Author Topic: Apophenia's Offerings  (Read 889657 times)

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2925 on: March 27, 2022, 12:38:45 AM »
 :smiley:
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2926 on: March 31, 2022, 12:02:49 PM »
And yet another RAAF 100th Anniversary Group Build orphan ...

By all outward appearances, Geoffrey N. Wikner's brief foray into Britain had been a complete success. The Foster, Wikner Aircraft Company Limited had been established on 9 Sept 1936. By early 1937, the firm had opened new premises at Eastleigh (Southampton) to begin production of the Foster-Wikner Wicko cabin monoplane. But Geoff Wikner didn't feel that he 'fit' in Blighty. In a previous British venture, Wikner had been robbed of his agreed-upon design credit and this had left a bitter taste. [1]

Geoff's cousin, Edgar Percival, was also beginning to sour on the business environment in Britain. Hedging his bets, Edgar decided to create a separate corporate entity to build his light aircraft designs back home in Australia. When Edgar offered his cousin the opportunity to head this new venture, Geoff lept at the chance to return home. After some to-doing with London and Brisbane lawyers, the incorporation of Percival-Wicko Aircraft Pty was announced in late 1937. Geoff Wikner was on his way home to Queensland!

Planning for Percival-Wicko Production

Percival-Wicko Aircraft Pty Ltd offices were established in Brisbane with assembly facilities at Archerfield Aerodrome just outside the city. The object was the construction and marketing of two derivatives of the popular Percival Gull family. The PW.7 Pacific Gull 3-seater was a Gull 4 derivative powered by a de Havilland Gipsy Major. The PW.15 Silver Gull 4-seater was based on the Percival Vega Gull. A tyro marketing department soon established that there was little demand in Australia for the less-powerful Pacific Gull and the PW.7 was soon dropped from 'PWA' sales brochures.

Geoff was also returning with an original design in hand - the Walara (Pigeon) powered by a DH Gipsy Major. [2] Submitted to the RAAF in late 1938, the PW.22 Walara was to be an ab initio trainer to match the more powerful PW.20 Pengana (Hawk) primary trainer. RAAF HQ declined to review the PW.22 - having already committed to the DH.82A Tiger Moth as a basic trainer. However, Canberra was interested in the larger PW.20 concept. The problem was that no prototype PW.20 yet existed.

Wikner had a relatively free hand in the overall design of the PW.20 but it was understood that a maximum of PW.15 Silver Gull components would be used. For the prototype, that would be true of the tailplane, engine mount, and undercarriage. The 2-seat fuselage would be similar in construction but much narrower. [3] The wings were directly related to the outer panels of the PW.15 but with the wing-fold mechanism deleted along with the entire wing centre-section. Instead, the outer panels were bolted directly onto the fuselage and the main landing gear attached to those panels. As a result of this commonality, prototype construction proceeded very quickly.

PW.20 Pengana - Percival-Wicko's Primer for Pilots

The first prototype PW.20 Pengana flew at Archerfield on 16 August 1939. In late September, Canberra requested the aircraft be flown to RAAF Station Point Cook in Victoria for testing by personnel from No. 1 Flying Training School. This was to be a competitive 'fly-off' between the PW.20 Pengana and the newly-completed Commonwealth CA-2 Wackett. The latter proved underpowered and, at CAC's request, the comparative trails were postponed to allow the CA-2 to be refitted with the same engine type as the PW.20. Percival-Wicko took advantage of the same postponement to install sliding canopy sections similar to those of the CA-2. [4]

When the Point Cook trials reconvened, a fairer comparison between the two types could be made. For handling, the Pengana was the more challenging aircraft - but this was seen as a good thing. Both types were gauged simple to construct and had been largely designed around locally-available materials (including the engine which was to be produced by Holden). But the CAC machine was still judged to be somewhat underpowered. That made the difference. Percival-Wicko Aircraft had its first real order - for an initial production batch of 25 Pengana Mk.I trainers for the RAAF. A final PW.15 Silver Gull on the production line was completed for a private customer as the Archerfield factory retooled exclusively to build the PW.20 for the RAAF.

Top The prototype Percival-Wicko PW.20 Pengana VH-ABS. [5] Note the open cockpits, Vega Gull-style spats, and polished spinner for the DH Gipsy Six's Hydromatic airscrew.

The initial production batch of Pengana Mk.Is were powered by imported de Havilland Gipsy Six Series II engines driving bracket-type propellers. However, the proposed Pengana Mk.IA failed to materialize when GM Holden production of the Gipsy Six was cancelled. [6] The Mk.IA contracts were transferred to Pengana Mk.IIs powered by imported American Menasco B6S Buccaneer engines. The Mk.IIs could be distinguished by their large 'barrel' type oil coolers installed on the belly just aft of the cowling. Alas, the Buccaneer's cooling problems would never be satisfactorily overcome.

The major production types would be the Pengana Mk.III pilot trainer and Mk.IV gunnery trainer. Both were powered by another imported American engine -  this time, the 200 hp Ranger 6-440C-5 six-cylinder. Recognition features were the simplified straight-edged vertical tail, unspatted main wheels, and relocated tailwheel. The gunnery Mk.IV could be distinguished from the Pengana Mk.III by the elimination of the rear glazing in favour of a gun ring. The projected Pengana Mk.V wireless trainer was not built (although surviving Pengana Mk.IIs were brought up to a similar standard in late 1943 to fill W/O training role).

Bottom Percival-Wicko Pengana Mk.III of No. 1 Elementary Flying Training School. This aircraft was written off after a hard landing at Tamworth, NSW, in October 1944. Note the fixed-pitch, Queensland Maple veneer propeller and revised tailfin shape.

The Percival-Wicko Pengana was well-regarded as an RAAF trainer. It handled well although a tendency to dip a wing on approach kept student pilots on their toes. And only the most ham-fisted of students could stall the Pengana. Its primarily wooden structure was a mixed blessing. [7] In a prang, that structure held together better than its fabric-covered contemporaries. But that also made Pengana somewhat heavy and more difficult to repair. Perhaps for those reasons, the last Pengana had been phased out of RAAF service but the beginning of 1947.

___________________________________________

[1] In 1936, Wikner had been hired to design an entirely original aircraft for Donald Marendaz - who offered design credit and shares in the profits once the prototype was built. Instead, Marendaz would publicly claim sole design credit for this Monoplane. Understandably, Wikner quit and Donald Marendaz - who lacked the needed skills - was unable to finish the project.

[2] Geoff Wikner had draughted the initial design for the PW.22 whilest still in England. At the time, it was called the Wikner Windsor. In its Percival-Wicko form, the type was to be offered in civilian sports trainer form as the PW.22C Pigeon (with optional coupé top) as well as the military PW.22M Walara.

[3] By comparison with the angled upper fuselage longerons of the Silver Gull, the PW.20's was parallel to the aircraft's thrust line.

[4] The canopy modernized the aircraft's appearance but the RAAF's actual concern had been the lack of a proper 'turn over' structure in the PW.20. This was mocked-up for the prototype but would not properly implemented until the production-model Pengana Mk.I.

[5] This registration was transferred from Shell Oil's Vega Gull (K.83, 'Spirit of Shell') which had been destroyed in a hangar fire at Essendon in February of 1939.

[6] This cancellation was to allow Holden's Fisherman's Bend engine plant to concentrate of building DH Gipsy Major 4-cylinders to powered the Bankstown-built DH.82A Tiger Moth biplane trainers.

[7] The primary structure was of pine - Hoop Pine for spars and longerons, Bunya Pine for ribs and stringers. Silver Quandong was used for mounting plates and the like. The skin was of carefully graded Queensland Maple plywood. Moveable surfaces were of fabric-covered welded steel tube (except for the flaps which were wooden).
Froglord: "... amphibious doom descends ... approach the alter and swear your allegiance to the swamp."

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2927 on: April 01, 2022, 02:10:20 AM »
 :smiley:
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 #2928 on: April 04, 2022, 04:02:24 AM »
As Greg noted in The Empire Strikes Back!, the 'Battle of the Río Grande' marked the highpoint of Canadian Forces participation in the Falklands conflict.

-- https://beyondthesprues.com/Forum/index.php?topic=10264.msg195603

The 409 'Night Hawk' Squadron CF-101Bs involved in the 'Battle of the Río Grande' were finished in the standard Canadian Voodoo Grey (FS 56515) scheme. But as the Falklands conflict wound down, the 'Night Hawks' were due to be replaced by 425 'Alouette' Squadron fighters. These 425 Sqn aircraft were resprayed in three-colour disruptive camouflages - one CF-101B being preserved at CFB Bagotville in this camouflage scheme (see attached).

The Voodoos of 425 'Alouette' Sqn were due to be joined by the CFB North Bay-based EF-101B 'Electric Voodoos' of 414 Sqn. The latter were to be repainted in all-over black for noctural operations (although it is not clear whether such finishes were ever applied).

In early 1985, Canadian Voodoos began to be replaced in squadron service by new CF-187 and CE-187 Tornados. Other than museum pieces and a few 'gate guardians', all Voodoos were returned to the USAF.
Froglord: "... amphibious doom descends ... approach the alter and swear your allegiance to the swamp."

Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2929 on: April 20, 2022, 03:50:40 AM »
From the final installment of Bill Shackleton and Tugan Aircraft Revived story.

If interested: https://beyondthesprues.com/Forum/index.php?topic=10268.0
Froglord: "... amphibious doom descends ... approach the alter and swear your allegiance to the swamp."

Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2930 on: April 22, 2022, 10:26:22 AM »
This was something I knocked together (from a Ronnie Bar B.E.2c profile) for a thread on Secret Projects:
-- https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/threads/pre-ww1-possibilities.38727/#post-527780

The idea was an RFC interceptor available in August 1914 capable of denying access to German recce aircraft of the day. Armament was an engine-driven machine gun.

Concept went over on SPF like excessively damp flatulence  :P
Froglord: "... amphibious doom descends ... approach the alter and swear your allegiance to the swamp."

Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2931 on: April 22, 2022, 10:27:09 AM »
Taking up one of Robert's notions - combining the raised fuselage of the Spiteful with the wings from the Spitfire F.Mk.21 ... So, here is the first Castle Bromwich-built Spitfire F.Mk.23 (PK678) in postwar RAF colours.

(Based on a Richard J. Caruna profile of a Spitfire F.Mk.24.)
Froglord: "... amphibious doom descends ... approach the alter and swear your allegiance to the swamp."

Offline kim margosein

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2932 on: April 22, 2022, 10:44:20 AM »
Is that F.23 using a Spiteful fuselage?  The cockpit seems raised a bit.

Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2933 on: April 22, 2022, 10:48:01 AM »
Is that F.23 using a Spiteful fuselage?  The cockpit seems raised a bit.

Yup, exactly.

https://beyondthesprues.com/Forum/index.php?topic=402.msg195242#msg195242
Froglord: "... amphibious doom descends ... approach the alter and swear your allegiance to the swamp."

Offline perttime

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2934 on: April 22, 2022, 12:33:03 PM »
Mmmmm.... what number would a Seafire have, much like Seafire 47 but with raised cockpit? 48?

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2935 on: April 23, 2022, 02:44:51 AM »
Concept went over on SPF like excessively damp flatulence  :P

I don't recall seeing it there.
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Offline kitnut617

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2936 on: April 23, 2022, 04:56:54 AM »
Taking up one of Robert's notions - combining the raised fuselage of the Spiteful with the wings from the Spitfire F.Mk.21 ... So, here is the first Castle Bromwich-built Spitfire F.Mk.23 (PK678) in postwar RAF colours.

(Based on a Richard J. Caruna profile of a Spitfire F.Mk.24.)

Oooooo!  noice!

Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2937 on: April 23, 2022, 07:24:46 AM »
Cheers Robert.

I don't recall seeing it there.

It was in a thread called 'Pre WW1 possibilities' in the Alternative History and Future Speculation section. I went with a very conservative KISS approach but I think the general mood was for some kind of Über-weapon or advanced materials. Oh well ...
-- https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/threads/pre-ww1-possibilities.38727/#post-527780

Mmmmm.... what number would a Seafire have, much like Seafire 47 but with raised cockpit? 48?

Yes, mustn't forget the Seafire FR.48!

(Based upon a Seafire FR.47 profile by Jumpei Temma.)
Froglord: "... amphibious doom descends ... approach the alter and swear your allegiance to the swamp."

Offline perttime

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2938 on: April 23, 2022, 03:02:58 PM »
Seafire FR.48 looks right!
There's something really powerful looking about that nose, and the raised cockpit makes it look even more muscular.

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2939 on: April 24, 2022, 02:13:01 AM »
Seafire FR.48 looks right!
There's something really powerful looking about that nose, and the raised cockpit makes it look even more muscular.

Yep
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2940 on: April 24, 2022, 08:59:23 AM »
And speaking of noses ... another go at a turboprop Spitfire.

________________________________________________________

The Supermarine Type 356PT (Propeller Turbine) testbed at the Rolls-Royce Flight Test Establishment, Hucknall Aerodrome, for RB.53 (later Dart) installation trials in the early Winter of 1947. The aircraft is shown prior to being fitted with its replacement tail unit (with dihedralled horizontal surfaces and much-enlarged vertical tail). The distinctive Attacker-style belly tank came even later.

The installed RDa.1 engine was much lighter than the piston Griffon but the turboprop produced only 1,250 shp (+ 300 lbf). In 'production conversion' form, the Spitfire F.24PT had the slightly more powerful RDa.3 which still only produced 1,400 shp (+ 350 lbf). However, this power was considered adequate for what had become a light strike aircraft rather than a fighter.

The 'Turbo-Spits' saw only brief action during the Malayan Emergency in late 1949-50. They were withdrawn from use in Operation Firedog when the de Havilland Vampires became operational in April 1950.

______________________________________________________

Again, based upon a Richard Caruna profile.
Froglord: "... amphibious doom descends ... approach the alter and swear your allegiance to the swamp."

Offline Old Wombat

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2941 on: April 24, 2022, 11:13:34 AM »
 :o :o :o
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2942 on: April 25, 2022, 01:47:38 AM »
The "Cyrano de Bergerac" of Spitfires. :smiley:
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2943 on: April 25, 2022, 01:53:28 AM »
Maybe give it one of the later RDa.10 variants giving 2500+hp...maybe they are left in Malaysia for use by the RMAF or even RSAF. ;)
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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Offline kitnut617

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2944 on: April 25, 2022, 02:26:06 AM »
You know Stephen, you probably don't need the turbo-prop so far out in front like that. Griffon Spitfires had up to 250lb of counter weight installed between the last two frames of the fuselage and just before the tail assembly joint (depending on what engine and prop combo was installed). Removing it all and then placing the turbo-prop in a position suitable would probable make it look a bit more eye-catching.

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2945 on: April 25, 2022, 02:34:07 AM »
Also, if you do go for the long nose or even longish nose, perhaps there is a need to also go for tricycle undercarriage
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2946 on: April 26, 2022, 08:01:09 AM »
Also, if you do go for the long nose or even longish nose, perhaps there is a need to also go for tricycle undercarriage

I was going for a 'least-mod' turboprop Spitfire with no big changes aft of the firewall. But, you're right ... 'Pinocchio' here would be highly likely to end up on its nose!

You know Stephen, you probably don't need the turbo-prop so far out in front like that. Griffon Spitfires had up to 250lb of counter weight installed between the last two frames of the fuselage and just before the tail assembly joint (depending on what engine and prop combo was installed). Removing it all and then placing the turbo-prop in a position suitable would probable make it look a bit more eye-catching.

Thanks Robert, I'd forgotten about those counter-weights. I'm now thinking that the big limitation of that 'least-mod' approach is finding space for the exhaust. If moving the engine/exhaust aft involves a bunch of airframe changes, why not go back to your Spitfire/Spiteful hybrid? Hey, if we're modifying the fuselage anyway ...  :D

Froglord: "... amphibious doom descends ... approach the alter and swear your allegiance to the swamp."

Offline kitnut617

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2947 on: April 26, 2022, 09:12:21 PM »
Hmm! I like that  :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

I'll have to dig out the Cavalier Dart Mustang conversion I have and compare it with the Dart Dakota conversion I've got too, see if there's any difference to where the exhaust exits. On my Turbo-Sunderland I found I could shorten the Dart Dakota nacelles as you get them, quite a bit without changing the exhaust outlet location.

Well actually I did change the location, I turned it so it exited at the top  :-X , but in the second pic you can see the round disc which is where you're supposed to glue the exhaust nozzle to
« Last Edit: April 26, 2022, 09:18:01 PM by kitnut617 »

Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2948 on: April 28, 2022, 08:24:56 AM »
I do like your turboprop Sunderland concept  :smiley:

Continuing on with the postwar Supermarine theme ...
________________________________________

Private Venture - The Supermarine Attacker

Supermarine designed its Type 392 'Jet Spiteful' to meet the experimental specification E.10/44. One prototype of this Rolls-Royce RB.41 Nene-powered attack type was ordered on 30 August 1944. Such was the urgency of wartime production and development at Supermarine that little design work had been completed on the Type 392 when the Air Ministry cancelled it in September 1945. Immediately, the Supermarine Design Department under Joe Smith began working up a replacement design.

The Drawing Office under Eric Lovell-Cooper was assigned the task of draughting the final design for this jet-powered Private Venture. One feature conditional to senior Vickers-Armstrong management approval was a switch to an 'in-house' engine - the Metrovick F.2/4 Beryl axial-flow turbojet. [1] The fuselage of this new Type 398 was similar to that of the cancelled Type 392 but stretched to balance the Beryl engine and new nosegear undercarriage. The wings and tailplane were entirely new.

The slightly-swept wings were clearly based upon recently-captured German research. Overall, the wing was similar to that of the German Me 262 but with a slightly greater leading edge sweep back of 22°. [2] The horizontal tailplane had an even great sweep angle (20°) although the vertical tail's sweep was more modest. All tail surfaces had typically Supermarine shapes with gracefully curved tips. This, then, was the form of the production Type 398N Attacker ordered for the Royal Navy as the Supermarine Attacker F.Mk.1 (there being no actual Type 398 prototype).

Top Supermarine Attacker F.Mk.1 on shipboard trials with the Royal Navy. Note the smaller original tail surfaces.

The Supermarine Attacker F.1 handled well in the air but had some stability challenges when landing on. [3] Directional issues were addressed through the design of an altogether larger tailplane. These surfaces were designed as bolt-on replacements for the F.1's tail. Once applied, the aircraft became Supermarine Attacker FB.Mk.1A fighter-bombers (the RN having reassessed appropriate roles). A similar fin and rudder were applied to the up-powered Attacker FB.2 variant. In the latter, the rudder was identical but a slight further increase in fin area was acheived by straightening out the fin's trailing edge.

Bottom Supermarine Attacker FB.Mk.2 in service with 800 NAS in August 1952. Note this variants straight fin trailing edge and raised fuselage 'spine' tapering from the rear of the sliding hood. Less obvious is the straight edges of the enlarged horizontal tail surfaces.

The Attacker FB.2 was eclipsed in regular service by the de Havilland Sea Venom mainly because the latter had a heavier fixed-gun armament. [4] However, the Attacker served on with Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNVR) squadrons until finally being retired in 1959.

________________________________________________

[1] At 4,000 lbf, the Beryl produced less thrust than the RB.41 Nene but it also had less frontal area.

[2] The sweep angle of the German Messerschmitt fighter had been 18.5°.

[3] The F.1's vertical tailplane was already bigger than that designed for the original Type 382. However, the Type 398N's longer forward fuselage demanded surfaces which were larger still.

[4] All Attackers were armed with a pair of 20 mm Hispano V cannons - initially judged to be adequate for a ground attack aircraft. As a fighter, Supermarine had hoped to arm its Type 398 with a pair of the 30 mm ADEN guns. However, that  revolver cannon was destined not to reach operation use until 1954.
Froglord: "... amphibious doom descends ... approach the alter and swear your allegiance to the swamp."

Offline kim margosein

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2949 on: April 29, 2022, 10:58:21 AM »
Now in this scenario the Attacker was designed around a different, axial flow engine.  Was the fuselage a different diameter?  I gather the fuselage was lengthened forward of the wing.  How much was it lengthened?