Author Topic: Acree's Profiles  (Read 54118 times)

Offline Acree

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Re: Acree's Profiles
« Reply #15 on: June 17, 2012, 01:45:31 PM »
In late 1934, Farallon began to operate her first purpose-designed bomber aircraft (prior bomber aircraft had been adaptations).  At the end of the US Air Mail crisis in June, 1934, the US government offered the surviving Douglas B-7 and O-35 aircraft to Farallon.  With the more-capable Martin B-10 coming into service, the USAAC found no further need of the gull-winged Douglas bombers.  All 8 aircraft were refurbished and brought to a standard configuration broadly matching the B-7.  These aircraft entered service in the Farallonian Air Force beginning in November, 1934.  They wore the unlikely "Daddy Warbucks" emblem of the 4th Bombardment Squadron. 

The aircraft were initially known as B-7s (unusual for Farallonian aircraft, as most aircraft carried names rather than designations).  The B-7s were well-liked by the Farallonian bomber crews, and Capstan Aviation developed an upgrade program for them in 1939.  In a departure from usual Farallonian practice, the tired Curtiss Conqueror engines were replaced by Hispano-Suiza 12Y engines from France rather than an American engine.  Capstan also enclosed each crew position with well-glazed compartments, greatly improving crew comfort and slightly adding to the perfomrance increase attained from the engine upgrade.  B-7s receiving this upgrade officially became Capstan-Douglas Kittiwake IIs (the earlier aircraft becoming Kittiwake Is by default, although they were not generally called that in service). 

Finally, in 1940, Capstan upgraded the Kittiwakes again by replacing two of the three gun positions with hydraulically-operated turrets, each mounting two .50 calibre Browning machine guns.

Both the Kittiwake II and III could carry a two-thousand pound bomb load (a 60% increase over the B-7).  Increased fuel load and decreased fuel consumption meant there was a range increase as well, with the Mk II having a range of 900 miles and the Mk III being slightly decreased at 780 miles due to the added weight of the turrets. 
« Last Edit: June 18, 2012, 04:58:00 AM by Acree »

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Acree's Profiles
« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2012, 01:46:02 PM »
Outstanding!!!
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline Litvyak

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Re: Acree's Profiles
« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2012, 02:17:50 PM »
That's a great looking machine!
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Offline Logan Hartke

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Re: Acree's Profiles
« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2012, 02:26:52 PM »
That goes from being a Douglas to a long-lost Farman real fast!

Cheers,

Logan

Re: Acree's Profiles
« Reply #19 on: June 18, 2012, 01:06:29 AM »
Your Kittiwake is a fabulous idea! I love the way the mark II has traces of the Douglas Havoc about it too!

If you will permit me one minor nitpick, I don't believe the B-7/O-35 is parasol-winged since the wing attaches to the fuselage.

Offline Acree

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Re: Acree's Profiles
« Reply #20 on: June 18, 2012, 04:57:16 AM »
EH: Yes, I guess you're right - that should be "gull-winged" - hence the name Kittiwake!  I will edit my original post!

Thanks to all for your comments!

Chuck

Offline apophenia

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Re: Acree's Profiles
« Reply #21 on: June 18, 2012, 11:35:20 AM »
Love the Kittiwake upgrades  :) Using half of the F.223 nacelle is pure genius!
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Offline Acree

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Re: Acree's Profiles
« Reply #22 on: June 19, 2012, 02:33:51 PM »
Thanks Apophenia!

Now for the next update:
The FAF had an unusual structure, where there was a squadron established for each specific mission.  Because the FAF generally had small numbers of each aircraft, this made for “normal” sized squadrons.  However, some squadrons were quite large, and were divided into flights that were equivalent to squadrons in the RAF or USAAC.   
FAF squadrons were: 1st Training, 2nd Torpedo, 3rd Fighter, 4th Bombardment (and Patrol), 5th Transport (and Liaison), 6th Observation.  Aircraft and missions that did not seem to fit into these missions were generally assigned to the 1st or 5th Squadron. 
It’s time to address the Farallonian Air Force fighter arm.  The 3rd Fighter Squadron was being re-equipped with second-hand Boeing PW-9s as the 1930s began.  By the mid-1930s, the PW-9 was decidedly outdated.  When Lance Margon attended the International Air Race in Chicago in September, 1933, he witnessed Jimmy Wedell setting a new world speed record in his Wedell-Williams Model 44.  The top speed of the Model 44 was almost double that of the PW-9s being flown by the FAF fighter pilots.  So Margon approached Wedell about adapting the Model 44 as a fighter. 
Wedell quickly designed a gun installation (two .30 caliber Brownings in side blisters firing through the cowling).  The prototype was shipped to Farallon where it was tested and ultimately entered service with the 3rd Fighter Squadron.  This first Model 44P (for ‘Pursuit’) was assigned the code 3-F-X.  It was standard procedure to assign a letter instead of a number to aircraft which were used for test or otherwise restricted use, thus “X” for the Model 44P.  During testing it was determined that wing strength was inadequate for aggressive maneuvering.  It was also discovered that it was impossible to mount an effective gun sight due to the restricted visibility over the huge engine cowling covering the Pratt & Whitney Wasp Jr. engine.
Capstan Aviation set out to remedy the problems with the Model 44, by replacing wing bracing wires with hefty struts.  They also fitted a higher canopy and raised the pilot position for improved visibility and replaced the Model 44’s sprung tailskid with a steerable tailwheel.  The result was the Capstan Wedell Wasp.  Capstan built 24 Wasps between 1934 and 1936.  Capstan considered upgrade modifications for the Wasp, but studies determined that the airframe was already too close to its limit to justify the effort. 
However, back in the USA, Jimmy Wedell was inspired by the Farallonian Wasp project to enter a USAAC competition for a high-performance fighter which ultimately led to the Wedell-Williams P-34. 
In FAF service, the Wasp remained in first-line service with the 3rd Fighter Squadron (in diminishing numbers) until 1942. 

Offline Litvyak

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Re: Acree's Profiles
« Reply #23 on: June 19, 2012, 08:14:54 PM »
That Wasp looks great! :)
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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: Acree's Profiles
« Reply #24 on: June 20, 2012, 07:28:59 AM »
Love the Wasp figher Acree  :-*  In fact, I've stolen it ...  ;D
http://beyondthesprues.com/Forum/index.php?topic=351.msg20410#msg20410
« Last Edit: June 20, 2012, 07:32:42 AM by apophenia »
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Offline Tophe

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Re: Acree's Profiles
« Reply #25 on: June 20, 2012, 11:06:57 AM »
Belated thanks for your Observers-1940 drawings, delicious :-*
Concerning the Farallon Nation... what-if it had ally to Japan instead of the USA? An unsinkable aircraft carrier like that, so close to San Francisco, the war might have been different...

Offline finsrin

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Re: Acree's Profiles
« Reply #26 on: June 20, 2012, 12:09:39 PM »
Kittiwake II or III look good for kit-bashing.   :)        Particularly suited for trying many engine (prop or jet) options.
Bill

Offline Acree

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Re: Acree's Profiles
« Reply #27 on: June 20, 2012, 02:49:34 PM »
OK, I was working on something else, but when I read Finsrin's comment, I just had to take a moment to do this:

In 1946, Capstan Aviation was tasked with building Farallon's first jet aircraft.  Capstan had obtained a license to build the Rolls-Royce Derwent engine.  But early reliability problems led them to choose a multi-engine layout to reduce the likelihood of catastrophe in the event of an engine failure.  So, a Capstan-Douglas Kittiwake II was brought out of mothballs to become the testbed.  Named Jet Kittiwake (very original, huh?), the aircraft carried four license-built Derwents paired under each wing with the retractable main landing gear assembly between and below the engines.  The FAF flew the Jet Kittiwake for four years on various tests.  Illustrated is the Jet Kittiwake (coded 4-B-J) as she appeared in 1946.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2012, 03:12:00 PM by Acree »

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: Acree's Profiles
« Reply #28 on: June 21, 2012, 11:12:15 AM »
Love the Jet 'wake  :)  Best to plate over those fabric-covered elevators though  ;)
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Offline Tophe

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Re: Acree's Profiles
« Reply #29 on: June 21, 2012, 12:14:23 PM »
With a turbofan instead of the turbojet, the heat would be diluted...