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EwenS

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  1. DZ534 was one of the Mk.IV aircraft initially converted for Highball and carried a /G suffix to the serial. Hence its service with 618 squadron during 1943 which had been formed specifically for that purpose. By Oct 1943, Highball operations were on hold, many of the crews posted to other units with the squadron reduced to a cadre, and most of the Highball Mossies sent to MUs for storage. Then in 1944 Highball was resurrected, and with that 618 squadron. The surviving aircraft were brought out of storage in Aug/Sept and underwent further modification and some additional airframes converted to the latest standard. DZ534 was not amongst those upgraded at that time. So I would surmise that it had started as a Highball conversion, been returned to DH late 1943/early 1944 and converted to bulged bomb bay configuration and reissued to 627 before being lost in July 1944. DZ639 shows up as a bulged bomb bay conversion but also as one of the additional Highball conversions in Aug/Sept 1944 which explains it serving with 618 when it went to Australia at the end of the year. All the surviving 618 squadron aircraft were scrapped in Australia. I seem to recall that some of the remains of one are being used as the basis of a rebuild in New Zealand. 3 Mosquito XVIII were delivered to 618 squadron in Sept/Oct 1943. 4 crews and 34 ground crew then formed 618 Squadron Special Detachment attached to 248 Beaufighter Squadron at Predannack. An eventual 5 Mk.XVIII aircraft served with the detachment, one being lost in Nov 1943, before it was disbanded in May 1944 and its aircraft taken over by 248, which had in the meantime converted to the Mosquito FB.VI.
  2. Sorry 23 Mk.IV conversions per Sharp & Bowyer. Modified by DH - DZ594, the prototype, which first flew early July 1943, and DZ534. Modified by Vickers Armstrongs Weybridge and Marshalls of Cambridge - DZ599,606,608,611,630-634,636-644,646,650. Modified by Vickers and DH - DZ647. While plans initially called for all Mossie bomber production after Oct 1943 to be capable of carrying the 4,000lb bomb only 30 conversion kits were initially ordered by the end of July and the split between Mk.IV & IX was undecided. The problem was that with the 4,000lb bomb on board both versions had stability problems. The Mk.IV was only cleared by A&AEE after being fitted with larger elevator horn balances, having the rear camera removed and having 60lb of ballast fitted in the nose. The first deliveries were made in Jan/Feb 1944 and the first operational mission with them was flown on the night of 23/24 Feb 1944 by 692 squadron. At least one Mk.IX was fitted for the 4,000lb bomb, ML914. There were only about 300 Mk.IV ordered, of which approx 27 became PR conversions, 36 Highball conversions and about a dozen others converted to other marks. At least 25 had been lost on ops by the end of 1943 and no doubt more for non-operational reasons. When you look at the Mossie bomber squadrons there were only 3 (105,109,139) before 627 formed in Nov 1943, with another 7 forming from the beginning of 1944 to the middle of Jan 1945. The stability problems were overcome on the B.XVI which started coming off the production lines at the end of Nov 1943. So the B.IV(Special) 4,000lb bomb carrier was very much an interim model. As I noted due to demand for 4,000lb bomb carriers later in 1944, thought was given to converting Canadian built B.XX/XXV in Britain, but by the time it was starting to become reality the need for them was questioned with the end of the war looming and eventually cancelled. They also faced the same stability issues. By that time as well there were plenty of B.XVI coming off the production line and the B.35 was nearing production. Consideration was given to fitting the enlarged bomb bay on the production line in Canada, but it was felt that this would have disrupted production over there. From about Feb 1945 Canadian production was shifting from B.XXV to the FB.26 anyway.
  3. All the Canadian built B.XX and B.XXV left the factory with the standard bomb bay doors. Due to the demand for the 4,000lb bomb bay in these aircraft it was agreed in Oct 1944 that Marshalls of Cambridge would undertake a conversion programme in Britain to give them two stage Merlin 69 engines, lying around in an MU unused, and the bulged 4,000lb bomb bay. Flight trials of the first conversion took place in Jan 1945. But with the end of the war looming it did not proceed very far, and most of those converted did not get the engine upgrade. Five B.XXV serials are given in a couple of books as having the bulged bomb bay with no mention of the engine change:- KB409, 416, 490, 561 and KB625. 627 squadron operated KB490 as AZ-Q and possibly the others. In addition to those airframes there is a series of photos of KB471 taken at Boscombe Down with both the engine conversion and the bulged bomb bay. Was this the prototype conversion by Marshalls that flew in Jan 1945? The IWM photo claims it was lost in Feb 1945? Is anyone able to confirm that? The bit about the squadrons it operated with seems totally wrong. https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205126652 Two photos of this aircraft also appear in the very old Aircam Aviation Series No 28 on the DH Mosquito which I once had in my library, and can now be found on the net here https://boxartden.com/reference/gallery/index.php/Modeling-References/Osprey-Aircam-Aviation-Series/28-DH-Mosquito/28-De-Havilland-Mosquito_Page_18-960 Refs "Mosquito" by Sharp & Bowyer & "Mosquito. The Original Multi Role Combat Aircraft" by Graham Simons, and of the course the above noted Aircam book. The only other single stage bomber Mosquitos, AFAIK, were the 20 B.IV converted early in 1944 with DZ serials and used mostly by 692 squadron.
  4. +1 more. And lets not forget the 8 Merlin helicopters
  5. I should also have highlighted this site for some photos of her http://www.navsource.org/archives/02/10.htm The other Essex can be found here http://www.navsource.org/archives/02idx.htm
  6. Turned in its grave? More like developed full military power!! From the same section:- "But the model was known for being very unstable and could lose control easily as it operated a non-standard layout for that time with the engine located at the rear of the fuselage." and "It was fast but not very stable when flown above 15,000 feet (5000m) as it lacked a turbo-charger. "
  7. Why? The E-3 has been and continues to be subject to electronic upgrade programmes for the USAF and other countries. It is not scheduled to leave service for another 10-15 years. AIUI the reason we are having to replace our E-3D aircraft is that we did not take up the opportunities to keep our aircraft up to the latest standards as part of the defence cutbacks. The position that we are now in is that we are buying the Wedgetail at a time when the design is over 10 years old, but again is subject to upgrades. Australia, the first customer for it, published its long term defence plans earlier this year. They show spending on upgrades to the late 2020s followed by spending on a successor platform thereafter. So far the only other customers have been Turkey and South Korea. So we now find ourselves in the position that our AEW&C procurement is out of step with much of the world, and we are investing in a platform that in less than 10 years could well be an orphan with so few users that interest in upgrades may well be too expensive. So what do we do then? Just maybe, cutting back the E-7 programme now, working the lesser number of aircraft to death over the next 10 years and getting in on the ground floor of the next programme might just be a good plan.
  8. Here was a Britmodeller thread from last Nov about this which should give you all the answers.
  9. Have you found this site? http://www.steelnavy.com/essex_data.htm Differences between the various Essex class are laid out, at least so far as the 40mm gun tubs are concerned. Other main differences relate to the location of the various radar aerials and numbers of radio aerials down the starboard side of the flight deck.
  10. Oops! Yes you are right 887 not 879.
  11. The BPF markings were applied in Australia. So the earliest would be 879 and 894 squadrons on Indefatigable in Feb 1945 when she arrived in Australia. That would have been been carried out at one of the supporting MONABs or for crated aircraft delivered to Australia, TAMY 1 at Archerfield. You will find some Seafire photos here http://www.royalnavyresearcharchive.org.uk/MONABS/index.htm#.X2HZ48rTWhA A handful of Seafire III were stripped of their camouflage for the final operations against the Japanese in July/Aug 1945 in both the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
  12. Renown and Repulse AS BUILT had a beam of 90 feet. BUT in 1918/20 Repulse and 1923/26 Renown had their hulls bulged and the beam was increased to 102 ft 8 in.
  13. My notes give the following:- The 25th Dragoons had trained on Valentine DD in India from mid 1944. They swapped them for Sherman III(DD) in anticipation of Operation Zipper. Loaded on LSTs at Madras 6 Aug but unloaded again the next day. There were 86 Sherman DD in India at the end of the war with an expectation of another 100 arriving. Some of the vehicles may have seen service with the 7th Hussars in Italy before being shipped to India. Immediately postwar there was a squadron formed to demonstrate various "funnies" which also had some Sherman DD. Some info and photos of them here - http://ww2talk.com/index.php?threads/25th-dragoons-in-india-1945-7.70768/page-3 Here is an article about someone who trained on them with a few photos (you need to go right to the bottom of the page) https://www.northumberlandgazette.co.uk/heritage-and-retro/retro/northumberland-war-veteran-94-recalls-his-memories-ve-day-2846083 Note the tanks in the last photo have all been refitted with what appears to be the commanders vision cupola with a single hatch cover.
  14. Kinda looks like one of these except for the radiator - holes instead of slats. https://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/projects/388878-bought-case-vai-w-military.html
  15. EwenS

    B24 liberator colours

    There is still an ECM antenna visible in the above photo. A clear plastic "bubble" covering an aerial of some kind between the bomb aimer's window and the nosewheel. One of the other photos I posted shows the second one aft of the nosewheel. Elsewhere the are described as "fishhook ECM antennas". What I'm not seeing, and which may not have been fiteed to this aircraft but was on others, is an H shaped aerial for an SCR-729 ECM set (which was used for other purposes under different designations).
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