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Vigilante RA-5C Photo Flash Pod


dhdove
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Hi All

I'm making progress with my Trumpeter 1/48 Vigilante and will be using just one underwing store, the photo flash pod under the port wing. I do not know it's manufacturer nor part number.

I have been unable to find any references to the colour scheme of this, nor pictures. It seems unlikely that it was all plain white? Or maybe it is?

Can anyone help please?

BTW this is a challenging kit to build but it's shaping up to be a fantastic end result.

Thanks in advance

TonyS

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Thanks guys

I guessed it was white, but was interested in bands, markings etc. I think that it ejected flares from the rear??? Would there have been discolouration?

TonyS

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Thanks Giorgio

I didn't realise that the rear end was a power turbine which powered the electric flash system.

Do you know who made it and the part number? I cannot find any pics or info on the net. If nothing else I'll just paint it white, but I'm sure there must be some detailing t be added on it.

TonyS

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Sorry, don't have any more information on the flash pod, I'll have a look at some books, there may be something. The best bet would however be the Naval Fighter book that unfortunately I don't have (I say unfortunately as I always loved the Vigilante)

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Technically, it's the "Flasher System Photographic, Aircraft" (designated the LS-43AI). I think it was made by North American as part of the RA-5C package - most gear was procured that way as part of an overall "weapons system". It was used after Vietnam too, but was seldom seen as it was unnecessary for daylight ops where 99.9% of the images of Vigis were taken.

Tony

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If it helps you with colour reference, there's a tail turbine from that type of pod on Ebay right now. Click and save the pics while they're up:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/NORTH-AMERICAN-AVIATION-RA-5C-VIGILANTE-RAM-AIR-FLASHER-NAVY-RECON-AIRCRAFT-PART-/161569570785

If you look at the third picture along in the advertisement, you'll see a manufacturer's plate identifying Allison as the builder.

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Very useful close-ups of the RAT section. Allison made engines and generators. All the bits were most likely subcontracted. Wonder which firm made the flashers ?

I've had a copy lurking in its box for ten years - was put off by all the rivet holes, but nothing a bit of filler can't correct. The shape issues are not that bad and it is a beautiful jet.

Tony

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http://rvahnavy.ning.com/photo/flash-photography-from-1-500-feet

Shows a flasher unit illumination from 1,500 ft. It would make for interesting Cold War snaps of Soviet ships, but would have been used mostly in low threat areas in combat - the Vigi featured AN/AAS-21 IRLS in station 7 at the rear of the "canoe" for use in high threat areas. It was elegant but relatively large, making a big target for AAA gunners. IIRC 18 were lost in combat in SEA.

Tony

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Thanks everyone for all that info and pics.

Here's the Trumpeter offering.....

cb56fdd7daa0377ebf0dbb82fea48848.jpg

It's very different at the rear from those pictured, kinda like a torpedo with the prop faired in, except there's no prop!

Time for some modification I think.....

TonyS

Edited by dhdove
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The Aerofax book that shows the pod has the same setup at the back, most likely a safety guard to protect the blades.

Jari

I'd agree with that going by pictures I've seen of it on the net.

Any picture I've seen of the aircraft in the air with one of those pods on shows no such structure at the back of the pod, just the ram turbine blades and spinner.

The big ring structure is likely a guard that gets removed before flight.

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Thanks again, here's my representation, not sure if the bluish tint in the flash gun windows is right but I think it looks OK?

c1824860c644f6a7f82d5cc485c88288.jpg

TonyS

Edited by dhdove
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  • 6 years later...

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