Friday, September 27, 2013

Aircraft walkaround vol.28: Royal Aircraft Factory SE5A

Subject:  Royal Aircarft Factory SE5A
Location: RAF Museum, London and Science Museum, London, U.K.
Comments:The S.E.5 (Scout Experimental 5) was designed by Henry P. Folland, John Kenworthy and Major Frank Goodden of the Royal Aircraft Factory in Farnborough. It was built around the new 150 hp (112 kW) Hispano-Suiza 8a V8 enginethat, while providing excellent performance, was initially under-developed and unreliable. The first of three prototypes flew on 22 November 1916. The first two prototypes were lost in crashes (the first killing the chief test pilot at the Royal Aircraft Factory, Major F. W. Goodden on 28 January 1917) due to a weakness in their wing design. The third prototype underwent modification before production commenced; the S.E.5 was known in service as an exceptionally strong aircraft which could be dived at very high speed – the squarer wings also gave much improved lateral control at low airspeeds.
Like the other significant Royal Aircraft Factory aircraft of the war (B.E.2, F.E.2 and R.E.8) the S.E.5 was inherently stable, making it an excellent gunnery platform, but it was also quite manoeverable. It was one of the fastest aircraft of the war at 138 mph (222 km/h), equal at least in speed to the SPAD S.XIII and faster than any standard German type of the period.
While the S.E.5 was not as agile and effective in a tight dog fight as the Camel it was much easier and safer to fly, particularly for novice pilots. The S.E.5 had one synchronised .303-in Vickers machine gun to the Camel's two, but it also had a wing-mounted Lewis gun on a Foster mounting, which enabled the pilot to fire at an enemy aircraft from below as well as providing two guns firing forward. This was much appreciated by the pilots of the first S.E.5 squadrons as the new hydraulic-link"C.C." synchronising gear for the Vickers was unreliable at first. The Vickers gun was mounted on the forward left dorsal surface of the fuselage with the breech inside the cockpit. The cockpit was set amidships, making it difficult to see over the long front fuselage, but otherwise visibility was good. Perhaps its greatest advantage over the Camel was its superior performance at altitude, making it a much better match for the Fokker D.VII when that fighter arrived at the front.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Military vehicles vol.18: M110A2

M110 A2
Price (September2013):
Out-of-the box construction
Overall Tamiya XF57 buff, highlighted with addition of XF-2 Flat white. Dry-brushed with enamel (lighter tone of the base color); Panel lines highlighted with 0,3mm pencil and diluted X19 somke

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Aircraft walkaround vol.27: Boeing Stearman PT-17 Kaydet

Subject: Boeing Stearman PT-17 Kaydet
Location: Fantasy of Flight Museum, Orlando, Florida, 2013
Comments:  The Stearman (Boeing) Model 75 is a biplane used as a military trainer aircraft, of which at least 8,584 were built in the United States during the 1930s and 1940s.Stearman Aircraft became a subsidiary of Boeing in 1934. Widely known as the StearmanBoeing Stearman or Kaydet, it served as a primary trainer for the USAAF, the USN (as the NS & N2S), and with the RCAF as the Kaydet throughout World War II. After the conflict was over, thousands of surplus aircraft were sold on the civil market. In the immediate post-war years they became popular as crop dusters, sports planes, and for aerobatic and wing walking use in airshows.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Aircraft walkaround vol.26: De Haviland Vampire F3

Subject: De Haviland Vampire F3
Location: RAF Museum, Hendon, London, U.K., 2013 and Fantasy of Flight Museum, Orlando, USA 2013.
Comments: The Vampire was a first generation jet fighter which saw service in the immediate post-war period with Royal Air Force front-line fighter squadrons in the United Kingdom and Germany, followed by further service with the Royal Auxiliary Air Force. Work on the design of the DH100 began in May 1942 and the prototype made its first flight on 20 September 1943. Originally called the Spider Crab it was re-named Vampire when ordered into production for the Royal Air Force. The first aircraft did not become available until 1945 and the Vampire did not enter service until the early summer of 1946. The Vampire F3 was a long-range version of the basic F1, with a re-designed tail unit. On 14 July 1948 six Vampire 3s of No.54 Squadron became the first ever jet aircraft to fly across the Atlantic under their own power. This small unsophisticated aircraft, of relatively unusual design, was viewed with great fondness by many pilots who nicknamed it the 'aerial kiddy car'.