Author Topic: Acree's Profiles  (Read 54789 times)

Offline Acree

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Re: Acree's Profiles
« Reply #30 on: June 21, 2012, 01:12:04 PM »
 I think the jet blast is far enough below the horizontal stabilizer to be OK, especially with the downwash from the wing.  Besides, it was just a test, not an operational aircraft.   ;)

Offline Tophe

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Re: Acree's Profiles
« Reply #31 on: June 21, 2012, 01:22:08 PM »
And in some World of us, titanium (heat-proof) tailplanes appeared in 1920...

Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: Acree's Profiles
« Reply #32 on: June 22, 2012, 06:10:13 AM »
I'm just yankin' your chain Acree. I love the Jet Kittiwake (and it does rather anticipates the nacelle design of the Avro Canada C.102 Jetliner -- a personal fav).

Good point Tophe ... but the Derwent was a centrifugal turbojet ;)
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Offline Acree

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Re: Acree's Profiles
« Reply #33 on: June 23, 2012, 12:52:01 PM »
Here we are with the predecessor to the Wasp in Farralonian fighter service.  Lance Margon flew the Boeing PW-9 on an official visit to the Boeing Airplane Company factory in Seattle, Washington, USA in 1929.  Margon was impressed with the aircraft and negotiated a contract for 20 to equip the 3rd Fighter Squadron.  The PW-9s were delivered by ship to Farralonia in 1929 and 1930.  Christened the Bullock, the PW-9 was very popular among the pilots, but the Air Staff recognized that they were becoming outdated almost as soon as they entered service.  Consequently, while Margon and his team searched for a replacement, the development team at Capstan Aviation began work to modernize the Bullock.  The result was the Bullock II, nicknamed "Wild Bull" in FAF service.  To create the Wild Bull, Capstan designed a cockpit canopy and a cantilever undercarriage, equipped with spats.  Most significantly, Capstan increased the upper wing span by five feet and deleted the lower wing, creating Farralonia's first monoplane fighter.  The end result was a 21 mph increase in top speed, with negligible change to maneuverability.  These improvements were enough to keep the Bullock in service long enough to be replaced by the Wedell Wasp.

Even longer-serving were the shore based floatplane version of the Bullock, called the Bullock FP (sometimes called Bullock III).  The first seaplane conversion flew in 1932, and served shore-based flights of the 3rd Fighter Squadron until 1940, although hardly considered frontline fighters by then, they still served a useful purpose as sea search reconnaissance and liaison aircraft.  Shown is the final service Bullock FP, nicknamed "Sea Cow," 3-F-23 was the personal mount of Lieutenant Lipton Margon, flight commander of C-Flight, and son of Lance Margon. 

Offline Litvyak

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Re: Acree's Profiles
« Reply #34 on: June 23, 2012, 12:58:37 PM »
Love the FP!
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Offline apophenia

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Re: Acree's Profiles
« Reply #35 on: June 24, 2012, 06:10:30 AM »
Love 'em ... especially the camo scheme on the FP  :-*
The hammer of the gods will drive our ships to new land ...

Offline Tophe

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Re: Acree's Profiles
« Reply #36 on: June 24, 2012, 08:51:55 AM »
Yes, this camo is funny. Perfect with waves, but what about a flat sea or lake? The enemy would detect it!

Offline Acree

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Re: Acree's Profiles
« Reply #37 on: June 24, 2012, 01:36:30 PM »
True, Tophe, but if you had ever visited Farralonia, you would know that a flat sea is exceedingly rare there!
« Last Edit: June 24, 2012, 04:17:55 PM by Acree »

Offline Acree

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Re: Acree's Profiles
« Reply #38 on: June 24, 2012, 04:17:22 PM »
The Farralonian Air Force's 5th Transport Squadron flew a wide variety of aircraft on several diverse missions.  The squadron was responsible for troop transport, resupply, executive transport, liaison, air-sea rescue, and all manner of ancillary duties.
Budget constraints kept the FAF from acquiring large fleets of transports, but instead they used a diversity of planes, most purchased second hand.  One exception was the Fleetwings F-5 Seabird.  Six seabirds were purchased in 1938 for use as light tranpsorts and air-sea rescue aircraft.  They served until the late 1940s.

Also shown is an ex-United Airlines Boeing 247D.  Officially christened Burro in FAF service, the plane was nicknamed "Lucky 13" due to its serial number, and was universally referred to by that name. 

Re: Acree's Profiles
« Reply #39 on: June 24, 2012, 07:45:15 PM »
Love the camo on the FP!

Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: Acree's Profiles
« Reply #40 on: June 25, 2012, 06:15:46 AM »
People nowadays forget that the purchase of stainless steel F-5 Seabird amphibians for the Farralonian Air Force was prompted by local airline use of the Fleetwings flying boat.

Farralon Airways had bought the prototype Seabird from James Reddig in 1937. In the off-season, FA-SWG was leased by the FAF to familiarize service pilots with flying boat operations. The 'Spirit of Farralonia' was lost on Airways operations when pilot struck struck submerged rocks off Port Farralon. The wrecked Seabird was recovered and later supplied spares for the FAF Fleetwings F-5 fleet.
The hammer of the gods will drive our ships to new land ...

Offline Acree

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Re: Acree's Profiles
« Reply #41 on: June 27, 2012, 01:37:47 PM »
As 1939 dawned, war was on the horizon in Europe.  Farralon’s bomber element was ready for war, but their equipment was somewhat dated.  The 4th Bombardment Squadron’s “Heavy” bomber flight was equipped with the Douglas Kittiwake I, with the much-improved Kittiwake II just coming into service.  The “light” bomber flight was equipped with older and less-capable Lockheed Vega bomber conversions.  The FAF staff was determined to replace the light bombardment flight with an “attack” flight, equipped with modern attack bombers. 
Farralon’s traditional source of military aircraft was the United States.  But in 1935, the US Congress began passing a series of laws making the export of military aircraft difficult (and in some cases unlawful).  Despite these restrictions, Lance Margon continued his work evaluating American military aircraft and negotiating purchase and license-building contracts, albeit in a much more low-key fashion.  In the Fall of 1938, the US Army Air Corps began a competition for an attack bomber.  Douglas, Martin, Stearman and North American all entered prototypes.  Margon was very impressed by the Douglas entry, the DB-7B (as were the French and British missions). 
However, on January 23, 1939 the DB-7B crashed during a demonstration flight.  A minor scandal ensued when it was found that a French military representative was on board, and killed during the flight.  The surviving French representatives were still impressed enough with the DB-7 to place a substantial order.  Ultimately, this aircraft gave rise to the A-20 Havoc series of aircraft. 
What was never made public though, was that Lance Margon had also been aboard that DB-7 and perished in the crash.  The Farralonian authorities refused to consider the DB-7 after this debacle, and instead sent a new representative to negotiate a contract with Stearman for their X-100.  The X-100 had been designed by Stearman just at the time that Stearman was being absorbed by Boeing.  Since the X-100 had not found favor with the USAAC, Boeing was more than happy to make a deal to sell the design rights as well as existing tooling  to the Farralonian government who promptly sold the design to Capstan Aviation.  Capstan set up a new factory to build the X-100 which was named Margon in honor of the late aviator.
Capstan built 40 examples of the Margon I, which was virtually identical to the X-100 prototype in its final form.  Margon Is served as light attack bombers with the 4th Bombardment Squadron from 1940 until 1947.  Capstan also built 24 Margon IIs for the Patrol flight of the 4th Bombardment Squadron.  This differed from the Margon I by the installation of Hall Aluminum floats.  The only other difference was the deletion of the semi-retractable ventral turret, the Margon II relying on low altitude operations to prevent fighter attack from that quarter.  As seen in the illustration below, the Margon II was able to carry a torpedo onthe centerline, as well as mines or bombs in the bombay.
The Margon was a very serviceable aircraft, but underpowered with its Pratt & Whitney R-2180 engines.  The R-2180 was also less reliable than the FAF would desire, especially in over-water operations.  Capstan therefore developed a re-engined version using the Allison V-1710-F30 which, though not much more powerful than the R-2180, had considerably better power-to-weight ratio and reduced drag.  These new engines, as well as some internal and structural improvements, considerably improved the design. 
While the Margon III production got underway, Capstan worked simultaneously on two further developments.  The first to be completed was a dedicated attack version with a new-design “solid” nose mounting four .50-caliber machine guns and two 37mm cannon.  All defensive armament was deleted, except for the two side-mounted .30-caliber guns.
The final Margon development was the Margon F.V night fighter.  Development of this design began at the same time as the Margon IV, but was delayed until a suitable air-to-air radar could be acquired.  This meant that the night fighter did not enter service with the 3rd Fighter Squadron’s newly-formed night-fighter flight until 1945.  Besides the radar, the night fighter had all defensive armament deleted, and mounted a tray under the bomb-bay carrying four 20mm cannons. 
« Last Edit: June 28, 2012, 01:51:47 PM by Acree »

Offline finsrin

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Re: Acree's Profiles
« Reply #42 on: June 27, 2012, 02:42:07 PM »
Color schemes on Bullock FP and Margons are favorites.
Seems no one ever does a 247.  Nice  :)

Offline Acree

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Re: Acree's Profiles
« Reply #43 on: June 28, 2012, 06:26:09 AM »
UH-OH!  I just realized that I left the 4th Bomb Squadron's Daddy Warbucks emblem on the Margon F.V - I'll fix that tonight and replace it with the 3rd FS's Wasp insignia. :-[

Offline Acree

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Re: Acree's Profiles
« Reply #44 on: June 30, 2012, 04:30:21 PM »
The predecessor of the Margon as a light bomber in the FAF was the Lockheed Vega.  Fourteen Vegas were purchased direct from Lockheed with deliveries commencing in 1933.  Four of the fourteen served with the 5th Transport Squadron as light personnel and cargo carriers capable of carrying 7-passengers or an equivalent cargo load. The other ten were modified at the Capstan Aviation facilities as light bombers.  The Vega bomber was equipped with an open dorsal gun position mounting a .30-caliber machine gun, another .30-cal. which could be fired from an enlarged window on either side of the fuselage, and a ventral tub with a bomb-aimers position in the forward part, and an open gun position in the rear, with a third .30-cal.  All three of these guns were operated in combat by a single person.  Offensive load included a 500-pound bomb carried externally under the fuselage centerline, and/or two 100- or 250-pound bombs on underwing pylons.  Vegas served in the 4th Bombardment Squadron's light flight until replaced by Margon Is in 1940.  Five survivors were converted back to cargo carriers, but the remainder were scrapped.