable single 7.92 mm calibre machine guns on the front, rear and ventral positions. Standard machine guns of the type PWU wz. 37 Szczeniak (Puppy) with the original Polish FZ wz. 38 sight. On Łoś A and A bis, initially Vickers F machine guns in all positions or both types of machine guns, PWU wz.37 and Vickers F, at different positions. Firing area for the front machine gun - 25 ° to the sides and up and 45 ° downwards, ammunition reserve - 384 rounds (four magazines). A rear machine gun on an Alcan half-turntable, hidden in the rear of the fuselage, with a fire field of 192 ° horizontally, 60 ° up and 10 ° down, and an ammunition reserve of 960 rounds (ten magazines). Lower machine gun hidden inside the fuselage, with a field of fire of 75 ° downwards and 60 ° to the sides, and a reserve ammunition with 288 rounds (three magazines). Total stock of ammunition - 1632 rounds. Cannot find any information on what the Romanians used.
  21. 303sqn

    RAF B-17s

    Under surfaces as defined by No 1 Pattern finished in glossy White. The remaining side surfaces as defined by No 2 pattern and the side surfaces of the fins and rudders were to be finished in matt White. De-icing equipment fitted to all leading edges was to be painted with a special flexible White paint which was to be obtained from the FAE at Farnborough whilst the engine cowlings were to be finished with White stoving enamel. A coat of clear gloss could be used to give a gloss finish. Special 'lanolin' finishes were used on flying boats such as Sunderlands.
  22. 80/87 Grade red. 100/130 Grade green. 100/150 Grade brown.
  23. Negotiations for the purchase of foreign fighter aircraft began in the spring of 1939, first offers received in June. Polish test pilots were sent abroad to evaluate aircraft the aircraft on offer, Spitfire, Hurricane, Morane MS.406, Dewoitine D.520, Bloch MB.151, Breguet 690, Potez 63, Koolhoven FK.58. American offer was rejected on the grounds of the high cost and requirement for 100 octane gasoline that was not available in Poland. Britain agreed to sell 14 Hurricanes and one Spitfire to Poland. These were despatched from Britain at the end of August along with 30 Fairey Battles. It seems that not much is known about these aircraft or what happened to them apart from the Spitfire, L1066, that was diverted to Turkey. Form 78: FF 21-7-39 36MU for packing and despatch to Poland diverted when Germany overran country. Turkey as Type 341 19-8-39 deleted from original RAF contract. Sent to docks 19-8-39 In June France provided credit that allowed for the purchase of 150 Morane MS.406s plus a licence for their production in Poland. An order for 130 Moranes was signed on 8th August and the first batch was despatched by sea on 29/30 August. Thirty examples, perhaps those originally intended for Poland, were shipped by sea from Marseille to Istanbul in November 1939.
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