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Tailspin Turtle

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  1. ! I missed that too. Note that these were the barricade snaggers (https://tailspintopics.blogspot.com/2016/07/non-aerodynamic-wing-fences.html) on the leading edge, not the vortex generators on the top of the slats. Also it appears that they didn’t remove the one on the leading edge inboard of the slat.
  2. https://tailspintopics.blogspot.com/2011/02/super-fox.html
  3. If I read Elliott correctly for Navy/USMC airplanes, in 1942, propellers were to have four-inch orange yellow tips, both sides. In 1943, propellers of 15 feet or more in diameter were to have six inch tips. In late December 1961, that was changed to white/red/white (three/six/three inches), both sides except single engine airplanes where the back side of the blade was to be black. That was changed in September 1962, with the back side to be four-inch orange yellow if the propeller was less than 15 feet in diameter and six inches if 15 or more feet in diameter. Of course, actual implementation on a particular airplane might have occurred later or even earlier than the date given.
  4. That second drawing (inboard profile) looks to be foreshortened, i.e. the width is not to the same scale as the height. One check is the drawing location reference marks on the perimeter of the drawing: the horizontal marks are narrower than the vertical marks but it also looks a little short and stubby. This is a common problem after only a few copies and behooves the careful to always check the height versus the length of the subject of the drawing.
  5. I should have written that it was said jokingly. Another memorable remark just before first flight was a meeting with the Rolls-Royce contingent to discuss the fact that we were running out of Speys for first flight due to foreign object damage (the first stage or so of the compressor section had aluminum blades that dinged easily). The discussion was somewhat heated until the lead Brit cleared his throat and said "I wish you Americans would stop referring to it as foreign object damage since it is clearly domestic in origin." Another was a discussion during flight test at Edwards about the inconsistency of afterburner light offs (the Spec afterburner used a hypergolic fluid, at that time at least, to ignite the afterburner) and the propensity for a compressor stall when the afterburner did light off. I don't remember what the procedure was that Rolls engineering was recommended but it was involved. By comparison, J79 (to be fair, no bypass, years more development) was basically bullet proof: once you had ignition when starting it you could push the throttle all the way past military into afterburner: the engine would accelerate and the afterburner would light without further ado. Our chief pilot noted that in combat, having to monitor the engine instruments and baby the afterburner selection would probably not be acceptable. Proven engine in a proven airframe: The mechanical throttle control system in the F-4 proved to be incompatible with the Spey's fuel control, requiring a redesign on the airplane side. I happened to discover the problem on ground run one night and wrote it up for the first shift; my comment went unnoticed until that afternoon during an NPE flight when the Navy pilot asked the guy in the back seat to close a throttle just after liftoff—maximum gross weight on a hot afternoon at Edwards—so he could evaluate single-engine handling qualities and climb performance: the result was the engine flaming out but he was able to climb and eventually get the engine started (restarts in flight was another development issue). There was also a surprise with the bleed air system compatibility: Unlike the J79, the bleed air takeoff on the Spey switched from one compressor stage to another depending on the bleed demand, which was primarily for the flaps. Unfortunately, the switching point turned out to be right at the desired approach speed so bleed would switch back and forth, changing the thrust noticeably each time without any change in the throttle position. The term of art was "uncommanded thrust changes in condition PA". It did all work out in the end and I had a wonderful time during my two years on the program (I joined McDonnell just before the F-4Ks first flight; my last assignment before going to graduate school was getting production airplanes through the acceptance process. Seeing XT596 in the Fleet Air Arm museum many years later was somewhat disconcerting: one of the actual airplanes I was closely involved with in my career was not only retired but on display as a memento of the past.
  6. In fact, I meant trivial in this instance to mean easy to do. There was in this case a not unusual and basically unwinnable argument between airframe and engine manufacturer as to whether the shortfall in top speed (the clapped-out USAF F-4C chase had no problem keeping up with it) was due to the drag of the former or the lack of thrust from the latter. The day we finally got to Mach 2 warranted a celebration. I don't remember McDonnell ever conceding that area ruling was adversely affected significantly by the widening of the fuselage.
  7. The story (probably apocryphal) at McDonnell (I was there at the time as a new-hire flight test engineer straight out of college) was that the Queen wanted half of the airplane to be bought from British suppliers. The F-4 cost was roughly 1/3 air frame, 1/3 engines, and 1/3 avionics. So the aft fuselage, engines, and a bit of avionics were subcontracted out. However, the engines (one of the first fan engines with an afterburner; the TF30 in the F-111B was another) were also supposed to provide more thrust and more range (the fan engine was developed for airlines for more efficient cruise). It turned out that adding an afterburner to even a proven fan engine (the Spey) was non-trivial. The air frame changes to accommodate the Spey, on the other hand, were relatively trivial.
  8. Forgive me if this has been posted before in this excellent build article but it provides some background on the Spey changes: https://tailhooktopics.blogspot.com/2012/05/spey-powered-phantom-changes.html
  9. Note: my A3D canopies have yellowed, as did the one on my Rareplanes F3H (it’s more like brown now). I’m surprised to see that yours have not. I suggest that you use one of them to cast a mold so you can vacuform a replacement.
  10. For most of my P-80 stuff, go to to my Tailhook Topics blog and type P-80 in the search box: http://tailspintopics.blogspot.com/ Some of my P-80 stuff is in my “draft” blog: https://tailhooktopics.blogspot.com/2012/02/lockheed-p-80-shooting-star.html https://tailhooktopics.blogspot.com/2015/01/lockheed-xp-80.html
  11. The Trader had a shorter fuselage like an S2F-3 to S2F-1/2 relative to the Tracer.
  12. Some reference material: https://tailhooktopics.blogspot.com/2016/04/piasecki-hup-interior.html
  13. Thanks to a dimensioned drawing provided by Derek Bradshaw and a kit review written once upon a time by Dannielle Lang (aka Venom Vixen), I have established to my satisfaction that the kit wing, to be accurate, should be reduced in span by a full-scale 22 inches, which by happenstance is about the diameter of the tip tank give or take less than an actual inch, basically by cutting off each tip tank, cutting half that (4 mm) off each wing tip, and replacing the tip tanks. However, I personally wouldn’t bother, not after revisiting Dannielle’s excellent illustrated review of the kit’s accuracy here: https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234914662-dragon-sea-venom-faw-21-second-impressions/. Your tolerance for imperfection may be different.
  14. See https://tailspintopics.blogspot.com/2016/08/a4d-skyhawk-one-more-time.html The nose of the E is 13 inches longer than the C, all from the front of the nose wheel well forward. Note that the C length on the Skyhawk Association web page is 40’ 1” rather than 40’ 3”. Also, those dimensions are relative to the ground plane, not the airplane’s waterline (see http://tailspintopics.blogspot.com/2012/11/airfix-172-a4d-2-overall-size-and-shape.html for an example); further, I suspect those numbers were slightly corrupted by the inches being converted to a decimal number for the Standard Aircraft Characteristics chart and then on the Skyhawk Association page, converted back to inches. The E engine inlets were obviously very different from the A/B/C’s. They were located farther forward and separated from the fuselage. The first link shows the length difference.
  15. Back to the observation about wing span: I don’t have a dimensioned drawing for the FAW.21 but a pretty good reference gives the wing span as 42’ 11”. Measuring the kit parts, I get a wing span to the outboard side of the tip tanks of 42’ 9”” plus or minus about 2”. However, continuing on to tip of the fins on the tank, the span is 44’ 8”. Note that aerodynamicist will ignore the fin and maybe even the tip tank but the deckhands will want to know the actual width of the airplane. The tip tank width is a little under 2 feet, so it seems that the reduction in the kit’s wing span, if in fact there should be one (or a modeler would be inclined to make one), might be one tank width. Does anyone have a dimensioned drawing or butt line data for the span dimension?
  16. The Grumman F10F Jaguar was to be the first of the Navy’s big General Purpose jet fighters. Because development of its variable-sweep wing was presumed to be risky, the F7U-1 Cutlass and XF3H-1 Demon were repurposed to be General Purpose fighters as the F7U-3 and F3H-1 respectively. The main external change to the XF3H-1 (originally intended to be a backup as an interceptor to the F4D Skyray) was a deeper fuselage. As Ed noted, it sat taller than the F4H. In fact, an F3H Demon driver was only about 20 inches shy of looking an A3D Skywarrior crew in the eye. The F4H began as an unsolicited proposal for a single-seat derivative of the F3H. It was actually slightly shorter than the F3H because of the difficulty of maneuvering the Demon onto a non-deck-edge elevator (see: https://thanlont.blogspot.com/2009/06/missed-it-by-that-much-iii.html) but had more wing area because of an increase in chord in order to accommodate a higher gross weight.
  17. The two canopies in my kit are identical. The good news is that they have not darkened like the Rareplanes F3H canopy. However, that may be because they have rarely seen the light of day and then only for a few days.
  18. Tony: No pressure, but I've put a link to your build in my latest AJ Savage post: http://tailspintopics.blogspot.com/2021/03/north-american-aj-savage-model-kits.html
  19. I don’t think that extended nose is from an F11F; the range-only radar from an F11F was reportedly used, but not any F11F structure.
  20. The AJ-2 vertical fin (empennage with no dihedral in the horizontal stabilizer, narrow chord rudder) was a foot taller than the AJ-1’s. However, I’ve never checked Gordon’s drawing against pretty good North American drawings. Those three-view in the kit is similar to those that were created for a couple of different British publications and while they look good, they are not without error.
  21. The props should taper continuously down from a tip that is not quite as broad. See
  22. I built the Airmodel AJ "kit" but not the Rareplane. I do have it (and Mach II's and Anigrand's) and have fondled it from time to time. At this point, the Anigrand kit would be my choice for an AJ-2 but if I live long enough, I'll build the Rareplane kit as a -2P. I've also built some of Gordon's other kits and in fact provided him with the manufacturer's drawings for his F3H and A3D kits so I can vouch for the accuracy of those as well as the buildability of all his kits.
  23. Not Pete but I doubt that he can do better than this: http://tailspintopics.blogspot.com/2013/04/aj-2-savage-cockpit.html
  24. Try here (the Way-back Machine; it may take a while to load) https://web.archive.org/web/20161227175335/http://www.philsaeronauticalstuff.com/f3h/f3h.html I've also done some posts on the F3H: https://tailhooktopics.blogspot.com/2011/05/f3h-sidewinder-and-sparrow.html https://tailhooktopics.blogspot.com/2019/04/mcdonnell-f3h-demon-nose-landing-gear.html https://tailspintopics.blogspot.com/2010/11/f3h-demon.html https://tailspintopics.blogspot.com/2014/11/warpaint-series-no-99-mcdonnell-f3h.html https://tailspintopics.blogspot.com/2019/04/sword-172-f3h-demon-kits.html https://tailspintopics.blogspot.com/2019/05/more-mcdonnell-f3h-demon-configuration.html
  25. It is in fact an excellent kit. With respect to the propellers, the good news is that they will reduce the nose weight required; the bad news is that they are a bit too broad in chord, more like turboprop engine blades than the Savage’s. Also see https://tailspintopics.blogspot.com/2011/07/aj-savage-notes.html
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