Author Topic: Apophenia's Offerings  (Read 221259 times)

Offline AXOR

  • Our returned Monkey Box man
Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #1740 on: February 11, 2018, 06:53:00 AM »
Great looking airplane this Boreal
Alex

Offline apophenia

  • Suffered two full days of rapid-fire hallucinations and yet had not a single usuable whif concept in the lot !?!
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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #1741 on: February 20, 2018, 08:13:25 AM »
When the Pacific War ended in August 1945, Boeing Canada was working on a range of advanced projects based upon their Boston and T2B airframes. The unbuilt T2B-2 for the US Navy has already been discussed. Other projects were aimed at RCAF requirements. One proposed a 'de-navalized' T2B-1 for the land-based maritime patrol role (which would emerge in its postwar developed form as the Boeing Boreal Mk.1MR).  Another was for fully modernized Boston for anticipated use in the then-forthcoming invasion of the Japanese home islands.

The proposed Boston B Mk VIII [1] involved a series of studies in slightly different configurations. Regardless of the chosen final configuration, the Boston B Mk VIII would be a hybrid of Boston and T2B-2. The engines would either remain R-2600s or, if Ottawa decided to standardize on British powerplants, would switch to the Bristol Hercules XVII. [2] Over-target performance was to be enhanced through the use of booster turbojets. Several layouts were investigated - including a single, tail-mounted jet (3,100 de Havilland Ghost or 3,830 lbf GE J33) or twin engines (2,000 lbf Rolls-Royce Derwent Is or 2,000 lbf GE J31s). Twin jets would either be installed on the wing tips or in extended engine nacelles. [3]

Boston B Mk VIII defensive armament would be as per the T2B-2 but the forward fuselage and wings would be that of the RCAF TB Mk VIA. The upper fuselage decking was lowered with the existing Boston pilot's enclosure being replaced by a fully-blown canopy. To test the latter feature, a single Boston B Mk VIA was set aside for trials. This aircraft was fitted with a sliding canopy from a P-51D Mustang fighter. It was hoped that this airframe might also test the T2B-2-style armament installation as well but the War ended before this could be done. [4]

'Photo Ops' - A Postwar Career Change

The 'Bubble-Top' Boston B Mk VIA (which never received a distinct designation) had remained with Boeing Canada for trials but was declared surplus by the RCAF in November 1945. The following year, Boeing was approached by Vancouver-based Fairchild subsidiary, Aerial Surveys Ltd. [5] In response to this query about surplus Bostons for conversion for photo survey work, Boeing recommend the 'Bubble-Top' Boston. Aerial Surveys Ltd agreed but pressed for a quick delivery. The aircraft was pulled from 'the weeds' behind Boeing Canada's Plant 3 on Sea Island and restored.

Boeing installed a trio of Fairchild cameras - one  K-18 and two K-22s - in the Boston's bomb bays. In transit, the lens were protected by the bomb doors. On the 'run in', these doors were opened, ready for photography to begin. Photography was controlled from the former bomb-aimer's position. The former gunner's position was converted into a rear compartment for use by a camera tech when operating away from home base.

(Top) 'Bubble-Top' Boston of Aerial Surveys Ltd. Note 'totem' emblem on fin and pilot's crude 'drift gauge'.

The 'Bubble-Top' Boston entered Aerial Surveys service as CF-EZH in late August 1946. The modifications were seen as a great success ... when they worked. Aircraft performance was seen as somewhat lacking (the revised 'Bubble-Top' was lighter than a service Boston but still struggled for higher altitudes). Heating of the camera installation also had to be adjusted but the key complaints was that the crew could not reach the cameras in flight. Still, the Boston could do jobs that Aerial Surveys' Anson 552 CF-DLF (ex-RCAF Mk.V 12356) could not manage.

The Boston served with Aerial Surveys until December 1948 when it was written off at Edmonton. Flying in cold, clear weather, the last photographic flight was a complete success. However, on landing, the Boston ran into frozen slush on the runway. The nose wheel gear collapsed and the forward fuselage was kinked. The Boston was judged uneconomical to repair and struck off. The Boston's registration was transferred to a second Anson while its role was taken over by the faster, higher-flying Lockheed Lightning, CF-JJA.

A second 'Boeing Havoc' made it into the aerial survey business. Spartan Air Services of Ottawa, Ontario sourced a US Navy-surplus Boeing T2B-1 from a scrap dealer in Oregon. Life the Aerial Surveys aircraft, cameras were fitted in the bomb bays (although, in this installation, the bomb bays were fixed). As CF-HMK, the T2B-1 flew out of Rockcliffe airfield. Despite appearances, the Spartan 'T2B-1P' was a two-seater. The rear position was occupied by the navigator who also operated as a camera tech. However, actual photography operations were all handled by pilot - a rather inefficient arrangement.

(Bottom) Spartan Air Services T2B-1 in RCAF trainer yellow with nacelles sprayed black (to camouflage exhaust staining). CF-HMK was scheduled to be repainted in silver dope but this was never done.

Spartan, having tried the T2B-1, P-38 Lightning, and Sea Hornet, concluding that the de Havilland Mosquito best suited its photographic needs. CF-HMK was offered to the Ontario Provincial Air Service as a potential water-bomber conversion. This never happened and the T2B-1 mouldered away behind Hangar 2 at Rockcliffe airport. The Spartan T2B-1 was finally sold for scrap at some point in the mid-'50s.

_______________________________________

[1] The 'missing' Boston TB Mk VII was a re-engining study for the Boston TB Mk VIA

[2] The more powerful Bristol Centaurus was also considered but, ultimately, rejected as requiring too much structural work to strengthen the Boston nacelles.

[3] A third option of mid-span jets was rejected early on due to an excessive drag penalty revealed during NRC wind tunnel tests.

[4] Booster jet installations were to be trialled on a second Boston TB VIA airframe but this was never done.

[5] Technically, Aerial Surveys Ltd was jointly owned by British Fairey Air Surveys and camera-supplier, Fairchild Aerial Surveys, Inc of Los Angeles.

_______________________________________
Under investigation by the Committee of State Sanctioned Modelling, Alternative History and Tractor Carburettor Production for decadent counterrevolutionary behaviour.

Offline apophenia

  • Suffered two full days of rapid-fire hallucinations and yet had not a single usuable whif concept in the lot !?!
  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #1742 on: February 20, 2018, 08:17:45 AM »
Argentinian COIN - the FMA IA 55 Pülü

In 1962, Córdoba-based DINFIA (Dirección Nacional de Fabricación e Investigación Aeronáutica) began studies for counter-insurgency aircraft to satisfy a Fuerza Aérea Argentina requirement for a new avión de ataque y apoyo cercano (attack and close support aircraft).  The two most promising concepts were selected for refinement. The FAA's preference was for a twin-engined design - the AX-2 (Ataque Experimental 2). However, budgetary constraints forced the service to select its second choice - the less expensive, single-engined AX-1.

Initially, the Ataque Experimental 1 was presented in two forms. DINFIA pushed the larger AX-1A which was powered by a 930 shp Turbomeca Bastan VI-A turboprop (in common with the IA 50 Guaraní II utility transport). However, the slightly smaller Astazou-powered AX-1B was chosen for development. DINFIA's Fábrica Militar de Aviones constructed a prototype AX-1 as the FMA IA 55. Powered by a French 840 shp Turbomeca Astazou XIV, the IA 55's crew of two sat in tandem beneath a side-hinged canopy. A 'tail-dragger' arrangement was chosen for short-field performance.

An FAA technical assessment team tested the prototype IA 55 at Córdoba before making a range of recommended changes. Most critical to the FMA design team, the FAA's critique recommended the adoption of a tricycle undercarriage. That, and a demand for modern ejection seats for the crew, required a major redesign of the IA 55. FMA then put forward its proposed IA 55A, which adopted a tricycle landing gear and lightweight 'extraction' seats for the crew. These modest changes did not satisfy the FAA's assessment team.

A more radical re-design was the IA 55B Pülü. [1] This design had the IA 55A's lengthened forward fuselage but also introduced a completely new rear fuselage and T-tailled empennage. The cockpit section was lengthened to accommodate twin Martin-Baker ejection seats, the rear seat being slightly raised to improve forward vision. The outer wing panels were also revised, reducing the IA 55A's leading edge sweep for c/g reasons. The FAA approved the IA 55B Pülü design and the type entered full-scale production at Córdoba in 1966.

Reality Check: The FMA IA 55 was a real project. When I first heard about the IA 55, I assumed that it would look like a single-engined Pucará. Then I saw a 3-view drawing. Other than that distinctive Astazou intake, the IA 55 would have looked nothing like the Pucará. My 'first prototype' is basically what the FMA plan looked like. My 'IA 55B' is closer to what I'd initially imagined for the IA 55 project.

___________________________

[1]  Pülü means 'Wasp' in Mapuche, an indigenous language from south-western Argentina.
Under investigation by the Committee of State Sanctioned Modelling, Alternative History and Tractor Carburettor Production for decadent counterrevolutionary behaviour.

Offline john_matthews129

  • Has an unnatural phondness for Phantoms...
    • Matthews Aviation Art
Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #1743 on: February 20, 2018, 11:55:28 AM »
That has to be one really wide bubble canopy on the Boston.  Really like it though!  Perhaps a smaller bubble on the left half of the fuselage?  Or two, one for the pilot and another for the co-pilot, sort of like on the Douglas Mix-Master. 
Fly?  Yes.  Land?  No.

Please visit me at https://onetwentynineblog.wordpress.com/ and  at https://www.zazzle.com/matthews_aero_art

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #1744 on: February 21, 2018, 01:36:28 AM »
 :smiley:
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline apophenia

  • Suffered two full days of rapid-fire hallucinations and yet had not a single usuable whif concept in the lot !?!
  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #1745 on: February 23, 2018, 05:58:39 AM »
That has to be one really wide bubble canopy on the Boston.  Really like it though!  Perhaps a smaller bubble on the left half of the fuselage?  Or two, one for the pilot and another for the co-pilot, sort of like on the Douglas Mix-Master.

John: Actually, the A-20 Havoc didn't have a co-pilot (that was one of the benefits of its planned replacement - the A-26 Invader). Still, you're right about that bubble canopy needing to be wide.

At its widest point, the P-51D fuselage was only 34-35" (0.86-0.88 m) while the A-20 was 49" (1.24 m). Both types had fuselages that tapered inward towards the top so the measurement across the canopy sills would be narrower. (Does anyone know the A-20 fuselage's exact width across the sill at the top of Station 37? Unfortunately, AN 01-40AL-2 doesn't give cockpit dimensions.)
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Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #1746 on: February 23, 2018, 06:42:57 AM »

John: Actually, the A-20 Havoc didn't have a co-pilot


As shown well here:

All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline apophenia

  • Suffered two full days of rapid-fire hallucinations and yet had not a single usuable whif concept in the lot !?!
  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #1747 on: February 24, 2018, 02:13:46 AM »
Lancaster Plus - Boeing Canada's belated RCAF MPA contender

With Boreal production ended, Boeing Aircraft of Canada Ltd found itself primarily engaged as an MRO facility. One RCAF contract was won to refit and refurbish wartime Canso amphibians for the SAR role. Ironically, few of the airframes involved were Boeing-built - most had been Canso As constructed by Boeing Canada's Montreal-based rival, Canadian Vickers (by that time, renamed Canadair). That contract kept the doors open on Sea Island but head office in Seattle was getting nervous about its Canadian operation.

Boeing was well aware that Canadair was studying advanced, long-range anti-submarine warfare aircraft to replace the wartime Lancasters. Boeing Canada itself had submitted ASW studies to AVM EW Stedman at the RCAF Research and Development Branch. [1] Those concepts had been rejected and Boeing Canada began studying another concept involving modernizing the existing RCAF Lancaster 10MR fleet.

Boeing was also well aware of tests underway in Eastern Canada of RCAF Lancasters converted to test turbojet engines. In both cases, the Lancs had their outboard Merlins replaced by Canadian-made jet engines. Meanwhile, in the UK, Lancasters and Lancastrians had been converted to trial twin Rolls-Royce Nene turbojets. This was the same engine type meant to enter service with RCAF Canadair-built CL-30 Silver Star jet trainers. Boeing Canada management sensed an opportunity.

'Two Turning, Two Burning' - Boeing Canada's Chimeric Lancaster concept

Boeing Canada placed a formal request the RCAF for the loan of Lancaster Mk.10-O testbed, FM205. [2] This was declined - although unflown as a jet trial aircraft, FM205 remained on loan to Avro Canada's Orenda Gas Turbine Division. Nor, RCAF Staff hastened to add, did the Air Force have any other Lancasters which it could spare. Fortunately, Boeing Canada had already anticipated this outcome and begun making enquiries outside the country. Feelers put out to Vickers-Armstrong paid off.

Lancaster 'half-jet' conversions in the UK dated back to 1945. [3] Just after the war, Vickers converted Lancaster C.I VH742 to twin Nenes on behalf of Rolls-Royce. That aircraft was later returned from Hucknall to have its Nenes replaced with new Rolls-Royce Tay turbojets. The Tay installation was complete by August 1949 but was never flown (Rolls-Royce had shifted its attention to the Avon). Might Boeing Canada be interested in VH742? 'Yes', was the quick reply!

Broken down for shipment by sea, Lancaster C.I VH742 arrived at Boeing's Sea Island plant in late July 1950 ... complete with its original Rolls-Royce Nene installation. In the meantime, Boeing Canada design staff had been collecting other components for its mixed-power Lancaster concept. Streamlined Lancastrian nose and tail fairings arrived from the UK well before VH742. [4] A scrapped, Victory-built Lancaster centre section had already been sourced from a farmer in central Alberta. The latter formed a test rig for the trial installation of much larger Wright R-3350-32 radial engines in the inboard positions (even de-rated, the R-3350s were much more powerful than the original Merlins). [5]

Boeing Aircraft of Canada enters the Jet Age (sort of)

By the time VH742 rolled back out of Boeing's Plant 3 as CF-ARM, the Lancaster had undergone a major transformation. As expected, she was fitted with inboard R-3350 radials inboard with Nenes underslung outboard. The 'spare' Lancastrian fairings had been converted into new crew positions. In the tail, the rear observer would lie prone on a 'couch' with an unobstructed view of the sea below and behind. Up front, the Lancastrian nose baggage door 'lid' was replaced by a single glazed cap for the bomb-aimer. Behind him sat the navigator in a new, B-17-style position (complete with overhead sighting bubble). [6]

As expected, CF-ARM flew "like a rocket". Flying solely on the twin Wright radials, performance was at least as good as the RCAF's standard, 4-engined Lancaster 10MR. More of a novelty for pilots was the speed and lack of vibration that came with flying on the Nene jets alone. Detail work was needed on the R-3350 installation - to improve engine cowling - and it was suggested that the slightly higher all-up weight may require substitution of the sturdier main undercarriage from the Avro Lincoln bomber. That would prove prophetic.

On 13 April 1951, CF-ARM was returning to Sea Island after an uneventful test flight along the West Coast of Vancouver Island with RCAF observers on board. Landing in gusty conditions, the starboard main gear started to began to retract. The damage was done by the ground-loop that followed. The starboard wing tip dug in to the soggy turf alongside the runway. The starboard Nene installation ended up taking much of the aircraft's weight while the starboard prop blades also took a beating. Fortunately, the portside undercarriage held.

Onboard RCAF officials praised the crew's reactions in their report but Ottawa took a harder line. The RCAF Brass didn't appreciate Boeing Canada going behind their backs - as they viewed the overseas purchase of VH742. The April 1951 accident gave the Department of National Defence a perfect excuse to distance themselves even further from the Boeing Canada concept. Ottawa made clear to Boeing Canada that no funding, support, or other RCAF involvement should be expected in future. RCAF planners also briefed against the Boeing Canada proposal in Parliamentary committees during the following year. April's minor ground-loop incident grew into 'proof' of the waste and danger inherent in rebuild programs. The politicians bought it ... and then bought the RCAF lovely, new P2V-7 Neptunes. [7]

__________________________

[1] Boeing Aircraft of Canada put forward two distinct ASW concepts for study by the RDB. The 'Budget Model' was a comparatively simple rebuild of available USAF-surplus B-17G airframes (a second variant of which was also put forward to bolster RCAF SAR capabilities). The second concept involved a major rebuild of surplus US B-29 airframes. Neither concept appealled to the RCAF RDB.

[2] FM205 had its outboard Merlins replaced by Chinook engines. FM205 never flew in this configuration because Avro Canada had already moved on to 'productionize' the Orenda turbojet.

[3] Single-jet test installations in Lancasters (and other bomber types) dated back to the war years.

[4] VH742 itself had already been converted to 'Nene-Lancastrian' standard (as had PD167 and VH737).

[5] Boeing Canada reasoned that de-rated Wright R-3350s should not over-tax the Lancaster since the  centre section had been originally designed for the Vulture-powered Avro Manchester.

[6] Observation blisters were also planned for the rear fuselage sides but never installed. Likewise, the wooden wingtips were to be replaced with metal extensions complete with bulbous tip fuel tanks.

[7] Deliveries of RCAF Neptunes didn't begin until 1955 ... which resulted in a modest degree of satisfaction for Boeing Canada. Desparately short of spares for the aged RCAF Lancaster Mk.10MR fleet, the Department of National Defence had to spend top-dollar to buy the stored wreck of CF-ARM for parts.

__________________________
« Last Edit: February 25, 2018, 03:57:32 AM by apophenia »
Under investigation by the Committee of State Sanctioned Modelling, Alternative History and Tractor Carburettor Production for decadent counterrevolutionary behaviour.

Offline Tophe

  • He sees things in double...
  • twin-boom & asymmetric fan
    • my models
Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #1748 on: February 24, 2018, 02:05:51 PM »
Interesting... ;)

Offline apophenia

  • Suffered two full days of rapid-fire hallucinations and yet had not a single usuable whif concept in the lot !?!
  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #1749 on: March 24, 2018, 06:27:29 AM »
Forgotten Fokker Fighters - the Fokker D.25 Story

In 1938, Fokker chief designer Dr-Ing Erich Schatzki began work on a new 'jockey' fighter. The scheme was intended to make use of as many components as possible from the advanced, all-metal D.23 (D.XXIII) push-pull fighter. [1] The new light fighter concept sprang, in part, from Fokker's marketing department which saw potential for a sale to the French Armée de l'Air.

The initial concept was conceived as a light fighter with full metalen constructie. This light fighter would use the forward Walter Sagitta I-SR engine and cowling; cockpit; outer wing panels, main undercarriage (rearranged as a conventional 'tail-dragger'); and rudder of the D.23. This design would receive the retroactive designation Ontwerp 157-A. [2] French interest in the Dutch light fighter was lukewarm at best. Perhaps discouraged, Schatzki left Fokker to design the more conventional Koolhoven FK.58 fighter - also aimed at the French market.

Fortunately for Fokker, the Dutch Inspectie der Militaire Luchtvaart (IML) saw potential in the concept as an advanced trainer which could act as an emergency fighter in wartime. However, Fokker design staff quickly realized that they could not meet planned costs with all-metal construction. The opportunity was taken to redesign their light fighter using more conventional - for Fokker - mixed construction.

The result, created under the leadership of Ir. Marius Beeling, was the Ontwerp 157/gc (gemengde constructie or mixed construction) later redesigned Ontwerp 157-B. Beeling's proposal was a near-complete redesign. The fuselage was now a welded steel-tube structure. The D.23-style engine installation remained unaltered. However, the positions of the cockpit and fuselage fuel tank were reversed. Moving the cockpit aft also left space for an armament of twin, cowl-mounted 13,2 mm FN-Browning heavy machine guns.

Four Ontwerp 157-B variants were offered. Ontwerp 157-B/1 and 'B/2 featured aluminum-skinned steel-tube fuselage structures. They differed in Ontwerp 157-B/1 have a new outward-retracting undercarriage while Ontwerp 157-B/2 had a simpler, fixed and spatted undercarriage. Ontwerp 157-B/3 and 'B/4 were, respectively, the retractable- and fixed-undercarriage versions of a variant with a fabric-covered fuselage structure.

(Top) Conceptual Fokker D.25 fighter (in its Ontwerp 157-B/2 form)

In the case of fixed-gear variants, the wing would have an entirely wooden construction (akin to that of the in-service D.XXI). For the retractable-gear variants, wing construction would be mixed - having wooden spars and ribs with plywood covering. Small fuel tanks could be added aft of the outward- retracting undercarriage main legs. Although no immediate order was placed, the Ontwerp 157-B/3 concept was given approval by the IML. For future orders by the Luchtvaart Afdeeling (LVA), the light fighter was assigned the designation D.25.

On yer pins! - Baby-steps with the Fokker D.21/il

To test the concept, the IML recommended testing the new undercarriage on a converted D.XXI fighter. Accordingly, Fokker pulled the D.XXI-1E1 prototype in for second rewinging [4] and ordered scaled-up undercarriage legs from SFMA Messier. It was soon found that the standard D.XXI wing could not easily accommodate the retractable undercarriage. A redesign was undertaken whereby a welded steel-tube truss was substitued for the D.XXI's solid wood front spar. This revised wing was complete by the time the retractable undercarriage was delivered by Mssrs Messier.

As a private venture demonstrator, the former D.XXI-1E1 prototype was assigned the civil registration PH-OKR. It was also redesignated D.21/il - for intrekbaar landingsgestel or retractable landing gear. A relatively straightforward conversion, the D.21/il flew before the more advanced D.23 prototype. In March 1939, the D.21/il was demonstrated at Soesterberg before officials from the Ministrie van Defensie (MvD) and members of the LVA. A demonstrated speed advantage of 35 km/h over in-service LVA D.XXIs was hard to ignore.

(Bottom) Fokker D.21/il demonstrator as reviewed at Soesterberg, 03-05 March 1939

In an 03 April 1939 meeting with the IML, Ir. Beeling had to acknowledge that the unarmed D.21/il carried little in the way of military equipment. However, the Fokker chief designer was comfortable guaranteeing that a derivative fighter would deliver a 25 km/h  speed advantage over the D.XXI. It would also be more manoeuvrable - since the armament would need to be grouped closer to the centreline in the fuselage. By the end of the meeting, Fokker had a development contract for a new D.26 fighter.

(To Be Continued ...)
__________________________________

[1] Originating as Fokker's Ontwerp 155, the twin-boomed  D.23 fighter prototype flew in 1939.

[2] The original Ontwerp 157 was an enlarged D.23 proposal intended for the French.

[3] In this, the IML was advised by the Wetensch.Afd. - the Science Department of the Ministrie van Defensie.

[4] The D.XXI-1E1 prototype had already been trial-fitted with a new revised-profile wing which was not proven successful.

__________________________________
Under investigation by the Committee of State Sanctioned Modelling, Alternative History and Tractor Carburettor Production for decadent counterrevolutionary behaviour.

Offline apophenia

  • Suffered two full days of rapid-fire hallucinations and yet had not a single usuable whif concept in the lot !?!
  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #1750 on: March 24, 2018, 06:47:37 AM »
Fresh Fokker Fighters - the Fokker D.26 1e Serie and D.21/k Conversions

On 05 April 1939, the Dutch Ministrie van Defensie (MvD) offered an expedited development contract to NV Nederlandsche Vliegtuigenfabriek (Fokker) for its D.26 monoplane fighter. The performance advantage of the D.26 was significant enough to warrant an order ... but the Luchtvaart Afdeeling (LVA) was not exactly sure what to do with this new fighter. Some in the LVA saw the D.26 as a direct replacement for their obsolescing, fixed-gear D.XXI fighters. Another school of thought saw a completely new role for the D.26 as a dedicated onderscheppingsjager (interceptor). Others in the LVA proposed a more radical use as a high-speed fotoverkenner (photo-recce aircraft).

It was the Fokker design office which broke the LVA's conceptual log-jam. Anticipating that the D.XXI remaining in service as a fighter might make D.26 introduction a low priority, Fokker hatched a scheme. In this proposal, NV Ned. Vliegtuigenfabriek would buy back the in-service D.XXIs as part of the D.26 sales package. The turned-in D.XXIs would then be refurbished as grondaanvalvliegtuigen (ground attack aircraft) armed with twin 20 mm Madsen cannons for strafing ground targets.

Mooie hobbels (Lovely Bumps) - the Fokker D.21/k Cannon-Fighter

With a D.XXI trade-in/rebuild accepted by the MvD and LVA, design staff under Fokker directeur Ir. Piet Vos devised a refurbishment program. Fokker had already designed underwing 20 mm Madsen pods for Danish D.XXIs. This installation was adopted unchanged. The major changes for the LVA D.XXI rebuild was the application of armour protection - with the armour-glass windscreen meant for the D.26 being adopted along with hardened steel plates being installed in the floor and behind the pilot's seat. With this modifications, the D.XXI was to become the D.21/k (for kanonnen) ground-attack fighter.

The LVA turned in its first D.XXI to Fokker at Schiphol in October 1939. The conversion process was comparatively quick but, by then, the Fokker workforce was stretched to the limit. Meanwhile, a flight from 2e JaVa at Waalhaven was renumbered as 1e GroAanVa - the LVA's first dedicated ground attack squadron (despite still being equipped with standard Fokker D.XXI fighters). As 1e GroAanVa began receiving cannon-armed D.21/k aircraft, the unit was reassigned to Vliegpark Vlissingen on Walcheren.

The Walcheren location was chosen for a number of reasons. LVA planners had concluded that the cannon armament of the D.21/k could be effective against hostile river barges in wartime. Flying from Vlissingen, 1e GroAanVa would be able to help secure nearby Antwerp from enemy river transports. Also added to 1e GroAanVa's primary ground-attack mission were secondary roles of providing top cover for area Koninklijke Marine shipyards as well as acting as an OTU for a planned 2e GroAanVa. 1e GroAanVa was going to be busy.

Not realized by the time of the German attack were the anticipated wing bomb racks. The D.21/k was to be retrofitted with racks to carry four 25 kg (55 lb) light bombs. The firm of Van Heyst designed wing racks for the D.21/k and for the related D.21/b. However, like the racks designed by Van Heyst for the Fokker C.X, prototype bomb racks for the D.21/k proved unreliable. These problem-prone bomb racks were still being de-bugged in May 1940.

(Top) Fokker D.21/k 'Kanonnen-Jager' conversion 230 of 1e GroAanVa at Vlissingen, 11 May 1940. 230 would be lost to 'friendly' ground fire the following day.

First of the Fast Fokker Fighters - the D.26 1e Serie

The Fokker D.26 1e Serie was something of a half-way house - differing little from the D.21/il. [2] Other than having a retractable undercarriage and revised tailplane, the D.26 1e Serie was essentially a D.XXI. And, in part, that explains how Fokker was able to produce the D.26 1e Serie fighters so quickly. In reality, much of their airframes had been created using D.XXI spares and jigs. The D.26 1e Serie fighters were armed with four 7,9 mm FN-Browning machine guns synchronized to fire through the propeller disc. The 1e Serie featured an armour-glass windscreen but lacked the D.26's planned reflector gun sight and sliding canopy.

The production Fokker D.26 1e Serie fighters were intended for 1e JaVa based at Schiphol and Eelde. But 1e JaVa would receive its 1e Serie through a circuitous route. with the Netherlands' General Mobilization of August 1939, came a change of plans. A new fighter squadron was established specifically to introduce the D.26 - 5e JaVa stationed on a 'relief' field at at De Zilk in Zuid-Holland. 5e JaVa was also to act as the operational training unit for D.26 conversion. This decision also took pressure off existing fighter squadrons to trade-in their D.XXIs.

(Bottom) Fokker D.26 1e Serie fighter, 248, as delivered to 'Hulpvliegvelden' (Auxiliary Airfield) De Zilk in mid-September 1939.

Initially, 5e JaVa was equipped with a half dozen D.XXIs and the six D.26 1e Serie aircraft (243-248). By December of 1939, the D.XXIs were traded in for six new D.26 2e Serie fighters. When a second batch of six D.26 2e Serie aircraft arrived at De Zilk in late February 1940, 5e JaVa re-equipped completely with D.26 2e Serie fighters. (5e JaVa was overstrength to allow for the demands and potential cost of being an OTU.) The squadron's surplus D.26 1e Serie aircraft were then passed on to 1e JaVa.

The first 1e JaVa sub-unit to convert to new D.26s was the flight at Schiphol. Originally this Schiphol detachment was only a 3-aircraft flight of D.XXIs. However, the Schiphol unit was bumped up to 6-aircraft by raiding 1e JaVa's Eelde flight for trained pilots. [3] The Schiphol fighters were detailed to escort the dozen Fokker T.V medium bombers of BomVa (2-I-1 LvR) also based at Schiphol. Just before the German attack on 10 May 1940, 2e JaVA took over at Schiphol and 1e JaVA relocated to De Kooy.

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[1] A related scheme anticipated the fitting of bomb racks to four-gunned D.21/b jachtbommenwerperen (fighter-bombers). These were to be D.XXIs fitted with the same armour protection as the D.21/k. Along with wing racks, a belly rack would allow a further 50 kg (110 lb) bomb to be carried under the fuselage.

[2] In its earliest phase of development, the D.26 was know internally at Fokker as Ontwerp 165.

[3] On 10 May 1940, the 'rump' 3-aircraft 1e JaVa flight at Eelde near Groningen had only just converted to D.26 1e Serie fighters.

[4] The D.21/il was armed and delivered to the LVA as part of the D.26 1e Serie contract. However, this hybrid retained its D.XXI-style tailplane and, so, did not represent a true D.26 1e Serie aircraft.

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Under investigation by the Committee of State Sanctioned Modelling, Alternative History and Tractor Carburettor Production for decadent counterrevolutionary behaviour.

Online Brian da Basher

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #1751 on: March 24, 2018, 08:25:23 AM »
Wow those Fokkers are great even if I have to dock you points for de-spaterizing them.

With retractable gear they make me think of Curtiss Hawk 75s/P-36s.

You have enviable talent which is showcased nicely by these outstanding profiles!

Brian da Basher


Offline Tophe

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #1752 on: March 24, 2018, 01:58:17 PM »
Be careful not to be burnt alive!: removing spats is heretic as destroying a twin-boom layout! ;)