Author Topic: Lockheed CL-142 Project High-Red  (Read 9193 times)

Offline The Big Gimper

  • Any model will look better in RCAF, SEAC or FAA markings
  • Global Moderator
  • Cut. Cut. Cut. Measure. Cut. Cut. Crap. Toss.
    • Photobucket Modeling Album
Lockheed CL-142 Project High-Red
« on: March 22, 2012, 08:30:24 AM »
Prelude:

South Korea. Taegu AB
Date: November 13, 1951.
Daily log: The Mig-15s are flying higher than our P-80s. And we cannot fly north of the Yalu to get Intel on the Chinese air force. Our Recce assets are okay but we should have better equipment. It’s killing us not having that data.

Note to self: Next time I’m in the US, I should look up Kelly Johnson at Lockheed. He designed the P-38 and P-80.  He should have some ideas on how get us higher than those Russian Migs.

What–if in 1951, Kelly Johnson was approached discretely by the USAF to look into designing a high-altitude recce aircraft.  Kelly in the end with help from my yet-to-be-named accomplice designed and built project High-Red. Within Lockheed, it was project CL-142 and unofficially in the USAF, RF-80D. The RF-80D was able to fly higher than the Mig-15s and with complete immunity. Its many flights north of the Yalu gathered key Intel on the Chinese air assets assisting the North Koreans. The Chinese tried but failed to shoot down the RF-80D. Neither side has ever made any public references to these flights.

Pictures coming soon.  ;)
« Last Edit: March 22, 2012, 09:19:44 AM by The Big Gimper »
Work in progress ::

I am giving up listing them. They all end up on the shelf of procrastination anyways.

User and abuser of Bothans...

Re: Lockheed CL-142 Project High-Red
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2012, 09:17:19 AM »
I think I like where this is going!  ;)

Offline The Big Gimper

  • Any model will look better in RCAF, SEAC or FAA markings
  • Global Moderator
  • Cut. Cut. Cut. Measure. Cut. Cut. Crap. Toss.
    • Photobucket Modeling Album
Re: Lockheed CL-142 Project High-Red
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2012, 09:21:38 AM »
The "F-80" gives away about 1/2 my project. But I will not reveal just yet the secret sauce.  ;D
Work in progress ::

I am giving up listing them. They all end up on the shelf of procrastination anyways.

User and abuser of Bothans...

Offline JP Vieira

  • Moderator
  • The Challenge Master!!!
    • What-If World
Re: Lockheed CL-142 Project High-Red
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2012, 05:49:17 PM »
Very interesting.
Can't wait to see it.
Welcome aboard this GB :)

Offline The Big Gimper

  • Any model will look better in RCAF, SEAC or FAA markings
  • Global Moderator
  • Cut. Cut. Cut. Measure. Cut. Cut. Crap. Toss.
    • Photobucket Modeling Album
Re: Lockheed CL-142 Project High-Red
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2012, 06:09:48 AM »
So Kelly Johnson met with up Mr. X (my back story will reveal his identity) who made the magical connection with respect to wing design and inspired Kelly to build the anonymous but so important forerunner of the infamous U-2.



The airframe is the Airfix P-80C, nose from the Heller RT-33 and the wings from an Airfix U-2. I removed about 6 scale feet from each wing. I have a really nice fit between the wings and the fuselage. The chord is almost perfect.

Carl
« Last Edit: March 24, 2012, 09:34:01 PM by The Big Gimper »
Work in progress ::

I am giving up listing them. They all end up on the shelf of procrastination anyways.

User and abuser of Bothans...

Offline GTX_Admin

  • Evil Administrator bent on taking over the Universe!
  • Administrator - Yep, I'm the one to blame for this place.
  • Whiffing Demi-God!
    • Beyond the Sprues
Re: Lockheed CL-142 Project High-Red
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2012, 06:10:21 AM »
Ok, so you now have my complete attention!
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Offline Brian da Basher

  • He has an unnatural attraction to Spats...and a growing fascination with airships!
  • Holding Pattern
  • *
  • Hulk smash, Brian bash
Re: Lockheed CL-142 Project High-Red
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2012, 04:04:06 PM »
Man that's looking good! What a great concept and it looks like your cuts on the wings were just about perfect!

Brian da Basher

Offline The Big Gimper

  • Any model will look better in RCAF, SEAC or FAA markings
  • Global Moderator
  • Cut. Cut. Cut. Measure. Cut. Cut. Crap. Toss.
    • Photobucket Modeling Album
Re: Lockheed CL-142 Project High-Red
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2012, 06:53:14 PM »
Yeah, I am pleased about the fuselage-wing interface. It looks a bit funny right now as I have not cut back the original lower wings (I will cut them off just outboard of the landing gear bays) but it should be little or no PSR fit.

I am so happy the that Airfix team who designed the Lockheed kits took into consideration that one day someone would bash the two kits together.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2012, 09:26:12 PM by The Big Gimper »
Work in progress ::

I am giving up listing them. They all end up on the shelf of procrastination anyways.

User and abuser of Bothans...

Offline JP Vieira

  • Moderator
  • The Challenge Master!!!
    • What-If World
Re: Lockheed CL-142 Project High-Red
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2012, 04:25:13 PM »
Very good build

Offline The Big Gimper

  • Any model will look better in RCAF, SEAC or FAA markings
  • Global Moderator
  • Cut. Cut. Cut. Measure. Cut. Cut. Crap. Toss.
    • Photobucket Modeling Album
Re: Lockheed CL-142 Project High-Red
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2012, 08:47:30 AM »
Finally I have some progress shots:

The nose from the RT-33 is wider so I needed to blend it in to P-80 fuselage. The patch on the wing is a filler piece which is where in later models a slipper tank went. It sunk on me so I had to fill it in.





I cut the P-80 wings back just enough to keep the gear and act as a support. Lots of styrene sheet to help shim the U-2 wing to get the right angle and re-enlarge the chord. The putty line show where I merged the wings. I thought of doing a tandem gear but I was more work then wanted to do for this build and the P-80 has very little free room anyways.





Carl

« Last Edit: April 03, 2012, 08:49:18 AM by The Big Gimper »
Work in progress ::

I am giving up listing them. They all end up on the shelf of procrastination anyways.

User and abuser of Bothans...

Offline Jeffry Fontaine

  • Unaffiliated Independent Subversive...and the last person to go for a trip on a Mexicana dH Comet 4
  • Global Moderator
  • His stash is able to be seen from space...
Re: Lockheed CL-142 Project High-Red
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2012, 09:01:59 AM »
Looking good! 

Was the airfoil shape identical between the F-80 and the U-2? 

Just curious due to my recent evaluation of Lockheed wings between the S-3, C-5, and C-130 where all three wings share a very similar airfoil shape at the wing root or close to it. 
"Every day we hear about new studies 'revealing' what should have been obvious to sentient beings for generations; 'Research shows wolverines don't like to be teased" -- Jonah Goldberg

Offline The Big Gimper

  • Any model will look better in RCAF, SEAC or FAA markings
  • Global Moderator
  • Cut. Cut. Cut. Measure. Cut. Cut. Crap. Toss.
    • Photobucket Modeling Album
Re: Lockheed CL-142 Project High-Red
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2012, 09:10:03 AM »
Jeff:

I found the P-80 airfoil to be slightly thicker at the leading edge near the root so I glued the U-2 leading edges together and then inserted styrene shims (~8 mm long) until I got the thickness I wanted.  Needed about 2-3mm. The trailing edge taper is just fine.

Also I sent you a PM on Skyway Hobby shop.

Carl
« Last Edit: April 03, 2012, 09:15:29 AM by The Big Gimper »
Work in progress ::

I am giving up listing them. They all end up on the shelf of procrastination anyways.

User and abuser of Bothans...

Offline Jeffry Fontaine

  • Unaffiliated Independent Subversive...and the last person to go for a trip on a Mexicana dH Comet 4
  • Global Moderator
  • His stash is able to be seen from space...
Re: Lockheed CL-142 Project High-Red
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2012, 11:48:04 AM »
Jeff:

I found the P-80 airfoil to be slightly thicker at the leading edge near the root so I glued the U-2 leading edges together and then inserted styrene shims (~8 mm long) until I got the thickness I wanted.  Needed about 2-3mm. The trailing edge taper is just fine.

Also I sent you a PM on Skyway Hobby shop.

Hi Carl,

Email received, replied to and courtesy copy provided to Emil@Skyway Model Shop just to make sure. 

With the way you have blended the U-2 wing with what is left of the F-80 wing it looks very good, almost as if it should have been done for real. 
"Every day we hear about new studies 'revealing' what should have been obvious to sentient beings for generations; 'Research shows wolverines don't like to be teased" -- Jonah Goldberg

Offline JP Vieira

  • Moderator
  • The Challenge Master!!!
    • What-If World
Re: Lockheed CL-142 Project High-Red
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2012, 04:10:42 PM »
Looking very good.
Keep it up, two more weeks to go :)

Offline Brian da Basher

  • He has an unnatural attraction to Spats...and a growing fascination with airships!
  • Holding Pattern
  • *
  • Hulk smash, Brian bash
Re: Lockheed CL-142 Project High-Red
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2012, 02:52:52 AM »
Wow you pulled off those mods magnificently! As Mr Fontaine says, they look like they belong!

Excellent work!

Brian da Basher

Offline The Big Gimper

  • Any model will look better in RCAF, SEAC or FAA markings
  • Global Moderator
  • Cut. Cut. Cut. Measure. Cut. Cut. Crap. Toss.
    • Photobucket Modeling Album
Re: Lockheed CL-142 Project High-Red
« Reply #15 on: April 16, 2012, 07:34:18 AM »
Made it with 5 Hours and 24 minutes to go Eastern Standard Time.

Prelude:

South Korea. Taegu AB
Date: November 13, 1951.
Daily log: The Mig-15s are flying higher and faster than our F-86s. And we cannot fly north of the Yalu to get Intel on the Chinese air force. Our Recce A/C are okay but we should have better equipment. It’s killing us not having that data.

Note to self: Next time I’m in the US, I should look up Kelly Johnson at Lockheed. He designed the P-38 and P-80.  He should have some ideas on how get us higher than those Russian Migs.

What–if in 1951, Kelly Johnson was approached discretely by the USAF to look into designing a high-altitude recce aircraft.  Kelly in the end with help from a yet-to-be-named accomplice under project High-Blue designed the CL-142 aka RF-80D which was able to fly higher than the Mig-15s and able to with complete immunity gather key Intel on the Chinese air assets assisting the North Koreans.


Middelude:

I miss the Air Force thought Ivan M. Knowbody as he gnawed away on a the end of pencil. Yeah, the food was lousy, the weather was horrible but it was fun. I made some great friends, it was exciting times and we were always kept busy. Ivan was known as known as Dr. Frankenstein by the other officers in the Air Force. He could take pieces from any aircraft, re-assemble them and make the thing fly.

After Ivan was released in 1947, he sent his resume out and after a few interviews, he was hired by Lockheed.  He was turned down by Convair, Northrop and North American. Their loss.

Oh, well, maybe things will perk up now that the Korean War is heating up and air power is a key component to the allied strategy. Oh well, Lets get back to this structural analysis for the new Model 188 turboprop airliner.

This was his standard day for the next few months: D = .5 * Cd * r * V^2 * A  when one nondescript afternoon  there was a knock on his door. Come in he said not looking up thinking it was boss Bob dropping in to say hello. Well, he was half right. It was Bob alright but also one other person. He was a tall, broad shoulder man, with a shock of dark hair slicked back. Looked to be in his late forties. The man had penetrating eyes and a big smile.

Ivan, I'd like to introduce you to Kelly Johnson.

Ivan's jaw dropped, bounced off the floor and slapped back onto his face. He swallowed once just insure it was back in place and worked as designed. Thee Kelly Johnson?  The guy who helped developed the Model 10,  P-38 and P-80.  Is this the guy running the secret projects division that no one is supposed to know about?

Kelly held out his hand. Pleased to meet you Ivan. I'm in the process of expanding my team and I asked for resumes from the various managers. Bob sent me yours and I was very impressed by your work on both the F-11B Condor and the Meteor PR.I. Do you mind if we take a walk outside?

Bob nodded an approval so Kelly and Ivan went outside into the bright afternoon Burbank Sun.

I like what you did to both the P-59 and Meteor. Not too many aeronautical engineers are thinking about the next big problem. Kelly paused. Ivan clued in he was to guess what that is. He scrunched his forehead.

Altitude Mr. Johnson?

Yes but please call me Kelly.

Altitude is the challenge. As well as endurance. Now that Chuck broke the sound barrier everyone is thinking about speed. But how many are actually thinking about going higher? At the rate of missile development, speed will only get you so far. Height will give us the safety margin. Our boys in the “RB” birds are getting shot down all the time. We need to give them the equipment that will get them to their target and back safely. We cannot continue lose these boys and we need the Intel on what Stalin and Mao are up to. The data we collect on those missions are our most important assets.

I am looking to grow my team with a focus on how to get higher and deeper into enemy airspace.

Kelly looked at Ivan but his eyes were focused way off into the distance. Good trait. He is already thinking about the problem.

Think about it for the next few days and if you are interested in joining my team, let Bob know and we’ll process the paperwork to get you transferred over.

With that echoing inside Ivan's head, Kelly left after giving Ivan another bone crushing handshake. Ouch. The 30 minutes he spent with Kelly was like nothing he had experienced before. The man was thinking years ahead of everyone else.

Ivan found his legs again and headed to the nearest unoccupied bench and sat down. His head was spinning. I get to work for Kelly Johnson and design airplanes again.  This is not how he expected his day to be when he got up this morning.

The next morning Bob watched Ivan come back into the office and the look on Ivan’s face told him everything. Another Kelly convert. I am losing yet another up and coming engineer to Kelly`s charisma. Damn that man’s charisma.

Ivan walked into Bob`s office at 08:30 with a nervous look. Just like all the others before him. So? Uh, Bob, er ......

Let me guess. You want work for Kelly?

Yeah, I do.  Is that okay with you? 

Sure it is. Kelly is a great man. He will work you hard but you will build planes that other people can only dream of. Good Luck and do drop by and say hello.

Fast Forward 1 month

Ivan nervously walks up to Kelly`s door and knocks gentle. I hope he is not in.

Come in. Oh, Hi Ivan. What’s up?

I’ve been thinking about wing design for the high altitude recce aircraft and we are not going to get are to get 60,000 feet. Not even 55,000 with what we have today.

Really? Kelly leaned forward. Tell me more.

Ivan goes on about chord thickness, drag, weight penalties, lack of power at altitude with the current engines. Bad news all around.

Working with the current wing designs, it is not feasible. Not even close. We need a new type of wing. Maybe a wing similar to a glider? Long, thin, flexible and very little weight,

Okay Ivan. I agree with everything you have said. In fact I am going to increase your security clearance with what I am about to show you.  I have also been mulling over the same issues and was waiting for you to come to the same conclusion. I was hoping you would come to me in 20 days I but know you have been pulled into other projects.

Kelly reached behind him, dialed in a combination into the safe behind him and pulled out a red folder with TOP SECRET stamped on it.

Ivan drew in a deep breath.

Kelly opened the folder and showed Ivan a sketch for aircraft with a pencil like fuselage but with long thin wings, much like a glider. The wing span was almost 2x the length of the fuselage. Kelly turned it around so Ivan could see it.

Ivan eyes went wide as saucers. The proverbial light bulb went on. Of course, thin chord, taper from root to tip, large control surfaces, doesn’t need to carry too much fuel, minimum structural weight. Just like a glider.

Ivan looked up at Kelly. I see you agree with my concept. Ivan nodded.   

Your job is to work out the design, the structure and get back when you think you have it. At this point only you and I need-to-know about this. Ah, make if fast if you don’t mind. With that, the folder was closed and put back into the safe. Meeting was over.

And drop by Jill's desk after the meeting to make it official.

After buying 10 Gallons of “midnight oil” at the Lockheed commissary, Ivan spent the next 3 weeks working out the details.

He showed Kelly the numbers. Kelly approved and Ivan became the lead engineer for the RF-80D.

A USAF P-80A was bailed backed to Lockheed, a walled off area was created and the hard work began. A RF-80A nose was grafted on, the original wings were removed and the new glider wings attached. 6 weeks later, the prototype was trucked up to Edwards and Tony LeVier took it up for the first flight.  No major issues were found, however Tony noted difficulties in trying to land the aircraft as it did not want to. The RF-80D easily reached 55,000 to 60,000 feet and made an unknown number of flights north of the Yulu.

The CIA learned of this project and quietly contacted Kelly about a requirement they had for a high altitude recce aircraft.


Postlude

The RF-80D effectively became a 3/4 scale model of the U-2. Kelly kept the wings albeit they were extended another 12 feet at the root inwards. The 5 surviving airframes (6 were converted but one was lost in a landing accident) where bailed back to Lockheed where they became chase planes for the U-2 program.  No airframes are known to have survived.

I still have to add some future over the decals and touch up some small paint chips but otherwise it's 99% completed.
Decals are from the Airfix P-80 and Microscale P-80A sheet. The Airfix U-2 decals were unusable.
I used Insignia Blue with Micro Krystal Clear for the windows.



Head On


Wing Length Wise


3/4 Left


3/4 Right


RF-80D and F-11B Condor
« Last Edit: April 16, 2012, 10:14:06 AM by The Big Gimper »
Work in progress ::

I am giving up listing them. They all end up on the shelf of procrastination anyways.

User and abuser of Bothans...

Offline JP Vieira

  • Moderator
  • The Challenge Master!!!
    • What-If World
Re: Lockheed CL-142 Project High-Red
« Reply #16 on: April 16, 2012, 05:03:24 PM »
Very good.

Please, check your PM: thank you
« Last Edit: April 16, 2012, 05:15:39 PM by JP Vieira »

Re: Lockheed CL-142 Project High-Red
« Reply #17 on: April 16, 2012, 10:25:08 PM »
Really cool!

Offline Cliffy B

  • Ship Whiffer Extraordinaire...master of Beyond Visual Range Modelling
  • Its ZOTT!!!
    • My Artwork
Re: Lockheed CL-142 Project High-Red
« Reply #18 on: April 16, 2012, 11:29:45 PM »
Wait, you mean this didn't exist?! Great job man, and highly believable.  Label it as a U-2 prototype and slip it onto a table at a show.  Sit back and watch all of the, "Wow!  I never heard of that before; cool!"  8)
« Last Edit: April 16, 2012, 11:45:47 PM by Cliffy B »
"Radials growl, inlines purr, jets blow!"  -Anonymous

"Helos don't fly.  They vibrate so violently that the ground rejects them."  -Tom Clancy

"If all else fails, call in an air strike."  -Anonymous

Offline GTX_Admin

  • Evil Administrator bent on taking over the Universe!
  • Administrator - Yep, I'm the one to blame for this place.
  • Whiffing Demi-God!
    • Beyond the Sprues
Re: Lockheed CL-142 Project High-Red
« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2012, 02:37:05 AM »
Wait, you mean this didn't exist?! Great job man, and highly believable.  Label it as a U-2 prototype and slip it onto a table at a show.  Sit back and watch all of the, "Wow!  I never heard of that before; cool!"  8)

I agree...maybe say it was used in the development of the U-2.
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it.