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oldgit

PA474 and C-GVRA

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Chaps,

A plea to the Lancaster experts out there. Could you please explain the differences between PA474 and C-GVRA please? I know the obvious, Martin mid upper turrent with twin fifties and Packard Merlins for the Mk.X, different fuselage windows, etc, but what else is there to look out for from a modelling point of view? I understand for instance that PA474 has different rudders and Shackleton / Halifax parts also?

Does anyone produce a 1/72nd scale martin mid upper turret? Does anyone produce decals of the current markings worn by PA474 & C-GRVA?

Finally, am I in a minority in being offended by the 'Thumper' & 'Vera' names? To me it seems a typical 'dumbing down' of a subject which seems to be happening far, far too often these days...

Thanks everyone, as always,

Tim

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Can't help with the differences but Kitsworld are doing the decals soon - Link

Steve

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PA474 has Lincoln rudders and undercarriage (which I believe it came off the production line with, as did some other late-build Lancasters), It also has the larger radiator intakes developed for the Far East. Again I believe this to be as the aircraft was originally manufactured.

It has Shackleton wheels: the wheels at least are a retrofit. There was a thread on the Key historic forum that says the current tailwheel is actually an A340 nosewheel, which is plausible.

http://forum.keypublishing.com/showthread.php?117969-Lancaster-PA474-and-Wikipedia

I don't know much about how the CWH one has been modified over the years. I do know it has the original Lancaster rudders.

Edited by Work In Progress

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Finally, am I in a minority in being offended by the 'Thumper' & 'Vera' names? To me it seems a typical 'dumbing down' of a subject which seems to be happening far, far too often these days...

Why? :) Didn't most crews give their planes nicknames? It wasn't until I joined up here that I ever saw people discuss/identify planes solely by their serial numbers, which, to me, is just going to alienate and confuse people in the grand scheme of things.

We can't give give them the usual "A-Apple" because....well....the reason is obvious......

Edited by K404

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Mike Belcher of Belcher Bits does or did block tread tyres/wheels for 1/72nd Lanc that can be fitted to any 72nd Lancaster kit and that would bring them into line with postwar standard aircraft as the kit parts only include smooth tread tyres that were more commonly a wartime fit. By the way, in case its not known to some, C-GVRA is originally a Mk 10 and serialled FM213 and used in the MR role.

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A few bits to know about the Canadian machine.

The Martin turret was widely used in the US during the war but only came quite late to Lancaster production. You can source one from many kits including various B-24, B-26 and A-20. There are others. Don't forget the reinforcement strips on the fuselage below the turret aperture, easily made from plastic card.

The mainwheels have slots instead of holes so I suppose that makes them Lincoln or Shackleton items. The tires have block tread and are not the smooth version used widely in wartime. The tailwheel tire has circumferential tread though the machine had the wartime anti-shimmy tire during its restoration period (and which it had when it retired from the air force).

The wheel wells and wing interior in the flap area are green, a sickly olive-ish shade, exact spec unknown at least to me. I guess it's anti-corrosion finish. The flap and wheel door interior surfaces are black.

Remember gloss paint and modern aerial fit.

Decals for C-GVRA are available from CanMilAir:

www.canmilair.com

I share the reservations about cutesy modern nicknames but pretty much shrug it off - all over in a month.

What will confuse is the lack of precision in referring to an airframe as it is now painted as if its identity had somehow changed. A few years and a couple of scheme changes and the thread is lost. Not much danger with either of these two Lancasters but just try tracing a T-6 or Mustang; not always but sometimes to no avail. Remember that 'VRA was in its service life FM213 and only acquired civilian registration comparatively recently. And it is painted as KB726, the machine lost in the Mynarski action which it emphatically is not. Yet I have heard well-meaning folk refer to it as that, seemingly missing the point. Confusion is optional but some seem to embrace it!

Edited by RJP

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In addition, if one scrolls through the Canmilair Lancaster section, one will find that Bill does very nice decals for Just Jane too!!! And G-GVRA in its post war RCAF service as FM213 with Rescue markings among several other interesting Lancasters!!

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What will confuse is the lack of precision in referring to an airframe as it is now painted as if its identity had somehow changed. A few years and a couple of scheme changes and the thread is lost. Not much danger with either of these two Lancasters but just try tracing a T-6 or Mustang; not always but sometimes to no avail. Remember that 'VRA was in its service life FM213 and only acquired civilian registration comparatively recently. And it is painted as KB726, the machine lost in the Mynarski action which it emphatically is not. Yet I have heard well-meaning folk refer to it as that, seemingly missing the point. Confusion is optional but some seem to embrace it!

A quest for purity would see us with even fewer airworthy machines.....at what point does a plane stop being original?

I think people have been fairly consistent in stating that "it is painted to represent KB726, in tribute to....."

The only thing I have any particularly strong feeling towards are the "replicas." IMO it completely undermines the point of preservation if someone with a bank balance can decide to just build something that looks like XY or Z. it devalues the real thing and undermines the importance/loss of not having an original left to examine in a museum or on a flightline....or in flight.

Edited by K404

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A quest for purity would see us with even fewer airworthy machines.....at what point does a plane stop being original?

I think people have been fairly consistent in stating that "it is painted to represent KB726, in tribute to....."

The only thing I have any particularly strong feeling towards are the "replicas." IMO it completely undermines the point of preservation if someone with a bank balance can decide to just build something that looks like XY or Z. it devalues the real thing and undermines the importance/loss of not having an original left to examine in a museum or on a flightline....or in flight.

Devalues the real thing? But isn't it better to have a replica flying if there are none of that type around, than not? Sure I would rather see a restoration flying but it's not always possible to see that happen.

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I'm of the opinion of no. I'm pretty old-school, I don't buy into this whole "we must have everything because we can" way of life.

Why bother with a painstaking restoration over ten years when someone can build a replica, then use the jigs and patterns to build ten? The majority of people don't care about the means. If we show them "instant gratification" then why would they hold out for something?

Case-in-point.....There is fairly wide interest of two airworthy Lancasters. If someone builds ten replicas and fills an airshow sky with them, who would ever queue or pay to see two?

Rare things are special. Common things are not. Supply and demand. It is the way of the world.

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Aside from the serials, airframes were re-allocated to different squadrons throughout their lives, so a change of codes is irrelevant.

PA474 has had several codes, in tribute to significant aircraft.

How many P-51's and B-17s are painted to represent notable airframes no longer extant?

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I'm of the opinion of no. I'm pretty old-school, I don't buy into this whole "we must have everything because we can" way of life.

Why bother with a painstaking restoration over ten years when someone can build a replica, then use the jigs and patterns to build ten? The majority of people don't care about the means. If we show them "instant gratification" then why would they hold out for something?

Case-in-point.....There is fairly wide interest of two airworthy Lancasters. If someone builds ten replicas and fills an airshow sky with them, who would ever queue or pay to see two?

Rare things are special. Common things are not. Supply and demand. It is the way of the world.

I think that you are missing the point.

Nothing will ever take away the importance of PA474 and FM213. They are what they are, survivors and therefore precious. Having "replicas" does not take away their status and if it means that more people are able to see what a Lancaster in flight looks like then surely that is all to the good.

Where do you draw the line? Sir Thomas Sopwith said that as far as he was concerned the Old Warden Triplane should be regrded as a "late production" example. Very sad to see that it has been damaged so badly but what if it had been a "real" one?

Another example is of a topic in which I have a strong interest, the installation of the replica of Tutankhamun's tomb at Luxor. Some people have a real problem with it, "It's not the real thing." they say, "It cheapens the whole experience." What they seem to forget, and what you seem to be hinting at, is that by having something that is as close to the real thing as modern technology can achieve, the true value of the original is somehow reduced or destroyed. It's still there and if it means that the original is preserved for the future, then surely we must do all we can to allow future generations to see these precious relics of the past. PA474 and FM213 won't be flying for ever, at some stage they will have to be retired, if we can then replace them with good, honest replicas then that will allow us all to continue to enjoy the sight of aircraft that did so much to win the war and in which so many paid the ultimate price for that victory, then that must be what we should do.

Edited by AMStreet

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The vast majority of people don't care if it's real or replica. I'm thinking about the wider public. They don't put the same importance/significance/reverence on these planes as we do. The general consensus is "close enough" Cost becomes a factor sooner or later. Restoration and maintenance are not cheap hobbies. This is a disposable first-world culture, whether we like it or not.

We have replicas of Me262 flying at airshows. Has that taken the wind out the sails of trying to find and restore a real one to flying condition?

Taking the subject away from planes, for a different slant, but quite a parallel one

Computer CPUs: When the first dual-core CPUs came out, Intel put two single-core dies on a substrate, connected them together and called it a dual-core. AMD went for engineering purity and designed a dual-core die from the ground up. AMD pushed the purity angle as a reason to wait until theirs was ready (obviously, it took a bit longer than Intels approach)

Almost no-one cared. They wanted a tool to do a job and they didn't care what was under the hood. Intels sales and market saturation had an excellent headstart simply by being on shelves faster.

Another example...why would I bother going to The Louvre to see The Mona Lisa when I can buy a poster that's the same size? Starbucks could dedicate a wall in every one of their stores to displaying a poster of The Mona Lisa, why bother going to see the real thing?

Have I missed the point? I'm not sure if you've addressed mine.

As to "where do you draw the line?" I genuinely don't even know how I feel about that.

Edit: Finally thought of the way I wanted to express a certain thought/feeling. Replicas further a disposable culture because it says to people that they don't need to look after things because there's no consequence. Build a replica, carry on as if nothing happened.

Edited by K404

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So where do you stand on the "replica" A1 steam Locomotive Tornado? Would you object if someone with deep pockets built a Stirling or a Wellington or a Halifax?

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That's ridiculous. No-one who's put about half a million pounds and many years of work into a replica BE.2E like this is going to treat it as a throw-away item.

IMG_7485.jpg

And like any serviceable aeroplane: don't look after it properly, or treat it with contempt, and you don't only lose the investment, you lose your life. So the idea of "no consequences" is also ridiculous.

Edited by Work In Progress

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So where do you stand on the "replica" A1 steam Locomotive Tornado? Would you object if someone with deep pockets built a Stirling or a Wellington or a Halifax?

An interesting comment!

Actually (and I'm sure you know), Yorkshire Air Museum built a 'replica' Halifax III. They used a 'real' fuselage centre-section (it had been used as a shed or chicken house!), got BAe to construct a complete tail unit, reverse-engineered a set of Hastings wings to Halifax standard, received 4 Hercules engines giften by the French Air Force then asked the IWM if they could have their Halifax nose & cockpit. When they got the answer (NO) they set about building one themselves. When I first saw the reconstruction I assumed it was just a shell. WRONG! It's fully fitted out internally.

Another group building a Stirling replica. I'd love to see it one day.

Neither of these will coud fly but I take my hat off to the people with the skills & determination to recreate something that wouldn't otherwise exist in this country.

I don't know anything about the A1 Tornado locomotive replioca but it's the same principle - thanks to that team, too. I'm happy I had the chance to see an RE8 flying, and more recently see it in the RAF museum. Ihope to see the BE2's soon.

There IS a place for high quality replicas. I don't think that they - flying or not - detract from an example of the real thing. Especially if there isn't such an example to see!

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Airfix are releasing an updated BBMF gift set with three new mould kits and current decals for PA474, link here, for what its worth.

Simon

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That's ridiculous. No-one who's put about half a million pounds and many years of work into a replica BE.2E like this is going to treat it as a throw-away item.

IMG_7485.jpg

And like any serviceable aeroplane: don't look after it properly, or treat it with contempt, and you don't only lose the investment, you lose your life. So the idea of "no consequences" is also ridiculous.

That's not the interpretation of "no consequences" that I had in mind. Allow it to lose it's CoA, Leave it out to the elements, let people swing off it in a museum, cannabilise it for parts. No-one is going to let any of those things happen to an "original" these days, are they?

Is that BE2 a total one off, or have patterns and jigs been made for it? Translation: The first one might cost half an Mill, how much would the second one cost?

Edited by K404

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Back to the Lancs...

I noticed in a photo yesterday that FM213 doesn't have the radar(?) antennae on the fuse sides under the cockpit, which PA474 does.

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Back to the Lancs...

I noticed in a photo yesterday that FM213 doesn't have the radar(?) antennae on the fuse sides under the cockpit, which PA474 does.

Would that be the Rebecca aerial?

That's a short range radio aid that was often used by the Special Duties sqdns to locate dropping zones for resistance groups. Eureka was the ground based transponder.

In the case of Lancs it was fitted so as to allow the use of the BABS blind approach system.

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That's not the interpretation of "no consequences" that I had in mind. Allow it to lose it's CoA, Leave it out to the elements, let people swing off it in a museum, cannabilise it for parts. No-one is going to let any of those things happen to an "original" these days, are they?

Is that BE2 a total one off, or have patterns and jigs been made for it? Translation: The first one might cost half an Mill, how much would the second one cost?

No they produced two of them and I don't know how much they cost, but surely that's not the point anyway. Still very beautiful bits of kit and I would rather see these replicas flying than non at all.

Instant gratification? Hardly, I'm sure it took them a lot longer to build these two aircraft than the originals did.

They are working on several restorations and replicas, but I'm sure they restore where at all possible - http://thevintageaviator.co.nz/projects/be2

283443C0833B4601A56DDFA514E1467E.jpg

Edited by Tbolt

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Excellent. I wonder what type *that* tailwheel was pinched from? Whatever the source it is pleasingly plain and generic in appearance and therefore easy to come up with from the spares box for most people.

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When the Kits a World decals are released, I for one will partake in a couple. Have wanted to do NX611 for ages as I have a spark plug from her, and the fantastic book "Last of the Lancs" which charted her trip back from Australia to Biggin. Fab read. I just hope that KW don't have the delays with that sheet as they did with the dambusters one.

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