Sunday, 22 April 2018

Breguet 270 -daily ebay photo find #80

...interesting views of the 'liaison' variant of this rare French bird with enclosed cockpit and cabin for passengers.

Monday, 9 April 2018

Docavia Mirage IV - Le bombardier strategique. Recommended Aviation books #39

This 367-page hardback published in 2003 is another book that I would like to own but probably never will. As advertised by Rich Carrick and sold by him on ebay.

" ..Superb volume! Highly detailed and complete down to the smallest detail. In short, a reference book for all aviation enthusiasts! Many rare photographs - absolutely fantastic reference for modellers and aviation fans. Naturally, the book is entirely in French, but if you have a basic understanding of the language you should be fine. The photos speak for themselves. There are also detailed scale plans. Very hard to find, even in France, and can command huge prices!.."

Saturday, 7 April 2018

'Outpacing the Sun' Fairey FD.2 Booklet, 1956- ebay photo find #79

Great shot of the legendary Fairey Delta 2 WG 774 preparing for a demonstration flight at the Farnborough Air Show c1954. The first FD.2 WG 774 made its first flight on 6 October 1954 with Peter Twiss at the controls. Flight testing continued until 17 November 1954 when during Twiss' 14th flight the engine failed and Twiss - with superb calm headedness - had to land a powerless machine, there being only enough hydraulic pressure to lower the nosewheel.. On 15 February 1956 the second FD 2 WG 777 made its first flight in the hands of Peter Twiss. Althugh both FD 2s carried service roundels neither saw service with the RAF. From the outset Twiss had felt that the type was capable of exceeding 1,000 mph and started calling for an attempt on the world air speed record then held by a F-100 Super Sabre at 822 mph..

Outpacing the Sun' Fairey FD.2 Booklet 1956

A large 32 page booklet produced by Fairey in co-operation with the 'Aeroplane' magazine telling the full story of the Fairey FD.2 attaining the absolute World Speed Record of 1,132 mph in March 1956. The story of the man who flew it, the men who built and designed it and how a speed of 20 miles a minute was measured at over 7 miles above the earth. Sample pages shown.

Fairey Delta 2 WG 774 remains one of the most important aircraft in British aviation history, being the original delta wing jet, and the first aircraft to exceed 1,000 mph. ( Aircraft set new record speed of 1,132 mph on 10 March 1956 ) The British Aircraft Corporation BAC Type 221 was a reconfiguration of the record breaking Fairey Delta 2 into a test bed to test the wing shape of Concorde. First flown as the Type 221 in May 1964, WG 774 spent a further nine years on test flying before being retired in June 1973.

Fiat Br. 20 - daily ebay photo find #78

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Harrier T.4 XW 175, G-VTOL Harrier Mk.52 two-seater V/STOL company demonstrator - daily ebay photo find #78

RAE Beford photograph of Harrier T.4 XW 175. First flown in 1969, XW 175 was delivered to RAE Bedford in 1975. It then spent the next 33 years expanding the VSTOL envelope at Bedford and then Boscombe Down where it eventually became the VSTOL fly-by-wire vectored thrust technology demonstrator operated by Qinetic (VAAC). Retired in 2008 it now resides at Cosford.

on offer here

HMS Hermes (R12) Hawker Harrier Trials 1977, Harrier GR.1 XV281, Harrier T.4A XW175 from RAE Bedford, Harrier GR.3 XZ138 and G-VTOL Harrier Mk.52 two-seater V/STOL company demonstrator.

 The trials involved four Harriers, two single-seaters and two twin-seaters, aboard Hermes, They were designed to look in particular at the ability of the aircraft to operate from a pitching and rolling flight deck at night or in poor weather. All four aircraft were given different tasks within a programme covering investigation of various stores configurations, handling on the approach, head-up display symbology and handling with simulated Sea Harrier centre-of-gravity locations.

The two-seat Harrier from RAE Bedford was used during the Hermes trial to establish whether head-up display symbology modifications would be required for the Sea Harrier approach case

via the quite exceptional David's World on flickr here

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Royal Navy Seafires, 806 Sqdn, HMS Glory, Sea Fury HMS Indomitable -daily ebay photo find #75

Griffon-engined Royal Navy Seafire XVs, 11-3 'Y'., 11-8 'Y'. from 806 Sqdn, HMS Glory seen over Hong Kong during October 1946

Seafire SR 638 158-M of 767 Sqdn. Milltown, c1949

Seafire SX 336 (?), 105-VL, 1949

Royal Navy aircraft on board Australian carrier HMAS Sydney, c1949

Below, Royal Navy Sea Fury, VW 238, 107-Q after collision with Sea Fury TF 965, Yeovilton, 5 September 1949

Royal Navy Sea Fury, WE 736 161-A of 801 Sqdn on board HMS Indomitable, January 1952

Royal Navy Sea Fury FB11, VX 651, 132-CW of 738 Sqdn crashed onboard HMS Illustrious either 7 March or 12 July 1950

on offer here

Saturday, 17 March 2018

RAF B-26 Marauders 14 Squadron "Dominion Triumph" "Dominion Revenge"- Marauder Mk.I in RAF service

based on Tony O Toole's 'Commonwealth Marauders' in SAM  November 2015 and Mike Napier's "Winged Crusaders" history of 14 Squadron. Cheers Tony!

Marauder Mark I, FK111, of the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment, on a test flight from Boscombe Down, Wiltshire. After a period with No. 301 Ferry Training Unit, this aircraft saw operational service as a torpedo-bomber with No. 14 Squadron RAF in North Africa and Italy.

Marauder Mark I, FK375 ‘D’ “Dominion Revenge”, of No. 14 Squadron RAF based at Fayid, Egypt, in flight. This aircraft was lost during a torpedo attack off Aghios Giorgios Island on 3 January 1943.

© IWM (CM 5001)

Wg Cdr Dick Maydwell on board Marauder FK 142 ("R" Robert) "Dominion Triumph" who shot down the Me 323 of the Obfw. Walter Honig on July 30 1943 at Barcaggio (Corsica). Note two kill markings and the bullet badge under the cockpit. The Martin Marauder Mk I "Dominion Triumph", USAAF number 41-7363, on strength 23 Sep, 1942, was lost on 1 Feb, 1944 during a recce mission from Ghisonaccia, Corsica, at this time base No 14 Squadron. The entire crew: F/Sgt MC Reid, F/S JT Brown, W/O A Western, F/Sgt TN Gilchrist, F/Sgt WH Carr, F/Sgt P Daley, was declared missing.

The highly experienced 14 Sqn had been flying Blenheim Mk.IV`s in the light bomber role during all of the major battles fought in the Western Desert, with short rest periods in Palestine and Iraq in between but by mid 1942 it was the last operational unit flying the Blenheim in North Africa and due for a rest from ops. As luck would have it the first Marauder Mk.I`s began to arrive in the Middle East around this time so 14 Sqn was selected as the prime candidate to fly the new type and under the leadership of pre war RAF regular Wing Commander Wynne S.G. `Dick' Maydwell DFC it moved to Fayid in the Canal Zone of Egypt during August 1942 to commence conversion. To help with this the unit was assigned a cadre of experienced USAAF instructors led by Colonel Flint Garrison.

In fact the only crash during the work up period was made by USAAF Col. Flint Garrison and he was the most experienced B-26 pilot on the squadron! In his defence the crash was totally beyond his control and was caused by a lorry driven by Egyptian workmen which crossed the runway just as Marauder Mk.I, FK157 was landing The resulting crash totally wrecked the Marauder and killed three of the Egyptians on the truck but none of the aircrew were injured and the aircraft was stripped for spares before being struck off charge. The B-26 was regarded as something of a hot ship by USAAF pilots but most of those affected were straight out of flight school and the 14 Sqn crews already had plenty of operational experience and so were not unduly affected Just like most RAF units of the time the aircrew of 14 Sqn hailed from all four corners of Britain and its Empire (as the current Commonwealth was then known) plus occupied Europe so Englishmen, Irishmen, Welshmen and Scots rubbed shoulders with Kiwis, Canadians, South Africans, Aussies, a Kenyan, a Rhodesian and a Dane and they soon took to their new mounts which they found to be a much faster and more capable aircraft than their old Blenheim’s. The conversion and work up period went well despite the early short winged Marauders reputation as a “Widow Maker” in USAAF service. This was because of the relatively high landing speed and high wing loading of this version which caught out many inexperienced. (Tony O' Toole text)

It is said that 14 Sqd Marauders in the MTO/North Africa theatre were named after RN Subs and ships based in the Med and HMS Triumph was indeed a sub from the Malta based 10th Sub Flotilla,.....but some of the names do not correspond with serving RN vessels of the time.

Dominion Revenge- FK 375
Dominion Thunderer- FK 149
Dominion Triumph- FK 142
Dominion Upholder- FK 370

(HMS Revenge and Thunderer were battleships- although the latter had been decommissioned in 1926- and HMS Triumph and Upholder were submarines operating in the Mediterranean, mostly from Malta.)

FK375 'D' Dominion Revenge - Dick Maydwell's aircraft ready to go on a torpedo op.
The Marauder Mk.I`s ( which cost $102,659.33 each to build) operated by 14 Sqn were from a batch of 52 which were equivalent to the USAAF’s B-26A-MA and B-26A-1-MA versions that were delivered under Lend Lease terms to the RAF due to a delay in deliveries of the Martin Baltimore. Most were delivered directly to North Africa and judging by photos taken during these flights at least some bore US markings, however four crashed during their delivery flights, some were lost in the USA before delivery and four were sent to the UK for trials purposes although these were later sent on to N. Africa too as numbers available in the Middle East began to dwindle due to accidental and operational losses. One aircraft which did not leave North America was FK 115 which was stripped to bare metal, given a solid nose and named `Helzapoppin' for use by 45 Group in Canada.

Marauder Mk.I of 14 Sqn RAF. Via Tony O' Toole .." ..I have been researching 14 Sqd B-26 camouflage schemes for years and had been sure that some wore a version of the Temperate Sea Scheme which was added to those that were painted in the desert scheme when the role of the unit was changed from the expected light bomber role to that of maritime reconnaissance and strike. This can just be made out in photos of the real aircraft and when I liaised with crews who flew the type thanks to the 14 Sqn Association lo and behold I was proved to be correct! A number of aircrew recalled that some of the Marauders were painted in a sea scheme and one provided a copy of a painting that he made of his own aircraft just after the war..."

British Marauder Mk.I`s had the later style cowlings with twin air filter housings on the top as opposed to the flat style used by the first USAAC/USAAF B-26`s. Many Marauders appear to have a darker colour applied along the upper nose and fuselage and apparently this is caused by a different thickness of aluminium and this effect totally vanished from other angles of photography..

“Dominion Revenge” "D" was lost during a torpedo attack off Aghios Giorgios Island on 3 January 1943, crew report here

"... Mediterranean Safari...

Many thanks to Dick Maydwell DSO DFC (who commanded 14 Squadron during 1942/43) for sending me the following excellent "Boys Own" story in response to my plea in the last newsletter:

Nowadays sportsmen spend a fortune in running a trip to South Africa to shoot lion, kudu and impala. But in 1943, when our Squadron was stationed at Protville in Tunisia, my Marauder crew enjoyed a splendid safari in the Med, with transport, accommodation, guns and ammunition for free - but watch out for Me109s!

Our first trophy was a large three-engined Savoia Marchetti 82 Kangaroo transport. Shortly after that we shot down a four-engined Junkers 90. But one late evening with the setting sun, as we sped low over the sea, we became the hunted. We were attacked by 2 Me109 fighters at sea-level. After a short gun battle, my tail gunner, Gil Graham, managed to hit one of them and severely damage it. It departed in a plume of white smoke from a glycol leak. Now there was only one. Then disaster - the electrical power to the top gun turret fused! We were now virtually defenceless. As the second Me109 pressed home his attack, I kept the Marauder flying into the sun, moving this way and that, never on the same course for more than three seconds. The tail gunner reported on three occasions that the sea was churned up with a "whoosh" of cannon fire, exactly where we had been just a second before. Eventually, the second Me109 ran out of ammunition and left us to make our escape.

A few days later we were happy to be back on our Med safari. We were flying at sea-level close to Cape Corse at the tip of Corsica, when we saw the most enormous aircraft flying towards us. It was a six-engined Me 323. I knew it had two formidable cannons firing aft so I manoeuvred in front of the enemy aircraft and fired back at him. Soon three engines were out of action. The huge aircraft lumbered on towards the Corsican coast, where it crash- landed in a cloud of dust. Luckily for the crew, it didn't catch fire and no-one was injured as the gun crews and tractor drivers had all gone to the rear of the aeroplane. We did not shoot them up on the ground. I have been friends with the pilot of the Me323 for the last 21 years, but that is another story!

Today I am 90 years old, but I remember all those incidents as clear as a bell.."

from the 14 Sqd Association web-site here

Sunday, 11 March 2018

British F-4 Phantom FG. 1, Scimitar, Sea Fury, first production Sea Vixen FAW.1 XJ 474 -daily ebay photo find #73

Royal Navy photograph of Phantom FG.1 XV 569 of 892 NAS about to be launched from the USS Saratoga in the Med. Four aircraft from 892 NAS undertook the first sea trials of the Phantom FG.1 aboard the USS Saratoga during October 1969.

Supermarine Scimitar XD318 '154' catapulted from HMS Hermes

Hawker P.1040 Carrier Trials on HMS Illustrious 1949

Sea Vixen FAW.1 XJ474 1958, original 'The Aeroplane' photograph of the first production Sea Vixen FAW.1 XJ 474 at the Christchurch factory in April 1958. In the background is XJ 475.

Royal Navy Westland Wyvern VZ 788 c1954. A/c scrapped January 1960

on offer here

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Victor B.2 XL513 & XL 512 carrying Blue Steel - ebay photo find #57

An original Ministry of Defence photograph of Handley Page Victor B.2 XL513 equipped with a Blue Steel Missile. Note the four Vulcans on...