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Arragonis

Tucano What if - Maybe

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Hi,

Relative newbie here so apologies if this has been asked before, I did a search for Tucano and nothing similar turned up - at least on the first 2-3 pages of results ;)

I'm about to start on one of these - the 1/72 Airfix jobbie, but I fancy something different.

I was reading the Wikipedia page about the Tucano (Shorts) version and noted the debate about using them in a close support role and not just as a trainer. I know the UK ones are not fitted with hardpoints and so are unsuitable, but others are. e.g. Hardpoint locations seem to be clear here (not the Shorts version I know) :

Honduras_Air_Force_-_Embraer_T-27_Tucano

So I plan to build a what-if version - i.e. an RAF/Shorts version with added hardpoints and in military colours - probably borrowed from a Typhoon. The scenario would be some kind of situation involving ground forces requiring close air support to be provided rapidly. Tucanos, probably with additional tanks (would a centre hardpoint be suitable) would be able to loiter for long periods and answer demands as and when they came up.

My questions are 1) how should I build the hardpoints (I've not done much scratch building but keen to learn), and/or what load-out or detailing kits would suit this type of idea (I'm noting the NATO type units at Hannants but they seem "large" for a small aircraft) ?

I'm also tempted (just maybe no) to use WW2 style rockets, I have a few left over from various Mosquitos I've built as pathfinders or night-fighters.

Also comments welcome, I'm sure this is just barmy. ;-)

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First up, welcome to BM. There's no such thing as a stupid question, and if it's been asked before, someone will soon enough point you to the thread.

Second, hardpoints are basically nothing more than reinforced areas of the wings that allow pylons to be hung under them (it's a little more complicated than that, but that's close enough for models). To that end, all you'd need to do for your model would be to work out where you want the pylons to be, and then glue some on. You can get them from other kits, use resin ones bought from somewhere like Hannants, or make.your own by filing down some thickish plastic card.

The number you add is up to you, some aircraft only manage one per wing, some have 6 or 7 - look at photos of the Cessna Dragonfly or the Douglas Skyraider for examples of aircraft with lots of pylons. If you look at photos of Tucanos and Super Tucanos, you'll get an idea of what the manufacturer thought should go under the wing, but it's your What-if, so you can do what you like. ;)

Third, my advice would be to see what sort of ordnance is being used by NATO and the RAF, and going for that, unless you want to concoct a back story as to why they're using something special - it's your tale, tell it how you will. I'm not sure that the rockets would be a good idea though - desperately inaccurate, and not really suitable for the modern battlefield (but if you want to use them, come up with a reason why. :) )

Fourth, there's a What-if Group Build running at the moment, and I'm sure the hosts would love to have you join it! You'll find it in the Group Build | Current Group Builds area. The rules are in a thread of their own in the What-if GB section, read them through, then start a thread, say hello and get cracking - we're a weird mob in there, but there's some very nice work being done, and you'll find that nothing is too weird for a What-if GB.

Welcome aboard!

(Fifth, feel free to ask about stuff. None of us knows everything, but what we do know, we'll share.)

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A second welcome to Britmodeller

A close air support Tucano sounds like an interesting idea, if you're looking for some extra inspiration have a look on the interweb for the Beechcraft AT-6 Texan which fills a similar role.

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Shorts undertook weapons handling on the Tucano in support of their efforts to sell it on the export market, and I'm fairly sure that the Kuwait Mk.52 I saw in the static at the Farnborough Airshow in 1990 or 1992 had hardpoints fitted for display purposes. I'm not at all sure whether Kenya or Kuwait specified weapons capability for their Tucanos, but I will look it up over the weekend.

Edited by T7 Models

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I'm not sure that the rockets would be a good idea though - desperately inaccurate, and not really suitable for the modern battlefield.

Welcome aboard! Great post Rob.

Thought this may be of interest regarding guided rockets - https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Precision_Kill_Weapon_System

These are already in use on Lebanese A-29 Super Tucanos. Nice tie in with UK Apache M299 launchers, too.

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Taken from International Air Power Review volume 22 'Type Analysis: Embraer EMB-312/314 Tucano and Super Tucano' (Santiago Rivas and Juan Carlos Cicalesi):

The Shorts-built export versions could carry up to 454 kg (1,000 lb) of weapons on ML Aviation pylons [different to EMBRAER aircraft]. The armament is generally similar to that of Brazilian aircraft, but the aircraft for Kenya and Kuwait include FN Herstal rocket launchers and Forges de Zeebrugge pods for 12.7 mm machine guns; ML aviation weapons management system including Avimo gunsight, and Dowty and Guardian Electronics equipment

A photograph of a Mk.51 under test as ZH207 on p.76 shows Mk.81 250 lb bombs on the inboard hardpoints and rocket launchers on the outboard pylons. A copy of the photograph is on this auction site:

http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/photograph-shorts-tucano-export-zh207-500875646

Edited by T7 Models

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:welcome: aboard :) If you're talking about building pylons for your kit, start off with a paper template and get that to the correct profile before you cut plastic. Once you're happy, glue it to a sheet of styrene that's right for the maximum thickness with some Pritt glue. Cut it from the sheet, and then tidy up, and add the curves and rounded edges. You can also scribe in some panel detail with a needle/scriber against a metal rule, and add some greeblies for adjusting the load on one side or other. Repeat as necessary, and consider making them in pairs to get maximum symmetry ;)

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Hi all,

Many thanks for the replies - glad it isn't such a daft idea as I thought it might be initially. I have a back-story in mind although I hadn't spotted the what-if build previously. If I get mine finished in time (yeah, I know - November...) I will add it but I've been distracted by family and other stuff so apart from the cockpit tub and trying to work out what gives 7g of weight in a very small space I haven't made much progress so far.

Many thanks though for the other info on related aircraft and what Shorts tested - very useful indeed. I will google these over the next week or so whilst I get the base model moved on.

I've "lucked" into a second one (unwanted gift to a friend who doesn't model at all but is a learner pilot) but that will remain saved away until later.

Thanks again.

A.

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