Author Topic: Apophenia's Offerings  (Read 289166 times)

Offline Brian da Basher

  • He has an unnatural attraction to Spats...and a growing fascination with airships!
  • Global Moderator
  • Hulk smash, Brian bash
Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2130 on: April 22, 2019, 12:29:33 AM »

Now that top one is drop-dead sexy!
You are an artiste` par excellence, apophenia!

Brian da Basher

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: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2131 on: Yesterday at 04:09:14 AM »
'Merlino-Macchi' - The Ultimate Hispano Aviación Fighter

The best that could be said of the Hispano-Suiza-powered HA-1215-K1L was that it worked. The aircraft flew and handled well but the Ejército del Aire was growing impatient with the low serviceability-rate of their C-4K fleet. The EdA and Hispano Aviación faced a constant struggle sourcing parts for the troublesome HS-12Z-17 engines. Responsibility for those engines had been turned over to Fabrica de Motores de Aviación Elizalde (later ENMASA, SA) in Barcelona. However, Elizalde was already over-stretched. Meanwhile, Hispano Aviación concentrated on finding suitable replacements for the Buchón fleet's problem-prone Swiss Escher-Wyss propellers.

With problems mounting and officialdom losing patience with the Buchón, Hispano Aviación was happy to welcome Mario Castoldi back to Seville. [1] After reviewing the Buchón programme and its problems, Castoldi's recommendation was a renewed search for a new engine type. Castoldi was quite aware that Macchi had been investigation an updated C.205M powered by a Packard V-1650-7 Merlin. That powerplant was Castoldi's first choice for an HS-12Z replacement. The Americans were very cautious about exporting military engines to Franco's Spain. But, in late 1953, an alternative was found in advertised sales of surplus equipment in Britain.

By the end of 1953, ex-MoD surplus stocks of 1,600 hp Rolls-Royce Merlin 500-45 engine with their Rotol 4-bladed propellers were arriving by sea at the Puerto de Sevilla. Hispano Aviación had already begun preparing a prototype conversion to accept the Merlin powerplant. [2] Castoldi took the opportunity to thoroughly update the airframe. The wings were slightly extended and fitted with new, squared-off wing tips. The vertical tail received a small dorsal fin but the main changes were reserved for the fuselage. Most notable was the new, sliding 'bubble' canopy replacing the original hinged and heavily-frame unit.

The Merlin installation dramatically changed the Macchi's appearance - both in its cowling and an enlarged and refined belly radiator bath. Although Castoldi's cowling looked rather bulky, the powerful Merlin was actually smaller and lighter than either the DB 605A or the Hispano-Suiza engines. Castoldi mounted the Merlin high in the airframe allowing space beneath the engine block for two large oil coolers. Beneath those coolers was a long carburettor intake truck able to accommodate dust filters as needed.

Top Merlin-powered HA-1216-M1L prototype in Hispano Aviación's civil livery prior to delivery to the Ejército del Aire.

Hispano Aviación's 'Merlino' prototype impressed Ejército del Aire officials but the MdA advised against such radical modification of now-aging airframes. Instead, the EdA's Merlin-powered HA-1216-M1Ls would be more straightforward conversions of existing Buchón airframes. The first 'production conversion' to Merlin power was completed and flying before the middle of March 1954. Within a year, all EdA HA-1215-K1L airframes had been converted into Merlin-engined HA-1216-M1L Super Buchóns. [3]

In his original concept for an evolved, Merlin-powered Macchi , Mario Castoldi envisioned an armament of four 20 mm wing guns. Castoldi proposed reverse-engineering the wartime German MG151/20 cannon he was so familiar with. These guns were small and light enough for the Buchón wing to potentially accommodate a quartet of these auto-cannons. That proposal was unacceptable to the Ejército del Aire which preferred the heavier, harder-hitting Hispano-Suiza cannon. Hispano Aviación's board of directors also preferred HS.404-style cannons and insisted that Castoldi comply. As a result, fixed armament for the HA-1216-M1L would consist of a pair of 20 mm Hispano cannons replacing the existing Buchón's twin Breda-SAFAT machine guns.

The directors of Hispano Aviación would ultimately be disappointed. Board members had imagined a new armaments division for their firm producing HS.404 auto-cannons under license to their French counterpart. Instead, the Ministerio del Aire was able to source sufficient surplus British Hispano Mk.II guns from Belgium. [4] Later, underwing bomb racks were replaced by eight-packs of 80mm Pilatus air-to-ground rockets. In the C-4M Super Buchón, the Ejército del Aire finally had the light ground-attack aircraft and colonial fighter that it needed.

Bottom Hispano Aviación HA-1216-M1L (C-4M) Super Buchón with its powerplant exposed. This is one of the first five Merlin conversions - identified by their white recognition markings on cowling nose and wing leading edge. The EdA quickly abandoned these markings, the overall azur scheme being thought distinctive enough.


[1] After leaving Macchi at war's end, dott. ing. Castoldi developed two aircraft concepts as a freelance designer. However, it quickly became apparent to Castoldi that he was being locked out of Italian aircraft contracts due to his close connections to the past Fascist regime. Emigration was Castoldi's only real option if he wished to continue working as an aircraft designer.

[2] This airframe was something of a chimera, being composed of the uncompleted fuselage of a HA-1202-D1L, modified wings taken from the one-off HA-1204-H1L, and the tailplane of a HA-1215-K1L.

[3] Hispano Aviación had originally proposed the name 'Esmerejón' (Merlin) for the C-4M but this was rejected by the Ejército del Aire which preferred the continuity of Super Buchón.

[4] At this stage, Belgium had begun phasing out its Supermarine Spitfire fighters. In all likelihood, the Super Buchón's surplus guns came from scrapped Spitfires.
Under investigation by the Committee of State Sanctioned Modelling, Alternative History and Tractor Carburettor Production for decadent counterrevolutionary behaviour.

Offline Brian da Basher

  • He has an unnatural attraction to Spats...and a growing fascination with airships!
  • Global Moderator
  • Hulk smash, Brian bash
Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2132 on: Yesterday at 04:11:57 AM »
The top one looks sleek as a greyhound! Love the bubble-top!

Brian da Basher

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: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2133 on: Yesterday at 04:30:16 AM »
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline Old Wombat

  • "We'll see when I've finished whether I'm showing off or simply embarrassing myself."
  • "Define 'interesting'?"
Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2134 on: Yesterday at 08:06:36 AM »
Top image is just screaming for a sharks mouth! 8)
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."

Online elmayerle

  • Its about time there was an Avatar shown here...
  • Über least that is what he tells us.
Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2135 on: Today at 02:12:53 AM »
Beautiful, in both versions.  I could so see such a derivative being built.