Author Topic: Apophenia's Offerings  (Read 743427 times)

Offline Geist

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2875 on: January 30, 2022, 08:23:40 AM »
 :-*
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Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2876 on: February 08, 2022, 07:10:27 AM »
This was prompted by one of those vague, whiffy notions of 'Hey! What would a [blank] look like with [blank feature] added on?' Lame, I know. But I really wanted to see a Polish 7TP on a Czech suspension.

Once I got rolling, I was also wondering about a light tank-based tank destroyer (instead of faffing about with tankette TDs). So, I've done both variants and cobbled together a backstory of sorts ...

________________________________________


The 8TP (8-Tonowy Polsky) was an early-model 7TP jw tank rebuilt with running gear based on the Czechoslovak THN-S light tank. Other than adopting the 'dk' ('Big Wheel') suspension, the initial 8TP model was largely unchanged from the 7TP roots of its 'donor' hull.

Top An 8TP of 1 bczl (Batalion czołgów lekkich), commanded by the head of 1 kompanii, kpt. Antoni Sikorski. At Odrzywo, 1 pluton 1 kompanii attacked a column of German tanks, destroying three panzers. However, in that exchange, this 8TP was also lost along with its commander.

Like all 8TPs, this vehicle is in the standard 'horizontal' scheme for Polish armour. Markings include the 'circled bison' emblem of 1 bczl on its turret and a company commander stripe on the hull.

The 8TP np (nowa produkcja or new production) model was to adopt the imported Swedish Scania-Vabis 1664 water-cooled 6-cylinder petrol engine producing 125 hp. [1] However few - if any - of the 8TP np variants had been delivered by the beginning of September 1939.

As the name suggests, the 8TP nc (for niszczyciel czołgów) was a dedicated tank destroyer variant. The 8TP nc was armed with the new 55 mm ar.pepanc wz.38 'ZS' - an anti-tank gun reworking of the Zakłady Starachowice anti-aircraft gun proposal of 1936. [2] A new, open-topped fighting compartment was adopted which was somewhat wider than the tank's superstructure. Although new production was planned, all completed 8TP nc (and 7TP nc models) were conversions of existing twin-turreted 7TP dw hulls.

In total, no more than 17 niszczyciel czołgów were delivered - at least twelve of those being 7TP nc models with the 'Zawieszenie Vickersa' ('Vickers suspension'). Only a handful of 'Big Wheel' 8TP nc were available in September 1939.

Bottom A rare operational 8TP nc conversion. This vehicle features an 8mm Hotchkiss anti-aircraft gun. The unit goes unrecorded but most 8TP nc tank destroyers were assigned to bolster tankette-equipped armoured dywizjons. Note the 'Polish Eagle' marking with the name 'Poznańskie' beneath. [3]

________________________________________


[1] The purpose of this substitution was to conserve stocks of the 110 hp Saurer VLDBb (PZInż.235) 6-cylinder diesel engines for remaining 7TP (5th series) assembly.

[2] The anti-aircraft gun - which lost out to the 40 mm Bofors L/60 - was based on an earlier infantry gun.  That 1933 gun was a belated attempt to combine an infantry gun with an anti-tank weapon. The 'ZS' gun was also to replace the 65 mm Armata wz. 1906 mountain gun. Such a combination was doomed to failure. However, by fitting a longer 'tube' and a new mount, inz Wacław Stetkiewicz hoped to produce a 55mm anti-aircraft gun. Instead, that AA gun would form the basis for the 55 mm ar.pepanc wz.38 tank destroyer weapon.

Stetkiewicz seems also to have 'borrowed' features from the 7TP's smaller 37 Bofors - both in the design of the breech and the 'pepperpot' muzzle brake. Unfortunately, Zakłady Starachowice was slow in delivering these 55 mm guns. Several of the 7TP nc went into battle armed with the rather aenemic 47 mm wz.35 gun.

[3] 'Poznańskie' after one of the Second Polish Republic's voivodeships - there were 15 voivodeships proper plus the City of Warsaw and the Autonomous Silesian Voivodeship.
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Offline Old Wombat

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2877 on: February 08, 2022, 03:22:09 PM »
 :smiley:
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Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2878 on: February 17, 2022, 10:17:14 AM »
Another of those 'What would a [blank] look like with [blank feature] added on?' whifs.

In April of 1942, the General Motors of Canada Company of Oshawa received inquiries from the War Office on behalf of the Long Range Desert Group. A month earlier, the LRDG had begun using Chevrolet 1533x2 4x2 30cwt trucks sourced in Egypt. The Canadian-made trucks with their ad hoc local patrol modifications were such a success that the LRDG specifically requested more of the same. Could GM Canada supply these vehicles?

The response from Oshawa was an unexpected one. Yes, the Canadian Chevrolet trucks could be provided. However, GM Canada had an alternative suggestion based upon information provided by one of its suppliers - the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company. Firestone had prototyped a half track derivative of the White armoured car and provided technical details to GM Canada for a projected gun tractor design. The latter had come to naught, but GM Canada believed that Firestone's Kégresse-style rubber track system would be ideal for maintaining traction in the challenging terrain of the Western Desert.

A contract was duly signed and the Chevrolet began producing Model 1533HT 30cwt Patrol Half-Tracks at their Oshawa plant. [1] The LRDG received their first 'Chevy' half tracks in July 1942, just in time for diversionary raids in support of the First Battle of El Alamein. The half tracks proved somewhat slower on 'solid footing' than their 4x2 equivalents ... but much faster over soft sand. Generally, the half tracks were rather underpowered but fulfilled their patrol and 'gun truck' roles until 1943. [2]

This sideview was based on photos of a Brett Green/Chris Wauchop build on Missing Links and a photo of a 1:1 scale M3.
-- http://www.missing-lynx.com/gallery/britain/chevy30cwtbg_1.html
_______________________________

[1] Internally, these vehicles were known to GM Canada as the Chevrolet YR-HT series.

[2] Most of the Chevy half tracks became 'gun trucks' as they were eclipsed in the patrol role by Bantam 'Jeeps'. In May of 1943, the LRDG was moved to the eastern Med and its role changed utterly.
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Offline Jeffry Fontaine

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2879 on: February 17, 2022, 11:43:27 AM »
I like where this is going with the LRDG Half-Track Patrol Vehicle.  Great concept and it makes you wonder if the LRDG ever considered using half-tracks for patrol vehicles. 
"Every day we hear about new studies 'revealing' what should have been obvious to sentient beings for generations; 'Research shows wolverines don't like to be teased" -- Jonah Goldberg

Offline Logan Hartke

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2880 on: February 17, 2022, 12:07:29 PM »
Haven't seen a lot of halftracks that I don't like and this one is no exception. Looks very neat, like an updated Citroen-Kegresse P17 or P19B from the interwar period.









The Finns used some cut down M3 halftracks postwar as prime movers for their AA guns.







I can also see a similar softskin M3 halftrack variant in use with the French in Algeria in the 1950s, maybe with a different truck cab like the Dodge Weapons Carriers, like the WC62/63. They definitely used the Dodge Weapons Carriers like the old LRDG trucks and apparently could have made use of tracks in some situations!













Cheers,

Logan
« Last Edit: February 17, 2022, 12:11:05 PM by Logan Hartke »

Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2881 on: February 19, 2022, 10:05:56 AM »
I like where this is going with the LRDG Half-Track Patrol Vehicle.  Great concept and it makes you wonder if the LRDG ever considered using half-tracks for patrol vehicles.

Jeff: It seems that the LRDG were always starved of funds (the regular Army of the day hating 'private armies'). I guess that was one reason that the LRDG were so good at scrounging enemy weapons and equipment.

With that in mind, what about the LRDG running a few ex-Afrika Korps' Sd.Kfz.250 halftracks (or even unarmoured Sd.Kfz. 10s)?

... Citroen-Kegresse P17 or P19B from the interwar period...

Logan: Thanks for that. Your Citroen-Kegresse image has already been pinched for future mutilations ;)

...The Finns used some cut down M3 halftracks postwar as prime movers for their AA guns...

I wonder why "cut down' ... was this just to save weight for towing heavy AA pieces?
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Offline Logan Hartke

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2882 on: February 19, 2022, 11:26:09 AM »
I wonder why "cut down' ... was this just to save weight for towing heavy AA pieces?

Apparently they were delivered without armor, though I'm not sure it was because they were intentionally demilitarized, if the armor plates were used for something else (or scrapped), or if it was a request from Finland.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M2_half-track_car#Use

Quote
In 1947, the Finnish heavy vehicle producer Vanajan Autotehdas bought 425 M2 half-track vehicles from the Western Allied surplus stocks located in France and Germany. The vehicles were delivered without armor. Some 359 units were converted into field and forest clearing vehicles, some were scrapped for parts and 60 units were equipped with conventional rear axles and converted into 4×4 or 4×2 trucks. They were badged as Vanaja VaWh. The last units were sold in 1952.



Cheers,

Logan

Offline Frank3k

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2883 on: February 19, 2022, 11:59:17 AM »
This was prompted by one of those vague, whiffy notions of 'Hey! What would a [blank] look like with [blank feature] added on?' Lame, I know. But I really wanted to see a Polish 7TP on a Czech suspension.

Both the 8TP and 8TP nc seem quite buildable. There's no shortage of 1/35 7TP/Vickers superstructures or of 38(t) lower hulls... I know a guy who has enough of both in his model closet.

Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2884 on: February 20, 2022, 10:23:55 AM »
Thanks Logan. I had wondered about a 6-wheeled M2/M3 conversion ... but I guess Eero Kytölä beat me to that notion with the VaWh (although only by 74 years) ;)

-- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanajan_Autotehdas

... I know a guy who has enough of both in his model closet.
Frank: I love to see an 8TP or 8TP nc built!

I started playing with the notion of ex-German Sd.Kfz.250s being employed by the Long Range Desert Group. I wasn't thrilled by the results of either attempt so they aren't really finished off. But thought that I'd share them anyway ... maybe others will see something that I've missed to make this scenario more plausible?

The idea here was vehicles abandoned by the Afrika Korps due to mine damage or the like. The bottom vehicle has had its entire rear hull replaced (probably meaning that the suspension, roadwheels and 'Gummipolster' - to me, a hilarious term for band tracks! - came from the remains of another vehicle. It has been fitted with the usual LRDG rear cargo box and festooned with weapons (here, the ubiquitous Lewis gun and an captured MG34).

The upper vehicle would not have been reparable as a halftrack. Instead, this command car has been rebuilt with the wheeled rear suspension from a scrapped 'Einheitsdiesel' lorry. Compared with the LRDG's usual Chevy truck, I suspect that the box on this vehicle would have been awkwardly high (the wireless cover door could be braced as a map table but the R/T operator would have had to stand on a box for height!).
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Offline kitnut617

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2885 on: February 20, 2022, 10:43:32 PM »
One of my very first 'whiff' builds was a half track (this was back in the '60's). I had the Airfix US Army halftrack and the German one that towed the 88mm, but I wanted something for the Brits. So I blended a Morris Quad Gun Tractor to the front of a Stug III, I liked it so much I build five or six of them.

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2886 on: February 21, 2022, 01:23:32 AM »
I like these halftrack ideas
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Offline jcf

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2887 on: February 21, 2022, 06:20:45 AM »
Not at all farfetched.  ;)


Quote
One of two unarmored half track vehicles to ever go into full production. Mechanically the T17 was
fairly identical to the M-series armored half-tracks of WW II: White 160 AX, six-cylinder, 386 cubic
inch engine with four speed transmission and two-speed transfer. Front tires we 8.25x2O mounted
on combat rims, and the rear steel-cable and-rubber track was 121/4 inches wide. The wheelbase
was 135.5 inches. The majority of these Autocars went to the USSR under the Lend-Lease program.
A normal Autocar commercial cab was fitted, and the hood and radiator shell were modified to suit
the vehicle, while retaining the Autocar identity. The fenders and headlamp assemblies appear to be
the same as those used on the armored versions.



Ford-Marmon Harrington 'Truck, Half-Track' M2 (production T9), 1936 Ford truck chassis with M-H front-wheel drive axle,
White suspension, 1.5 ton cargo bed.

The earlier, mid-'30s, T4 and T5 test vehicles were built by GM using commercial chassis.

T5, Cunningham suspension.
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Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2888 on: February 22, 2022, 05:07:22 PM »
Not at all farfetched.  ;)

Thanks for that Jon! The T5 with Cunningham suspension is especially relevant. Had I done more research myself, I would have realized that Canada already had the 'makings' for a Chevrolet half-track before WW2.

The Canadian War Museum has a 1936 Canadian Army half-track on display which the CWM identifies as a 'Ford-Marmon-Harrington'. Except it isn't. Other sources ID the prewar RCA and RCAF half-tracks as supplied by 'Innis Cunningham' of Toronto. I can't figure out exactly who this 'Innis' was. But the track system was the same Cunningham Universal as on your T5 photo. In other words, track systems were provided by James Cunningham, Son and Company of Rochester, NY.

Thus, the Royal Canadian Artillery was towing around 18-pounder limbers with Cunningham tracks back in 1936. In the same year, the RCAF adopted a Cunningham tracked dump truck (based on the Chevrolet Series P 1). So, it was conceivable that GM Canada could have supplied half-tracks to the LRDG upon that unit's establishment.

A downside to that scenario is that the Cunningham Universal suspension resulted in a slower vehicle than the M2/M3. According to the Cunningham brochure cover, 2.5" pitch tracks were available for 2-ton trucks. Road speed is listed as 30 mph, cross-country speed as 25 mph. So, the Cunningham system would have been slower than both the M3 and Sd.Kfz. 250 but faster than most of the Citroën-Kégresse variants.
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Offline jcf

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2889 on: February 25, 2022, 02:02:21 AM »
The T5E2 variant had a 10" wide track version of the Cunningham suspension.
“Conspiracy theory’s got to be simple.
Sense doesn’t come into it. People are
more scared of how complicated shit
actually is than they ever are about
whatever’s supposed to be behind the
conspiracy.”
-The Peripheral, William Gibson 2014

Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2890 on: February 27, 2022, 08:00:44 AM »
The T5E2 variant had a 10" wide track version of the Cunningham suspension.

Thanks Jon. By chance, do you have an image of this T5E2? I haven't been able to find anything online  :(
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Offline jcf

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2891 on: March 05, 2022, 04:37:42 AM »
Here's a so-so shot from Hunnicut of the 10" suspension assembly. The vehicle itself was the same as the T5.
“Conspiracy theory’s got to be simple.
Sense doesn’t come into it. People are
more scared of how complicated shit
actually is than they ever are about
whatever’s supposed to be behind the
conspiracy.”
-The Peripheral, William Gibson 2014

Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2892 on: March 11, 2022, 08:14:00 AM »
Here's a so-so shot from Hunnicut of the 10" suspension assembly. The vehicle itself was the same as the T5.

Nice! Thanks Jon  :smiley:

______________________________

This one is probably now a 'Should Have Been' ...

Upgraded, ex-Polish MiG-29G in temporary, non-standard markings after transfer to Ukraine.

Perhaps the MiG-29Gs were forwarded to Ukraine via Moldova?
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Offline upnorth

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2893 on: March 11, 2022, 01:55:11 PM »
 :smiley:
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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2894 on: March 12, 2022, 01:07:07 AM »
 :smiley:
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2895 on: March 18, 2022, 10:30:53 AM »

This was something I started on for the 100th Anniversary of the RAAF Group Build. The backstory is rather long so I'll break it in two ... with the profiles accompanying Part Two  ;)

____________________________

Avro Adelaide - The Lancaster Down Under

As far back as 1942, Canberra had been in serious discussions with London about producing the Avro Type 683 Lancaster heavy bomber in Australia - both to supply the RAF and for domestic RAAF use. The Lancaster would be, by far, the largest airframe ever built in Australia. But, even ignoring that, the challenges were extreme. Many key components which could not be produced in Australia would need to be imported from the UK - travelling by sea through U-Boat infested waters.

Compounding problems was that the Aircraft Construction Branch of the Department of Supply and Development was already being overwhelmed by its workload. [1] By 1943, the Beaufort Division of the Department of Aircraft Production (DAP) was to switch over to building an Australian version of the Lancaster Mk.III. But the RAAF was calling for more Bristol Beaufort bomber to be built by the DAP, not less. Thus, it quickly became apparent that private industry would be needed to tackle Lancaster production Down Under. As a result, in mid-1943, A.V. Roe Australia (aka Avro Australia) was established with a small administrative office in Canberra. While the exact characteristics of Australian-made Lancaster were being worked out by officialdom (in Canberra and in the British Ministry of Aircraft Production), Avro Australia began arrangements for production facilities.

At the time, airframe production in Australia centred around the Fisherman's Bend area outside of Melbourne. There was simply no space left for another large aircraft assembly facility in that area. The industrial areas of all other major Australian cities were also completely taken up with war work. As a result, Canberra was keen to create factory space in underbuilt areas which still had access to infrastructure. A survey of potential sites narrowed planner's attention to a small harbour town on Spencer Gulf in South Australia named Port Pirie. As the name suggests, there were existing port facilities as well as rail connections and a surfeit of flat land surrounding the local aerodrome.

Setting Up in South Australia - A.V. Roe Australia Arrives

In early 1944, Avro Australia established its headquarters in Adelaide. [2] By then, it had been agreed that the Lancaster production plant would be situated 140 miles north at Port Pirie. This location was chosen to avoid disrupting established war work in Adelaide. But there were also a range of related inducements. Financial incentives were provided by both Canberra and the State government of South Australia. The town council of Port Pirie provided by the necessary land free of charge. [3] The large assembly plant was built with funding from Adelaide matched by private investment from the local firm, Broken Hill Associated Smelters Pty Ltd (BHAS). [4]

Lest all this sounds too grand, it should be noted that maximum advantage was to be taken of the arid local climate to perform much of the final assembly work out in the open air under canvas. The existing aerodrome was due south of the Town of Port Pirie. The proffered factory land was adjacent to the aerodrome's western boundary. The first product of this new facility was the unpacking of pre-fabricated house kits for assembly on the new workers' housing plot to the north of the factory. [5] Improvements were also made to Wandearah Road to allow heavy lorry access to the plant from both the quays on Port Pirie Creek and the Trans-Australia Railway sidings. By October 1944, worker housing was complete and the factory ready to begin Lancaster production. However, by this time, 'Lancaster' had become something of a misnomer.

Potential, Perils, and Problems at Port Pirie

While the Lancaster was the best of the RAF's nocturnal heavy bombers, its diurnal performance - a required operating environment for the RAAF - left something to be desired. Ironically, delays had provided the opportunity to introduce some improvements in future Australian-built Lancasters. In the search for more power, availability issues quickly eliminated various marks of Rolls-Royce Griffon as well as the Bristol Centaurus CE 1SM radial. However, experience with the RAF's Vickers Warwick bomber suggested another 18-cylinder radial - the American  Pratt & Whitney R-2800.

An equally serious problem was that production of British-built Frazer-Nash turrets for the Lancaster was insufficient to also fill Australian needs. Several alternative armament schemes were investigated before settling on a mix of imported American turrets and domestically-produced Australian systems. The Frazer-Nash FN-50 'mid-upper' was to be replaced by a US Martin 250CE-5 dorsal turret. The tail FN-20 would be replaced by a Consolidated A6A tail turret. The Frazer-Nash FN-5 had no direct American analogue and that nose position was to be completely redesigned and fitted with a compact flexible gun mount devised by the tiny Thebarton firm of Scott Bonnar & Co. As on British-built Lancaster the belly position would be occupied by an aerodynamic blister for the H2S targeting radar antenna.

As with the original Lancaster, the enormous, 64" diameter main tyres were by Dunlop - in this case, Dunlop Rubber Australia Ltd. of Melbourne. The self-centring tailwheel tyres were to made at the Somerton, Melbourne plant of B.F. Goodrich. In both cases, the tyres were to be shipped (already mounted to their split rims) by sea to Port Pirie. And so they would in the case of the Dunlop main tyres. But the B.F. Goodrich order would ultimately be cancelled as production plans shifted and changed.

Design Changes and a New Name

As plans (and supply chains) firmed up, the Port Pirie bomber began to deviate more both from the British original and the initial Australian scheme. Although not all that noticeable, the planned Consolidated A6A tail turret was replaced by the MPC 250CH-6. [6] The RAAF decided that the H2S radar set with its bulbous blister was unnecessary for its anticipated daytime bombing role. As a result, the search was on for a ventral gun system. The lowest-drag system was chosen - the US GE Model 2CGD50 remotely-controlled barbettes and their 2CFR55B1 Central Fire Control system (as mounted on USAAF B-29 bombers). Supply problems arose again and the upper barbette was deleted in favour of retaining the manned Martin 250CE-5 dorsal turret.

With the decision to install a belly armament, the fixed Lancaster tailwheel had to go to ensure a clear arc of defensive fire. An entirely new and fully retractable tailwheel strut was developed and produced by Horwood Bagshaw Ltd. of Adelaide. With B.F. Goodrich otherwise engaged with war work, Olympic Tyre & Rubber Co. (of West Footscray, Melbourne) produced the ribbed tyre for this new tailwheel design. Such were the on-going list of equipment changes introduced, that it was decided to rename the planned Lancaster B.Mk.30.

After considering the aboriginal word 'Alcheringa' - 'Dreamtime' in the Arandic language - it was decided to stick with the RAF Bomber Command practice of naming bombers for major cities. There could only be one choice for a South Australian-made bomber and, thus, the alliterative Avro Adelaide was agreed upon. Despite seemingly endless supply problems and shortages, the new Adelaide B.1 seemed on time. The first Australian-built heavy bombers aimed to be in operational service before 'X-Day' - 01 November 1945, the scheduled date for Operation Olympic - the Allied invasion of Kyushu in the Japanese home islands.

(To be continued ...)

_______________________________________

[1] The Branch's Department of Aircraft Production (DAP) was primarily focused on its Beaufort Division - which was to locally produce Bristol Type 153s fitted with CAC-built R-1830 engines.

[2] Thereafter, the Canberra offices became the corporate interface with RAAF HQ and government officials.

[3] Dominated by the Broken Hills lead smelter. the Town of Port Pirie was desirous of diversifying beyond being a one-industry town.

[4] This was not a first for Broken Hill Associated Smelters - BHAS had been a partial funder in the establishment of the Commonwealth Aircraft Company back in 1936.

[5] Once finished, this 'Curtinville' housing estate was connected to the Town of Port Pirie proper via a southward extension of Senate Road.

[6] As the name suggests, Detroit-based Motor Products Corporation had supplied parts to the automotive industry before the war.
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Offline Old Wombat

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2896 on: March 18, 2022, 01:45:03 PM »
 :D :smiley: :smiley: 8)
"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 #2897 on: March 19, 2022, 01:44:00 AM »
Can't wait to see the profiles for this one.
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2898 on: March 19, 2022, 05:18:08 AM »
Can't wait to see the profiles for this one.

And here they are ...  ;D
____________________________________

Part Two

Relief ... and Disappointment - the Avro Adelaide B.1

As detail design of the Adelaide B.1 was being completed, the USAAF was switching to night bomber over the Japanese home islands. At the same time, it was realized that the bulky H2S radar antenna could be made retractable. This would serve to reduce drag while also providing a better field of fire for the remotely-operated belly gun barbette. Accordingly, a reinforced opening was let into the belly and internal bracing installed to both hold and guide the retracting radome shape. At the same time, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research's Radiophysics Laboratory unveiled its domestic automatic gun-laying radar technology - the RPL-AGL.10 which was to be incorporated into the Adelaide B.1's rear turret. [1]

As the first tranche of Adelaide B.1 bombers took shape on the line at Avro Australia's Port Pirie plane, the world changed. On 15 August 1945, the Japanese Emperor Hirohito publicly announced the surrender of Imperial Japan. The treaty of surrender would be formally signed on 02 September 1945 but, by then, all work at Port Pirie had been halted awaiting further instruction from Canberra.

At the end of September 1945, Avro Australia received word that the first four Adelaide B.1 airframes should be completed without turrets and some other government-supplied equipment being fitted. The four aircraft were to be delivered to the Air Force at RAAF Base Laverton in Victoria for basic flight testing. These test aircraft were duly delivered to Laverton in October-November of 1945. With the war over, trials were conducted as a leisurely pace. These trials were highly successful but, in RAAF planning, the domestic Adelaide B.1 had already been eclipsed by the larger Avro Lincoln B.Mk.30.

Top A depiction of the Avro (Australia) Adelaide B.1 as it would have appeared with all turrets fitted. As it happens, no Adelaide airframe was ever completed to full B.1 standards.

Adelaide MR.Mk.2 - New Role for a New Era

Faced with the danger of existing Adelaide B.1 contracts being cancelled outright, Avro Australia made a bold proposal to the RAAF HQ. This was: Complete the most advanced 22 Adelaide B.1 bombers with new equipment to suite these airframes to the marine patrol and long-range reconnaissance roles. This was agreed. The internal equipment and crew stations of the B.1 would be completely revised to fill these new roles. And, as it happened, this delay and design revision worked rather well in regards to much of the Lend-Lease kit that was to have been incorporated into the B.1 bombers. All US-supplied turrets and interim Pratt & Whitney-built R-2800-S14A-G engines could now be cancelled.

By December of 1945, the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation engine factory at Fisherman's Bend, Melbourne, was completing its first license-built R-2800-2SB-G radials. The first of these 1,850 hp engines arrived at Port Pirie via the Trans-Australian Railway by the middle of December. The first 16 CAC-built engines were used to re-engine the trials airframes. Once accomplished, completion of the Adelaide MR.2 variant could begin in earnest. When the prototype Adelaide MR.2 rolled out in late May 1947, the transformation was quite apparent.

The redesign for the Avro (Australia) Adelaide MR.2 was heavily influenced by the parent company's design for its Lincoln ASR.3 (which would emerge in 1949 as the Shackleton GR.1 patrol aircraft. This influence was most apparent in the chin-mounted search radar - the ASV Mk.III derivative of the bomber's H2S set. The Adelaide MR.2's revised tailcone design anticipated future Shackleton variants. Internally, the biggest changes were to crew stations. The bomb-aimer's position was lengthened and the gun position eliminated - the nose now being capped with the perspex from the Handley-Page Halifax[/i]. [2] Two pilots were now standard - the co-pilot seat being set slightly aft of the pilot's.

To the rear, the wireless operator now shared the space directly aft of the cockpit with the flight engineer. To create space, the navigator's compartment was moved aft of the wings. The former remote-gunners' positions now became an observer's station (the observer also being responsible for the vertical cameras immediately aft. In the extended tailcone was another observer's station - this time, a prone position. As noted earlier, that tailcone was based on Shackleton studies - being something of a compromise in shape between the Lancastrian tailcone and that intended for the 'Shack'.

Active Avro Adelaide MR.2s - Into RAAF Squadron Service

After an additional set of performance trials carried out at RAAF Laverton, the first Adelaide MR.2 was accepted for squadron service. As existing maritime patrol units were still operating Lockheed Venturas, it was decided to stand up a new, long-range patrol squadron. To that end, No. 10 Squadron RAAF was re-formed at Townsville on 31 May 1947 Although some No. 10 personnel were transferred in from Ventura units, most had been former wartime Sunderland or Lancaster crew members.

Bottom Adelaide MR.2 in No. 10 Squadron markings and post-1950 'white-top' scheme. The latter was simply a heat-reducing 'titanium white' paint applied over the delivery all-over natural metal/silver dope scheme. The 'titanium white' top served its purpose but was replaced in 1954-55 by a revised 'white-top' scheme. This final scheme replaced natural metal altogether with the fuselage top remaining white but with the new British Standards 381C Light Admiralty Grey on undersurfaces and sides while the upper wing and tail surfaces were a gloss version of RAF Ocean Grey.

The Avro (Australia) Adelaide MR.2s served on (in incrementally updated forms) until 1958. No. 10 Squadron first moved on to modified Lincoln MR.30s as interim replacements before receiving new Lockheed P2V-7 Neptunes in 1962. [3]


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[1] The Australian AGL radar system had been devised under Dr John Piddington at the Radiophysics Laboratory.

[2] The forward nose of the Adelaide was completely redesigned. By serendipity, the June 1946 arrival of the Halifax B.III 'Waltzing Matilda' (NR169) Down Under had provided Avro Australia with an opportunity to examine its perspex nose. Once it was confirmed that the Adelaide nose could be modified to match the Handley-Page section, war-surplus perspex parts were ordered collected in the UK.

[3] Unpopular with crews, the Lincoln MR.30 was a 'least mod' patrol variant which lacked the crew amenities of the Adelaide and was much noisier than the earlier type. The P2V-7 Neptune was a refined version of the Lockheed P2V-5 which had been serving with No. 11 Squadron at RAAF Pearce since the mid-1950s.

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Offline Old Wombat

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2899 on: March 19, 2022, 02:26:36 PM »
I love the B.Mk.1 :-*
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."