Author Topic: Apophenia's Offerings  (Read 1120245 times)

Offline M.A.D

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #3075 on: March 02, 2023, 06:17:05 PM »
De Havilland Comet Inflight Refuellers Down Under - Part Two

From Singapore-Changi, RAAF fighters could readily deploy to forward bases during the final years of the 'Malayan Emergency'. In the opening phases of Australia's involvement in the Vietnam conflict, RAAF Sabres re-deployed to the Royal Thai Air Force Base Ubon. By this stage in the early '60s, the aging Comets had lost their cachet as VIP transports. Well-used Comet A87-101 was retired and sold off. [1] But the remaining three No. 33 Squadron Comets could now be dedicated to IFR and trooping. But, to the surprise of all, inflight refuelling by Comets would play a critical role in RAAF operations in South Vietnam.

In December 1967, it was decided to forward-deploy Sabres at Vung Tau in the Republic of Vietnam to support the 1st Australian Task Force in Phuoc Tuy province. The Sabres were operating in high heat and humidity, while often carrying heavy ground-attack ordnance. Whenever possible, the RAAF fighter took off 'light' and refuelled enroute to targets. Two Comets would trade off doing circuits over SE Vietnam to top-up the Sabres. [2] The pace was relentless. By the beginning of 1970, both the Sabres and the Comets were withdrawn from Vietnam. Having played essential roles in supporting 1 ATF on the ground, both aircraft fleets were worn out. The last Sabre was retired in 1971. The Comets lingered on in storage at RAAF Base Woomera until August 1975 when the surviving trio were sold for scrap.

Image De Havilland DH.106 Comet Mk.4CR of No. 33 Squadron, RTAF Base Ubon, eastern Thailand, December 1967. Inset is a probed CA-27 Sabre Mk.33 fighter. Note the tropical fading of the Sabre's camouflage by comparison with Comet A87-102's newly applied paintwork.

In common with most other RAAF aircraft deployed to SE Asia, large black serials have been applied to the rear fuselage. [3] This dictated the unusual moving of the Australian roundel forward (almost to the nose). An Australian flag is displays above the fin flash but the camouflaged Comets carried few other markings.

______________________________________________

[1] This sale, in part helped provide funds for the purchase of an ex-Qantas Boeing 707-138B. The appropriately-named 'City of Canberra' (VH-EBC, c/n 17698) was returned to Boeing in October 1961. At Renton, she was refitted for the government VIP role and returned to Australia in February 1962.

[2] A third IFR Comet was always kept in reserve in Australia - while usually also undergoing maintenance and repair to keep the overworked RAAF Comet fleet airborne.

[3] The camouflaged Sabres were also exceptional in this. In contrast to the deployed Comets, Canberras, and Caribous, the Sabres worn their 'last three' numerals on their noses. Their roundels remained on the rear fuselage.

Oh wow, how did I miss this 😯😔

Love it apophenia!!
Any chance of a standalone profile of your probed CA-27 with with Aim-9B Sidewinder's??

MAD

Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #3076 on: March 07, 2023, 10:39:13 AM »
Elsewhere, M.A.D requested operational Avro (Australia) Adelaides fitted with Rolls-Royce Nene turbojets on the outboard positions. And, here at Apophenia Industries, customer satisfaction is 'Job One'!

For others, here is the original Adelaide in context ...
-- https://beyondthesprues.com/Forum/index.php?topic=351.msg195123#msg195123

The bottom version is basically just a jet-assisted Adelaide B.1(J) in post-1950 No. 10 Squadron markings.

The top version is a late-1950s Adelaide B.1A(J). This airframe has been fully modernized - with gun turrets deleted and Adelaide MR.2 glazings substituted. Heat-reducing 'titanium white' paint has been extended to some cockpit glazings.

Metal wingtips have replaced the wooden originals and incorporate tip tanks for kerosene. It was common to add the No. 10 Squadron slogan - "Strike First" - to these tanks. Hi-viz paint has been added to the tip tanks, fore-and-aft fuselage panels, as well as the upper tail fins.

Any chance of a standalone profile of your probed CA-27 with with Aim-9B Sidewinder's??

Sorry, M.A.D. I can't find any trace of psd files for that CA-27 Sabre ... I must have deleted them  :(
"It happens sometimes. People just explode. Natural causes." - Agent Rogersz

Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #3077 on: March 08, 2023, 05:51:58 AM »
Apparently, Japan wants to replace its recce choppers with UAVs. So, ...

Kawasaki Nindzya reconnaissance helicopter of Ukraine's 12-a okrema bryhada VPS (12th Separate Air Force Brigade). Other than Ukrainian markings, this aircraft's scheme remains unchanged from its time as a Japanese Self-Defence Force OH-1 Ninja.

Additional markings include the 12th's 'Drakon' motif on the tail badge and a toothy mouth. Below the cockpit is the silhouette of a Mil Mi-24, indicating a Stinger kill by this crew.
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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #3078 on: March 09, 2023, 01:55:40 AM »
 :smiley:
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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

Offline ChernayaAkula

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #3079 on: March 09, 2023, 10:50:48 AM »
Nice!  :smiley:
Cheers,
Moritz

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

Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #3080 on: March 19, 2023, 08:39:19 AM »
https://beyondthesprues.com/Forum/index.php?topic=7486.msg206749#msg206749

Evan suggested an upgraded IDF S.199 with its service life extended by replacing worn-out Jumo 211F engines with Merlins using the Hispano Aviación installation. This would certainly have simplified the Israeli's supply chain - since their Spitfire IXc fleet used similar engines.

So, I present an IDF Avia S-199M S'faradiy ('Spaniard') upgrade in 101 Squadron service.

This image is based on an S.199 profile by Helmut Schmidt. I've substituted a Czech sliding hood for the original Erla Haube. The nose is a standard HA-1112-M1L Buchón cowling and spinner.
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Offline elmayerle

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #3081 on: March 19, 2023, 03:57:21 PM »
https://beyondthesprues.com/Forum/index.php?topic=7486.msg206749#msg206749

Evan suggested an upgraded IDF S.199 with its service life extended by replacing worn-out Jumo 211F engines with Merlins using the Hispano Aviación installation. This would certainly have simplified the Israeli's supply chain - since their Spitfire IXc fleet used similar engines.

So, I present an IDF Avia S-199M S'faradiy ('Spaniard') upgrade in 101 Squadron service.

This image is based on an S.199 profile by Helmut Schmidt. I've substituted a Czech sliding hood for the original Erla Haube. The nose is a standard HA-1112-M1L Buchón cowling and spinner.
Okay, now you are tempting me to acquire the necessary bits and pieces to model this one. it certainly looks "right".

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #3082 on: March 20, 2023, 01:01:52 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 #3083 on: March 20, 2023, 09:29:59 AM »
Sport25ing had suggested a WW2 version of the American-manned La Fayette Escadrille. The obvious mount would be the Curtiss H75 fighter, but then I remembered the one-off Pratt-powered Bloch MB 153 ...

L'Escadrille de La Fayette (Encore)

As a part of its belated programme de réarmement, the French Armée de l'Air decided to form Légions étrangères de l'air in April 1938. This was prompted by Hitler's 04 Februrary creation of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht and then was given political approval in the wake of the 12 March Anschluß. Within weeks, the AdA was receiving inquiries from potential volontaires américains which helped decide the nature of the first Escadrille de Chasse (Légion étrangère).

In mid-April, the Groupe de Chasse II underwent a re-organization. The fifth escadrille, GC II/5, was stood down just before Easter (being officially reformed as GC II/9 on Tuesday, 19 April 1938). Other than confusing paymasters, the purpose of standing down GC II/5 was to free-up its history-steeped squadron name - La Fayette - for use by the new, American-staffed volunteer squadron. The storied Escadrille de La Fayette of WW1 fame, it was thought, was sure to be a factor in recruiting US volunteers to the French cause.

On 01 June 1938, Escadrille de Chasse 1 (aka the 'Escadrille Américaine') was stood up - under commandant Marcel Hugues - as the premier unit of the new Groupe de Chasse IV/1 (Légion étrangère) or GC IV/1 (LÉ). Operating the gull-winged Loire 46 C1 fighter, EC 1 began operations as part of the reserve force of ZOAE ( Zone Aérienne Sud). However it was planned to re-equip the unit with Curtiss H75s when those American-made fighters began arriving in France in December 1938. But this never happened.

For unrecorded reasons, EC 1 'La Fayette' would be equipped with French-built Bloch MB 153 fighters instead of the Curtiss type. The MB 153 had begun as a straightforward re-engining of the Bloch MB 152 airframe. As such, the American Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp SC3G would meet the AdA policy of adapting suitable foreign substitute engine to French combat aircraft. However, the design office of the Société Anonyme des Avions Marcel Bloch (SAAMB) [1] saw advantages in a more thorough redesign of the existing fighter airframe.

The engine installation was penned at the SAAMB design office at Courbevoie. Simulataneously, conversion work (of MB 152 No. 449) was undertaken at Châteauroux-Déols. At the end of November 1938, the prototype Bloch MB 153-01 first flew from Châteauroux airfield. On 05 December, the MB 153-01 prototype was delivered to the Centre d'essais du matériel aérien at Villacoublay for testing. CEMA had several criticisms of the type, most of which had already been anticipated by Courbevoie.

Before the prototype Bloch MB 153-01 had even been rolled out, design work had begun at SAAMB of the production type MB 153 C1 fighter. The most dramatic change was the rearward placement of the cockpit. This anticipated the later Bloch MB 155 but, in the case of the MB 153, the move was dictated by space required for additional armament. SAAMB was well aware that no HS 404 cannons would be made available for the MB 153. Instead, the MB 153 fuselage was redesigned to accept cowl guns and their ammunition boxes.

Cowl guns were possible because the American engines had synchronizing gears fitted. The MB 153 C1's synchronized armament would be twin 7.5 mm Mle 38 machine guns (made by Fabrique Nationale in Belgium). Another four guns would be mounted in the wings outside of the propeller arc. These 7.5 mm wing guns could be FNs or French MAC 34 depending upon availability. As a result, the MB 153 C1's six-gun armament - two synchronized, four free-firing - was identical to that of the AdA's American-made Curtiss H75s.

As originally envisioned, the MB 153 was simply to be a Bloch MB 152 airframe fitted with an American Pratt & Whitney engine. However, this did not stop negative comparisons between the French and US fighters. The latter was lighter but had more wing area - which led to superior handling and manoeuvrability. That said, the MB 153 C1 was an improvement over the Gnome-Rhône-powered MB 151/152 (having shed over a hundred pounds in engine weight alone). The Bloch MB 153 C1 was never going to be a great fighter but it was available. The Bloch fighter was also more affordable than the US-made Curtiss. That should have meant more MB 153s in the fray but, alas, production at Châteauroux-Déols never caught up with demand.

Image A Bloch MB 153 C1 of GC IV/1 (LÉ) in May 1940. This aircraft is the mount of the commander of Escadrille de Chasse 3, [/i]capitaine[/i] Edwin Parsons, MM. [/i]Cap.[/i] Parsons - an ace from the WW1 La Fayette Escadrille - was on leave from the US Naval Reserve.

During the 1940 fighting, Parsons added only two confirmed kills to his WW1 score of eight. It was his aircraft's markings which caused a stir. [/i]Cap.[/i] Parsons had his fuselage roundels retouched with the central 'dot' resembling a US Navy 'star'. When these markings featured in an article about American volunteers in the International Herald Tribune, an immediate protest was registered by William Christian Bullitt Jr., the US Ambassador to Paris. The markings were then quickly returned to standard French form.

In a minor point on markings, note that the famous La Fayette emblem of Chief Sitting Bull has been altered. Although fairly true to the original, the head-dress substitutes US 'stars' for the now-besmirched swastikas used during WW1.

________________________________________

[1] The Société des Avions Marcel Bloch had been nationalized in 1937 to be subsumed into the  Société nationale de constructions aéronautiques du Sud-Ouest (SNCASO). The new Société Anonyme des Avions Marcel Bloch operated strictly as a design office, with all serial production being performed by the state-owned SNCASO.

Edit: Forgot to mention, this image started off as a perfectly innocent MB 152 profile by Thierry Dekker ...
« Last Edit: March 20, 2023, 09:31:35 AM by apophenia »
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Offline Frank3k

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #3084 on: March 20, 2023, 10:09:21 AM »
Both the Israeli Buchon-ish S-199 and the Bloch MB 153 look great! Both are easily buildable from existing kits. The S-199 needs the canopy from an Eduard or  KP S-199.

Online Sport25ing

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #3085 on: March 20, 2023, 05:32:01 PM »
nice looking aircraft :D

Offline Old Wombat

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #3086 on: March 20, 2023, 05:35:47 PM »
The Bloch is good & would fit within the propaganda framework of "American pilots flying French planes as their fathers did in the Great War".
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #3087 on: March 21, 2023, 01:55:06 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 #3088 on: March 21, 2023, 10:13:13 AM »
Thanks folks!

Both the Israeli Buchon-ish S-199 and the Bloch MB 153 look great! Both are easily buildable from existing kits. The S-199 needs the canopy from an Eduard or  KP S-199.

Frank: I was surprised to see that Czech HR Models had a resin kit available of the one-off MB 153:
-- https://www.scalemates.com/kits/hr-model-7289-bloch-mb-153--945728

(Scalemates also lists a VAMI Models 'Bloch MB 153' but the box art shows a bog-standard MB 152.)
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Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #3089 on: March 21, 2023, 10:18:23 AM »
Another Sport25ing suggestion was for the Southern Rhodesia Air Force during WW2. The RW No. 1 (SRAF) Squadron (later No.237 Sqn) left East Africa to go to Egypt, trading their Hawker Hardy army co-operation biplanes for Hurricanes. But, in my AltHis, I have No. 1 (SRAF) staying south until the conclusion of the East Africa campaign.

In Kenya, the worn-out Hardys were exchanged for Curtiss Tomahawks but the origin of those fighters is a bit of a mystery. [1] Apparently Tomahawk Mk.Is, these aircraft had equipment to USAAC standards but were delivered without armament. Once unloaded at Mombasa, the Tomahawks were assembled at RAF Port Reitz and fitted with a quartet of .303-inch Browning wing guns. Thence, they were dispatched to No.1 (SRAF) based at RAF Wajir in the Northern Frontier District of Kenya.

Top A SRAF Tomahawk with markings only partially applied. Tomahawk 'A' was the personal mount of No.1's commander, Sqn Ldr Lawrence E. Daly. On his first Tomahawk mission, 'A' was lost due to fuel contamination. The luckless Daly came down in the thorn scrub on the Italian side of the lines and was captured.

Daly's aircraft had a lion's face marked on its nose along with the name Shumba. Tomahawk 'A' was fitted with synchronized cowl guns - twin .303-inch Vickers Mk IIIs taken from retired Hardys. Note Daly's command pennant (inset) and that his aircraft's code letters have only recently been chaulked on.

Bottom SRAF Tomahawk 'F' was the mount of F/Sgt Peter Cline. Here, the individual aircraft letter has been obscured by a newly-applied fuselage band. Tomahawk 'F' had no personal markings other than the name 'Tanaka'. [2] In order to reduce wind-resistance, empty cowl gun blast tubes have been blocked-off with 'Broom Stick Mk.Is'.

In this aircraft, F/Sgt Cline shot down the Italian ace fighter pilot, maresciallo (W/O) Giuseppe Mottet on 22 November 1941. Mottet was caught while taking off from Azozo airfield south of Gondar. Attempting to regain his airfield, Mottet's stricken Fiat CR.42 came down beside the Metemma-Gondar road.

____________________________

[1] The likely explanation is that these were USAAC P-40Bs meant for the AVG. At some point on their journey to Rangoon, these fighters were diverted to Mombasa for Commonwealth use. That would explain what appears to be RAF Middle Stone applied over USAAC Oliver Drab. The undersides are RAF Azure Blue.

[2] A term of endearment, tanaka is a Shona name meaning something like "being in a state of beauty". The name Shumba applied to Sqn Ldr Daly's Tomahawk is another word from the Shona language of eastern Rhodesia - in this case, just meaning 'lion'.

These profiles began as a Pearl Harbor P-40 by 'Gaëtan Marie' (Bertrand Brown).
-- http://www.gaetanmarie.com/curtiss-p-40-warhawk/
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Online Sport25ing

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #3090 on: March 21, 2023, 06:43:31 PM »
Another excellent work  ;)

Offline M.A.D

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #3091 on: March 26, 2023, 06:05:41 AM »
Elsewhere, M.A.D requested operational Avro (Australia) Adelaides fitted with Rolls-Royce Nene turbojets on the outboard positions. And, here at Apophenia Industries, customer satisfaction is 'Job One'!

For others, here is the original Adelaide in context ...
-- https://beyondthesprues.com/Forum/index.php?topic=351.msg195123#msg195123

The bottom version is basically just a jet-assisted Adelaide B.1(J) in post-1950 No. 10 Squadron markings.

The top version is a late-1950s Adelaide B.1A(J). This airframe has been fully modernized - with gun turrets deleted and Adelaide MR.2 glazings substituted. Heat-reducing 'titanium white' paint has been extended to some cockpit glazings.

Metal wingtips have replaced the wooden originals and incorporate tip tanks for kerosene. It was common to add the No. 10 Squadron slogan - "Strike First" - to these tanks. Hi-viz paint has been added to the tip tanks, fore-and-aft fuselage panels, as well as the upper tail fins.

Any chance of a standalone profile of your probed CA-27 with with Aim-9B Sidewinder's??


Sorry, M.A.D. I can't find any trace of psd files for that CA-27 Sabre ... I must have deleted them  :(


Thanks apophenia and <a href="http://[i]Apophenia Industries[/i]" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://[i]Apophenia Industries[/i]</a>
, your profiles look tip top 👍

I envisaged the RAAF squeezing that little bit more out of the Lancaster design, what with there being no peer adversary in the region at the end of WW2. The RAAF electing to utilise the new technology of the Nene jet engines for increased dash speed over the target......As such, the RAAF doesn't waste money on the mediocre Lincoln, instead it negotiates the leasing of Boeing B-29B Superfortresses from the USAAF/U.S. government.
But that still wasn't the end of the Adelaide B.1(J) in RAAF service, for they are further modified into the RAAF's first aerial flight refuelling tankers, to support the RAAF's new fast, but thirsty, jet fighters and interceptors......

Many thanks once again apophenia

MAD

Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #3092 on: March 26, 2023, 08:48:03 AM »
Thanks M.A.D.

And now, yet another Sport25ing inspired notion ... The original idea was for a deployed RAF contingent in Poland forced to adopt local PZL P.11s. I've tweaked this concept so that the British personnel are in Poland to begin crew training on imported Hurricanes. [1]

Huragany - RAF Hurricanes in Poland

Caught in Poland after the blitzkrieg begins, the 'British Demonstration Flight' is ordered into action after Britain declares war on Germany on 03 September. Two Hurricanes fought in Poland. One was a standard single-seat fighter (ex-L1551 of No.111 Squadron). The other was a 2-seat trainer conversion (rebuilt from L1651 of 85 Sqn). [2]

Top  Hurricane 'White 1' of the 'British Demonstration Flight in Poland'. This eight-gunned fighter was lost on the afternoon of 14 September in the defence of Lublin. [3] Note that 'Flight' aircraft had their civilian markings [4] overpainted with British roundels. Polish national markings were also applied in an attempt to calm 'friendly' anti-aircraft units.

Bottom Hurricane 'White 2' after re-conversion to single-seat configuration. The rear cockpit has been covered with a wood veneer fairing to reduce aerodynamic drag. [5] Markings are the same as for 'White 1' (although the fuselage roundel has yet to be applied).

Originally wing guns were reduced to only two .303-inch Brownings - thought adequate for armaments training. In the second week of September 1939, 'White 2' was fitted with an additional pair of Polish 7.9 mm PWU wz.33 machine guns taken from the wings of a damaged PZL P.11c. On 20 September, 'White 2' was flown out of Poland - via Litiatyn (near Tarnopol) - to Romania where the aircraft was interned.

BTW: The sideviews are based on a SAAF Mk.I profile done by Brent Best.
____________________________________

[1] Poland actually did order Hurricanes. The SS Lassel which was transporting these fighters to Constanța (in Romania) was ordered diverted to Turkey after the Soviet attack on Poland began.

[2] On 27 October 1938, L1651 had 'turned turtle' while attempting a dead-stick landing at Aldergrove. Returned to Hawkers, this airframe was rebuilt with open cockpits to accommodate a second, instructor's seat.

[3] P/O Leslie Jenkins flying 'White 1' misjudged his approach and slammed head-on into a KG 4 bomber. Both aircraft plunged to their destruction - P/O Jenkins' aircraft coming down just outside Puławy while the Heinkel crashed into the Vistula River.

[4] The Polish civilian codes were chosen for their inclusion of 'WB' - as in Wielka Brytania (Great Britain).

[5] This rear cockpit fairing was created by Fabryka Mebli Stryjeńska - a Lublin furniture-maker specializing in steam-bending.
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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #3093 on: March 26, 2023, 05:32:04 PM »
Another excellent work  :D

Offline Old Wombat

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #3094 on: March 26, 2023, 06:16:35 PM »
I like the story. :smiley:
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."

Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #3095 on: March 28, 2023, 08:40:31 AM »
When the SS Poznań limped into port at Gibraltar on 20 January 1939, suspicions were immediately raised. Onboard were 16 PZL P.11c fighters enroute for Liberia. [1] So why was the routing Gdynia-Barcelona-Monrovia? Using their legal powers, HM Customs Gibraltar seized the ship's aircraft cargo. With her steering gear repaired, the SS Poznań was freed to leave on 26 January. But, by then, Barcelone had fallen to Franco. On exiting Gibraltar harbour, the Polish ship turned west out of the Pillars of Hercules headed directly to Monrovia.

The crated aircraft could not be left at dockside at busy Gibraltar and were shipped on to RAF Station Abu Sueir in Egypt. Meant for the recently-formed Royal Egyptian Air Force, the locals showed no interest (having just received new Gloster Gladiator fighters). The crated Polish airframes were then moved on to RAF Port Reitz near Mombasa in Kenya. There, the PZLs were to be assigned to the RAF's Air Headquarters East Africa. The 'alien' aircraft were not particularly welcome in East Africa either but Port Reitz was told to make the most of them.

Once in RAF service, problems appeared at once. The PZLs' Škoda Mercury VI. S2 engines were nearing the end of their lifespans. There were also issues with Polish IKAR (Szomański) two-bladed wooden propellers. The fixed-pitch prop themselves were in reasonable shape but their Tonkilaque coating of black lacquer reacted badly to constant exposure to the punishing African sun. Expansion cracks caused by overheating worsened the natural age-effects of the ash wood's open grain. Fortunately, RAF Port Reitz had stocks of spare engines for Gladiators.

All RAF P.11c fighters received English-language cockpit placards, desert survival kits, and other British equipment. Lacking armament, they were fitted with .303 inch Browning fuselage guns (again, from Gladiator spares). The aged Škoda engines did not last long in the dusty Kenyan environment. As they required replacement, the Gladiators' higher-powered 830 hp Bristol Mercury IX radials were substituted (along with wooden Watts or metal Fairey-Reed props).

Bottom RAF PZL P.11c Plover [2] of the AHQ RAF Nairobi aircraft pool stationed at RAF Eastleigh (just east of Nairobi). A round propeller hub reveals that this aircraft has had its original Polish engine replaced by a British-made Mercury IX. [3]

After Italy declared war on England in June 1940, the Foreign Office arranged for Haile Selassie's travel to Sudan. As part of the plan to raise an Ethiopian army of liberation, a modest air arm was to be created. Quick to rid itself of the P.11c, Air HQ East Africa recommend the "simple and durable" PZLs to equip any new Ethiopian fighter fleet. In fact, this new air arm would employ the PZLs - sometimes called Kuras (Crows) in Ethiopian service - primarily in the ground-attack role.

Operating from northwestern Kenya, the Ethiopian PZLs routinely bombed and strafed Italian position in occupied Ethiopia. When opposition was encountered, the Polish fighters proved more than capable of dealing with Regia Aeronautica Fiat C.R.32 biplane fighters (the more powerful C.R.42s providing Ethiopian pilots with a greater challenge). Several loses in combat due to Italian ground fire occurred during the Battle of Gondar. After the Italian surrender in East Africa in November 1941, the last of the worn-out Ethiopian PZL Kuras was withdrawn.

Top PZL Kura of 1 Yeberera (No.1 Flight), Ye'ayeri Kifili-ye'Itiyop'iya Imipayeri Serawiti (Air Arm, Army of the Ethiopian Empire). This aircraft was the mount of YF-IIS commander, Colonel John C. Robinson.

Kuras retained RAF markings other than Ethiopian roundels applied to their fuselages. However, Col. Robinson's aircraft also had its British fin flash covered by a large Ethiopian flag. Note too that this PZL has been fitted with an engine and cowling from a Bristol Blenheim.

_________________________________________________________

[1] The P.11c fighters had become surplus once the Lotnictwo Wojskowe started receiving new PZL.51a interceptors in the Autumn of 1938. An offer came from representatives of the Republic of Liberia. Arranged through the Polish Mission to Liberia, [1] the order still came as a surprise since that country had no air force. Nonetheless, the 16 retired P.11c fighters had been disassembled and crated for shipment to Monrovia.

[2] After the range of plover species which over-winter in East Africa

[3] This aircraft retains its Polish cowling. Other re-engined PZLs adopted spare Gladiator cowls - usually after their original cowlings had been damaged,
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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #3096 on: March 29, 2023, 01:36:53 AM »
I do like the Ethiopian one
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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #3097 on: March 29, 2023, 09:22:14 AM »
Thanks Greg. I'd forgotten that I was going to replace the RAF PZL's IKAR propeller with a Fairey-Reed. So, ...
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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #3098 on: April 02, 2023, 10:34:24 AM »
Dmitry Peskov: "These tanks burn like all the rest. They are just very expensive." ... unless, of course, that's not really a Leopard  ;)
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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #3099 on: April 03, 2023, 01:29:46 AM »
Errr...would that work?
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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But you can make the Bastard work for it.