Monday, 3 October 2022

123 Wing 609 Squadron Hawker Typhoon Normandy (D-day +20)

123 Wing 609 Squadron  Hawker Typhoon Normandy D-day +20 F/sgt McKenzie Sgt Paice Bj Martragny PR-L. Good detail view of the rocket rails and electrical connectors. Thanks to Snautzer!

Sunday, 2 October 2022

Hawker Typhoon FR.Ib EK 183 US-A No 56 Sqd and EK 427 'S'


photo caption by Colin Ford

Hawker Typhoon FR.Ib EK427 'S', from a series of ATP photos taken around April-May 1945 at a RAF MU in the UK at the time the aircraft had been retired from active service and its eventual fate was awaiting a decision (scrapping in early 1946). From its AM78, it is officially recorded as only ever having been allocated to No.268 Squadron RAF in the period August to November 1944. However, in digging through the ORBS for No.IV(AC) Squadron RAF, its serial does make a couple of entries for post-strike reconnaissance sorties conducted using a limited number hand me down Typhoon FR.Ib aircraft that were received from 268 in December 1944 and used until February-March 1945. In the other photos in the series, the starboard wing appears to have some replacement panels fitted, including a 'blank' panel on the underside of the wing in the location where the reconnaissance camera lenses would normally be fitted. Reason for ATP taking photos as the type was being withdrawn from service was that they had not previously taken the standard set of technical photos for the type before it was introduced into service or whilst it was in service - someone was catching up with the paperwork.
This photo and a couple of others from the series have been used in the various editions/reprints of the Valiant Wings Publications book on the Hawker Typhoon/Tornado, with rather inaccurate captions and descriptions regarding the type, its FR modifications and operational use.

Below; Typhoon Mk Ib EK 183 US-A No 56 Sqd, flown by Squadron Leader T.H.V Pheloung [21 Apr 1943] Squadron Leader T.H.V Pheloung died 20-06-1943

Saturday, 17 September 2022

Vulcan XM 665 overshoots runway on 'live' taxi run


 ...currently all over social media -  Vulcan XM 665 overshot the runway on a 'live' taxi run following an air-speed indicator fault according to the official XM 665 FB page. XM655 was the third to last Vulcan produced and delivered to 9 Squadron at RAF Cottesmore in November 1964. One of only three 'taxiable' Vulcans, she is based at Wellesbourne near Warwick.

Photo credit; Dave Coton

From XM 665's FB page;

" ..As many of you will have already seen, XM655 suffered a runway excursion earlier today during our trial run for the event which was planned for Sunday 18th. That event has been cancelled, all ticket holders have been informed by email and full refunds have been processed via Eventbrite. As far as we can see, the aircraft is largely undamaged, but in addition to the ongoing recovery work, we also have a lot of inspection work to carry out before we can consider any further live activity.

In an attempt to reduce uninformed speculation, we will explain what happened. After satisfactorily completing low speed steering and braking tests on runway 05/23, the aircraft was taken onto runway 18/36 for a trial high speed run. Due to a malfunction of a piece of equipment in the cockpit, the aircraft remained at full power for approximately two seconds longer than intended. This resulted in excessive speed and less distance in which to stop, and the aircraft passed beyond the end of the runway on to the agricultural area, stopping just before the airfield perimeter. The failed equipment was an air speed indicator which had been tested and found satisfactory six days ago, and which started working normally before the end of the run. The aircraft brakes worked properly but were unable to bring things to a halt within the reduced space available. We will provide further updates when XM655 has been recovered and we have had chance to assess any damage...."

Friday, 9 September 2022

Hind at Duxford

Tim Felce photos reposted from FB. Czech Hind arriving for the Duxford September airshow..

Friday, 1 July 2022

RoKAF 'Black Eagles' practising over Somerset ahead their UK air show appearances


The Korean T-50 aerobatic team are currently based out of Boscombe Down before their RIAT Fairford and Farnborough show displays...

Sunday, 26 June 2022

Headcorn Aero-Legends Battle of Britain airshow 24-26 June 2022


Aero Legends have put on another super little show from Headcorn, opened by the Red Arrows on Friday afternoon. A few of my images from the flight line and more great shots by my friends Matt (Hayward), Colin Brown and Alfred Cassell.

The show opened on the Friday lunch time with the Red Arrows. the Strikemaster duo cancelled for the weekend and the BBMF Lancaster also cancelled again ..due to high crosswinds at Scampton. 'Sally B' again graced the show, operating out of Lydd. I had no idea that this aircraft - now flying for over 40 years in the UK - is owned through this period by a Danish woman, Emmy Sallingboe; hence the name..

..and the show was filmed by Planes TV ....see the 'takeoffs' selection below...a single click to view here..

Superrmarine Spitfire T.9 NH341 'Elizabeth' and Spitfire Mk IV TD314 'St George', respectively flown by Charle Brown and Antony "Parky' Parkinson, chase a Buch√∂n in a mock dogfight over Headcorn airfield at Saturday's  display.  (Ian Andrews)

And also on this blog - highlights from last year's Headcorn air show 

Sunday, 8 May 2022

The Wright R-3350 “Cyclone 18” - the trials of the B-29's engines


"...On September 29, 1946, a Navy P2V1 Neptune named the “Truculent Turtle” left Perth, Australia and flew 11,236 miles unrefueled to Columbus, Ohio, a record that stood until the Voyager flight around the world during the fall of 1986. The P2V1 was powered by two Wright R-3350 Cyclones. It is hard to believe that a record-setting engine such as this had one of the most difficult developments of any aircraft engine ever to see production. This was largely due to an extremely compressed schedule that tried to do in two years what ordinarily took five...".

"...When the Army requested proposals for a bomber capable of striking targets in Japan, all five bidders proposed the R-3350. The Army ultimately selected the Boeing XB-29 Superfortress and the Consolidated XB-32 Dominator for production. Wright suddenly found itself with the largest and most important engine program of the War. More than 30,000 engines would be required for the B-29 program, plus others for the B-32 and Navy. To further complicate issues, many strategic materials such as mica and core sand were in short supply due to hostilities in India and Madagascar..."


"Actuarial Analysis of the operating life of B-29 aircraft engines", by O L Altman and C G Goor.

1) R-3350's were in critical supply in 1944 and the first half of 1945. Supply problems were easing around the end of the war.
2) Air transportation was used to fly R-3350's to the US for overhaul, at best 2 R-3350's would fit in a cargo plane.
3) Overhauled engines had around 10% lower "life" before the next overhaul.
4) The -23 was the carburettor and the -57 the fuel injected versions. The -23 was modified to improve reliability.
5) The statisticians noted the standard USAAF methodology for forecasting engine life was only suitable for a reasonably static population. Not where there was a steady arrival of more strength using new aircraft.

In terms of engine life, operations in India were the worst, since each combat sortie required three reasonably rapid climbs, India to China, China to Japan, China to India. Next came training in the US, finally the best were the units in the Marianas.

Expected life prior to first overhaul, early operations from India, 163 hours, -23 engines. Using modified -23 engines this had risen to 280 hours by February/March 1945 for aircraft operating from India and 304 hours from the Marianas.

The figures for B-29s used in training were 221 hours and 310 hours versus the 163 and 280 hours figures above.

Operating from India a comparison between the modified and unmodified -23 engines showed 80% of the unmodified and 95.3% of the modified engines survived to over 100 hours, 33.9 of the unmodified and 81.5% of the modified engines survived to over 200 hours, 0.2% of the unmodified and 47.3% of the modified engines survived to over 300 hours.

In the Marianas, as of 20 November 1944 the average hours on each -23 engine removed was 91, by 20 January 1945 it was 151, as of 30 April it was 234. These figures include removals for engine model changes, modifications, accidents and battle damage. They are also under estimates of the normal engine lifetime because so many of the engines were new. The figures include new and overhauled engines, so it is either the number of hours since the engine was built for new engines or since overhaul for the overhauled engines.

Engine hours before removal as of 31 May was 259 hours, and 31 July 272 hours. These figures are for engines removed because of mechanical problems only.

Even in July the steady number of new B-29s arriving drove down the average engine hours per removed engine.

A study as of 31 July 1945 noted in the Marianas the -23 engines 96.8% of new and 92.5% of overhauled logged more than 100 hours before replacement, 87.5% and 75.7% respectively logged over 200 hours, 62.7 and 43.4 logged over 300 hours, 19% and 8% logged over 400 hours, none logged over 500 hours.

As noted above the training schools in the US went through R-3350 engines quicker than the combat units in the Marianas, for example 57.9% and 36.4% logged over 300 hours, but once this mark was passed the engines in the US held up more, so 24.6% and 10.4% logged over 400 hours, and 1.2% and 0.2% managed over 500 hours.

The fuel injected -57 engine had a higher time between overhauls, so in the above study 31.2% used in training logged over 400 hours, and 4.9% logged over 500 hours.

Sunday, 1 May 2022

Fokker Dr I 503/17 of Jasta19 Lt Hans Korner

 Fokker Dr I 503/17 of Jasta19 Lt Hans Korner  (SDASM Images)

Paul Baumer's Dr 1

Wednesday, 16 March 2022

German Luftwaffe to procure 35 F-35 and 15 Eurofighters


"..the decision to procure the F-35 has been made. What this means for the Luftwaffe is explained by Generalleutnant Ingo Gerhartz.."

"...There was only one response possible to Putin's aggression and that was to show our determination to stand shoulder to shoulder with our NATO allies already operating the most modern warplane currently flying anywhere in the world. The decision to procure this jet strengthens our ability, together with our partners, to support NATO airspace and defend the alliance. All 35 aircraft will serve with Taktisches Luftwaffengeschwader 33 (formerly Jagdbombergeschwader 33) ..."

The Geschwader (Tactical Air Force Wing 33, abbreviated as 'TaktLwG 33' ) is based in B√ľchel (near Spangdahlem) and operates the Tornado IDS under its Kommodore, Oberst Thomas Schneider. The additional Eurofighters to be purchased will be operated in the electronic warfare role 

Hendon RAF Museum's 'newest' exhibit - Lysander R9125


Visited the RAF Museum, Colindale (Hendon) London on Sunday. What a fantastic place - shame that the collection is a bit all over the place at the moment. The Fw 190 S-8 (dual cockpit trainer) is currently dismantled awaiting a move, but apparently both the Dinah and the Ki-100 from Cosford are coming down to north London. The RAF Museum's 'newest' exhibit though is Lysander R9125. Recently restored, the Lysander is now on public display at Hendon in the corner of Hangar 5 opposite the He 162 and Vulcan. No idea why. The finished scheme is accurate down to the "inverted" paint detail on the engine cowl gills - which replicates how it actually looked in a WW2 photograph. Note how for the second photo I went over the rope to try and get a view of the cockpit..only partially successful...