Author Topic: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940  (Read 3647 times)

Online robunos

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Just a teaser post for now, to get something started . . .


What If . . . the RAF started an aerobatic team in 1920 ??









cheers,
Robin
By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Offline apophenia

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Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2021, 03:50:17 AM »
Cool! Apparently, there are people who assign all kinds of attributes to playing cards.

The ace of diamonds seems quite a propos for an air demonstration unit. To wit: "the ace of diamonds reveals ... the realization of a project, despite the difficulties encountered." Its also about gaining deserved recognition. Sounds about right for an aerobatic team  :smiley:
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Online robunos

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Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2021, 04:10:00 AM »
Cool! Apparently, there are people who assign all kinds of attributes to playing cards.

The ace of diamonds seems quite a propos for an air demonstration unit. To wit: "the ace of diamonds reveals ... the realization of a project, despite the difficulties encountered." Its also about gaining deserved recognition. Sounds about right for an aerobatic team  :smiley:


HA!!  I didn't know that . . . I only chose Diamonds as a change from the cliched Spades, and black as it makes painting the models and making the decals easier . . .   :o
Also, I wanted a 'Colour/Object' type name to tie in with the Red Arrows, obviously, but why not red? Watch this space . . .   ;)


cheers,
Robin.
By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Offline apophenia

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Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2021, 05:06:11 AM »
... Watch this space . . .   ;)

Oh you tease!

I just liked that it adds to the overall whiffiness.

- What If . . . the RAF started an aerobatic team in 1920 ??
- What If . . . that team was classified as a 'Black Project' ??
- What If . . . assigning attributes to playing cards wasn't utter bollocks ??  ;D
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Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2021, 02:08:04 AM »
Some real world history for you:  https://aerobaticteams.net/en/teams/i125/RAF-Past-Aerobatic-Display-Teams-Overview.html

BTW, the RAAF did have a "Black Diamonds" aerobatic team in the 1960s flying Sabres:  https://aerobaticteams.net/en/teams/i116/RAAF-Black-Diamonds.html



Anyway, some possible real world inspiration:



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Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2021, 02:19:11 AM »
I must admit the idea of a high gloss all black Hawker Fury akin to the later Black Arrows aircraft is attractive.  Think this:



Combined with this:



All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Online robunos

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Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2021, 05:07:59 AM »
Thanks for the inspirations, Gents.
I've pretty much already decided what to build and how, but as always it's not set in stone . . .


cheers,
Robin.
By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2021, 01:14:02 AM »
It's your model do it your way.  That said, it's a cool idea.  Might list it as a potential idea for a future GB.
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Online robunos

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Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2021, 01:34:18 AM »
It's your model . . .


Think you might have missed the 'S' off the end . . .   ;)   ;)
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Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2021, 01:43:55 AM »
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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

Online robunos

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Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2021, 03:38:33 AM »

N.B. This AH occurs in the 'Lucifer Device' timeline I have been developing elsewhere on this Forum . . .


Part One: Formation.


By late 1919, it was clear that there was no possibility of fighting resuming in Europe for the foreseeable future. With France exhausted, the United States seemingly disinterested, Germany in self-imposed isolation behind it's fortified borders, and the threat of British Carolinum Bombs raining from the skies, the 'Great War' had become the 'Cold War'.
With this in mind, The Senior Officers of the RAF began to make plans for the new 'Peace'.
Because of the inevitable large reductions in both men and equipment, it was recognised that a severe loss in morale could be expected.
Since there was still a possibility of hostilities resuming, this was to be avoided at all possible. Likewise, it was judged necessary to retain a sense of 'Air Mindedness' amongst the General Public, in order to produce both a supply of recruits, and political support for the RAF.
It was decided to hold a series of air shows up and down the country, and also to set up an aerobatic display team to perform at them.
It's pilots would be drawn from the ranks of the fighters squadrons, and support personnel from other parts of the RAF. It was further decided that the team would use the current RAF front-line fighter, this would avoid training for the pilots, and allow the public to see for themselves the 'Power of the RAF'.
Initially the new unit was to be attached to the RAF's Central Flying School. The team Leader was chosen from one of the Schools Instructors, and then an invitation was issued to all of the RAF's Fighters Squadron Commanders, inviting them to nominate their best pilot for secondment to the Team.
These pilots were then sent to the CFS, where they were assessed, and the top seven, five plus the Leader to make up a team of six, plus two reserves, chosen and posted to the CFS, as members of the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Display Team.
It was planned that these original seven would serve on the Team for three years, after which, one would be promoted to Team Leader, two would remain for a further year, and the remaining three would be rotated back to their front-line squadron. Three new members would then be posted to the team, chosen by the same method as the original pilots.
Thereafter, every year, three of the Team would be rotated out, and replaced, and a new Leader chosen every three years.
Likewise the Team's aircraft were not to be permanently assigned, but would be attached for one year, then returned to an operational squadron. This would ensure the best use of the life of the RAF's stock of airframes.
For the first four years of the Team's existence, that aeroplane would be the Sopwith Snipe.


cheers,
Robin.
By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Offline Buzzbomb

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Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2021, 07:34:02 AM »
Nice  backstory.

Got me intrigued now as to what will materialise out of this

Offline apophenia

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Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2021, 07:37:40 AM »
Ooo, like the Wells tie-in  :smiley:
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Online robunos

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Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2021, 09:19:04 PM »
Ooo, like the Wells tie-in  :smiley:


Sorry to disappoint . . .   :-[
but there isn't anything too Wellsian here, it's just that the events of 'The Lucifer Device' (I really must get round to finishing that . . . ) change the outcome of the Great War, which leads to The Cold War, which means things and events are somewhat different during the 1920s and 30s . . . which I need for the end part of this GB.




cheers,
Robin.
By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2021, 02:21:09 AM »
(I really must get round to finishing that . . . )

All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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

Online robunos

  • Can't afford the top wing of his biplanes...
By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Online robunos

  • Can't afford the top wing of his biplanes...
Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2021, 05:13:07 AM »

Okay . . .
Some progress on the first model. I'm building the Eastern Express boxing of the Toko Sopwith Snipe.
First step was to glue the fuselage halves together, after painting them dark grey inside.





Then I added the wing, and the forward  fuselage top decking.





These were then left to dry down.


That's All For Now, Stay tuned . . .


cheers,
Robin.

By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #17 on: June 12, 2021, 07:36:36 AM »
Excellent start ... and very intriguing :smiley:

... things and events are somewhat different during the 1920s and 30s . . . which I need for the end part of this GB.

Intriguinger and intriguinger  ;D  Looking forward to this!
Auferstanden aus Ruinen; Glück für Menschen und Maschinen ...

Online robunos

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Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #18 on: June 16, 2021, 05:15:54 AM »

Part Two: The Snipe Years.


Chosen over the Martynside Buzzard and Nieuport Nighthawk (some would say wrongly) as the RAF's standard post-conflict fighter, the Sopwith Snipe was to be the first mount of the Black Diamonds. Already famous due to it's exploits during the Great War, it's thrilling displays with the Black Diamonds only added to it's reputation.
It was decided that the choice of 'publicity name' and aircraft colour scheme would be left up to the members of the Team themselves, subject of course, to approval from 'on high', the only provisos being, that owing to the financial and operational constraints on the team, no special ( ie those not already used on an operational unit) colours were to be used, and that it would not be difficult to return the aircraft to standard markings once their time with the Team was complete.
After quite a lot of 'thought and discussion', The name 'Black Diamonds' was chosen and aproved. Interestingly, officially, the Team was only ever known as 'the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Display Team', although, of course, it was as 'the Black Diamonds', that they became a household name.
One of the pilots on the Team was 'artistic', and was tasked to design the logo and markings for the Team. He succeeded brilliantly, the smart black and silver scheme being instantly recognisable, good looking on the aircraft both on the ground and in the air, and easy to revert to the standard fighter colour scheme when necessary.
With the Snipe's superb handling, and the skill of it's pilots, the precise aerobatic performances of the 'Black Diamonds' Team soon became the standard against which all others were judged.
 However, by 1924, the Snipe was  obsolete as a fighter, it's numbers in RAF service were dwindling, and spares, especially for the engines, were becoming scarce. With the entry into service, in 1923, of the first Armstrong Whitworth Siskins, it was clear that the Snipe's days with the 'Black Diamonds' were numbered . . .


cheers,
Robin.
By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Offline Frank3k

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Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2021, 10:54:35 AM »
The suspense! ... how many wings?

Offline apophenia

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Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #20 on: June 17, 2021, 03:54:16 AM »
Oh you tease. Can't wait to see these markings!

As Frank queried, ... how many wings? (Hard to tell with the WIP Snipe.) Very interested to see where you go with the Siskin  :smiley:
Auferstanden aus Ruinen; Glück für Menschen und Maschinen ...

Online robunos

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Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #21 on: June 17, 2021, 05:14:50 AM »
The suspense! ... how many wings?


Just the usual one each side . . .   ;)   ;D
Regarding the Siskin, and the Snipe, I seem to have hit on a series of long working days ( 10 hrs +), which combined with the appearance of that mythical beast 'The English Summer', with temps in the high 20s Celsius, means I haven't really had the mojo for model making for the last couple of days or so. Might have to take some time off, to get things moving again . . . 


cheers,
Robin.
By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Offline Robomog

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Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #22 on: June 17, 2021, 09:15:48 AM »

.......... the appearance of that mythical beast 'The English Summer', with temps in the high 20s Celsius, means I haven't really had the mojo for model making for the last couple of days or so............

cheers,
Robin.

Yep got me as well !!     

 Nearlly ruined a Hurricane because the black paint was drying as fast as i could put it on, reguardless of how much i thinned the paint.  Saved the day by dusting it with  rattlecan black.

All systems stop at the moment. :( :( :icon_sueno:

Mog
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Online robunos

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Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #23 on: June 18, 2021, 05:27:55 AM »

Some cooler weather and an earlier work finish allowed me to make a little progress today . . .


Snipe tail surfaces attached . . .





and regarding the Siskin . . .


fuselage halves joined,





top decking and engine mount added,





the slot for the lower wing filled with the kit part,





tail surfaces attached, one of the elevators was damaged, I've attempted to rectify it, but I'm not really happy with the result . . .





and finally for today, the wings trimmed and ready for attachment.





That's All For Now, Stay Tuned . . .


cheers,
Robin.

By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #24 on: June 18, 2021, 06:33:01 AM »
Some cooler weather  ...

Glad to hear that 'The English Summer' is now being more considerate of modellers.

Snipe is coming along nicely but the Siskin looks very tasty.  On the damaged elevator, is it a question of restoring the fabric effect? If that proves insurmountable, what about a diorama solution? Not unheard of for a parachute to get plopped onto an elevator immediately preflight.
Auferstanden aus Ruinen; Glück für Menschen und Maschinen ...