Author Topic: Apophenia's Offerings  (Read 456654 times)

Offline finsrin

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #825 on: May 20, 2013, 04:15:58 PM »
Bell XP_76B is outstanding!

So true.   All the right things came together for XP_76B  :)

Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #826 on: May 22, 2013, 06:47:25 AM »
By mid-1943, continued production of the Arsenal Aircraft of Canada Ares was in great doubt. Much of AAC's production capability had been turned over to the making of wooden Mosquito components for de Havilland Canada. American P-40 Kittyhawk fighters were readily available through Lend-Lease and the Ares itself required a new powerplant.

The XP-76B was a 'high nose' Allison mule but its V-1710-F3R engine was never intended for the 'base' Ares  airframe. Instead, AAC had been working towards a 'Big-Wing Ares' project. This would have a deeper chord wing allowing, among other things, a wing-mounted armament of six 0.5" Browning guns.

In late 1943, the 'Big-Wing Ares' was ordered into limited production for the RCAF as the Achilles F.Mk.I. Other than its high-nose Allison and bigger wing, the Achilles differed from the Ares in detail. By comparison, the  fuselage was slightly longer, the radiator bath enlarged, and the undercarriage revised. The main gear was
strengthened and the Achilles featured a completely new tailwheel installation (retracting forward rather than backwards).

(Top) Achilles F.Mk.I 9257 'Eastside Essie' showing standard West Coast RCAF fighter markings for 1944. Squadron codes are not being used and all red has been removed from insignia. Individual aircraft letter is in its new location ahead of the fuselage roundel. Note that, following USAAF practice, the portside underwing roundel has been omitted).

While the heavy gun armament was appreciated, the Allison-powered Achilles was no faster than the Ares. But this would change when Packard-built Merlin engines belatedly became available to Arsenal. The 'Merlin Ares'  installation was modified to accept a 2-stage Packard Merlin 68. Fitting the 1,300 hp Merlin produced the Achilles F.Mk.II which was ordered into production in late 1944. The final model was the Achilles F.Mk.IIA of  early 1945 which introduced an all-around vision canopy (based on that of the Hawker Typhoon but actually sourced from suppliers for the P-47 Thunderbolt).

(Bottom) Achilles F.Mk.IIA 9277 in the new interceptor finish adopted for West Coast RCAF fighters in late 1944. Similar to the experimental 'Hun Scheme' with the underside Medium Sea Grey extended up the fuselage sides (and, in this case, on the rudder as well). New roundels have also been adopted (the yellow ring has been eliminated and a US-style 'bar' incorporated). No.111 Sqn also carried its 'totem' emblem and old squadron code on the nose.
"Like a hog dance; Like a pig dare; Mind warp deceptor wan ..."

Offline Litvyak

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #827 on: May 22, 2013, 07:29:36 AM »
Eastside Essie there has some interesting lines, but the Mk. IIA is nice and sharp!
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"Bernard, this doesn't say anything!" "Why thank you, Prime Minister."

Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #828 on: May 22, 2013, 08:04:15 AM »
The Merlin variant continues to impress (I'm biased & I DON'T CARE!!!).  :icon_music:

Offline Tophe

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #829 on: May 22, 2013, 03:04:14 PM »
The bubble-top version is marvelous, thanks! :-*

Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #830 on: May 24, 2013, 02:39:35 AM »
At the end of WWII, the RCAF stood down its West Coast fighter squadrons quite quickly. Near-new Achilles F.Mk.I fighters were offered for sale but the sole 'taker' was Nicaragua. Beginning in June 1946, ten Achilles F.Mk.IB served with the Escuadrón de Combate of the Fuerza Aérea de la Guardia Nacional at Managua/Las Mercedes.

(Top) A FAGN Achilles near the end of its service in 1949. The Nicaraguan Achilles were replaced by F-51D Mustangs and went into storage before being stripped for engine and armament spares. The airframes were sacrificed as fire fighting trainers at Las Mercedes.

The Achilles F.Mk.II served on in small numbers with the RCAF after WWII until being replaced by Mustang TF Mk.IV fighters. The last examples flew on West Coast meteorological duties. Disarmed Achilles served with this 'Met' flight on the West Coast until also being replaced by 'Met Mustangs' in 1954.

(Bottom) This Achilles was formerly with the 442 "City of Vancouver" Auxiliary Fighter Squadron (whose markings have now been painted over) but is shown here with the Climatological Flight at RCAF Pat Bay in 1951.
"Like a hog dance; Like a pig dare; Mind warp deceptor wan ..."

Offline Litvyak

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #831 on: May 24, 2013, 09:09:13 AM »
Gorgeous!
"God save our Queen and heaven bless the Maple Leaf forever!"

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Offline upnorth

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #832 on: May 24, 2013, 01:12:54 PM »
Fantastic!
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Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Seversky Reborn
« Reply #833 on: May 27, 2013, 08:43:58 AM »
Seversky Reborn - Seversky Aviation Corporation and the EF200 Series Fighters

While Alexander Seversky was on a European sales tour in the winter of 1938–39, the Board of Seversky Aircraft  Corporation removed Seversky as President. The company would later be reorganized as the Republic Aviation Corporation. Out of options, Seversky struck out on his own.

Unbeknownst to his former Board, while in Europe, Seversky had managed to secure a lucrative contract from the French Armée de l'Air for a development of the Seversky AP-9 fighter. On the basis of that order, a new Seversky Aviation Corporation was formed in March 1939. SAC's base of operations was Miller Field, a former Army Airfield at New Dorp Beach, New York (Seversky shared the field with the NY National Guard's 102nd Observation Squadron  until October 1940 when the 'activated' 102nd relocated to Alabama).

Seversky's chief designer, Alexander Kartveli, had elected to stay with Republic. But Seversky was able to lure  two visiting Italian engineers to his new firm who would be responsible for the design of what would become the EF200 (Export Fighter, 200 series). Engineers Bob Longhi and Tony Alessio retained the overall layout of the AP-9 but adopted a rearward-retracting Curtiss-style undercarriage. This left more space in the centre section for fuel tanks and, in future, a central bomb rack.

As stipulated by the French contract, the new fighter was to be powered by a Gnome-Rhône 14-cylinder air-cooled radial engine. To conserve stocks of French-made engines, production aircraft were to be fitted with Rumanian-made IAR 14K engines. To that end, the French would import IAR 14Ks through Marseilles and 'empty' EP200 airframes  through St. Nazaire. At a Base de stockage, the airframe and engine would be united while French equipment and armament was also installed.

One Gnome-Rhône 14N was provided for the prototype EF200 which flew for the first time on 15 August 1939. The first hop was a publicity stunt with Seversky's wife, Evelyn Olliphant, at the controls. The aircraft was more thoroughly wrung out by Seversky test pilots later in the day. A few detail changes to the prototype were required by inspectors of the French Air Mission to the United States but production EF200s were already rolling down Seversky's new production lines at Miller Field.
"Like a hog dance; Like a pig dare; Mind warp deceptor wan ..."

Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #834 on: May 27, 2013, 08:47:29 AM »
Seversky Reborn - EF200 Fighter Prototype and French Service

The speed with which the prototype Seversky EF200 was completed was somewhat misleading. Much of the airframe was derived from two privately-owned Seversky 'fighters'.  The prototype's fuselage and empennage was rebuilt from Major Seversky's own EP1 (c/n 147, NX-2587). The one-piece wings were based on those of the AP-7 racer (on loan to
the new firm from  Jacqueline Cochran) but constructed, in part, from components reclaimed from NX-2587.

(Top) The prototype Seversky EF200 as it appeared when first flown in August 1939. Although a variable-pitch Ratier propeller had been planned, this did not arrive on time. The prototype remained with Seversky as a trials 'mule' until being converted into the XP-41B for the US Army Air Corps.

Production Seversky fighters began leaving the line in early Spring of 1940. The first EF200-C1, as the Armée de l'Air designated it, was completed at a Loire-Atlantique Base de stockage in April 1940. All completed EF200-C1s were delivered to Groupe de Chasse II where they equipped 4 escadrille. This unit took the Seversky into action (alongside GC II's Curtiss Hawk 75As and Bloch MB.152-C1s) shortly after the German invasion began.

The aircraft equipping GC II/4 were all Series 1 EF200s armed with six 7.5 mm MAC 1934 machine guns. GC II/4 began re-equiping from Hawk 75s at Xaffevillers on 1 May 1940 before moving to Orconte-hauteville two weeks later. Newly arrived Severskys were able to keep pace with EF200 attrition but, by the end of May, GC II/4 was in constant
retreat. Such was the chaos of this relocation that, within a month, none of CG II/4's Severskys were airworthy.

(Bottom) A production Seversky EF200-C1 in the standard Armée de l'Air fighter scheme. EF200 c/n 29 is shown when newly-delivered to 4 escadrille of Groupe de Chasse II at Orconte-hauteville in late May 1940. An individual aircraft number is painted in yellow on the rear fuselage. Below the cockpit is 'la mort fauchant' ('scything
death' being the GC II unit insignia).

GC II/4 was destined to be the only French Seversky unit. It had been planned that, by July 1940, the rest of the Groupe was to have been equipped with cannon-armed Series 2 EF200s. But those aircraft were never delivered. The French story of the Seversky EF200 came to an ignominious end in the end of June 1940. Having retreated to
Dun-sur-Auron in central France, GC II/4's personnel were burning their remaining EF200s on the ground.
"Like a hog dance; Like a pig dare; Mind warp deceptor wan ..."

Offline Litvyak

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #835 on: May 27, 2013, 08:49:27 AM »
Love it. And the Jackie Cochrane mention = <3 :)
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Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #836 on: May 27, 2013, 09:09:45 AM »
Cheers Litvyak. Had kind of an aviatrix thing going there  ;)  I thought I'd made up the bit about Evelyn Olliphant de Seversky test flying for the company, then I saw this in her obit: " a New Orleans socialite who in 1930 took up flying to surprise her husband, by the late '30's was expert enough to help test-fly his planes until a heart condition grounded her". Who knew?
"Like a hog dance; Like a pig dare; Mind warp deceptor wan ..."

Offline Tophe

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #837 on: May 27, 2013, 11:41:03 AM »
Interesting, thanks!

Offline Litvyak

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #838 on: May 27, 2013, 12:02:51 PM »
The nifty bits of history you can learn around here... ! :)
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Offline lauhof52

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #839 on: May 27, 2013, 02:12:44 PM »
That Seversky is one of a kind!! :)

Online elmayerle

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #840 on: May 28, 2013, 03:13:57 AM »
So, these two stayed with Severski rather than return to Italy to work for Caproni Reggiane?  That could change a lot.  Willl the EF200 evolve much along the lines of the Re.2000 ---> Re,2006 evolution, but with Allied instead of Axis engines?

Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #841 on: May 28, 2013, 10:20:59 AM »
Thanks folks ... more to come!

So, these two stayed with Severski rather than return to Italy to work for Caproni Reggiane?  That could change a lot.  Willl the EF200 evolve much along the lines of the Re.2000 ---> Re,2006 evolution, but with Allied instead of Axis engines?

I knew that someone would recognize Bob and Tony   ;D  And, of course, the base aircraft. As for the EF200 evolution, let's say 'inspired by Reggiane' but not tied to it.  ;)
"Like a hog dance; Like a pig dare; Mind warp deceptor wan ..."

Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #842 on: May 28, 2013, 10:25:41 AM »
Seversky Reborn - Ex-French EF200 Fighters in British Service

With the fall of France, the British Purchasing Commission began taking over outstanding contracts for combat aircraft. The Seversky EF200 was no exception. But the engineless Armée de l'Air EF200-C1 airframes building up at Miller Field provided an extra modicum of challenge for the Royal Air Force.

The only available British aero-engine of similar diameter to the twin-row Gnome-Rhône 14K was the single-row Bristol Mercury. The British engine was slightly less powerful but the Mercury was also lighter. With extended engine bearers, the EF200 airframe readily accepted a 840 hp Bristol Mercury VIII in a cowling from a Bristol  Blenheim bomber. This would later be changed to a Mercury VIIIA engine with cowl gun synchronisation gear.

(Top) A EF200-C1 converted as the first prototype Seversky Serval, SY201. Note that RAF markings have been painted over the standard French camouflage scheme. This aircraft was evaluated by the A&AEE at RAF Boscombe Down before  being returned to Bristol to act as a conversion pattern aircraft.

True to its origins, the Seversky Serval Mk.I was virtually identical to the French Series I EF200-C1 other than its engine type and substitution of British equipment. Intended as Army Cooperation aircraft, the first Servals were issued to RCAF No.112 Squadron (which converted from Lysander Mk.Is). But the RAF's real interest was in the cannon-armed Series II EF200.

Further Series I EF200 airframes were delivered but earlier, in late July 1940, Seversky had delivered the first  Series II airframes to Bristol for conversion to Serval Mk.II standards. These were armed with twin 0.303" Browning machine guns synchronized to fire through the propeller arc plus a 20mm Hispano Mk.I cannon in each wing with a 60-round drum magazine. With this 'shell gun' armament, Army Cooperation entered the era of 'low attack'.

(Bottom) A Seversky Serval Mk.II of II (Army Cooperation) Squadron at RAF Hawkinge in early September 1940. Note that this 'Shiney Two' Serval has had its troublesome tailwheel cover doors removed to simplify maintenance.
"Like a hog dance; Like a pig dare; Mind warp deceptor wan ..."

Offline Tophe

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #843 on: May 28, 2013, 12:10:46 PM »
Great conversion!

Online elmayerle

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #844 on: May 28, 2013, 01:23:58 PM »
Thanks folks ... more to come!

So, these two stayed with Severski rather than return to Italy to work for Caproni Reggiane?  That could change a lot.  Willl the EF200 evolve much along the lines of the Re.2000 ---> Re,2006 evolution, but with Allied instead of Axis engines?

I knew that someone would recognize Bob and Tony   ;D  And, of course, the base aircraft. As for the EF200 evolution, let's say 'inspired by Reggiane' but not tied to it.  ;)
Well, I've got several books on that line of aircraft, starting back with one of my first purchases back in 1972.  As I said, "along the lines", but not tied to it.   Very clean line of development that kept it small rather than growing as the Republic line of development did; I can see this following a similar pattern but not identical nor mirroring.  Still, for grins, a Vulture-powered equivalent of the Re.2004 would be interesting.

Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #845 on: May 28, 2013, 05:17:57 PM »
Love the Severskys! Are you sure you couldn't get a Taurus on one? She's not a slight bird!

Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #846 on: May 29, 2013, 07:43:55 AM »
Thanks folks!

Evan: Hmmm, hadn't thought of a Vulture ... though Bob would approve of doing a Re.2004! Any idea what the size difference would be between the IF Zeta and a Vulture?

EH: Yep, the Taurus would easily fit. But I was going for something in the same diameter range as the G-R 14K. So no R-1830s either  ;)
"Like a hog dance; Like a pig dare; Mind warp deceptor wan ..."

Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #847 on: May 29, 2013, 07:48:17 AM »
Seversky Reborn - Seversky's Search for Alternative EF200 Powerplants

Further British orders for the Serval army cooperation fighters would be dependant upon Seversky finding suitable American engines for new-built airframes. The most promising candidate was the Pratt & Whitney X-100 twin-row, 14-cylinder radial. This enlarged Twin Wasp was almost exactly the same diameter as the G-R 14K but would be
capable of producing 1,300 hp on lower-grade 87 octane fuel.

The P&W X-100 was somewhat heavier than earlier EF200 engines but Seversky was confident that a reorganization of internal equipment could compensate. Although not flight-ready, an X-100 trial installation was begun in the late Autumn of 1940. The installation went smoothly but made clear that, for pilot visibility, an updraught carburettor would be required. Alas, the X-100 was given a low priority. Pratt announced that production engines would not be available until 1942 at the earliest and Seversky reluctantly shelved the X-100 project.

(Bottom) The EF200 prototype fitted with a P&W X-100 engine. Although considered a successful installation, there was no hope of timely production engines. The scrap view shows the X-100 cowling which was designed but never installed.

With its X-100 trials engine removed, the EF200 prototype was converted to yet another engine type. This was the Wright R-1820-G205A Cyclone. This single-row, 1,200 hp radial was readily available and solved the balance issue of heavier engines. In a surprise move, the US Army Air Corps requested the opportunity to test the Cyclone EF200
at Wright Field as their XP-41B.

(Top) XP-41B in its US Army Air Corps garb. Markings were minimal at this stage -- the USAAC designation is on the fin, tail stripes on the rudder, and US stars on upper port and lower starboard wings. The Wright Field 'arrow' is applied to the fuselage side.

Seversky was well aware that the USAAC's interest was really in the EF200's 20mm cannon installation. However,  even a slight possibility of a US order was worth the delay in the RAF Cyclone-Serval programme. The XP-41B was returned to Miller Field in June 1941 but, by that time, RAF interest in a Cyclone-Serval was waning.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2013, 03:16:04 AM by apophenia »
"Like a hog dance; Like a pig dare; Mind warp deceptor wan ..."

Online elmayerle

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #848 on: May 29, 2013, 09:32:09 AM »
Beautiful aircraft and story, but one typo.  "...undraught carburettor ..." should be "...updraught carburettor ...".  Still, I like the way things are evolving here.

Offline Tophe

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #849 on: May 29, 2013, 11:59:46 AM »
Yes, this seems to be serious engineering... ;)