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Found 10 results

  1. The night before the humiliations of a previous war were symbolically exorcised in a railway carriage at Compiègne, an Avro Anson took off from RAF Wyton and headed north. The crew of two consisted of a pilot, Flight Lt. (as he then was) H. E. Bufton, and a radio operator Cpl. Dennis Mackie - neither of whom had been briefed as to the true nature of their mission. What these two men achieved in the night sky on June 21st, 1940 (itself a culmination of intelligence efforts on the part of many unheralded individuals) was as critical to the war effort as the mission report was dry and undemonstrative: 'I. There is a narrow beam (approximately 400 to 500 yards wide) passing through a position 1 mile south of Spalding, having dots to the south and dashes to the north, on a bearing of 104O(284OT). 2. The carrier frequency of the transmissions on the night of 21/22 June was 31.5 mc/s, modulatedat 1150 cycles andsimilar to Lorenz characteristics. 3. There is a second beam having similar characteristics but with dots to the north and dashes to the south synchronized with thes outhern beam, apparently passing through a point near Beeston on a bearing lying between 60°+ and less than 104°.' In one of the earliest SIGINT missions, Bufton and Mackie had picked up signals emanating from German Knickebein radio transmitters used to guide Luftwaffe raids on Britain. The story is well known - not least to those of you like myself who can recall first hearing about it in William Woollard's memorable depiction of these events for the BBC-TV series The Secret War back in 1977 - yet the existing historical narrative of this flight remains largely the same one repeated over and over in print and electronic media with the same hackneyed phrases re-arranged. The best background narrative is the original one provided by R. V. Jones in his extraordinary memoir Most Secret War, whilst a good (and accessible!) technical description of the radio principles involved in this and later 'battle of the beams' technology is covered in a detailed series of articles by D. V. Pritchard in Ham Radio magazine, June-Oct 1989. Think about that June night for a moment: It was a Friday - the summer solstice of 1940, the remains of an Army had returned from Dunkirk at the start of the month and the continent was now closed-off. Invasion was expected and massed air raids a certainty. At all levels of civilian and military structures people were regrouping, fearing, training, imagining and researching ways to survive. We can't ourselves imagine what that slow realization of a 'total war' engulfing a nation must have felt like to wake up to each morning - and how each person would have been forced to confront it in individual ways. It was during this period that Bufton and Mackie rose not knowing why into a summer sky, bathed in radio and starlight, methodically collecting and transforming the former into something tangible that helped to alter the course of events in ways that they could not themselves conceive. Breakfast in the mess the next morning was probably no different from the previous morning, and the one before that. Except that now between them they had helped to change the world. I've long been fascinated by that flight and frustrated by the poor manner in which it has been recorded historically and so have tried to track down the exact aircraft flown by Bufton and Mackie that night in order to build it. Not an easy proposition. It is an Anson Mk.1, potentially one of three loaned from the Boscombe Down to the Y-Service flying out of Wyton in June 1940. I have a copy of Michael Cumming's Beam Bombers on order as @corsaircorp most kindly forwarded me an excerpt from it that @BS103 had been kind enough to dig out (isn't that always the way of things on here? Somebody knows something that somebody else passes on... ) From Ray Sturtivant's superb The Anson File I've cross referenced the airframes as follows: L7967: SAN* / BATDU**, transferred to RCAF in March 1941 N9938: BATDU, transferred to RCAF in Dec 1940 N9945 BATDU/WIDU***, crashed Stechford, Birmingham Nov 1940. *School of Air Navigation **Beam Approach Training and Development Unit *** Wireless Intelligence Development Unit. All three aircraft then were in BATDU during their secondment from Boscombe to Wyton to be re-wired with Hallicrafters radios for these beam missions. My understanding is that on 30th Oct 1940 BATDU became WIDU, before in turn becoming 109 Squadron later in December 1940. That narrows it down to three aircraft, but which one were Bufton/Mackie flying the night of the 21st? At the moment I can find no record confirming a specific serial number - even delving into the likes of the RAF Historical Assocation yields no clue. I do have feelers out in the hope of contacting a member of Bufton's family to see if this is recorded in his log books but have heard nothing as of yet. What I don't know at all either is what would be the likely aircraft code letter &etc. for an aircraft in BATDU in June 1940 - before it became WIDU - as I can find no record for either of these units. Were they such short-lived (or secretive, given the nature of the missions) units that they weren't assigned individual codes? Two of the aircraft appear to have gone straight to BATDU from the factory so must have had something on them? Here's the kit: According to Scalemates this is the 1974 boxing, the same version I made back then as a 9 year old. The instructions are succinct and rich with the Proustian smell of a warm mid-seventies Saturday morning. Have a sniff: Extras I'm going to be using as some Eduard early RAF seatbelts, an Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah from Engines & Things, necessary as the original ones won't support a 'reveal': Some hefty grinding out needed there. I can't wait to use the (typically gobsmacking) etch from Flightpath as well. It's not until you open the packet that you realize what super quality David's stuff really is, including four pages of detailed documentation! When I originally bought the kit secondhand I should have checked the contents closely as this was nestled inside it: Both canopy and turret! That was a lovely surprise and will be used as Aeroclub are another of my favourite manufacturers. For some reason there were additionally two of the original Airfix canopies in the box as well if anybody wants/needs them at all. So as it stands I'm going to build an Anson that I don't know either the serial number or aircraft codes for. Promising eh? .
  2. I am starting to work on the interior now of the 1/48 Anson using the Classic Airframes boxing of it. I really dislike the amount of resin used in these kits as they use it for many parts that don't need it eg the framing is poorly cast and chunks of it are going to be replaced with plastic rod. The interior green needs some more work and I have yet to paint some of the detail areas. At this stage I am tossing up between A4-6 of 22 SQN circa 1939 or No 1 Comms Flight circa 1941. Both are in overall aluminum and have their gun turrets. I have put in a bit more of the interior and plan to put in some wiring behind some of the dials, radios etc. The instrument panel was a pain to position as there are no location points visible and I can't find an image of the real Mk 1 to show me the positioning. Where it is here fits and the canopy goes over it when I do test fitting so it is a good a spot as any. I still have more additions for interior where I will be replacing poorly cast resin with plastic and building up a few extra bits and pieces. I am not going to get that excited as I don't think that much will be seen once it is done and closed up. The wings are not too bad when going together. The wheel well is a bit dodgy as there are no location markings to help you locate the internal bits. While the wing goes together well the engine nacelle needs some help as the profile of the front bit is different from the wing part. A bit of filler and some work with a file and wet and dry managed to get it looking ok. This isn't hard but it does take time.
  3. Avro Anson I 206 Squadron, Coastal Command, 1939 This is the Classic Airframes kit of the early version of the Anson with the longer sloping windscreen. The kit is a pretty straightforward build with no vices. The model was painted with a combination of Mr Paint, Mr Color and Tamiya paints then finished with a layer of Testor's Dullcote. The national markings were applied using Montex masks but the codes and serials came from the kit decals. More details of the build can be found here: Thanks for dropping by, Howard.
  4. Some of you may remember this Anson. It was submitted for the "Training Types" GB around 2 years ago, but not proceeded with. Well, I am back and on to it now, and I have found out some more about it! L9164 was the last British casualty of 18th August 1940. Those who know about the Battle of Britain, and readers of the book "The Hardest Day" by Dr. Alfred Price will be aware that this was the day of the greatest loss, by both sides, during the Battle of Britain. Anson L9164 was involved in night flying over RAF Windrush on the evening of 18th August 1940. It was attacked by an He111 of KG27 and both aircraft collided. It was suggested at the time that the pilot of the Anson, Sgt. Bruce Hancock, had caused the collision on purpose. No one will ever know as Sgt. Hancock died when his aircraft crashed. It is further alleged that Sgt. Hancock survived the crash but died later, and may well have survived had the search been organised earlier. Again we will never know. I do do not know what markings L9164 carried, but I have found some very useful photographs. Not of L9164, but of L9162 which is close enough. L9162 was one of 2 Ansons that were involved in a mid air collision over New South Wales, Australia, in September 1940. Although locked together, the 2 aircraft made a successful forced landing on the fields below, becoming known as the Brocklesby mid-air collision, named after the town over which the incident occurred.
  5. I would like to make my SEAC collection something more than standard set of Hurricane, Thunderbolt, Spitfire, Mohawk, Vengeance, Blenheim, Beaufighter, Mosquito, Auster, Sentinel, Lysander, Harvard, Expeditor, Dakota, Swordfish, Catalina, Sunderland, Walrus, Warwick, Wellington, Mitchell and Liberator. So I'm looking for pictures of other SEAC aircraft wearing "India White" roundels. Among "suspected" types there are: Anson, Oxford, Hudson, Tiger Moth, Proctor and (maybe) Master and Magister. All other RAF & FAA types used in this theatre (Audax, Hart, Hind, Wapiti, Valentia, Vildebeest, Buffalo, Beaufort, Albacore, Fulmar, Singapore) have been probably retired before the small roundel with pale blue centre was introduced. Or maybe I'm wrong?
  6. Pics from Graham James from Old Warden
  7. wellsprop

    1/72 Anson

    Hi all, Well, to be honest, I've been on bit of a break from modelling due to revising for my exams I'm on revision timetable so I finally have some time free to chat here! Anyway, I want to build an Avro Anson in ATA service. I'm going to get myself the Airfix kit but I'm not going to get any PE, I'm going to make the necessary cockpit framework myself. I was just wondering if there are any resin/metal/plastic engines, engine cowls, wheels for an Anson. I'd also be very grateful if anyone could post pictures/info on the ATA Ansons, Argus' and other ferry aircaft Cheers, Ben.
  8. Well it's been a long old build but here she is! This Annie depicts a late war Air Transport Auxiliary bird that flew ferry missions throughout the war and eventually flew to the continent, picking up a lot of wear and tear during its career. It is based on Anson N5334 which (I think) was at White Waltham. Ansons used by the ATA were worked extremely hard and never really got any lime light for their efforts. They ferried ATA pilots all over the UK, without radio or instrument flying capability. Following D-Day many Ansons were stripped out and used to fly medicine, newspapers, ferry pilots and even champagne to the continent. On their return leg they would bring back ferry pilots, POW's and the occasional "duty-free" item when no-one was looking (motorbikes, bicycles, cigarettes, etc...) I'm going to put this a/c in a diorama that will be to follow... Ben.
  9. Hi all, Finally got my mits on the SH Anson so I'll do a WIP for it over the next week. I'm actually at a family meeting type thing this weekend, so I wont start building till sunday evening. However, I do have shots of the kit; Unfortunately this resin engine cowl is outta shape :/ Some lovely PE Nicely printed Crisp, clean and clear Cheers, Ben.
  10. Hi all, as some of you have seen in the WIP pages, I have been building an Avro Anson Mk.1 in memory of my grandfather, as well as in honour of all of the unsung heroes of training command during WW2. they worked just as hard to train the air crews of the UK and Commonwealth to fly, navigate, bomb and stay alive. My grandfather was stationed at RAF Wigtown initially, followed by a spell at RAF Bishops Court in NI, as a radio engineer on the Ansons. So here it is- the premise being that when the aircrews got home, their day was done, but the groundcrews would work long into the night to get the planes ready for the next sorties (and often going up with the aircraft as a gunner during the day, in case it was needed). Thank you for looking!
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