Jump to content
This site uses cookies! Learn More

This site uses cookies!

You can find a list of those cookies here: mysite.com/cookies

By continuing to use this site, you agree to allow us to store cookies on your computer. :)

mdesaxe

Members
  • Content Count

    134
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

166 Excellent

About mdesaxe

  • Rank
    New Member

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
    http://
  • ICQ
    0

Profile Information

  • Location
    Caumont-sur-Durance, France

Recent Profile Visitors

905 profile views
  1. When my father was on Victorious, one of his fellow Corsair pilots (an American marine engineering graduate from the Webb Institute) saw Nelson and calculated that she would plane if the designers had managed to add another 55,000 shp. The only problem was where to cram that much more machinery into her. Maurice
  2. This is an amazing model! I speak as a just-retired museum curator (over 25 years working in maritime museums), an active consultant with maritime museums (including the Smithsonian), and a one-time professional ship model maker with more than 20 models in museums around the world. Maurice
  3. Not long ago, I was asked to translate a Dutch author's book into English. For his own reasons, he wanted his son to coordinate with me, so the son emailed asking if we should communicate in Dutch or English. When I wrote back in Afrikaans, he responded with one word: English! Maurice
  4. Actually, I think it's Flemish. Rather like people thinking I'm talking in Dutch when I speak Afrikaans (my native language). Maurice
  5. Those flags are astonishing. Let me guess - your paying job is...fine-art restorer! Maurice
  6. Please excuse my mangling of English (not my first language) but 'ugly is as ugly does'. No Furious, no Fleet Air Arm. This carrier's captains, crews, and aircrews accumulated more 'firsts' than any other, either in the Royal Navy or worldwide: first RN deck-landing under way, first independent carrier operation (in World War I attempting to run down German attackers on Norway convoys), first strategic strike against land targets (Trondheim), first night operations; the list goes on and on. Similarly, the maybe-ugly US carriers established the foundation for all subsequent US Navy carrier doctrine with Admiral Yarnall's devastating demonstration in the 1932 wargames. The 'ugly' Japanese carriers (especially Kaga, which always is overlooked in favour of its more glamorous (prettier) semi-sister Akagi) created and demonstrated the efficacy of independent carrier task forces (in 1931, no less) and the two of them amplified that in the pre-1941 years, so that the concept became central to Japanese doctrine. It has always baffled me that 'pretty' can be so important. Also, false senses of history and its significance. At the risk of starting a big war in the wrong forum, why was so much money wasted on refititing a worn-out Ark Royal when Eagle was a far better candidate in terms of its structural and mechanical state? It always seems to me it was from attachment to the ship's name rather than a rational analysis of the best option. Rant off! Maurice
  7. You may not realise it but you are following a long-standing tradition. Some of the earliest surviving examples of flags on models of English warships were painted on very thin brass or copper. Maurice
  8. He was 95 years old so he a long and productive life. Maurice
  9. What is the boat in your avatar? I have a Flying Scot and a Thistle, both wooden from the 1950s. Some of my friends think I like the designs of Sandy Douglass too much! Maurice
  10. I would not do that. All wooden ships "hogged" as they aged; that is, the ends dropped and the keel took an upward curve amidships, primarily because the finer (less amount of hull, in simple terms) hull shape at bow and stern meant the ends had less buoyancy. Consequently, the rakes of the fore and mizzen masts if anything would tend to increase rather than tend towards the vertical. Mast rake was a topic of debate then and it still is in sailing (especially racing) circles. Changing the rake of the mast moves the centre of pressure of the sails and thus modifies the vessel's sailing characteristics (not that sixteenth-century mariners thought of it in those terms). The goal was to achieve a balance of the pressures to optimise performance. At that time, this was done by rule-of-thumb (following what had worked before) and modifying the rake of masts from sailing experience. There are literally hundreds of extant logbook entries that record captains "shifting the masts" as they sought balance in the rig. Furthermore, the rake of masts was not always slightly forward on the foremast, vertical on the mainmast, and slightly aft on the mizzen. Anthony Deane (Charles II's favourite naval architect), for example, recommended a vertical foremast with the other masts raking aft, and so did several of his Continental contemporaries. The other point (which feeds into why masts were raked) is that essentially only the sails on the fore and main masts on ships of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were the primary sources of motive power. The sails on the bowsprit and the mizzen(s) were important primarily to provide manoeuvering power (because rudders were not very effective) and help balance the rig. If you want to explore this more, I suggest reading the late great John Harland's Seamanship in the Age of Sail. I must confess to some possible bias here, because John was a very good personal friend of mine for over thirty years until his death almost exactly two years ago. Maurice
  11. The data in Arbeitsgemeinschaft Deutsche Luftfahrthistorik on the F.13 list twelve airframe variations, including two lengths for the fuselage, three different wings, four different types of ailerons, and three different tail groups (four if you add in the deeper rudder for floatplanes), plus internal structural changes not readily visible externally. There are at least fifteen different engine possibilities. On top of that, quite a few airframes, particularly early production, received upgrades applicable to later models - for example, quite a few short fuselage F.13s received the big late model tail groups. There also were at least three different types of floats. All this seems to be validated by the Endres/Andersson/Mulder/Ott book on the F.13 from EAM Books. From my experience, knowing an individual werknummer does not always help - photographs with reliable dates seem to be essential. Maurice
  12. mdesaxe

    Loire 210

    I published this in French in 2001 and posted a translated section on Aircraft-Works in Progress. Several people have asked me for the complete article, so I have translated it (this is an English-language forum). I hope it does not exceed size limits and apologise to the administrators if this is the case. Loire 210 History In the early 1930s l’Aéronautique Navale began seriously to consider embarking floatplane fighters on warships fitted with catapults in order to intercept both reconnaissance floatplanes and enemy attacks. Apart from obvious requirements for adequate speed and armament, two characteristics emerged from the navy’s studies as important—the ability to land on water at less than 100 km/hr (62 mph) and to maintain power up to an altitude of 4000 m (13,125 ft.). The latter characteristic grew out of the conviction at the time that attacks on warships would take place from low or medium altitudes. The first response to the navy’s studies came from Dewoitine in 1932, who proposed a twin-float version of its successful D.500 with a larger wing to compensate for the additional weight of the floats. Estimated maximum speed was 331 km/hr (206 mph) at 3500 m (11,485 ft), but this design never left the drawing board. The first hardware to emerge was the Bernard H 52 C1, a mid-wing twin-float monoplane powered by a 500-hp Gnome-Rhône 9Kdrs radial engine and armed with 2 7.5mm Darne machine guns mounted below the wings. The first of two prototypes flew on 16 June 1933 and reached a maximum speed of 328 km/hr (204 mph) at 4000 m (13,125 ft). It displayed both considerable agility and robustness, but no production orders materialized, due in large part to the navy’s concerns about the financial stability of the Bernard company. In the same year l’Aéronautique Navale announced a formal competition to produce a catapult-launched floatplane fighter for the fleet. In addition to the earlier characteristics the navy specified a maximum loaded weight of 2 tonnes and required the airframe to be stressed to handle a catapulted launch speed of 110 km/hr (68 mph). Five manufacturers responded to this request, but only four produced prototypes—Dewoitine reviving its HD 502 proposal, only to drop it again. Bernard revised its earlier design as the H 110 C1, fitted with a more powerful 710-hp Hispano-Suiza 9Vbs radial (a licence-built Wright Cyclone) and fabric covered wings in place of the earlier metal stressed-skin structure. The sole prototype was completed by Societé Schreck, since the Bernard company went into liquidation while it was under construction, and attained a maximum speed of 360 km/hr (225 mph) at 2500 m (8,200 ft). Its good performance, however, was outweighed by the financial instability of its producers, so the navy rejected the type for production. Potez submitted a single-seat development of its Potez 452 two-seat light observation flying boat. The Potez 453 used an 800-hp Hispano-Suiza 14Hbs radial, but the additional power was detrimental to its handling qualities, especially on the water, so the navy rejected the type, too. Romano offered a twin-float biplane design, the only example of this arrangement submitted for the competition. Initially the R-90 was powered by a 720-hp Hispano-Suiza 9Vbrs radial, with which it attained a speed of 352 km/hr (219 mph) at 3500 m (11,480 ft). In October 1935 an 800-hp Hispano-Suiza 14Hbs radial in a long-chord NACA cowling replaced the earlier power plant, which raised maximum speed to 368 km/hr (229 mph). At the request of the Services Techniques it was again re-engined with a 900-hp liquid-cooled 12 cylinder Hispano-Suiza 12Ycrs-1 (with a 20mm moteur-canon) and, in this form, it exceeded 400 km/hr (248 mph). Despite these changes, the navy deemed the R-90’s flying qualities inadequate for its mission, and no orders followed. The eventual winner of the competition for a floatplane fighter was the Loire 210. The design drew on the company’s experience with the Loire 46 fighter, and used a very similar fuselage married to a low metal wing, fabric-covered on its outer panels, and a 720-hp Hispano-Suiza 9Vbs radial. The Loire 210’s undercarriage used a single central float and a pair of stabilizer floats under the wings, all heavily strut-braced in the Loire tradition. On trials in 1935, the prototype was unable to break the 300 km/hr barrier, attaining a maximum speed of 299 km/hr (186 mph) at 3000 m (9,840 ft). By the time the Loire’s trials were completed the navy was having second thoughts about the entire concept of the catapult-launched floatplane fighter for fleet defence. Internal discussions delayed the placing of a production contract until March 1937, and first deliveries from this “experimental” order for 20 planes did not take place until November 1938. Production aircraft exhibited a few minor modifications from the two prototypes—the cowl was marginally enlarged to eliminate the small bulged covers for the valve gear, radio equipment was installed, and the armament was increased to 4 7.5mm Darne machine guns by permitting the all-up weight to exceed the previous 2 tonnes limit. Two escadrilles formed specifically to operate the Loire 210 in August 1939—HC1 based at St. Mandrier and HC2 based at Lanvéoc Poulmic. HC1 was a trials unit and l’Aéronautique Navale intended to dissolve the unit in due course and transfer its aircraft and personnel to two operational escadrilles, HC3 and HC5, that would serve aboard the cruiser squadrons of the Mediterranean Fleet. In the event, the outbreak of war in September 1939 put an end to this plan. The performance of the Loire 210 as a fighter was clearly inadequate in the face of modern aircraft, so HC1 was disbanded on 22 November and its personnel transferred to form the new land-based fighter escadrille AC3 at Orly. HC2 was an operational unit from the outset and was attached to the 1ère Division de Ligne, the battleships Dunkerque, Strasbourg, and Lorraine. (Most English-language writers refer to Dunkerque and Strasbourg as battlecruisers but this is incorrect—the French Navy always classified them as cuirassés de ligne [battleships]). L’Aéronautique Navale planned to form a second Atlantic Fleet unit, HC4, to operate from the light cruisers of the 4me Division de Croiseurs, but the outbreak of war intervened to prevent this. (A clear photograph of one of the production Loire 210s aboard a cruiser of this group does exist, however, suggesting that at least trials of the type aboard these vessels occurred). In late November HC2 also was disbanded and its personnel transferred to form AC3 with the aircrew released from HC1. The historiography of the decision to disband these two units and withdraw the Loire 210 from service is a classic example of the ability of a misconception to perpetuate itself to the point that it becomes an almost unassailable fact. In the June 1961 issue of RAF Flying Review a short piece on the Loire 210 appeared in the “Technical Gen” column. The anonymous author stated that “several accidents resulting from wing structural failures” led to the grounding of the type and the disbanding of the two special escadrilles that it equipped. This statement was repeated in William Green, War Planes of the Second World War: Floatplanes, Volume Six in 1962, and proceeded to win additional acceptance in numerous articles in English-language books and periodicals that discussed the type, collecting further amplifying details (including that there were two such incidents, both of which were fatal) and culminating in its appearance in William Green & Gordon Swanborough, The Complete Book of Fighters, published in 1994. (I notice today (26 May 2020) that Wikipedia now says that five aircraft were lost in these accidents) This explanation has gained so much currency that it has even been repeated in two recent French-language discussions of the Loire 210! The only problem is that this assertion is incorrect. French naval records mention only two accidents with the type, one in which the pilot overstressed his craft in extremely violent aerobatic maneuvers and successfully parachuted to safety and the other when the pilot made a very heavy landing, ripping off his floats but emerging unscathed from the wreckage. French official documents reveal that the decision to withdraw the Loire 210 from service was based on a number of factors. The aircraft itself was an entirely ineffective interceptor, since it was slower that virtually every enemy plane it might need to engage. The concept had never been widely accepted within the navy, as was witnessed by the long delay in placing a production contract, and this situation was exacerbated by the plane’s poor performance in service. Finally, space was limited aboard warships, and the majority of officers considered that it would be a better use of resources to replace these ineffective floatplane fighters with additional reconnaissance aircraft. Nor only did this enhance the operational capabilities of the warships concerned, but it also released trained fighter pilots for urgent service elsewhere, mounted on far more effective aircraft (AC3 was equipped with the Bloch 151 which offered its pilots considerably better chances against the Luftwaffe). Colors and Markings There is considerable confusion over the finishes born by the Loire 210s, a situation exacerbated by the paucity of photographs of the type. Photographs of the first prototype show that it was finished in the then-standard gris hydravion overall (the cowling and forward fuselage were unfinished metal) with lanolin protective finish on the bottoms of the floats. Gris hydravion was a medium grey that corresponds almost exactly to US Navy purple-blue series Haze Gray 5-H, but had a semi-gloss finish, while lanolin was essentially gloss black. The situation is less clear with the production aircraft. In most photographs these aircraft seem to be finished in overall aluminium with lanolin applied to the bottom of the floats, in similar fashion to the Loire firm’s contemporary Loire 130 reconnaissance aircraft. I know of no evidence, on the other hand, to support the application of two-tone camouflage to these aircraft, a finish that has been suggested by at least one kit manufacturer. National markings comprised the standard French cocades above and below the wings, initially without the fouled anchor, and blue-white-red striped rudders. By the time HC1 and HC2 formed, the cocades had been modified on production aircraft to the naval type incorporating a black fouled anchor device and the elevators too were striped transversely in the national colors. There were no cocades on the fuselage sides. Operational Loires also carried a black fouled anchor painted in the middle of the white rudder stripe as an additional arm-of-service marking. Serial numbers were painted in black in the usual French manner across the rudder (above and below the fouled anchor, when it was applied). There is simply no good evidence to show how unit markings were applied. Some of HC2’s aircraft are known to have been allocated unit codes in the form “HC2.7” but how they appeared in pure speculation. Most probably these codes appeared in black block characters, possibly with the individual number in a larger size, but there are no known illustrations to verify this. Research has revealed that HC2 adopted a unit badge very similar to that applied to the companion reconnaissance floatplanes of HS2 serving on the same ships—a broad-based triangle with a stylized view of the guns and superstructure of Dunkerque and Strasbourg, but even this knowledge raises further problems. There is no evidence to show where (or if) this badge was applied (there was no regulation position, either), the badge was subtly different for each ship, at least as applied to HS2’s Loire 130s, while the third ship of the division, Lorraine, definitely used a Cross of Lorraine in a circle as the unit badge for its Loire 130 reconnaissance floatplanes from HS2. Clearly, there is plenty of room for further research in this area. Known Allocations HC1: Loire 210 Nos. 6, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 19 and at least four others. Codes are not known. HC2: Prototype N° 01 used for sea and catapult trials in 1938 aboard Dunkerque. Pilot: lieutenant de vaisseau (LV) Vennin. No code worn but the HS2/HC2 insignia was painted on fuselage sides. Dunkerque embarked a/c N° 3, coded HC2.7 in August 1939. Pilot: second-maître (SM) Miramond. Disembarked at the end of November 1939. Pilot transferred to escadrille AC3. Strasbourg embarked a/c N° 4, coded HC2.8 in August 1939. Pilot: SM Le Bihan. Disembarked end of November 1939. Pilot transferred to escadrille AC3. Lorraine at one point carried a single Loire 210 coded HC2.8, which may have been a different aircraft from that embarked on Strasbourg, but it did not remain on board for any length of time and the battleship regularly carried only Loire 130 seaplanes. Acknowledgements I must acknowledge the assistance of correspondence with Lucien Morareau and members of ARDHAN (l’Association pour la Recherche de Documentation sur l’Histoire de l’Aéronautique Navale) in preparing this information.
  13. I will work out a way to get the complete article (in English) to you. I do not want to fill up your thread with this material. I wonder if it might be acceptable to the administrators to put it in the general section at the beginning of aircraft modelling? One thing you might note is that it should surprise no-one that l’Aeronautique Navale used its own paint colours that were not the same as those used by l’Armée de l’Air. The Loire 210.01 prototype was finished pretty much as the SBS instructions depict but the paint was called gris hydravion and was a medium blue-grey almost perfectly matched by US Navy purple-blue series Haze Gray 5H but with a satin finish. The bottoms of the floats had a protective coating called lanolin, which, for modelling purposes, is gloss black. I have a nice group photograph (whose source I cannot recall so I do not want to post it in case it infringes copyright) of HC2 just before World War II that shows one of the production machines together with two Loire 130s. All have an overall aluminium finish with lanolin covering the float and hull bottoms. By this time, the Loire 210s had the usual naval cocades with black fouled anchors instead of the plain ones SBS provide (which are correct for 01). I have added the complete article (in English) to the interwar discussion section for those who asked for the complete article. Maurice
  14. You asked for it! This is extracted and translated from a much longer article I published in 2001. If you want the whole article, please contact me. Two escadrilles formed specifically to operate the Loire 210 in August 1939--HC1 based at St. Mandrier and HC2 based at Lanvéoc Poulmic. HC1 was a trials unit and l’Aeronautique Navale intended to dissolve the unit in due course and transfer its aircraft and personnel to two operational escadrilles, HC3 and HC5, that would serve aboard the cruiser squadrons of the Mediterranean Fleet. In the event, the outbreak of war in September 1939 put an end to this plan. The performance of the Loire 210 as a fighter was clearly inadequate in the face of modern aircraft, so HC1 was disbanded on 22 November and its personnel transferred to form the new land-based fighter escadrille AC3 at Orly. HC2 was an operational unit from the outset and was attached to the 1ère Division de Ligne, the battleships Dunkerque, Strasbourg, and Lorraine. (Most English-language writers refer to Dunkerque and Strasbourg as battlecruisers but this is incorrect--the French Navy always classified them as cuirassés de ligne [battleships]). L’Aeronautique Navale planned to form a second Atlantic Fleet unit, HC4, to operate from the light cruisers of the 4me Division de Croiseurs, but the outbreak of war intervened to prevent this. (A clear photograph of one of the production Loire 210s aboard a cruiser of this group does exist, however, suggesting that at least trials of the type aboard these vessels occurred). In late November HC2 also was disbanded and its personnel transferred to form AC3 with the aircrew released from HC1. The historiography of the decision to disband these two units and withdraw the Loire 210 from service is a classic example of the ability of a misconception to perpetuate itself to the point that it becomes an almost unassailable fact. In the June 1961 issue of RAF Flying Review a short piece on the Loire 210 appeared in the “Technical Gen” column. The anonymous author stated that “several accidents resulting from wing structural failures” led to the grounding of the type and the disbanding of the two special escadrilles that it equipped. This statement was repeated in William Green, War Planes of the Second World War: Floatplanes, Volume Six in 1962, and proceeded to win additional acceptance in numerous articles in English-language books and periodicals that discussed the type, collecting further amplifying details (including that there were two such incidents, both of which were fatal) and culminating in its appearance in William Green & Gordon Swanborough, The Complete Book of Fighters, published in 1994. This explanation has gained so much currency that it has even been repeated in two recent French-language discussions of the Loire 210! The only problem is that this assertion is incorrect. French naval records mention only two accidents with the type, one in which the pilot overstressed his craft in extremely violent aerobatic maneuvers and successfully parachuted to safety and the other when the pilot made a very heavy landing, ripping off his floats but emerging unscathed from the wreckage. French official documents reveal that the decision to withdraw the Loire 210 from service was based on a number of factors. The aircraft itself was an entirely ineffective interceptor, since it was slower that virtually every enemy plane it might need to engage. The concept had never been widely accepted within the navy, as was witnessed by the long delay in placing a production contract, and this situation was exacerbated by the plane’s poor performance in service. Finally, space was limited aboard warships, and the majority of officers considered that it would be a better use of resources to replace these ineffective floatplane fighters with additional reconnaissance aircraft. Nor only did this enhance the operational capabilities of the warships concerned, but it also released trained fighter pilots for urgent service elsewhere, mounted on far more effective aircraft (AC3 was equipped with the Bloch 151 which offered its pilots considerably better chances against the Luftwaffe). If you are interested in a companion piece to your model, I recall that at least one iteration of Azur's Loire 130 1/72-scale kit includes markings for an example embarked on the battleships of 1ère Division de Ligne at the same time as the Loire 210s. Maurice
  15. I am reasonably certain that Airfix did not make up the flags you illustrate. The most useful and reliable source for flags of this period (other than trawling though documentation in archives and private collections) is W.G. Perrin's British Flags: Their Early History, and their Development at Sea; with an Account of the Origin of the Flag as a National Device (Cambridge University Press, 1922). Perrin was the Admiralty Librarian from 1908 until his death in 1931, a prominent member of the Society for Nautical Research and the Navy Records Society, heavily involved in the establishment of the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich, and a meticulous researcher of this topic. This used to be difficult to find (and probably would be impossible to access from repositories in these times of lock-down) but now is available on line through Project Gutenberg in its entire full-colour glory here: https://www.gutenberg.org/files/46370/46370-h/46370-h.htm. The blue or green striped cross-of-St.-George flags are well documented in contemporary records (green and white were the colours of the Tudors). His work will greatly assist you in determining both the correct flags or pennants and those appropriate for Ark Royal's squadron status. If you do not want to slog through all 250 or so pages of Perrin (though this can be quite enjoyable in its own right), there is a quite useful (and generally quite well sourced) summary for the Tudor era here: https://www.crwflags.com/fotw/Flags/gb~tudor.html#gwstripes Maurice
×
×
  • Create New...