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ClaudioN

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  1. Found pics: XX959:CJ, No. 20 Squadron - one fuel tank, two Paveways, Phimat and ALQ-101. No missiles. XZ371:BB, No. 17 Squadron - two tanks, two AIM-9Gs, empty centre-line carrier
  2. Not really experienced, but I recall a photo I wish to replicate in a Jaguar model one day. Out of my memory: single fuel tank on the centre line pylon two laser-guided bombs on the inner wing pylons one ECM pod (I'd think Phimat, or possibly ALQ-101) and one Sidewinder on the outer wing pylons
  3. Exactly. I missed on the Mark VC, but to me at first sight the cannons look distinctly Mk.VB-ish...
  4. Two cannons on the starboard wing of the Spitfire behind BR344? Not on a Mk. VB, AFAIK, but it looks just that. What is fooling me?
  5. Put it simply, the boundary layer is a thin layer of air that gets slowed down through contact with the airframe when an aircraft is flying. Letting it enter a jet engine air intake does no good to it, since air flow in the boundary layer is turbulent. In the cutaway drawing you posted, you can see a large arrow pointing into the air intake, showing the main air flow, and many smaller arrows closer to the fuselage, getting into the boundary layer intakes and out of the vents on top. That's the path boundary layer air is supposed to follow. As to the first part of your question, I should think there is no reason to let a pilot change the position of the vents, but somebody else may know better.
  6. The photo in the book corresponds almost exactly to your second still. I can't see any... could you help? My interpretation of the video is: 'P' (assumed) starting up, then pilot boarding 'P' (is that Sub-Lt. Hogg?), long shot of 'P' (foreground) and 'X' (background) warming up, then 'X' taxying with a sailor holding the port wing tip. In-flight formation images show 'P' leading, with 'X' to port and 'G' to starboard. Again, if 'P' leads, the pilot might be Sub-Lt. Hogg. Claudio
  7. Just vaguely remembering, but I think it was here on BritModeller that somebody noted the Revell dihedral would be acceptable for a Lanc on the ground, though less so for an aircraft in flight. What's the general feeling?
  8. Hi Flavio, thank you very much for the video and for the very interesting summary on the Fulmar and its camouflage in its early months in service. I assume you know about the book "Fleet Air Arm Camouflage and Markings" by Stuart Lloyd (Dalrymple & Verdun), which has been mentioned in several posts here on BM. The book includes a good photo of Fulmar 'X', that appears in the video you linked above and might possibly be a still from it. Your remarks about camouflage details are very accurate and careful and, in my opinion, your intuition in linking the video to the entry in Hogg's diary is a great one. I'd like to comment on the camouflage demarcation line in your profile of N1884 and your choice of Sky Grey as the underside colour. Early Fulmars went through a variety of subtle changes, some of which are not too evident in black and white images, that are discussed in "Fleet Air Arm Camouflage and Markings". The pattern you present, with the camouflage demarcation gently sloping up to the leading edge of the tailplane, is correct for N1860:M, as well as for Nxxx6:R, as you say. On Fulmar 'G' in the video, the demarcation is straight, followed by a sharp step up, close to the tailplane. On Fulmars 'P' and 'X', the demarcation carries on below the tailplane, meaning that, in this case, the area is in camouflage. These three patterns are in rough chronological sequence and, based on this alone, I have always questioned the identification of Nxxx6:R (only the '6' is clearly visible in a photo, as it is a three-quarter rear view from starboard) as N1886 (or even N1986!). In my opinion, 'R' is N1866 and the upward sloping demercation is indicative of the early S.1E camouflage with Sky Grey undersides. However, Sky was assumed to replace Sky Grey as early as mid-June 1940 and this caused some confusion as regards camouflage schemes. TSS came later and, as you note, the change to TSS on Fulmars took place around N1910, when the demarcation to the undersurface colour was moved to the lower fuselage. In between, there must have been over 30 airframes factory-finished in EDSG/DSG/Sky with the high demarcation and the stright line and a few (no more than 10?) with the stepped demarcation that suggests a last-minute change from Sky Grey to Sky. I believe that, in the video, 'G', 'P' and 'X' are all finished in Sky, with black/white ID undersides. 'G' must have the earliest serial, around N187x. My bet is that N1884:K would have the straight camouflage demarcation continuing under the tailplane to the rudder post, with Sky rather than Sky Grey as the undersurface colour. Taking the 5 December 1940 date as correct, the video seems to provide some evidence that the black panther badge did not appear on rudders before 1941. The photo of 'A' and 'B' showing the black panther badge (that appears both in "806 Naval Air Squadron" by Cull and Galea and in "Fleet Air Arm Camouflage and Markings" by Stuart Lloyd, aka @iang) also clearly shows that 'A' has the stepped demarcation line (hence, serial around N187x), while on 'B' the line continues straight below the tailplane (serial between N188x and N1893). 'A' cannot be N1940 in that photo, as N1940 would definitely have a low camouflage demarcation as per TSS. Matching codes and serials becomes more difficult from January 1941 after the formation of No. 805 Sqn at Dekheila. This unit seemingly applied letter codes with the '7' numeral prefix, as befit the second unit at the same location, and this was carried in full (i.e., 7A, 7B, 7C, ...), unlike 806 Sqn. If N1932 was 'B' at Maleme, it might perhaps be '7B', and a different machine from 'B' of 806 Sqn and, shortly later, 'B' of 803 Sqn. Claudio
  9. The correct answer may perhaps be found in ADM 199/870, a report on Operation Torch by Rear Adm. Lyster. The Air Ministry was asked to provide 45 Spitfires and 45 Hurricanes IIBs. Both types were to be hooked as fast as possible, but the Spitfires would be for training only, as Seafires were beginning to become available in numbers. The Hurricane total was raised to 60, that were hooked by Hawkers. Meanwhile, Rear Adm. Lyster had been able to obtain 30 sets of IIC wings and the change over was carried out at RAF Henlow. Thus, there were 30 hooked Hurricane IIBs and 30 hooked Hurricane IICs, all of them Canadian CCF-built airframes. They were used to re-equip the fighter squadrons assigned to RN escort carriers in Operation Torch. Surviving aircraft were later supplemented by the 60 Hawker-built Sea Hurricane IICs for service in the British-built escort carriers.
  10. If you can read Italian, THE reference is "Guerra aerea sull'Etiopia 1935-1939" by Roberto Gentilli. Printed in 1992, the book seems to be still available from vintage booksellers. See here, for instance. For kits, in addition to those already mentioned by @Giorgio N you have the Kora Models Fiat CR 20 bis, LF Models Romeo Ro. 1 and Caproni Ca. 101, all of which include markings for the Abyssinian Crisis. All of them in 72nd scale.
  11. Air War for Yugoslavia, Greece and Crete, by Shores, Cull and Malizia, was first published in 1987. Fleet Air Arm Aircraft 1939-1945, by Sturtivant, was published in 1995. I believe Sturtivant worked from his own notes on aircraft serials taken from official documents, squadron diaries, pilot log-books, etc. Narratives in Shores et al. sometimes include slightly edited versions of squadron diaries, maybe those three serials were taken from there? Sturtivant lists two serials as '805 Sqn Maleme', these are AS419 and AS420. The accident to AS419 is reported. These are the only entries referring to Crete. AX814 is listed as '805 Sqn 2.41', meaning that in February 1941 it was certainly with 805 Sqn. This is all we know from this source.
  12. I beg to disagree, at least in part. Carrier-capable Hurricanes were always in short supply. Whereas 'hooked Spitfires' were training machines, Operation Torch Mk. IIs were much-needed front-line types. They might be considered 'hooked Hurricanes' but were normally called Sea Hurricanes too. From 1943 on, with the exception of those Mk. IIc that went aboard some of the escort carriers (mainly the British-built ones), other 'hooked' Hurricanes were indeed used for training. However, this included No. 768 Sqn., a deck-landing training squadron whose Sea Hurricanes appear in several photos abourd Argus.
  13. I see what you mean. It appears to be the same aircraft on the very same spot in both pictures. On page 55 I definitely see ASxxx, as you do. On page 39, not much can be discerned at the centre of the rightmost digit because of fuselage buckling and it does look more like a '3'. However, the right edge of the digit shows a single straight vertical leg. If it were '3', wouldn't there be two shorter vertical legs with a slight indentation in between?
  14. Thank you @Seahawk, the references you mention are exactly where they were taken from. Sorry for not giving full references, but they were not at thand while writing. That would by my take as well. The photo of Brabner's crashed aircraft in "Air War for Yugoslavia, Greece and Crete" (ASxxx upside down) shows that the rear fuselage was bent, I'd agree a finless aircraft might be Brabner's. To me, another pointer to AS419 is the position of the fuselage roundel, that appears to be further back than in 7Y and 7Z. About xxx13, maybe it would be possible to mistake '9' for '3'? My other problem with serials, since "anybody knows" that the three aircraft in Crete were AS419, AS420, and AX814 (it's in "Air War for Yugoslavia, Greece and Crete"), is that either '7Y' or '7Z' would have to be AS420, but the fuselage roundel is positioned forward on both, which to me suggests AXxxx serials. But I may be wrong. Sturtivant's "Fleet Air Arm Aircraft 1939-1945" lists three serials with the same indication, PD 27.4.42, where PD is short for 'papers deposited', meaning the aircraft had long been out of existence by that date, possibly an administrative clean-up. These are AS420, AX810 and AX814. Furthermore, there is no information for AX816. Possibly the two abandoned in Crete were among these four? '7Y' is certainly AXxxx.
  15. Thank you very much for the photos. The first one in particular, and the explanation above, finally solve my doubt about what kind of accident had caused all the Brewsters to shed their engines...! As regards reliability, there seemingly were some issues there: "...the guns could not be fired because the ends of the wires which were part of the interrupter gear, failed and 805 did not have the necessary spares." (Lt. Cmdr. Black) "Lt. Brabner (...) was up again next day, mounted on AS419, only to turn back because of engine trouble. He crash-landed short of the airfield, and the Brewster flipped over on its back (...)" Agreed about the position. My bet would be for an external fitting as made in the Interim Sea Gladiators, but... this is getting much far into "what-if" modelling subjects! About "carrier trials" on HMS Eagle: HMS Eagle sailed from Alexandria on 19 February 1941, embarking 805 and 806 Sqn. Fulmars, Sea Gladiators and Swordfish. While the ship was still near the coast, deck landing trials with the Buffalo were carried out, but results were unsatisfactory. The Buffalo approached at a speed well over 100 knots, which made landing impossible. On 3 March, further brief deck landing trials with the Buffalo followed, destroyer HMS Jaguar acting as plane guard. This time the tests were judged successful, although the Buffalo was considered better suited to shore-based operations. The latter is probably when the photo on deck was taken and landing wires appear to have been engaged by the undercarriage wheels, as @jimmaas noted. Deck-landing practices differed between the FAA and the USN at the time, which might suggest a reason for the difficulties experienced in the first trial. Since Eagle was already scheduled to leave the Mediterranean, I doubt any long-term involment of local MUs in "carrier modification" for the Brewster.
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