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Author Topic: The slightly less well known  (Read 2101 times)

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Offline Angry Turnip

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #25 on: February 03, 2019, 05:40:33 PM »
Vickers Vildebeest

The Vickers Vildebeest,and the similar Vickers Vincent were two very large two/three-seat single-engined biplanes.The prototype was,an all-metal fuselage aircraft with single-bay unstaggered fabric-covered wings and tail.First flown in April 1928 as the Vickers Type 132,powered by a Bristol Jupiter VIII radial engine,later changed to the Bristol Pegasus II-M3 air-cooled radial,of 635hp.An initial production order was placed in 1931 for nine aircraft,with the first production machines flying in September 1932.

The RAF ordered 150 to serve as light bombers/torpedo bombers,and in army cooperation roles.In 1931 Vickers designed as a private venture a general purpose version of the Vildebeest to replace the RAF's Westland Wapitis and Fairey IIIFs,supporting the Army in the Middle East.
Named the Vickers Vincent:differences from the Vildebeest were minimal,principally removal of torpedo equipment,provision for an auxiliary fuel tank,and other minor changes.The Vincent was unveiled to the general public for the first time at the 1935 RAF flying display at Hendon,but deliveries had already been made to No.8 Sqn at Aden in late 1934.Between 1934 and 1936,197 Vincents were built for or converted from Vildebeests for the RAF.

The Vildebeest was purchased in moderately large numbers by the RAF from 1931,mainly based in Scotland and Singapore.By 1937,it equipped six squadrons in Iraq,Aden,Kenya,Sudan,and Egypt.At the outbreak of the Second World War,101 Vildebeests were still in service with the RAF.The two British-based squadrons flew coastal patrol and convoy escort missions until 1940,when their Vildebeests were replaced by the Bristol Beaufort.The two Singapore-based squadrons were still waiting for their Beauforts when Japan invaded Malaya in December 1941,and the obsolete biplanes had to be deployed against the Japanese attackers.

The Vildebeest also served in Spain,with the Spanish Republican forces,and 12 Vildebeests were purchased by the Royal New Zealand Air Force in 1935 for coastal defence duties,with a further 27 acquired from RAF stocks in 194041.A Vildebeest/Vincent composite airframe is being restored by the Royal New Zealand Air Force Museum at Wigram.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2019, 11:33:15 PM by Angry Turnip »

Offline Angry Turnip

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #26 on: February 06, 2019, 11:13:38 AM »
Vickers Warwick

The Vickers Warwick was a multi-purpose twin-engined military aircraft developed and operated during WWII used mainly by the RAF,but also used by some Polish Sqds and the RAAF,as well as a small number of civil versions used by BOAC.
It was intended to serve as a larger counterpart to the Wellington bomber;the two aircraft shared similar construction and design.Unlike the smaller Wellington, development of the Warwick was protracted by a lack of suitable high-powered engines with which to power the type.First flight was on 13 August 1939,delays to its intended powerplant,the Napier Sabre,led to alternatives being explored in the form of the Bristol Centaurus and Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp radial.

Due to the powerplant delays,it was no longer viable as a heavy bomber,and was placed into operational use by the RAF in various other capacities,such as under RAF Transport Command,in addition to its adoption by RAF Coastal Command as an air-sea rescue and maritime reconnaissance platform.During mid-1943,a single Warwick Mk I was converted to become the Warwick Mk II prototype;the main difference was the fitting of Centaurus IV engines.
A total of 219 Warwick Mk I aircraft were constructed,the last 95 of these with 2,000 horsepower R-2800-47 engines.Early testing showed the Warwick to be under-powered and with severe handling problems,especially when flown on a single engine.The version of Double Wasp fitted to early models proved extremely unreliable with many in-flight failures; later versions fitted with the Centaurus engine had better performance but the handling problems were never solved.

From 1943,Warwicks were loaded with the 1,700 lb (770 kg) Mk IA airborne lifeboat,and used for air-sea rescue.It was laden with supplies and powered by two 4 hp motors,it was aimed with a bombsight near to ditched aircrew,and dropped by parachute into the sea from an altitude of about 700 ft.
Warwicks were credited with rescuing crews from Halifaxes,Lancasters,Wellingtons and B-17`s,and during Operation Market Garden,and from Hamilcar gliders,all of which ditched in the English Channel or North Sea.
In total 846 aircraft in different versions were completed.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2019, 11:29:41 PM by Angry Turnip »

Offline Angry Turnip

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #27 on: February 07, 2019, 11:20:50 AM »
Vickers Vanguard/Merchantman

The Vickers Vanguard was a British short/medium-range turboprop airliner introduced in 1959,a follow-up to its highly successful Viscount design,but with considerably more internal space.It was largely ignored by the market,only 44 were built,ordered by Trans-Canada Air Lines (TCA) and British European Airways (BEA).In the early 1970s most were converted to freighters,those from BEA becoming the Merchantman.These freighters remained in service for many years,with the last one not retiring until 1996.

The main difference between the Viscount and Vanguard was the fuselage.The revised larger upper portion gave a roomier interior,with increased cargo capacity below the floor.
Rolls-Royce delivered its new Tyne design with a nominal 4,000 hp,allowing a higher service ceiling and cruising speed.The Vanguard was one of the fastest turboprops ever flown,production aircraft had 4 Rolls-Royce Tyne RTy.11 Mk 512 turboprops producing 5,545 hp each,so the Vanguard was certainly overpowered.

It entered service with BEA and TCA in late 1960,and soon took over many of BEA's busier European and UK trunk routes.Initial seating was 18 first-class at the rear and 108 tourist,but this was changed to 139 all-tourist,in which configuration,the Vanguard had very low operating costs per seat/mile.The remaining BEA fleet passed to British Airways on 1 April 1974 and the last BA passenger flight with the type was on 16 June 1974.TCA used their`s with two flights from Toronto and Montreal via intermediate stops to Vancouver.The fleet was also used on services from Toronto and Montreal to New York and Nassau.

BEA operated nine Vanguards modified to the V953C "Merchantman" all-cargo layout from 1969,a large forward cargo door was incorporated.The Merchantmen continued in service with BA until late 1979 when the remaining five were sold.Air Bridge Carriers purchased several,and operated them until 1992,when it changed its name to Hunting Cargo Airlines.Hunting Cargo operated its last V953C flight on 30 September 1996 and donated the aircraft,registered G-APEP,to Brooklands Museum on 17 October 1996.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2019, 11:23:06 AM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #28 on: February 08, 2019, 09:28:43 PM »
Westland Walrus

The Westland Walrus was a British spotter/reconnaissance biplane,developed from the Airco DH.9A.The initial attempt was carried out by Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft,adding provision for an observer and removing the stagger from the wings.Westland further modified the aircraft to produce the Walrus,with a 450 hp Napier Lion II engine replacing the Liberty of the DH.9A.

The Walrus was a single-engined,two-bay biplane,fitted with an extra cockpit for the observer/radio operator behind the gunner's cockpit.The observer also had a prone position for observing in a ventral pannier.The undercarriage was jettisonable and the aircraft was fitted with floatation bags for safe ditching,together with arresting gear to aid landing on aircraft carriers.

The prototype`s first flight was in early 1921,it proved to have poor flying characteristics,described by Westland's test pilot Stuart Keep as "a vicious beast.".However,a further 35 were ordered for the RAF and RN.Despite the extensive navalisation,for carrier borne deployment,the Walrus never operated from carriers.
Production aircraft began to be delivered to No. 3 Sqn RAF,at RAF Leuchars in Fife in 1921.No.3 Sqn was split up to form independent Fleet Spotter Flights in 1923.
It continued in service in the Fleet spotting role until it was replaced by the Avro Bison and Blackburn Blackburn in late 1925.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2019, 09:34:04 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #29 on: February 16, 2019, 01:26:50 AM »
Westland Whirlwind (fighter)

The Westland Whirlwind was a twin-engine heavy fighter,the first single-seat,twin-engine,cannon-armed fighter of the RAF.It first flew 11th Oct 1938,and was one of the fastest combat aircraft in the world,and with four Hispano-Suiza HS.404 20mm autocannon in its nose,the most heavily armed.Problems with its Rolls-Royce Peregrine engines badly delayed the project,and only 116 Whirlwinds were built.During WW II,just three RAF squadrons were equipped with the type,despite its success as a fighter and ground attack aircraft,it was withdrawn from service in 1943.

The airframe was built mainly of stressed-skin duraluminium,with the exception of the rear-fuselage,which used a magnesium alloy stressed skin.The pilot sat high under one of the world's first full bubble canopies,and with the low and forward location of the wing,visibility was good (except for directly over the nose).
Hopes were so high for the design that it remained "top secret" for much of its development.The Whirlwind was quite small,only slightly larger than the Hurricane but smaller in terms of frontal area.The landing gear was fully retractable and the entire aircraft was very "clean" with few openings or protuberances.Radiators were in the leading edge on the inner wings rather than below the engines.

The Whirlwind was most often used in ground-attack missions over France,attacking German airfields,marshalling yards,and railway traffic.It was also successful in hunting and destroying German E-boats which operated in the English Channel.At lower altitudes,it could hold its own against the Bf 109.
After retirement in December 1943,all but one of the surviving Whirlwinds were sent to 18 Maintenance Unit at Dumfries,where they were scrapped.P7048 was retained by Westland and was granted a civil certificate of airworthiness on 10 October 1946,with the registration G-AGOI.It was used as a company hack for a short time before being withdrawn in 1947 and scrapped.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2019, 01:49:30 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #30 on: February 16, 2019, 01:48:52 PM »
Westland Wyvern

The Wyvern began as a Westland project for a naval strike fighter,with the engine located behind the pilot,driving a propeller in the nose via a shaft that passed under the cockpit floor.The prototype W.34;the Wyvern TF.1,first flew at Boscombe Down on 16 December 1946 with Westland's test pilot Harald Penrose at the controls.
From prototype number three onwards,the aircraft were navalised and carried their intended armament of four Hispano 20 mm cannon in the wings,and have the ability to carry a torpedo under the fuselage or a selection of bombs and rockets under the wings.

Powerplant was 1 Armstrong Siddeley Python turboprop engine of 3,560 hp driving 4-bladed Rotol contra-rotating,13 ft props.The first Python-powered TF.2 flew on 22 March 1949 and this aircraft introduced the ejection seat to the type.The Python engine responded poorly to minor throttle adjustments,so control was by running the engine at a constant speed and varying the pitch of the propellers.The aircraft was declared ready for service in 1952.

The Wyvern S.4 entered service with 813 Naval Air Squadron in May 1953,it had not yet obtained clearance for carrier operations,this was issued in April 1954.They were in service with the Fleet Air Arm from 1954 to 1958.Wyverns equipped 813 Squadron,827 Squadron,830 Squadron and 831 Squadron of the Fleet Air Arm.
The Wyvern soon showed a worrying habit for flameout on catapult launch;due to the high G forces resulting in fuel starvation.A number of aircraft were lost off HMS Albion's bows and Lt. B. D. Macfarlane made history on 13 October 1954 when he successfully ejected from under water after his aircraft had ditched on launch and had been cut in two by the carrier.
All Wyverns were withdrawn from service by 1958: while in service and testing there were 68 accidents,39 were lost and there were 13 fatalities;including two RAF pilots and one United States Navy pilot.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2019, 01:51:36 PM by Angry Turnip »

Offline Angry Turnip

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #31 on: February 17, 2019, 07:58:18 PM »
Westland 30

The Westland 30 was a medium helicopter based on the Westland Lynx.Westland had studied a larger version of the Lynx for civil use,originally named "WG-30 Super Lynx" before being changed to "Westland 30".It shared transmission,rotor blade and other components with the Lynx,but had a new airframe.The fuselage is a conventionally built structure of aluminium while composites are used for the tail boom.The prototype WG30 made its first flight on 10 April 1979,and made an appearance at the Paris Air Show the same year.

As a civilian carrier,fitted with airstair or sliding doors it could carry up to 22 passengers with a baggage compartment at the rear of the fuselage.As a military aircraft it could carry 14 troops with equipment, 17 without or six stretchers and medical attendants.

The first of three Westland 30-100s was delivered to British Airways Helicopters on 6 January 1982,to support gas rigs in the southern sector of the North Sea.Omniflight Helicopter Services operated the type on behalf of Pan American World Airways,linking JFK Airport with Pan Am's heliport in central Manhattan.Services ended on 1 February 1988,and the helicopters were returned to Westland;most ending up at The Helicopter Museum in Weston-super-Mare.
Chief operator of the type was Pawan Hans of India.The UK government agreed with India to supply 21 Westland 30s for oil exploration duties using a British grant of 65 million pounds.It was soon found that they were ill-suited to Indian conditions,and after two fatal accidents,the fleet was grounded in 1991.The aircraft are believed to remain in storage in the UK and India.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2019, 10:33:15 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #32 on: February 18, 2019, 10:02:10 PM »
I think that`s most of the major UK types dealt with.I will move on to USA types,should be a few to keep me busy.

« Last Edit: February 18, 2019, 10:09:50 PM by Angry Turnip »

Offline Angry Turnip

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #33 on: February 18, 2019, 10:19:53 PM »
American Eagle A-101

The American A-1 and A-101 were US-built light 2/3-seat biplanes of the 1920s.The American Eagle A-1 was designed in late 1925 as a training aircraft to replace the WW I biplanes of various types then in use by the Porterfield Flying School.
The prototype A-1 first flew on 9 April 1926.Modifications made to the design in 1927,including ailerons on the lower wings,led to the A-101 designation.
The 90 h.p.Curtiss OX-5 engine was initially fitted,but the upgraded 100 h.p.Curtiss OX-6 was fitted to later production A-101s.
A total of approximately 300 A-1/A-101 aircraft had been completed by 1929.

Offline Angry Turnip

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #34 on: Yesterday at 09:06:25 PM »
Bell P-59 Airacomet


The Bell P-59 Airacomet was a twin jet-engined fighter aircraft, the first produced in the United States.Major General Henry H.Arnold became aware of the UK's jet program when he attended a demonstration of the Gloster E.28/39 in April 1941.He requested,and was given the plans for the aircraft's powerplant,the Power Jets W.1.
An example of the engine,the Whittle W.1X turbojet,was flown to the U.S in October 1941 along with drawings for the more powerful W.2B/23 and a small team of Power Jets engineers.On 4 September,the U.S. company General Electric was given a contract to produce an American version of the engine,which subsequently became the General Electric I-A.

The aircraft first flew during high-speed taxiing tests on 1 Oct 1942 with Bell test pilot Robert Stanley at the controls,although the first official flight was made by Col Laurence Craigie the next day.Tests on the three XP-59As revealed several problems including poor engine response and reliability,poor lateral stability,and general performance that was below expectations.

The 13 service test YP-59As had a more powerful engine than their predecessor,the General Electric J31,but the improvement in performance was negligible.One of these aircraft,the third YP-59A was supplied to the RAF (receiving serial RG362/G),in exchange for the first production Gloster Meteor I, EE210/G.British pilots found that the aircraft compared very unfavorably with the jets that they were already flying.
Bell eventually completed 50 production Airacomets,20 P-59As and 30 P-59BsEach was armed with one 37 mm M4 cannon and 44 rounds of ammunition and three .50 cal (12.7 mm) machine guns with 200 rounds per gun.By 1950, all examples of the Airacomet were no longer airworthy.Disposal of the aircraft included use as static displays,instructional aids in military training,and as static targets.
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 09:06:42 PM by Angry Turnip »