Jump to content

PB4Y-2 Privateer "Ol' Blunderbuss"


Navy Bird
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi mates,

 

I'm currently building the old Matchbox kit and am looking for any photos of Ol' Blunderbuss - a PB4Y-2 Privateer from VPB-121. She carries the Bu. No. 59564. If anyone has any pix, please post them here. Unless, of course, they are copyrighted, then maybe you could just post a link or otherwise identify the source. It's hard to build a model of something when you don't know what it looks like! Thanks for any help you can provide.

 

The decal sheet I'm using (from White Dog Decals) refers to a colour photo of this aircraft. That I would for sure like to see!

 

Cheers,

Bill

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With any luck (though not for you !) Airfix just might announce a new tooling at Telford with 'Ol Blunderbuss' artwork: it was fairly well recorded.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Denford said:

With any luck (though not for you !) Airfix just might announce a new tooling at Telford with 'Ol Blunderbuss' artwork: it was fairly well recorded.

 

Yeah, Airfix is always watching what I'm building. I hope you guys appreciate all I do for you!    :)

 

If it was well recorded I'm having a heck of a time finding photos. There are none in the Ginter volume, and none of my Internet searches have come up with anything. But I'll keep looking and maybe one of our fellow Britmodellers will be able to help out.

 

Cheers,

Bill

  • Haha 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Denford said:

With any luck (though not for you !) Airfix just might announce a new tooling at Telford with 'Ol Blunderbuss' artwork: it was fairly well recorded.

@Denford I am not trying to hijack this tread, but what is the source of this rumor? I don't see any mention of it in the Rumormonger forum. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/10/2021 at 1:32 AM, hsr said:

@Denford I am not trying to hijack this tread, but what is the source of this rumor? I don't see any mention of it in the Rumormonger forum. 

I emphatically plead 'NOT GUILTY' to starting a rumour.  What I said was '...with any luck Airfix just might announce...'  Maybe I could have said 'It would be ironic if...'

I contend that a Privateer is a credible, though unlikely, subject for Airfix to tool.

- Credible since there are extant examples, it saw service with several organisations, had a range of colour\finishes etc.

- Unlikely since, even in that size, there are many other better known 'competitors' for funding etc: Halifax, Lincoln, Liberator, Catalina not to mention various 1/48 subjects.

However if Airfix ever did tool a Privateer, then 'Blunderbuss' would certainly be a good or even likely choice of 'marking'.  Eye catching, amusing, well documented, no part-clad figures etc.

As it happens I have an unbuilt kit + Cobra improvements set + Black White Dog decals.  Were I ever to bring the three together, I would feel it ironic if Airfix were then to grace us with state-of-the-art kit!  Don't get me wrong; I'd love to see this happen though I don't think it will in my lifetime.  Check my details to see how old I am...

Edited by Denford
Omission
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, Denford said:

I emphatically plead 'NOT GUILTY' to starting a rumour.  What I said was '...with any luck Airfix just might announce...'  Maybe I could have said 'It would be ironic if...'

I contend that a Privateer is a credible, though unlikely, subject for Airfix to tool.

- Credible since there are extant examples, it saw service with several organisations, had a range of colour\finishes etc.

- Unlikely since, even in that size, there are many other better known 'competitors' for funding etc: Halifax, Liberator, Catalina not to mention various 1/48 subjects.

However if Airfix ever did tool a Privateer, then 'Blunderbuss' would certainly be a good or even likely choice of 'marking'.  Eye catching, amusing, well documented, no part-clad figures etc.

As it happens I have an unbuilt kit + Cobra improvements set + Black White Dog decals.  Were I ever to bring the three together, I would feel it ironic if Airfix were then to grace us with state-of-the-art kit!  Don't get me wrong; I'd love to see this happen though I don't think it will in my lifetime.  Check my details to see how old I am...

Whew, that ALMOST kept me from buying the White Dog decals!

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 09/09/2021 at 22:10, Hornet133 said:

Yes photos of 'Blunderbuss' are reasonably uncommon. Attached are the ones I have collected. Not seen a colour photo only the drawing.

Hope this helps

 

Thanks Steve! These will be very helpful indeed. For instance, I'm seeing a clear demarcation line between the sea blue and intermediate blue. I read somewhere that the colours had faded so badly that the entire aircraft looked like a shade of gray. Perhaps later in her career, but not when these photos were snapped. This is good, because I would rather have a clear delineation between the blues.    :)

 

Cheers,

Bill

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/9/2021 at 10:10 PM, Hornet133 said:

Yes photos of 'Blunderbuss' are reasonably uncommon. Attached are the ones I have collected. Not seen a colour photo only the drawing.

 

VPB-121 PB4Y-2 #Y564 BuNo 59564 'Blunderbuss' e

 

 

 

This photo gives a nice clear view of the engine cowls, which contrary to common belief are not simply "B-24 cowls rotated 90 degrees."  The Privateer cowls are very different from the Liberator.  The intakes are different sizes, and the cowl flap arrangement it different as well. 

 

SN

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, Steve N said:

This photo gives a nice clear view of the engine cowls, which contrary to common belief are not simply "B-24 cowls rotated 90 degrees."  The Privateer cowls are very different from the Liberator.  The intakes are different sizes, and the cowl flap arrangement it different as well.

 

Absolutely. The oil cooler intake on the bottom is larger than the carburettor intake on the top. The resin cowlings from HPM that I'm using have different sized intakes, and most importantly are so much better than what came with the kit. I don't think HPM are 100% accurate (for example there is a vane in the oil cooler intake that I don't see in any photos), but then nothing ever is. 

 

This photo shows the cowling intakes a little better;

 

 

Consolidated-PB4Y-2

 

Cheers,

Bill

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, Navy Bird said:

This photo shows the cowling intakes a little better

Wow!  I had no idea there was an intact, fully restored Privateer anywhere!  Where was this shot taken?  At Pima?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 minutes ago, TheyJammedKenny! said:

Wow!  I had no idea there was an intact, fully restored Privateer anywhere!  Where was this shot taken?  At Pima?

 

Pima is correct. I do not know the provenance of the aircraft. There is supposed to be one at Pensacola too, but I don't see it on the website. The Privateer at the Yankee Air Museum in Michigan has this pseudo B-24D nose on it (as does the aircraft at Yanks Air Museum at Chino) - maybe they're former firefighters. Speaking of firefighters, aren't there still some Privateers flying in that role?

 

Cheers,

Bill

Link to comment
Share on other sites

40 minutes ago, Navy Bird said:

Speaking of firefighters, aren't there still some Privateers flying in that role?

I seriously doubt it.  The Firefighters were mostly retired USCG aircraft, with the modified nose and large panoramic windows installed where the side fuselage turrets had previously been located.  Also, many of the aircraft had B-25 power eggs installed in place of the original engine nacelles, which changed the overall appearance significantly.  I believe the one at Pensacola was a former fire-bomber, fitted with the new engines and cockpit windshield, as well as a replacement nose.  I'm unsure if it has reverted to its former wartime configuration.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Privateer at Pima is currently the only one restored with the original engines and cowls (I took a bunch of closeup pics when I was there in 2018) although I understand there are plans to do the same with the one under restoration at the Yankee Air Museum.  Like all surviving PB4Y-2s, the one at Pima was a firefighting tanker that had been stripped of military equipment and refitted with B-25 engines and cowls.  It was being restored to flying condition at the Lone Star Flight Museum in Galveston, Texas, but the storm surge from a hurricane immersed it in salt water in 2008.  It was deemed that there was too much possible corrosion damage to make restoration to airworthy status economically viable, so it was sold to Pima and restored as a static display. 

 

SN

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, TheyJammedKenny! said:

Where was this shot taken?  At Pima?

Yes. This ex-fire bomber was being restored to flight at the Lone Star Flight Museum at Galveston, Texas for many years. The Museum did extensive work finding, restoring, and installing original waist, nose, tail, and dorsal turrets, as well as a correct bomb-aimer's position and other sheet metal work. The only major concession to authenticity was the retention of the B-25 CW R-2600 engines, cowlings, and props that was fitted to the fire tanker fleet. I used to go to the museum's Flight Day every November when the airworthy airplanes in the collection were flown one last time before being grounded for winter maintenance, and I would marvel at all the work being done on the Privateer. She was immersed in salt water up to the mid-fuselage level during the massive flood during Hurricane Ike, and the corrosion that ensued could not be arrested, so the Privateer and some other aircraft were sold to the Pima Air Museum as static displays. Corrrect R-1830 engines, props, and cowlings were sourced and fitted. To the best of my knowledge, it is the only existing Privateer that has correct cowlings and engines. I am surmising that the tanker outfit that owned and flew PB4Y-2's saved some engines and cowlings when the R-2600 modifications were done, and Pima was able to secure a set. I am very sad that so much work was done to  make her flyable, and that will never happen now.

Mike 

 

These are for you, Bill! @Navy Bird

https://warbirdsnews.com/warbirds-news/pima-adds-catalina-privateer.html

 

https://abpic.co.uk/pictures/view/1366511

 

http://www.warbirdregistry.org/b24registry/pb4y-59819.html

 

https://butcherbirdmodels.com/lone-star-flight-museum-galveston-tx-needs-donations-after-hurricane-ike

 

Here is an excellent walkaround that highlights the restoration of the  Lone  Star PB4Y-2.

http://www.primeportal.net/hangar/bill_spidle2/pb4y2_59819/

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

39 minutes ago, TheyJammedKenny! said:

I seriously doubt it.  The Firefighters were mostly retired USCG aircraft, with the modified nose and large panoramic windows installed where the side fuselage turrets had previously been located.  Also, many of the aircraft had B-25 power eggs installed in place of the original engine nacelles, which changed the overall appearance significantly.  I believe the one at Pensacola was a former fire-bomber, fitted with the new engines and cockpit windshield, as well as a replacement nose.  I'm unsure if it has reverted to its former wartime configuration.

 

The Privateer at the Naval Aviation Museum still retains its B-25 engines, although it was being restored with turrets, bomb bay doors, and an original "greenhouse" canopy.  I saw "was," because while I saw it being worked on in the shop at Pensacola back in 2010, for some reason the work was halted and it was parked outside on the storage ramp with the wings and vertical tail removed, where it still sits to this day. 

 

As for flying Privateers, there's one one right now.  And you're correct, it's a former Coast Guard aircraft.  It was modified for firefighting by Hawkins and Powers Aviation as a "Super Privateer" with the B-25 engines and "blown" canopy.  H&P retired their last four Privateers from firefighting after one broke up in flight in 2002.  One is currently flying, one is at the Yanks Air Museum in Chino, California (not to be confused with the Yankee Air Museum in Michigan) and the last two are at the Museum of Aerial Firefighting at Hawkins & Powers former base at Greybull, Wyoming.  I'm sure the last three could be made airworthy, but they've all been parked for nearly two decades now so it would require a lot of money and effort. 

 

As an aside, the Privateer at the Yankee Air Museum in Michigan is also a former Hawkins & Powers aircraft, but it was written off and abandoned after a landing accident in Canada in the 1970s, and eventually found its way to the museum (which from what I've heard is quite a story in itself.)

 

SN

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's a photo I took of the National Museum of Naval Aviation's PB4Y-2 Privateer in the restoration shop in Pensacola in the summer of 2010.  I was excited to see the work they were doing to return her to military configuration.

 

Nsmsguh.jpg

 

And here are some photos I took in the spring of 2016.  The plane was parked outside with no protection from the weather.  It looks like the work was abruptly abandoned shortly after I took the first photo.  Forgive the crazy angles, I was shooting from the moving sightseeing tram.

 

wWMVj7X.jpg

 

5eY06Ep.jpg

 

aIGocYp.jpg

 

The latest image on Google Earth shows the Privateer still on the ramp with the wings and tail removed, and now very weathered paint.

 

SN

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why in the world would the museum leave those lightening holes in the fin stub open to all the rain that falls annually in Pensacola? I can just imagine the corrosion  this is causing.

Mike

Edited by 72modeler
corrected spelling
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, 72modeler said:

Why in the world would the museum leave those lightening holes in the fun stub open to all the rain that falls annually in Pensacola? I can just imagine the corrosion  this is causing.

Mike

 

Not to mention the fact that this is only a few hundred yards from the salty Gulf of Mexico.  And I'm sure by now the inside is full of bird nests, behives, and all kinds of critters.

 

SN

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/12/2021 at 10:23 AM, Navy Bird said:

 

Absolutely. The oil cooler intake on the bottom is larger than the carburettor intake on the top. The resin cowlings from HPM that I'm using have different sized intakes, and most importantly are so much better than what came with the kit.  I don't think HPM are 100% accurate (for example there is a vane in the oil cooler intake that I don't see in any photos), but then nothing ever is. 

 

@Navy Bird Here's the induction system.

 

20210915-105040.jpg

 

And the engine cowlings.  There were 11 moveable cowl flaps.  The bottom fairing of the cowl flap section was not flaps.  It was rigidly attached to the nacelle structure.  If you open the cowl flaps, the top and bottom cowl flaps had different maximum opening positions.  If need, I'll look this up.

 

20210915-110615.jpg

 

The right inboard exhaust pipe was a little different.

 

And just in case you need to know how flat to make the tires.

 

20210915-105359.jpg

 

Don

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...