Sunday, August 30, 2015

Aircraft Walkaround vol.36: De Haviland Mosquito B35 and PR Mk 16 (Updated!)

Subject: De Haviland Mosquito B35 and PRXVI
Location: RAF Museum, Hendon, London, UK 2013 and USAF Museum, Dayton, Ohio, USA 2014
Comments: On 12 March 1945 the last bomber variant of the Mosquito, the B35, made its first test flight. The war had ended before it could be used operationally, but it entered service with the post-war Royal Air Force and served as a bomber until the beginning of 1954. Some Mosquito B35s were converted for other duties including target-towing and in this role they continued in service until 1963. No.105 Squadron introduced Mosquitos into service in May 1942 as daylight bombers. However, as the RAF's night bomber offensive grew, they were used with the Pathfinder Force and in other roles within Bomber Command. The Mosquito also proved a remarkably versatile aircraft in other roles. It was a great success as a night fighter and intruder, as well as an anti-shipping strike aircraft. Both the Royal Air Force and the United States Army Air Force used Mosquitos for photographic reconnaissance duties.
Although best known for their service with the Royal Air Force, Mosquitoes were also flew in several U.S. Army Air Force units as photographic and weather reconnaissance aircraft and as a night fighter. During the war, the USAAF acquired 40 Canadian Mossies and flew them under the American F-8 (photo reconnaissance) designation. In addition, the British turned over more than 100 Mosquitoes to the USAAF under Reverse Lend-Lease. These aircraft retained their British designations. The aircraft on display at the USAF museum  is a British-built B. Mk. 35 manufactured in 1946 (later converted for towing targets) and is similar to the P.R. Mk. XVIs used by the USAAF. It was flown to the museum in February 1985. This Mosquito, serial RS709, has been restored to a Mk. XVI configuration and painted as NS519, a weather reconnaissance aircraft of the 653rd Bombardment Squadron based in England in 1944-1945. Just before D-Day (the June 6, 1944, invasion of France), black and white stripes were applied almost overnight to a vast majority of U.S. and British aircraft to clearly identify them during the Normandy landings. In the rush to mark all the aircraft, masking and spraying sometimes gave way to more expeditious method of painting them by hand. Invasion stripes, like the ones being applied by the ground crewman in the museum's exhibit, would have completely encircled the wings and fuselage. The 25th Bombardment Group adopted a red tail for their Mosquitoes in August 1944 and removed the invasion stripes from the upper wing and upper fuselage surfaces in September 1944. (ref.: RAF Museum, Hendon,UK and Usaf Museum, Dayton, USA)

Friday, August 21, 2015

Soldier bust vol. 4: U.S. 82nd Division paratrooper in World War II

U.S. 82nd Airborne with base
Legend productions
US$30,00+ shipping
Resin cast. No decals
This is  Legend's 1/9 U.S. Airborne trooper bust. The quality of the casting is fantastic, with no air bubbles. Details are very nice and not affected by the resin molding blocks. Bellow you can see the parts you get in the box. They came in a sealed bag with bubble plastic for protection. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Aircraft walkaround vol.52 : McDonnell Douglas F-4G Phantom II Wild Weasel V

Subject: McDonnell Douglas F-4G Phantom II Wild Weasel V
Location: USAF Museum, Dayton, Ohio, USA, 2014.
Comments:Wild Weasel is a code name given by the United States Armed Forces, specifically the US Air Force, to an aircraft, of any type, equipped with radar-seeking missiles and tasked with destroying the radars and SAM installations of enemy air defense systems. "The first Wild Weasel success came soon after (the first Wild Weasel mission 20 December 1965 where both air crewmen were either captured or killed), when Captains Al Lamb and Jack Donovan took out a site during a Rolling Thunder strike on the railyard at Yen Bai, some 75 miles northwest of Hanoi." The Wild Weasel concept was developed by the United States Air Force in 1965, after the introduction of Soviet SAM missiles and their downing of U.S. strike aircraft over the skies of North Vietnam. The program was headed by General Kenneth Dempster. Wild Weasel tactics and techniques began their development in 1965 following the commencement of Operation Rolling Thunder during the Vietnam War, and were later adapted by other nations during following conflicts, as well as being integrated into the Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD) a plan used by US air forces to establish immediate air control, prior to possible full-scale conflict. Initially known by the operational code "Iron Hand" when first authorized on 12 August 1965, the term "Wild Weasel" derives from Project Wild Weasel, the USAF development program for a dedicated SAM-detection and suppression aircraft. (The technique {or a specific part} was also called an "Iron Hand" mission, though technically the Iron Hand part refers only to a suppression attack that paves the way for the main strike.) Originally named "Project Ferret", denoting a predatory animal that goes into its prey's den to kill it (hence: "to ferret out"), the name was changed to differentiate it from the code-name "Ferret" that had been used during World War II for radar counter-measures bombers. In brief, the task of a Wild Weasel aircraft is to bait enemy anti-aircraft defenses into targeting it with their radars, whereupon the radar waves are traced back to their source allowing the Weasel or its teammates to precisely target it for destruction. A simple analogy is playing the game of "flashlight tag" in the dark; a flashlight is usually the only reliable means of identifying someone in order to "tag" (destroy) them, but the light immediately renders the bearer able to be identified and attacked as well. The result is a hectic game of cat-and-mouse in which the radar "flashlights" are rapidly cycled on and off in an attempt to identify and kill the target before the target is able to home in on the emitted radar "light" and destroy the site The F-4E, the most advanced Phantom variant with extensive ground-attack capabilities and an internal gun, became the basis for the F-4G Wild Weasel V (also known as the Advanced Wild Weasel). This modification consisted of removing the gun and replacing it with the APR-38(t) Radar Homing and Warning Receiver (later upgraded to the APR-47), and a cockpit upgrade for the back seat to manage the electronic combat environment. A total of 134 F-4G models were converted from F-4Es with the first one flying in 1975. Squadron service began in 1978. F-4Gs were deployed to three active wings. One was stationed at George AFB, Victorville, California. as part of the Rapid Deployment Force; one wing was assigned to USAFE (US Air Forces in Europe) at Spangdahlem AB, Germany; and the other to PACAF(Pacific Air Forces) at Clark AFB, Philippines. F-4Gs from George AFB and Spangdahlem AB saw combat during Operation Desert Storm in 1991, successfully protecting strike packages from enemy air defenses. During this conflict the F-4G saw heavy use, with only a single loss: an aircraft from Spangdahlem AB crashed in Saudi Arabia while returning from a mission. After an investigation into the loss of the aircraft which occurred during several aborted landing attempts in a sandstorm, it was determined that a fuel cell was punctured by anti-aircraft fire. The pilot and EWO safely ejected after the engines shut down when the aircraft ran out of fuel attempting to land at a forward airstrip. After Desert Storm, some of the George AFB aircraft were assigned to the 124th Wing of the Air National Guard at Boise, Idaho, 190th Fighter Squadron. Aircraft from Spangdahlem, Clark, and the remainder from George were assigned to the 57th Fighter Wing (Active AF) assigned to Nellis AFB at Las Vegas, 561st Fighter Squadron. The aircraft remained in service until 1996, with both squadrons participating in frequent deployments to Saudi Arabia and Turkey in support of Operation Provide Comfort, Operation Southern Watch, and Operation Vigilant Warrior enforcing the no-fly zones over Iraq. By this time the F-4G was the last operational variant of the Phantom II in the US forces. Many of the airframes were later used as target drones and Aircraft Battle Damage Repair training aids. (ref.: Wikipedia).