Saturday, April 25, 2015

Aircraft walkaround vol.45: Fiat G91

Subject: Fiat G91 R3
Location: Flugausstellung L.+P. Junior, Trier, Germany
Comments:The Fiat G.91 was an Italian jet fighter aircraft. It was the winner of the NATO competition in 1953 for a light fighter as standard equipment for Allied air forces. It entered in operational service with the Italian Air Force in 1961, with the West German Luftwaffe, in 1962, and later with the Portuguese Air Force. It was in production for 19 years with 756 aircraft completed, including the prototypes and pre-production models. The assembly lines were finally closed in 1977. The Fiat G.91 enjoyed a long service life that extended over 35 years. It was widely used by Portugal in the Portuguese Colonial War in Africa. A twin-engined variant was known as the Fiat/Aeritalia G.91Y. The R3 version was a single-seat ground-attack reconnaissance version powered by a Rolls-Royce Orpheus turbojet engine. It was armed with with two 30 mm DEFA cannons.(

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Boats vol.14: Richard Mohr's Midget Submarine "Neger"

Richard Mohr's Midget Submarine "Neger"
US$ 20,00 + shipping
Injection molded with waterslide decals and photo etched parts
Neger (German for Negro) was a German torpedo-carrying craft generally described as a human torpedo. The vessel was used by the Kriegsmarine between 1943 and 1945. The name comes from the constructor Richard Mohr whose surname means blackamoor. The Neger was based on the G7e torpedo and sported a spartan cockpit covered by a perspex dome where the warhead would have been. It had sufficient positive buoyancy to run awash while supporting a second G7e, with warhead, slung below. The vessel had a range of 48 nautical miles at 4 knots and displaced 2.7 tons. The pilot navigated via a wrist compass and air was provided through a Dräger self-contained breathing device. The pilot aimed his weapon by lining up an aiming spike on the nose with a graduated scale on the dome. Subsequently, a second aiming spike was added closer to the dome. It, however, made little difference as water washing over the dome made visibility extremely poor. A simple lever in the cockpit irreversibly started the torpedo and released it. Though not designed as a suicide weapon, the Neger would frequently become one when the torpedo started running but failed to release, and carried the craft and its pilot toward the target. About 200 vessels of this type were manufactured in 1944. The first Neger vessels entered service in March 1944. However, the Neger turned out to be very hazardous for its crew, and up to 80% of the crews were killed. In return one cruiser, one destroyer, and three Catherine Class BAMS minesweepers were sunk in 1944 with the weapon. The first Negers entered service on March 1944 and the first mission took place on the night of April 20 and 21 1944. Thirty Negers were launched against Allied ships berthed in Anzio. Only 17 of them managed to deploy, with the other 13 capsizing upon reaching the water. Three failed to return and up until then, the Allies had no knowledge of this new unusual weapon. None had made any successful attacks.( )
The Micro-mir kit is simple but well done. You got basically two torpedos, one will be the weapon and the other will be transformed on the craft by replacing the warhead with the cockpit. Fit is ok, with sone problems along the body of the torpedo/submarine, but nothing too hard to solve. A simple display stand is provided for the completed kit. Markings will allow you to build two different version of the craft. 

I found a video on youtube of the Negger in test:

1) The sprues:

 2) Intsructions:

3) The kit:

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Cockpit walkaround vol.3: Vought A7 A/B Corsair II

Subject: Vought A7 A/B Corsair II
Location: Fantasy of Flight Museum, Florida, USA 2013
Comments:The Ling-Temco-Vought A-7 Corsair II was a carrier-capable subsonic light attack aircraft introduced to replace the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk. The A-7 airframe design was based on the successful supersonic Vought F-8 Crusader. It was one of the first combat aircraft to feature a head-up display (HUD), an inertial navigation system (INS), and a turbofan engine. The A7-A was the first production version. Early USN Corsair IIs had two 20 mm Colt Mk 12 cannons with 250 rounds per gun. Maximum ordnance, carried primarily on the wing pylons, was theoretically 15,000 lb (6,804 kg), but was limited by maximum takeoff weight, so the full weapon load could only be carried with greatly reduced internal fuel. It was equipped with AN/APN-153 navigational radar, AN/APQ-115 terrain following radar and a separate AN/APQ-99 attack radar. In total, 199 were built. The A7B was the next version with an uprated TF30-P-8 engine with 12,190 lbf (54.2 kN) of thrust. In 1971, surviving A-7Bs were further upgraded to TF30-P-408 with 13,390 lbf (59.6 kN) of thrust. The AN/APQ-115 terrain following radar in earlier A-7A was replaced by AN/APQ-116 terrain following radar. One hundred and ninety six were constructed.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Aircraft of the Brazilian Air Force vol.3: Vultee BT15

Subject: Vultee BT15 Valiant
Period of service: 1942 to 1956
Number of aircraft used: 122
Brazilian Air Force designation and serial number: In Brazilian service the Vultee was designed as BT-15 or T-15. Serial numbers initially were 01 to 122. Later they were modified and the aircraft were registered as BT-15 serial 1048 to 1166 and 1373 to 1375. They were also called "Vultizinho" (little vultee).

Bellow there are some pictures of a Vultee BT13 from the USAF Museum, in Dayton, Ohio, USA, taken  in 2014.
Comments: The Vultee BT-13 was the basic trainer flown by most American pilots during World War II. It was the second phase of the three phase training program for pilots. After primary training in PT-13PT-17, or PT-19 trainers, the student pilot moved to the more complex Vultee for continued flight training. The BT-13 had a more powerful engine and was faster and heavier than the primary trainer. It required the student pilot to use two way radio communications with the ground and to operate landing flaps and a two-position Hamilton Standard controllable-pitch propeller. It did not, however, have retractable landing gear nor a hydraulic system. The flaps were operated by a crank-and-cable system. Its pilots nicknamed it the "Vultee Vibrator." The BT-13A was produced to the extent of 7,037 aircraft and differed only in the substitution of a Pratt & Whitney R-985-AN-1 radial engine, and deletion of the landing gear fairings. Later 1,125 units designated BT-13B were produced. They differed from the A model in replacing the 12v electrical system with a 24v system. Due to an industry-wide demand for the Pratt & Whitney R-985 engine, a total of 1,263 units were  produced incorporating the Wright R-975-11 engine of equal power rating. They were accepted by the USAAC as BT-15The US Navy also ordered 1,150 BT-13A models under the designation SNV-1. It also ordered another 650 units designated SNV-2, based on the BT-13B.