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tc2324

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Everything posted by tc2324

  1. Thank you Probably one of my very first aviation fiction books I read. Also have the film on CD. In some ways, better than Top Gun in my opinion. Thank you yep, saw that, wish I could replicate that and then `inflight` it
  2. Thank you. It`s an 8mm rod, I tend to buy the 50 or 60cm length rod which probably saves me a few quid.
  3. 1/48 scale Revell Intruder kit has been sitting in the stash forever, so thought it was time to do something about it. While the A-6 could be fitted with the Sidewinder missile for self defence, I`ve no idea it it ever flew in this configuration but it made the build a little more interesting. VA-85, circa 1986, USS Saratoga. Thanks for looking.
  4. After 4 frustrating months away, a sunny Saturday 11th June finally saw the return of the British Phantom Aviation Group to Manston and F-4J(UK), ZE360. The nature of the work needed, added to the short notice of access permission, meant that only two members were onsite. Clive Hammond and Paul Wright. Paul reports, We had several tasks lined up, the principal one being to change the nosewheels, the existing ones have been fitted for the last 28 years and are past their best to say the least. This job would have taken around ½ hr "back in the day", but owing to the bearings being corroded onto the axles, it took the best part of four hours, and some "creative" heavy engineering to do. The next priority task was to assess what else we needed to do before towing the aircraft out of its current position. The grass will need cutting, it has grown considerably since we were last here, and the remnants of a Canberra are in the way, but easily moved. Both speedbrakes will have to lifted up otherwise towing bridle will impact them. The LH one was moved quite easily, but the RH one is currently seized, and an attack of bees stopped any further work there. The plan to pull the aircraft back using heavy duty strops was assessed and found to be sound. This is very similar the procedure we used in the RAF, when aircraft came off the runway or taxiway. A final task would have been to remove the CL tank, but as it is currently resting on the ground, this will have to be done once the a/c is out of the holes into which it has sunk. This tank is the property of UAS and will be going to Belfast at their convenience. One final curveball was thrown at us, when it was discovered that the R.H mainwheel has deflated during the time we have been away. Fortunately we have another one ready to go on as a replacement. More news soon .............
  5. Further to the update of 9th June, the refurbishment of the two ex-74 Sqn flight helmets is now complete. Paul West (BPAG volunteer and former 74 Sqn Air Radar) and fellow `Tiger` Richard Proctor sourced these two examples from unused old stock. They have been carefully restored with genuine components and are now mounted, ready for display alongside ZE360 when the time comes. Each one is complete with mask, bag and name tag paying tribute to Flight Lieutenant Ewan Murdoch and Flying Officer Jeremy Ogg, who were both tragically lost in an accident involving ZE358 during a low level interception training sortie near Aberystwyth, West Wales on 25th August 1987. Many thanks to Paul and Richard for their generosity and hard work in preparing this tribute.
  6. While many on the BPAG team are dealing with upcoming technical, logistical and marketing issues of the Phantom F-4J(UK) ZE360 project, I`ve been spending a lot of my time researching the aircraft`s history and accumulating as much information as possible including the 14 years she spent with the United States Navy as `5574`. (This is still very much a work in progress). In reaching out to various USN squadron members, they have supplied some great additional information and have been absolutely fantastic and incredibly helpful as well as appreciative of the projects aims. Looking at the main photo you will see the numbers `5574` on the rear fuselage of the front Phantom which means this is a rare, never been seen before shot of `5574` parked on the `Fly One Spot` when she served with VF-33 on the USS Independence in August 1974. This particular shot is courtesy of David A Peterson who was a RIO with `The Tarsiers` and logged a number of hours in `5574` at that time. The other shots are of `5574` when serving with VF-103 `The Sluggers` from 1975 to 1980. `5574`s number during this time being `206`. Also note the Low Vis markings in the launch photo which were adopted circa 1980. A year or so later and `5574` was in storage at North Island. (These shots are courtesy of the USN). If you have a bit of spare time and want to know more about this particular Phantom`s past including flight logs, images and a few stories from her days in the USN, click on the following links below. http://74sqdn.tk/ze360-history/ http://74sqdn.tk/ze360-photo-section-united-states-navymarines/ Also dont forget to view the 74 Sqn Webstore and consider buying something and help donate towards the Tiger360 project, link below. https://teespring.com/stores/74f-tiger360-webstore
  7. Here you go Graham, photo from the Squadron archives. 74 did use the rockets operationally on a number of ops, as mentioned with limited success.
  8. Next build off the production line has me reverting back to a 74 `Tiger` Squadron in flight diorama in the shape of a Spitfire Mk IX firing a pair of rockets during a ground support mission. Now for the history bit. Another unique claim to fame for 74 is that during it`s time with the 2nd Tactical Air Force in Europe, after D-Day they were the only Spitfire squadron to have their aircraft modified to carry a pair of rocket projectiles, one under each wing. One of the two cannon in each wing was removed to accommodate this modification and a 500lbs bomb could also be carried on the belly hard point. Squadron records show that the pilots did not like using the rockets as they were unpredictable when aimed at a target and tended to short out and launch in flight while the squadron was in formation flying to the combat area! The squadron soon reverted back to using bombs rather then the RP`s. This is the Revell 1/32 kit in the markings of the Tiger`s CO at the time Sqn Leader Hayter. Prop blur is Flickr editing. Thank for looking.
  9. Thank you all for the kind comments, very much appreciated. Thank you, I`ve been doing ejection scene models for a few years now. If you get bored one day, check out my posts in the year build thread, that should highlight a couple.
  10. Latest in-flight diorama of the production line depicting the last Lightning loss in service with the RAF. Flt Lt. Dick Coleman, an RAAF exchange pilot, ejected safely from Lightning F.6 XR769 into the North Sea on 11th April 1988 after an in-flight engine fire. The whole incident was captured in photos by Ian Black and is covered in his book Last of the Lightnings. (Thanks to Ian also for his assistance helping me out with this). Dick was picked up in good order and in good health. For those who love coincidences, it in interesting to note that Lightning F.6 XR769 entered service with 74 `Tiger` Squadron based at Tengah, Singapore and was lost on a day when it was it was carrying out practice intercepts against two Phantom F-4J(UK)s from 74. Ian who was on the sortie and took the aforementioned photos is the son of George Black who flew Lightnings with 74 in the 1960`s. It can be a funny old world. This is an Airfix 1/48 scale kit and built for fun to show a unique moment in time for both the EE Lightning and no doubt for Dick Coleman. Thanks for looking.
  11. While actual physical restoration work on ZE360 has had to be put on hold due to the ongoing COVID19 pandemic, this has given the team an opportunity to address other aspects of the campaign and make some choices that probably wouldn't have been due until a little further down the road. One such decision was the aircrew names that would adorn the canopy frame of ZE360 once complete and restored. We can now share our plans in this regard, as we have opted for two sets of names- one set placed on each of the right & left sides. Of the 15 F-4J(UK) delivered to 74 (F) Squadron only one aircraft (ZE358/H) was lost, during a low level interception training sortie near Aberystwyth, West Wales on 25th August 1987. Both aircrew- Ewan Murdoch and Jeremy Ogg- were unfortunately killed in the accident. In order to honour the memory of Ewan and Jeremy, their names will be placed on the right side of ZE360`s canopy. With the help of 74(F) Tiger Squadron Association members (and Squadron Secretary Bob Cossey in particular) contact was made with the relatives of the aircrew and the proposal has received their blessing to pay tribute to Ewan and Jeremy in this way. In addition, Paul West (BPAG member and ex-74 Sqn Air Radar) is in the process of restoring two flight helmets, sourced from original 74 Sqn new old stock by fellow ex-Tiger Richard Proctor. These will be complete with masks, bags and embroidered name tags, which will also feature Ewan and Jeremy’s names. Many thanks to Paul & Richard for their hard work and generosity. We believe both these methods will be fitting ways to honour the memories of two airmen who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the defence of their country during the Cold War. Moving onto the left side of ZE360, this will display the names of Ian Hargreaves and Simon Hindmarsh, who delivered the aircraft to Manston in 1991. At that time both held the rank of Flying Officer and it was very rare to have the same rank as aircrew together. The original canopy markings reflect this joint status and will be replicated as a finishing touch at the close of the restoration, adding another unusual detail to the only F-4J(UK) to survive in RAF colours, anywhere in the world. Look out for more updates on the ZE360 restoration project in the coming weeks ahead.
  12. Took advantage of of the Hobbycraft sale last year and bought the Revell 1/32 scale Phantom F-4G only to discover you can also make an F-4E. (If I`d known that, I would of bought more...). Anyways, always looking to do something away from the norm, I choose an inflight diorama involving a QF-4E. It`s not perfect by any means but I think it captures the look of many QF-4`s that met their fate hight above the missile ranges.
  13. Again, thank you for the comments, very much appreciated.
  14. Thank you. I used 2mm clear acrylic rod and then stuck the whisps of cotton wool on in layers.
  15. Airfix`s 1/24 scale offering, presented in my own way for a bit of fun. A great size reference photo which also highlights my JD intake these last few days......
  16. Hi all, With the global situation as it is at present, it won`t be a major shock to you all to learn that all restoration work has been suspended until further notice with no access to ZE360 until the pandemic is over. The timing couldn`t have been worse as we were starting to make real progress towards removing `360` to a safe area at Manston ready for dismantle and removal from site. So what to do in the meantime? Well...., this sounds like a good a time as any to give you all an update on the artwork situation. As can be expected, COVID19 means that signatures for the Limited Editions cannot be obtained for the moment which obviously throws a bit of a spanner in the works, however we plan to get this rectified as soon as we safely can. “Tigers’ Lair” (Medium-Oil on canvas) by Rob Johnson depicts ZE360 and ZE359 over-flying Wattisham on their return from a training sortie. This `CO`s edition`, of which 15 will be produced, has measurements of 24 x 16 inches (Paper Size 27 x 20 inches). Each copy will be signed by Air Marshal Cliff Spink, Group Captain Dick Northcote and Group Captain Graham Clarke who were 74`s CO`s during the period the F-4J(UK)`s were operational with the RAF. Each of these CO`s prints will be priced at £120. (Note - This does not include P&P). We will also be looking to produce an number of other signed print`s from various 74 Tiger Squadron air and ground crews using the standard print below and we will supply exact details for these nearer the time of release. We are estimating prices for these to be around the £100 mark. You will of course be able to buy the standard unsigned versions in the size above and a smaller version at 15 x 10 inches, (Paper Size 17 x 13 inches). These will be priced at approximately £75 and £40 respectively. Moving onto the “Once, I feared no Man” print by Marie Brown in Medium-Graphite Pencil, this depicts ZE360 as she was at Manston prior to any restoration work starting. This print measures in at 12 x 8 inches and comes in two forms. The `print only` will retail at £25, while a second version with colour co-ordinated mount as shown below, will retail at £35. There are still some final details to be worked out and once the world has got back to some kind of normal, I`ll be confirming those details and posting links of where you can get your hands one of these great looking prints and help towards the Phantom F-4J(UK) ZE360 project. Of course you can catch up on all ZE360 related updates and history on the 74(F) Tiger Squardon Association`s ZE360 Restoration webpage at http://74sqdn.tk/ze360-restoration-page/ As always please feel free to view the Tiger360 webstore, (link on restoration webpage), where you can purchase if you so wish any of the following items and more. Thanks for looking.
  17. Last weekend saw another work party heading to Manston to work on ZE360. Work of note was the removing more side panels causing mass casualties in drill bits , the starboard aileron finally giving up the ghost and being removed and last, but certainly not least, the main undercarriage tyres being replaced for new. This was achieved by using a custom built puller with the port wheel being the easiest of the two to remove. This then exposed the brake pack, pressure plate and bearings, which while discovered to be in better than expected condition, will require restoration at a later date. In the meantime they will be usable for towing 360 off the fire pit area. A number of data plates were also documented. The following photo`s show the works in progress. Starboard aileron removal and clearing the front wheels 2 3 4 Panel Removal 1 2 3 4 5 6 Port Wheel Replacement 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Starboard Wheel Replacement 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Data Plate Documentation (With many thanks to Nigel Hodgson for the permission to use some of his photo`s for this update)
  18. Thank you. I`m afraid I`m only permitted to say that it will be relocated to somewhere in the East Midlands at present.
  19. The weekend of the 22nd and 23rd February saw a BPAG team head down to Manston and carry out some preparation work on ZE360 for her relocation from the Fire Pit Aircraft Graveyard to a more suitable hardstand located near the Fire school. A concrete base will provide the perfect ground to disassemble the Phantom when the time comes for her to relocated off base and 360`s new home. Three items were on the `to do` list include digging out the wheels from the soft ground in preparation for a wheel change, unlocking the outer wing sections so that the fuel venting vanes and ailerons could be removed and finally, some of the team start drilling out the screws on the panels. Here are a selection of photo`s showing the team at work on the weekend. Wing Work Undercarriage Work Panel Work It was also nice to see a panel from the front cockpit returned after 10 years and shows her old US Navy BuNo 155574 on the top. Another bonus was to make a little discovery and settle, (hopefully), an age old argument about the colour of the F-4J`s when they came out of the paintshop at North Island in the US. While removing a panel on by a aileron, we came across a part of the aircraft that obviously escaped the deep service repainting. We now have a great comparison between the standard RAF air defence grey and the US mix. Duck Egg Blue – Case Closed! I`m also please to announce that two new ZE360 artwork pieces have been commissioned to raise funds for the restoration effort and more details about these exciting prints will be released shortly. A new mug has also been launched on the webstore, (link via the restoration page below), to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain and don`t forget there are other exciting designs available for purchase just in time for the Spring and Summer. http://74sqdn.tk/ze360-restoration-page/ Thanks for looking.
  20. Anyone seen my `Gone in 60 Seconds` DVD? It was here a minute ago .......
  21. Just a heads up that after the January break, the restoration website has been updated with new information regarding ZE360 and her previous `life`. Of note is an air to air incident when she was better known as `5574` and serving with VF-101 `Grim Reapers` back in 1969. http://74sqdn.tk/ze360-restoration-page/ The break has also allowed some of the merchandise designs to be updated on the fundraising Webstore. You will find the link to the webstore on the Restoration front page so please feel free to take a look and see if something appeals to your inner Tiger.
  22. First one of the year from me after an enforced 3 month break, so lets start off with a famous photographed incident. RAF Phantom FG.1 XV589 flown by Flt. Lt. P. R. Watling and Flt. Lt. S. L. James was detached from RAF Leuchars for training purposes and was on a routine flight to Alconbury. As the aircraft neared the airfield and lined up for the runway at approximately 350 feet altitude the nose section radome was seen to open. This sudden resultant drag factor caused the aircraft to roll and yaw. Despite attempts to correct the situation, the pilot and navigator had no option but to eject. They both landed safely and suffered slight injuries. ..... and for comparison, here are the actual photo`s Revell 1/48 kit and built for fun and the challenge of it. Thanks for looking.
  23. The new year got off to a start which saw Paul Wright, (BPAG Chairman), and myself head out to Manston last Monday to discuss moving ZE360 from its current location, to one more suited to her needs when it comes to dismantling her for transport. After productive talks with the RAF Fire School, a location which had been previously proposed, was accepted. Routes between the two locations were discussed and now BPAG have to prepare a movement plan and risk assessment. After this, some physical work began. The tarpaulin had been blown off in the recent stormy weather and so that was refitted and secured. When the time comes to relocate 360 the outer wings will require to be removed. However the pins are in and it’s hydraulic wingfold. This meant getting into the system, under D101 L&R, which you’ll see from the pictures below is heavily corroded. Sadly this meant cutting out an access, a decision not lightly taken but both panels were going to be scraped anyway. Inboard LE flap actuator access panel. Cut Hatch Work was also started on the removal of the speed brake and the closure panel until lack of light brought the day to a close. Speedbrake and bay LH speedbrake after groundlock removed More soon. (Photo`s copyright BPAG)
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