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Sean_M

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RAF Museum Hurricane P2617

 

I am currently building the Airfix Hurricane 1/48 kit as representing the RAF Museum Hurricane Mk 1 that was in the original BoB Hall and has now been shunted to another area.  I am trying to recreate it in early Autumn 1940 when it was still with 607 Squadron at the tail end of the BoB.  So far, I have painted it in the A scheme and sky undersides. The A/C code will be M, not F (from the research in another Britmodeller post).  

 

I was about to finish the model, but two areas are now unclear.  I am not sure if the aircraft would have been fitted with the pole type early radio antennae or the later version in the kit.  I had used the Rotol prop and spinner, but again looking through Britmodeller, I think it could be a DH spinner, but would it be the Hurricane DH or early retro fit Spitfire DH?  Or were Rotols refitted to Hurricanes in the field in the BoB.  Photos of P2647 show a Pole aerial and a 'skinny' spinner in the Battle of France .

 

Thanks to Troy for answering my earlier posts, I though I had the a/c sorted before my new ideas.  I am also finally going with the internal armoured windscreen and possibly put on  a bead sight on the top of the nose.  Unless of course that is debateable!

 

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17 minutes ago, Olmec Head said:

was about to finish the model, but two areas are now unclear.  I am not sure if the aircraft would have been fitted with the pole type early radio antennae or the later version in the kit.  I had used the Rotol prop and spinner, but again looking through Britmodeller, I think it could be a DH spinner, but would it be the Hurricane DH or early retro fit Spitfire DH?  Or were Rotols refitted to Hurricanes in the field in the BoB.  Photos of P2647 show a Pole aerial and a 'skinny' spinner in the Battle of France .

Without a photo....? Who really knows.

But, .  From what I can see in photos, retro fitting parts was not done except after major repairs, or specific range, the only exception is replacement of of the two blade wooden prop.

The DH Hurricane unit was a constant speed prop, or easily modified into one, so didn't need replacing.  There was a change in radio sets, from the TR9D, which needed a wire, to the TR 1131 type, which didn't.  

IFF wires came in as well.

Given that P2617 now has a Rotol CM/1 unit, at some point the prop was replaced, but then so was the tailwheel, but I think these are additions from Training Command days.

The windscreen in the kit was standard from early on, the ring and bead pole was retained.

29 minutes ago, Olmec Head said:

So far, I have painted it in the A scheme and sky undersides. The A/C code will be M, not F (from the research in another Britmodeller post).  

By the autumn, you will have underwing roundels, the ones added in the field show many variations in size and position, as well as often showing non standard centres.

Same deal on the fuselage roundels, factory was 35" A, adding a yellow ring, was done with a full width yellow, or a thin yellow,. Or less often, a full repaint.

About the only guide to these are any other pics of 607 sq planes,  

http://norav.50megs.com/photo3_1.html

 

Ok, from the link

hurri_u.jpg

 

This is apparently from SEP 40, and is a fairly old Hurricane,  possibly even fabric winged, it either an L or N serial, as the smaller 6 inch high serial last 2 digits can just be made out, note has DH prop and still pole aerial.

Fin stripes, not full red front, see othe pic in link, of AF-F, is the same. Note AFF has aerial wire.

The fuse roundel is odd, like perhaps a 35 inch A,  retaining original centre spot, but with repaint blue and yellow.

I'll go on a serial hunt later, as last two digits look to be 64,  but failing anything else, this is a reasonable 'pattern' aircraft for an older 607 airframe.

I'll @Graham Boak as IIRC 607  is of special interest to him.

 

HTH

 

 

 

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There is a reference in Dixon's Blackadder biography to him having a replacement Hurricane with a Rotol prop, suggesting that these were rare in the squadron in France.  Memory suggests that he was flying B  at the time. 

 

607 had four or five L serials, but only in later 1940 when the unit was rested.  The only N serial I have was N2568 which they "collected" from 501 Sq coded SD.B during the withdrawal in France.  I don't have any of  607'c codes for these.  I don't have a serial for U.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 03/06/2022 at 11:16, Troy Smith said:

Without a photo....? Who really knows.

But, .  From what I can see in photos, retro fitting parts was not done except after major repairs, or specific range, the only exception is replacement of of the two blade wooden prop.

The DH Hurricane unit was a constant speed prop, or easily modified into one, so didn't need replacing.  There was a change in radio sets, from the TR9D, which needed a wire, to the TR 1131 type, which didn't.  

IFF wires came in as well.

Given that P2617 now has a Rotol CM/1 unit, at some point the prop was replaced, but then so was the tailwheel, but I think these are additions from Training Command days.

The windscreen in the kit was standard from early on, the ring and bead pole was retained.

By the autumn, you will have underwing roundels, the ones added in the field show many variations in size and position, as well as often showing non standard centres.

Same deal on the fuselage roundels, factory was 35" A, adding a yellow ring, was done with a full width yellow, or a thin yellow,. Or less often, a full repaint.

About the only guide to these are any other pics of 607 sq planes,  

http://norav.50megs.com/photo3_1.html

 

Ok, from the link

hurri_u.jpg

 

This is apparently from SEP 40, and is a fairly old Hurricane,  possibly even fabric winged, it either an L or N serial, as the smaller 6 inch high serial last 2 digits can just be made out, note has DH prop and still pole aerial.

Fin stripes, not full red front, see othe pic in link, of AF-F, is the same. Note AFF has aerial wire.

The fuse roundel is odd, like perhaps a 35 inch A,  retaining original centre spot, but with repaint blue and yellow.

I'll go on a serial hunt later, as last two digits look to be 64,  but failing anything else, this is a reasonable 'pattern' aircraft for an older 607 airframe.

I'll @Graham Boak as IIRC 607  is of special interest to him.

 

HTH

 

 

 

Thanks again Troy for the detailed response,  I am going to go for the DH prop and pole aerial, mainly as P2647 from the same batch was so equipped.  Naively, I thought that the pole aerial would be similar to the Spitfire one, as I had a spare one from the new Tamiya kit.  But looking at photos, the Hurricane early aerial looks to be different.  I also noticed that AF-U had a rear mirror fitted, so that's something else to consider!  

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On 03/06/2022 at 10:24, Olmec Head said:

RAF Museum Hurricane P2617

 

I am currently building the Airfix Hurricane 1/48 kit as representing the RAF Museum Hurricane Mk 1 that was in the original BoB Hall and has now been shunted to another area.  I am trying to recreate it in early Autumn 1940 when it was still with 607 Squadron at the tail end of the BoB.  So far, I have painted it in the A scheme and sky undersides. The A/C code will be M, not F (from the research in another Britmodeller post).  

 

I was about to finish the model, but two areas are now unclear.  I am not sure if the aircraft would have been fitted with the pole type early radio antennae or the later version in the kit.  I had used the Rotol prop and spinner, but again looking through Britmodeller, I think it could be a DH spinner, but would it be the Hurricane DH or early retro fit Spitfire DH?  Or were Rotols refitted to Hurricanes in the field in the BoB.  Photos of P2647 show a Pole aerial and a 'skinny' spinner in the Battle of France .

 

Thanks to Troy for answering my earlier posts, I though I had the a/c sorted before my new ideas.  I am also finally going with the internal armoured windscreen and possibly put on  a bead sight on the top of the nose.  Unless of course that is debateable!

 

As far as Rotol airscrews for the Hurricane were concerned, it was agreed in early March 1940 that it was quicker to rely upon aircraft coming from the production line (then being fitted with Rotols) than to undertake retrospective (in-field) fitting. This policy was re-confirmed later that month.

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The change overs at Gloster
TR9D to TR1133, was aircraft 100 of the order, P2681
To Rotol propeller, was aircraft 101 of the order, P2682

After that there are always exceptions, "tropical standard" used the De Havilland 2 pitch propeller.  The 15 ex Iran order from Hawkers P3720 to P3724 were ordered to the completed to tropical standard, no Rotol propeller.

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Interesting to note that at although 607's first score of Hurricanes (by serial - possibly not by delivery date?) had TR9D and the DH prop, quite a lot more had TR1133 and Rotols.  I doubt that two different standards of radio were used on the same unit at the same time in a combat area, which suggests that the TR9D would have been refitted before sending to France, in line with the vast majority of aircraft already present.  Whether transmitter stations capable of using the VHF. wavebands were ever sent to France is beyond my knowledge, but it seems unlikely.  Fighter Command would have had priority.

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On 6/15/2022 at 10:24 AM, Geoffrey Sinclair said:

After that there are always exceptions, "tropical standard" used the De Havilland 2 pitch propeller.  The 15 ex Iran order from Hawkers P3720 to P3724 were ordered to the completed to tropical standard, no Rotol propeller.

That’s interesting, I didn’t know that!

I guess that there were concerns with Rotol propellers in tropical environments?

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This isn't clear, but there's a suspicion (by me at least) that this is more a matter of keeping the best "on the island".  Standardisation of logistics could have been an influence.  There was a known problem with the DH unit of freezing at high altitudes, but I don't think that this was known about in 1940  The principle of sending DH props overseas was maintained in the case of Spitfire Mk.Vs to Australia, which led to the severe problems experienced at Darwin.  (But that's a long sad story and not about Hurricanes.)

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2 hours ago, StevSmar said:

I guess that there were concerns with Rotol propellers in tropical environments?

Since the Rotol props were the standard fit too all Mk.II/IV,  I don't think there was., but see points below.

1 hour ago, Graham Boak said:

This isn't clear, but there's a suspicion (by me at least) that this is more a matter of keeping the best "on the island".  Standardisation of logistics could have been an influence. 

 

Except the Mk.II/IV used the Rotol.

 

two points re the DH VS Rotol on the Mk.I, where from photo it was standard fit on the Trop Mk.I and the Sea Hurricane IB

The DH unit had metal blades,  and I think is heavier.  AFAIK, all the Rotol Hurricane units used compressed wood blades.

 

in the case of the Sea hurricane IB, this helped off set the weight of the hook,  though the Sea hurricane II all had Rotol units, but their added length counteracted the hook, 

in the trop case, perhaps considered more durable,  though the standardisation of logistics may have helped in the choice.

 

@V Line has posted some excellent info on props, and may have some details to add.

 

HTH

 

 

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Given that the Mk.II used the Rotol and nothing else, that left no choice in the matter.  However the DH was the propeller of choice for overseas Spitfires, and (apparently) overseas Hurricane Mk.Is too.

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Another topic;

I had build some unusual Hurricanes, look here:

 

The Russian conversion:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/21603181@N08/34946377501/in/dateposted/

 

The Canadian conversion:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/21603181@N08/17035489378/in/dateposted/

 

The Persian conversion:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/21603181@N08/16052547069/in/dateposted/

 

The Hillson Hurricane:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/21603181@N08/9202132094/in/dateposted/

 

The experimental Hurricane:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/21603181@N08/8076622095/in/dateposted/

 

The Hurricane floatplane:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/21603181@N08/8076618573/in/dateposted/

 

and much more regular versions.

Now my question, next project is the Griffon Hurricane.

I have only a color drawing in the Aeroplane Icons book and ned more information, real or only an idea?

No problem Ilike to build it.

 

modelldoc 

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11 hours ago, modelldoc said:

Now my question, next project is the Griffon Hurricane.

I have only a color drawing in the Aeroplane Icons book and ned more information, real or only an idea?

Only an idea.  As were all the different engine projects apart from the one Hurricane in Yugoslavia which was re-engined with a DB601.

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A Griffon in a Hurricane would be a waste of a good Griffon - stick it in a Barracuda which needed it!  Another project which had rather more possible value was the introduction of a radial,  The Hercules was one suggestion.  That would remove the prime vulnerability of the aircraft in the ground attack role - which was all it could be considered for then.

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On 6/22/2022 at 9:52 PM, modelldoc said:

 

 

and much more regular versions.

Now my question, next project is the Griffon Hurricane.

I have only a color drawing in the Aeroplane Icons book and ned more information, real or only an idea?

No problem Ilike to build it.

 

modelldoc 

Rolls Royce Hucknall used an Hawker Henley as a test bed for the Griffon II. Are you thinking of thank aircraft? 

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3 hours ago, Gomtuu said:

Rolls Royce Hucknall used an Hawker Henley as a test bed for the Griffon II. Are you thinking of thank aircraft?

No,  there were plans to fit a Griffon.

https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/attachments/escanear0001-jpg.64260/

 

If you can't see that, it was posted here , post #4

https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/threads/spitfire-hurricane-floatplanes.5990/

 

From The Mason Hurricane book published by Crecy, also has sketch for one with a Hercules and Dagger engine.

 

1 hour ago, modelldoc said:

Unfortunately there is no Hawker Henley in 1:72.

Formaplane did a vacform years ago, and Magna did a resin kit.  

https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235057072-magna-hawker-henley-target-tug-tt-111/

 

This is the griffon test bed

henleytestbed.jpg

 

more on the Henley here

https://dingeraviation.net/henley/hawker_henley.htm

 

 

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12 hours ago, modelldoc said:

Unfortunately there is no Hawker Henley in 1:72.

Perhaps someone we got one, than I do it.

 

modelldoc

I think Formaplane did a vacform back in the 80’s. Usual caveat about price/availability.

 

Trevor

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A few minor points.  The DH propeller was initially variable speed, but by mid-1940 a constant speed variant was available and preferred.  It was introduced as a panic measure (no other term seems appropriate) in July: earlier DH had insisted on a price the Ministry considered excessive.

 

"Plan", when attached to the different engine studies appears to imply slightly more than need be the real case.  "Considered" by Hawker, clearly, but the production of project drawings would not require much investment in time or cost, and little or no interest from the Ministry.

 

The Formaplane Henley was built on this site not so long ago.

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2 hours ago, Graham Boak said:

The DH propeller was initially variable speed, but by mid-1940 a constant speed variant was available and preferred.  It was introduced as a panic measure (no other term seems appropriate) in July: earlier DH had insisted on a price the Ministry considered excessive.

I was under the impression that it was a two speed unit, but a conversion kit was made to turn it into a constant speed unit,  which a team of DH engineers went round to RAF bases, fitting one, and then supervising one and then left the fitters to do the rest while moving on,  in July 1940, with Dh executives wondering if they would ever get paid,  and someone pointing out that if this didn't happen then it maybe irrelevant if had got paid...

hmm, a search

http://spitfiresite.com/2010/06/battle-of-britain-1940-constant-speed-propellers.html

 

"The actual story started two weeks previously, when RAF engineer officer telephoned Hatfield to ask whether “without a lot of paperwork and fuss”, de Havilland two-pitch propellers installed in the RAF Spitfires then in service could be converted to constant-speed operation, starting with a trial installation on one aircraft.

Back in 1935, following the success of their own Comet racer, de Havilland acquired a licence from Hamilton Standard in the United States for variable-pitch propeller mechanism.

de Havilland were the first to offer variable-pitch propellers on the British market

As opposed to the fixed propellers which were widely used since the beginning of aviation, variable-pitch propellers could take better advantage of the power supplied by an engine in much the same way that a transmission in a car takes better advantage of its power source. While the first variable-pitch propellers dated as far back as 1917 at Britain’s Royal Aircraft Factory, it was the development of electrically and hydraulically adjustable mechanisms in the 1930s which brought their wide adoption, starting with the Unites States. De Havilland was the first company to supply such propellers in Britain, which made it an obvious choice for the Spitfire and the Hurricane.

Constant-speed, fully feathering propellers were already widely employed on multi-engine aircraft, but not in fighters because of the weight penalty of the mechanism – the metal de Havilland propeller was already much heavier than the wooden two-bladers used on both the Spitfire and the Hurricane initially, causing some CG and torque-related problems. So the RAF had adopted a simpler two-pitch mechanism from de Havilland as an interim measure, relying on a home-designed Rotol (a joint venture between Rolls-Royce and Bristol) to produce a lightweight, constant-speed wooden propeller for fighters. The de Havilland model was of “bracket” type, allowing only two settings: fine for take-off and coarse for all conditions of flight.

 

Major Werner Mölders of Luftwaffe’s JG 51 had the opportunity to test captured British Spitfire and Hurricane against their own Bf 109E:

“It was very interesting to carry out the flight trials at Rechlin with the Spitfire and the Hurricane. Both types are very simple to fly compared to our aircraft, and childishly easy to take-off and land.

The Hurricane is good-natured and turns well, but its performance is decidedly inferior to that of the Me 109. It has strong stick forces and is “lazy” on the ailerons.

The Spitfire is one class better. It handles well, is light on the controls, faultless in the turn and has a performance approaching that of the Me 109. As a fighting aircraft, however, it is miserable. A sudden push forward on the stick will cause the motor to cut; and because the propeller has only two pitch settings (take-off and cruise), in a rapidly changing air combat situation the motor is either overspeeding or else is not being used to the full.”

 

A constant-speed propeller of the Bf 109 was a superior alternative as the pitch could be adjusted freely to match engine RPM, optimising the thrust for any given condition in flight. In Britain, Spitfires had been delivered with Rotol propellers since November 1939, but the numbers were insufficient to employ it in all aircraft. More importantly, the Rotol required a specially modified Merlin engine which made it suitable primarily for new production aircraft.

 

De Havilland’s reply on the phone line was well-informed and to the point. Yes, the mechanism was essentially the same as their more advanced Hydromatic propeller, so technically it should not pose much of a problem. The propeller pitch range would have to be extended, but it could be done without exchanging the blades. Connection to a secondary engine shaft would be needed to drive the hydraulic pump; then there would be some new external oil pipes and new propeller control unit in the cockpit. de Havilland could produce the necessary conversion parts on their own, including the accessories for the Merlin, in order to avoid disturbing Rolls-Royce, who were snowed under heavy demand for their engines. Paperwork would be inevitable to divert the necessary work force and materials if conversion of all aircraft in service was to follow.

 

The company set about producing the necessary parts for the prototype conversion, and, having received one Spitfire from No. 65 Squadron, completed the work in only four days. The modified Spitfire performed admirably, to everyone’s surprise reaching the same level of performance as the same aircraft with Rotol constant speed unit.  The modified Spitfire had a shorter take-off run, was much faster in climb, and its maximum altitude increased by 7,000 feet. All these attributes were direly needed by Dowding, who was fully aware that every second to altitude mattered if his fighters were to meet the incoming enemy formations on anything resembling equal terms.

Lord Beaverbrook embraced the idea and on 22 June, verbally instructed de Havilland to convert in the field all the Spitfires, Hurricanes and Defiants in service, in the following priority: Spitfire squadrons first, then Hurricanes and Defiants, then aircraft in Maintenance Units. Resources were to be diverted as necessary, at the expense of other ongoing production. No formal contract was necessary; that could be taken care of later.

 

A de Havilland clerk remarked “We shall probably never be paid for this work” – and very nearly they weren’t. Even in 1943, with Beaverbrook no longer in position as Minister of Aircraft Production, the Air Ministry was asking in vein for a record that the work had been done. It it a fantastic testimony of Geoffrey de Havilland’s leadership that his company never hesitated to deliver.

On the aforementioned 24 June, de Havilland sent engineering parties to twelve Spitfire stations, each lorry carrying six conversion sets. The engineers were to perform the first conversion, educate a selected team of RAF fitters at each station, then proceed to the next location. This way, the time to convert an entire squadron was limited to ten days and performed mostly by the local staff. All Spitfire squadrons would be completed in a record time by 20 July.

By 16 August, every Spitfire and Hurricane in service had been converted with constant-speed propellers – 1,051 aircraft in all. Constant-speed propellers gave the RAF fighters a significant extra margin in performance just in time for their all-out battle, when an edge in altitude, speed or climb could mean all the difference to the fighting pilots."

 

I'm not sure of the exact accuracy of the above, but I believe the basic to be correct. 

 

This story of course relates mainly to Spitfire Mk.I's,. which nearly all had the DH unit,  as due to losses on France, Hurricanes were either old, and in 2nd line units, or new, and the constant speed Rotol was a standard on new  Hurricanes (except for the few tropical ones made)  from early 1940 at both Hawker and Gloster.

 

2 hours ago, Graham Boak said:

The Formaplane Henley was built on this site not so long ago.

started but not finished.

https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235035634-hawker-henley-tt/

 

I really should have a go at the one i have stashed....  

 

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I have long had doubts about much of the story expressed above for a number of reasons, even before reading the statement that negotiations with the Ministry started in late 1939.  There was, after all, no secrecy about the value of the constant speed prop and the weakness of the 2-speed one.  Further, I have always been surprised (astonished?) that the actual work of design and manufacture of that many pieces including  (supposedly) the actual design of the system, the jig design and manufacture.  This was not just a matter of switching props.  A control unit had to be designed to replace the cockpit-operated leverage.   Though I suspect this may have been the same unit as used by Rotol, but can't confirm that.  The mounting for this seems to have been the same for both propellers, and was already present on the Merlin III in 1938.  Yet we are expected to believe that no-one suggested it to DH for another two years?    It makes much more sense that the design had long predated July 1940: as this would after all have been a much more sensible approach for DH to take, and no-one has ever accused DH of not being a forward-looking company aware of the needs of the market-place.  A dispute over the price of a contract was hardly anything new in the industry, and it was not uncommon for work to proceed on the assumption that the commercial department would sort this out given the clear need.  Whether this was ever clear to anyone on the level of a draughtsman I don't know, but this story seems to belong rather more in the history of the Mosquito, which did after all imply a much greater financial risk to the company than a few hundred modified propellers ever would have been.

 

Frankly, it beggars belief that DH had not explored the possibilities before the outbreak of the war.  Things fall into place if DH had started work on the redesign, including obtaining control units (from wherever) in late 1939, so that when the order eventually did come through there would a stock of these ready to go.  As indeed the need did arrive.  As described, the manufacturing timescale appears impossible to achieve.   

 

It is not true that the Rotol prop required a specially modified Merlin engine: just  the same Merlin III that had been in use since the 51st Hurricane.  The problem with the Rotol prop was that it was not possible to build enough for all the required fighters and they were allocated to the Hurricane on a "greatest need" basis.

 

The story above is also confused by the increase in pitch angle, which would not have seemed necessary at this stage.  It is true that at some stage DH switched production to the Hydromatic propeller, which did indeed have a wider pitch range.  This features in the story of the supply of Spitfires to Malta in 1942, where there was concern about the take-off run on HMS Furious, so it was suggested that Hydromatic props were used instead because their wider pitch range gave superior take-off performance.  A short sea trial lead to the conversion of the planned delivery.  I don't know when the Hydromatic props were introduced, on the DH line but that they seem to have been new in 1942 suggests that it wasn't in the summer of 1940.  It also suggests that the then-standard DH CS prop did not have this pitch change.

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On 6/23/2022 at 3:33 AM, Troy Smith said:

…apart from the one Hurricane in Yugoslavia which was re-engined with a DB601.

Has anyone seen definitive proof that this occurred?

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6 hours ago, StevSmar said:

Has anyone seen definitive proof that this occurred?

As in a photo.  No... as one comment said regarding this "in ebay we trust"  as in perhaps a German photo of the crashed plane may surface.

"Yes, gained 100 flying hours of flight testing till the April 6th 1941 and attack on the Kingdom of Yugoslavia by the Axis powers,  even do some combat sorties, mainly straffing German collumns in south Serbia.
Due the engine overheating , belly landed somewhere in Kosovo region and was abandoned by the pilot.

Wreck was scrapped by German units.

No photo of the wreck found, but in EBAY we trust , must appear some day."

 

this is worth a read

https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235084000-hurricane-yugoslav-built-captured-and-used-as-a-hack-by-jg54/

 

as it has the above quote, links to review of of Hawker, The Yugoslav Story and more. 

1.jpg

 

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The Army Hobby 1/72 Hurricane has a smal bump in front of the aerial mast. You can probbaly distinguish it here (photos from here):

Spoiler

resized_b74ac774-eea9-4bb2-8fdb-32eeb170

and here, superimposed on a picture of the real aircraft:

Spoiler

2ec02604-e627-40fe-8ea6-c4f5f403444a.jpg

 

From what I can distinguish in photos of the real plane that seems to actually be a position light of some sort and it looks like glass. Arma, however, offers it as part of the fuselage, in grey plastic (although they offer transparancies for all other lights I think) and most modellers seem to just paint it over with the rest of the camo pattern. Could someone please say what this thing actually is and if it has to be transparent or it can be painted over? I`m at that part of painting the model and it got me stuck. :D

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