Author Topic: Apophenia's Offerings  (Read 320933 times)

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2055 on: March 06, 2019, 03:57:57 AM »
 :smiley:
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline elmayerle

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2056 on: March 06, 2019, 11:16:49 AM »
Lovely art and story and quite plausible.  I'm enjoying this.

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2057 on: March 07, 2019, 04:18:44 AM »
Your Breda 65 R(N) is entirely plausible and once again, that scheme is a real showcase for your limitless artistic talent.

Another great feast for the eyes, apophenia!

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Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2058 on: March 08, 2019, 05:18:41 AM »
Many thanks folks!

Under 'Real World Macchi C.200 Saetta Variants and Derivatives' (Reply #2038), I mentioned a few RW Macchi C.200 projects for which I had only vague written descriptions. Despite that, I've decided to do whif versions of two of those RW projects. First up is a built version of the mid-1937 C.200 Idro floatplane proposal...

Caccia Marittima - The Macchi C.200 Idro Float Fighter

In my version, the C.200 Idro is based upon the Ambrosini-built C.200 II serie airframe. This service aircraft sprang from a 1939 floatplane conversion of an early C.200 prototype. This demonstrator was entered into a Ministero dell'Aeronautica competition to replace the outdated IMAM (Meridionali) Ro.44 catapult biplane fighter within the shipboard Squadriglie Forze Navali. The key competitor for the C.200 Idro was the biplane Fiat I.C.R.42 conversion by CMASA at Marina di Pisa.

The Regia Marina regarded the C.200 Idro as challenging for average service pilots. However, the RM had also concluded that the I.C.R.42 represented an insufficient advance over the in-service Ro.44. As such, Aeronautica Macchi received an order for 24 C.200 Idro floatplanes in September 1939 (with construction work beginning in early 1940 at Macchi's Lago de Varese facility). The C.200 Idro received a distinct, revised side-glazing arrangement and an extended carburettor-intake trucking (to avoid ingesting spray). As production line conversions, the C.200 Idro had its main undercarriage bays blanked off and wing reinforcements created where float struts and bracing wires attached. Otherwise, the C.200 Idro floatplane airframe similar to that of the C.200 II serie.

Notions of shipborne C.200 Idros had already been abandoned by the time that the first aircraft was delivered in June 1940. Instead, the C.200 Idro replaced the Ro.44s of 161ª Squadriglia Caccia Marittima based on Lero in the Aegean. These aircraft were augmented by land-based C.200 Saettas of the Regia Aeronautica - the Regia Marina having tacitly admitted by early 1941 that the day of the floatplane fighter was finally over.

Cavallo Vapore ... There's Just No Substitute for Horsepower

One RW conversion produced the Macchi C.200bis. This XXI serie[/i] conversion (MM.8191) was fitted with a large-diameter 1,180 hp Piaggio P.XIX RC.35 radial engine and flew from Acerbi on 11 April 1942. I've decided to backdate that concept a bit and mount the earlier 1,025 hp Piaggio P.XIbis to create a 'C.200P'

The engine installation of the C.200P demanded major revisions to the base C.200 airframe. To re-establish the centre of gravity, the fuselage was extended. This was achieved by pushing the cockpit and rear fuselage slightly aft. The new forward fuselage was of enlarged diameter to accommodate the Piaggio engine. The lengthened fuselage forward of the cockpit also allowed for a revised main armament. In place of the standard pair of 12.7 mm machine guns, the C.200P prototype carried twin 20 mm Breda-SAFAT cannons. [1] The resulting C.200P was slightly faster and more heavily armed than the standard C.200 but manoeuvrability suffered somewhat and fuselage changes would have disrupted C.200 production lines. As such, the Ministero dell'Aeronautica placed no C.200P orders for the Regia Aeronautica.

_________________________________

[1] These experimental Breda-SAFAT 20 mm cannons were produced by first re-engineering the 12.7 mm gun. The new machine gun was chambered for a longer Browning-type 12.7 x 99 mm rather than the original, Vickers-type 12.7 x 81 mm round. The next step was to 'neck up' the Browning-style cartridge to produce a new 20 x 99 mm round.
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Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2059 on: March 08, 2019, 08:56:23 AM »
Sure looks a natural up on floats like that and once again you've rendered some absolutely delicious camo, apophenia!

Brian da Basher

Offline ericr

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2060 on: March 08, 2019, 04:07:04 PM »

nice floatplanization !


Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2061 on: March 09, 2019, 03:30:06 AM »
 :smiley:
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline elmayerle

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2062 on: March 09, 2019, 12:50:03 PM »
Beautiful aircraft, both of those depicted.

Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2063 on: March 12, 2019, 05:08:29 AM »
Evan mentioned the idea that the C.204 was lower-powered trainer for the C.202 Folgore. I'd never heard that before. But it got me thinking. Assuming that, instead of continuing C.200 Saetta production, both the C.202 and C.204 were produced as fighters, what would the Regia Aeronautica use as a 'lead-in' trainer at the Scuola di Addestramento Bombardamento e Caccia?

So, I'm resurrecting the C.203 designation again ... but for a different scenario. (This time, C.203 is a re-used designation following abandonment of the earlier twin-float recce aircraft design.) Here, the revived C.203 designation was applied to two advanced fighter-trainer concepts.

The first and earliest Macchi fighter-trainer derivative was the C.203F. The 'F' suffix in the designation refers to this aircraft's 600 hp Fiat A.30bis RA V-12 engine. The Fiat A.30bis was an obsolescing powerplant but the Regia Aeronautica had plentiful supplies of both engines and parts supplies for support. [1] In arrangement, the 'upright' Fiat V-12 was seen as an ideal trainer match for the somewhat larger Isotta-Fraschini L.121 V-12 of the operational Macchi C.204 fighters. All C.203F trainers were built by Breda.

Top Macchi C.203F fighter-trainer acting as a 'hack' for 85ª Squadriglia. '85-85' is unusual in being an unarmed C.203F II serie aircraft (most fighter squadrons choosing armed I serie C.203Fs).

The Macchi C.203F worked well as a 'lead-in' trainer for the C.204. The aircraft tended to be tail-heavy [2] (especially when radio gear was installed) but such handling challenges were actually welcomed in a fighter-trainer - future fighter pilots were not best trained on docile mounts. However, the Fiat A.30bis engine was becoming increasingly obsolete and the search was on for suitable replacements.

A further development of the 'lead-in' fighter-trainer concept began as the C.203G. This was to be powered by a 540 hp Isotta-Fraschini Gamma RC.35-IS - an air-cooled inverted V-12 engine. Plans shifted with the availability of the higher-powered Isotta-Fraschini Asso 120 IRCC.40 of similar configuration. This inverted V-12 would later be re-named the Delta (in Isotta-Fraschini's new 'Greek Letter' nomenclature). Design work on the re-designated C.203D was then ordered transferred to one of Aeronautica Macchi's less busy neighbours - SAI Ambrosini. [3]

Part of the Ministero dell'Aeronautica's incentive to transfer C.203D work to Ambrosini was that firm's more recent experience with wooden construction techniques. The Regia Aeronautica's engineering study group at Guidonia (the Corpo del genio aeronautico) had recommended that even advanced trainers should be constructed of 'non-strategic' materials to conserve Italy's limited supplies of aluminium. As such, SAI Ambrosini was instructed to begin redesigning the C.203 airframe for primarily wooden construction.

Bottom Largely completed Macchi C.203D fighter-trainer prototype fitted with Isotta-Fraschini Delta engine.

The C.203D airframe proved overweight as well as exhibiting some structural weaknesses. A debate commenced between officials at the Ministero dell'Aeronautica and CGA staff at Guidonia as to whether it was best to revert to standard Macchi 'metal' construction or to redesign the wooden C.203D structure. SAI Ambrosini countered with a proposal that work cease on the C.203D derivative and their existing, wooden-structured SAI.7 be adopted for training - in both 2-seat SAI.7DC advanced trainer and single-seat fighter-trainer forms.

A compelling argument by SAI Ambrosini was that the C.203D required the Isotta-Fraschini Delta engine - itself strategically important with a growing number of combat aircraft types requiring that powerplant. The original SAI.7, on the other hand, was powered by an imported 280 hp Hirth HM 508D air-cooled inverted V-8. [4] For the combat trainer variants, it was planned to install the same I-F Gamma RC.35-IS engine originally intended for the unbuilt C.203G. [5] So, in the Regia Aeronautica's planning, the smaller single-seat SAI.7AC (for 'Addestramento Caccia' or Fighter-Trainer, aka SAI.107AC) would replace the C.203D concept.

_________________________________

[1] Fiat A.30bis RA engines for the Macchi C.203F programme were sourced from both retiring Fiat C.R.32bis fighters and from IMAM Ro.37 recce-bombers being rebuilt to radial-engined Ro.37bis standards.

[2] The dry weight for the Fiat A.30 was 480 kg (1,060 lbs) versus 594 kg (1,310 lbs) for I-F's L.121 R.C.40. Even with the C.203F's forward-mounted radiator, the airframe had lost over 200 lbs forward of the c/g. The re-arranging of internal equipment could only counter that imbalance so much.

[3] Properly titled the Societa Aeronautica Italiana Ing. A. Ambrosini.

[4] The second prototype SAI.7 was powered by a 280 hp Isotta-Fraschini Beta RC.10 engine.

[5] With the Gamma engine, the military SAI.7s were closer to Ing. Sergio Stefanutti's SAI.107 light fighter - indeed, the single-seat fighter-trainer would be virtually indistinguishable.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2019, 05:17:23 AM by apophenia »
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Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2064 on: March 12, 2019, 06:56:05 AM »
Seems a natural as advanced trainers and has a bit of a Miles feel to it.

Speaking of natural, your rendering of that natural wood is outstanding!

Brian da Basher

Offline elmayerle

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2065 on: March 12, 2019, 08:00:42 AM »
Beautiful and quite plausible.  From what I can find, including SEM's conversion kit, the C.204 had an Isotta-Fraschini Asso L121 RC.40 of some 900-1000 HP, making it an excellent lead-in trainer, but this was never pursued to actual hardware.

Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2066 on: March 13, 2019, 03:35:18 AM »
Beautiful and quite plausible.  From what I can find, including SEM's conversion kit, the C.204 had an Isotta-Fraschini Asso L121 RC.40 of some 900-1000 HP, making it an excellent lead-in trainer, but this was never pursued to actual hardware.

Or did they ...  >:D

The Macchi C.204 is usually viewed as a failed alternative to the famous C.202 Folgore. [1] The difference between the two was mainly engine type. For the C.202 that was the 1,175 hp German DB 601A-1 initially and then its licensed Italian equivalent, the Alfa Romeo R.A.1000 R.C.41-I. For the C.204, the powerplant was to be a 900/1,000 hp Isotta-Fraschini Asso L.121 R.C.40 V-12.

In reality, the I-F L.121 engine never really went anywhere - and it was an upright 'V diritto' when Regia Aeronautica preferences had turning to inverted inlines (anticipating the Fiat A.38, an inverted V-16). That said, deliveries of the C.202 were slow because of engine shortages (no more than 50 DB 601s or R.A.1000s arriving at Varese monthly). As a result, the by-then woefully inadequate C.200 Saetta also had to be kept in production.

But what if the C.204 had been viewed as an 'as-well-as' instead of an 'instead-of'? Rather than continuing with the C.200, Macchi delivers as many C.202s as Alfa's engine deliveries allow. The same production line is interspersed with C.204 fitted with the lower powered but slightly lighter L.121 engine. [2] Other than the firewalls and upper fuselage profile forward of the cockpit, the C.202 and C.204 production airframes could have been identical.

I've shown the prototype C.204 with a sliding canopy (which shows up in some of its profile drawings). I've also given this first C.204 the retractable tailwheel from the prototype C.204. The operational C.204 I've imagined following the same evolution as the production C.202.

___________________________

[1] Although as Evan said, there's always the possibility that the C.204 was meant to be lower-powered trainer for future Folgore pilots.

[2] An R.A.1000 R.C.41-I weighed about 630 kg, dry. The L.121 R.C.40 weighed 594 kg.
"Could be the elves ... But it's probably the werewolf"

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2067 on: March 13, 2019, 03:51:51 AM »
Your rendering of the mottling on that bottom one is superb, apophenia!

Brian da Basher

Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2068 on: March 13, 2019, 03:53:41 AM »
C200 Idro  :-*

With an all-red repaint it could be Marco Paggot's next bird  ;)
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Offline elmayerle

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2069 on: March 13, 2019, 06:22:53 AM »
That production one is a temptation to model with the SEM conversion.  Beautiful art and back story.