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Graham Boak

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  1. Logical assumptions are a lot fewer than WAGs. It's a lot easier to distinguish the dross.
  2. A test aircraft could well have unpainted parts, which would not necessarily read across to the production. Diversion: is that a Gulfhawk in the background?
  3. Ditto Peter Malone for the real gen. However, looking at that photo the codes don't seem to be pure white, perhaps a light shade of Sky? There's no reason to suggest Sky spinner or band, these being UK Fighter Command requirements not RAAF.
  4. Funny that. I always thought that the S-99 family were Messerschmitts.
  5. I've a lot of sympathy with those finding the rise in kit prices painful, and largely agree with them. However, there are only so many times it needs to be said in any thread (or indeed in any forum?), and modellers can express their agreement with the original poster by *liking" it without wasting a posting or testing the patience of others. The same applies to those who look at a model and comment "Wow!" (or equivalent) on it without making any actual constructive comment at all. By all means "like" the model, or even send a pm to the modeller if you really really like it, but gratuitous inflation of the site does no-one any good.
  6. I don't know of any colour US Dark Tan, the Sand colour seen on P-40Fs (sorry, not Es) is quite light and would not have been seen as dark. Any P-40Ks are more likely to have been in either the British colours or OD. The comment that US Middle Stone was more yellow does seem to appear in the colour photos, particularly those of 112 Sq where it is a distinct yellow compared to the MAP colour chip. However, photos of British aircraft in the desert also seem to show a yellowish colour - if not as strongly so as the 112 Sq Kittys. As for the Dark Earth, the early US attempt(s) at this colour were somewhat lighter than an ideal match, but later aircraft were painted in a clearly darker shade.
  7. P-40Fs based in the Western Desert with the 8th Army were in US colours of Sand with Neutral Gray underneath. The initial P-40Es sent to the US Army in Algeria were in the British camouflage scheme.
  8. For those who don't realise, "knacker" ducts are NACA (the predecessor of NASA) intakes, flush with the fuselage with the curved sides producing a vortex that draws air inside. They were initially considered as a low-drag alternative to standard intakes, but the poor pressure recovery meant reduced thrust, so were not adopted for production. However, they did and still do prove very useful as small air intakes for cooling equipment.
  9. My understanding was that the colour coding used for such things on the Fw190 was a surprise to the UK, which had had no such system. When was this AP first issued?
  10. In peacetime, only a very comparatively small number of civil aircraft will have got anywhere near militarily useful targets in the UK in order to carry out low-level oblique photography of any military value. A small number of photos taken over a wide period of time from hand-held cameras would be of little military use. This requires widespread and repeated operations. The Germans certainly did create a fine library of vertical photos of RAF airfields and other military targets in the UK, but these were largely taken by their Dornier 71Ps. Despite this, German intelligence of RAF deployments and strengths is commonly described as poor. The Germans split their photographic work between the Fernaufklarer with Dornier 17P on deeper penetration flights and vertical cameras, and Nahaufklarer doing close tactical work with the Army using hand-held cameras on Hs126s. With the exception of hand-held, these principles largely continued throughout the war with improved aircraft types. However, even with the adoption (after 1940) of fighter-type aircraft in the PR role they largely operated with vertical cameras. The Germans failed to adopt the low-level fighter-reconnaissance role in the same way as the Allies did, with side-mounted cameras on P-40s, Hurricanes, P-51s, P-38s and Spitfires. Possibly this is at least partially because of the success of the Fw.189 in the Nahaufklarer role on the Eastern Front, whereas such a type in Allied hands would have very low survivability. The low-level raid on Kenley was months after the decision to go to yellow surrounds. As such, it was irrelevant. None of the Dorniers carried fixed oblique cameras. Opportunistic photos taken on raids would be of little intelligence value (except perhaps purely by chance). Camouflage goes down the sides because of its value in wartime against low-level attacks. All of which is irrelevant to the main point. The Ministry ordered Yellow surrounds for visual identification when in the air. If visibility on the ground was ever considered a problem, this could readily be taken care of by the adoption of covering sheets. As indeed was seen elsewhere at various times in various Air Forces. Such measures can safely be left to local authorities. Other measures such as dispersal were far more significant.
  11. I don't doubt it. However. such work was rare to non-existent in April/May 1940. The Luftwaffe relied upon vertical cameras from some height - as indeed did most nations. It was some time before the values of fighter aircraft in this role, with sideways-looking cameras, was recognised and even then oblique-mounted cameras appear to have been rare in the Luftwaffe. It would not have been of any concern to the Air Ministry at that time. There was certainly no low-level reconnaissance of UK airfields. I would also suggest that in the event of such photos existing (perhaps from the French campaign), the circumstances in which they were taken would have meant the presence or absence of a yellow ring was irrelevant. If a yellow ring could be seen, then the aircraft would already be plainly identifiable as a Hurricane, Lysander or Blenheim. Or Morane, Dewoitine, Lez Mureaux.
  12. The upper wing roundels remained without the Yellow - these are the ones that would be visible (if any) in photo-reconnaissance work. The history of aviation is full of clashes between the competing demands of low and high visibility - camouflage vs markings. Which is most important when. Part of what makes the subject so fascinating.
  13. Following the logic above, why Canberra rather than Venom?
  14. it has been said that it was not white that was normally used, but light blue. And Blue (Azure Blue, presumably) undersides, but whether this was true of the Mk.XIVs I don't know.
  15. Phew! Just checked and there is a spare set of Mk.Vc upper wings in my box. Still don't know why...
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