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Old 04-20-2016, 10:42 AM   #201
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The MiG-15 and F-86 were classic arch-rivals, archetypical adversaries so closely matched it’s a wonder one emerged triumphant in Korea. Both benefited from German aeronautical genius; each mirrored the other (in some ways) and differed in others. Triumph (and survival) often came down to who was flying which aircraft.

The MiG-15 was a superb, if not crude, little jet. It was lighter than the F-86 (having no hefty pilot armor protection to lug around, among other embellishments) and thus could climb and soar higher. In a sprint it couldn’t best the F-86, but above 45,000 feet the Sabre couldn’t reach it. The MiG also hauled heavier armament (23mm and 37 mm cannon vs. .50 cal. machine guns), was easier to service, enjoyed rough-field landing gear, and was relatively easy to rearm and service. On the downside, the MiG-15’s high-mounted rear stabilizers sometimes proved disastrous in high AOA maneuvers or in a dive, causing, among other things, unrecoverable flat-spins. Also, the MiG’s wings flexed and vibrated under high G loads, offering a less-than stable gun platform during combat maneuvers. And because internal heating and window defrosting were all but nonexistent at high altitudes, MiGs often descended to engage Sabres with badly frosted canopies.

The Sabre, by comparison, ducked and dodged quicker, turned sharper, dove faster, and pulled out swifter. It also sported a computing radar-ranging K-14 gunsight opposed to the MiG’s old-school, stadiametric, type, making the sighting and destroying of targets enormously easier. And, the Sabre was a luxury yacht
creature-comfort wise, boasting, among other things, of an adjustable air conditioning and heating system. American pilots flew in supreme comfort while their MiG counterparts sweltered in sweat or solidified into icicles. Americans also wore G suits that usefully controlled their blood flow during extreme maneuvers, keeping them conscious; MiG pilots enjoyed no such benefit.

In the end, the F-86 boasted of a 10 to 1 kill ratio, which was likely closer to 7 to 1 (or less). Nonetheless, the Sabre was a pilot’s dream, sturdy, obedient, more than able to ruin a MiG’s lunch. Those who flew it extolled its agility, stability, and capability. And yet the gauche little MiG hung in there, chewing on more than a few American butts, a precursor to scores of superlative Russian machines.

The Golden Hawks, a Canadian aerobatic flying team established in 1959 to celebrate the Royal Canadian Air Force's 35th anniversary and the "Golden" 50th anniversary of Canadian flight, flew brilliantly painted metallic-gold Canadair Sabre Mk.5s (take a gander below). The group was to perform for one year only but proved so popular it flew to February 1964, participating in 317 shows across North America.



The F-86 is one of my favorite American jets, so I’m a little biased. But Hobby Master does a bang-up job with its Sabre, the Canadian Golden Hawks version being no exception. Considering the HA4303 is abundantly available, it doesn’t live up to this thread’s “Gone but Not Forgotten” theme. But it is cool, it is beautiful, and you’d be silly not to buy one for those reasons alone.



I had read the MiG-15s Armament turned out to be a big hinderence in Korea when the F-86 showed up. The 37mm and 2x23mm cannons pack a mean enough punch to deal with B-29s (which was there main target), but against nimble single engine jets fighters the muzzle velocity, a very limited ammo supply, and the slow ROF of the Russian MiGs made it difficult for them to tag a US fighter in a dogfight.

By contrast, although the US .50cal lacked punch, the fast rate of fire, huge ammo supply and the fact that early Jet Engines can take far less abuse than WWII piston engines could meant that the .50 could easily tear apart an adversary.
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Old 04-21-2016, 10:26 AM   #202
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Take a hard look at the Beaufighter’s pugnacious mug and tell me it doesn’t conjure up Britain’s gutsy, diehard “I’m gonna kick your evil Nazi butt clean over your head” bravado. Can’t you just see this aircraft in a pub (read: bar), grabbing some loutish, drunken ruffian by the collar, punching his nose off, and then flinging him out the door? That was the Bristol Beaufighter: brawny, fearless, anything but handsome. This hero frequently got in the enemy’s grill and knocked his lights out everlastingly—something the Germans and Japanese learned the hard way.

Ever wonder why the Beaufighter had such a truncated nose and long, jutting engine nacelles? Of course you have. Turns out the Taurus power plants meant for it were veritable milquetoasts, effete little turds not up to pulling the Beaufighter anywhere. Enter the Bristol Hercules, big, beefy, hellaciously powerful engines that more than did the job but correspondingly posed vibration problems. The solution: Mount these monsters on longer, more flexible struts that stuck way out from the wings. But doing so shifted the center of gravity (CoG) forward, totally ruining the warbird’s equilibrium. Engineers solved this by lopping off the nose (more or less), which wasn't a big deal since the warbird had no bombardier; this relocated most of the fuselage behind the wing, effectively moving the CoG back to perfect balance. With the engine cowlings and propellers sitting beyond the nose, the Beaufighter wound up sporting that rousing British stiff-upper-lip look we all know and love.

Hey, I’ll bet you didn’t know this little historical tidbit …

Following WWII, four rather shady agents purchased some Beaufighters from British authorities ostensibly to be used in a war movie. Everything was arranged; and when the big day arrived, a film crew appeared, including a flamboyant director and a gaggle of jittery actors. Cameras rolled as the warbirds lined up and heroically flew off into the sky—never to return. The Brits had absolutely no idea they’d been hoodwinked: The four bombers were on their way to Israel and the IAF to vanquish Egyptian ground forces and naval units during the War of Independence. On October 22, 1948, a Beaufighter making a torpedo run at the Egyptian flagship Emir Farouk confronted an Egyptian Hawker Fury. All too aware his plane stood no chance duking it out with the fighter, the Beau pilot plunged toward the sea, followed by the Fury, then pulled up at the last second to see the Egyptian smack the water behind him. Gutsy move, huh? The next day the same pilot got blown to bits curb-stomping an enemy stronghold on the southern front.

To sum up, the Beaufighter forever stood in the shadow of its far more glamorous and celebrated sister the Mosquito, but she was just as serviceable and just as plucky.



She isn’t pretty, but she’s sure got heart. Hobby Master’s desert Beaufighter is a commendable effort, one you really ought to get your hands on. The paint scheme is a screamer, and overall the model looks fantastic. The only one I could find is going for (incredibly) $45.99 on eBay. The auction is over in two days (unless somebody buys it sooner), so hurry!







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Old 04-22-2016, 09:39 AM   #203
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I’m not entirely sure how true this is, but I’m told the ol’ F-5 Freedom Fighter is very hard to see at a distance owing to its smallish size. Which means that F-5 drivers can fly straight into a gaggle of adversary jets and mix it, very often unobserved until it’s too late—all done without gee-whiz stealth technology. Not too bad for a granddad of a fighter, eh?

F-18 pilots, trained to scan for Su-35s and MiG-29s and their like, often don’t see this little pugilist until it flies straight up their nozzles, which, I understand, causes Hornet drivers no end to acute humiliation. If an F-16 tags them, no big deal: the Viper is an advanced weapon system. But losing to an F-5 is like your 90-year-old, denture-grinding grandpa kicking your butt. Ouch!

Something else you might not know about this snappy little pooch: The first F-5’s flew without radar, blind as as mole. Can you believe that? In hindsight that was outrageous; nevertheless, the spunky little Freedom Fighter was tasked with finding and obliterating the enemy minus electronic eyeballs. What was the USAF thinking???

Finally, Northrop squeezed an AN/APQ-153 into this nipper’s miniscule, radarless nose cone, finally giving it sight. The APQ-159 pulse-doppler radar effectively doubled that range.

I’m happy to report that the F-5’s low cost of operation makes it a fashionable, handy little bird for the United States and more than 30 other countries including Brazil, Chile, Tunisia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Norway, Republic of China, and Switzerland. For those countries that still fly it, the F-5 fills a critical defense niche.



Tell me this jet doesn’t look scorching hot. It’s silky, double-grey, handsome, hungry. Makes you wanna fly one all over your house, don’t it? Hobby Master’s Swiss F-5E is masterful, and you’d be foolish not to own one. Trouble is, you’ll likely never find it: This little treasure is a bona fide no-find.





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Old 04-22-2016, 10:25 AM   #204
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Great write up on the F-5, it has quite a fan base. If only Hobby Master would put out something other than ROCAF for the rest of the world. They don't have to abandon it but give us something meaningful over here as well

The Swiss is a nice craft but it is pretty well available, might have jumped the gun a little too quickly with this one as far as availability goes Still enjoyed the read and you probably helped sell a couple of these for sure
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Old 04-22-2016, 07:22 PM   #205
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Thanks, Steve. Kind comments. I enjoy writing these outrageous blurbs.


As for Hobby Master's lovely little Swiss F-5 treasures being a whole lot more available than my research (all 20 seconds of it) suggests, we must be looking in entirely different crannies. If you can find this beauty, by all means BUY IT! You’ll be happy you did.
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Old 04-22-2016, 08:15 PM   #206
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More stencils!!!!! lol.
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Old 04-23-2016, 11:00 AM   #207
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SAAB has produced cutting-edge fighter aircraft for Sweden’s defense since World War II. The latest in this distinguished line of warbirds is the sultry, blond-haired little SAAB JAS 39 Gripen, an ultramodern, multirole combat aircraft that bears a striking resemblance to actress Inger Stevens.

The Gripen is the very definition of “lightweight fighter,” having utilized composite assemblies throughout. It’s about three-quarters the empty weight of an F-16C and nearly half the empty weight of the Viggen, the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, and the Dassault Rafale, giving the warbird more zip pound for pound. The Gripen’s reduced size and weight effectively lower purchase and operating costs, all of which produce a machine that’s easier on the wallet, easier to handle on the ground, faster in a sprint, and stealthier in the sky.

The Gripen boasts of all-moving canard forewings with a 45 degree sweep and cropped delta wings. These wings sit midbody, placed for optimum underwing weaponry and fuel tank allowance, a leading-edge flap, and two trailing-edge drooping "elevons" installed to enhance short-field performance and maneuverability. Two nose strakes generate vortices that increase flight control at high angles of attack.

Interestingly (for engine plant aficionados), General Electric slipped between the sheets with SAAB and fathered the Volvo Aero RM-12 bypass turbojet engine with afterburner, half-brother to the GE F404J turbofan used on the Boeing F/A-18 Hornet. The SAAB version features a larger fan that produces more airflow and greater power, better fends off birdstrikes
, and prepares superior Swedish meatballs. GE builds 60% of the engine's components.

Unlike its hangar mate, the Viggen, the Gripen has no thrust reverser. To compensate, the canard foreplanes tilt almost 90 degrees to help decelerate, and carbon brakes on its tricycle landing gear reduce landing roll. An antiskid systems keeps pilot and plane from piling into Santa Claus when and if circumstances necessitate (don’t laugh: it happened once).




If you haven’t guessed already, I’m something of an Altaya enthusiast, though I’m the first to admit not all Altaya models rise to distinction. The Gripen, I’m pleased to say, ranks among the manu’s best. If I’m right, this model is long gone, so you’ll likely be hard pressed to find one. Keep trying though. It's a humdinger.



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Old 04-23-2016, 03:14 PM   #208
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Interestingly (for engine plant aficionados), General Electric slipped between the sheets with SAAB and fathered the Volvo Aero RM-12 bypass turbojet engine with afterburner, half-brother to the GE F404J turbofan used on the Boeing F/A-18 Hornet. The SAAB version features a larger fan that produces more airflow and greater power, better fends off birdstrikes
, and prepares superior Swedish meatballs. GE builds 60% of the engine's components.

I loled.

Great thread, Ritchofen! I enjoy reading your posts.

And yeah, the Gripen was one of Altaya's best efforts. Very decent model indeed.
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Old 04-23-2016, 08:29 PM   #209
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I loled.

Great thread, Ritchofen! I enjoy reading your posts.

And yeah, the Gripen was one of Altaya's best efforts. Very decent model indeed.
Thank you, ST-21. Very kind. It's mind-blowing how good Altaya models really are (most of the ones I like, though, are pretty much sold out).
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Old 04-24-2016, 03:40 AM   #210
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I just wish they'd use more metal. :/

I love my Gripen nonetheless though.
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Old 04-25-2016, 09:56 AM   #211
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Shakespeare said it best: “Range and bombload. Range and bombload. My kingdom for range and bombload! ” (or something like that), partway summing up the Do.17’s truncated career. For you folktale lovers out there, this is the story of a humble, devoted handmaiden who gave her all, only to get flung to the dogs by a heartless master (well, kind of. Maybe not so melodramatically).

When reviewing the Do.17’s sterling service, you’ve got to ask yourself two questions (notwithstanding the range and bombload issue): Did the fetching, svelte Fliegender Bleistift get a raw deal (considering it served meritoriously in the Battle of Britain and fared better than her stablemates)? Or was fatso Goering entirely warranted in kicking it under the bus for the Ju-88?

The short answer is, that depends; you can make an argument either way. I do know that several myths have shamefully trashed the 17’s reputation, and I feel obligated to heal those wounds. So here, for your undiluted pleasure, is a synopsis of seven such blasphemies and why they’re soooo wrong …

Myth 1: The Do-17z-10 failed as a night fighter.

  • The truth: Not so. Quite the contrary, two Do-17z-10's scored the Luftwaffe’s first two night kills, a pair of Vicker Wellingtons. Indeed, the Luftwaffe's newly formed Night Fighter squadron (NJG1) chose the Do-17 as its preferred nigh-fighter platform over its stable of Ju-88Cs, Bf 109s, and Bf 110s (that’s gotta say something, right?). Considering the growing menace RAF night bombing presented, Germany sensibly deployed its best equipment against the threat—which was, tah-dah!—the Do-17. Suggesting, at least to me, that far from being a useless, bungling airplane in 1940, the Do-17 was actually a gifted warrior.

Myth 2: Dornier 17's were wimps armament wise.

  • The truth: Pure mule flop. The Do-17z-2 primary bomber boasted of more defensive MG 15 machine guns (six) than period He-111H's (five). Field modifications upped that number to eight. Factory fresh Ju-88A-1s, conversely, carried 3 MGs, later increased to 5.
Myth 3: Ju-88s and He-111s donned crew armor before the Battle of Britain; the Do-17 didn’t.

  • The truth: Wong again. Turns out these three bombers wore no armor (to speak of) until mounting losses forced emergency retrofits. He-111 and Ju-88 production lines expeditiously added armor upgrades while additions to the Do-17 were moderately slow—likely because by then the 17 was out of production. Do-17s caught up by late 1940.

Myth 4: Dornier 17s were lumbering, clumsy cows.

  • The truth: Oh contraire! They were actually nimble for their size, able to dodge and duck opposing fighters with irritating ease. Many Do-17 pilots insisted it flew more like a fighter then a bomber, a fact that opposing RAF pilots grudgingly confirmed.

Myth 5: Dornier 17s were slow as snails.

  • The truth: ALL ABOARD THE NOPE TRAIN! At the start of the war, they could beat the Bristol Blenheim and He-111 in a footrace; but later on, newer designs caught up and passed it, like the Ju-88 and much faster Douglas DB-7. At full throttle in a dive, however, it could slip away from attacking fighters.

Myth 6: Allied pilots could shoot down a Dornier 17 with a slingshot.

  • The truth: Slingshot my foot! Battle of Britain records clearly establish that 17's fared just as well as He-111's and sustained fewer causalities than Ju-88s. Considering factors like number of sorties, targets, escorts, defenses, luck, etc., Do-17z-2's fared a smidge better than its sister bombers. It’s no surprise then, given its strong construction, that Do-17s routinely and safely returned to base even when grievously damaged.

Myth 7: By the end of the Battle of Britain (October 1940), Do-17s were fit for the junkyard.

  • The truth: What a load of donkey doo-doo. Following the BoB, they acquitted themselves splendidly in Operation Barbarossa, decimating Russian aircraft on airfields and obliterating ground units with a vengeance. When upgraded Ju-88s and the new Dornier 217 entered service in late Summer 1941, surviving Dornier 17zs flew secondary missions or served with Finn, Croat, and Rumanian squadrons. A few survived and flew occasional combat sorties to the end of the war towing combat gliders and dropping combat supplies. Others served in testbed evaluation, photo recon, and training.

So there you have it. Pretty impressive, huh?

Nobody’s saying that the Do.17 was perfect; but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t extremely serviceable, even exceptional (on one or two levels). Despite Goering’s blubbering rants, The Flying Pencil was actually a terrific warbird (for its day). It could lay claim to being the Luftwaffe's first "Schellbomber," a bomber so fast it outran belligerent fighters (as demonstrated in the Spanish Civil War), and it served as a semi-superlative nightfighter.

It’s only true enemy (besides Spitfires and Hurricanes) was the march of progress (not so different from every other aircraft ever made). Dornier and the Luftwaffe recognized the 17's limitations (which, in my opinion, were few) and developed a new design that exploited its best characteristics—eventuating in the Do.217.

So to answer my own question, Did the Do.17 get an undeserved bad rep? Yeah, it kinda did. The warbird served its masters faithfully if not capably. It’s true the warbird was long on looks but short on speed and bombload. But considering its strengths, the poor bird didn’t deserve Goering’s repulsive boot, either.



I love this model. Corgi kinda outdid itself, producing a genuine work of art, capturing everybody’s manic enthusiasm in the process. Collectors went mad over this hunk of zinc and for good reason: It rocks, both in accuracy and rendering. I give it an A+. But the model may prove exceedingly difficult to find for a reasonable sum (don’t believe me? checkout the prices on eBay). If by some fortuitous chance you stumble upon one that doesn’t cost everything you own, buy it. You’ll honest-to-goodness relish it.




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Old 04-25-2016, 11:23 PM   #212
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Hmmm...can't see your pics.
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Old 04-26-2016, 09:33 AM   #213
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So which was the very best bomber in WWII? That’s a radioactive question among bomber enthusiasts. Step into this Chernobyl of an argument and you’ll likely stagger away irradiated with zillions of contentious opinions.

One thing’s for sure: Practically nobody thinks the B-24 was the greatest bomber of all. The Boeing B-17 could take a punch a whole lot better and looked hellaciously sexier; the Avro Lancaster routinely lugged heavier bomb loads. The B-29 obliterated whole cities with incendiary and A-bombs. How could anybody seriously consider the Liberator the “best bomber”???

Ha-ha! Why indeed. Read this …

The B-24 partly won the Battle of the Atlantic, that's why. Historians pretty much agree that had the Liberator not swooped down and sunk U-boats by the bushel when it did, the war would likely have continued another year. Given that additional year, Germany might have (emphasis on “might have”) developed weapons and tactics capable of tipping the scales in Hitler’s favor. Or so goes the theory.

By early 1943, the Allies were in a wicked knife fight with U-boats, especially in the Mid-Atlantic. Merchant ships were upending all over the bloody place, imperiling the care and feeding of Britain plus the build-up of US Army units there. The roots for these losses were manifold—a dearth of escort warships, a lack of secure Allied codes, failure to decrypt German codes, Martian UFOs constantly buzzing and distracting convoys (kidding), and the want for better air cover.

Patrol airplanes flying from Canada, Iceland, Britain and Gibraltar lacked legs sufficient to guard convoys in the mid-Atlantic, dubbed (who would have guessed?) the "Mid-Atlantic Gap"—a zone where U-boats threw wild toga parties and invited everybody to join in. These particular waters proved seriously nasty, swallowing scads of merchant ships and crews whole.

Enter the Consolidated B-24 VLR (Very Long Range) variant that had more than enough range to patrol that expanse. It’s staying power was legendary (something the ladies appreciated), and it could unmercifully stomp surfaced submarines to bits with bombs and depth charges like nobody’s business.

Imagine that. The bumbling, shunned B-24 coming to the rescue. Who woulda thunk?

The ’24 didn’t even have to sink submarines to be effective: Forcing a U-boat to submerge alone safeguarded convoys. A U-boat’s top speed was more than halved, reduced to 3 to 4 knots; and unless the submarine sat precisely in a convoy’s path, angling to attack even a slow convoy was beyond difficult—and totally stupid when a vengeful bomber flew overhead.

With this in mind (saving Britain from the hungries and obliterating Germans and Japanese all over planet earth), perhaps we’ve been a little too hard on the Liberator. Allowing for the inestimable service the B-24 rendered over the Atlantic, Europe, and far-flung Japanese-held islands and territories, it’s hard not to appreciate this lumbering beast.

One could argue that the Lancaster deserves the title of “best bomber of World War II,” considering that it dropped the most bombs on Germany during the war. But weight of bombs didn’t necessarily translate into total victory. In fact, the contribution made by Allied bombing toward ending the war remains a bit fuzzy, everything considered. On the other hand, there is absolutely no disputing that Britain was on her knees in early ‘43; and according to eminent historians, had the B-24 VLR not arrived to save the day, the war could have ventured down a very different path.

So there. Maybe the B-24, in this light, was the best bomber of WWII. Or not.




But for the trench-like seam circumscribing Corgi’s B-24 nose, this Coastal Command version is a bona fide masterpiece (I use that word a lot, don’t I?). She looks the part, a plodding, portly, grandmotherly aircraft you can hardly gaze upon without smirking. And yet this porker was, despite its ungainliness, an honest-to-goodness warrior, a genuine pugilist. Corgi did a great job with it, though I can’t say I like the gawky top-turret replacement plug. Overall the model looks terrific. I especially love the plane's furtive CC camo colors and prickly antennae. It’s hard to find these days, so good luck finding one.





One more B-24 ...


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Old 04-27-2016, 09:59 AM   #214
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Even today, historians dispute why the Italian air ministry snubbed the Macchi C205V Veltro for lesser fighters like the Fiat G.55 Centauro and Reggiane Re 2005. The Fiat and Reggiane were decent aircraft, no question; but the Veltro was better, a leap ahead of its progenitor, the MC202 Folgore. The Veltro ditched the Folgore’s middling engine for a German Daimler-Benz DB605 RC58 power plant, which essentially stuffed dynamite up its rump. The new fighter outflew its predecessor in every possible way, impressing the gnocchi out of its test pilots. And boy could it fight.

C205s tasted first blood on April 7, 1943, when escorting naval and aerial convoys plying between Italy and North Africa. Clouds of Spitfire Vs and Curtiss P-40s attacked, climbing all over these Italian Stallions; but the Veltros laughed in their faces. When it was over, Veltros creamed 18 Allied aircraft for the loss of two of their own.

During the Allied invasion of Sicily, the elete 51 Stormo fighter unit
defending Sardegna bagged ten P-40s for the loss of three C205s. By August 2nd, facing 3-to-1 odds, six C205Vs shot down five Allied aircraft for the loss of one Macchi.

The Veltro was sizzling hot, no question. Its only nagging weakness (and likely reason Regia Aeronautica higher-ups pretty much peed on it) was its irritating penchant to break down; the sizzling little Italian routinely came unstuck. Fighter squadrons counted themselves lucky if half their Veltros were flyable on any given day.

But when they did fly, they were fire-breathing dragons. After the Armistice and the creation of Mussolini's National Republican Air Force (ANR), 1st Gruppo’s C205Vs jumped a massive USAAF bomber formation and tangled with escorting P-38s, downing three Lightnings within seconds. But the Veltro’s life was brief. Towards the end of May 1944, Macchi production literally dried up due to heavy USAAF bombing. The last C205V's flew in mid-August 1944.

Records show that the C205V destroyed 115 Allied aircraft with a further 45 probables to the loss of 55 C205Vs and 49 pilots killed.



I’ll say this about 21st Century 1/32 fighters: They’re plastic, they’re comparatively big, and they’re undeniably cool. Some are more accurate than others; but in the main, these models rock. I advise anybody interested in WWII fighters to consider buying a few. They’re getting harder to find, so don’t take long.






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Old 04-28-2016, 10:06 AM   #215
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McDonnell Aircraft Corporation sired the F-101 Voodoo, a whopping big, sturdy, slicker-‘n-snot jet that frequently distinguished itself over North Vietnam and later joined the illustrious RCAF. Is it just me, or does this brute resemble a pointy metallic loaf of bread?

In 1946, McDonnell hit the drafting tables to meet a U. S. Air Force (USAF) demand for a “penetration fighter” to shepherd bombers to their targets. When the strapping F-101 finally took the stage, it served not as a “penetration” escort (ironically) but in three other capacities—as a bomber, a reconnaissance ship, and an interceptor. As a reconnaissance craft, the RF-101C defied North Vietnam’s missiles and MiG attacks. As an interceptor, the Voodoo guarded North America bearing US and Canadian markings.

From all accounts, this charming monster was pitiless toward greenhorns and veterans alike. In fact, a whole bunch of “One-oh-Wonder” old-timers insist the warbird was more challenging (read: damned difficult) to fly than any other warplane ever to enter squadron service. The Voodoo habitually battled a pitch-up problem caused by unruly air flow over its wings and beneath its high tail. It’s fondness for kangarooing into a nose-high attitude horrified and exterminated more than a few pilots, forcing a stop-gap measure called a pitch inhibitor, or “stick knocker,” that offered little to no help.

Would you believe that the fuselage of an F-101B at 67 feet 5 inches was about a yard (or a meter) longer than a DC-3 transport?

The CF-101 Voodoo entered Canadian service in 1961 as a sort of compensation for esteemed Prime Minister Dream Squasher (AKA John Diefenbaker) trashing the Avro Arrow program. It lugged around the same armament as their USAF counterparts, two AIM-4D Falcons and up to two AIR-2A Geniers (though the Geniers were a big, fat secret). The Falcons were programmed to be launched in salvo, the second firing a half-second after the first.

But here’s the thing …

Political opponents of a nuclear-armed Canada mandated that the Voodoo be armed with secondary Falcon air-to-air missiles only—not unguided, nuclear-tipped Genie types found on American F-101s. To circumvent this bothersome diktat, Canadian crews frequently trained with the weapon anyway and struck a smoky backroom deal with the United States that should circumstances require, Canadian Voodoos would carry Genies right to Russia’s doorstep (or somewhere near it, anyway). True story.

This led to a petrifying political pickle. Unbelievably,
minutes after the United States beat Canada at a best-on-best men's tournament in the 1996 World Cup of Hockey—on Canadian soil no less—the RCAF armed their Voodoos to the teeth with Genie missiles and authorized their crews to annihilate all American aircraft, military or civil, flying over Montreal. Pilots spooled up their engines in fits of vengeance and went Yankee Doodle Dandy huntingbut mercifully shot nobody down. To avoid further such eruptions and make nice, the USA lost to Canada in the 2002 Winter Olympics. (JUST KIDDING, GUYS. Just kidding. Put those hockey sticks down!!!)



Hobby Master’s Canadian Voodoos are the bee’s knees. Dapper Canadian jets look suave, don’t they? Like they’re strolling down the Academy Awards Red Carpet? Actor Randy Quaid (American actor, Canadian resident) says he’ll graciously accept an Oscar for this particular Hobby Master Voodoo—so long as he doesn’t have to crash another Hornet into the underbelly of a UFO.





Who likes VooDoos? You do!!!



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Old 04-29-2016, 09:29 AM   #216
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Default Re: Gone but Not Forgotten

I mentioned the MiG-15 in my previous F-86 Sabre write-up, but you might enjoy a few additional facts about this blistering little roadster …

American pop culture drools over the phrase "Russian MiG,” ‘cause it personifies our loyal, longstanding enemy, the Evil Empire—Russia. The little squirt that started that craze was the MiG-15, the world's first successful swept-wing jet fighter.

Post-war Russian technology unabashedly purloined Western aeronautical genius (still does) for its own use, the MiG-15 being a perfect example. Designers Artem Mikoyan (the "Mi" in MiG) and Mikhail Gurevich (the "G") drew on German virtuosity and brilliance in the form of the Focke Wulfe Ta 183, an abortive Nazi jet, among other aircraft, that inspired the ’15’s design.

The Russians got the airframe right (eventually) but lacked a suitable engine. Enter the Brits, who magnanimously gifted the Ruskies with Rolls Royce Nene turbojets, which the Soviets immediately replicated rotor shaft for turbine, calling it the Klimov RD-45. And happy, happy day, a sizzling little hotrod was born.

In the initial days of the Korean War, the fast, high-climbing, bantam MiG, code-named "Fagot" by NATO (what a name, huh?), came as an insolent slap to America’s face. Armed with .23 and .37-mm cannons, it shot down loads of B-29s, terminating the USAF’s daylight bomb raids. The MiG-15 was clearly better than the American F-80 and P-51 fighters then deployed in Korea, though American skill and training somewhat leavened that disparity.

The F-86 Sabre swiftly turned the tables. Although the MiG could outclimb the Sabre at altitude, it couldn't match its roll rate, turn radius, or speed. Sabre pilots racked up a kill ratio of 10:1 (7:1 is closer; the Russians claim the MiGs' kill ratio was much higher). Bragging rights aside, the daring MiG/Sabre dogfights in "MiG Alley" along the Yalu River are among the most celebrated in air combat history.



I like this model. The Egyptian green livery is a nice break from red stars, red bars, and red czars. All in all, this little roadster is quite appealing and would make a prefect stablemate for the Falcon Models IAF Mirage III.




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Old 04-29-2016, 10:33 AM   #217
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Default Re: Gone but Not Forgotten

WARNING: If you’re an F-35 devotee and read this, you'll definitely get the pox.

No other aircraft in history has polarized public opinion as dramatically as the F-35 Lightning II: Depending on whom you talk to, this aircraft is either the most superlative, effective aircraft ever conceived—or it’s a veritable flying sack of butt gravy.

Proponents champion the F-35 because (among other reasons) …

  • It’s mission flexible. The jet comes in three specific-capable varieties: the CTOL (conventional takeoff and landing); STOVL (short takeoff vertical landing); and CATOBAR (catapult assisted take off barrier arrested recovery—or fly from a carrier). But for the Harrier, no other USAF or USN/USMC jet can match its versatility.
  • It’s crammed to the gills with advanced technical goodies—including special stealth coatings, materials, embedded antenna, aligned edges, internal weapons, yada, yada, yada—that’ll safeguard it against nasty enemy planes and anti-aircraft systems. Some aficionados claim the F-35 will be six to eight times more effective in air-to-air missions, air-to-ground missions, and surveillance missions (though compared to what they don’t say). The jet’s sensors and communications systems will also allow pilots to share data with allied commanders at sea, in the air, or on the ground—for more effective, coordinated attack. GO TEAM!!!
  • The Lightning II can lug up to 18,000 lbs of ordnance, featuring missiles, bombs, and other lethal kinetic weapons. The USN’s newest F-35C launched its first 1,065 pound AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) during trials over the Atlantic.
  • It can electronically look down the enemy’s throat (from far away) with a super-sophisticated, comprehensive, integrated, Star-Trek inspired sensor package—because it’s nice to see the other guy’s tonsils just before you blow his brains out.
  • The jet has a range of 1200 nautical miles and can tearass around the neighborhood at Mach 1.6.
  • According to Lockheed officials, the F-35 will cost about half of what it costs to maintain today’s jets.
Opponents laugh at that baloney. They insist the F-35 is essentially supersonic sewer sauce in every conceivable way. Why? Because it’s a thundering bundle of software and mechanical snafus.

Examples …

  • The plane’s Block 2B software is Frankestonian: its weapons delivery accuracy, radar, passive sensors, friend-or-foe identification, and electro-optical targeting are, to put it nicely, crapola. They simply don’t work well if at all.
  • The part of the plane that prevents fuel-tank explosions, according to experts, “require further hardware and software modifications.” Translation: The system is garbage.
  • The F-35’s avionics processors, thermal management systems, cockpit display electronics unit, helmet display units, seat survival kits, and on-board oxygen generating systems have significant hiccups—which ramp up maintenance time and costs. The Air Force now says the F-35’s malfunctioning ejection seats will remain defective until 2018.
  • The Automatic Logistics Information System (ALIS), the software that monitors and advises of all operations and issues within the aircraft, is so screwed up, engineers don’t see a meaningful fix for years.
  • And … the fighter can’t fight worth a damn. Matchups against F-16s (and other jets) emphatically prove that the F-35 can’t turn or climb fast enough to hit enemy planes or dodge their gunfire. Meaning, the original design is incurably flawed; the plane simply can’t keep up. It’s a three-legged dog with a bad limp.
  • Not to mention, the F-35 is waay expensive. How waay? Take a gander at this sticker shock:
In the past, America paid… $13 million for an A-10 Warthog, $14 million for an F-16 (in 1995), $65.3 million for an F/A-18E/F Super Hornet (2013), $108.4 million for an F-15 Eagle, and $134 million for the F-22 (in 2005). Fast forward to today: $177 million per F-35A; $184 million per F-35B; $189 million per F-35C. By 2014, the program was $163 billion over budget and seven years behind schedule. Not to mention, the Pentagon now admits that over the life of the program, Mr. & Mrs. John Q. Public will ante up an estimated $1.5 trillion dollars to keep the F-35 fleet flying.
  • Lots more problems with this hunk of junk, but I don’t have the room (or perseverance) to list them all.
I don’t know about you guys, but to me the F-35 looks and smells like a reeking, mud-soaked Wildebeest. I appreciate it that a lot of intelligent, sensible individuals love the plane for any number of reasons; but given its utterly enfeebled nature, I say ditch the ogre for a workable, vastly superior aircraft, even if it means starting from scratch. In fact, I suggest we ape the Russians and Chinese and copycat an existing adversarial design and tweak it: The Su-35 would provide an excellent template.



As for the model, I like it. And yes, the ribs are way too ribby, but I can live with it. It’s a nice effort on Hobby Master’s part despite all the naysaying. If you like modern jets and white elephants, you’ll love it. I’m told if you ask the right vendor politely, you’ll get some delicious Dutch ‘stroopwafels ’with it.









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Old 04-29-2016, 10:49 AM   #218
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Default Re: Gone but Not Forgotten

Jumbled, cheery facts you didn’t know about the B-52 …

  • The Boeing B-52 Stratofortress can heft up to 70,000 lbs (32,000 kgs) of bombs in its internal bomb bay, equal in weight to 22 Toyota Camrys.
  • The B-52 first flew in 1952. That’s 64 years ago (when it finally retires sometime in the 2040s, it won’t be elderly—it’ll be ancient!).
  • During the Vietnam War, three B-52s shot down North Vietnamese MIG-21s, making the Buff the largest aircraft ever to swat down enemy jets. The North Vietnamese still chafe at the distinction.
  • Five people crew the B-52: an aircraft commander, a pilot, a radar navigator, a navigator, and an electronic warfare officer. Should the big plane go boom-boom, two crew members on the lower deck eject downwards while everybody else ejects upwards.
  • Air Force personnel lovingly call the B-52 Stratofortress the “BUFF” (Big Ugly Fat Freakazoid).
  • BUFFs use the same avionics computer, the IBM AP-101, that the Space Shuttle employed (an old-school, decrepit piece of ‘80s technology better suited for the museum).
  • More than 5,000 autonomous companies contributed to the B-52’s construction.
  • Just for giggles, some brainiac at Boeing proposed pairing two B-52s into one humongous dual-fuselage aircraft (called the “Conroy Virtus”), designed to heft the Space Shuttle into the stratosphere and launch it.
  • The bomber abundantly demonstrated its flexibility in Operation Desert Storm when B-52s struck wide-area troop concentrations, fixed installations and bunkers, and practically demolished Saddam Hussein’s Republican Guard. BUFFs also performed the longest strike mission in aerial warfare history, flying from Barksdale Air Force Base, La., launching cruise missiles, and returning to Barksdale 35 hours later (talk about sore butts).
  • Production of this magnificent beast ended in 1962, which means the youngest B-52s are 54 years old—decades older than their crews. Geritol, anyone?




Corgi did itself proud with its 1/144 B-52 series, though some collectors ridicule the model for its inaccuracies. Supremely ignorant of these supposed faults, I snagged the little critters anyway and am terribly glad I did. They’re hot stuff, failings be damned. The models are comparatively small, but they make up for it with handsomeness and bearing—excellent representations, in my estimation, of the world’s greatest-ever bomber.





One more for the road ...



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Old 04-29-2016, 06:10 PM   #219
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Default Re: Gone but Not Forgotten






Dave, I really (honestly) enjoyed reading your interesting 'take' & post on the Bristol Beaufighter....

Right down to the point where you had the "three bars" at the (near), end...

"Quality" ~ "Accuracy" ~ "Availability"


You kinda (totally), lost me on your viewpoint "Accuracy = 4/5"


It was at that point that I realised that you clearly "don't know" about "Accuracy" & H.M's (dreadful) Malta Beau'.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Being a late 'middle-aged-Englishman', I've taken more than just a passive interest in Beaufighters since 1968-1971.

It was in 1971 that my Father said, "Come on, let's go into the museum..."

Meanwhile, I stood, transfixed, as an Eight-year-old boy, GAZING at Norwegian-Fjiord anti-shipping strike photo's.
(they were posted, LARGE & encased either side of the entrance to the Lambeth I.W.M.)


Those I.W.M. pictures hit me like a hammer-blow & set about a 'lifelong' appreciation of the Bristol Beaufighter.


Fast forward waay, way far in time, to 1997 & the release of TAMIYA's iconic 1/48th Beaufighter kit.

(last count, I had fourteen, unbuilt, in various marks ~ Had mates at Hannants & was buying them cheap)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~


Take a GOOD long look at the box-lid, box-art of the 1st-release (1997)


NOTE THE SIMILARITIES BETWEEN THE TAMIYA BOX-ART & THE 'HOBBYMASTER-MALTA-BEAU' !!!!!!

Plagiarism, copy, imitation ?

Anyhow, appears to be "one & the same" bird ~ (actual 'same airframe')


That's where YOUR 'Accuracy' claim of "4/5" gets metaphorically "shot down in flames"


I used to belong to Hornchurch IPMS & my club "hosted" the annual weekend 'Southern-Expo' show
(attended by thousands)

That year, ALL the talk (& buzz), was how laughably wrong certain aspects were....










You CANNOT claim an accuracy-rating (realistically),, of '4/5', when...


No.1 ) = The airframe serial-number actually belonged & was assigned to a Short Sunderland

That aspect alone is quite laughable ~ Tamiya "blew it" & H.M. (like dumb-sheep), followed suit !
("blind leading the blind" is a phrase that springs to mind).


No.2) = The aircraft both companies are TRYING to portray had FLAT tailplanes...

(& not the later Mk, upturned 'annhedral' type, again, a laughable & elementary mistake !)


No.3) = Without going into a veritable "minefield", it's VERY doubtful & indeed almost certain that the a/c that both TAMIYA & HOBBYMASTER = "were" trying to portray, not only had 'flat', annhedral tailplanes, but pretty certain WAS NOT equipped with "Anti Shipping" Rockets as seen on Hobbymaster's (frankly, daft), model !

That weapon system was basically in it's operational 'infancy' around that time & the EARLY Beau', didn't have it.

Whereas they were damn-near famous for it, a "Trademark" as seen on 'Strike Wing' Beaufighters (Later Mk's)

(stuff like my local base at RAF Langham & North Coates, or the distant Banff wings).






Not trying to "piss on your cereal" mate, but anyone claiming '4/5' accuracy, (MALTA BEAU), is on drugs !!!!!!!!

(Either that, or, clueless on Early Bristol Beaufighters !)




I don't myself remotely claim to be "knowledgeable" on Beau's... UNLIKE the 'Black Friday' decal guys, "Aviaology"

The Modelling News: Review: Aviaeology’s Black Friday Beaufighters in 32nd scale - Two Sheets & Stencil Data Set.

I bought several sheets for my 1/48th 'unbuilt' kit collection ~ They are just SUPERB & WELL RESEARCHED.
(unlike the "clowns" who thumped out those refered to earlier)


The stuff I typed-out above is just gained from passive memory, as an avid fan of Beaufighters over 50 years.


I just wanted to point out that a score of FOUR out of FIVE is (very), misleading from 'accuracy', to a potential buyer.
( ~ the MALTA BEAU' only ~ )
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Old 04-29-2016, 06:18 PM   #220
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Default Re: Gone but Not Forgotten






Dave, I really (honestly) enjoyed reading your interesting 'take' & post on the Bristol Beaufighter....

Right down to the point where you had the "three bars" at the (near), end...

"Quality" ~ "Accuracy" ~ "Availability"


You kinda (totally), lost me on your viewpoint "Accuracy = 4/5"


It was at that point that I realised that you clearly "don't know" about "Accuracy" & H.M's (dreadful) Malta Beau'.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Being a late 'middle-aged-Englishman', I've taken more than just a passive interest in Beaufighters since 1968-1971.

It was in 1971 that my Father said, "Come on, let's go into the museum..."

Meanwhile, I stood, transfixed, as an Eight-year-old boy, GAZING at Norwegian-Fjiord anti-shipping strike photo's.
(they were posted, LARGE & encased either side of the entrance to the Lambeth I.W.M.)


Those I.W.M. pictures hit me like a hammer-blow & set about a 'lifelong' appreciation of the Bristol Beaufighter.


Fast forward waay, way far in time, to 1997 & the release of TAMIYA's iconic 1/48th Beaufighter kit.

(last count, I had fourteen, unbuilt, in various marks ~ Had mates at Hannants & was buying them cheap)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~


Take a GOOD long look at the box-lid, box-art of the 1st-release (1997)


NOTE THE SIMILARITIES BETWEEN THE TAMIYA BOX-ART & THE 'HOBBYMASTER-MALTA-BEAU' !!!!!!

Plagiarism, copy, imitation ?

Anyhow, appears to be "one & the same" bird ~ (actual 'same airframe')


That's where YOUR 'Accuracy' claim of "4/5" gets metaphorically "shot down in flames"


I used to belong to Hornchurch IPMS & my club "hosted" the annual weekend 'Southern-Expo' show
(attended by thousands)

That year, ALL the talk (& buzz), was how laughably wrong certain aspects were....










You CANNOT claim an accuracy-rating (realistically),, of '4/5', when...


No.1 ) = The airframe serial-number actually belonged & was assigned to a Short Sunderland

That aspect alone is quite laughable ~ Tamiya "blew it" & H.M. (like dumb-sheep), followed suit !
("blind leading the blind" is a phrase that springs to mind).


No.2) = The aircraft both companies are TRYING to portray had FLAT tailplanes...

(& not the later Mk, upturned 'annhedral' type, again, a laughable & elementary mistake !)


No.3) = Without going into a veritable "minefield", it's VERY doubtful & indeed almost certain that the a/c that both TAMIYA & HOBBYMASTER = "were" trying to portray, not only had 'flat' tailplanes, but pretty certain WAS NOT equipped with "Anti Shipping" Rockets as seen on Hobbymaster's (frankly, daft), model !

That weapon system was basically in it's operational 'infancy' around that time & the EARLY Beau', didn't have it.

Whereas they were damn-near famous for it, a "Trademark" as seen on 'Strike Wing' Beaufighters (Later Mk's)

(stuff like my local base at RAF Langham & North Coates, or the distant Banff wings).






Not trying to "piss on your cereal" mate, but anyone claiming '4/5' accuracy, (MALTA BEAU), is on drugs !!!!!!!!

(Either that, or, clueless on Early Bristol Beaufighters !)




I don't myself remotely claim to be "knowledgeable" on Beau's... UNLIKE the 'Black Friday' decal guys, "Aviaology"

The Modelling News: Review: Aviaeology’s Black Friday Beaufighters in 32nd scale - Two Sheets & Stencil Data Set.

I bought several sheets for my 1/48th 'unbuilt' kit collection ~ They are just SUPERB & WELL RESEARCHED.
(unlike the "clowns" who thumped out those refered to earlier)


The stuff I typed-out above is just gained from passive memory, as an avid fan of Beaufighters over 50 years.


I just wanted to point out that a score of FOUR out of FIVE is (very), misleading from 'accuracy', to a potential buyer.
( ~ the MALTA BEAU' only ~ )
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Old 04-29-2016, 07:02 PM   #221
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Default Re: Gone but Not Forgotten

Regarding the tailplanes,....it is my understanding (from what I have read) that the mod for tailplanes was often done in the field, including Malta for MKVI.

I am not saying its right, I am just saying that HM may have not got that bit far wrong. The rockets etc etc,....yep HM made a meal of it.

Still, I have this Beau and it looks rather smashing.
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Old 04-30-2016, 10:30 AM   #222
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Default Re: Gone but Not Forgotten

Quote:
Not trying to "piss on your cereal" mate, but anyone claiming '4/5' accuracy, (MALTA BEAU), is on drugs !!!!!!!!

(Either that, or, clueless on Early Bristol Beaufighters !)

Hi, Hornchurch! Long time no see.

As for rating the Beaufighter a 4/5, I was reasonably sure Hobby Master did a bang-up job accuracy wise, especially after I compared the model to photos on Google. Thus my 4/5 accuracy rating.

The smutty truth is, I'm not an authority or specialist or doyen whizz when it comes to model aircraft precision. I’m merely an enthusiast; so your opinion is just as valid as mine, and I welcome more finely tuned, better-informed viewpoints.

If you’re convinced HM’s Beaufighter is sadly lacking, more power to ya!

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Old 05-01-2016, 11:31 AM   #223
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Default Re: Gone but Not Forgotten

Some of the most handsome warbirds every to grace this planet were blue-clad USN aircraft from mid 1940s to the mid ‘50s. Something about their dark royal blue (or whatever you call it; the Navy dubbed it “Midnight Blue”) paint jobs looked swanky, even glamorous. I’m a sucker for that stuff.

The F9F joined the fleet in 1949, laying claim as the US Navy's first-ever jet fighter. With America’s entry into the Korean War in 1950, the Panther straightaway scored its first kill by splashing a Yak-9 near Pyongyang, North Korea,
Ensign E.W. Brown from the USS Valley Forge taking the honor. The shooting war straightaway turned from hot to hotter.

That fall, speedy, swept-wing MiG-15s swooped into the fray and beat the pants off of US Air Force F-80 Shooting Stars, US Navy and Marine Corps Panthers, and older piston-engine aircraft. Pushed against the wall, American warbirds managed to knock down a few of these
Commie thugs, the first falling to Lieutenant Commander William Amen of VF-111 on November 9, 1950.

The MiG-15 was a tough little customer that made the Panther’s job difficult in the extreme until the F-86 arrived. As the Sabre increasingly assumed the air superiority role, the Panther concentrated on ground attack. Famous Panther pilots included future astronaut John Glenn and Hall of Famer Ted Williams, who flew as wingmen in VMF-311. The F9F Panther remained the US Navy's and Marine Corps' primary aircraft during the Korean War.




I love the Panther, though the MiG-15 clearly and ridiculously whipped its heinie. Hobby Master did a nice job on this 1/48 bird, but I’m not entirely enthused with the trench-like nose seam positioned just north of its windscreen or the model's faintly awkward wing hinge-arrangement. Still, she looks great, and I warmly recommend her to early ‘50s jet enthusiasts. You might have a hard time finding one, though: I've searched with little luck.



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Old 05-02-2016, 09:43 AM   #224
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Imagine your mother popping you into mortality and everybody hating your guts from the get-go. What a horrifying thought, huh? A perfect, adorable, innocent infant, but your family loathes your cute little caboose. That’s exactly what the Douglas A-1 Skyraider faced when it entered service in late 1945.

Well, maybe not hated. Probably not loathed, either. But carrier crews and pilots alike considered the bouncing, baby Skyraider already past its prime, an old-timey relic of World War II. Spunky new jets were just over the horizon, one having landed on the USS Wake Island, a Ryan FR-1 Fireball (part piston, part jet) on November 6, 1945. Planes with spinny things on their noses were basicaly old hat—or fast becoming so. Faced with such a disheartening welcome, you’d think the warbird would have jumped over the side and drowned itself. But the Skyraider persevered, found a niche aboard USN aircraft carriers anyway, and proved her mettle five years on in a famous Asian shooting gallery.

The Korean War (or "police action" as
President Harry S. Truman so poetically described it) was a colossal pain in the butt from the start, throwing the US military into a hullabaloo. Every American military asset in that region vaulted into the fray, including the heretofore unspectacular Skyraider, which curb-stomped the enemy with 8,000 lb. payloads (roughly equal to that of a B-17 bomber), blowing Kim Il-sung’s boys to bloody kimchi. The Navy fast changed its mind about this magnificent warhorse.

During the Vietnam War, the Skyraider reprised its role as Mr. Bada$$, rivalling even more capable strike aircraft like the A-6 Intruder and the A-7 Corsair II. Army and Marine units couldn’t praise the Skyraider enough for saving their wazoos. But that wasn’t all …

Surprising nobody, the A-1 chalked up a number of air-to-air kills, too, laying claim to some of the last piston-engine dogfights in history. In 1954, two U.S. Navy carrier-based Skyraiders splashed a pair of Chinese La-9s over the South China Sea. The action occurred three days after communist fighters downed a Cathay Pacific DC-4 on approach to Hong Kong, slaughtering 19 passengers and crew. A decade later (on June 20, 1965), MiG-17s pounced on several U.S. Navy Skyraiders, whereupon two A-1s ventilated one of the MiGs. The following year, Skyraiders from the USS Intrepid downed a MiG-17. The A-1’s last recorded air-to-air rumpus took place on Feb. 14, 1968 when a formation of Skyraiders from the USS Enterprise mixed it with Chinese MiG-19s near Hainan Island. One Skyraider was lost.

For my money, the ol’ A-1 was a genuine American hero. She was an undeniable, heinie-kickin’ trooper that proved that outmoded-and-oldish doesn’t necessarily mean spineless-and-ineffective. Far from it.



Whatever you do, purchase one of Hobby Master’s Skyraiders (if you don’t own one already). She exemplifies good against evil, right against wrong, moral values that are far too indistinct and muddy (or completely non-existent) in today’s world. Besides, the model is exceptional. All of Hobby Master’s A-1s are.





My friends, business commitments beckon once again, so I must take my leave. Please feel free to post your own favorite Gone-but-not-Forgotten models here. And thanks for the memories!

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Old 05-06-2016, 01:52 AM   #225
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One of the most underrated models ever released in my view. It sold poorly, but the aircraft participated the last unguided, aircraft launched torpedo attack in war. It is now hot property, but it lingered on the retailer shelves for an age.

Its history is terrific and its a rare Korean War Skyraider,...in fact the only one released, with a very speccy scheme.

Its a great release that only now has found its real value.
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Old 06-07-2016, 09:17 AM   #226
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Have you lost sleep wondering why the F4-U Corsair’s nose was so doggone long? Of course you have; who hasn’t. I’m happy to explain.

The nose housed the Pratt and Whitney R-2800, 18 cylinder, air-cooled radial engine—considered the most powerful of its day. This monster kicked out over 2,400 maximum horse power, hauling the Corsair’s keister at a scorching 446 mph—faster than its stablemate, the Grumman F6F Hellcat. An extra fuel tank between the engine and the cockpit stretched the nose even farther. And voilà! An engorged schnoz! The problem was, the fighter's elongated hooter reduced forward-vision during take-offs and landings, which, naturally, made landing on carrier decks absurdly tricky—until the Brits figured a way to safely land the beast, more or less.

Any more questions?

You wanna know why the Corsair’s wings were bent, producing its characteristic head-on “W” silhouette?
I’m so glad you asked.

The abovementioned, butt-shattering R-2800 engine was so crazy muscular that only a massive propeller could handle its torque. Hamilton Standard Division of United Aircraft stepped up with a colossal 13'6" propeller, the biggest produced for any fighter during WWII. But the thing was so bloody immense the only way to keep it from digging ruts was to “bend” the Corsair's wings where the gear extended. This not only provided clearance for the prop but allowed for short, sturdy landing struts crucial for rigorous carrier landings (though one detractor insisted that elongating the struts would have made bending the wings unnecessary, thus preserving a more pleasing, conventional appearance).

Was it difficult to climb aboard a Corsair?

Yep, it sure was—until pilots got the hang of it (though most Hog pilots thought the doing was a paint in the tokus). To mount the beast (done on the starboard side only), a pilot had to place his left foot into a spring-loaded foothold in the wing flap, step onto the wing with his right foot, stab his left foot into another foothold in the fuselage—and then swing himself up into the cockpit. This butt-in-the-wind choreography provided endless amusement among ground and carrier crews.

What did pilots call the F4U Corsair?


The repeatable ones are: U Bird, The Hog, The Ensign Eliminator, Old Hog-Nose, The Bent-Wing Bird, Whistling Death, Sweetheart of Okinawa, Horseshoe, the Great Iron Bird, and my all-time favorite—Big Blue Ding-Dong Mcdork. The Ensign Eliminator sobriquet was especially apropos, considering many raw pilots couldn’t handle the fighter’s gut-wrenching torque and wound up greasy residue on several carrier decks.

Oh, and the Japanese called the F4U the “Whistling Death” because, well … the Corsair had the appalling habit of whistling (wolf-like) at enemy warbirds just before slaughtering them. This insufferable behavior offended sensitive Nippon pilots, who considered the affront inexcusable.

And what did Charles Lindbergh have to do with the celebrated Corsair?


Old Charlie was a consultant for Vought-Sikorsky during WWII and flew Corsairs on several combat missions. A genuine Corsair fanatic, he also devised modifications that increased the fighter’s bomb load. Decades later the world learned that while touring pre-war Germany, Lindberg knocked boots with a German woman named Brigitte, producing three children, got nasty with her sister, Marietta, and (allegedly) climbed Mount Pork-o-lay-la with his private secretary, too—all while supporting a wife in the good ol’ USA.




You don’t hear a whole lot about Corgi’s Corsairs, though they’re outstanding models. The AA33001 “White 7” is one of my favorites for its smart execution and nifty paint job and roundels. It’s an easy find and is graciously affordable. So for those of you jonesing for a fine WWII USN carrier fighter, grab it; you’ll love it. Just don’t let it whistle at hostile Japanese aircraft.







The 1/32 21st Century British Corsair below is truly a work of art. It’s completely plastic but ranks up there with the best of its kind. If you can still find one (which won’t be easy), snatch it.








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Old 06-14-2016, 09:57 AM   #227
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The SPAD XIII was the blissful offspring of genius and talent flown by gifted pilots no less than Guynemer, Fonck, Nungesser, Lufbery, Luke, and Rickenbacker. It was more brawny and sprightly than its predecessor, the Spad VII, flaunting, among other improvements, two fixed, forward-firing Vickers machine guns and a more muscular 200-horsepower Hispano-Suiza 8Ba engine (later SPAD XIIIs had 220- and 235-horsepower Hispano-Suiza V-8 types.) The prototype was so outstanding, in fact, that the SPAD XIII made its service debut little more than a month following its first flight on April 4, 1917.

The Armée de l'Air and United States Army Air Service alike raved about the fighter’s stout construction, maneuverability, and fondness for diving at high speed (without disintegrating), three qualities that kicked it into the “best there is” category. But the plane had one niggling fault: Its engine quit in flight (occasionally), dropping the plane like a brick, slaying oodles of hapless pilots in the process. American Capt. Frank Luke Jr. personally faced this shortcoming over Marne, France, May, 1918.

Diving on a Pfalz D.III attacking Allied observation balloons, Luke turned his head to see a virtual conga line of Fokker D.VIIs on his tail, bullets madly flying everywhere, one glowing chunk ricocheting off his goggles, another nicking his right boot as he juked, jinked, and dodged for dear life. Just as a sizzling round kissed Luke’s left ear, his engine quit, dropping him like an anvil through thick cloud.

The D.VIIs overshot, dumbfounded by the abrupt maneuver, but quickly recovered and plunged after him like crazed eagles. The SPAD went straight down, nose first, Luke hanging on for dear life. Just as he shot through a break in the cloud, his Hispano-Suiza V-8 inexplicably sputtered back to life. And, to his utter astonishment, Luke found himself directly behind the Pfalz D.III he’d spotted minutes earlier. The American reflexively machine-gunned the enemy bi-plane, butchering its Bavarian pilot and holing its engine until flames and black smoke belched from the crate. The pursuing D.VIIs were nowhere in sight.

Elated, Luke winged it homeward to a hearty meal, barbed-wire whiskey, and the welcome attention of affectionate females.




I love this model. Heck, I love every 1/48 WWI bi-plane Corgi has produced. These stunning miniatures are a tribute to the company’s unfailing high standards, and Luke's SPAD is no exception. If you haven’t already, buy this mini masterpiece (if you can find it). You’ll be delighted.



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Old 06-14-2016, 02:43 PM   #228
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Originally Posted by Richtofen888 View Post
The SPAD XIII was the blissful offspring of genius and talent flown by gifted pilots no less than Guynemer, Fonck, Nungesser, Lufbery, Luke, and Rickenbacker. It was more brawny and sprightly than its predecessor, the Spad VII, flaunting, among other improvements, two fixed, forward-firing Vickers machine guns and a more muscular 200-horsepower Hispano-Suiza 8Ba engine (later SPAD XIIIs had 220- and 235-horsepower Hispano-Suiza V-8 types.) The prototype was so outstanding, in fact, that the SPAD XIII made its service debut little more than a month following its first flight on April 4, 1917.

The Armée de l'Air and United States Army Air Service alike raved about the fighter’s stout construction, maneuverability, and fondness for diving at high speed (without disintegrating), three qualities that kicked it into the “best there is” category. But the plane had one niggling fault: Its engine quit in flight (occasionally), dropping the plane like a brick, slaying oodles of hapless pilots in the process. American Capt. Frank Luke Jr. personally faced this shortcoming over Marne, France, May, 1918.

Diving on a Pfalz D.III attacking Allied observation balloons, Luke turned his head to see a virtual conga line of Fokker D.VIIs on his tail, bullets madly flying everywhere, one glowing chunk ricocheting off his goggles, another nicking his right boot as he juked, jinked, and dodged for dear life. Just as a sizzling round kissed Luke’s left ear, his engine quit, dropping him like an anvil through thick cloud.

The D.VIIs overshot, dumbfounded by the abrupt maneuver, but quickly recovered and plunged after him like crazed eagles. The SPAD went straight down, nose first, Luke hanging on for dear life. Just as he shot through a break in the cloud, his Hispano-Suiza V-8 inexplicably sputtered back to life. And, to his utter astonishment, Luke found himself directly behind the Pfalz D.III he’d spotted minutes earlier. The American reflexively machine-gunned the enemy bi-plane, butchering its Bavarian pilot and holing its engine until flames and black smoke belched from the crate. The pursuing D.VIIs were nowhere in sight.

Elated, Luke winged it homeward to a hearty meal, barbed-wire whiskey, and the welcome attention of affectionate females.




I love this model. Heck, I love every 1/48 WWI bi-plane Corgi has produced. These stunning miniatures are a tribute to the company’s unfailing high standards, and Luke's SPAD is no exception. If you haven’t already, buy this mini masterpiece (if you can find it). You’ll be delighted.



I enjoy reading your posts thanks. There are three of theses planes available here

Wings OF THE Great WAR 1 72 Spad S XIII US Army 27th Aero SQN Frank Luke WW15002 | eBay

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Old 06-14-2016, 04:55 PM   #229
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Default Re: Gone but Not Forgotten

Thanks, Chubby! Totally glad to hear Luke's SPAD is still around. If anybody's interested in this fabulous model, I'd grab it while it lasts.
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Old 06-14-2016, 06:02 PM   #230
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Thanks, Chubby! Totally glad to hear Luke's SPAD is still around. If anybody's interested in this fabulous model, I'd grab it while it lasts.
My mistake these are not Corgi
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Old 06-21-2016, 11:17 AM   #231
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It’s understandable why most A-6 crews preferred the cover of darkness and/or nasty monsoon weather to sunny, idyllic skies. Compared to steeds like MiG-17s, 19s, and 21s, the Intruder was a veritable cart-pulling mare. Laden with ordinance, the old girl simply couldn’t flee their like without catching 23mm/27mm canon rounds or R-60A air-to-air missiles up her pipe. North Vietnamese SAMS and triple-A artillery strained to rip the guts out of marauding A-6s and accounted for a bunch of loses. But MiGs posed the greatest existential threat to Intruder crews caught in the noonday sun.

On a May afternoon in 1972, a flight of four Grumman A-6 Intruders, the lead elements in an air wing strike, cruised about a hundred feet above North Vietnamese rice paddies west of the Gulf of Tonkin, about 25 miles south of Hanoi. Hefting Mk 20 Rockeye bomblet canisters, the jets sprinted toward Bai Thuong Airfield, primed to blow the crap out of its Mig-17 fighters. Navy pilot and air group commander Ed McCollough flew the lead Intruder; his bombardier/navigator, Partrick Arbon, a Marine Corps captain, searched its radar and external visual cues to guide them to Bai Thuong. "The A-6 was the all-weather attack aircraft," relates Arbon. "Monsoon season never affected our operations." But this was a daytime mission, sky clear and rich, not only providing McCollough and Arbon with a front-row seat to lovely North Vietnam—but also revealing their Intruder flight against a perfectly blue backcloth.

As the Intruders closed in, they ascended to 200 feet—and spotted enemy MiG 17s, each resembling a miniature arrowhead orbiting about 1,500 feet above. Arbon flicked a switch and informed McCollough that their three-plus tons of ordnance were now armed.

"We came in underneath this wheel of MiGs," Arbon recalls, "maybe 12, 15 of them. We were hoping to catch them on the ground and bomb the hell out of 'em. The airbase was alerted, however."

McCollough held the A-6 straight and level as they approached the airfield. Seconds later he flipped the stick release, dropped all 12 Mk 20s, and stood the Intruder on its port wing in a hard bank. One of the MiGs nosedived toward them like a meteor. "OK, so now we had a problem," says Arbon. "Now the MiG-17 was on our tail.”

Arbon armed the A-6’s Sidewinder missiles but was only too aware they couldn’t maneuver to take a shot. McCollough dodged, ducked, and weaved as the MiG closed in, puffs of 37mm cannon smoke spurting from it. Three molten rounds hissed past the Intruder’s canopy, big as baseballs, one nearly grazing it. Wheeling hard right, the Intruder caught a cannon shell in the ribs and convulsed like a prize fighter. Smoke belched from the hole, the starboard engine howling in agony. One more hit like that and the game was over.

The MiG seemed to enjoy the chase, firing methodically, landing several more hits on the wing. As smoke streamed from these holes and McCollough and Arbon prepared to hit the silk, an F-4 Phantom appeared like an avenging angel. The MiG pilot was no fool and dived for the deck, but it was too late. A sidewinder from the F-4 flew up the MiG’s nates and exploded like a grenade.

Miraculously, McCollough and Arbon made it back alive to the USS Coral Sea. Had a 37mm round penetrated only two inches deeper into the Intruder’s innards, the jet likely would have blown up. McCollough kept the piece as a memento and sometimes wears it around his neck at Coral Sea reunions.



My friends, if you haven’t treated yourself to a Century Wings A-6, do it. The Intruder pictured above is hard to find (make that impossible to find), but others pop up now and again on eBay (for semi-prohibitive prices). They’re dazzling chunks of history perfect for pollywog-lovin’, USN all-weather precision bomber enthusiasts.






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Old 06-21-2016, 11:35 AM   #232
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That A-6 was the one that got away.
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Old 06-28-2016, 10:07 AM   #233
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I’ve said this before; but for my money, the De Havilland Mosquito was the most extraordinary and versatile plane of World War II, hands down. And the sexiest.

The De Havilland design team proposed the Mosquito concept to government bigwigs as early as 1938, basing the layout on their DH-88 Comet, which had won the 1934 London to Melbourne air race. De Havilland’s idea was straightforward: Produce the structure entirely of wood and wrap it in a stressed skin of thin laminated plywood over a balsa core, then strap two Rolls Royce Merlin engines on its wings to power it to the moon and back.

This light-as-a-feather design first flew in November 1940, proving faster than any frontline fighter extant and remaining so for 2½ years. The Mks II, III and IV could fly at 380 mph—19 mph faster than the Battle of Britain Spitfire and 50 mph faster than the Hawker Hurricane. Bombed-up Mosquitos entered service in May 1942 and eventually flew at 415 mph with a 4000 lb bomb load, frustrating the living hell out of pursuing Luftwaffe fighters. The only enemy warbirds finally able to best the Mossie’s speed were late-model Focke Wulf Fw-190s (by 40-mph), and the Me 262 (with a gazillion mph advantage ).

Speed wasn’t The Wooden Wonder’s (Mosquito’s) only gift, though. It also boasted of excellent operational range (1,800 miles) and ceiling (the Mk XV could soar to 44,000 feet). And thus blessed, the Mosquito excelled in, among other missions, photo reconnaissance, outperforming Spitfires converted for the same task.

De Havilland built Mosquitos in 33 different variants during WWII and seven more after the war. As an unarmed bomber, it hefted larger bombloads farther than the B-17 (proportionately surviving way more missions). And as a fighter-bomber and night fighter, it sported an eight-gun nose battery that could rip the guts out of anything. Additionally, it was the most productive photoreconnaissance aircraft of the war, a high-speed courier, a weather-recon airplane, a carrier-qualified torpedo bomber (though too late to see combat), a multiengine trainer, and a target tug. Plus, the Mosquito was the war’s most effective extreme-low-altitude intruder.

Pretty impressive, huh?

Oh, yeah … did I mention the Mosquito served as a pathfinder, too? The Timber Terror (Mossie) would hit a target (with pin-point accuracy) ahead of a main bombing force, directing the bombers to it—all while suffering fewer losses than any other plane attached to Bomber Command. Elsewhere it tangled with German armor units (very much like Russian Sturmoviks), engaged marauding enemy night-fighters and bombers (itself equipped with night-fighting radar), and attacked (and sank) Nazi shipping with rockets.

Though Mosquitos flew thousands of routine bombing missions, they’re best remembered for their electrifying, low-altitude, pinpoint hit-and-run raids. These “nuisance raids” (typical British understatement) included the four-aircraft attack on Gestapo headquarters in Oslo, an assault on the prison in Amiens that blew the walls to free 258 French Resistance fighters, six Mosquitos bombing an art gallery in The Hague packed with Gestapo records, and raids on Gestapo HQ in the center of both Jutland and Copenhagen. The Jutland raiders flew so low that one crew saluted a Danish farmer standing in a field (who waved back); and during the Copenhagen raid (believe this or not), Mossies literally flew down boulevards and banked into side streets, scaring the hell out of everyone present. Sometimes collateral civilian losses were high on these missions—27 nuns and 87 children died in a Catholic school during the Copenhagen raid—but the effect on British public morale was dramatic. The Germans learned they could run but they couldn’t hide; nobody was safe from the Timber Terror.

Mosquito production continued until 1947, a total of 7,781 rolling off the assembly line. The Mosquito served the RAF as a reconnaissance platform until 1955.




Corgi produced the night-fighter Mosquito pictured above for Model Zone (now defunct), which is, in my opinion, one of the Pooch’s most awe-inspiring models. You really do need to see it up close and personal to understand why, but she’s downright gorgeous (her satin black finish just won’t quit). Only 1510 were made (which sounds like a lot, but they vanished toot sweet); so if you can find one of these little treasures, sell your wife and/or girlfriend for it. It’s not only that good, but it symbolizes a warplane and a courageous people that history deservedly reveres.




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Old 07-05-2016, 10:56 AM   #234
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On paper, the Messerschmitt Me-163 was a world-beater: It was so fast even P-51D Mustangs couldn’t catch it and so heavily armed it could smoke entire American bomber groups in a single pass. The Luftwaffe well-nigh salivated over the Komet’s potential—until it actually deployed the little troll and found to its alarm the '163 was a washout.

Such news came as a swift kick in the nards, too: For all the engineering man-hours lavished on it, incalculable Reichmarks squandered on it, and ill-fated pilots (and ground crews) slaughtered servicing and flying it, the Komet was an epic fail, destroying no more than nine (read ‘em—nine) American B-17s. And Mustangs actually could catch the little fiend (once it sashayed back to base minus fuel).

What a colossal waste of manpower, money, and pilot meat, huh? You’d think the Germans would have dodged such mindless projects given their smarts and all. But considering the Reich faced continual bombardment and looming obliteration, you can understand why every Nazi worth his Brätwurst jumped at the chance at annihilating the USAAF’s daylight bombing campaign by any means possible. I mean, think about it: The technology was certainly there, and the basic concept seemed eminently doable: Strap a pilot to a heavily armed, rocket-powered egg, fly it at nearly 600 mph., tear holes in American bomber formations, and glide back to base for a soft, comfy landing. Easy-peasy, right? What could possibly go wrong?

Thus the Me-163 popped into existence. A pilot sat under a wide, clear canopy; the aircraft’s wings were swept back, not straight (a first); the fuselage was stout and portly (designed to accommodate the cockpit, fuel stores, and rocket engine); and a simple vertical tail capped the empennage minus horizontal planes. A wheeled, unsprung “dolly” assembly enabled take-off, jettisoning once the rocket motor kicked into full thrust. The “Egg” then exhausted its fuel supply rocketing toward and above incoming bomber formations from whence it swooped down and engaged Fortresses with 20mm cannon (60 rounds per weapon) for as long as momentum allowed—usually three seconds. Then the Komet shimmied back to base and landed on its spring-loaded centerline skid.

Obliterating Fortresses and Liberators never seemed so painless, but the program hit a snag early on: The freakazoid munchkin suffered from developmental problems, which trashed the schedule, delaying powered trials until mid-1944. As a result, only one Me 163 unit, the I Gruppe of Jagdgeschwader 400, reached full strength, partway owing to material and pilot shortages. Of four-hundred built, only 279 Komets saw service. And of those, a gruntload were destroyed in landing accidents, shoot-downs, and fuel explosions.

And speaking of loud bangs, "T-Stoff" and "C-Stoff", the fuels that powered the Me-163, put the “Dee” in “DANGEROUS,” both highly volatile and extremely corrosive—especially to human skin. T-Stoff was 48% concentrated hydrogen peroxide with a blend of hydrocarbon compounds, and C-Stoff was 30% hydrazine hydrate solution in methyl alcohol. When the two fuels met, they literally detonated. When channeled through a Walter HWK 109-509A rocket motor, they went totally crackass producing hellacious volumes of thrust. When everything worked, the rocket motor throttled through five positions to maximum thrust, blowing the doors off approaching bombers. When things didn’t work, the ship exploded like an A-bomb, blowing pilots, ground crews, and hangars to confetti. Or, as happened so often, the caustic fuels leaked into the cockpit, dissolving Komet pilots into spluttering puddles of poop.

In the end, the Me-163 project proved a frightful waste of money and manpower. It was a desperate (but in some ways brilliant) stab at defeating (or at least stemming) the Allied bombing campaign. As it was, the midget monster ravaged what little time, money, and materials the Luftwaffe had left—which wasn’t much.





As for the Easy Model Me-163 Komet, I like it. It’s plastic thru and thru, no metal—but it’s still a honey. I’m totally devoted to zinc (like you); but plastic can, and does at times, look great if finished smartly. If you’re into late-war German aeronautical genius, treat yourself to some Easy Model Komets. They’re inexpensive and easy on the eyes, but be very careful: Don't shake them too hard for fear of blowing your house to kindling—and you with it.




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Old 07-12-2016, 09:10 AM   #235
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Tons of folks believe that the P-51 Mustang was the be-all, end-all fighter of WWII. I love the Mustang and think it’s a real kick-‘em-in-the-cahones fighter that deserves every single kudo heaped on it. Yet, while the P-51 booted many an enemy heinie over European and Pacific skies, the less glamorous Republic P-47 Thunderbolt was the real workhorse of the Allied victory.

Yep. You heard that right. The Thunderbolt.

Nicknamed the “Jug” (short for “Juggernaut”), the P-47 was a heavyweight slugger famous for its skull-bashing punch. Republic produced more than 15,600 P-47s between 1941 and 1945, most performing bomber escort and/or close air support missions in every theatre of the war.

Let me bend your ear about the ol’ Jug …

Believe it or not, Georgian-born (just south of Russia for you geography-impaired guys ) aircraft designer Alexander Kartveli envisioned the P-47 as a featherweight interceptor. Republic had intended to muscle-up its P-43, which had served serenely in the U.S. Army Air Corp. But the war in Europe was a real bombshell, exposing the need for a screamin’, lunatic warplane, which forced the company to shift gears. The prototype rolled out on May 6, 1941.

The P-47 was enormous, three feet wider than the P-51 and four feet longer. At more than 10,000 pounds empty, it was nearly 50 percent heavier than the Mustang and nearly twice the weight of the British Spitfire. In fact, along with the three-seat Grumman Avenger, the Thunderbolt was among the heaviest single-engine aircraft of WWII. Despite its substantial bulk, the P-47’s 18-cylinder, 2,600-horsepower Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp engine (the same power plant used by the Vought Corsair and Grumman Hellcat) provided the strapping Jug with speed equal to its hyped hangar mate, the Mustang: Both could bogie at around 440 mph (700 km/h). But the Thunderbolt, unfortunately, suffered from short legs (not unlike the Spitfire): While the P-47 could reach altitudes in excess of 40,000 feet, its range of just over 800 miles (1,300 km) was half that of the P-51. And as the old saying goes: What the heck good are ye if you can’t show up to the fight?

Plenty good it turns out. With four .50 caliber machine guns jabbed in each wing, the Thunderbolt minced enemy warplanes and ground targets with equal savagery. Its interior stores could hold 3,400 rounds (the Mustang’s six guns could cram only 1,800 bullets), which allowed the P-47 to spew molten lead for 30 seconds straight. While the Jug was a lumbering bull in dogfights against more nimble planes, it was a hellbeast when diving on (or “bouncing”) enemy fighters with all guns blazing. It was even more effective strafing and bombing ground targets, able to heft as much as 3,000 pounds of external ordnance. In fact, when crammed to the eyeballs with artillery, a P-47 Thunderbolt could deliver about half the payload of a B-17 Flying Fortress. When equipped with 4.5-inch M8 rockets, the Jug possessed firepower equal to a battery of 105 mm howitzers.

You’d think the Jug’s size daunted its pilots, but aviators actually adored the brute. Not only could it sop up a shedload of damage, but the cockpit was spacious and comfy. The bubble canopy, added to D-model variants, provided exceptional visibility. And the plane’s safety record was nothing short of astonishing, given that only 0.7 percent of Thunderbolts were lost in action.

And here’s where it gets interesting. As proof that the Thunderbolt actually was the USAAF’s true workhorse, the warbird flew more than half a million sorties in Europe and the Pacific and claimed nearly 4,000 enemy aircraft, 6,000 armored vehicles, 9,000 trains, and 86,000 trucks. It’s on the record. Match that, Mr. Mustang!

The fact that American Thunderbolt aces achieved remarkable results in the bird comes as no surprise. P-47 top guns included Francis “Gabby” Gabreski (28 kills), Robert S. Johnson (27 kills) and David C. Schilling (22.5 kills).

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Republic worked miracles with the mighty Jug. One experimental model set a speed record of 505 mph (810 km/h), an achievement that remained unmatched by a piston engine aircraft until 1989. In 1942, the company announced that its plots had smashed the ‘sound barrier’ during dive tests, though naysayers questioned the claim. Two years later the company produced M model Thunderbolts with supercharged engines that reached emergency speeds of 473 mph (760 km/h). These were deployed to England to intercept V1 Buzz Bombs and swat down German jets.

The USAAF was the P-47’s principle operator, but Thunderbolts served elsewhere, too, more than 800 flying with British and Commonwealth air forces. Free France deployed nearly 500 of the aircraft, and 400 Jugs served Uncle Joe Stalin under Lend Lease, principally as interceptors. The Russians were suitably impressed with their ginormous mounts, dubbing them (as close as accuracy and propriety permit) the “gargantuan engorged banana.”





Several collectors in the past have trashed Corgi’s P-47D; but I’m here to tell ya, they’re full of beans. I love the Pooche’s Thunderbolt, though I’m not too enthused about the vertical canyon seam behind its cockpit. The proportions are right, and the model reeks with verisimilitude (look it up—great word ). I especially love the mammoth engine’s semi-blown cowl flaps. The model itself is up to speed accuracy and paint application wise, and the emblems are spot on. So if you want a terrific T-Bolt on your team, grab this one.









The 21st Century version, 1/32 scale, is a marvel to behold. She’s all plastic, no zinc, but don’t let that stop ya. But for an unsightly (and totally incorrect) inch-long slot just behind the bubble canopy (to allow it to slide), the model looks terrific. It exudes the crazy meat and brawn and whacko power of the real airplane, and you’d be well advised to grab one (or one of her extremely cool sisters) if you can find it. Good luck with that.






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Old 07-19-2016, 01:04 PM   #236
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Of late, my friends and I have been squabbling over which air superiority fighter would prevail in a kick-‘em-in-the-nutz aerial slugfest—the F-15C Eagle or the Sukhoi Su-35E. Spoiler alert: I might as well tell you upfront, I put my money on the Sukhoi.

Though I idolize the ol’ F-15 for its uncontested bravura and ballsiness, it’s getting, dare I say it--long in the tooth. She’s the very definition of badassery, having proved herself in umpteen gazillion combat missions whuppin’ enemy wazoo. But updates and modernizations notwithstanding, she’d likely get the snot kicked out of her taking on the Su-35.

Why?

That’s simple: The Su-35 simply looks better—and don’t laugh: She does. And yeah, that’s a moronic, irrelevant notion that doesn’t count for spit in a knife fight. But dog gone it, this gal has chiquita banana curves that just won’t quit. Every time she sashays down a city street, men bust their zippers; in fact, she’s so sizzling hot that even asbestos gloves can’t touch her. This Russian momma is a swankalishious babe, the most voluptuous femme fatale fighter on planet earth, and I kid you not. Just as Hugh Hefner.

And that’s just for starters...

Though the Su-35 is slightly slower than the F-15C, it can out accelerate the Eagle with its powerful twin Saturn Izdeliye 117S engines, which pound out 31,900lbs of thrust each. Plus it can maintain supersonic speeds sans afterburners, which everybody agrees is a huge advantage in an aerial smack down.

Plus, the Su-35 is the dog's bollocks at low speeds. The Flanker-E boasts of three-dimensional thrust vectoring and is unbelievably maneuverable in first gear (think not? Punch in “Pugachev’s Cobra Maneuver” on Google). If the F-15 assumes it can close in and stab the Su-35 in the gut, it’d better think twice. The Sukhoi is nimble with a switchblade and will stick its adversary faster than you can scream “Holy Mother Russia!!!” Of course, given the advent of helmet mounted cuing systems and high off-boresight missiles like the AIM-9X and Russian R-73, close in visual encounters, more often than not, tend to be “mutual kill” situations. A lot comes down to pilot training, skill, and luck.

In addition, the Flanker-E’s electronic warfare suite boasts of a formidable digital radio frequency memory jamming system concocted to gang rape the AIM-120 AMRAAM missile. While American missiles might survive the assault, it’ll take a whole bunch more to achieve a kill. The Su-35, meanwhile, would smirk from ear to ear and fire off its colossal arsenal of air-to-air missiles designed to butcher the F-15’s antediluvian defensive electronics. The USAF knows of this vulnerability all too well, which is why it’s feverishly implementing a $7.6 billion Eagle Passive/Active Warning and Survivability System upgrade.

And yes it’s true, at longer ranges the F-15E still reigns supreme with its active electronically scanned array radars. The Raytheon APG-63 (v) 3 and APG-82 (v)1 on the two Eagle variants dominate the Su-35’s Tikhomirov IRBIS-E phased array radar. But, the Flanker’s passive-sensor, built-in infrared search and track system (IRST) partway offsets that advantage.

At the very least, even a fully upgraded F-15C with the latest AESA upgrades would have its hands full against the big, bad Su-35. Gone are the days of lopsided turkey-shoots where the USAF and USN shot the pinfeathers off their opponents unscathed. If something isn’t done to redress this disparity in a double-dog hurry (don’t even think about the F-35 filling this role), the United States could soon enough surrender air superiority to the Ruskies.

But what about the F-22 you ask? That’s a capable jet, isn’t it? To which I respond, yes it is. No doubt it would bork its share of adversaries, but there aren’t enough of ‘em to stop a Russian onslaught. The Sukhoi would overwhelm and annihilate the ol’ Raptor.




As for Air Force 1’s Sukhoi dark-blue Su-35E (1 AF1-0116B), she’s a beaut. I admit I’m easy to please, probably because I don’t examine my models under an electronic microscope; but from what I see, this sexy yummy mummy is pleasingly accurate and well appointed. As a matter of fact, I think she’s better look’n than the equivalent Witty Wings single-seat Su-27 (which may or may not be saying much). You can still find this model on eBay (and elsewhere).




Air Force 1’s other Sukhoi Su-35E (1 AF1-0116A) is babilicious, too, except the model’s ham-handed three-tone camo doesn’t do it any favors. Overall this honey is a HONEY! And apparently I’m not the only one who thinks so: This lovely vampire is hard to find these days though not entirely impossible. If you’re interested, don’t wait too long: Availability is tighter than its Super-Flanker sister.



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Old 07-19-2016, 02:11 PM   #237
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[QUOTE=Richtofen888;2011994] The Sukhoi would overwhelm and annihilate the ol’ Raptor.

First of all, I'm not a F-22 Raptor fan at all, so I'm not bias whatsoever... But having said that is the USAF F-22 Raptor not the best & ultimate fighter aircraft of all time period. Is that not the main reason the USAF ordered so many of them (even though it was probably the most expensive fighter project also, except maybe for the F-35) to begin with to replace the old but still capable & agile F-15 Eagle. So would it not be the other way around, having one or two Raptors annihilate a whole squadron of them Sukhoi birds...
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Old 07-19-2016, 02:21 PM   #238
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Default Re: Gone but Not Forgotten

[QUOTE=Surinam Air 747;2012058]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richtofen888 View Post
The Sukhoi would overwhelm and annihilate the ol’ Raptor.

First of all, I'm not a F-22 Raptor fan at all, so I'm not bias whatsoever... But having said that is the USAF F-22 Raptor not the best & ultimate fighter aircraft of all time period. Is that not the main reason the USAF ordered so many of them (even though it was probably the most expensive fighter project also, except maybe for the F-35) to begin with to replace the old but still capable & agile F-15 Eagle. So would it not be the other way around, having one or two Raptors annihilate a whole squadron of them Sukhoi birds...
Given Russia 's own economic problems there may not be enough SU 35's actually in service to swamp anything. Gone are the days of thousands of planes rolling off the ole Soviet production line. Quality costs, whether your Russian or American.
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Old 07-19-2016, 02:24 PM   #239
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Default Re: Gone but Not Forgotten

Corgi's chrome EE Lightning is a winner also. Sorry unable photos
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Old 07-19-2016, 05:43 PM   #240
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Default Re: Gone but Not Forgotten

Surinam, you and Wildblood might be one-hundred percent right about the Eagle and/or Raptor trashing the Flanker; and between you and me, that’s exactly the way I’d want it. I’m not all that eager to speak Russian.

If the Ruskies actually don’t have enough Su-35Es to fling at Western air power, our boys might have a chance. Maybe. But frankly, given the Sukhoi’s super-insane profile, I wouldn’t bet on it.
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Old 07-19-2016, 10:31 PM   #241
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Default Re: Gone but Not Forgotten

[QUOTE=Surinam Air 747;2012058]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richtofen888 View Post
The Sukhoi would overwhelm and annihilate the ol’ Raptor.

First of all, I'm not a F-22 Raptor fan at all, so I'm not bias whatsoever... But having said that is the USAF F-22 Raptor not the best & ultimate fighter aircraft of all time period. Is that not the main reason the USAF ordered so many of them (even though it was probably the most expensive fighter project also, except maybe for the F-35) to begin with to replace the old but still capable & agile F-15 Eagle. So would it not be the other way around, having one or two Raptors annihilate a whole squadron of them Sukhoi birds...
F-15Cs also now carry IRST and MADL (secure, stealth datalink for interop with Raptors) in pods, bringing them up to to spec in a big way for a mixed 4th/5th-Gen fighter fleet...
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Old 07-26-2016, 11:46 AM   #242
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Some baby deliveries are just horrific. Various kids make their debut butt-first or breach (believe it), nearly tearing their mothers apart; some get stuck in the birth canal and have to be wrenched out with forceps; still others avoid the spillway entirely and arrive Caesarian. It's odd, but planes are like that, too: Some gestations are difficult, and their births defy description. And yet, miraculously, they grow up to become special, even extraordinary, warbirds.

See if you can guess which aircraft I natter about below (without looking ahead).

During this aircraft’s development period, test pilots pilloried the poor beast for its ham-handed flight characteristics. Spin recovery was sluggish, and dive stability was wretched. The rudder was heavy, and at stall speed the elevator and ailerons were lifeless. During spin trials, test pilot Flight Lieutenant C.S. Staniland barely escaped with his life as the crate spiraled earthward. Attempting to bail out, he pitched into the rear cockpit as centrifugal force jammed him inside the fuselage. Fighting for his life, Staniland struggled free, hit the silk, and watched helplessly as his plane punched a cliff and exploded.

Got any ideas yet?

Following more tweaks and improvements, a subsequent prototype fared better, passing the Royal Aircraft Establishment’s (RAE’s) grueling Farnborough trials. This iteration ditched old-fashioned wooden construction for a durable fabric-covered metal frame but offered no groundbreaking advances. Pilot, observer, and radio operator/gunner sat in its open cockpit unprotected (World War I style). And due to its large wings and tail, drag was excessive and performance absolutely sucked compared to contemporary, conventional fighters. The plane crawled along at 138 mph and climbed at a laughable 1,220 ft./min. Pilots found little to commend it, and most considered their mount outrageously ugly—an out-and-out goon.

Still guessing?

This warbird was vastly under-gunned, lugging around one single forward-firing Vickers machine and a single flexible Lewis machine gun manned by the rear gunner. The plane’s one saving grace was a formidable 1,670 lb. (757 kg) torpedo slung under its belly. On the off chance the plane survived a fierce anti-aircraft artillery salvo, it could actually sink a ship.

If you haven’t guessed already, it was the Fairey Swordfish (dubbed the “Stringbag” by adoring aficionadas)—a warplane that won world renown by crippling a leviathan Nazi battleship in spite of a batcrazy flack barrage (and thus assisting in the ship’s demise)—one of many stunning accomplishments
, it turns out.

Read on, my friends. You won’t believe how awesome sauce the Swordfish really was …

  • During the Battle of Narvik (Norwegian campaign), April 1940, a Swordfish from the HMS Warspite helped to sink seven enemy destroyers. Petty Officer F.C. Rice, flying a Swordfish, sank the U-64 (the first U-Boat the FAA destroyed during World War II) and obliterated a destroyer in another attack. During the following weeks, Swordfish blitzed additional German ships and nailed Luftwaffe aircraft parked on frozen lakes. By the end of the campaign, Stringbags had performed numerous submarine patrols and reconnaissance missions.
  • Swordfish of the No. 830 Squadron operated from a base at Hal Far, Malta (the Mediterranean), numbering no more than 27 aircraft. Despite its low number, the squadron sank an average 50,000 tons of shipping each month, besting their tally once with 98,000 tons. Flying without night instrumentation, Swordfish gamely attacked enemy convoys in the dark (thereby avoiding German fighter cover).
  • In July of 1940, following France’s capitulation, Swordfish facilitated the French fleet’s destruction at Oran (again, the Mediterranean). Aircraft of Nos. 810 and 820 squadrons, flying in three groups of four, attacked and damaged the battle-cruiser Dunkerque, proving that torpedo-bombers could realistically and effectively arse-up capital ships at anchor.
  • Twenty Swordfish brewed up into a veritable hyperstorm against the Italian Fleet at Taranto in November 1940. The attack began when several Stingbags tore through heavy flak and dropped a line of flares over the harbor and oil storage depot. More Swordfish clobbered a Cavour-class ship from 700 yards as others managed several hits on two Littorios. Of the first wave, all aircraft returned but one.
Lieutenant Commander J. W. Hale led the second wave from the Illustrious. Five Swordfish carried torpedoes exclusively, two were lumbered with bombs, and two hefted bombs and flares. On the way in, one aircraft had to abort owing to a malfunction, but the remaining eight reached their target. The group reprised the first attack, dumping flares and bombing the oil depot. As before, several aircraft concentrated on two Littorios, one Swordfish swooping so low that its landing strut smacked the water sending up an enormous spray but luckily recovered. Again, one aircraft was lost.

Aerial reconnaissance two days later revealed that the Cavour-class battleship Conte di Cavour was sunk; one Duilio-class battleship was heavily damaged; one Littorio was smashed, one Trento-class and one Bolzano-class cruiser were demolished, two destroyers were destroyed; and two auxiliary vessels were sunk. Overall, The Royal Navy had gutted four of Italy’s six serviceable battleships. The Vittorio Veneto and Giulio Cesare had escaped clean.


The British achieved this lopsided victory at the cost of only two Swordfish, due in no small measure to photographic reconnaissance (executed virtually up to the last hour) and abundant valor and skill. The Japanese were devotedly impressed by this audacious attack and reprized a similar strike on the American fleet anchored at Pearl Harbor one year later.
  • Many historians consider the Swordfish attack on the Bismarck, May 26, 1941 (immobilizing the battleship's rudder and setting the behemoth up for destruction), as the warbird's greatest triumph.
Bafflingly, John Moffat didn’t learn until the year 2000 that his torpedo had crippled the Bismarck. He commanded one of three Swordfish operating from the HMS Ark Royal, each tasked with hunting down the Bismarck and avenging the HMS Hood. Unbelievably on that day, the Ark Royal bucked in 60 ft. seas, water surging over the decks and wind howling at 80 mph. As the Swordfish ascended from the hangar deck, no less than 10 men had to lock each wing into place. Deck hands cranked inertia starters on each plane in the midst of violent winds and a pitching, insanely nutz flight deck.

John fought gale winds climbing to 6,000 feet from whence he eventually spotted the Bismarck. The Nazi battleship unleashed screaming hell itself, but Moffat and his crew flew into the maelstrom courageously and pickled their torpedo (which to me was one of the gutsiest moves of the entire war). Thirteen hours later the Royal Navy pummeled the Nazi behemoth but failed to sink her. Abandoning the blazing wreck, the Bismarck crew scuttled and sank their own ship.
  • On February 11, 1942, six Swordfish, led by Lieutenant Commander Eugene Esmonde, attempted to torpedo the German battleships Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, and Prinz Eugen making a frantic dash up the channel. Unfortunately, Luftwaffe fighters dispatched all six warbirds, only five crewmembers surviving (Esmonde not among them). Not one torpedo found its target. Following this debacle, the Swordfish never lugged a torpedo again but later served in the anti-submarine role. The Swordfish proved adept at patrolling ahead of convoys at night, employing ASV radar and visually acquiring subs with flares. In September 1944, a single Swordfish from the HMS Vindex sank four U-boats in one voyage. In all, Swordfish accounted for 22.5 U-boats sunk.
Whew! For a kid that plopped into this world the hard way, it sure turned out great. The Swordfish wasn’t especially pretty, either, but it got the job done—and how!




Allow me to say, if you don’t own this particular Corgi Swordfish (or any of them for that matter), you’re doing yourself a disfavor. Everything about this model smiles; everything about it shouts “quality.” It's accurate, it’s handsome, and it honest-to-goodness looks like it’s just catapulted off the HMS Malaya. In days past, Corgi's pontoon Swordfish was nearly impossible to find, but lately it's been popping up on eBay. Don’t miss out.


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Old 08-02-2016, 09:07 AM   #243
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Default Re: Gone but Not Forgotten

Did you know that Lockheed created the P-38 Lightning more by fluke than design? The company originally proposed this awesome-possum warbird as a bomber-interceptor, not a fighter.

Wanna know a few more factoids about the Fork-tailed Devil? Read on, my esteemed friends! Read on!!!
Lockheed's chief engineer, Hall Hibbard, and the then youthful Clarence "Kelly" Johnson, ginned up one of the nerviest departures from traditional American fighter development ever. Hibbard figured that not an engine in the world could satisfy all the demands for speed, range, climb, firepower and other specifications heaped on his warbird—but two engines might. Hibbard examined the newly tested Allison V-1710 engine that delivered an incredible 1,000 hp for 150 hours and considered slapping two of these turbocharged dawgs on the warbird’s wings, sure the new design would exceed those specifications—and did. Thus, the Lightning became an out-and-out break from orthodox airframe design, power and armament, almost twice the size of its predecessors, sporting a twin-boom configuration and central cockpit “pod.” With four .50 caliber machine guns plus a 20 mm cannon clustered in its nose—the fighter had enough firepower to sink a ship. Positioning the guns this way eliminated the need for propeller synchronization, plus the twin booms afforded extra space for the power plants, landing gear, and turbochargers.
The P-38 was the first fighter to fly faster than 400 mph.
It was the only American fighter aircraft in production throughout WWII.
German pilots nicknamed the P-38 the 'fork-tailed devil'; Japanese pilots the “two planes, one pilot.”
Owing to its muffled turbo-superchargers, the P-38 was remarkably quiet comparatively.
The Lightning’s nose-mounted guns provided superior gun range over contemporary fighters, whose wing-mounted guns had crisscross trajectories.
The P-38s guns were so effective, in fact, it could consistently bag targets at up to 1,000 yards. Most contemporary fighters piddled around at 100-250 yards.
The P-38 employed a counter-rotating engine on its starboard wing to counterbalance the left-turning, hyper-crazy, torque-producing 1,000-hp engine on its port wing. The props spun outward from the cockpit, producing (as a result) an exceptionally stable gun platform. The only problem was, when the pilot lost an engine, the operating engine habitually flip-flopped the aircraft.
The P-38 was the US Army’s primary long-range fighter until the P-51D joined the war.
The Lightning was the first American fighter to significantly use stainless steel and flush-mounted rivets.
The first active service P-38s were deployed as reconnaissance aircraft by the Australia 8th Photographic Squadron in April 1942.
Because pilots had to shut the Lightning’s canopy windows owing to tailplane buffeting, the cockpit became a veritable oven, all the more in steamy island conditions. As a result, pilots often flew in shorts, tennis shoes, and a parachute.
Charles Lindbergh loved the Lightning and, as a civilian contractor, developed throttle settings and engine-leaning practices that drastically increased the fighter’s range.
The P-38 flew over 130,000 sorties in the European theater and downed over 1,800 aircraft in the Pacific theater.
The Lightning was faster than the Zero—even on one engine.
It shot down more Japanese airplanes than any other fighter during World War II. (Yep, that’s right: ...more than any other fighter.)
Seven of the top scoring USAAF aces in the Pacific flew the P-38.
The P-38 was basically a hand-built airplane never intended for mass production. All skin sections were butt-joined using flush riveting, and all flight controls were metal covered. Lockheed expected the USAAF to order only fifty aircraft; so when orders deluged the company, Lockheed went postal trying to accommodate demand. Bob Gross, Lockheed’s president, purchased the old 3-G whiskey distillery for $20,000 to house an additional production line, but even this didn’t help much: By the time Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, only 69 Lightnings were ready for combat.
Until Lockheed installed dive flaps on the Lightning, P-38 pilots were cautioned not to dive the aircraft because it often didn't recover. The Germans figured this out early and used it to their advantage. Every time Luftwaffe ace Hans Pichler broke contact from a P-38, he merely performed a “split S” and dove for the deck. Opposing P-38s could only wave bye-bye.
Lots of folks don’t know this, but the European Theatre proved a bit too difficult for the P-38. Speculation ran rampant…
• The Lightning’s twin booms rendered it easily identifiable to Axis aviators.
• The ‘38’s cockpit heating was inadequate resulting in frigid cockpits.
• Early Lightnings couldn’t dive (without killing the pilot).
• Engine failures and fire plagued the warbird.
• The Lightning’s roll rate was laughable.
Pissed-off with the Lightning's weak showing, Jimmy Doolittle, then commander of the 8th Air Force, bounced the P-38 from Europe to the Pacific, where it came into its own. The Lightning slaughtered Japanese fighters and bombers by the boatload, though the warbird’s engine problem persisted. Fortunately, a maintenance genius (named Einstein, believe it or not) determined that acid buildup in the lubricating oil prematurely wore out the engine bearings. Lickety-split, Wright Aeronautical changed the oil formulation and the problem vanished. General Doolittle didn’t care.
In total, over 10,000 P-38s were produced during the war.
Which all goes to show, just because a baseball player goes antwhacky on one team doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll bomb on another. Sometimes just the opposite.




Forgive me for getting all sugary, but Corgi's P-38 is one of the most babilicious diecast models on the market. This bird is absolutely stunning, and if you're lucky enough to snag one (especially the green-liveried beauty pictured above), you're to be congratulated. Unfortunately, they’re pretty much impossible to find.




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Old 08-02-2016, 12:46 PM   #244
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I would suggest that the so-called issues attributed to the Do-17 applied more to the He-111, often referred to by the RAF as 'fat calves ripe for slaughter', because they were so easy to shoot down once the fighter escorts had been disposed of.
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Old 08-02-2016, 02:19 PM   #245
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What exactly, does a model have to do to get a "quality" score of less than 4/5 here?
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Old 08-02-2016, 02:23 PM   #246
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FortunateSon View Post
What exactly, does a model have to do to get a "quality" score of less than 4/5 here?
I guess Richtofen288 wouldn't post anything he felt warranted a quality score below 4/5? It is, after all, his view of planes/models worthy of note?
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Old 08-02-2016, 02:49 PM   #247
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, and if you're lucky enough to snag one (especially the green-liveried beauty pictured above), you're to be congratulated. Unfortunately, they’re pretty much impossible to find.


Do you actually have this model? AFAIK it was never released, period, at least according to Tricatus. FM made a similar one in 1/48 though.
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Old 08-02-2016, 02:51 PM   #248
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildblood View Post
I guess Richtofen288 wouldn't post anything he felt warranted a quality score below 4/5? It is, after all, his view of planes/models worthy of note?
Fair enough and as much as I appreciate that a) opinions vary and b) there's something to be said for looking on the bright side of life, but imho giving a corgi b-24j with that awful nose a 'quality score' of 4/5 is just wrong as is giving corgi's middling razorback p-47 the same 'quality' score as hm's A-1.

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Old 08-02-2016, 04:22 PM   #249
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Thanks, Fortunate Son, for your questions. I’ll try my best to answer them …


Quote:
“Do you actually have this model? AFAIK it was never released, period, at least according to Tricatus. FM made a similar one in 1/48 though.”
Yep, actually I do own this particular Corgi Lightning. It’s No. AA36608, a Lockheed P-38J that served with the USAAF 80th FG, 459th FS, called Haleakala. It’s truly a terrific model, and I recommend it to Lightning aficionadas everywhere. And yes, Corgi produced it: I refer you to The Flying Mule that sold them years ago: (Corgi AA36608 - P-38 Lightning Diecast Model, USAAF 80th FG, 459th FS, "Haleakala", Harry Sealy). Unfortunately, it’s extremely hard to find these days—if not impossible.



Quote:
“What exactly, does a model have to do to get a "quality" score of less than 4/5 here?”
Nothing in particular other than it doesn’t rise to Hobby Master’s or Corgi’s or Century Wing’s superlative standards (in my opinion). If you look at my previous write-ups, you’ll notice I gave Falcon Models’ Dassault Mirage F1CG (No. FA276007) and North American F-86D Sabre Dog (No. FA7233001) quality scores of 3/5. Neither, in my opinion, rise to the above-mentioned companies’ excellence (though I think they’re still pretty cool). When selecting models to spotlight, I typically (but not always) choose those that manifest good-to-high quality and are historically notable. Dreck models don’t make my list.

In general, to respond to your and Wildblood’s concern about the correctness of my “quality” rankings, you’re absolutely welcome to your opinions and I’m truly appreciative when you share them. I’m simply sharing mine; they’re neither gospel nor carved in stone.


Quote:
“oh, and that's not an 'egyptian' mig-15 - it's a pakistani bird flown by one of the biggest liars in aviation.”
I assume you refer to the Mig-15 I posted on 4-29-2016. If so, and unless I’ve misinterpreted your meaning, I'm not sure why you claim Hobby Master’s HM-HA2408 Mig-15 Fagot isn’t an Egyptian warbird. Judging from this model’s Egyptian AF emblems and the fact that Hobby Master itself says it’s Egyptian—it’s Egyptian (reference: Hobby Master HA2408 - MiG-15 Fagot Diecast Model, Egyptian Air Force, Sinai, Egypt, October 1956). Perchance this particular Mig was on loan from Pakistan?
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Old 08-03-2016, 08:42 AM   #250
Too many models! (1500+)
 
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Default Re: Gone but Not Forgotten

Hi Richtoven thanks for the detailed responses to my off the cuff and somewhat abrupt remarks! Very gentlemanly of you.

I am really surprised that Haleakala was actually available. It was always listed on Tricatus' site as "Cancelled" and you're absolutely right that one is I think as close to impossible to find as corgi diecast gets, full stop. Foget your rare Me109s / mossies / mule specials, that must be the rarest of them all. Well done on getting it! I am very jealous.

About the quality scale: to each his own, but I am rather shocked that you gave the in my view qualitywise 5/5 F-86D a lower quality scale than, say, corgi's very very pedestrian razorback p-47 (which I would have given a 2/5). That said, opinions can of course legitimately differ!

About my pakistan comment: I realized i was being stupid the moment I wrote it and edited my comment to remove this, but it seems that you saw and replied to this in that brief interval. My fault entirely.

Last edited by FortunateSon; 08-03-2016 at 08:48 AM.
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