Author Topic: Apophenia's Offerings  (Read 459421 times)

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #1425 on: December 17, 2016, 02:34:27 AM »
Another whack at the AAV ... this time on wheels (from the Iveco Centauro to keep it in the BAE family).

I like! :)
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Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #1426 on: December 19, 2016, 12:30:22 PM »
I decided that I had to have a whack at improving this: http://beyondthesprues.com/Forum/index.php?topic=4298.msg118932#msg118932
"Like a hog dance; Like a pig dare; Mind warp deceptor wan ..."

Offline AXOR

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #1427 on: December 19, 2016, 07:51:28 PM »
Excellent,It looks so much better !!!
Alex

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #1428 on: December 20, 2016, 03:27:29 AM »
I dub thee "Moon mobile" ;)
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Offline taiidantomcat

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #1429 on: December 23, 2016, 12:20:07 AM »
That's pretty cool!! Hips seem to be adaptable to anything! Would be cool to see one in a v-22 osprey configuration? After we get the submarine version first of course lol
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Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #1430 on: January 02, 2017, 05:12:15 AM »
A while back, somebody mentioned sloped armour on the Cromwell. Here's my go at that concept ...
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Offline ChernayaAkula

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #1431 on: January 03, 2017, 01:35:22 AM »
Nice!  :)
Cheers,
Moritz

"The appropriate response to reality is to go insane!"

Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #1432 on: January 04, 2017, 04:24:30 AM »
Thanks Moritz. I was trying to give a little more shape to the turret. For the hull, I figured that T-34 features were appropriate to a Cromwell upgrade  ;)
"Like a hog dance; Like a pig dare; Mind warp deceptor wan ..."

Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #1433 on: January 11, 2017, 03:00:32 AM »

The Be.650 was to be a lead-in trainer for the Czechoslovak Air Force's coming Avia B.135 fighter. The Be.650 was of typical Beneš-Mráz wooden construction with power provided by a 535 hp Walter Sagitta I-SR air-cooled inverted V-12 engine. For armaments training, a single 7,92 mm vz.30 machine gun mounted under the starboard cowling would be sychronized to fire through the propeller arc.

Construction of the first Be.650 (oč 1) began in August 1938 at the Beneš-Mráz plant at Choceň. The main undercarriage was to be trousered but, while under construction, spatted wheel-coverings (akin to those on the Avia B.35 prototype) were adopted. This prototype work coincided with the 30 Sept 1938 'Mníchovská zrada' ('Munich Betrayal') which prompted entrepreneur Jaroslav Mráz to look for alternative factory locations in Slovakia. The prototype Be.650 was rolled out at Choceň in early 1939 and immediately flown to a new site at Nitra, Slovakia.

(Top) First prototype Be.650 in April 1939. Note Beneš-Mráz logo on vertical tail and Slovak flag (now covering former Czechoslovak colours) on rudder.

Meanwhile, the second prototype Be.650 (oč 2), with fully-retractable main undercarriage) was being built by ČKD-Praga under a co-construction deal. Work on oč 2 was halted by the 15 March 1939 German occupation of the Czech portion of the country. Ultimately, Be.650 oč 2 was completed and delivered to German authorities in Bohemia-Moravia. It was then sent to Rechlin for testing by the Luftwaffe.

(Bottom) Second prototype Be.650 completed by ČKD-Praga/BMM on arrival at Rechlin, Aug 1940. Note cowling markings - Beneš-Mráz logo is retained along with the script for J. Walter a Spol.

"Like a hog dance; Like a pig dare; Mind warp deceptor wan ..."

Offline PantherG

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #1434 on: January 11, 2017, 03:47:14 AM »
Amazing "Beta" ..... Simply amazing  ;)
Ask me what you want, I do what I want I'll answer....

Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #1435 on: January 11, 2017, 12:20:44 PM »
Cheers! I was thinking that it should be a 'Gamma:D
_________________________________

In the aftermath of the dissolution of Czechoslovakia, the Nitra facility was renamed Ing. J. Mráz, továrna na letadla. Construction of the third prototype Be.650 (oč 3) by ČKD-Praga had been halted. The Czechoslovak Air Force had previously stated a preference for the retractable undercarriage variant. But that potential customer had just winked out of existence and now there were concerns about future supplies of powerplants. The latter concern proved justified as J. Walter a Spol of Prague was ordered by the German occupation authorities to switch to the production of Argus engines.

ČKD-Praga (now renamed Böhmisch-Mährische Maschinenfabrik AG) was instructed to rework the abandoned oč 3 fuselage as an installation mock-up for a German Argus As 410 inverted V-12 engine. Conversion work proved fairly simple and the mock-up was inspected by the Technische Amt des RLM on behalf of the Luftwaffe. It was concluded that, with suitable modifications, an Argus-engined Be.650 derivative could make a suitable trainer for the Luftwaffe's in-service Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighters.

(Top) Unfinished Be.650 oč 3 fuselage employed as BMM's Argus As 410 engine mock-up.

Work had also continued at Nitra in Slovakia. The Ing. J. Mráz, továrna na letadla had gathered parts from former Beneš-Mráz suppliers now in Bohemia-Moravia with the assistance of the Deutsche Luftwaffenmission in der Slowakei. Sufficient material was found to complete a pre-production batch of 12 aircraft to be delivered to the newly-formed Slovenské Vzdusné Zbrane (SVZ, Slovak Air Arm).

(Bottom) Slovak pre-production Be.651 (marked as oč 4) at the SVZ test centre at Košice.
"Like a hog dance; Like a pig dare; Mind warp deceptor wan ..."

Offline Tophe

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #1436 on: January 12, 2017, 01:16:33 AM »
Unusual subject and nice profiles, thanks! :-*

Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #1437 on: January 12, 2017, 01:18:52 PM »

The first Be.651 was modified as a light attack aircraft and all remaining pre-production aircraft were completed to that standard under the designation Be.655. The SVZ Be.655s were fitted with an under-fuselage ETC 250 bomb rack of German origin. Fixed armament was increased to two nose-mounted 7,92 mm letecky kulomet vz.30. The first five Be.655s were powered by the Walter Sagitta I-SR engine. The remaining Be.655 airframes were fitted with similar Isotta-Fraschini Gamma powerplants imported from Italy.

The Be.655s served in the attack role, deploying with 13.Letka, Stihacia perut' II to the Ukraine in October 1941. The aircraft performed well but the 100 kg bomb load was considered inadequate. Front line Be.655s were replaced by modified Avia B.534s and the Be.655s relegated to the Letecká skola (Air School) where they acted as lead-in trainers for SVZ Bf 109s.

(Top) SVZ Be.655 of 13.Letka, Stihacia perut' II, late Oct 1941. Note loaded ETC 250 bomb rack and field repairs to battle damage from ground fire.

Development also continued in Bohemia-Moravia. The Böhmisch-Mährische Maschinenfabrik AG was ordered to create a suitable fighter-trainer for the Luftwaffe under the designation BM 221. This aircraft was essentially a productionized Be.650 (oc 3) powered by an Argus As 410 engine. The prototype airframe was provided by the Ing. J. Mráz, Flugzeugfabrik but production was undertaken at BMM's facility outside of Prague.

Standard armament for the BM 221 was a single MG 17 machine gun but design work was also undertaken to fit the aircraft with underwing podded MG FF cannons or a single belly-mounted bomb rack. Deliveries began in early 1942 and the BM 221 met all German requirements. However, the Luftwaffe syllabus shifted away from single-seat fighter-trainers in favour of 2-seat fighter conversions like the Bf 109G-12. In early 1944, surviving Luftwaffe BM 221s were transferred either to the SVZ's Letecká skola or to the Finnish Ilmavoimat.

(Bottom) BM 221 advanced trainer of FFS A/B 121 formed at Prag-Gbell (Praha-Kbely) in 1942 after FFS A/B 4 had relocated to Wien-Schwechat. This Flugzeugführerschule was the only Luftwaffe unit to operated the BM 221.
"Like a hog dance; Like a pig dare; Mind warp deceptor wan ..."

Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #1438 on: January 13, 2017, 11:47:25 AM »
Slovenské stíhacie lietadlo - A Slovak Fighter

In the winter of 1943-1944, the Ing. J. Mráz, továrna na letadla (Ing. J. Mráz, Flugzeugfabrik) explored the possibility of evolving its Be.655 design into a full-fledged fighter aircraft. Design work pursued by Rublic Zdenek and Jarl Tomasov resulted in a full-size mock-up for inspection. The response from the SVZ was positive but the Deutsche Luftwaffenmission in der Slowakei was concerned that work on a fighter might interfere with production by the Mráz Flugzeugfabrik of Fieseler Fi 156 and DFS Kranich for the Germans.

The design - which became known as the Mráz Ru.750 - retained little of the Be.655 other than its basic wing structure and general construction techniques. For the Ru.750 mock-up, a Be.655 wing was mated to a new fuselage. The wings were modified to accept a Bf 109's main undercarriage. The mock-up engine - from a wrecked SVZ Bf 109E-4 - was a DB 601A-1 but the higher-powered DB 605A was proposed for production Ru.750 fighters.

Despite a promising design, whose largely wooden construction would save on strategic materials, German occupation authorities would not approve the continued development of this Slovak fighter design. Instead, the Mráz Flugzeugfabrik was ordered to focus on cooperation with the Böhmisch-Mährische Maschinenfabrik on the production of Focke-Wulf Fw 58 trainers.

(Top) Mráz Ru.750 mock-up fitted with a damaged DB 601A-1 salvaged from a SVZ Bf 109E-4.

Blooding the BM 221 - The Be.660 in the Slovenské povstalecké letectvo

The closest that the Mráz fighter-trainer ever got to aerial combat was during the 1944 Slovak National Uprising. A number of ex-Luftwaffe BM 221s were operated by the SVZ's Letecká skola as Be.660s. Several of these aircraft were transferred to operational air fields in advance of the rising.

One Be.660 (BM 221 #227) safely fled Spišská Nová Ves airfield as it was being overrun by German troops. However, this trainer was shot down in error by a Lavochkin La-5FN of the 1st Czechoslovak Fighter Air Regiment operating as it approached sanctuary at Tri Duby airfield. The pilot, Desiatnik Minárik, was killed in the resulting crash.

(Bottom) Des. Minárik's Be.660 has its SVZ markings overpainted and SPL (Slovak Insurgent Air Force) roundels applied. The slogan 'Slovenský Sloboda!' ('Slovak Freedom!') has been daubed over the former SVZ fuselage cross.
"Like a hog dance; Like a pig dare; Mind warp deceptor wan ..."

Offline AXOR

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #1439 on: January 13, 2017, 06:25:00 PM »
Excellent !
Alex

Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #1440 on: January 16, 2017, 07:05:50 AM »
Cheers Alex!

Mráz in Post-War Czechoslovakia

In the immediate post-WW2 period, Mráz was focused on aircraft repair and parts reclamation work. The first original post-war design was the Mráz Ru-800 Trenér of late 1945. This was a 2-seat tandem basic trainer intended to satisfy a Československé vojenské letectvo (Czechoslovak Air Force) requirement. Like the competing Zlín Z-26 and Praga E-112, the prototype Ru-800 was powered by a 104 hp Walter Minor 4-III inline engine.

The Mráz Ru-800 lost that competition to the superior Zlín Z-26. But, in March 1948, Mráz took a chance on the potential pro-Russian leanings of the new Communist government in Prague. The prototype Ru-800 was taken from storage and re-engined with a 125 hp Shvetsov M-11 5-cylinder radial. The Ru-800 was also fitted with a new, fully-blown sliding canopy.

As expected, the more powerful Soviet engine improved performance but, contrary to Mráz expectations, the new government continued to favour domestic engine designs over Soviet powerplants. The Ru-800 was used by Mráz as a company hack until early 1950 were the prototype was heavy damaged when nosing over on soft ground.

(Top) Rebuilt Mráz Ru-800 with sliding canopy and Shvetsov M-11D radial, summer 1948

'Air Police' - Last Hurrah for the Mráz BM 221/Be.660

Although the last two Be.655s were destroyed at Tri Duby, a number of Argus-powered BM 221/Be.660 survived the Second World War. Refurbished by Moravan Zlínavion, twelve aircraft were assigned to the paramilitary Bezpecnost (Security) service of the federal police force. [1]

A new CzAF Aircraft Designation class - Hlídkový letoun (Patrol aircraft) - was considered for the Mráz Be.660. But, despite being operated in a border patrol capacity, the Be.660 was given the 'C' (Cvicna) for trainer designation - C 12. The Mráz C 12 served from late 1945 until early 1954.

(Bottom) Mráz C 12 in standard 1948 Bezpecnostni letectvo (Security aviation) markings - 'sfericky trojuhelnik' roundel on the tail, red nose (decorated here with police badge and 'POLICIE'), and distinctive 'OK-BYx' registration style.

____________________

[1] The refurbished Be.660s were considered compensation for 12 Benes-Mráz Be-51B Beta-Minors ordered by the 'Air Police' in the late '30s, but still undelivered at the time of the German occupation.

____________________
"Like a hog dance; Like a pig dare; Mind warp deceptor wan ..."

Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #1441 on: January 17, 2017, 04:34:43 PM »
:)

Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Merlin Skua
« Reply #1442 on: January 20, 2017, 09:35:57 AM »

A notion that I keep returning to is an engine-swap between the Blackburn Skua and the Fairey Battle. The idea is to increase the Skua's potential - and survivability - as a divebomber (for both the FAA and the RAF) with the Rolls-Royce powerplant while phasing out the less-than-useful Battle. [1]

In the current concept, the 'Merlin Skua' has the Merlin III. With its Hurricane-like installation, a new fuel tank is mounted in the forward upper fuselage. The Skua's drum-shaped lower fuselage fuel tank would be become another flotation chamber (FAA aircraft) or long-range fuel tank (RAF divebombers).

The resulting aircraft is rather long-nosed ... but so too was the Skua with a Perseus. Other than that, any thoughts or critiques?

_________________________

[1] Battles with 890 hp Bristol Perseus XII radials would serve as crew trainers and target tugs.
_________________________
"Like a hog dance; Like a pig dare; Mind warp deceptor wan ..."

Offline Tophe

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Re: Merlin Skua
« Reply #1443 on: January 20, 2017, 12:01:43 PM »
any thoughts or critiques?
My thought is that it looks fine! Thanks! ;)

Offline Old Wombat

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #1444 on: January 20, 2017, 12:13:06 PM »
Not bad! :)

Might give it half a chance at surviving. ;)

Getting rid of the G__-Awful canopy might be the next move. ::)
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Offline AXOR

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #1445 on: January 20, 2017, 06:17:27 PM »
Blackburn Skua is not necessarily an elegant airplane but definitely is interesting...now,with Merlin engine looks more interesting.
Good job  :)

Getting rid of the G__-Awful canopy might be the next move. ::)
I argee
« Last Edit: January 20, 2017, 06:24:36 PM by AXOR »
Alex

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #1446 on: January 21, 2017, 04:46:47 AM »
Interesting.
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #1447 on: January 22, 2017, 09:56:25 AM »

Thanks for the feedback, folks. Old Wombat: Were you referring to the sliding canopy or the windscreen? I always thought that the latter looked odd but, apparently, that rather upright windscreen was good at shedding rain on approach.

I was also working on a new approach to a single-seat Skua derivative ... which does have a revised windscreen (the Skua windscreen accommodated a gun sight but I wanted thicker, bullet-resistant glass as well).

Blackburn Boreas

I've names this revision the Blackburn B-34 Boreas (after Greek god of the cold north wind). The scenario here is that the single-seater Boreas eclipsed B-25 Roc turret-fighter development when the Admiralty realized that they'd need a higher-performing fighter for carrier use in the North Sea. The B-34 Boreas shared some features of their B-24 Skua shipmates but were smaller overall.

In late 1937, the Air Ministry switched an earlier order for 136 Rocs for a similar number of Boreas. These fighters were built by Boulton Paul at Wolverhampton. The first Boreas Mk.I entered service with 803 Naval Air Squadron in Oct 1939, with deliveries to 800 NAS beginning in early Dec 1939. Performance was not as good as anticipated once operational equipment had been added.

At Boulton Paul's instigation, design work began on a Merlin-powered Boreas. The prototype Boreas Mk.II flew in Aug 1938. Trial results were good and production of the Perseus XII-powered Mk.I was phased out after 76 were completed. Deliveries of 'Merlin Boreas' began in March 1940, replacing the Sea Gladiators of 802 NAS aboard HMS Glorious. The Boreas Mk.II fought with distinction in Norway until Glorious was sunk.

___________________
"Like a hog dance; Like a pig dare; Mind warp deceptor wan ..."

Offline Tophe

  • He sees things in double...
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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #1448 on: January 22, 2017, 01:39:37 PM »
Good! :-*

Offline Old Wombat

  • "We'll see when I've finished whether I'm showing off or simply embarrassing myself."
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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #1449 on: January 22, 2017, 03:03:07 PM »
Thanks for the feedback, folks. Old Wombat: Were you referring to the sliding canopy or the windscreen? I always thought that the latter looked odd but, apparently, that rather upright windscreen was good at shedding rain on approach.

I was also working on a new approach to a single-seat Skua derivative ... which does have a revised windscreen (the Skua windscreen accommodated a gun sight but I wanted thicker, bullet-resistant glass as well).

The whole lot! Ugly! :-X
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."