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Youtube airplanes landing

23 Aug
2012



I retrieved my pile of Aeroplanes with some difficulty, involving ungainly bodily contortions round corners to get to their hiding place on one of my remoter shelves, and sorted them into date order. I was therefore somewhat less than gruntled to find that the specified issue was one I hadn’t got. I vaguely remember getting rid of some before our last move, and there’s a noticeable gap between 1989 and 1996, of the sort that gives me severe indigestion when I consider disposal of any magazines or books that may possibly come in handy one day. Knowing that Our Editor had contacts with current Aeroplane people, I asked him if he could assist, and sure enough a photocopy of the article was in my hands within a week. Almost as an afterthought I also mentioned it to a distinguished colleague as a footnote to one of our frequent TSR.2 conversations, and not only did he find that he had a spare copy of the issue in question, which he kindly sent me, but was also able to quote chapter and verse on the Air Ministry camouflage regulations for prototype aircraft. These called for Temperate Land or Temperate Sea schemes as appropriate, with yellow undersides.

While this was going on I was digging through my own resources, and somewhat to my surprise failed to find the Follands in Tim Mason’s excellent The Secret Years, about the work of Boscombe Down during World War II. I thought any new aircraft passed through the A&AEE in the early stages of its career, but these seemed to have escaped that net and spent their time flying with manufacturers. I did, however, get some positive responses from a web search, with a ‘British Aircraft Directory’ site giving me the first sight of the manufacturer’s designation, and one on ‘British Aircraft of World War II’ yielding a brief specification and a photo on which the very faint serial is decipherable as P1775, the aircraft shown in the kit instructions.

This photo shows it with ‘C type’ roundels when fitted with the Centaurus engine and cowling, and it’s a reasonable assumption that the second uppersurface colour is Ocean, or perhaps ‘mixed’, grey. Those in the Aeroplane tell the same story, but there are also two photos of the same aircraft fitted with a Hercules and wearing the earlier A1 roundels and an apparently different camouflage pattern, on the port side of the fuselage at least. The photos are black and white, and even in the magazine not very distinct in their shades of grey, so this may be a rash assumption, but I suspect that there’s at least a strong possibility that in this period of its existence the aircraft could have been Dark Green/ Dark Earth rather than green/ grey on its upper surfaces. The modelling press resounds with warnings about the dangers of interpreting black and

white photos, but if any SAM reader is absolutely certain – bearing in mind that absolute certainty fades, or is at least less reliable, with age – we’d be delighted to hear from them, especially if Magna produce a Hercules variant or even conversion.

A shapely nose

I know that their second kit has been announced as Sabre-engined, but there were at least two different cowlings for this powerplant, one with a big ‘jowl’ radiator like an exaggerated Henley; but another, fitted to P1778, had a very streamlined nose, with a large radiator housing in each wing root, and I think this is the one that Magna are about to produce (this appears to have been intended to test the Firebrand installation). I do hope so; I do like odd-looking aircraft, and the combination of this shapely nose with the rather square and utilitarian airframe is a definite producer of double-takes. The photo in Aeroplane also shows that this one had very substantial leading-edge slats, which may well have been fixed, which together with the nose and radiator housings will make an interesting variation.

Unfortunately, from my point of view, the colours on this must surely have been the same grey/green/yellow combination worn by P1775. While the first F0.108s had fully spatted undercarriages, these two both had the housings of their mainwheels removed, but perhaps the full spats could be included with a Hercules package to give an additional variation.

Having now added all this knowledge, even if some of it counts as conjecture, to my memory banks – with the strong possibility that these facts will overlay, or even push out, others on a totally random basis – I wonder whether once my second F0.108 is complete all these facts will ever come in handy again. I suppose I should consider this a downside of my liking for unusual, even unlikely, aeroplanes, but I suspect that I prefer a breadth of knowledge on a variety of types rather than all you could ever want to know on one or two (especially if they’re grey).

Staying with the rare types problems, I suppose that I snouian i De surprised mat i found something from my web search for information on the Folland. For the last 30 years or more it’s been my pleasure to know many fellow enthusiasts, both in modelling and in aviation history and heraldry, who have been very happy to share their knowledge, frequently the result of painstaking research, with those who they believe would appreciate it. I am sure that many websites are similarly maintained by those with a similar attitude, and provided they’ve taken care to enlist with ‘Google’ it’s probably simpler to fire up a search engine than to rely on a chosen expert to be on the other end of a telephone when suddenly needed desperately.

I admit that I prefer a phone conversation rather than an exchange in letters, at which I am notoriously dilatory, even by e-mail; I’m even worse with envelope and stamp. The joy of a phone conversation for me is the instant human response, especially with the possibility of being able to wander off into an apparently unrelated topic of the sort that produced the Folland article on the unlikely back of a TSR.2 discussion. For much of my modelling life I have depended on the kindness of chance acquaintances, which has sometimes developed into friendship based on a shared obsession. The cliche is, as always, true; it’s not what you know, it’s who you know that can remove your puzzled frown. My thanks to all of you, especially as I know that many of you read this column, which has in itself produced the occasional answer to an unsubtly floated question. And if you find yourself quoted unattributably, remember that I only steal from the best.

This is the first of a series от sheets covering F-14s in colourful liveries to mark the retirement of the fighter from the US fleet. In the first of many such sheets, TwoBobs has elected to go with arguably the best-known fighter squadron in the US Navy, VF-103 ‘The Jolly Rogers’. The sheet comes in both 1:72 and 1:48 scales, and is made to fit a number of different kits, although more specifically the Tamiya and Fujimi kits in 1:72, and the Hasegawa and Italeri kits in 1:48. The sheet depicts the same aircraft in either its June 1994 finish, or the very slightly different livery from a year later (the most notable change being the names of the two crew members) and includes national insignia, a reasonable amount of secondary markings and stencils, and ‘slime lights’. The colourful instruction sheet includes a number of detail Dhotofiraphs

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