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rossm

Army Co-operation aircraft - now AW Atlas specifically

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I would like to model some, or all, of the aircraft types that used RAF Folly Gate (Okehampton) which was a summer camp for 13 and 16 Squadrons during the interwar period. From their ORBs I have compiled the list on http://hrmtech.com/SIG/okehampton.asp

 

Unfortunately the ORBs do not give serials so I'm looking for more details of aircraft used by these squadrons in the relevant period, ideally a photo to give me an idea of the markings applied.

 

So any Audax of 16 Squdron in summer 1935 would almost certainly have been there, ditto any 16 Sqdn Bristol Fighter in summer 1930 and any Atlas of 13 Squadron in summer 1928. Please can anyone point me to serials and marking details for any of those?

 

As you can see from my web page I'm sorted for the Lysander, for which I have the Pavla kit.

 

Which leads to the question of kits for the others:-

 

I have the Aeroclub Audax which I guess will be pretty much as per kit.

 

The Bristol fighter I imagine is likely to have been a Mark III or IV as per the photo of F4587 on https://www.baesystems.com/en/heritage/bristol-f2b-fighter which has appeared as a profile drawing captioned 16 squadron, France 1917 - I'll say no more about profiule drawings! Which is the best 1/72 kit to use as a basis for this?

 

Finally the Atlas, I know there was a kit sometime in the last millenium but what is the best way to create one now?

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The July 1975 article in the Airfix Magazine series on Army Air Colours has a drawing of 16 Sqn Audax K3698, which confirms the stripe was black. Rudder stripes ceased to be applied, and roundels were reduced in size so they didn't overlap ailerons, from August 1934. Other 16 Sqn Audaxes, in addition to the ones in your photo, included K2025, K3688, K3696, K3700, K3709 and K3712. ("Coastal, Support and Special Squadrons of the RAF and Their Aircraft").

 

13 Sqn Atlases: J8783, J9256, J9980, K1005, K1025, K1528, K1542. No squadron insignia or individual letters, so they would have looked much like this example, including the rudder stripes in the order blue (leading)/white/red (they were reversed in 1930). A Matchbox Siskin would provide some useful parts for a scratchbuild.

 

F4587 did serve with 16 Sqn ; the entry in the Air Britain serial book isn't entirely clear when it left but certainly before 1930. J8276, a Mk IV, was issued to the Squadron in July 1930.

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Phoenix models did a vacform kit in the early 90's, not seen one around for a while. Looked a good quality master and I think the cast bits were by Aeroclub.

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On 7/3/2019 at 7:35 PM, Mr T said:

Phoenix models did a vacform kit in the early 90's, not seen one around for a while. Looked a good quality master and I think the cast bits were by Aeroclub.

Got a Phoenix Atlas on fleabay recently so it's one of the few kits to hand while I'm marooned 350 miles from the stash! Could be the next build if I'm brave enough to tackle my first vacform biplane which would be only my second biplane and third vacform. At least I've got all my rigging and strut material in the toolbox though there's plenty of Contrail strut in the kit but I could use Strutz if that would be better.

 

The serial in the kit decals is J9552 - my references are with the stash so please can anyone tell me the history of that one? If it doesn't fit my 13 Sqdn summer 1928 criterion I think I've got decals to create one of the examples given by @AWFK10, thanks for those.

 

The only references I have with me are some pdfs culled from the Flight archive before that went offline. I'm happy to go with those and the kit instructions but any interior clues would be welcome please - that is if they exist! Maybe @John Aero has something? The kit supplies a bulkhead between the cockpits but the way it's moulded it could be just a tubular framework?

 

Another puzzle is that some of the Flight photos show a fuel tank under the starboard inner wing and some don't - does anyone have any idea why?

 

Thanks for any help,

Ross

 

 

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Hi. J9552 can't have been with 13 Sqn in summer 1928, as the contract it was ordered against was only placed in October that year. The only information that the Air Britain 'J File' has on it is "2 Sqn 12.31 - 6.33". As some later aircraft from this batch were in squadron service by early 1930, I'm guessing that either J9552 was delivered direct to store or the record of its movements is incomplete but in any case I'm afraid it doesn't fit with your project.

 

Looking through the Putnam Armstrong Whitworth book, the relevant chapter covers the Atlas, Aries and Ajax. The author noted that the Atlas and Ajax were practically indistinguishable, except that the Ajax lacked a gun ring, and he wasn't sure what AW considered to be the difference between them. He hazarded a guess that the Ajax might have been seen as a general purpose or fighter version. The reason I mention this is that while there's no comment about the wing tank in the text the only photo in the chapter where it seems to be present is of an Ajax, J8802. The other of the two Ajaxes built is also pictured but in that photo, at least, it also lacks a tank. The photos you're looking at wouldn't be of J8802, by any chance?

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1 hour ago, AWFK10 said:

Hi. J9552 can't have been with 13 Sqn in summer 1928, as the contract it was ordered against was only placed in October that year. The only information that the Air Britain 'J File' has on it is "2 Sqn 12.31 - 6.33". As some later aircraft from this batch were in squadron service by early 1930, I'm guessing that either J9552 was delivered direct to store or the record of its movements is incomplete but in any case I'm afraid it doesn't fit with your project.

 

Looking through the Putnam Armstrong Whitworth book, the relevant chapter covers the Atlas, Aries and Ajax. The author noted that the Atlas and Ajax were practically indistinguishable, except that the Ajax lacked a gun ring, and he wasn't sure what AW considered to be the difference between them. He hazarded a guess that the Ajax might have been seen as a general purpose or fighter version. The reason I mention this is that while there's no comment about the wing tank in the text the only photo in the chapter where it seems to be present is of an Ajax, J8802. The other of the two Ajaxes built is also pictured but in that photo, at least, it also lacks a tank. The photos you're looking at wouldn't be of J8802, by any chance?

Thanks for that, I'll have to choose one of the others from your list and make up the serials from Modeldecal & Ventura sheets. I imagine the most likely for summer 1928 is J8783.

 

The clearest photo with the wing tank is J8802 from the page in Flight for July 5th 1928 describing the Atlas - and it has a gun ring as well as the fuel tank! I guess the Putnam author wasn't the only one confused! No matter, as I won't be building that one I won't need to think about the tank.

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Posted (edited)

Adding some additional info to the excellent answer by AWFK10.

 

Looking at the kit in my stash - bulkheads in the kit - for sure should represent tubular construction plus some wire bracing. Look at the front bulkhead (of the rear cockpit), it has even the rudder bar molded in.

 

Additionally to the Putnam book, I have 1/48 scale drawings by Peter Green from SAM January 2008. And detailed article from Aeroplane Monthly September and October 1989 with a lot of nice photos, including interior. None of the Atlases has underwing fuel tanks, except the G-EBYF demonstrator, which has it under both wings though.

Edited by Patrik

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