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NG899

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  1. Hi Jack, Some more thoughts for you in reply to your latest post... Fuselage length - Wait until you see the GA drawings I send you from Hawkers. Don't forget the Harrier nose cone was different to the Kestrel's nose, being a bit longer and mounting the pitot. Another trip to Brooklands may be needed - I doubt the length of XP984 has changed since 1964, even if other things have! I don't have John Fozard's paper, so would be interested to see the diagram you have; also the tables of wing and tailplane types. I have seen some diagrams and tables of the differences, including TP spans and anhedral angles, in other publications but I've never been able to be sure if they were HS originals or other people's interpretations. Intakes - Hugh Merewether's book (data provided by Chris Farara the HSA archivist) mentions that for its first 61 flight it flew conventionally with the sharp metal intake lips (of earlier P1127s), with the "7th" wing, i.e. it's "Original Wing." In September 1964 the new all speed metal intake was fitted, as shown in all the photographs I have of XP984. (This was tested on a comparison basis with the inflatable lips on Kestrel XS688.) XP984's "Original Wing" All but one of the photos I have of XP984 show it with the non-"Harrier Wing" fitted. They seem to show it with what you could call the "Kestrel Wing", i.e. one with the shallow LE extensions and 10 vortex generators fitted. (It was after it got its "Harrier Wing" that XP984 faded from the P1127/ Kestrel / TES programmes and became involved with the work of the RAE Bedford.) I think that the diagrams I have seen of the different P1127 wing types including the 7th Wing is possibly missing that small LE extension as it labelled the "(Kestrel) Swept Wing". Initially, XS688 did have such a wing as in the diagram without a small LE extension but was later retrofitted with the wing which has the small LE extension; as is on XS685 at Cosford. That "Harrier Wing" One photo I have shows the "Harrier Wing" fitted to XP984 on 5th May 1966 and the hovering trial of 230-gallon underwing tanks. Three interesting things about the "Harrier Wing" on XP984 are: 1. It has the wing tip extensions and outriggers as fitted to the P1127(RAF) and GR1 2. But, without any easily visible leading edge extensions, and 3. With NO vortex generators fitted. The wing tips and outriggers are a giveaway that this is definitely not what Hugh Merewether calls the "Original Wing". Tailplanes - All the period photos I have of XP984 show it with Harrier-type tailplanes, whether in May 1965 or the summer of 1966 and afterwards; so you may need to get two new ones of those... sorry! Now the evidence I have is rather limited but I think that to build a model of XP984 you can use the few photos I have of it to help you finish it you will need to: - Add the small LE extension to the wings - Use Harrier-type tailplanes. Finally, an important sentence in Hugh Merewether's book is the first one about XP984: "This was the first aircraft to Kestrel standard (apart from minor aspects...)". I think this can be taken as saying that possibly the cockpit layout and seat were as used in the Kestrel rather than the P1127. I'll email over to you the first batch of what I have very soon. Cheers Nick
  2. XP984 Notes Outriggers Were the same type as on the Kestrel and not like those on the earlier P1127s; unlike as depicted in the AIRfile 1st Generation Harriers book. The same style outriggers are fitted to Kestrel FGA1 XS695 in Cosford, which is a 20 minute drive away if you want me to get some photos for you. (Mind you, XS695 has no wing tip RCV openings so it must now handle badly in the hover!) Vortex Generators 10 fitted as on the Kestrels with the small leading edge extensions on their wings. On the Wings... I've done some more trawling through my archives and photos appear to show that the "original wing" refitted to XP984 was like that on the Kestrels with the small leading edge extension added to it and the 10 vortex generators. I have got black and white and colour photos of XP984 in this configuration. U/C Legs Just noted that you're making the model in the hover, on which basis you probably need to drop the oleo on the main u/c leg more than it is. I have drawings for the front and main u/c units which will help you. This video shows the "Hole in the Wood" trials: Hope that helps. Cheers Nick
  3. Happiness is indeed vectored thrust! I admire your boldness in taking this conversion on. Having converted Airfix's old 1/24th scale GR1A to a Sea Harrier FRS1 back in the mid-80s, then doing a major update of it in the late-90s and early-00s, I know some of the issue you will have to face. I'm also part way through converting a Monogram 1/48th scale GR1 into the original P.1127 XP831; a project which has stalled in a big way for a few years. You've made a great start and trust you'll be taking advantage of Airfix's many rivets to enable you to get the finish required with those darned dirty rivets! Fuselage Length Quoting from Hugh Merewether's book "Prelude to the Harrier: P1127 Prototype Flight Testing and Kestrel Evaluation": (p21) "XP984 was delayed for the incorporation of a new wing with a swept trailing edge instead of a straight one, and curved streamwise tips. In addition the engine was moved forward 9 inches relative to the wing and everything aft of it, to correct the thrust centre of gravity relationship with the new Pegasus 5 engine. XP984 was the first aircraft to Kestrel standard..." This would indicate that the fuselage is the same length as a Kestrel's 509.92 inches (42ft 6in). The GR1's length was 546.62 inches, including the pitot (45ft 6.6in). Wing shape Quoting again from Hugh Merewether's book: (p26)"..there was some reluctance to embody a completely new wing (known as the "7th" wing) and delay the appearance of XP984, to which it was fitted. This wing had a swept trailing edge and completely eliminated transonic wing drop. However, it suffered wing rocking, which induced high fin loads at comparatively low incidence." XP984's original wing had RAF roundels on both surfaces and the fin had RAF flashes when XP984 was fitted with this wing. Again from Merewether's book: (p26) "After much experimentation, matters were brought under control by the addition of vortex generators to the upper wing surface and by extending the wing leading edge on the outer portion of the wing." Information from Tony Buttler's book The Harrier - more correctly a P1127(RAF) - wing was fitted in early 1966, first flight on 25 March, and so fitted XP984 had the Tripartite Evaluation Squadron on the wings and fin. Its original wing was refitted by 15 June 1966 after which it did trials on Bulwark from 17-20 June, and the "Hole in the Wood" trials from 19-28 September. Flown by John Farley and Sqn Cdr John Rustin these trials proved the concept of dispersed operations in wooded sites to better promote the operational flexibility fo the design. Photos of the "Hole in the Wood" trials show that the original wing had vortex generators fitted by this time. For both these trials XP984 had the Harrier type tailplanes fitted... Tailplane shape XP984 flew with both the Kestrel/Harrier style tailplanes and the smaller original Kestrel tailplane too. Other than for the 17 June to 28 September 1966 period, I do not know when it flew with which. Details XP984 had toe-operated wheel brakes (hence the rudder pedals are as in the kit), two pylon attachments for underwing drop tanks and a 5ft diameter tail parachute for stalling and spinning trials. On the main u/c, just be careful that you don't make the leg too long as if unloaded. An old trick of Harrier builders is to fit the nose and outrigger legs first then adjust the length of the main leg to ensure all five wheels are in contact. For information on what I did on the big SHAR which you can adapt for XP984 please check out the "Modelling the Harrier" section of the Harrier SIG's website: http://www.harriersig.org.uk/models/index.htm Drop me a PM with your email included if you need any reference material on XP984 or the P.1127 series, e.g. HS drawings, photos, cockpit information, etc. A Harrier SIG member is a volunteer at Brooklands so I can put you in contact if you'd like to get up close and personal with XP984 once more, e.g. with a tape measure to confirm key measurements and a camera to get walk around photos. I hope that all helps. Looking forward to seeing more progress when you're back at the desk. Best wishes Nick
  4. I hadn't mentioned the FRS1s as there are none I'm aware of which have are likely to have digital photos of the area on the www which may help Luigi out, whereas there are a few FA2s in Museums which have them. I didn't know about the guys still using the bay for their luggage. Things don't change, it's amazing what some airlines allow on as cabin baggage these days...! Luigi - the ALE-40 panel is an option in both the Kinetic FRS1 and FA2 kits, so have a look at one of those; the Sea Harrier and GR3 ALE-40 panels look the same externally. Cheers Nick
  5. For the GR3, the dispensers were buried in the rear fuselage with the grills not quite flush with the fuselage surface, see here: The RAF's use of the ALE-40 was an urgent response to the need for chaff dispensers during the Falklands War. After the conflict ended, many GR3s - but not all in the fleet! - received an update fitting them in the bay previously used for personal baggage; which is why GR3s began to use baggage pods! FA2 Sea Harriers also got the ALE-40s fitted in the same way. As for the USMC AV-8A/C/S - as far as I recollect they had no internal chaff dispensers fitted. I hope that helps Nick
  6. The questions have been asked...
  7. I can ask... If you want me to...
  8. 330-gallon tank orders noted chaps. I'll let you know via PMs if and when they become available and how much they will cost. Cheers Nick
  9. I'm still working on it! The difficulty is that solid resin ones would be very heavy for the u/c whether in 72nd or 48th, hence contemplating vac formed items. If people can let me know here how many they need in each scale it may strengthen my case... NO promises being made, but I'll do my best! John, your last photo of XV743 has it with 1(F) Sqn markings and fin codes. Had it transferred to 3(F) or...? Dennis, I take it the colours of the tanks are DSG and LAG, or DSG overall, even though in some images the DSG looks more like EDSG and the LAG more like white; correct? Thanks all. Nick
  10. Nice photo 71Chally and a nice GR3 Ross. Are the St Meagan photos available? To the Harrier SIG, fir example? A PM to me will allow me to explain why. Thanks. Did you know that at the RN SFDO, the only people allowed to taxi the aircraft with engines running are members of the SFDO ground crew team? Ex Harrier and Sea Harrier pilots are NOT allowed to do that, even though the nozzle stop prevents them doing an accidental VTO... for old times sake! I know a RN Cdr with a great deal of SHAR FA2 and Op Herrick GR9A experience who was not allowed to taxi them; much to his surprise! Cheers Nick
  11. Thanks Truro! Excellent information! Cheers Nick
  12. Straight off the wash-pan at RAC Cottesmore on its return to the UK from Op Telic and looking... clean! One for next time... live AIM-9Ls had ghost grey bodies, not white ones. Keep making those Harriers! (And other aircraft.) Cheers Nick
  13. 330-gallon ferry tanks to a shape used on the Harrier but NOT on the earlier Hunters; which were slimmer. The Harriers' 330s were used by the Falklands GR3s for the ferry flights to Ascension and for the direct onward flights of four GR3s from Ascension to HMS Hermes. The tanks were dropped before landing. Empty 100-gallon tanks were carried for the flights to the carrier on the outboard pylons; so the aircraft could use these operational once on board. The extended ferry wing-tips were not used for the flights to Ascension. The RAF's 330s were usually Dark Sea Grey Overall or DSG plus Light Aircraft Grey underneath. 330s were often used for European ferry flight deployments by the Harrier force, including the RAFG squadrons. Sea Harrier FRS1s of 899 NAS Sea Harrier Support Unit and the newly formed 809 NAS at RNAS Yeovilton in April/May 1982 did carry out trials of the 330-gallon tanks, including from the ski-jump. Lt Cdr Tim Gedge, CO of 809, decided against using them for the SHARs ferry flights to Ascension. Probably a wise move as XZ438 was lost off the ski-jump at Yeovilton while testing them on 17 May. Fleet Air Arm 330-gallon tanks were finished in Extra Dark Sea Grey and White, as seen on XZ438 before it was W/O. I've been endeavouring for years to get someone to make 330s as after-market items in 1/48th and 1/72nd and I may just have a taker in the offing with the new Kinetic GR1/3 due for release before December... As far as I know, the extended ferry wings tips were only used for the May 1969 Transatlantic Race GR1s - XV741 and XV744 - plus a few very early Harrier Squadron deployments to the Med. The larger wing tips provided extra stability at high altitude, which was useful during the Race. While fitting them was supposedly easy, it seems it was not deemed worth the effort by the Squadrons, who usually flew at lower altitudes on ferry flights than the Race aircraft; much lower. Hope that helps Nick
  14. I spent a whole Christmas-time many years ago doing all the correction work for Trumpeter so they could change their AV8B to be a proper GR7. They ignored 95% of what I sent them; I was told because they said modellers would not know the differences. Sore point. I've never since and will never again buy a Trumpeter kit; those I had in store went in a SMW kit-swap. That said, Piero De Santis has done several excellent upgrades of the Trumpeter kit; many shown here on BM. I did look at what was needed with it and decided that it was actually easier to convert the big Airfix kit to a GR9; as done by Phil Cater and Dave Haggas back in the 1980s/90s; especially as 1/32nd isn't my scale. My conversion of the old GR1A to an FRS1 in the mid-80s, way before Airfix released their SHAR kit, inspired Phil (the then Harrier SIG Leader) to convert a GR1A to a GR7; or so he told me many times. Having done that he converted the GR7 to a T10; because he'd got board with the GR7! The T10 still exists but needs a very major service. Kirk, sorry, not interested in Mini cars; they cannot do what a Harrier can. And that idea of a project has as much commonality as converting a GR3 to F35B...! Cheers Nick
  15. Congratulations! Well done Vitaliy! Cheers Nick (Of course you could try converting an Airfix 1/24th scale Harrier GR3 to a GR9... I know someone who has done that and it's not me!)
  16. There will be a place for ZG506 on the Harrier SIG display and you behind the stand if you both ever make it over to Scale ModelWorld Vitaliy! Excellent work! I know a few of the pilots and maintainers who served on Operation Herrick who would be delighted to have such a superb model of this brilliant, iconic aircraft. Cheers Nick
  17. Vitality, adding to Kirk’s Comments... Tone down the rivet detail on the whole airframe. Panel fasteners fine. Rivets not. It was a non-metal structure in the main. Other than that... Not bad at all! Cheers Nick
  18. KBO, you're getting there. Drop me a PM with your email in it if you need me to send you anything more specific to help you than you have now, e.g. templates for the intake blow-in doors. Cheers Nick
  19. Very quickly.... No canopy breakers on the MB. Mk9 used in the GR3. Yes, the Airfix kit does build okay if you take a tube of filler and apply the kit to it. It is basic, so to avoid pig’s eye syndrome I suggest doing as many of the mods in the SIG build notes referred to as you feel able to do. They are not that hard and you’ll improve your skills lots. The Monogram one needs as much work in many respects but, mercifully, not those wing joints. Whoever at Airfix thought plug-in wings on a Harrier were a good idea neither knew the aircraft or made models of it IMHO. Intake interiors - are not white!!! Anywhere! Dark Green starboard side, dark sea grey port side... ALL the way back to the bits that go round quickly! Check. Better kits? If all goes to plan, some prayers may be answered in November, but not by Airfix; I’m sad to say. What’s in the box yet TBC. And we’re working on some good 1970s-80s UK ordnance too; with someone else not so far in the east. The prices will be out of my control, as will any import duties involved; please note!!! More news will become available later in the year through the usual manufacturer and trader websites; so please don’t ask me as I don’t look at those sites too often and don’t do Facebook! As a bonus, look out for a 1/48th scale Harrier T10/12 conversion set from someone else closer to the UK too; already announced iirc. It’s designed as a simple plug and play for the old Hasegawa/Revell kit. Yes, it can be made into TAV8B using an AV8B Hase/Revell boxing, but you will need an extra Stencel seat from another similar kit. You will get two MB.Mk12s. Hope that helps for now.
  20. Thank you Steve. To paraphrase the Kohima Epitaph... For our tomorrows, they gave their todays.
  21. Thanks Steve. Alastair Gunn's Spitfire has been recovered from Norway and is pending a rebuild; it featured in a recent FlyPast iirc. Or it may have been a recent issue of Aeroplane. Memory. Tricks... Nick
  22. A lovely Lucy! As to the mistake... is that daylight I see under the main wheels? Cheers Nick
  23. I wasn’t there but I have done a lot of research about all the Falklands SHARs over the years and have lots of photos of all the aircraft at the time. Just had another look at the model photos and while you have the EDSG loaded give the front nozzles a coat too. It was only from mid-late 1983 that the natural metal nozzles became a feature. Up until then, always painted. SHARs and the later Harriers may be grey, but they were anything but uniform and their schemes contain lots of pitfalls for the unwary. It’s why I love them; plus the fact they meet Thomas Edison’s criteria for what an aircraft should be... (I’ll let you search out the quote!) Cheers Nick If you have any Harrier or SHAR questions in the future; please ask!
  24. Nice SHAR Stephane. Sorry to say this, but it would be even better if the intake interiors are also Extra Dark Sea Grey right back to the turbine blades, as they were on the full-size XZ457/14 back in May-June 1982. (You’re not the only one to do this; I must have made the same comment on at least 12 SHAR builds on BM. I’m sure there will be more.) Also the 4 on the airbrake should be on the inside face of the airbrake; it was there so that deck crews and Flyco could identify the aircraft from behind. Onwards and upwards... Cheers Nick
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