Author Topic: Apophenia's Offerings  (Read 403491 times)

Offline elmayerle

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2400 on: November 30, 2019, 03:17:29 AM »
Beautiful!!  Will we see a high-performance tri-motor combining the "standard" M-177 wing and engines with the Mutt?

Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2401 on: November 30, 2019, 10:02:31 AM »
Ah yes. What Evan is referring to, of course, is the Martin Model 177T (or 177Tri). Although impressive, the trimotor Model 177 concepts are largely forgotten today. In drafting these designs, Peyton Magruder initially intended to sacrifice all else in favour of low altitude speed. However, the Planning Section of the Equipment Division rejected the basic premise of the Model 177T - that speed was all.

The aircraft envisioned by Magruder featured a crew of only two - the pilot and a somewhat over-worked bomb-aimer - who also acted as observer and navigator. High speed, Magruder concluded, obviated the need for any defensive armament. For the (illustrated) ninth and final draft of the M-177T, Magruder succumbed to the judgement of the Equipment Division planners and included a defensive gun turret manned by a third crew member. However, estimates revealed that weight gain and added drag would reduce overall performance - the raison d'être of the Martin trimotor attacker.

Peyton Magruder and the Martin Aircraft Company admitted defeat and left to others to sell the Air Corps on the unarmed bomber concept.

While they were developing the R-4360 they mocked up various configurations including:
5 row, left-hand spiral, 7 cylinders per row (R-2800 cylinders) = 35 cylinders 5,444 in3 disp.
6 row, in-line, 5 cylinders per row (R-2180 cylinders) = 30 cylinders 4,671 in3 disp.
6 row, in-line, 6 cylinders per row (R-2180 cylinders) = 36 cylinders 5,605 in3 disp.

Whoa, thanks for that Jon!  An R-5605 would be something to see  :o
"Gentlemen, this is all very well in practice. But does it work in theory?"

Offline jcf

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2402 on: November 30, 2019, 11:12:38 AM »
While they were developing the R-4360 they mocked up various configurations including:
5 row, left-hand spiral, 7 cylinders per row (R-2800 cylinders) = 35 cylinders 5,444 in3 disp.
6 row, in-line, 5 cylinders per row (R-2180 cylinders) = 30 cylinders 4,671 in3 disp.
6 row, in-line, 6 cylinders per row (R-2180 cylinders) = 36 cylinders 5,605 in3 disp.

Whoa, thanks for that Jon!  An R-5605 would be something to see  :o
I think it'd be hard to see under all the ducting needed to cool the bugger.  ;D ;D :icon_fsm:
“Conspiracy theory’s got to be simple.
Sense doesn’t come into it. People are
more scared of how complicated shit
actually is than they ever are about
whatever’s supposed to be behind the
conspiracy.”
-The Peripheral, William Gibson 2014

Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2403 on: December 01, 2019, 07:29:39 AM »
I think it'd be hard to see under all the ducting needed to cool the bugger.

 ;D  Hmmm, if the 1930s GB does go ahead, I think I'll work up a 4-row R-1830 derivative for wing-buried applications.
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Offline kitnut617

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2404 on: December 01, 2019, 08:32:08 AM »
;D  Hmmm, if the 1930s GB does go ahead, I think I'll work up a 4-row R-1830 derivative for wing-buried applications.

That's what this engine was designed for, it had a very small diameter, and you could add extra cylinder rows as needed, two rows at a time because there was a coupling connection between each two rows. Up to 42 cylinders IIRC.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2019, 08:35:30 AM by kitnut617 »

Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2405 on: December 01, 2019, 12:55:57 PM »
I wonder if Pratt & Whitney had something similar in mind?
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Offline jcf

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2406 on: December 01, 2019, 04:38:21 PM »
In the '30s they had the R-2060.
https://oldmachinepress.com/2019/10/20/pratt-whitney-r-2060-yellow-jacket-20-cylinder-engine/

Pratt also had the X-1800/XH-2600 and H-3130 'H' engines, the last actually bulkier than the
R-4360.

Various notions were explored in the Army hyper-engine program:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyper_engine

Early on the engines considered for burying within the wing, rather than fuselage,
tended to be opposed or H pancakes.
https://oldmachinepress.com/2018/04/20/lycoming-o-1230-flat-12-aircraft-engine/
https://oldmachinepress.com/2018/05/05/lycoming-xh-2470-24-cylinder-aircraft-engine/
“Conspiracy theory’s got to be simple.
Sense doesn’t come into it. People are
more scared of how complicated shit
actually is than they ever are about
whatever’s supposed to be behind the
conspiracy.”
-The Peripheral, William Gibson 2014

Offline kitnut617

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2407 on: December 01, 2019, 10:37:51 PM »
The only Wright Tornado made still exists, it was restored and the book was written around it, IIRC. My copy I lent to someone, but right now I can't remember to who ---  :-X

Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2408 on: January 03, 2020, 12:41:14 PM »
So, obviously, I missed the U.S. Enters WWII Early (1940) GB deadline on this one ...  :-[

Lockheed's 'Big Twin' - the FM-4 PoleStar Long-range Fighter

Back in June 1936, Lockheed had submitted its Model 11 to meet the Air Corps' Specification X-604 for a multi-place fighter. Initially given the military designation XPB-3 (Experiment Pursuit, Biplace 3), the Model 11 had its origin in the Model 10D - a proposed military derivative of Lockheed's Electra airliner. But the Model 10 airframe was developed out of all recognition. The radial engines were swapped for Allison V-12, a tricycle gear adopted, the cockpit flanked by two powered turrets armed with 37 mm Browning T9 autocannons.

Under the Air Corps' points system, the Lockheed Model 11 - by then re-designated XFM-2 (Experiment  Fighter, Multiplace 2) - did well. Alas, the even-more-radical Bell XFM-1 Airacuda scored slightly better. Despite its high test scores, the Airacuda as built proved overly complex and prone to systems failures. In any case, the overall concept of the multi-place 'cruiser' fighter was waning in planning circles. Still, the United States mainland needed protection from long-range bombers. As a result, the Department of War had approved Specification X-608 for a 'Interceptor Pursuit (Twin-engine)'. This contest was won by 'Kelly' Johnson's ambitious Lockheed Model 22 which became the XP-38 Lightning.

Air Corps planners were still looking for an even longer-range 'Mid-Atlantic' interceptor. Internally, this requirement was referred to as a 'PB' (Pursuit, Biplace). However, when Specification X-610 was issued, it called for a 'Fighter, Multiplace (Twin-engine)' which was to be based on a proven airframe. In other words, the USAAC was looking for an improved 'FM' design. The X-610 requirements reflected a critique of the service trial Bell YFM-1 (and, by extension, the Lockheed XFM-2 concept). X-610 specified that barbettes and turrets were to be avoided in favour of a simpler fixed-gun main armament.

To meet Specification X-610, Bell submitted a simplified, tractor-engined Airacuda derivative. [1] In turn, Lockheed  submitted two 'Kelly' Johnson designs - the Model 22FM (based on the Lightning) and the larger Model 35 (which could be seen as a spin-off from the earlier Model 11/XFM-2). Both Lockheed submissions were intended as 2-seaters but the Model 35 had the option of a third crew member. Compared with the Model 22FM (and the earlier Model 11), the Model 35 was a conservative design - combining features of the Model 10 and the bigger Model 14 airliner airframes.

The Model 35 was, effectively, a higher-powered Model 10 Electra with a refined fuselage. The design approach reflected a critique of the earlier XFM-2 concept. A simpler fixed armament was specified by X-610 ... so the Model 11's bulky turrets disappeared. For the extended, over-water operations now envisioned for the 'FM' role, 'Kelly' Johnson decided to abandon the Model 11's Allison inlines - for fear of combat damage to vulnerable cooling systems. In place of the V-12s were bulkier but highly durable Pratt & Whitney R-1830 Twin Wasp radial engines.

At a glance, the Model 35 fuslage looked very similar to that of the Model 10 airliner. In fact, it was completely different - being of a nearly triangular section. This layout was adopted to provide plenty of room to the sides of the cockpit to position to specified twin fixed, forward-firing 37 mm Oldsmobile M4 autocannons. Above and forward of each cannon breech was mounted four .50-calibre heavy machine guns. A fifth .50-calibre was to be mounted as a remotely-fired 'sting' gun in the extreme tail.

Top The prototype Lockheed Model 35 as originally flown. Note the unfaired main undercarriage bays and small 'bubble' glazing for the observer/navigator. The windows let into the sides of the fuselage are to illuminate the 37 mm gun breeches - should the nav/obs need to clear blockages. This aircraft was actually unarmed (the visible tail 'sting' gun is a dummy barrel).

(To be continued ...)
_________________________

[1] This tractor-engined Airacuda development was never built. Nevertheless, Bell was assigned an Air Corps designation for its design - XFM-3.
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Offline Old Wombat

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2409 on: January 03, 2020, 11:33:33 PM »
So-o, an American (Lockheed) Beaufighter equivalent. Neat! :smiley:
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Offline kitnut617

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2410 on: January 03, 2020, 11:42:09 PM »
Interesting --- very interesting ------

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2411 on: January 04, 2020, 05:09:31 AM »
So-o, an American (Lockheed) Beaufighter equivalent. Neat! :smiley:

I can only tip my hat to this kind of creativity!

Apophenia never fails to inspire and I especially like the Wright Field arrow.

What a masterful touch on a superlative concept!

Brian da Basher

Offline elmayerle

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2412 on: January 04, 2020, 07:48:19 AM »
Beautiful!!  It looks to have plenty of capacity to evolve/develop for other missions; I daresay you'll show us some of that development.

Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2413 on: January 04, 2020, 09:26:08 AM »
Thanks folks! First, to finish off the backstory for the above ...
___________________________________________________

Although not a component of Specification X-610, the prototype Lockheed Model 35 would be modified to carry a much larger cannon. In the late 1930s, the National Defense Research Committee's Division I (Ballistic Research) had been investigating the potential for larger guns mounted in aircraft. Emphasis was on mounting 75 mm field guns in medium bombers but the NDRC were also considering lighter guns. One possibility examined was adapting the 37 mm Gun M1 anti-aircraft gun to Lockheed's Model 35. Despite the similar calilbres with M1A2 AA gun was very different from the pair of 37 mm T9 autocannons planned for the Lockheed. Both guns fired essentially the same HE projectile but their relative performance was based on their widely differing cartridge cases.

The Model 35's planned aircraft guns used 37 x 145 mmR (rimmed) cartridge cases (fed from 30-round 'endless belt' magazines). By contrast, the M1A2 anti-aircraft gun used a much more powerful round - the larger, 37 x 223 mmSR (semi-rimmed) cartridge. The latter gave the 21 ounce shell a horizontal range of 8,850 yards. Seen as promising, the NDRC's 37 mm 'big gun' proposal was turned over to the Watervliet Arsenal for execution. Lockheed provided a Model 10 wing centre section to act as a mock-up for mount development. This was kept as simple as possible - basically being a welded steel bracket bracing the gun to the aircraft's spars. The gun's vertically-aligned box magazine would protrude into the cabin, allowing the navigator to insert fresh magazines. [1]

With the experimental T10 aircraft mount in place, the Lockheed mock-up was delivered to Aberdeen Proving Ground for test firing. In the meantime, the prototype Model 35 was being modified to test different configurations. Since the Air Corps had rejected Lockheed's proposed remotely-fired defensive armament, the first order of business was test-fitting a Martin cupola complete with .30-calibre Browning machine gun. That brought NX-35C towards FM-4B standards (although the fixed-gun armament was never installed). Next came the trial fitting of the airborne M1A2 cannon, turning the XFM-4A into a YFM-4C. All went well until the first aerial firing of the big gun. With the first round fired, the aircraft began shaking badly. A starboard propeller blade had been bent by the force of the muzzle blast.

Various remedies were suggested -  including developing a longer barrel or, more simply, adding an unrifled extension onto the existing L/54 (1.99 m) M1A2 barrel. Such were the urgencies of 1939 that neither potential solution was implemented. The Air Corps now had other plans for the Model 35 prototype...

Bottom (above) Despite its olive drab camouflage and Wright Field 'arrow', the prototype YFM-2C was returned to Lockheed for further modification before it ever worn full US national insignia. Note FM-4B changes - a dorsal Martin gun cupola and the more fully shrouded main undercarriage

The simple structure of the M1A2's T10 mount is shown on the right. In service, this mount and the gun body was to be covered by an aerodynamic 'canoe'.

(To be continued ...)

______________________________

[1] The M1A2 had a cyclic rates of fire of 120 rpm but, obviously, that was severely restricted by its 10-round clip.
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Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2414 on: January 04, 2020, 09:34:30 AM »
It was intended that prototype Model 35 be modified to full FM-2B standards. That entailed installing the complete forward-firing armament but, more radically, the Twin Wasps would be changed to more powerful Wright XR-2600-1 Cyclone 14 radials. To ensure propeller ground clearance, the Model 35's telescoping main undercarriage legs [1] were to be replaced by entirely new units (eliminating the need for telescoping). However, none of this ever happened. The Model 35 program was being outstripped by events in Europe ...

The service model Lockheed FM-4D retained the prototypes' R-1830 powerplants. The 'D had a standard fixed armament of four .50-calibre machine guns and two 37 mm Oldsmobile M4 autocannons with 30-round M6 'endless belt' magazines. [2] In the navigator's cupola, a flexible .30-calibre Browning provided defensive fire to the rear. All FM-4Bs were fitted with a single, centreline bomb rack which could accommodate a 1,000 lb AN/M65 general purpose bomb (although, a 500 lb AN-M43 or AN/M 64 GP was the more common payload).

Without the extra power anticipated from the Wright Double Cyclones, the FM-4D was not a sparkling performer but it was ready for long-range patrols long before the more sophisticated P-38 Lightning was available for active service.

The 27th Pursuit Squadron at Selfridge Field, MI, was chosen to operate the Lockheed FM-4D. Redesignated 27th Fighter Squadron (Twin Engine), the unit deployed as overseas detachments of the 1st Fighter Group. The first 'det' (I/27FS) deployed to occupied Iceland, providing long-range fighter cover from Reykjavík. The second 'det' deployed to the Allied-occupied Azore Islands. But II/27FS didn't stay at Lajes Field for long. US War Plan Gray had been extended to cover the occupation of Spain's Canary Islands. After flying top-cover for Operation Gray Mine, the II/27FS aircraft were re-assigned to the new USAAC base at Lanzarote Field. From there, the squadron moved on to North Africa.

Top Lockheed FM-4D of 2nd Detachment, 27th Fighter Squadron, Sedrata Airfield, eastern Algeria, February 1941. Some FMs in-theatre wore overcoats of water-based camouflage paint. This aircraft has its faded olive drab partially covered with 'liberated' tan and grey paints (or French and/or Italian origin). In March 1941, II/27FS moved up to Massicault Airfield in Tunisia for the assault on Sicily.

It had been intended that FM-4E torpedo-carriers should operate in mixed units with FM-4D fighters. That never happened. Rather than training Army pilots to drop torpedos, it was decided to transfer the FM-4Es to the Marine Corps. As Naval Aviators, USMC pilots were readily trained for their new role - and, in some cases, were already trained for torpedo dropping. Duly transferred, the FM-4Es were redesignated as TBL-1s. Despite this Quarter Masters' redesignating, these aircraft actually remained USAAC property ... and Marine Corps wags quickly dubbed them 'Lockheed Loanstarss'.

The TBL-1s were issued to a new Marine Composite Squadron 1 (VMC-1) formed at Marine Corps Auxiliary Airfield Atlantic, NC. Fitted with long-range tanks, the VMC-1 aircraft quickly deployed overseas. They initially performed armed maritime reconnaissance missions from Lajes Field on Terceira Island in the Azores. In early 1941, VMC-1 was moved to Médiouna Airfield in French Morocco in preparation for operations against the Spanish homeland. On Sunday, 09 March 1941, the Marines joined British torpedo-bombers in a joint attack on the Arsenal de la Carraca, near Cádiz (west of Gibraltar). Like other Allied attacks on Spanish military targets, [1] this operation was judged a success, but not for obvious reasons (more that anon).

After the Carraca raid, VMC-1 was refitted with new TBL-1s but these 'Loanstarss' were quickly passed on to America's French allies whose own equipment was wearing out. In French plans, Adm. François Darlan had hoped for Aéronavale Bloch MB.174s operating as land-based bombardiers-torpilleurs. That was never enacted and accepting VMC-1's aircraft into French service was a stop-gap measure. These aircraft operated alongside Aéronavale Bloch MB.176 recce aicraft (which were also powered with Pratt & Whitney R-1830 radials).

Bottom A newly-repainted Lockheed TBL-1 of the French Aéronavale. These aircraft operated throughout the Italian campaign. The survivors were returned to the Air Corps when French-built Bloch MB.175T torpedo-bombers became available at last.

Beyond the garish shark's mouth motif (inherited from the Marines), this aircraft was given the name mise-en-abîme ('put into the abyss'). This name was marked in white beneath the starboard cockpit sill.

_____________________________

[1] Most notable of these was the Fleet Air Arm attack on the Arsenal de Cartagena. US forces participated in other Spanish ventures. US Marines occupied the Tangier International Zone (which Spanish troops had taken on 14 June 1940). Air Corps' Lockheed FM-4Ds took part (as escorts) in the US bombing of Málaga airfield.

[2] A further six machine guns could theoretically be mounted in the outer wing panels. In practice, all FM-4s were fitted with long-range wing tanks instead
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Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2415 on: January 04, 2020, 10:18:21 AM »
Those are some mighty fine permutations, apophenia!

The desert one is the cherry on top!

Well done.

Brian da Basher

Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2416 on: January 04, 2020, 07:20:37 PM »
The FM-4 is quite innovative.

Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2417 on: January 09, 2020, 10:56:35 AM »
I've made a series of posts in the Engineering Dept. section of Ideas & Inspiration. The title of my thread is Medium Air Tanker concept.

I see this as a potentially serious proposal and would love to hear people's feedback and criticism. Thanks in advance ...

http://beyondthesprues.com/Forum/index.php?topic=8932.0
"Gentlemen, this is all very well in practice. But does it work in theory?"

Offline kitnut617

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2418 on: January 09, 2020, 10:21:27 PM »
I think you're right Stephen, the Dash-8's would make a good fire fighter. Only thing I see with your sketch, the Q-400 doesn't have that much ground clearance, but I would make the suggestion that they be equipped like the Coulson 737's, the tanks are in the cabin.

In this pic the two black spots under the fuselage that are in front and behind the wing, are the dump chutes (not the wheels though  ;) )
« Last Edit: January 09, 2020, 10:26:34 PM by kitnut617 »

Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2419 on: January 10, 2020, 01:04:42 AM »
Thanks Robert. Yes, Coulson's Fireliner is an impressive bit of kit ... not sure about that name, though!

My Q-series preference would be for internal tanks as well. There's more up-front conversion costs but also much less added drag (a couple of fairings and drop hatches, basically, instead of that great midriff bulge).

One goal of my proposal was to try to catch the impetus of the current political pressure. That would mean getting government funding in place soon ... which favours a more 'proven' solution. Since Conair/Cascade's Q400-MR is the only Dash 8 air tanker conversion out there, I felt that I couldn't ignore it.

OT: I was impressed by the simplicity of Voyageur Aerotech's Dash 8-100PF  conversion approach. It is also clever from a business point-of-view.  The Voyageur Airways side of the operation already uses Dash 8s. And Voyageur is owned by Chorus Aviation which is now wondering what to do with all those trade-in Q100s and Q200s  ;D

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Offline The Big Gimper

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Offline kitnut617

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2421 on: January 10, 2020, 01:59:02 AM »
Thanks Robert. Yes, Coulson's Fireliner is an impressive bit of kit ... not sure about that name, though!

My Q-series preference would be for internal tanks as well. There's more up-front conversion costs but also much less added drag (a couple of fairings and drop hatches, basically, instead of that great midriff bulge).

One goal of my proposal was to try to catch the impetus of the current political pressure. That would mean getting government funding in place soon ... which favours a more 'proven' solution. Since Conair/Cascade's Q400-MR is the only Dash 8 air tanker conversion out there, I felt that I couldn't ignore it.

OT: I was impressed by the simplicity of Voyageur Aerotech's Dash 8-100PF  conversion approach. It is also clever from a business point-of-view.  The Voyageur Airways side of the operation already uses Dash 8s. And Voyageur is owned by Chorus Aviation which is now wondering what to do with all those trade-in Q100s and Q200s  ;D

Well, erm! I have to apologize Stephen, I made my comments not realizing there is an actual aircraft flying. I wonder what they did to get ground clearance  ---

So while googling it, I found photos of an Eriksson DC-9 water bomber ---  :o

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2422 on: January 10, 2020, 03:31:32 AM »
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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

Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2423 on: January 10, 2020, 10:18:39 AM »
Small world.  Guess who is my newest customer in the real world. ;)

Nice catch, Greg  :smiley:  Good people to be connected with!

If this isn't 'non-disclosure' territory, does your new gig have anything to do with NSW's new FireLiner?
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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2424 on: January 11, 2020, 03:30:00 AM »
No.  The support at this stage is to their C-130s.
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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But you can make the Bastard work for it.