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NG899

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  1. PM me with your email address and I’ll send you a few helpful thingies. Cheers
  2. And the question which needs to be asked is.. On the starboard side, which side of the fuselage roundel was the GZ and which side was the L? The only two contemporary photos I've seen which show the starboard side of 32 Sqn Hurricanes during the BoB, one of which is the one of GZ-Z landing, the other being of GZ-B, show the GZ aft of the roundel, not ahead of it on the starboard side. The B+W line up of Hurricanes in Troy's post I believe shows the full-size replicas at the Hawkinge Museum, so are not contemporary. Where's Sherlock when you need him...? Cheers Nick
  3. The GR3s had been washed prior to shipping south on the Atlantic Conveyor and were frequently washed on the deck of Hermes to minimise saltwater ingress, so were fairly clean by comparison with RAFG or Wittering based GR3s. Unlike the Sea Harrier airframes, the GR3s contained metals which saltwater just loves to corrode rapidly, hence the extra care given them. With reference to the photo above of XZ989/07 after its accident at the FOB, the darker areas around the wing access panels are (bath) sealant applied to keep the briny out. Panels around the nose and fuselage were also treated this way as seen in the photo of XV789/32 here: https://forums.spacebattles.com/threads/harrier-vs-mirage-iii-how-the-british-were-so-successful-against-the-argentinians-in-air-air.375305/ The scuff marks on the wings are from boots. XZ989 had non-regular placement of the red Xs on the engine cover panels, as you can see in the photo. XZ988 probably had them in the same position as 989.
  4. Dk Green. If it helps, all 4 u/c bays (dirty, especially the main gear bay) gloss white with generally dk grey fitments. One watchout on the 100-gal tanks - stencils only ever applied to their port sides, even that fitted on the starboard side. Which kit are you using?
  5. Intake interiors - Dk Green stbd side and Dk Sea Grey port side, all the way back to the Pegasus. NO white or other colours anywhere! Cheers Nick
  6. Hi Mike, Thanks for the info on those two serials. I've been trying to piece together the details of all the GR3s which went to Belize from 1975 until 1994 and while, from movement cards I have a lot of info, tying up serials and codes has been a real pain; I still have lots of blanks but can now resolve those two. The info I have on those two from the movement cards and other official sources is (STC = Strike Command): XV753 Belize from 20-Feb-80 to 06-May-81 C. From 233OCU Returned to 233OCU > STC HarDet. 233OCU to 07-Feb-80, pale blue C. Witt 03-Mar-80 to 30-Apr-81 (STC-HarDet). 233OCU 26-Jan-82. XW924 Belize from 29-Mar-79 to 23-Jun-80 L. From IV(AC)233 Returned to OCU > STC HarDet Belize 05-Apr-79 to 23-Jun-80. IV(AC) 13-Dec-78 Black-L. '936' 27-Feb-79 to 24 May-79. Witt 25-May-79 to 11-Nov-80. 233OCU 11-Sep-81. As you can see some, there are some conflicting date issues! I've no idea what 936 on the movement card means. Other jets I have out in Belize from 1979 to early 1982 are: XV786 - 01-Nov-78 to 05-Apr-79, from 1(F) returned to IV(AC) XV793 - 01-Nov-78 to 30-May-79, from 1(F) returned to IV(AC) XV795 - 01-Nov-78 to 21-Jan-79, from 1(F) returned to 3(F) XW919 - 01-Nov-78 to 09-Aug-79, from 1(F) returned to 1(F) XW921 - 21-Jan-79 to 29-Feb-80, from IV(AC) returned to 233OCU XV783 - 30-May-79 to 28-Apr-80, from IV(AC) returned to 233OCU XZ132 - 06-Aug-79 to 03-Dec-79, from 3(F) returned to ADA Wittering XV759 - 22-Apr-80 to 06-Jul-81, from 233OCU returned to 233OCU XV804 - 20-May-80 to 27-Jan-81, from 233OCU returned to 233OCU XV752 - 17-Jun-80 to 29-May-81, from 233OCU returned to 233OCU XZ133 - 27-Jan81 to 14-Jan-82, from 233OCU returned to 1(F) XW923 - 22-Apr-81 to 26-May-81, from 233OCU as Pale Blue 'N'. Crashed 26-May-81 - lost control during STO at Belize, Flt Lt Jack Mardon ejected. XV807 - 14-May-81 to 14-Jul-81, from 233OCU as Pale Blue 'G'. Crashed 14-Jul-81 - Near Cayo flew into ground, tailplane link disconnected, pilot killed. XV804 - 01-Jun-81 to 08-Apr-82, from 233OCU returned to 233OCU XZ966 - 20-Jul-81 to 09-Jul-82, from 1(F) returned to 1(F) XW921 - 12-Jan-82 to 15-Dec-82, from 233OCU returned to 233OCU XV783 - 26-Feb-82-18-Apr-83, Pale Blue 'D', from 233OCU returned to 233OCU If you can help with any other details it would be good to hear from you. Thank you. All the best Nick
  7. Happy to help Bruce, thanks for that shot too exdraken. Worth noting that in most FA2 vs Tornado F3 training engagements the SHAR pilots won hands down, or rather Tornados down. They had BVR and, unless surprised by the faster F3s from 6 o'clock, could win quite easily. FA2 pilots also used to easily better the F15 folks up from Lakenheath on most occasions... RIP the Last All-British Fighter (AMRAAMs and AIM-9L/Ms excluded!) Cheers Nick
  8. Very nice indeed. I would check the location of those AMRAAMs though, to me they look a long, long way forward of where they should be... Cheers Nick
  9. Which serial are you doing Bruce? Once I know that I can answer your question! Cheers Nick
  10. Spot on Dennis! Good to hear from you after so long! Not all Falklands FRS1s or GR3s had them and some FRS1s only had them on one side due to overpainting. Bruce, which airframe are you making your model as? Let me know and I’ll tell you if you need to have them on it. Cheers Nick
  11. Bisected, roughly speaking. Drop me a PM with your email in it and I’ll send you some photos to help. Cheers Nick
  12. Just noticed the question if any FRS1 airframe made “ace”, to which the simple answer is no. XZ457/14 was the top scorer on Hermes - 2 A4s, 2 Daggers, with 4; XZ451/006 from Invincible downed 3 - Canberra, Pucara and C130. Cheers Nick
  13. In passing, as radar altimeters were mentioned, the radar altimeter aerials on all Sea Harriers are the two square-ish items on the ventral fin’s underside edge. Despite being standard on USMC AV8A/Cs and Spanish AV8Ss, with different-shaped aerials to the later UK ones, they were only added to some Harrier GR3s from c.1984 onwards… Do check photos of the GR3 you are making a model of!!! Cheers Nick
  14. Hi Tim, The best I can do is c.1982/3 with two confirmed serials/code letters and two shots under camo nets of other GR3s, codes known but serials not. If interested drop me a PM with your direct email address included. Cheers Nick
  15. Hi Tim, Which period of the Belize deployments are you looking at, 1975 or later, up to 1993? I've a few of the later days, not much early on. Cheers Nick
  16. Courtesy of this link from Graham James, I think we may have found the culprits for the zap... Thanks Graham! https://www.airforcecollectables.com/Italian-Patch-Air-Force-Aeronautica-Militare-AM-Gruppo-b-14-FBA-1P-06IT-1IAF-01GPO-1OP-0014GP-01.htm Cheers Nick
  17. Hi Dave, at that date and without the RWR fin and tail it could still be a T.2A. Just a thought! Cheers, Nick
  18. Thanks for the corrections on that. My knowledge is only as good as the last references received, I like learning new things. Live to learn, learn to live. Cheers!
  19. Hi Graham, The taller fins were fitted to T.2 XW925 and T.2As -XW926-XW927 plus XW933-XW934; having been trialled on XW175, so the first two development aircraft and the first production batch had the original short fin. The 5-inch taller RWR fitted fin was rolled out with the Phase 4 mods on all T.4s. While this was shorter than the tall fin, it clearly did the job. As fas as I know no original (1969 design) short fins were retrofitted on any of the tall finned aircraft. I do not know why all aircraft did not get the tall fin when it started to be introduced. The only hypothesis I can put forward at this point is that as with the T.4A, some airframes were used purely for flying rather than operational training. The quirks of Harriers... They are complex beasts! Cheers Nick
  20. Hi Graham, Test pilot Duncan Simpson wrote the "Developing the Trainer" chapter in Roy Braybrook's book "Harrier The Vertical Reality" from which I take the following points to answer your question. The T2 was designed to fulfil the same operational envelope as the GR1 in terms of handling and strength so could carry and use all the weapons cleared for the GR1. Hugh Merewether piloted the first T2 XW174 on its first flight on 24 April 1969. It was lost after an engine run down while being flown by Duncan Simpson on 4 June 1969, Simpson had been unable to relight the engine and banged out at about 150ft. The second T2 made its first flight on 14 July 1969 (52 years ago today) and proved the two-seater was capable of reproducing the single-seater's flying characteristics in the main areas of the flight envelope. (Note the words "main areas"!) So, with the original fin mounted on its 11-inch plinth and with its extended intake area at the front, the original fin design proved to be good enough. It was clearly felt that some improvement in directional flying characteristics could be made, hence the introduction of the (18-inch) taller fin shape "to improve directional stability, especially at high angles of attack". Simpson goes on to say, "Another directional improvement was obtained by the simple expedient of extending the under-fuselage airbrake by 26 degrees at high angles of attack". It's probably worth here reminding readers, as Dave Fleming has alluded to, that UK single and two-seater Harrier designations had NOTHING to do with their external shape but the engine fitted. Leading with the two-seaters and visible indicators of the different engines... Two-seater RAF Harriers (1st generation) T.2 - Pegasus Mk.101 (19,000lb thrust) > Serials XW174, XW175, XW264-XW272, XW925. No vent ahead of the mesh-covered GTS/APU intake. Some RAF aircraft had a taller fin, increased in height by 18 inches, fitted to subsequent production batches of T.2s/T.2As: XW925-XW927; XW933-XW934; having been trialled on XW175. T.2A - Pegasus Mk.102 (20,500lb thrust, Harrier GR.1A too, with two large vents on the engine covers plus bullet shaped tailcone) > Serials XW175, XW264-XW272, XW925- XW934. The last two of the first twelve T-birds were built as T.2A with the Mk.102 Pegasus; retrofitted to the other 10. No vent ahead of the mesh-covered GTS/APU intake. Some RAF aircraft had a taller fin, increased in height by 18 inches, fitted to subsequent production batches of T.2s/T.2As: XW925-XW927; XW933-XW934; having been trialled on XW175. T.4 - Pegasus Mk.103 (21,500lb thrust, Harrier GR.3 too, initially no vents on the engine covers, later a small area facing vent added just offset to starboard ahead of the mesh-covered GTS/APU intake) > Serials XW175, XW265-XW272, XW925- XW934, XZ145-XZ147, XZ445, ZB600- ZB603, ZD990-ZD993. Fourteen were new-builds: XZ145-XZ147, XZ445, ZB600-ZB603, ZD991- ZD993. XZ145-147 were built as pointed nose T.4s with the tall fin and pointed tail sting. Small vent offset to starboard ahead of the mesh-covered GTS/APU intake. Apart from XZ445, the other new builds were, I believe, fitted with raised later GR.3 type standard fins, including the RWR fairing, RWR on the tail sting and the LRMTS nose. Many of the T.2s upgraded had the pointed nose, original low fin and pointed tail sting. All had the GR.1/3 type airbrake. The rest were upgraded T.2As. Single-seater RAF Harriers (1st generation) GR.1 - Pegasus Mk.101. Two large electrical system vents - initially with squared ends, later smooth at the front, open at the rear - on the engine covers, plus a bullet shaped tailcone. Parallel-sided UHF aerials, often only one offset to starboard behind the cockpit. GR.1A - Pegasus Mk.102. Two large electrical system vents - smooth at the front, open at the rear - on the engine covers, plus a bullet shaped tailcone. Parallel-sided UHF aerials, often only one offset to starboard behind the cockpit. GR.3 - Pegasus Mk.103. Fitting of the Mk.103 began from mid-1974 as far as I know. - Early (c.1974 onwards) > No vents on the engine covers, original fin, bullet shaped tailcone with 6-7 circular vents added to better dissipate the heat from the Reaction Control Valves. Some in late 1975 onwards had the small vent offset to starboard ahead of the mesh-covered GTS/APU intake. - Post Phase 4 Mods (c.1976 onwards) > The laser nose and RWR was fitted as part of the Phase 4 Mods which began in 1976. The first new-build GR.3 with LRMTS and RWR was XZ128 which first flew on 9 January 1976. The first GR.3 upgraded with LRMTS and RWR by RAF an BAe teams at RAF Wittering was XV760 on 23 April 1976. Distinguishing features include (obviously!) the LRMTS nose, RWR fin (5-inch height increase above the rudder to accommodate the RWR fairing), RWR tail sting with 7 circular vents. Tapered sided UHF aerials in 3 locations. The small vent offset to starboard ahead of the mesh-covered GTS/APU intake. The close time period between the new engines being fitted to some of the later upgraded airframes and the shape changes for the laser nose and RWR - on some aircraft these were done almost concurrently - has probably led to the confusion about what is a GR.1A and what is a GR.3; similarly what is a T.2/2A and what is a T4. Other RAF/RN two-seat variants - Developing the list for these 1st generation airframes... T.4A - Pegasus Mk.103 > Serials XW175, XW265, XW266, XW268, XZ147, XZ445, ZD990. Pointed nose and tail sting retained on the T.4As but they had the RWR fitted fin added, without the RWR equipment fitted. These lighter T-birds were used for flying training only, as they were more responsive than the LRMTS and full RWR fitted airframes. T.4N - Pegasus Mk.104 > Serials ZB604-ZB606 - new built as T.4Ns. XW266-XW268, XW927, ZB601, ZB603, ZD992 upgraded from T.4/ T.4A. Full RWR fit in fin and tail sting. Internally T.4Ns had SHAR FRS.1 avionics, excluding the radar, fitted. T.8 - Pegasus Mk.104 > Upgraded to T.8 standard were ZB603-ZB605, ZD990- ZD993. Full RWR fit in fin and tail sting. Doppler panel added in a bulge ahead of the front undercarriage bay. Internally T.8 had SHAR FA.2 avionics, excluding the radar, fitted. I think that covers it all, unless someone knows different...! All the best Nick
  21. Hi Gareth, Some info on XZ988/34 to help you... 29 March 1982 - coded pale blue N of 233 OCU at RAF Wittering, transferred to 1(F) Squadron during April. Allocated fin code Red 34 and outrigger codes Yellow 34. ALE-40 chaff/IR flare dispensers fitted. 3 May - flown from RAF Wittering to RAF St Mawgan and from there to Wideawake, Ascension Island on 5 May. 27 May - 1600Z, flown by Sqn Ldr Bob Iveson with Flt Lt Mark Hare in XV789/32 in support of 2 Para's advance at Goose Green searching for 105mm guns, both jets armed with two CBUs. Held at 8,000 feet by the FAC they thus lost any element of surprise before being called in to the attack. Facing considerable AAA, XZ998/34 was hit by shells from a 35mm Oerlikon on Goose Green airfield on the third(!) attack run. Having continued away from the target area for some 40 seconds, Sqn Ldr Iveson ejected safely at 100 feet seven miles west of Goose Green and avoided capture until picked up by 3 CBAS Gazelle XX380 flown by Lt Scott at 1800Z three days later. Drop me a PM and I'll send you some things over to help your research and the build. Cheers Nick
  22. Hi Hoops and Tim. As Tim says only two greys. The BAe painting diagrams confirm only the two colours quoted; I’m not at liberty to share them, sorry. My explanation for the the three colours visible is that the line between the darkest and mid grey corresponds with the old demarcation line on a cuff in the original three colours scheme; parts were often swapped. Cheers Nick
  23. Great photos Tim. Nice to see the recce pod in better detail and the angled demarcations on the tanks. Hoops - Only two colours of grey used, not three... satin Dark Sea Grey (BS381C:638) and satin Medium Sea Grey (BS381C:637). Your three colour idea is just picking up how the light is reflecting off the satin finish. Bob, et al - Regarding the zap on the starboard cockpit side of XV738, on page 62 of the AirDoc book, to me it looks like a white ring with what looks like a gnome wearing a bandanna facing left and toting a blunderbuss or punching through the ring at 8 o'clock with his right fist; one tail of the bandanna cuts the ring at 2 o'clock. Cheers Nick
  24. What the zap on XV809 is and the story behind it has evaded the Harrier SIG for many years. I'm all ears on this one... Finger knotted. Cheers Nick
  25. Hello Hoops, Your hypothesis is correct, they were removed at some point in the early 80s. As far as I know those used in the Falklands War - drawn from 1(F), 233OCU and IV(AC) Sqns - all had the serials still under their wings; photos of the downed airframes seems to back this up. My hypothesis is that they began to not be reapplied after airframes were repainted after major servicing from early 1983 onwards. I base my hypothesis on the very few photographs of GR3s which show their wing undersides. By the time the old Aeroguide on the GR3/T4 was published in 1986, the aircraft featured in that do not have underwing serials. The photos may have been taken in 1985. Likewise, Willy Peeters photos used in the AirDoc RAFG Harrier volume are dated later than that and show no underwing serials. Hope that helps for now. I'd really like to know when the changes began and were completed but, I fear that data is lost on the mists of time... Cheers Nick
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