Author Topic: Acree's Profiles  (Read 52944 times)

Offline Acree

  • That will teach you to frustrate the powers that be...won't it comrade?
  • Sentenced to time in the BTS Gulag...
Acree's Profiles
« on: June 10, 2012, 02:33:22 PM »
Hi Guys,

This is my first new profile in several years.  It's the beginning of a series I am planning on the aircraft of a pair of fictional nations in the 1930s and 40s.

This is a Northrop Gamma 2T torpedo bomber of the Farallon Air Force.  This island nation received 20 Gammas starting in 1934 to replace their Great Lakes TG-2s.  In Farallonian service, the Gammas were christened 'Frigatebirds' due to their large wingspan, although they were commonly called F-birds or Gammas in service.  They remained in service until 1942 with the 2nd Torpedo Squadron, whose emblem was the popular Felix the Cat, seen on the cowl of their aircraft.

The Gamma 2T could carry one 2000 pound torpedo and was armed with two fixed .30 caliber machine guns plus one flexible .30 cal in the rear cockpit and another in the ventral position, both manned by the very busy radio operator.

BTW, in the Real World, Northrop actually proposed this aircraft, in the 1930s, but found no interested buyers.  The Gamma was developed into a light bomber/attack aircraft which was sold to China and into the A-17 for the USAAC.
Hope you all enjoy this profile.  More are coming!

Chuck

Re: Acree's Profiles
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2012, 08:02:55 PM »
Nice! The Gamma does lend itself to being a torpedo bomber doesn't it?

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: Acree's Profiles
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2012, 09:21:23 PM »
Very nice.

I have one in the stash. I am planning to make a NMF USAAC observation bird, O-42A.

Maybe a few more should be acquired.  ;)
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: Acree's Profiles
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2012, 03:13:50 AM »
Outstanding.  Can't wait to see more.

Glad you are back at it Chuck!!!
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: Acree's Profiles
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2012, 07:04:09 AM »
Very nice. Going Gamma rather than Delta would give you space for a huge fuselage fuel tank!
Under investigation by the Committee of State Sanctioned Modelling, Alternative History and Tractor Carburettor Production for decadent counterrevolutionary behaviour.

Offline Acree

  • That will teach you to frustrate the powers that be...won't it comrade?
  • Sentenced to time in the BTS Gulag...
Re: Acree's Profiles
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2012, 08:34:01 AM »
I agree, Apophenia (and thanks to all for your comments!).  The "standard" Gamma and Delta are almost identical in top speed (the Gamma being about 4 knots faster) and wing loading, but the Gamma has an almost 500 mile range advantage - all the more reason the Farallonians chose them: without aircraft carriers to extend their range, they needed the extra range to protect their far flung islands from amphibious invasion or naval bombardment. 

Continued Backstory:

The indigenous Farallonian aircraft industry (Capstan Aviation, Limited) had produced five new-build Gammas under license; by the end of the 1930s they had completed an ambitious modernisation program.  This consisted of installing a Pratt & Whitney R-1830 of 1,100 hp, retractable landing gear and a new cockpit located further forward.  This last change was the result of the aircrews' most consistent complaint - poor visibility from the aft-located cockpit and low, heavily framed canopy.  This required also a small dorsal fin to maintain lateral stability.  The end result was the Frigatebird II, which had better performance but was still limited by its heavy structure and antiquated wing profile.  Only 6 Frigatebird IIs were built, of which 2T8 shown below was the last surviving, being retired in 1944.   




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: Acree's Profiles
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2012, 09:31:34 AM »
The Frigatebird II turned out to be a 'looker', Acree. And it almost looks as if they could have squeezed that illusive third crew member under the new canopy.

Are the tail markings the Farallonian flag?
Under investigation by the Committee of State Sanctioned Modelling, Alternative History and Tractor Carburettor Production for decadent counterrevolutionary behaviour.

Offline Acree

  • That will teach you to frustrate the powers that be...won't it comrade?
  • Sentenced to time in the BTS Gulag...
Re: Acree's Profiles
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2012, 11:27:01 AM »
Yes, I was surprised how good the Frigatebird II looked when I finished! 

The tail markings are the Farallonian flag.  I "invented" the Farallons as a very sea-faring nation.  I envision a sort of Atlantic version of Indonesia in terms of geography, but more like a much bigger version of Malta in terms of culture.  I chose the scallop shell as a national symbol to represent the sea, but in a relatively peaceful way.  In the small scale wars I will be depicting, Farallon will be the "victim" of aggression. 

Offline Logan Hartke

  • High priest in the black arts of profiling...
  • Rivet-counting whiffer
Re: Acree's Profiles
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2012, 01:30:16 PM »
The Frigatebird II turned out to be a 'looker', Acree.

Agree completely!  Very nice!

Cheers,

Logan

Re: Acree's Profiles
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2012, 08:25:34 PM »
The Frigatebird II looks great! Moving the cockpit forward makes a lot of sense and the end result looks much more balanced.

Looking forward to Capstan Aviation's next development.

Offline Acree

  • That will teach you to frustrate the powers that be...won't it comrade?
  • Sentenced to time in the BTS Gulag...
Re: Acree's Profiles
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2012, 02:28:43 PM »
In 1936, the Farallonian Air Staff was seeking a replacement for the Douglas biplanes of the 6th Observation Squadron.  Requirements included a range of 1200 miles, a top speed of 200 miles per hour, and a crew of 2.  The aircraft needed to be a stable camera platform and be easy-to-fly.  During a visit to the USA, Lance Margon, head of the Farallonian purchasing mission, chanced to meet Talbert “Ted” Abrams.  Abrams pitched his P-1 Explorer, then under construction. 
On paper, the P-1 looked ideal for the Farallonians.  Margon tried to purchase six P-1s right off the drawing board, but Abrams lacked the production capacity, so Margon worked out a license manufacturing arrangement on behalf of Capstan Aviation, Ltd.  The first aircraft, christened Capstan Observer flew in mid-1937.  Sixteen Capstan Observers were built in 1937 and 1938. 
During 1938, it was decided to adapt the Observer to float undercarriage for use from ships of the Farallonian Navy as well as isolated island outposts.  The float modification necessitated enlarging the vertical tail surfaces, but other changes were minimal.  The resulting aircraft was not well-liked, as speed and range both fell dramatically.  Nevertheless, twelve Observer IIs were built and equipped 4 Navy ships and a shore-based flight of the 6th Observation Squadron. 
Finally, in 1940, with the Frigatebird II development program complete, the design department of Capstan turned to upgrading the Observer.  The Observer III received an upgraded engine installation and retractable landing gear, and included the ability to carry drop tanks or external stores.  Planned pressurization was abandoned as being beyond the state of the art for the Farallonians.  The Observer III was not built in series, but there were two prototypes: one (6-O-14) received an R-1535 radial engine in an updated cowl, and the other (6-O-15) was equipped with a Curtiss V-1570 Conqueror.  Both prototypes served in the 6th Observation Squadron on strategic reconnaissance missions.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2012, 02:50:02 PM by Acree »

Offline Acree

  • That will teach you to frustrate the powers that be...won't it comrade?
  • Sentenced to time in the BTS Gulag...
Re: Acree's Profiles
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2012, 02:47:02 PM »
And for those who are interested inthat sort of thing... a close up of the mascot of the 6th Observation Squadron, "Ducky."

And the logo of Capstan Aviation, Ltd.

Re: Acree's Profiles
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2012, 07:06:30 PM »
Interesting choice with the Abrams machine. I like the modifications you've made.

Offline Acree

  • That will teach you to frustrate the powers that be...won't it comrade?
  • Sentenced to time in the BTS Gulag...
Re: Acree's Profiles
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2012, 12:10:23 AM »
Thanks, EH.  To be perfectly honest, I haven't scaled the new engines carefully, but just went with the TLAR method (That Looks About Right).  I'll work harder to scale things better in the future. 

I've always liked the Abrams and thought it a shame that it didn't find a use in WWII.  I see it as falling right in the gap between the big observation planes of the late 30s (e.g., O-47)  and the little liaison planes that did all that work for the US Army in the war.  It could have been a compromise solution (in my eyes at least) for those generals who (initially) snickered at the idea of using Piper Cubs in combat.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2012, 01:21:59 AM by Acree »

Offline Litvyak

  • Shifting between quantum realities...
  • Althistorian & profiler...& the 1st lady of whiff
    • The True North, Strong and Free (AltCan)
Re: Acree's Profiles
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2012, 12:18:12 AM »
That Observer looks absolutely brilliant!
"God save our Queen and heaven bless the Maple Leaf forever!"

Alternate Canada - http://altcan.webs.com

"Bernard, this doesn't say anything!" "Why thank you, Prime Minister."