Author Topic: Apophenia's Offerings  (Read 211984 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: Today at 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.)
Under investigation by the Committee of State Sanctioned Modelling, Alternative History and Tractor Carburettor Production for decadent counterrevolutionary behaviour.

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #1746 on: Today at 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!!!