Jump to content

Completed Builds


Recommended Posts

  • This thread is for completed models only please from the What If Group Build.
    Please post a maximum of five pictures of your completed model.
    Please add a link to your build thread (if you do not know how to do this, either ask me to help, or ask me to do it for you).
    Please DO NOT comment on the pictures in this thread. Use the build thread for comments. Comments made here will be deleted, sorry, but it keeps it neat for everyone to browse through the finished models.

Please note - There is a five picture rule, to kep it fair to the people who have stuck to the rule, anyone posting more than 5 will have to have them cut to 5, sorry, I don't like rules for rules sake, but is seems fair to me..?


Edited by Daniel
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Heres the first of my three builds, a Nakajima Ki 201 Karyu "Fire Dragon" interceptor in IJAAF colours, early 1946

Build thread here: http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=52810





Sorry about the quality of pjotos, the camera my dad has isnt that great for showing up the camouflage as it is

Edited by Nakajima15
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lockheed XP-55 `Skunk`

Jet Engines and Jet Planes

The history and development of the Lockheed XP-55 began after Major General Henry H. Arnold had become aware of the British jet programme when he attended a demonstration of the Gloster E.28/39 in April 1941. He requested, and was given the plans for the Gloster`s power plant, the Power Jets W.1.

By September 4th 1941 he had instructed General Electrics to produce an American version and then approached the chief designers from Bell and Lockheed Aircraft companies. Bell was later to incorporate the copied engine into it`s Bell XP-59 fighter project which flew for the first time on 1st October 1942.

Design and Background.

Lockheed`s chief designer Clarence `Kelly` Johnson had reviewed the data and was not convinced that the copied jet engines supplied by General Electric were powerful enough to produce an effective fighter aircraft. He was however interested in designing, developing and studying jet technology and dynamics and set a small team, headed by himself, the task of integrating the engines into a testbed aircraft by the end of 1942.

At that time Lockheed was producing two main types for the war effort, the Hudson and P-38 Lightning. The team did not have the time or materials to design a new testbed and it was quickly decided that an existing airframe would be modified to accommodate the new engines. The Hudson was quickly dismissed due to the fact the jet engines would struggle to cope with it`s size and weight and so it left the P-38 as the only option.

By November 1st 1942 the modified P-38, now given the unofficial designation XP-55 was delivered by road to Muroc Army Airfield and assembled. Various modifications had been carried out and the first thing that most personnel noticed about the new aircraft was it`s very `squat` appearance, but as test pilot Tony LeVier later remarked, `it`s a lot damn easier to jump into,,,!`

In place of the two Allison V-1710 111/113 V-12 piston engines were now two W.1. turbojets each producing 1,700 lbf (7.7 kN) of power. The wing span was also increased by 3 feet on each wing partly due to the width of the jet engines but also because Clarence `Kelly` Johnson also wanted to investigate and explore how high a jet aircraft could operate. He surmised that the increased wing area would aid the aircraft and pilot in the thinner air at higher altitudes. (Much of this basic original data from the XP-55 test flights was used by Lockheed 10 years later when the U-2 spy plane was in development).

Other changes to the airframe had been the increased width of the tail booms by 6 feet, retracting undercarriage placed between the cockpit and engines, which in turn led to the removal of the fuel tanks. This again in turn led to the development of wing tip fuel tanks technology which was used on the next Lockheed project the XP-80 Shooting Star.

The horizontal stabiliser was also lifted to avoid burning from the jet exhaust. The standard P-38 cannon and .50 cal machine gun weapon load was kept as live fire exercises were planned during the testing phases.

What's in a name?

The unflattering and unofficial nickname `Skunk` was given to the XP-55 after it was visited by the engineers one morning to find that the word `Skunk` with an arrow pointing down towards the undercarriage, had been written on the side of a tail boom near the port engine in chalk. When they asked the armed guard as to what it referred to, the guard replied that during the night a Skunk had set up home by the tyre on the port side and did not want to move. The guard had tried to remove it with the butt of his rifle and then thought better of it when the animals tail was raised at him. The guard wisely decided to leave it be, but felt it best to write a warning on the side of the aircraft so everyone was aware of the potential smelly danger. The engineers and ground crew thanked the guard for his consideration and started the port engine in short order. The poor creature was last seen scurrying away as quick as it could across the pan and into the undergrowth to escape the loud noise. After this incident, the name stuck.

The XP-55 is also credited with creating another well known phrase associated with Lockheed, although no-one has ever confirmed if the story is true. It is alleged that after the XP-55 obtained it`s `Skunk` name tag the engineers alway refered to the hangar it was stored and maintained in as the `Skunk Works`.

It seems too much of a coincidence that not 6 months later those same designers and engineers that worked on the XP-55 started work on the XP-80 at what is now known as the legendary Lockheed `Skunk works` buildings situated in Burbank, California at that time.

Test Flights and Secrecy

Shortly after the first test flight on the 1st December 1942, the XP-55 went on to complete a further 28 test flights. No records exist, or at the very least been made public regarding these flights, however it is understood that after completing basic handling at low and high speeds, it went on to set an `unofficial` altitude and speed record after climbing to height and then commencing a shallow dive. The height and speed has never been admitted or released.

It is reported from sources that a few days later when a similar flight was taking place the vibration was so intense that the pilot lost control for a short period of time. Control was regained at around 3,000 feet and after this near disaster Clarence `Kelly` Johnson banned all further high speed `testing`.

Further flights were completed with regards to air to air and air to ground weapons testing and they all seem to have been completed without mishap. A second incident however did occur in mid February 1943 when during the testing phase of jettisoning the wing tanks in flight, the port wing tank was released, caught in a reportedly `unusual` airstream and hit the port tail boom causing considerable damage. Luckily for the test pilot the wing tip tank was empty at that time and the aircraft was able to return to base and make an emergency landing.

It is also said that the XP-55 also took part in air to air refuelling tests, however no pictures exist of it in this configuration and their are no records of any modifications to support this story.

Verdicts and Moving on

The verdict on the XP-55 was simple. On the up side it was reported to as easy to fly, was very stable in most aspects of flight and able to out fly all the propeller aircraft of the day when involved in air to air dogfights. However, on the down side, as Clarence `Kelly` Johnson had guessed correctly the XP-55 was never going to be a production aircraft. The P-38 airframe was outdated and the W.1. turbo jets were not powerful enough to take the project forward. The `Skunk` was destined to be a `one off` test bed aeroplane only.

By June 1943 Lockheed had started work on the XP-80 and the XP-55 aircraft and project were quietly drawn down.

The XP-55`s final flight is reported to be on the 3rd July 1943 to an undisclosed storage facility in Arizona.

But that's not where the story ends....?

In 1957 a `Jet`, looking like a P-38 was reported flying low over Interstate Highway 375 heading south towards what is now known as Groom Lake. It`s never been confirmed, but perhaps Lockheed did not send the `Skunk` to a scrappers yard like so many aircraft were in those early days. Perhaps the `Skunk` is sitting in a small hangar within the Groom Lake facility as a reminder and memorial to the new generation of designers of what the original `Skunk works` designers had built, flown and tested in a very short period of time?

Listed below are the only known poor quality B+W photo`s of the XP-55 at aN undisclosed location.







Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Sliding Doors....., well..., naval attack aircraft at the least...!

By 1957 both Grumman and Blackburn aircraft companies had proposed and designed naval attack aircraft to counter the new Soviet Sverdlov class cruiser. With tensions rising in the cold war and development problems with the Grumman design the US department of defense opted for the safer and more durable design from Blackburn which had already taken it`s maiden flight by 1958 with promising results. It entered service with the US Navy in 1961 and served well until 1997 when the last US Navy Buccaneer was withdrawn from service. It`s battle honors included Vietnam, Middle East and the last weapon dropped in anger was during the 1st Gulf war.

Attached below are picture of the Buccaneer in service during the Vietnam war. This particular example was lost in combat in 1971 over Hanoi with the loss of both crew.






With Grumman failing to win the order for the US Navy the company looked for an overseas customer. The Royal Navy had been interested in what Grumman had to offer due to the companies reputation of building reliable aircraft. By 1962 the Intruder made it`s maiden flight and by 1964 was in service with the RN. The Intruder only ever dropped it`s weapons in anger during the 1st Gulf War and this was when all the FAA Intruder`s had been re-assigned to the RAF in 1980 after the retirement of HMS Ark Royal. The example photographed below is armed with Sea Eagle anti ship missiles while on `shore leave` at RNAS Lossiemouth in 1974.






Edited by tc2324
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Republic F-103A Thunderwarrior

5th FIS, Minot AFB, North Dakota 1968. Commanders aircraft for the 1968 Air Show season.

Anigrand Craftswork 1/72 resin kit modified, with homemade decals. Alclad finish, Xtracrylix other colours.






Was actually a fun build cos everything I tried worked!! :yahoo:


Link to comment
Share on other sites

In 1969, during a tour of the US, the Red Arrows were invited to a reception jointly hosted by the USN Blue Angles and USAF Thunderbirds. Both of the US aerobatic teams had recently converted to the MDD F-4 Phantom and were singing its praises. The RAF contingent were slightly envious (to say the least) as they were still using the aging Gnat - inherited from the Yellow Jacks - allbeit in a nine aircraft formation.

On the return to the UK, the Red Arrows Team manager put a case to the AOC and, much to everyones surprise, the request was granted - ten ex-USN F-4J's were to be leased from the UK for the sole use of the team.

Ladies and Gentleman, I give you the world's greatest aerobatic team, flying probably the most impressive fighter of its time over the best seaside resort in the UK...




Link to comment
Share on other sites

On behalf of Smeds;

Here is my Nimrod P-4. Build went well, no major issues. Built out of the box although I did some minor additions such as strakes on the wing pods. Decals are from the Hasegawa P-3 Orion, Airfix kit and spares box.







Thanks for looking

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Last one from me for this GB otherwise a divorce might be on the cards.

Dornier 217 E Flying Testbed

The Amerika Bomber project was an initiative of the Reichsluftfahrtministerium, the Nazi Germany Air Ministry, to obtain a long-range strategic bomber for the Luftwaffe that would be capable of striking the continental United States from Germany, a range of about 5,800 km (c.3,600 mi.).

The Amerika Bomber Project plan was completed on April 27, 1942 and submitted to Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring on May 12, 1942. Requests for designs were made to the major German aircraft manufacturers Messerschmitt, Junkers, Heinkel, Focke-Wulf and the Horten Brothers.

Heinkel contacted Daimler-Benz with regards to creating and developing a bigger and advanced power plant based on their successful DB 601 engine. Within the next 11 months Daimler had built the massive newly designated DB 701 engine ready for test flight. The DB 701 was nearly twice the size of the earlier BB 601 but with twice the power. Heinkel`s next problem was how they would test the engine in flight. Since war materials were getting scarce and time was as ever an issue, developing a new testbed aircraft was out of the question. Looking at all existing types to be modified, it was concluded that only one aircraft with the power and performance to test this new engine should be considered.

In a rare case of collaboration between two rival aircraft manufacturers Heinkel approached Dornier and asked if they could loan a Dornier 217 for the testing phase. In exchange Heinkel would sub contract out many of the parts that would need to be produced to Dornier if the new bomber aircraft was accepted by the Luftwaffe.

In May 1944 a heavily modified 217 was rolled out of a hanger and prepared for flight. Owing to the size of the new DB 701 engine the front compartment was lengthened by 7 feet. All armament was removed and added weight placed in the rear of the fuselage to compensate for the heavy engine at the front.

The DB 701 was never ground run as the tips of the blades were so long they would hit the ground. This also meant that when the aircraft was on the ground the propellers were fixed int an upside down `Y` position to avoid damage. Take off and landing was down to the Dorniers usual BMW 801 power plants but once in the air these were feathered and the DB 701 would then take over. At this time the Allies had gained air superiority over much of Europe and testing was confined to nights, hence the Dornier had a Black/Dark Green camouflage pattern.

In all by September 1944 this unusual aircraft had completed around 31 test flights at night with records stating that the DB 701 had performed perfectly in all aspects of the testing. Unfortunately with the Allies advancing across Europe time had run out for the `Amerika` bomber concept and it was shelved by October 1944.

It is not known what happened to the Dornier by the end of the war. Some historians have suggested that the Americans captured and returned it to the USA and it was a focus point for developing the power plants for the Convair B-36 Peacemaker. Other suggest that it was destroyed in its hangar during an attack on the airfield in the latter stages of the war. What ever it`s fate the pictures below are the only ones known to exist of this unique aircraft.






Link to comment
Share on other sites

"In June 1928, a young RAF pilot was practicing aerobatics in an AW Siskin biplane in preparation for the upcoming Hendon Airshow. Although a gifted pilot, he was also noted as a reckless low flyer, and had numerous ‘red ink’ entries in his flying log book as reprimands for breach of the service flying regulations. However, at age 21 everyone believes in their own invulnerability. This aerobat was no exception, but having already written off two aircraft during practice and walked away unscathed, his sense of immortality was keenly felt by all.

It was during an inverted pass on the airfield below regulation height that the airman’s luck finally ran out. Witnesses reported that the engine seemed to stutter as it started to pull up from the lowest point on the pass, and that the pilot seemed to be struggling to keep the aircraft away from the ground. Realising that the lack of power would lead to a forced landing, the pilot was seen to roll the aircraft attempting to get the wheels pointing downwards, but the aircraft sank during the knife edge phase of the roll and the tip of the upper wing hit the ground. The wing was seen to dig in, cartwheeling the aircraft into the ground nose first at an estimated 100mph. The aeroplane literally folded up in an instant, and such an impact not being survivable, the pilot was pronounced dead at the scene upon the arrival of the medics. Pilot Officer Frank Whittle was buried quietly in London Road Cemetery, in his home town of Coventry without military honours.

In 1936, a young aeronautical engineer at the University of Gottingen named Dr Hans von Ohain conceived of an idea to produce an aero engine which would need no propellor. While working at the University, von Ohain often took his sports car to be serviced at a local garage, Bartles and Becker. Here he met an automotive engineer, Max Hahn, and eventually arranged for him to build a model to his design, which cost about 1,000 DM. When the model was complete he took it to the University for testing, but ran into serious problems with combustion stability. Often the fuel would not burn inside the flame cans, and would instead be blown through the turbine where it would ignite in the air, shooting flames out the back and overheating the electric motor powering the compressor. After several failed prototypes suffered the same problems, the difficulties were pronounced to be insurmountable, and having run out of money, von Ohain abandoned the idea. He was eventually absorbed into the Nazi war effort, designing piston engines for Heinkel until he was killed in an air raid in January 1941. His work on gas turbines was never followed.

In 1944, WEW “Teddy” Petter was working on a design for an RAF bomber which would replace the Mosquito. The idea was for as clean an airframe as possible fitted with the most powerful engines available, which (as the jet engine had never been invented) meant using a late derivative of the Rolls Royce Merlin piston engine. The aircraft carried no defensive armament, relying on the height/speed strategy as pioneered by the Mosquito, whose general layout the new aircraft would closely follow. (As Petter had also been responsible for designing the Westland Whirlwind fighter, the general twin layout was well known to him.) The prototype flew for the first time on March 30th 1947 and would be accepted into RAF service two years later as the Canberra. It’s career was moderately successful, but due to a general lack of power from only two engines, it was replaced in 1952 by a larger six engined bomber more capable of carrying large nuclear weapons the long distances required by the developing Cold War. As a relatively unknown type, few Canberra airframes survive in museums today. "

Build progress here:







Edited by Deanflyer
Link to comment
Share on other sites

USAF BAe Systems F-37A Typhoon Aggressor from Elmendorf AFB Alaska.

Build thread and back story here




I really enjoyed building my first what if model, thanks to the hosts and everyone who took interest in the build :cheers:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Boeing 747-400 in special Interflug markings to celebrate 20 years of German Unity.

Background: What if the Interflug would still exist?







Edited by Micha
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Create New...