Author Topic: Lugmag - Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek  (Read 2746 times)

Offline apophenia

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Lugmag - Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek
« on: September 04, 2019, 04:51:21 AM »
This whif springs from a scenario where they is no Second Boer War and where an independent Afrikaner republic survives into the 20th Century. This Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek (ZAR) represented a union of the original Transvaal ZAR with the Orange-Vrijstaat (OVS) with Swaziland as a ZAR Protectorate. I may write up a fully alternative history for southern Africa as a story later but, here, I'll just present the ZAR's air force and aircraft ...
____________________________

Zuid-Afrikaanse Lugmag - Formation of a South African Air Force

Contrary to expectations, the ZAR was compelled to enter the Great War on the side of the Allies. This was the result of the Republiek's 1890 Mutual Assistance Agreement with the África Oriental Portuguesa (Portuguese East Africa or Moçambique). When German colonial forces crossed from Tanganyika into Moçambique in late November 1917, Pretoria's hand was forced. The ZAR suddenly found itself involved in a war with its long-time friend, supporter, and supplier. While ZAR forces saw virtually no combat in Moçambique, the lessons of the Great War could not be ignored - not least, the necessity of air power.

As a result, in January 1919, the Volksraad (ZAR parliament) approved funding for the creation of an air force - the Zuid-Afrikaanse Lugmag (ZALM, or South African Air Force). Despite the name, this was not an independant force. Rather it was a Militêre Afdeling (Military Division) of the nation's larger Gewapende Dienste (Armed Services) better known as the ZAR-Kommando. In effect, the ZALM would be a new branch of the ZAR-Kdo, akin to the Artillerie Korps or Genie Korps. [1]

In early 1919, agents of the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek began purchasing war-surplus aircraft in Europe to equip the newly-formed ZALM. To fulfil the fighter role, procurement agents were able to purchase Fokker D.VII biplanes from a number of sources. A contract for support and spares was also arranged with the N.V. Nederlandsche Vliegtuigenfabriek - as Anthony Fokker had re-named his operation once relocated to Amsterdam.

Procurement agents focused on three selected aircraft types - the Aviatik C.III and Halberstadt C.IV reconnaissance aircraft and the Fokker D.VII fighter. All three airframes were powered by the same engine - a 160 hp Mercedes D.III water-cooled 6-cylinder - which would simply ZALM groundcrew training and spares supplies. It was intended that the Aviatiks would be stripped of much of their operational equipment for use as trainers. The Halberstadts (all of which built by LFG 'Roland') would continue as recce-bombers. Some of the Fokker D.VIIs would operate as advanced fighter-trainers.

All airframes were shipped to (or supplied by) the Nederlandsche Vliegtuigenfabriek which performed inspections and basic refurbishment. Some work was undertaken in Amsterdam to standardize equipment but a rapid introduction into ZALM service was the higher priority. [2] Refurbished aircraft were then crated for shipment to Lourenço Marques in Portuguese East Africa. There, the crates were transferred to cars of the Zuid-Afrikaansche Spoorwegmaatschappy (ZASM), the railway line running from 'LM' through the Drakenberg range to Pretoria before being routed the short distance south to Johannesburg. Re-assembly and test-flying took place on the civilian airfield at Jo'burg.

The main ZALM operational base was at Lugveld Riebeek at Klerksdorp, south of Pretoria on the Vaal River. [3] Other operational airfields were developed along the borders with British South Africa (BSA). [4] The main training bases were back from the BSA frontiers at Pietersburg (Tranvaal) and Winburg (OVS). The operational training (TaktOpleid) bases were at Leydsdorp (east of Pietersburg) and Steyndorp to the south. In other words, operational airfields faced the perceived major threat of the British Empire while flight training was undertaken in presumably safer locations closer to the borders of a ZAR Protectorate (Swaziland) and an ally (Moçambique or África Oriental Portuguesa). [5]

The arrangement of ZALM airfields was well thought-through but it failed to take into account the fast-shifting post-WW1 politics of its neighbours. In the end, the immediate military threat came not from the hated British but from Portuguese 'friends'. A military coup in Portugal left the leaders of the Estado Novo or Second Republic in urgent need of a quick PR victory to knit a divided populace back together. Any gratitude felt for ZAR help in defending Moçambique against German aggression in WW1 was forgotten in Lisbon's lust to control the gold fields of the Witswatersrand and the diamond mines of the Jagersfontein.

(To be continued ...)
____________________________________

[1] Within the ZAR-Kommando, neither Infanterie nor Ruitery (Calvary) were considered Korps. Rather, each Regiment stood on its own. Technically, the ZALM would considered a Korps but it was never referred to as such.

[2] This haste was prompted by the announcement of a military aviation corps for the neighbouring Cape Colony. This Cape Colony Flying Corps (CCFC) was being equipped through a combination of donated aircraft (Airco DH.4 and RAF B.E.2e recce biplanes) and through a post-WW1 'Imperial Gift' (of Avro 504K trainers, Airco DH.9 recce-bombers, and RAF S.E.5a fighters).

[3] Klerksdorp was chosen for its location on the border of the ZAR's two founding Staats. Formerly a minor calvary station, Lugveld Riebeek was named after CJ van Riebeek - a volunteer pilot who flew reconnaissance missions over Moçambique in his private aircraft until his death in a landing accident at Gomashi in July 1918.

[4] British South Africa included possessions bordering the ZAR - the Cape (now combining the former Cape Colony and Natal),  Matabeleland, and Bechuanaland - as well as Zambeziland to the north and the newly-captured German South-West Africa (being governed by the Cape as a Protectorate).

[5] Basic flight training was later centred at Vintersburg (NNE of Bloemfontein, the capital of the OVS). ZALM Weermanne pounded square at ZALM Basis Waterval (north of Pretoria) while Kandidaat offisiers learned their trade at the ZALM HQ in Johannesburg.
"... behind a rust-streaked dumpster with EAST VAN HALEN painted across its back in runny black spray-bomb." William Gibson, Spook Country

Offline apophenia

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Re: Lugmag - Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2019, 05:03:09 AM »
South African Fokkers - Fighters for the Zuid-Afrikaanse Lugmag

To fulfil the ZALM fighter role, procurement agents were able to purchase Fokker D.VII biplanes from a number of European sources. [1] The first Fokker 'D.7' - as these fighters were known to the Afrikaners - was assembled at Johannesburg in the late Spring of 1920. However, the Fokker fighter wasn't fully operational until later in the year when 2e JagEsk (Jagvliegtuie Eskader or Fighter Squadron) was formed at Lugveld Polfontein just east of Mafeking. By the Summer of 1921, sufficient 'D.7s' had been re-assembled to form a second fighter unit, 4e JagEsk, at Jacobsdal in Bloemfontein, OVS.

Verberging en Vermoming - ZALM Markings and Camouflage

Such was the speed of service introduction that the ZALM 'D.7s' originally flew with their German markings intact. The exception was 'die oranjebum', where rudders were painted entirely orange before the fighters' delivery to operational units. In short order, the old balkankreuz were also covered with orange paint - either in blocks or simply as orange crosses. However, the ZAR nasionale merke were still in flux at this stage. An orange roundel was approved as the ZAR Lugmag's national marking but this was quickly reconsidered. Not only was the orange disc almost identical to then-current Dutch markings, it was also seen as easily mistaken for the circular RAF roundels worn by British South African aircraft.

Top An O.A.W.-built Fokker D.7 nr.01954 of 4e JagEsk (Jagvliegtuie Eskader) based at Lugveld Jacobsdal in late 1921. Note the early-style 'data block' applied beneath the cockpit.

Fokker D.VII nr.01954 retains its original German camouflage with the markings overpainted. German wing balkankruez have simply been painted orange. The briefly-worn orange roundel is seen on the fuselage. Aft of this orange disc are individual aircraft/squadron marks and airframe serial, etc. The serial nr.01954 bore no relation to the Fokker's original construction number. Instead, it indicated a ZALM airframe number ('19') and its assignment (as aircraft number '5' to 4e JagEsk). For the larger individual aircraft number '5D', the letter 'D' is substituted for '4'). [2]

'Die Groot Oranje' ('The Big Orange') was quickly replaced in official orders by a new national marking - the 'Jagersfontein Diamant'. This emblem was derived from the orange tactical shoulder flashes - the so-called 'Reitz Diamant' - worn by OVS units in Moçambique during the Great War. For ZALM use, the 'Jagersfontein Diamant' consisted of a black-outlined orange diamond. In some instances, early repaints featured the black outline place on an orange panel wrapping entirely around wings or rear fuselages. (However, the black-outlined orange 'Jagersfontein Diamant' would remain the standard ZALM national marking until replaced by lo-viz markings in the 1990s.)

The original German camouflage - painted and lozenge-printed fabric coverings - were obviously designed for European conditions. Found quite unsuitable for operational conditions in the veldt, a new scheme was devised and paint stocks issued to squadrons and repair depots. Dubbed Hiëna Bont Verberging (or 'Hyena Fur' Camouflage) these scheme consisted of dark brown blotches (B3 donker bruin) dabbed over light brown (B1 veldbruin or Field Brown aka 'droë gras'/'Dried Grass'). As time permitted, the undersides of operational ZALM aircraft were to be overpainted in G2 luggrys (Sky Gray). [3]

Bottom A M.A.G.-built Fokker D.7 i]nr[/i].04732 of 2e JagEsk, with the Limpopo Aftakeling (Detachment) at TB Matamin (Tydelikke Basis or Temporary base) in occupied Moçambique, November 1926.

Fokker nr.04732 was flown by veldkornet [4] J.H. Snijman, best known for his victory over famous Portuguese pilot, capitão João Barata Salgueiro Valente. [4] The striken Aviação Militar do Ultramar Breguet XIV came down in the Umbelúzi River. Capitão Valente survived to be captured but his observer, Alferes (Ensign) José de Almeida Santos, had been mortally wounded in VK Snijman's first firing pass.

This fighter wears the standard 1926 Lugmag combat scheme of 'Hiëna Bont' over grey undersides. Quite unofficially, nr.04732 was decorated with rather garish lion's jaws - reflecting the aircraft's equally unofficial name of 'Leeukos' ('lion food', presumably meant as a reference to potential victims of the fighter). [6] As was common in the field, this fighter's top cowling and engine access panels have been removed to aid in cooling (and to speed maintenance turn-arounds). At this stage, 'Leeukos' has also received replacement undercarriage legs (with streamlining slats yet to be taped onto these legs' unpainted tubing).

The Fokker 'D.7' would remain the standard ZALM fighter until 1931 when replacement Fokker D.14s (D.XVI) began to arrive in the ZAR. By then, 4e JagEsk had been stood down due to insufficient airworthy fighters.

(To be continued ...)
____________________________________

[1] The majority of the surplus Fokker D.VIIs bought for the ZAR had been built by M.A.G. (near Budapest) or by O.A.W. (the Albatros works at Schneidemühl).

[2] This aircraft's squadron letter hints at prior 'ownership' by 2e JagEsk. 'Die Groot Oranje' wheel discs were common on Fokkers but such fabric wheel coverings were generally discarded over time.

[3] No exact formula for underside luggrys (later G1) was ever issued. The vetmans ('erks') were expected to tint their own paints with standard-issue white and black pigments.

[4] The old rank of veldkornet (VK, or 'field cornet') was equivalent to a Luitenant (or 1st Lieutenant). Prior to 1940, there was no ZALM rank equivalent to a Tweede Luitenant (or 2nd Lieutenant).

[5] The RW Capitão Valente died in a 1928 crash. Calvary Alferes (Ensign) Valente had trained as a reconnaissance pilot in the US before receiving his brevet in 1916.

[6] The title 'Leeukos' was never applied in the field but, when VK Snijman's mount was retired in 1928, it was preserved at the Lugmag museum in Jo'burg. There, LEEUKOS was neatly - if inauthentically - painted on in white lettering beneath the port cockpit rim.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2019, 04:17:56 AM by apophenia »
"... behind a rust-streaked dumpster with EAST VAN HALEN painted across its back in runny black spray-bomb." William Gibson, Spook Country

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: Lugmag - Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2019, 05:33:16 AM »
They've got a Dutch look to them, that's for sure!

Absolutely masterful rendering, especially the spotted camo on the bottom one.

Outstanding, apophenia!

Brian da Basher

Offline apophenia

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Re: Lugmag - Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2019, 06:53:12 AM »
Cheers, Brian! Here's another spotty one ...

ZALM Fighter-Trainers - The H 9 'Hoof' and Fokker 'School-Jagvliegtuie'

Initially, the Zuid-Afrikaanse Lugmag's 'S.3' - the WW1-era Aviatik C.III biplane - was a one-size-fits-all aircraft for the ZALM Opleidingskommandement (Training Command). The 'Tiks' gentle handling would seem ideal for instruction ... but not so for training fighter pilots. Accordingly, a half dozen Hüffer H 9 two-seat fighter-trainers were bought from Germany in May-July 1927. Since the Hüffer was based on a Fokker D.VII airframe, the ZALM could not have found a better lead-in trainer for their D.7s. Despite this, the 1925 purchase was the only ZALM order for the 'Hoof' ('Chief'). Over time, a hybrid species began to appear of Hüffers sporting D.7 components to keep them airworthy.

By 1929, the days of the Fokker D.7 as an operational fighter were numbered. On the last day of that year, 4e JagEsk was stood down. Its remaining Fokkers were transferred to 2e JagEsk - the only way to keep the squadron at full strength. A major refurbishment programme was undertaken at Fokker Johannesburg (aka ZAR-Fokker) to make more aircraft airworthy ... but not as fighters. Some became Fokker SD.7a/b single-seat fighter-trainers. [1] Other D.7 airframes were cannibalized to keep the surviving four Hüffer H 9s flying. Another six D.7s were more thoroughly rebuilt as SD.7c two-seat advanced trainers to supplement the remaining Hüffers. [2]

Top A ZAR-Fokker SD.7c advanced trainer of LugOp-C at Winburg, OVS, in 1932. This SD.7 wears a fairly standard 1930s trainer scheme. The fuselage is doped G5 liggrys (Pale Grey), the wings are entirely O1 'Groot Oranje' (Insignia Orange or 'Big Orange') as is the fuselage band and rudder. [3]

Lug Opleidings (Flight Training) bases were assigned unit letters - in this case, 'C' is for LugOp-C at Winburg. Rather than individual aircraft numbers, trainers had ID letters applied to their rear fuselages - in this case 'F' (for the sixth aircraft of LugOp-C). Some training units - including LugOp-C - also applied ID letters to the aircraft's nose. As was common to training units, the home Lugveld ('LUGOP WINBURG') is marked on the tail fin. 

This SD.7c displays signs of the mix-and-match approach to maintaining SD.7s and Hüffer H 9s. The undercarriage at least - with its distinctive wheel hub covers - are ex-Hüffer components. However, the radiator and cowling, clearly identify this airframe as having originally been a M.A.G.-built Fokker D.VII. [4]

Fresh Fighters - Fokker D.16 into ZALM Service

The replacement for the D.7 fighters didn't begin arriving until late 1931. These fighters were designated D.XVI-W (for their Wright Cyclone engines) by the manufacturer but were Fokker D.16s to ZALM. [5] To speed delivery, the ZALM accepted Dutch elements in the scheme. The distinctly South African Hiëna Bont camouflage dominated but, as delivered, the new fighters also sported paintwork elements dictated by D.XVI orders for the Netherlands' Luchtvaart Afdeeling. These included machined forward fuselage panels left in polished metal as well as Dutch sky-blue undersides and wing struts (except the foremost).

Bottom A newly-delivered Fokker D.16 fighter of the re-established 4e JagEsk. Lugveld Jacobsdal in Bloemfontein, Orange-Vrijstaat, late March 1932.

On Fokker D.16 'D7', note that the squadron letter and individual aircraft number has been reversed when compared with earlier practice. The rear fuselage 'block' has also been revised, now being 'stacked' in one column. The Fokkers' fuselage titles read 'Fokker D.16W' but, outside of official records, it was rare to see that 'W' used. This aircraft - nummer 2274 - mounts a fixed-pitch wooden propeller. The first three D.16s (nr.2270-2272) featured adjustable Curtiss propellers but these were rather expensive.

The appearance of the Fokker D.16 changed with depot level overhauls. Post-overhaul fighters were readily identifiable by the addition of Hiëna Bont paint to their forward fuselages. A more important change was radical exhaust modifications. In tests, it was found that Wright engines overheated less frequently when fitted with individual exhaust stubs. Accordingly, the D.16s' exhaust collector rings and extended exhaust pipes were removed. The result was a few extra km/h in top speed but, more importantly, the otherwise-reliable Cyclones were less likely to overheat when idling on the ground.

(To be continued ...)
____________________________________

[1] The Fokker SD.7a was effectively an unarmed D.7 fighter. The SD.7b differed only in mounting a single, synchronized 7.92 mm Spandau machine gun for armaments training. The 'S' designation prefix is for Skoolvliegtuie (School Aircraft) - Afrikaans for, what in Dutch, would be a Lesvliegtuie (Lesson Aircraft). In generic terms, the SD.7 was a 'Skool-Jagvliegtuie'.

[2] The SD.7c conversions retained ZAR D.7 fighter characteristics while the rebuilt cockpits combined elements of two Hüffer types - the H 9 and later Schul-Doppeldecker (aka H.S.D. II).

[3] Some trainers - especially basic trainers - also had orange horizontal tailplanes. Home Lugveld was marked on tail fins.

[4] Note that all SD.7s retained their original ZALM D.7 serial nummers (in this case, nr.01954).

[5] D.XVIs for the Dutch LvA were powered by Armstrong-Siddeley Jaguar. Such a  British engine was unacceptable to the ZAR. ZALM chose the more expensive US Cyclone over the alternative French Gnome-Rhône 9K radial.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2019, 04:19:36 AM by apophenia »
"... behind a rust-streaked dumpster with EAST VAN HALEN painted across its back in runny black spray-bomb." William Gibson, Spook Country

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: Lugmag - Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2019, 04:36:01 PM »
Cheers, Brian! Here's another spotty one ...
<snip>

And here I thought I was done with "spotty ones" after I got past my teenage years...

Great stuff again and I really like the spotty, radial-engine version!

Your work is always pure eye-candy, apophenia!

Brian da Basher

Offline Frank3k

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Re: Lugmag - Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2019, 11:34:20 PM »
That's a great back story! Good marking choices for the Revell 1/72 D-VIIs!

Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: Lugmag - Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2019, 06:13:24 AM »
Thanks folks! Frank: I'm planning to write up a more complete history of the ZAR as a story ...


'Tik' - The Aviatik C.III in ZALM Service

Although largely unsung, perhaps the most versatile of the Zuid-Afrikaanse Lugmag's WW1-era aircraft was the Aviatik C.III - or 'S.3' as it was known in ZALM service. Fragile in appearance, the 'Tik' was surprisingly durable and, when damaged, easily repairable. Intended as a training aircraft for the ZALM Opleidingskommandement (Training Command) the S.3 was pressed into operational service during the ZAR-Portuguese conflict. This was not wholy unexpected. [1] Returned to the Aviatik's original reconnaissance role, the S.3 was hardly ideal but provided a useful adjunct to the ZALM's overworked Halberstadt two-seaters.

Once fighting erupted, 1e VerEsk was automatically re-established, drawing S.3 aircraft and crews from the operational training unit TakOp-V to the south at Lugveld Steyndorp. Assigned to noctural recce duties, the Aviatiks were given a quick over-coat of camouflage paint - the so-called 'naghemel' scheme for Aviatiks with 'Hiëna Bont oor Swart', or Hyena scheme over Midnight Black (Sw2 Middernag Swart undersides). [2] Once prepared for war, all Aviatiks re-deployed to TB Messina in the far northeast of the ZAR. In the press, the noctural Aviatiks were dubbed 'Naguile' (or 'Night Owls').

Top Aviatik S.3 pressed into nocturnal reconnaissance duties over Moçambique. This Aviatik operated out of Tydelikke Basis Messina. [3]. (A Spandau machine gun is shown mounted although, in reality, the Aviatiks were invariably flown as single-seaters on night missions.)

Once the conflict was over, 'Tiks' were returned to Opleidingskommandement control. However, the rigors of combat had reinforced the advancing age of the Aviatik fleet. As expected, the locally-devised (and over-sized) belly radiator prevented engine overheating but those Daimler 6-cylinders were, themselves, on their last legs. Accordingly, the ZALM Tegniesediens (Technical Office) embarked upon an S.3 upgrade project. Schemed as an aerodynamic 'clean up' and re-engining programme for the aged ZALM Aviatiks, the S.3 upgrade project dragged on from 1928 to 1931. Engines considered consisted of two French powerplants - the 230 hp Gnome-Rhône 5K Titan and the 220 hp Lorraine 240CV (aka 7M Mizar, 240 hp for T/O) - and the 220 hp US Wright J5 Whirlwind. [4]

Strange Bedfellows - The ZAR Buys New Aircraft From Poland

The high cost of the US-built Wright J5 drew ZAR buyers to Poland were Skoda's license-built Whirlwind engines were less dear. The Poles display their Wright copy in a Lublin R-XIIIB parasol monoplane. Regarded by the Polish air force as a army cooperation aircraft, the Lublin could easily fit the bill as a ZALM recce-trainer. Discussions with the Poles revealed that such a purchase would actually be more economical than another rebuild of the clapped-out Aviatiks. With some reluctance, the Volksraad approved funding. The S.3 upgrade project was cancelled and fifteen Lublin R-XIIIs were ordered from Poland.

A dozen of the new Lublin monoplanes became SV.32 trainer/reconnaissance aircraft (formalizing the dual roles of the retiring Aviatiks). The other three Lublins were fitted with twin floats. These ponton jobs were designated WV.32s - for Waterverkenner - performing recce on floats. [5] Both Lublin variants were powered by 225 hp Skoda-built Wright J5 radials. By the end of 1932, the last Aviatik S.3 had been replaced in ZALM service by the Lublin SV.32 - known by its ironic nickname of 'Mooimeisie' or 'Pretty Girl'. [6] The floatplane version was dubbed 'Waterhoender' ('water chicken', meaning a moorhen).

Bottom A Lublin WV.32 'Waterhoender' floatplane in service with 10e MarEsk on river patrol duties (Limpoporivier). The blue scheme was applied in Poland (and had no official ZALM colour designation).

The SV.32 and WV.32 proved exceptional apt purchases for the ZALM of the 1930s. They were economical to operate but also sturdy and very efficient at their key roles. However, the Lublin procurement had unexpected political consequences. Germany saw buying Polish equipment in a particularly unfavourable light. But Fokker also saw this purchase as a betrayal. The Volksraad undertook some political fence-mending to mollify hurt feelings in Berlin and the Hague. In their turn, ZALM planners (and Kommando-ZAR procurement officers, generally) began viewing their traditional suppliers with a more critical eye.

_________________________________

[1] The 'S' in the designation is for 'Skool' - the primary role - but the ZALM always regarded the Aviatik as a combined Skool/Verkenningsvliegtuig (School/Reconnaissance Aircraft).

[2] In the example shown - Aviatik '6A' of 1e VerEsk - note that splotches of S2 Middernag Swart have been extended up the fuselage sides into the Hiëna Bont scheme.

[3] Messina, just east of the Leombo Range, is the northernmost station in the Transvaal's Limpopo Territory. It acted as a ZALM Temporary base until late 1926.

[4] It was an unsolicited submission from Fokker which prompted interest in the Wright J5. In 1929, Fokker proposed a Whirlwind-powered biplane as a combine ZALM advanced trainer/recce aircraft. While the advantages of new-built airframes over rebuilds was obvious, Pretoria was unwilling to fund the unbuilt Fokker S.V project (development of which was later abandoned).

An early, conservative project to re-engine the Aviatiks with 130 hp Colombo 110/D inlines from Italy was quickly dropped. These 'pickled' engines - which had been license-built by Bianchi during WWI - were inexpensive but had few other merits. For ZALM planners, air-cooled engines were the way of the future.

[5] Four sets of floats were purchased, with one set being held in reserve. Pontons is the Afrikans for floats (in Dutch, pontoon floats are called drijvers).

[6] 'Mooimeisie' was a double entendre as this was also the name of a type of cuckoo.
"... behind a rust-streaked dumpster with EAST VAN HALEN painted across its back in runny black spray-bomb." William Gibson, Spook Country

Offline Brian da Basher

  • He has an unnatural attraction to Spats...and a growing fascination with airships!
  • Holding Pattern
  • *
  • Hulk smash, Brian bash
Re: Lugmag - Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2019, 02:05:36 AM »
It looks like you're having a lot of fun with this theme, apophenia and we get the benefit!

Those are especially nice but I find that Lublin most fetching.

Your artwork is always a great treat!

Brian da Basher

Offline Some Duck with an Ultimax

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Re: Lugmag - Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2019, 02:11:30 AM »
These are all beautiful, and the amount of research that must go into these is astonishing!

Very nice!
Never trust a man who tells you that you have too many paints, for he is obviously a liar and will most likely try to deceive you again in future.

Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: Lugmag - Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2019, 04:14:58 AM »
These are all beautiful, and the amount of research that must go into these is astonishing!

Cheers 'Duck. I've got an entire backstory for the ZAR worked out (yeah, I know ... probably loopy!). But, in the mean time ...

Spoils of War - Ex-Portuguese 'Trophy' Aircraft in the ZAR

In the aftermath of the ZAR-Portuguese conflict, a number of recovered Aviação Militar do Ultramar aircraft were adapted for Zuid-Afrikan use. Some went into ZALM service to make up losses or expand operations. Others, as here, were taken on for civilian use.

Probably the best aircraft in Portuguese service were the Bréguet 14 A.2 recce-bombers. None survived the conflict intact but sufficient components were recovered to make one airborne Bréguet. Since the ZALM had no interest in such 'orphan' types, the Bréguet was completed as a posvliegtuig (mailplane) for ZAR Pos. The French Bréguet firm was quite happy to provide support and parts for this posvliegtuig which flew on LugPos duties until 10 March 1932. [1]

Top Bréguet 14 mailplane conversion ZA-BPV. Note mail compartment (in the covered, former forward cockpit space) and inter-strut long-range tanks. In the original scheme the LugPos 'speedbird' was displayed on the fin (which were later replaced with a stretched ZAR flag).

A single Martinsyde F.4 Buzzard recce-fighter was also restored for use. [2] This aircraft was taken on by Kaye Lugskool (flying school) who employed it solely for ground training of ZALM pilots on contract. Since the running Martinsyde was never intended to get airborne again, this aircraft quickly acquired the nickname 'Pikkewyn' ('Penguin').

Pretoria retained ownership of the Buzzard but Kaye Lugskool had a free hand in adapting the airframe to its contract work with the ZALM. To that end, a second cockpit was inserted into the rear fuselage. This instructor's cockpit was fitted with a seat and a hose 'intercom' but no actual controls. However, most of the changes made were attempts to keep the engine cool - including removing all possible coverings and installing a secondary coolant radiator between the main undercarriage legs. [3]

Bottom 'Pikkewyn' - the Buzzard ground trainer, ZA-KAE, in Kaye Lugskool markings. [4] The national flag is worn on the tail rather than the ZALM ensign (which substitutes a sky-blue triangle at the fly).
___________________________

[1] The Breguet was written-off while trying to land during a dust storm at Bremersdorp in Swaziland Protectorate.

[2] Kaye Lugskool had a second Buzzard airframe used as a maintenance trainer. Over time, this airframe was raided for parts to keep the ground-runner active.

[3] No intact undercarriage was found amongst the recovered remains of Aviação Militar do Ultramar Martinsydes. A locally-made replacement undercarriage was crafted for ZA-KAE with a B.E.2 style 'hockey stick' leg to prevent nose-overs.

[4] Note that the Kaye Lugskool logo on the fuselage sides reads 'Johannesburg, ZAR'. In point of fact, Kaye Lugskool operated out of nearby Krugersdorp airfield.
"... behind a rust-streaked dumpster with EAST VAN HALEN painted across its back in runny black spray-bomb." William Gibson, Spook Country

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: Lugmag - Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2019, 05:44:55 AM »
The Breguet is a natural for this "treatment" and you've somehow managed to do it even one better, apophenia!

I like the Martinsyde too and it gave your backstory some excellent details.

Brian da Basher

Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: Lugmag - Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2019, 06:14:32 AM »
Obviously, this ZAR story is in an alternative timeline but I'm about to incorporate a number of RW individuals. So, before moving back to aircraft profiles, a bit of alt-history to make sense of the coming developments. Apologies ahead of time for its length ...

Skep 'n lugvaartbedryf - Birth of a Domestic Aero Industry

Revisions of Zuid-Afrikaanse Lugmag requirements in the aftermath of the ZAR-Portuguese conflict put a considerable strain on the Republiek's sole aircraft builder - ZAR-Fokker. The Johannesburg-based firm was meant to support Fokker products in the ZAR and was kept on a tight leash by its parent company. Amsterdam never intended ZAR-Fokker to completely redesign or rebuild aircraft. Fortunately for the ZALM, ZAR-Fokker's administrative chief in 1930 was ir. Albert Gillis von Baumhauer who was an aircraft designer in his own right. In Jo'burg, von Baumhauer was sustained in his semi-illicit design work by his able assistant, Laurens Walraven. [1]

Work arrangements were rather ad hoc at ZAR-Fokker. Design work was sketched out in rough form by ir. von Baumhauer and then interpreted on the shop floor by Walraven. When airframe modifications were complete, flight testing was performed by Kapitein M.P. Pattist - an exchange officer from the Netherlands East Indies. [2] The arrangement worked ... but only just. However, in early 1935, serendipity delivered another skilled aircraft designer to the ZAR from the Netherlands.

From Holland to Zuid-Afrika - From Katzenstein to Kaye

Dipl. Ing. Kurt Katzenstein was a German of Jewish descent living in the Netherlands to escape the Nazis. [3] However, in 1935, Katzenstein lost his Dutch work permit and he was forced to relocate once more. [4] He decided to move his family to the ZAR - partly to make use of his new facility with the Dutch language, partly to be as far from Nazi Germany as he could get. It was a good move and, when Katzenstein presented his credentials at ZAR-Fokker, ir. von Baumhauer knew exactly who he was.

Back in 1924, Katzenstein had been working at Dietrich-Gobiet Flugzeugbau AG where he met chief pilot, Antonius 'Fritz' Raab. But that was also the year that Richard Dietrich 'awoke' to National Socialism. When Dietrich's new-found anti-Semitism tore the company apart, Kurt Katzenstein took a key aircraft design with him. In 1925, he and his former aerobatics instructor joined forces to form Raab-Katzenstein-Flugzeugwerke GmbH (RaKa) in Kassel. There, Katzenstein helped revise the promising Dietrich-Gobiet DP.XI biplane design for production by RAKA. This redesign became the well-regarded Raab-Katzenstein Kl 1 Schwalbe trainer. [5]

Kurt Katzenstein impressed ir. von Baumhauer but tiny ZAR-Fokker had no openings - even for experienced personnel. To put other talents to work, Kurt decided to attempt to fill a niche by starting a flying school in the ZAR. The new enterprise - based at Krugersdorp, a small airfield just outside Johannesburg - was to be called Kaye Lugskool (Kaye Flying School) after its founder.

Kurt Kaye, as he now called himself - a new name for a new homeland - also became an Aktiewe Reserwe Offisier (Active Reserve Officer) pilot in the ZALM. As Kaptein Kaye, the proprietor of Kaye Lugskool was well positioned to gain contracts to help training ZALM pilots. Ironically, the first ZALM work was the opposite of Kurt's aerobatics background - this was pilot ground training with the government-supplied Martinsyde Buzzard - or 'Pikkewyn' ('Penguin') as it came to be known. More appropriate military contract work follow later for the Kaye Lugskool.

Although setting up the flying school absorbed much of Kaye's time, ir. von Baumhauer offered him a chance to submit aircraft designs to ZAR-Fokker 'on spec'. The brief revolved around surplus components from the SD.7 programme. With Amsterdam anticipating follow-on orders for the trainer conversions, ZAR-Fokker had stockpiled surplus D.VII parts shipped out from Holland. When those orders failed to materialize, von Baumhauer quietly turned his attention to finding alternative uses for this burdensome collection of airframe spares. Kurt Kaye's brief was to create new aircraft concepts to make use of those parts.

As time allowed, Kaye through himself into concept sketches using D.VII components. These were submitted to von Baumhauer as a series of five concepts in September 1935. These were listed as Kurt Kaye Projek (KK P) as follows:

 - KK P.30: a high-winged light plane employing the D.VII upper wing on a new fuselage;
 - KK P.31: Moving that D.VII upper wing into a low-mounted (lae-dekker) position;
 - KK P.32: SD.7 with widened fuselage to accommodate side-by-side (sy-aan-sy) pilots;
 - KK P.33: A modernized SD.7 two-seater powered by a 180 hp Renault 6Q engine; and
 - KK P.34: A modernized SD.7 two-seater with various wing arrangements.

Of these concepts, von Baumhauer judged the KK P.34 to be the most realistic in ZAR-Fokker's straitened circumstances. The concept had been put forward as an SD.7-like biplane (the KK P.34t tweedekker), as a sesquiplane (KK P.34a anderhalfdekker), and as a parsol monoplane (KK P.34h hoogdekker). It was the high-winged KK P.34h variant that caught von Baumhauer's interest. This was drawn up in more detail at the Johannesburg design office and submitted to the ZALM Tegniese Diens for their consideration. In the meantime, work on a demonstrator began.

ZAR-Fokker 'Hoogdekker' and the Growth of Kaye Lugskool

The KK P.34h concept was first realized as the SD.7h 'Hoogdekker' conversion, ZA-HDK, which tested the parsol wing arrangement. As expected, handling was negatively effected but this was eased when the all-up weight of the SD.7h was reduced through the installation of a 110 hp Siemens-Halske Sh 12 9-cylinder, air-cooled, radial in place of the heavy Mercedes D.III water-cooled engine, as planned. This German radial was available as a spare from the Fokker S.IV trainer programme. Thus equipped, the aircraft was clearly underpowered but handled better. This prototype was bought with ZALM funding but assigned under contract to Kaye Lugskool.

Timing for this expansion of Kaye Lugskool was perfect. Kaye had been joined at Krugersdorp by another German Jewish refugee - Willy Rosenstein. [6] Well-known and well-connected in Germany, this former WWI fighter pilot was helped out of Nazi Germany by his former Jasta 27 commander and wingman - Hermann Göring, of all people. [7] Not only was Rosenstein assured of getting safely out of Germany, Göring ensured the export of three aircraft and spares to accompany Rosenstein to the ZAR. At a stroke, Kaye Lugskool gained an experienced military pilot turned aerobatics instructor but also additional trainers - two Bücker Bü 131A Jungmann and one Raab-Katzenstein RK.9a Grasmücke ('Hedge-Sparrow').

Willy Rosenstein also went to bat for his former Jasta 40 colleague - 'Fritz' Raab. Kaye's erstwhile partner at Raab-Katzenstein-Flugzeugwerke GmbH had also fled Germany. The strongly anti-Nazi Raab had more options than most. Having married the only daughter of a wealthy publisher, when Raab fled to Estonia in 1933, he was in a position to establish a small airplane factory - the Raab-Flugzeugbau Gesellschaft. In Estonia, Raab had supervised the construction of RaKa Schwalbe II biplanes. But only two such trainers were completed in Estonia before Berlin began demanding Raab's extradition. It was time to put more distance between the Raabs and Nazi Germany.

Antonius Raab was considering moving his enterprise to Greece [8] when Kaye contacted him. Both Kaye and Rosenstein saw an opportunity in the constraints surrounding ZAR-Fokker. What if Raab re-established his aircraft factory in the ZAR? Kay and Raab held rights to several designs which could benefit not only the Kaye Lugskool but the ZALM as well. If Raab could provide production drawings for the Kl 1 Schwalbe aerobatic type, Kaye could reverse-engineer Rosenstein's RK 9a Grasmücke elementary trainer. The former would be pitched to the ZALM, the latter would be built for the Kaye Lugskool. Raab enthusiastically agreed to this scheme.

Finding a Focus for LuZAR -  Schwalbe  becomes 'n Zuid-Afrikaner

The Raabs prepared to leave for Zuid-Afrika, packing not only personal belongings but also complete Kl 1 drawings and two Estonian-made but unassembled Schwalbe II airframes. [9] All a revived Raab-Katzenstein-Flugzeugwerke needed a production facility. That was already in the works. With ZAR-Fokker ensconced at Jo'burg, Kaye and Rosenstein had concluded that any rival firm should be established in another location. At first, setting up in the Orange-Vrijstaat seemed obvious. However, Pretoria was offering incentives for enterprises willing to set up in the Olifants Gebied in former Portuguese territory. [10]

At the end of the ZAR-Portuguese conflict, the Artillerie Korps had taken over a series of sheds at a concrete works at Matola near 'LM'. Now the 'Kanondonkies' were preparing to vacate the premises and the Portland Company was willing to consider a lease. Since the works was on the rail line linking Lydsaamheid with Pretoria, the location was ideal - both for receiving shipments from Lydsaamheid's port and for delivering airframes inland to the Transvaal. When the Raabs arrived at Lydsaamheid (as Lourenço Marques city had been renamed in 1928), their belongings and the crated Schwalbe II airframes were immediately transferred to ZASM flat cars and sent the short distance to Matola and the site of the future aircraft-building endeavour.

To say that 'Fritz' and Frau Raab were unimpressed when they arrived at Matola would be a major understatement. The bubbling enthusiasm of Kaye and Rosenstein was hard to fathom until the strategic advantages of the location were explained. The former officers' quarters would act as a management 'gasthaus'. The Raabs could live in Lydsaamheid with 'Fritz' commuting by rail to the Matola fabriek as needed. Kaye and Rosenstein would continue running the Kaye Lugskool at Krugersdorp - their Matola commute would be by air. And a new name was agreed upon. In a complete break with the past, the firm's name would be Lugbedrywe van Zuid-Afrika (Aerial Industries of South Africa) or LuZar.

From Scheming to Action - The LuZAR RK 36

In one of the leased Portland Company buildings, an aircraft assembly shed was established. The two Eesti-1 Schwalbe II airframes were extracted from their shipping crates and assembly begun. The first Schwalbe II was essentially complete in September of 1936 ... except for its powerplant. The Eesti-1 had been designed for a British Lynx radial producing 200 hp but this powerplant was available in the ZAR. An obvious substitute was the Polish-built Wright J-5 Whirlwind as in the ZALM's Lublin SV.32 trainer/recce aircraft. Alternative engines considered were the 220 hp Lorraine 7M Mizar and the 230 hp Salmson 9ab radials. All three options were submitted to the ZALM Tegniese Diens.

To speed evaluation of the Schwalbe II, the 'TD' ordered that an Avia-built Whirlwind engine be delivered to Matola from ZALM stores. This J-5 radial was quickly installed in a Schwalbe II airframe. By the time this Schwalbe II (c/n 703) was ready to fly, it had assumed a new identity - as the prototype LuZAR RK 36A Lewerik (Lark). [11] That seemed to fix the future of the Lewerik but fate would intervene. European buying agents had been asked to establish purchase prices for both the Lorraine and Salmson alternatives.

It happened that the Société des moteurs Salmson had twenty undelivered 9ab radials available at very agreeable prices. The procurement agent was authorized to make the purchase. The Pretoria-owned freighter, SS Walvis, would then collect these engines at Le Havre for delivery to Lydsaamheid. [12] This was quickly accomplished and, fitted with a new Salmson 9ab, the second Schwalbe II (c/n 704) became the prototype RK 36B Lewerik II military trainer ...

(To be continued)
_____________________________________

[1] In 1919, von Baumhauer had been chief designer at the oddly-named Dutch firm of Van Berkel's Patent. There, he had mentored the young Laurens Walraven who later followed von Baumhauer to Fokker. Another former Van Berkel connection was R.J. Castendijk who had recommended von Baumhauer to replace him as head of ZAR-Fokker in 1929.

[2] More specifically, Maurits Pattist came from the LA-KNIL Technische Dienst or technical office - making him ideal for military trails flying. Both Pattist and Laurens Walraven had been members of the Vliegclub Bandoeng in the Indies. When his old boss recruited Walraven for ZAR-Fokker, an offer was also extended to Kapitein Pattist on Walraven's recommendation. Pattist replaced Lt ten Bosch as ZAR-Fokker test pilot when the latter returned to the Netherlands in 1931.

[4] To this point, the RW Katzenstein story is RW. He did lose his Dutch work permit and relocate to South Africa. There, he changed his name to Kurt Kaye and joined the SAAF. During WWI, Katzenstein had served as a military flight instructor before becoming a fighter pilot with Jasta 30 and Jasta 55.

[5] Both DP.XI and Kl 1 had actually been designed by Paul J. Hall. When Oberingenieur Hall left to go to BFW, rights to the Kl 1 (and RK 2 Pelikan) designs stayed with Raab-Katzenstein. Once the prototype Kl 1 was improved, three production models of Schwalbe were built - the Kl 1a (84 hp 7-cylinder Siemens Sh 11), the Kl 1b (Sh 11-powered with carberettor and fuel tanks adapted for inverted flight), and the Kl 1c (100-110 hp Siemens Sh 12 9-cylinder radial).

[6] RW Willy Rosenstein scored nine confirmed kills over Flanders. He lived in Stuttgart until 1936 before emigrating to South Africa with his wife and two sons (one adopted). His eldest son, 2 Lt. Ernest Willy Rosenstein was killed in April 1945 when his dive-bombing Spitfire (MH892) crashed in flames near Parma, Italy.

[7] By coincidence, it was RW Hauptmann Kurt Katzenstein, who had first taught Hermann Göring to fly.

[8] RW, Raab did go to Greece at the invitation of Gen. P. Gazis of the Royal Hellenic Air Force. There he established  AEKKEA (Anonymos Etaireia Kataskevis Kai Ekmetallefseos Aeroplanon), resurrecting several Raab-Katzenstein aircraft types and a number of distinct designs.

[9] The RW Eesti-1 Schwalbe IIs were built at Viljandi in south-central Estonia for the  Sakalamaa Õhuasjanduse Ühing (Sakalamaa Air Association). The two airframes completed in Estonia - ES-AGU and ES-EHA - were both powered by British 200 hp Armstrong-Siddeley Lynx radial engines.

[10] After the Portuguese officially ceded their former Lourenço Marques province, this territory was initially called 'Cis Limpopo' by Pretoria. Upon accepting a League of Nations mandate in 1928, the term Limpopo Protectorate was adopted. When this territory was formally incorporated into the ZAR in 1933, Limpopo became the Olifants Gebied (or Olifants Territory).

The Portuguese province of Lourenço Marques was named after its capital city. As noted earlier, Pretoria had renamed 'LM' city as Lydsaamheid. This was the Afrikaanse version of a Dutch name - Lijdzaamheid - for a Dutch East India Company fort and factory built on that spot in 1720. This settlement only lasted a decade but, it was hoped, the name hinted at a credible claim to the territory beyond the rights of conquest.

[11] Originally, the Schwalbe II was to be rebranded as the Swael (Afrikaanse for Swallow). Lewerik was chosen instead when it was decided that all future LuZar designs should have alliterative names.

[12] The Walvis (Whale-Fish) name was inherited from the Walvisch - one of the five original Dutch migrant ships to the Cape. The ship had been built (as Numantia) for the Hamburg-Amerika Linie in 1901. Seized by the Portuguese in 1914, she became the Companhia Colonial de Navegação's SS Cassequel in time for the ZAR-Portuguese conflict. Used to carry supplies from Nova Lisboa to Lourenço Marques, the SS Cassequel lost her single screw on entering the South Channel (unexpectedly strong tidal forces driving her into a sand bank shoal). Powerless and moored mid-channel, the Cassequel was recovered after the Portuguese surrender, repaired, and reflagged as the ZAR's first major vessel.
"... behind a rust-streaked dumpster with EAST VAN HALEN painted across its back in runny black spray-bomb." William Gibson, Spook Country

Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: Lugmag - Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2019, 04:57:09 AM »
A couple of examples of Zuid-Afrikaanse aircraft with civil regs as well as military markings:

Top Prototype LuZar RK 36A Lewerik (Lark) on company trials with temporary civil registration, ZA-LUZ.

Although considered an operation S.36 trainer, the sole Whirlwind-powered RK 36A was often returned to Luzar for use as a test mule. Here, the prototype (being flown as a single-seater) is fitted with a production-style fin and rudder. Under test at Matola is the metal Hispano-Suiza (licensed Hamilton-Standard) variable-pitch, two-bladed propeller.

Bottom The sole ZAR-Fokker SD.7h 'Hoogdekker' conversion in ZALM markings with civil registration, ZA-RKR, and Kaye Lugskool logo. Note rare example of ZAR-Fokker logo marked on the tail fin.

This SD.7h has been newly transferred from ZAR-Fokker (where it was registered ZA-HDK). Note the twin rear spar bracing wires. These were later eliminated when full 'N' bracing struts were added - as per 'production conversion' ZAR-Fokker S.35 trainers.
"... behind a rust-streaked dumpster with EAST VAN HALEN painted across its back in runny black spray-bomb." William Gibson, Spook Country

Offline Brian da Basher

  • He has an unnatural attraction to Spats...and a growing fascination with airships!
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Re: Lugmag - Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2019, 11:16:16 PM »
These civil versions are very easy on the eyes, aphophenia! Must be the colorful schemes.

Great stuff and always a treat to see your latest!

Brian da Basher

Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: Lugmag - Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2019, 05:22:06 AM »
Cheers Brian. Here's a few more spotty ones ...

The Fokker D.16 was highly regarded by South African fighter pilots. The D.16 handled beautifully and was rugged yet reliable. Still, by the late 1930s, it was obvious to the ZALM's Tegniese Diens that the day of the biplane fighter was drawing to a close. Accordingly, in December 1938, orders were placed for 20 new Fokker D.XXI monoplane fighters to replace the biplanes of the Jagvliegtuie Eskadere.

Fokker designated these fighters as D.XXI-Ws for they were to be powered by Wright Cyclone radial engines driving French-made Hamilton-Standard propellers. The American engine was slightly bigger and heavier than the D.XXI's standard British-made engine. [1] However, Fokker accommodated the Cyclone through slightly shorter engine mounts and some re-arrangment of internal equipment. Other than its powerplant, the D.XXI-W had a mixture of the Dutch LvA's Fokker and that built for Finland - notably mounting the cowl guns of the latter.

Top A pristine, newly-delivered Fokker D.21 fighter of 4e JagEsk, Lugveld Jacobsdal, Bloemfontein, Orange-Vrijstaat, early March 1940

A review of Fokker D.21 performance deficiencies conducted in early 1941 resulted in an order to delete the fighters' wing guns. By the summer of 1941, the cowl guns made up the sum armamant of all ZALM D.21s. Other weight-reduction modifications were recommended but none were implemented (for fear that they would also further reduce combat capability).

Bottom A Fokker D.21 fighter of 2e JagEsk, Lugveld Manhiza in Olifants Gebied (Olifants Territory), late August 1942.

Note the Neutraliteitstrepe newly-added to the fuselage and rudder of the lower aircraft. These 'neutrality stripes' were applied to all frontline ZALM aircraft after a Fokker D.21 was accidentally shot down by an Allied fighter in May 1942. [2]

The Neutraliteitstrepe would later be extended to cowlings and wing undersides. This aircraft's orange wing tips predate the Neutraliteitstrepe, being applied to all 2e JagEsk Fokkers in the late Autumn of 1941.

[1] By comparison, the original Bristol Mercury radial had a diameter of 1.307 m and a dry weight of 438 kg. The Cyclone had a diameter of 1.378 m and a dry weight of 537 kg.

[2] This incident involved a Fairey Fulmar of 800 NAS during Operation Ironclad. The British claimed that the Fokker had been mistaken for a Zero-Sen with no explanation for why the Allies believed Japanese fighters were operating close to the ZAR coastline.
"... behind a rust-streaked dumpster with EAST VAN HALEN painted across its back in runny black spray-bomb." William Gibson, Spook Country

Offline Brian da Basher

  • He has an unnatural attraction to Spats...and a growing fascination with airships!
  • Holding Pattern
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Re: Lugmag - Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek
« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2019, 07:28:51 AM »
The Fokker D.21 is such a natural for this and you've certainly taken it to another level, apophenia!

These are some of your best yet and I always enjoy seeing what you do with a theme.

Great artwork and a feast for the eyes!

Brian da Basher