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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Graf Zeppelin


Here are some images of Lindberg/Hawk 1/245 scale Graf Zeppelin.

From Wikipedia"
LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin (Deutsches Luftschiff Zeppelin #127; Registration: D-LZ 127) was a German-built and -operated, passenger-carrying, hydrogen-filled, rigid airship which operated commercially from 1928 to 1937. When it entered commercial service in 1928, it became the first commercial passenger transatlantic flight service in the world. It was named after the German pioneer of airships, Ferdinand von Zeppelin, who was a count (Graf) in the German nobility. During its operating life, the airship made 590 flights covering more than 1.7 million kilometers (over 1 million miles). It was designed to be operated by a crew of 36 officers and men. The LZ 127 was the longest rigid airship at the time of its completion and was only surpassed by the USS Akron in 1931. It was scrapped for fighter plane parts in 1940.

Built at the Zeppelin Company works (Luftschiffbau Zeppelin) in Friedrichshafen am Bodensee (Lake Constance), Germany, between 1926 and 1928, the LZ-127 had a design patterned on that of the LZ-126, which the company had delivered as a war reparation to the U.S. Navy. The LZ-126 had been delivered at NAS Lakehurst, New Jersey, in October 1924, where it was commissioned as the USS Los Angeles (ZR-3).[2] With that project completed, the Zeppelin company's chairman Dr. Hugo Eckener promptly began a two-year campaign of lobbying the German Government for funds and permission to proceed with construction of a new airship for Germany. Construction began in 1926 with the aid of a government grant although the majority of the necessary 2 million Reichsmarks (RM) in funding would eventually be raised by public subscription. The LZ 127 was completed and launched in September 1928.
At 236.6 m (776 ft) and a total gas volume of 105,000 m3 (3,700,000 cu ft) of which 75,000 m3 (2,600,000 cu ft) was hydrogen carried in 17 "lift gas" cells (Traggaszelle) and 30,000 m3 (1,100,000 cu ft) was Blau gas in 12 "power gas" cells (Kraftgaszelle), the Graf was the largest airship in the world at the time. It was powered by five Maybach VL-2 12-cylinder 550 hp engines that could burn either Blau gas or gasoline.
Although the Graf could achieve a top airspeed of 128 km/h (36 m/s; 80 mph; 69 kn) at its maximum power of 1,980 kW (2,650 hp), its normal operational airspeed was 117 km/h (33 m/s; 73 mph; 63 kn) at a power of 1,600 kW (2,150 hp). Some flights were made using only Blau gas carried in the dozen power gas cells which enabled the airship to cruise for up to 100 hours. Using gasoline alone it was able to cruise for 67 hours, and up to 118 hours using both. The Graf Zeppelin had a total lift capacity of 87,000 kg (192,000 lb) with a usable payload of 15,000 kg (33,000 lb) on a 10,000 km (6,200 mi; 5,400 nmi) flight.

The LZ 127 was christened Graf Zeppelin by Countess Brandenstein-Zeppelin on 8 July 1928, the 90th anniversary of the birth of her father Ferdinand. The Zeppelin Company had originally planned to charter LZ 127 to a Spanish company to carry mail from Seville in Spain to Buenos Aires, Argentina, and a contract was signed just before the first flight of the airship with the intention to carry out test flights between Spain and Argentina in 1929.
The Graf Zeppelin's operational career spanned almost nine years from first flight in September 1928 until its last in June 1937. During that period, the airship was operated first by the Zeppelin Company's commercial flight arm, the Deutsche Luftschiffahrts-Aktiengesellschaft (German Airship Travel Corporation, DELAG) in conjunction with the Hamburg-American Line (HAPAG), and for the final two years by the Deutsche Zeppelin Reederei GmbH (DZR), a company established by Hermann Göring in March 1935 to increase Nazi party influence over Zeppelin operations. The DZR was jointly owned by the Luftschiffbau Zeppelin, the Reichsluftfahrtministerium (German Air Ministry), and Deutsche Lufthansa A.G., Germany's national airline at that time.

From 1928 to 1932 the airship was used primarily for experimental and demonstration purposes to prepare the way for eventual regular commercial transatlantic passenger service. After making six domestic shakedown flights, the airship made a first long distance journey in October 1928 crossing the Atlantic to the United States. Later demonstration flights included a round-the-world tour in August 1929, a Europe-Pan American flight in 1930, a polar expedition in 1931, two round trips to the Middle East, and a variety of other flights around Europe. In 1932, however, the Graf Zeppelin began five years of providing regularly scheduled passenger, mail, and freight service between Germany and South America (Brazil). These commercial operations were the airship's principal function during this period until it was abruptly withdrawn from active service on the day after the loss of the Hindenburg in May 1937 after having made a total of 64 round trips to Brazil. During the return trip to Germany on its last South American flight for 1933, the Graf Zeppelin also stopped in Miami (NAS Miami at Opa-Locka), Akron (Goodyear-Zeppelin Company Airdock), and the "Century of Progress" world's fair in Chicago.[citation needed]
Other flights were also made to Spain London, Berlin and Moscow. During one of the Berlin visits a glider that was released from under its hull performed a loop in front of cheering crowds,and on one of the Brazil trips British Pathé News filmed on board.

Flown German "First 1934 South America Flight" cover
While passengers paid premium fares to fly on the LZ 127 (1,500 RM from Germany to Rio de Janeiro in 1934, equal to then $590 US dollars  or $10,600 US dollars in 2016 ), with fees collected for both high value freight and air mail provided much if not most of the income needed to support the airship's commercial operations. In one transatlantic flight, for instance, the Graf Zeppelin carried 52,000 postcards and 50,000 covers, and by its last flight it had flown 48,080 kg (106,000 pounds) of mail overall. Since 1912 Zeppelins had been authorized by the German postal administration to postmark and sort mail on board and was able to deliver South America-bound post about a week faster than by ship.
During the airship's operational career, the Graf Zeppelin flew more than 1.7 million km (1,056,000 miles), becoming the first aircraft in history to fly over a million miles, made 590 flights, 144 oceanic crossings (143 across the Atlantic, one across the Pacific), carried 13,110 passengers, and spent 17,177 hours aloft (the equivalent of 717 days, or nearly two years), all of which was accomplished without ever injuring a passenger or crewman. Although scrapped in 1940, hundreds of thousands of verifiable philatelic mementos of its career still exist in the form of the flown cacheted and post marked mail carried on hundreds of its flights which are still avidly collected by stamp and postal history enthusiasts worldwide.

It was in its last five years of service that Graf Zeppelin proved that an intercontinental commercial airship service was possible. For those five years it operated regular scheduled services during the summer season between Germany and South America. The Zeppelin Company built a large hangar in Rio de Janeiro, then Brazil's capital city, the construction of which was subsidized by the Brazilian government. Designed and assembled with parts brought from Germany, the hangar was used only nine times: four by the Graf and five by the LZ-129 Hindenburg.

LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin over Rio de Janeiro
The Graf Zeppelin was too small and slow for the North Atlantic service, yet because of the blau gas fuel, was just capable of carrying out the South Atlantic route. The onset of regular airline service also led to a drastic reduction in the number of flights being made by the airship which, having logged almost 200 flights in 1930-31, made fewer than 60 in 1932.
The loss of the D-LZ 129 Hindenburg at Lakehurst on 6 May 1937 shattered public faith in the safety of hydrogen-filled airships making the continuation of their commercial passenger operations unsustainable unless the Graf Zeppelin and the still under construction LZ 130 Graf Zeppelin II could convert to non-flammable helium, the only alternative lifting gas for airships. Unlike the relatively inexpensive and universally available hydrogen, however, the vast majority of the world's available supplies of the much more costly, less buoyant, and harder to produce helium (which is an extracted byproduct of mined natural gas) were controlled by the United States. Since 1925, the exportation of helium had also been tightly restricted by Congress, although there is no record that the German Government had ever applied for an export license for helium to use in its airships prior to the Hindenburg's crash and fire.
Though much safer than hydrogen, the greatly added expense, lack of availability, and overall degradation in lifting performance that converting to helium would impose on the Graf Zeppelin made its continued operation no longer commercially viable. One day after the Hindenburg crashed in Lakehurst, the nine-year-old LZ 127 was grounded and withdrawn from service on its arrival in Friedrichshafen after a flight from Brazil on 8 May 1937. Six weeks later, on 18 June, the airship was ferried to Frankfurt am Main on what would be its 590th and final flight. On its arrival at its massive hangar at the Frankfurt airport, the airship was deflated and opened to the public as a museum.
The Graf Zeppelin had already been decommissioned and retired after the Hindenburg disaster, when President Roosevelt approved and forwarded a Cabinet report to Congress that supported exporting enough helium to Germany to permit the launched Hindenburg Class LZ-130 Graf Zeppelin II, which was designed to use either hydrogen or helium, to resume commercial transatlantic passenger service by 1939. By early 1938, however, firm opposition by Interior Secretary Harold Ickes, formally made in his capacity of one of the six statutory members of the National Munitions Control Board, to a German request to purchase up to 10,000,000 cubic feet (280,000 m3) of helium made that impossible.
Established by §5(a) of the Neutrality Act of May 1, 1937 (22 U.S.C. 441), the Board (which consisted of the Secretaries of State, War, Navy, Treasury, Commerce, and Interior), was vested by the Act with the ultimate authority to both prohibit the export to "belligerent states, or to a state wherein civil strife exists" of any type of "arms, ammunition, and implements of war" as well as restrict the transfer of any other "articles or materials" such as helium which the Government classified as having "military importance."
At a White House press briefing on 11 May 1938, President Roosevelt's press secretary Stephen Early announced that as the Act required the "unanimous" consent of the Control Board to approve the export of helium to Germany, the President had concluded that he was "without legal power to override the judgment of any one of the six [members] and direct the sale of helium for export." In response to this statement, Dr. Eckener commented later that same day that "should this decision be final, I am afraid it means the death sentence for commercial lighter-than-air craft."
Although the Graf Zeppelin II made 30 test, promotional, propaganda and military surveillance flights around Europe between the airship's launch in mid-September 1938 and its last flight 11 months later on 20 August, made just 10 days before the formal start of World War II in Europe with the German invasion of Poland on 1 September 1939, the LZ 130 never entered the commercial passenger service for which it was built. The ultimate fates of both the original Graf Zeppelin (LZ 127) and the Graf Zeppelin II (LZ 130) were formally sealed on 4 March 1940, when German Air Minister Hermann Göring issued a decree ordering both to be immediately scrapped for salvage and their duralumin airframes and other structures to be melted down for reuse by the German military aircraft industry.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Hawker FB 11 Sea Fury

Here are some more images of Fisher Model and Pattern's 1/32 scale Hawker FB 11 Sea Fury.

From Wikipedia "The Hawker Sea Fury was a British fighter aircraft developed for the Royal Navy by Hawker during the Second World War. The last propeller-driven fighter to serve with the Royal Navy, it was also one of the fastest production single piston-engined aircraft ever built.


The Hawker Fury was an evolutionary successor to the successful Hawker Typhoon and Tempest fighters and fighter-bombers of World War II. The Fury was designed in 1942 by Sydney Camm, the famous Hawker designer, to meet the Royal Air Force’s requirement for a lightweight Tempest Mk.II replacement. Developed as the "Tempest Light Fighter", it used modified Tempest semi-elliptical outer wing panels, bolted and riveted together on the fuselage centerline. The fuselage itself was similar to the Tempest, but fully monocoque with a higher cockpit for better visibility. The Air Ministry was sufficiently impressed by the design to write Specification F.2/43 around the concept.
Six prototypes were ordered; two were to be powered by Rolls-Royce Griffon engines, two with Centaurus XXIIs, one with a Centaurus XII and one as a test structure. The first Fury to fly, on 1 September 1944, was NX798 with a Centaurus XII with rigid engine mounts, powering a Rotol four-blade propeller. Second on 27 November 1944 was LA610, which had a Griffon 85 and Rotol six-blade contra-rotating propeller. By now development of the Fury and Sea Fury was closely interlinked so that the next prototype to fly was a Sea Fury, SR661, described under "Naval Conversion." NX802 (25 July 1945) was the last Fury prototype, powered by a Centaurus XV. With the ending of the Second World War in Europe, the RAF Fury contract was cancelled and development centred on the Sea Fury. LA610 was eventually fitted with a Napier Sabre VII, which was capable of developing 3,400-4,000 hp (2,535-2,983 kW). As a result it became the fastest piston engined Hawker aircraft, reaching a speed of around 485 mph (780 km/h).
The Royal Navy’s earlier Supermarine Seafire had never been completely suitable for carrier use, having a poor view for landing and a narrow-track undercarriage that made landings and takeoffs "tricky". Consequently, the Sea Fury F X (later F 10) replaced it on most carriers. Sea Furies were issued to Nos. 736, 738, 759 and 778 Squadrons of the Fleet Air Arm.
The F 10 was followed by the Sea Fury FB 11 fighter-bomber variant, which eventually reached a production total of 650 aircraft. The Sea Fury remained the Fleet Air Arm’s primary fighter-bomber until 1953 and the introduction of the Hawker Sea Hawk and Supermarine Attacker.
A total of 74 Sea Furies FB 11 (and one FB 10) served with the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) between 1948 and 1956. All flew from the aircraft carrier HMCS Magnificent in 871 squadron.
The last flights of the Canadian Sea Furies were made by Lieutenant Commander Derek Prout, who ferried WG565 to Calgary, Alberta to serve as an instructional airframe at the local Provincial Institute of Technology, and F/O Lynn Garrison who flew WG565 on 1 April 1958.
Because production continued until well after the end of the Second World War and aircraft remained in Royal Navy service until 1955, dozens of airframes have survived in varying levels of condition. A number of Sea Furies were overhauled by Hawker Aircraft at their factory at Blackpool during 1959 and supplied to civil companies in Germany, equipped with target-towing gear for Luftwaffe contract flying. Some of these aircraft survive today, owned and operated by warbird enthusiasts.
Around a dozen heavily modified Sea Furies are raced regularly at the Reno Air Races as of 2009. Most of these replace the original sleeve-valve Centaurus radial, because rotational speed and tuning potential are limited in contrast to more conventional engines such as the Rolls Royce Merlin. Most racing Sea Furies use the Pratt & Whitney Wasp Major or the Wright R-3350 Duplex-Cyclone radial engine.
WJ232, the aircraft 'Hogey' Carmichael flew during the 9 August 1952 action which resulted in him being credited with the destruction of a MiG-15 jet fighter, remains in operation in Australia in its original Royal Navy markings, with civil registration VH-SHF.
Following their retirement, something like 46 Sea Furies were stored in a wooden World War Two hangar. Some had less than 4 hours total time - little more than factory test flights. As they were about to be sold to Lynn Garrison, and his associates, by Crown Assets Disposal Corporation, a fire destroyed the hangar and its contents. The aircraft were being offered to Ramfis Trujillo, son of the Dominican president, who was studying at America's Leavenworth Army School.
Many additional airframes remain as static displays in museums worldwide. One of these ex- RCN WG565 is on display in Calgary, Alberta, Canada (I walked on the wing of this aircraft). It was ferried there for instructional use in the Alberta Provincial Institute of Technology by Lieutenant Commander Derek Prout. On 1 April 1958, Flying Officer Lynn Garrison, of 403 City of Calgary Squadron, RCAF, made the last military flight for this type in Canada.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Nieuport Ni 17B "Binky"

Here are some images on Hobby Craft's 1/32 scale Nieuport Ni 17.

From IPMS Stockholm -


The Nieuport 17B designation was only used by the British RNAS for the ten of these aircraft that it obtained. These aircraft were basically the same as the Type 17, but fitted with a Le Rhone 80-hp engine to make them lighter and thereby increase their range. The RNAS received all ten of its aircraft (Serial Nos 3956 - 3958 and 8745 - 8751) by August 1916 before the French official designation of Type 21 for them was introduced, so they remained known as Type 17B to the British throughout their service.
The aircraft is in the standard French camouflage scheme of dull green and brown, with the engine cowling, struts, and tail skid mounting in their natural metal or wood colours. The roundels are of the normal British type on the wings, and the serial number is painted in white on the rear fuselage. Note that the wheel covers are painted white.
No. 3956 served with the RNAS from August 1916 until May 1917, during which time it operated with four different squadrons. The name BINKY was painted on it in white whilst it was with 3 Squadron.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

1907 Fiat 130 HP

Here are some images of Pocher's 1/8 scale 1907 Fiat 130 HP.
The wood paneling and the rope wrapping around the spring suspensions were additions by me and did not come with the kit.
How did I get a hold of such an expensive kit? I got lucky when a friend of mine found it complete at a fraction of the price.

From Wikipedia"
The Fiat 130 HP is a Grand Prix racing car made by Fiat in 1907 to a design by Giovanni Enrico. Built solely for Grand Prix motor racing, the Fiat 130 HP included new design features, such as overhead valves and hemispherical compression chambers.
 Prior to 1906, Fiat had only experienced limited success on the racing circuit owing to their use of less powerful cars. The most successful of these models was the 28/40HP Corsa, which provided a maximum of 40 hp. Another successful design was the 60 horsepower Fiat 60 HP. The manufacturer lacked a high powered engine compared to the French who dominated the circuit at that time with the Renault Grand Prix, which featured a 90 hp engine. By 1907, a new formula was introduced to govern Grand Prix motor racing which allowed for cars with larger and heavier engines to compete. The new regulations included changes to fuel consumption (a maximum of 30 liters per 100 km/9.42 mpg) and eliminated the weight and displacement limits. Fiat chose to develop a new race car designed to the new standards and featured an engine which could generate 130 hp.

The project was entrusted to John Henry as the project manager who had previously worked as a co-designer on an earlier 100 horsepower racer in 1905. He developed the 130 HP while working with designer Giovanni Enrico and technical directors Guido Fornaca and Carlo Cavalli. The new design featured a chain final drive and a front-mounted 4-cylinder, 16,286 cc engine. The new engine incorporated multiple innovations for its time, including an oversquare bore greater than the stroke, overhead valves, hemispherical combustion chambers and centrally located spark plugs.
The ignition for the 130 HP was provided by a Simms-Bosch magneto, while the power was controlled by a single carburetor. Despite the weight of more than 1000 kg (each piston had a weight of 4.5 kg) the wheels were still made of wood.

The car performed well during the Targa Florio (First race of the season), which was won by Felice Nazzaro followed by Vincenzo Lancia who came in second place.
Nazzaro also won the Kaiserpreis that took place on the Taunus circuit. The other two cars which Fiat entrusted to Lancia and Louis Wagner finished fifth and sixth respectively.
The team of Nazzaro, Wagner and Lancia was deployed to the 1907 French Grand Prix that took place in Dieppe. During the first 3 laps, Wagner kept the lead, but because of a fault he had to withdraw from the race. Lancia briefly took the lead but owing to engine trouble, he also retired. The race was eventually won by Nazzaro.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Airco DH.2

Here are some images of Wingnut Wings 1/32 scale Airco DH.2 fighter.

From Wikipedia"
The Airco DH.2 was a single-seat biplane "pusher" aircraft which operated as a fighter during the First World War. It was the second pusher design by Geoffrey de Havilland for Airco, based on his earlier DH.1 two-seater. The DH.2 was the first effectively armed British single-seat fighter and enabled Royal Flying Corps (RFC) pilots to counter the "Fokker Scourge" that had given the Germans the advantage in the air in late 1915. Until the British developed a synchronisation gear to match the German system, pushers such as the DH.2 and the F.E.2b carried the burden of fighting and escort duties.

Early air combat over the Western Front indicated the need for a single-seat fighter with forward-firing armament. As no means of firing forward through the propeller of a tractor aeroplane was available to the British, Geoffrey de Havilland designed the DH.2 as a smaller, single-seat development of the earlier two-seat DH.1 pusher design. The DH.2 first flew in July 1915.
The DH.2 was armed with a single .303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis gun which was originally able to be positioned on one of three flexible mountings in the cockpit, with the pilot transferring the gun between mountings in flight at the same time as flying the aircraft. Once pilots learned that the best method of achieving a kill was to aim the aircraft rather than the gun, the machine gun was fixed in the forward-facing centre mount, although this was initially banned by higher authorities until a clip which fixed the gun in place but could be released if required was approved. Major Lanoe Hawker devised the clip. He also improved the gunsights, adding a ring sight and an "aiming off model" that helped the gunner allow for leading a target.
The majority of DH.2s were fitted with the 100 hp (75 kW) Gnôme Monosoupape rotary engine, but later models received the 110 hp (82 kW) Le Rhône 9J.
Other sources advise the Gnôme Monosoupape, nine-cylinder, air-cooled rotary, 100 hp (75 kW) engine was retained in the DH. 2 design despite its tendency for shedding cylinders in midair; one DH.2 was fitted experimentally with a 110 hp (82 kW) le Rhône 9J.
A total of 453 DH.2s were produced by Airco.

After evaluation at Hendon on 22 June 1915, the first DH.2 arrived in France for operational trials with No. 5 RFC Squadron but was shot down and its pilot killed (although the DH.2 was recovered and repaired by the Germans). No. 24 Squadron RFC, the first squadron equipped with the DH.2 and the first complete squadron entirely equipped with single-seat fighters in the RFC, arrived in France in February 1916. The DH.2 ultimately equipped seven fighter squadrons on the Western Front and quickly proved more than a match for the Fokker Eindecker. DH.2s were also heavily engaged during the Battle of the Somme, No. 24 Squadron alone engaging in 774 combats and destroying 44 enemy machines. The DH.2 had sensitive controls and at a time when service training for pilots in the RFC was very poor it initially had a high accident rate, gaining the nickname "The Spinning Incinerator", but as familiarity with the type increased, it was recognised as very manoeverable and relatively easy to fly. The rear-mounted rotary engine made the DH.2 easy to stall, but also made it highly maneuverable.
The arrival at the front of more powerful German tractor biplane fighters such as the Halberstadt D.II and the Albatros D.I, which appeared in September 1916, meant that the DH.2 was outclassed in turn. It remained in first line service in France, however, until No. 24 and No. 32 Squadron RFC completed re-equipment with Airco DH.5s in June 1917, and a few remained in service on the Macedonian front, “A” Flight of No. 47 Squadron and a joint R.F.C. / R.N.A.S. fighter squadron  and X” Flight  in Palestine until late autumn of that year. By this time the type was totally obsolete as a fighter, although it was used as an advanced trainer into 1918. DH.2s were progressively retired and at war's end no surviving airframes were retained.
In 1970, Walter M. Redfern from Seattle, Washington built a replica DH.2 powered by a Kinner 125-150 hp engine and subsequently, Redfern sold plans to home builders. Currently a number of the DH.2 replicas are flying worldwide.
Distinguished pilots of the DH.2 included Victoria Cross winner Lanoe Hawker (seven victories, though none in the DH.2), who was the first commander of No. 24 Squadron and Alan Wilkinson. The commander of No. 32 Squadron, Lionel Rees won the Victoria Cross flying the D.H.2 for single-handedly attacking a formation of ten German two-seaters on 1 July 1916, destroying two. James McCudden became an ace in DH.2s to start his career as the British Empire's fourth-ranking ace of the war. German ace and tactician Oswald Boelcke was killed during a dogfight with No. 24 Squadron DH.2s due to a collision with one of his own wingmen, Erwin Böhme. Fourteen aces scored five or more aerial victories using the DH.2; many went on to further success in later types also.
Lanoe George Hawker V.C., D.S.O., commanding officer of No. 24 Squadron flying a DH. 2 was shot down by Manfred von Richthofen of Jasta 2 flying an Albatros D.II.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Fokker E.III Eindecker

Here are some images of Wingnut Wings 1/32 scale Fokker E.III Eindecker.

From Wikipedia"
The Fokker Eindecker fighters were a series of German World War I monoplane single-seat fighter aircraft designed by Dutch engineer Anthony Fokker. Developed in April 1915, the first Eindecker ("Monoplane") was the first purpose-built German fighter aircraft and the first aircraft to be fitted with a synchronization gear, enabling the pilot to fire a machine gun through the arc of the propeller without striking the blades. The Eindecker gave the German Air Service a degree of air superiority from July 1915 until early 1916. This period, during which Allied aviators regarded their poorly armed aircraft as "Fokker Fodder", became known as the "Fokker Scourge".
 The Eindecker was based on Fokker's unarmed Fokker M.5K scout (military designation Fokker A.III) which imitated the design of the French Morane-Saulnier H shoulder-wing monoplane, but using chrome-molybdenum steel tubing for the fuselage structure instead of wood. It was fitted with an early version of the Fokker synchronizer mechanism controlling a single Parabellum MG14 machine gun. Anthony Fokker personally demonstrated the system on 23 May 1915, having towed the prototype aircraft behind his touring car to a military airfield near Berlin.

The E.III was basically an E.II fitted with larger, newly designed wings that had a slightly narrower chord of 1.80 meter (70-7/8 in), compared to 1.88 meter (74 in) on the earlier Eindeckers, going back to Fokker's original M.5 monoplane aircraft. The E.III retained the same 75 kW (100 hp) Oberursel U.I engine, and therefore also used the larger diameter "horseshoe" pattern cowling that also mandated the inclusion of the E.II's soffit-like extensions to the sides of the upper nose sheet metalwork, but had a larger 81 l (21.5 gal) drum-shaped main fuel tank just behind the cockpit, which increased the Eindecker's endurance to about 2½ hours; an hour more than the E.II. Most E.IIIs were armed with a single 7.92 mm (.312 in) Spandau LMG 08 machine gun with 500 rounds of ammunition; however, after the failure of the twin-gun Fokker E.IV as a viable successor, some E.IIIs were fitted with twin guns.
Fokker production figures state that 249 E.IIIs were manufactured; however, a number of the 49 E.IIs were upgraded to E.III standard when they were returned to Fokker's Schwerin factory for repairs.

The E.III was the first type to arrive in sufficient numbers to form small specialist fighter units, Kampfeinsitzer Kommandos (KEK) in early 1916. Previously, Eindeckers had been allocated singly, just as the E.I and E.II had been, to the front-line Feldflieger Abteilungen that carried out reconnaissance duties. On 10 August 1916, the first German Jagdstaffeln (single-seat fighter squadrons) were formed, initially equipped with various early fighter types, including a few E.IIIs, which were by then outmoded and being replaced by more modern fighters. Standardisation in the Jagdstaffeln (and any real success) had to wait for the availability in numbers of the Albatros D.I and Albatros D.II in early 1917.
Turkish E.IIIs were based at Beersheba in Palestine while others operated in Mesopotamia during the Siege of Kut-al-Amara.
 The only known surviving original Eindecker, bearing IdFlieg serial number 210/16, was brought down in the Somme area in 1916 by the British and then evaluated by the War Office until it was transferred to the London Science Museum in 1918. It is currently on display fully assembled, but with its fabric covering removed to illustrate its internal construction.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Fokker D.VII

Here are some images of Revell's 1/28 scale Fokker D. VII.

From Wikipedia"
The Fokker D.VII was a German World War I fighter aircraft designed by Reinhold Platz of the Fokker-Flugzeugwerke. Germany produced around 3,300 D.VII aircraft in the second half of 1918. In service with the Luftstreitkräfte, the D.VII quickly proved itself to be a formidable aircraft. The Armistice ending the war specifically required Germany to surrender all D.VIIs to the Allies. Surviving aircraft saw continued widespread service with many other countries in the years after World War I.

Fokker's chief designer, Reinhold Platz, had been working on a series of experimental planes, the V-series, since 1916. These aircraft were characterized by the use of cantilever wings. Junkers had originated the idea in 1915 with the first all-metal aircraft, the Junkers J 1, nicknamed Blechesel ("Sheet Metal Donkey" or "Tin Donkey"). The resulting wings were thick, with a rounded leading edge. This gave greater lift and more docile stalling behavior than the thin wings commonly used at the time.
Late in 1917, Fokker built the experimental V 11 biplane, fitted with the standard Mercedes D.IIIa engine. In January 1918, Idflieg held a fighter competition at Adlershof. For the first time, frontline pilots would directly participate in the evaluation and selection of new fighters. Fokker submitted the V 11 along with several other prototypes. Manfred von Richthofen flew the V 11 and found it tricky, unpleasant, and directionally unstable in a dive. In response to these complaints, Reinhold Platz lengthened the rear fuselage by one structural bay, and added a triangular vertical fin in front of the rudder. Upon flying the modified V 11, Richthofen praised it as the best aircraft of the competition. It offered excellent performance from the outdated Mercedes engine, yet was safe and easy to fly. Richthofen's recommendation virtually decided the competition, but he was not alone in recommending it. Fokker immediately received a provisional order for 400 production aircraft, which were designated D.VII by Idflieg.
Fokker's factory was not up to the task of meeting all D.VII production orders. Idflieg therefore directed Albatros and AEG to build the D.VII under license, though AEG did not ultimately produce any aircraft. Because the Fokker factory did not use detailed plans as part of its production process, Fokker simply sent a completed D.VII airframe for Albatros to copy. Albatros paid Fokker a five percent royalty for every D.VII built under license. Albatros Flugzeugwerke and its subsidiary, Ostdeutsche Albatros Werke (OAW), built the D.VII at factories in Johannisthal (designated Fokker D.VII (Alb)) and Schneidemühl (Fokker D.VII (OAW)), respectively. Aircraft markings included the type designation and factory suffix, immediately before the individual serial number.
Some parts were not interchangeable between aircraft produced at different factories, even between Albatros and OAW. Additionally each manufacturer tended to differ in nose paint styles. OAW produced examples were delivered with distinctive mauve and green splotches on the cowling. All D.VIIs were produced with either the five-color Fünffarbiger five-color, or less often the four-color Vierfarbiger lozenge camouflage covering except for early Fokker-produced D.VIIs, which had a streaked green fuselage. Factory camouflage finishes were often overpainted with colorful paint schemes or insignia for the Jasta, or the individual pilot.
In September 1918, eight D.VIIs were delivered to Bulgaria. Late in 1918, the Austro-Hungarian company MÁG (Magyar Általános Gépgyár - Hungarian General Machine Company) commenced licensed production of the D.VII with Austro-Daimler engines. Production continued after the end of the war, with as many as 50 aircraft completed.

Many sources erroneously state that the D.VII was equipped with the 120 kW (160 hp) Mercedes D.III engine. The Germans themselves used the generic D.III designation to describe later versions of that engine. The earliest production D.VIIs were equipped with 170-180 hp Mercedes D.IIIa. Production quickly switched to the intended standard engine, the higher-compression 134 kW (180-200 hp) Mercedes D.IIIaü. It appears that some early production D.VIIs delivered with the Mercedes D.IIIa were later re-engined with the D.IIIaü.
By mid-1918, some D.VIIs received the "overcompressed" 138 kW (185 hp) BMW IIIa, the first product of the BMW firm. The BMW IIIa followed the SOHC, straight-six configuration of the Mercedes D.III, but incorporated several improvements. Increased displacement, higher compression, and an altitude-adjusting carburetor produced a marked increase in speed and climb rate at high altitude. Because the BMW IIIa was overcompressed, using full throttle at altitudes below 2,000 m (6,700 ft) risked premature detonation in the cylinders and damage to the engine. At low altitudes, full throttle could produce up to 179 kW (240 hp) for a short time. Fokker-built aircraft with the new BMW engine were designated D.VII(F), the suffix "F" standing for Max Friz, the engine's designer.
BMW-engined aircraft entered service with Jasta 11 in late June 1918. Pilots clamored for the D.VII(F), of which about 750 were built. Production of the BMW IIIa was very limited and the D.VII continued to be produced with the 134 kW (180 hp) Mercedes D.IIIaü until the end of the war.
D.VIIs flew with different propeller designs from different manufacturers. Despite the differing appearances there is no indication these propellers gave disparate performance. Axial, Wolff, Wotan, and Heine propellers have been noted.
The D.VII entered squadron service with Jasta 10 in early May 1918. When the Fokker D.VII appeared on the Western Front in April 1918, Allied pilots at first underestimated the new fighter because of its squarish, ungainly appearance, but quickly revised their view. The type quickly proved to have many important advantages over the Albatros and Pfalz scouts. Unlike the Albatros scouts, the D.VII could dive without any fear of structural failure. The D.VII was also noted for its high maneuverability and ability to climb at high angles of attack, its remarkably docile stall, and its reluctance to spin. It could literally "hang on its prop" without stalling for brief periods of time, spraying enemy aircraft from below with machine gun fire. These handling characteristics contrasted with contemporary scouts such as the Camel and SPAD, which stalled sharply and spun vigorously.
The D.VII also had problems. Several aircraft suffered rib failures and fabric shedding on the upper wing. Heat from the engine sometimes ignited phosphorus ammunition until cooling vents were installed in the engine cowling, and fuel tanks sometimes broke at the seams. Aircraft built by the Fokker factory at Schwerin were noted for their lower standard of workmanship and materials. Nevertheless, the D.VII proved to be a remarkably successful design, leading to the familiar aphorism that it could turn a mediocre pilot into a good one, and a good pilot into an ace.
Manfred von Richthofen died days before the D.VII began to reach the Jagdstaffeln and never flew it in combat. Other pilots, including Erich Löwenhardt and Hermann Göring, quickly racked up victories and generally lauded the design. Aircraft availability was limited at first, but by July there were 407 in service. Larger numbers became available by August, when D.VIIs achieved 565 victories. The D.VII eventually equipped 46 Jagdstaffeln. When the war ended in November, 775 D.VII aircraft were in service.

The Allies confiscated large numbers of D.VII aircraft after the Armistice. The United States Army and Navy evaluated 142 captured examples. Several of these aircraft were re-engined with American-built Liberty L-6 motors, very similar in appearance to the D.VII's original German power plants. France, Great Britain, and Canada also received numbers of war prizes.
Other countries used the D.VII operationally. The Polish deployed approximately 50 aircraft during the Polish-Soviet War, using them mainly for ground attack missions. The Hungarian Soviet Republic used a number of D.VIIs, both built by MAG and ex-German aircraft in the Hungarian-Romanian War of 1919.
The Dutch, Swiss, and Belgian air forces also operated the D.VII. The aircraft proved so popular that Fokker completed and sold a large number of D.VII airframes that he had smuggled into the Netherlands after the Armistice. As late as 1929, the Alfred Comte company manufactured eight new D.VII airframes under license for the Swiss Fliegertruppe.