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Chris Thomas

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    Hampshire coast
  • Interests
    Typhoons, Tempests, other RAF fighters to 1960ish, red wine, painting.

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  1. There were not many 'silver' Tempest Vs but among them there were examples that had their paint stripped off and others that were painted 'Aluminium'. Silver Spit 22s were more common, with more (judging from photos) in the painted Aluminium scheme than 'NMF'. 600 Sqn had a number of F.21s and at least one F.22 in a mixture of both - overall Aluminium but with stripped and highly polished engine cowlings. I guess your choice will be decided by decal availability.
  2. The Tempests used by 287 Sqn from November 1944 to June 1946 were standard Tempest V Series 1 aircraft. The sorties flown were for the benefit of anti-aircraft batteries and radars calibration. No target towing was involved. The unit also operated Spitfires, Beaufighters and Oxfords. Certainly shortage of serviceable Sabre engines was the limiting factor on Typhoon and Tempest production. Typhoons were constantly in short supply through the winter of 1944/45 despite the apparently large numbers in store. The problem was that, on top of the engine shortage, the stored airframes were mostly early examples without many essential modifications eg. no sliding hoods, no bomb/RP/LRT facilities and no armour. The shortage of both types was further complicated by the shortage of pilots, leading to the formation of two new OTUs (which themselves required suitable aircraft and experienced instructors. As a result, between February and April 1945, three Typhoon squadrons were disbanded and the conversion of two Spitfire squadrons to Tempests was also abandoned.
  3. Thank you Hornet133 for the vote of confidence! A bit unfair on the Czech 4+ publication though; it is one that I rate among the best on the Tempest - a lot of good information packed into a slim publication. I've just seen PatG's comments and I totally agree. And, although I do my best, I do not claim to be 100% accurate! I do however disagree with part of the description of the Mk V Series 1. I believe that the defining differences to the Series 2 were the use of former Typhoon elements (centre section structure and rear fuselage monocoque) and the introduction of the wing with long-range tank fittings. This would mean that only the first 50 of the JN series were Series 1 and the remainder were Series 2. There is one small flaw in the last statement, revealed by looking at the individual histories of Tempest airframes. In the last quarter of 1944 it is apparent that all the remaining Series 1 Tempests, most of which were under repair for one reason or another, were refurbished by Hawker and delivered to 20 MU (despite an acute shortage of front-line Tempests at the time - they were of no use to the 2ndTAF without LRT fittings). From 9 November 1944 onwards, as they became available, they were allocated to 287 Squadron, an an Anti-Aircraft Cooperation Unit. Among them was JN751, Beamont's famous 'RB' and the three with the latest serials were JN795, 796 and 797. But, hang on, that last serial, JN797, belonged to the 51st Tempest. However a look at slightly earlier machines shows that the 2nd Tempest, JN730, was the test aircraft for long-range tank trials, leaving 50 Tempest built with without the LRT wing. JN798 onwards had LRT wings and some (eg JN802, 807, 877) survived in front line service through to peacetime.
  4. There is a photo of an FR Mustang, coded 'N', taking off from a French ALG, in the original '2nd TAF' book (Osprey 1970) p93. A distant shot, serial not visible, but the markings match those on the box art for the Frog kit pretty well (down to the rear D-Day stripe positioned over the Sky band and extending half way up it). The photo is somewhat briefly captioned 'Mustang I' but it could be a Mk II. No idea where the serial came from. Perhaps I ought to point out that FR915, as spotted by Ross (above) featured a Malcom hood - rarely seen on Mk Is and IIs.
  5. 'RB' definitely had a De Havilland prop and spinner. The Rotol combination did not appear until c.March 1945. I have not seen the Airfix kit offerings but it is difficult to depict the two spinner style differences in 1/72 scale. I also suspect some confusion in the verbal descriptions. The DeH spinner was shorter but (to my eye) more pointed. The Rotol, longer and with a blunter tip. The latter also had a deeper base plate and the main cone was in two sections (you need a good photo to see that). Another way to recognise the Rotol offering is that Rotol's distinctive propeller blade decals are often visible (as a spot) near the blade root.
  6. SN330 did have 'counter-shaded' letters - along the the bottom and RH side of the letters; I would say thin rather than thick. I cannot post photos but am sending one to a friend who can, so hopefully it will appear later today. Of course, it is quite possible that the aircraft had solid green letters before the shading was added. CT
  7. Morning Chris

    Hope all well.

    I need to write to you about typhoons, RAF Harrowbeer and a book.

    Would you be kind enough to email me on nam@enigmalaw.com and we can correspond ?

    Many thanks

    Kind regards






  8. This is correct. However, it proved impossible to find definitive information on the original, incorrect, chakra colours and those chosen are thought to be the most likely. Even then, back and white photographs seem to suggest there were at least two different versions.
  9. Yes, there are correct C1 wing roundels in the above links. The error only seems to appear in the plan views of JF-E NV994 on page 105 of the Eduard book 'The Temporary Tempest'. It should have Type C1 roundels on both the upper and lower wing surfaces.
  10. Thanks for posting that Mike. All I would add is that there was a mistake in the artwork in the book and presumably the kit. The upper wing roundels on JF-E NV994, in April 1945, should be shown as 'Type C1', i.e. with yellow our and white inner rings (as on all of Clostermann's Tempests). CT
  11. I regret to say I cannot add anything to the discussion of windscreen structure but would point out that the front panel glass on Typhoons was at some stage of 'sandwich' construction. This caused problems with the later gunsights which projected onto the windscreen and a single skin replacement was then fitted. Not sure on the timing but probably mid-44. This may account for apparent variations in the thickness in some photos. As for the photo of 'Nicky', it is not Fg Off Hugh Fraser's 'Nicky' RB281 5V-X. Compare this photo with the better-known shot of Fraser in the cockpit of RB281 and you will see subtle differences in the markings. The photo above is of Fraser's replacement Typhoon - when RB281 was damaged on 2.3.45 he took over RB262 (previously 5V-S) as his new 'X'. This aircraft was in turn damaged on 24.3.45 and Fraser had a new 'X', EK219, an early Typhoon rebuilt to later standards. If you look at the left side of the cockpit photo above you can see it has 'A' on an overpainted 'X'.
  12. I'm away from my records at present but do recall writing about the white Meteor deployment in 2nd TAF Vol 3. The deployment was not operational, it was to introduce the type to Allied forces before the planned arrival of the full 616 Sqn on the Continent. Nothing to do with winter camouflage or the Me262. The Meteors were early Mk.IIIs, which had the same engine as the Mk.I, and its inferior performance.
  13. I have a photo of Carey's Tempest in front of me now and I reckon the one featured in the first link is more accurate. However I am slightly biased as I painted the original nearly 40 years ago. All done with gouache, airbrush, hairy stick and a touch of pastel - not a pixel in sight.
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