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  1. Hi Everyone, For the last few years, I’ve been researching my grandfather’s Cierva C.30a autogiro and I would really like your help to model it accurately. During the time it took to set up my Britmodeller account, I’ve enjoyed reading the forum archives and it seems that @petetasker is a bit of a C.30/Rota expert – so it would be great to get your thoughts. I am full of admiration for @pierre Giustiniani's model of G-ACUU as HM580 – it was fantastic to see. And another incredible find was @Fastcat's story of sneaking into Elmdon hangar to see G-ACUU in the 60s. Wonderful stuff! The time now seems perfect to model G-ACUU given the availability of the Mini-Art 1:35 kits, which look great to my untrained eyes but as they come in so many flavours, I'm not sure which one to start with (or are all the kits the same, just with variation in the decals?). I want to model G-ACUU as it was in 1950 when my grandfather bought it. It was also in the same scheme when it flew at Hendon’s 50 years of flying display 1951. My grandfather loaned the aircraft to Norman Hill (who was a F/O in No.529 Squadron) to fly the display. My grandfather was an RAF signals F/L involved in radar development during the war and I have his service record but have been unable to tie it to the autogiros so far, despite my best efforts. The liveries pre- and post-war look very similar in the images from “Aeroplane Monthly” magazine (below) but the longitudinal stripe is different widths. The colours are a complete mystery though because all the images I have seen to date are black-and-white. The aircraft has been well photographed since the 1960s when, following the birth of my father, my grandmother forced Guy to stop flying and it was loaned to the Skyfame collection and has latterly found a prominent home at the IWM Duxford next to their glorious Spits. The IWM have returned to G-ACUU to a wartime scheme, so I would really like to commemorate its civilian life. Some have linked the nickname “Billy Boy” to G-ACUU but nobody in my family has ever heard this name and so we don’t know where it came from. In the book “Spitfires and Autogiros: A history of Upper Culham Farm, RAF Henley-on-Thames”, the author Darren J. Pitcher claims the following which I have not been able to verify: - G-ACUU/HM580 was crashed on the 18th October 1943 whilst returning to Thornaby in bad weather flown by P/O Gillies. I’m hoping there might be a photo of this somewhere. - G-ACUU was the last autogiro to fly with the RAF. This is a sad footnote to the story but I haven’t heard this before and it would give the aircraft extra importance. Sorry, that’s a bit of a full-on first post - hope it's interesting to some and starts a conversation. Cheers, Simon
  2. Was looking for photos and history of this famous EC-121 for a friend who flew Spads in SEA and was asking about her,; I thought some of you might find them of interest. I have seen her at the AFM and like all Connies, she is one big, beautiful airplane! IIRC, somebody did a decal sheet that had '555' on it- maybe Caracal? (Wish I had bought all the upgrade and improvement sets for my Heller kit back when they were still available.) First AWACS aircraft to direct a fighter for an air-to-air kill. Mike https://www.daytonipms.org/ec-121d-constellation https://www.wpafb.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1165983/retired-radar-crew-chief-recalls-time-aboard-triple-nickel/ Click on 'download hi res' to see larger images; use the fwd arrow to see all the photos: https://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/Visit/Museum-Exhibits/Fact-Sheets/Display/Article/196058/lockheed-ec-121d-constellation/ https://photovault.com/80678
  3. I stumbled upon this article just now, and I thought many of you would find it of interest, especially as the Collings Foundation has one in airworthy condition, and there is one preserved in the UK, and IIRC in Australia being restored. In addition, Kermit Weeks also has one at his Fantasy of Flight facility.* Very interesting story ; couldn't get away with doing something like this nowadays! Mike http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Aircraft/History/927-B24.html#gsc.tab=0 * Thanks to Bentwaters81 for the information.
  4. @canberra kid John, Did you know about these? Mike https://warbirdsnews.com/warbird-restorations/canberra-b-6-xh567-restoration-update-august-2021.html https://warbirdsnews.com/warbird-restorations/english-electric-canberra-tt-18-wj680-flies.html
  5. Found this just now and I don't recall seeing the footage posted here, so for all my new Aussie modeling mates, here it is. What a rugged little fighter that gave sterling service and was developed in an amazingly short time period. Makes me want to pull one of my Special Hobby kits from the stash! Enjoy! (Footage via YouTube.) Mike
  6. I thought i'd share this web site i've come across. It's dedicated to all things Group B, without doubt one of if not the greatest periods of rallying. https://rallygroupbshrine.org/
  7. Found this just now. Very interesting photos and descriptions of the three prototypes and one production aircraft. I had never seen or read about the lone production example and was amazed to see it had contra-rotating props. Probably old hat to @Chris Thomas, but thought some of you would find this of interest. IIRC, I have a resin conversion to do the Centaurus powered prototype. Very handsome beast! Mike https://oldmachinepress.com/2020/12/20/hawker-tornado-fighter/
  8. I was sent a YouTube video that showed the aircraft the USAF parked in the desert for damage assessment during one of the A-bomb tests in 1951- an amazing assortment of obsolete and first-line aircraft. Among them was the XF-90, which was discovered, recovered, decontaminated, and now on display at the Air Force Museum. What a futuristic looking jet, and a real shame both prototypes were expended in the bomb tests. Makes me want to try to find the Aurora 1/48 kit, but I do have the 1/72 Maintrack/Project X vacform, which is very nice! See the link to the You Tube bomb test video as well as links to the history and the only surviving XF-90, which was the jet of choice in the Blackhawk comic books of old! I hope you enjoy the links! Mike http://www.aviation-history.com/lockheed/xf90_article.html https://www.historynet.com/style-over-substance.htm https://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/Visit/Museum-Exhibits/Fact-Sheets/Display/Article/198059/lockheed-xf-90/ Look at all the aircraft used as targets- what they would be worth today, especially the XF-90 ! https://youtu.be/L_Y9D2df-tA https://www.scalemates.com/kits/maintrack-models-px-031-lockheed-xf-90--1268351 I built the Aurora kit when I was a wee lad, but glued the tip tanks under the wings, as that is where the tanks were on the F-86F's of the 8th FBG at Itazuke AB, Japan, where we were stationed in 1955! https://www.scalemates.com/kits/aurora-33-129-lockheed-f-90--159882
  9. Another weird but wonderful design from those same crazy folks who brought us the Hughes H-1! The XF-11 recon aircraft was developed after the D-2 and was completed, although the prototype crashed with Hughes as the pilot, severely injuring him. Mike https://oldmachinepress.com/2015/11/23/hughes-d-2/
  10. I found this lengthy but interesting discussion just now while looking for information on the cuffs fitted to P-51 Mustang props. It describes the history behind the P-51B flown by Bill Overstreet in WW2; he's the pilot who flew under the Eiffel Tower while chasing a Bf-109! Very interesting tidbits about Mustangs and the differences between the variants. You should also do an internet search to see photos of this very nice restoration and tribute to a great pilot! https://www.angleofattack.com/aviatorcast-p51s-in-review-at-oshkosh/
  11. I was looking for photos/text on a 237 Sq Spitfire Mk IX in another topic post, and this link popped up! A very interesting history of Boscombe Down, aircraft collection, and detail cockpit photos of the aircraft in the collection, as well as great color photos of modern aircraft ordnance. Some great reference photos for modeling projects! I hope this has not been posted before. Mike http://www.sbap.be/museum/boscombe/boscombe.htm
  12. I thought many of you might enjoy this post- especially my new modeling friends across the pond. A very famous B-17G named after a very classy lady. Two classics, to be sure! Mike https://www.thisdayinaviation.com/2021/07/06/ BTW, this website, This Day in Aviation History, is an outstanding one for significant aviation events; if you have the time, going through the calendar dates will be entertaining and enlightening. https://www.thisdayinaviation.com/
  13. @tonyot, Was this one of the CC Liberators you modeled a while back? Very interesting history and account of a U-boat sunk by a very gallant Liberator crew via You Tube. Mike
  14. While I was messaging with one of our 'regulars' on C-130's and the Zvezda new-tool kit, I was reminded of the short-lived demo team that flew C-130A's. I was a fortunate young lad, whose father was attached to the 516th TCW at the time, and got to see them fly. What a thrill to see Herks thrown around like fighters! Those were golden days for a teen-aged planespotter and model builder. I hope you will find the links of interest. Sure couldn't get away with something like that nowadays! Gotta love those C-130A's- they were the hot rods and sports cars of the line! Note the Herk in the slot in dayglo orange versus the red arctic high viz markings! If you're a Herk lover, I think you will like seeing these! Mike https://youtu.be/hvvoKch5gAI https://aerobaticteams.net/en/teams/i196/Four-Horsemen. https://www.codeonemagazine.com/c130_gallery_video.html?item_id=40 https://www.sammcgowan.com/horsemen.html https://theaviationgeekclub.com/the-story-of-the-four-horsemen-the-usaf-c-130-demonstration-team/
  15. I recall we had some discussion on this P-47 variant a while back, but I found a couple of photos that I don't recall seeing before, so I have posted links to them below, as well as a description/specs/ IIRC, Koster did a 1/48 conversion, and there were also a couple of short run conversions/kits in 1/72 scale, but I don't recall who did all of them- Sharkit was one, I think. The fastest Jug of them all, and I believe it was the only US single-engine prop-driven aircraft to top 500 mph in WW2. That's pushing a 7-ton milk bottle pretty darned fast! Mike photo caption stated this was taken at an airshow at Wright-Patterson Field in 1947 http://rob.com/bream/1947WPAFBairshow/DSC07679.jpg photo taken at Farmingdale after a test flight https://i.pinimg.com/736x/10/46/5f/10465f46099f24027cb7711043a5aa4b.jpg history, specs, and photos https://oldmachinepress.com/2013/12/17/republic-xp-47j-superbolt/
  16. I seem to recall we had some discussion on the Howard 500 conversion of the Ventura into a high speed executive transport quite a while back, and while looking for some reference photos on another Lockheed/Vega aircraft, I stumbled upon a site that has a description, history, and photos of the airplane. IIRC @rob Lyttle was either working on a conversion or was wanting information on it, so I hope the old Mk 1a memory banks haven't failed me yet again. I think there are only two flyable examples in existence- both owned by the same person! I saw the 1st one built on the Dee Howard ramp in San Antonio when I was a teen- had no idea how significant it was at the time! Mike https://www.deehoward.org/the-dee-howard-legacy/innovations/howard-aero-innovations/item/howard-500 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAvfJGCqE40 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8YogYSBcmU https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HBmeWL-or0
  17. Got this from an old friend and modeling mentor- he knew I would like it, and if it hasn't been posted before, I'm pretty sure many of you will, too! Excellent footage that shows modeling details: arrestor hook, catapault spools, stiffening plates, etc, This one's especially for you, @tonyot! Mike https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnVJJ9BVLGU
  18. This subject is not exactly in my wheelhouse as a modeler, but I have always been a fan of the racing planes of the 30's-40's as well as a fan of famed test pilot Tony LeVier. Tony flew the original Schoenfeldt Firecracker, and after reading about how the replica performs, I have even more admiration of his flying skills. I thought some of you might find the story interesting, and it would make a great modeling project, as I vaguely recall there being a resin kit of the airplane. Knowing our resident vintage racing airplane modeler/historian @Moa has either built one and/or has a folder on it, I'm sure the linked article might be yesterday's news, but I offer it nonetheless. Mike http://roadrunnersinternationale.com/firecracker.html Excellent site with photos and text on the 1938 National Air Race, in which the Firecracker competed...those were the days, and those were steeely-eyed men and women who flew them! http://www.airrace.com/1938NAR.htm
  19. Scheduled for October 8th : Aviation historian Victoria Taylor's The Dambuster Legend in wartime Britain. https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/trenchard-lecture-the-dambuster-legend-in-wartime/#.X2x8WkL-tFg.twitter For those not familiar, Victoria also presented the recent RAF Benevolent Fund podcast series about the Battle of Britain, and featured on the WW2Podcast channel.
  20. I found this while looking for B-24's stored at Kingman, AZ at war's end. Some very well-known and not so well-known assembly ships. Great modeling projects here, but a masking nightmare! Another bunch of likely candidates for @tonyot's case of Minicraft Libs he has squirreled away! Mike http://www.vintagewings.ca/VintageNews/Stories/tabid/116/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/477/Polka-Dot-Warriors.aspx
  21. Got this from an old friend this morning, and I thought many of you might enjoy reading about her history and restoration. What a labor of love! This one's for you, @tonyot! Mike https://acesflyinghigh.wordpress.com/2018/11/17/restoring-the-last-surviving-raaf-consolidated-b-24-liberator-2018-update/ Looking at the photos of the cockpit, it appears to me that this is an example of the bronze green known to have been used by Consolidated and other manufacturers that was later replaced by dull dark green. I think this is a good approximation of the color, because IIRC bronze green has a sight sheen to it compared to the more matte dull dark green. What do you think, @Dana Bell? Quite a testament to the quality of the original manufacturing process that you can take the wings from a B-24D and bolt them onto a B-24M! (They sure don't make Fords like that nowadays!)
  22. While looking for new to me XP-47J photos, I found this very thorough history of the development of the P-47 Thunderbolt that I thought some of you might enjoy reading. From the Cradle of Aviation Museum archives. I know it will never happen, but I sure would welcome a kit or conversion to make a J- the fastest WW2 single engine piston-powered fighter. I've got a 1/72 Tamiya razorback Jug set aside....someday! (IIRC, there was a resin kit long ago OOP, but I don't recall the maker.) Mike https://www.cradleofaviation.org/history/history/aircraft/p-47_thunderbolt_aviation_darwinism.html https://oldmachinepress.com/2013/12/17/republic-xp-47j-superbolt/
  23. While looking for new to me XP-47J photos, I found this very thorough history of the development of the P-47 Thunderbolt that I thought some of you might enjoy reading. From the Cradle of Aviation Museum archives. I know it will never happen, but I sure would welcome a kit or conversion to make a J- the fastest WW2 single engine piston-powered fighter. I've got a 1/72 Tamiya razorback Jug set aside....someday! (IIRC, there was a resin kit long ago OOP, but I don't recall the maker.) Mike https://www.cradleofaviation.org/history/history/aircraft/p-47_thunderbolt_aviation_darwinism.html https://oldmachinepress.com/2013/12/17/republic-xp-47j-superbolt/
  24. @canberra kid John, Saw this four part series just now and thought of you; just in case you don't already have them. Those black RB-57A's and B-57B's are soooo pretty! Some good footage for USAF Canberra fans. Mike https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAoA70dSsMk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JW60vHSNiA https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWcGL4SQxTw https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d12YJNvCT_c
  25. I found this just now, and it was a very interesting site from both a modeling and historical perspective. It notes all of the components of the B-29 that were supplied by various auto manufacturers. There are some very nice period photos and a list of the serials of all the Martin-built B-29's, including two of the more famous Silverplate aircraft. The Martin-built Superforts were said to be the highest quality, and when Col. Paul Tibbets toured the plant to see how production of the Silverplate Superforts was going, he personally selected the one that he was going to fly. I thought this might be of interest. Mike https://usautoindustryworldwartwo.com/b-29-usautoindustry.htm
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