Air and Space Photos from Alternate Worlds.

The Messiah from Deep Impact is a pretty cool realistic spacecraft that seems to made out of real life components such as a space shuttle cockpit:

 
The Messiah from Deep Impact is a pretty cool realistic spacecraft that seems to made out of real life components such as a space shuttle cockpit:
Yeah. The whole tone of the events show that this project was a rush job, so I wouldn't be suprised if the simply grabbed components from everyting they could, up to and including canibalizing current US and russian ships.
 

Terry Sullivan's RAAF Oboe 4 DAP Hurribomber

DAP Hurricane XXV, 4 Squadron, RAAF, Taman Baru, Java, Netherlands East Indies, January 1946
pilot: Terry Sullivan

This aircraft was the personal mount of then Flight Seargent Terry Sullivan, who later became famous as one of The Fighting Sullivans in a popular 1967 book (written by Terry) and 1976 movie. During his first combat tour, with 4 Squadron flying Boomerangs in New Guinea, Sullivan was forced to bail out over northern New Guinea and made an epic 3 week walk back to Allied lines. When he finally made contact with Australian troops, he was wearing the remains of his uniform as a loin cloth, rags on his feet, and a Japanese Army hat; he was carrying an Japanese machine gun and a packet of Japanese cigarettes (souvenired from an encounter with a Japanese soldiers). After recovering his health, he served as an instructor pilot before returning to combat with 4 Sqd in late 1945 as they re-equipped with DAP Hurricane XXVs and moved north to participate in Oboe 4, the Allied invasion of Japanese-occupied Java. He was given a medical discharge in April 1945 (he was said to have gone troppo). Sullivan was restless in civilian life and became involved in criminal black-marketeering and spent several years behind bars at her majesty’s pleasure.

Other members of the Sullivan family featured in The Fighting Sullivans included Terry’s parents, two brothers and sister. His father Dave (a WW1 veteran and played in the movie by Rod Taylor) was a foreman for at the CUB brewery in Melbourne and the movie features several product placements of Victoria Bitter (VB). The family matriarch Grace (played by Lorraine Bayly) by was killed in London by a V1 in June 1944 whilst on a mission to identify her long-lost son, John; he had joined the medical corps and been thought lost at sea in the Mediterranean during 1942. Actually, John (played by John Howard) had been rescued by locals and ended up fighting with Yugoslavian Partisans before being repatriated to England, injured and suffering trauma related amnesia. Tom Sullivan (played by Graeme Blundell) was more gun-ho than his elder brother John and served with the Australian Army in Greece, North Africa, New Guinea and Borneo, where he was killed by a surrendering Japanese soldier in October 1945 who was holding a hand-grenade behind his back. Youngest sibling, Kitty (played by Anne-Louise Lambert), became a nurse during the war and married a war correspondent (played by Jack Thompson) who committed suicide in September 1945, upset at the horror of the atomic bombings of Japan. The film ends with Dave’s death as he is run over by Terry during a failed attempt to deter him from driving away in a stolen car and evading police capture. Darkly melodramatic but closely biographical, the movie version was box-office poison, but despite popular rejection it was critically acclaimed and has become a cult classic. The film was directed by Bruce Beresford and Terry Sullivan was played by John Jarratt.

Oboe 4 was one of a series of Allied invasion operations planned for the Indonesian archipelago. The Americans were not in favour of invading Java, but the Dutch and their British colonial allies saw the necessity of invading Java as intelligence of collaboration between Indonesian nationalists and the Japanese became available. In late December, 1945, Tokyo instructed the Japanese occupation forces in the Netherlands East Indies (NEI) to accept Indonesian independence should the Japanese home islands be invaded. They were then to fight alongside the Indonesians against the Allies. This message was intercepted and decoded by the Allies, who were also aware that the nationalists were planning to declare Indonesian independence before the arrival of the Allies. Oboe 4 was thus brought forward to enforce Dutch colonial rule before the nationalists could establish control. The January 14 invasion of Java precipitated the Indonesian declaration of nationhood the next day and the Japanese and the Indonesians fought alongside in Java for the next month before full Allied control was established.

The Department of Aircraft Production (DAP) manufactured 801 Hurricanes between March 1940 and January 1945. The original model, similar to the Hurricane I, was the Hurricane XX. The Hurricane XXI was a one-off prototype replacing the Rolls-Royce Merlin with a CAC-built Twin Wasp as an insurance against a shortage of Merlins. The XXII was similar to the Hurricane II and featured a pair of 20mm cannon. The XXIII was similar, but used Packard-built Merlins and replaced the .303 cal machine guns with .50 cal Brownings. The XXIV was a long-ranged version of the XXIII with extra internal fuel. The final version, the XXV, was built specifically for the attack role and used the Merlin 27 powerplant, featured four 20mm cannon and could carry RP3 rockets.

4 Squadron was equipped with new Hurricane XXVs (taken from storage at Laverton) at a time when other RAAF front-line squadrons had moved on to more modern types and by February 1946 was the only RAAF combat unit still flying Hurricanes. 4 Sqd remained on the type until the Japanese surrender in May, 1946, operating against enemy forces in the NEI and disbanded in July. Sullivan’s aircraft is depicted here as photographed at Taman Baru, near Serang on Java, during the Battle of Jakarta.


Miss Virginia on the Eastern Front
Hawker Typhoon 1B
Miss Virginia, 469th Fighter Squadron, Joint Anglo-American Fighter Wing, Pyriatyn Socialist Republic, Socialist Union, 22 June, 1944

469th Squadron was one of three squadrons formed in late 1941 to train pilots and ground crew from the Socialist Union (S.U.) in the operation of American Lead-Lease fighters. The 469 trained Reds on the P-39, while sister squadrons 467 trained with the P-40 and 468 on the P-50. By the end of 1943 this training was no longer required, but instead of leaving the Reds to their own devices on the Eastern Front, the USAAF applied President Roosevelt’s “war on all fronts” strategy to form Eastern Command and send two squadrons of fighters to join the RAF’s 153 Wing in Russia.

During the winter of 1943-44, 153 Wing laid-up in British occupied Iran to regroup and re-equip. Their Hurricane IIC and D fighter-bombers were replaced with Typhoon 1B and their Spitfire Vs with Spitfire IXs. Re-organised into the Joint Anglo-American Fighter Wing (JAAFW), the RAF reduced their commitment to the Eastern Front by two squadrons, their place being taken up by 468th (flying Spitfires) and 469th (flying Typhoons). In March, 1944, JAAFW entered combat against the Axis on the Eastern Front. By then, the Spitfire squadrons were receiving P-50Js, which were American built long-range Spitfires.

The existence of Eastern Command and the establishment of JAWF was a prelude to Operation Frantic, an USAAF shuttle bombing campaign. Several Frantic mission were flown between June and August, 1944, ending as secret negotiations between the British and Americans and the German anti-Nazi coup leaders began. JAAWF’s primary role was to “gather intelligence through combat” on Axis Eastern Europe, overflying and photographing key landmarks, potential targets and routes. To disguise this, a deception campaign was waged that saw JAAWF attack targets not associated with Frantic and used as a propaganda tool eulogising East-West co-operation in American and British newspapers and newsreels.

Miss Virginia was the personal mount of Captain James Elliott, the plane being named after his sister, Rose Marie Elliott, who was Miss Virginia in 1939 and fourth runner-up in the Miss America pageant that year. Captain Elliott had previous flown F-6A Mustangs with the 111th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron in the Mediterranean. Like the Typhoon, the F-6A was armed with four 20mm cannon and this, along with his experience at flying armed reconnaissance missions, probably contributed to his selection for the JAAWF. Indeed, several pilots with reconnaissance and intelligence experience were recruited to the 469th for its JAAWFassignment.

The two kill markings on Miss Virginia are both Captain Elliot’s. The first was a Luftwaffe Ju-52 shot down whilst returning from an armed reconnaissance mission near Sicily in 1943. The second was a Luftwaffe Bf109G shot down over Ukraine in May, 1944.

Miss Viginia is depicted here as photographed on 22 June, 1944. The night before, Luftwaffe bombers had destroyed 47 USAAF Operation Frantic B-17s at Poltava. In reply, JAAWF conducted an attacked on airfields around Minsks where many of the Luftwaffe bombers had massed for the attack. 43 Lufwaffe aircraft were destroyed. As was usual wing JAAWF’s long-range missions, drop tanks were used (limiting the rocket load to two per wing).

JAAWF remained in the field until 17 August, 1944, when it was recalled and Eastern Command disbanded. Its men were flown back to Iran, although the fighters were flew across Axis occupied Europe to Italy without incident. By then, peace negotiations were drawing to a conclusion and relations with the Reds had completely broken down. The Americans and the British publicly stated that, as the German’s were rapidly withdrawing, shuttle bombing was no longer necessary. Therefore, JAAWF and Eastern Command, as supporting elements to Operation Frantic, were no longer needed. On 21 August, 1944, the guns fell silent across Western Europe as the Germans and the Western Allies announced their Separate Peace, what is known to the Reds as the Great Betrayal. The Reds finally defated the Germans and those nations in Eastern Europe alligned with them in May, 1946.

Yugoslavian Buffalo
Link: www.whatifmodellers.com/index.…

Brewster B-339F Buffalo, Royal Yugoslavian Air Force, Belgrade, 8 May 1940

Under pressure from Italy and Germany and urgently requiring new fighters, in 1939 the Yugoslavian government ordered 60 Brewster Buffaloes to supplement local manufacture of the Hawker Hurricane and the indigenous Ikarus Ik-3. 48 were shipped to Ireland and delivered across Europe in a series of ferry flights from March to early May, 1940, the last of these arriving via France and Italy on the 8th of May. Later examples were delivered directly by ship, arriving in August. The example seen, fresh from its ferry flight, is still fitted with the life raft behind the pilot that was usually removed for service.

When Germany invaded Yugoslavia on 6 April 1941, the Buffalo was the most numerous Yugoslavian fighter, but was found somewhat lacking in performance and armament. Unfortunately,a round a third were destroyed on the ground on the first day. Netherless, Kapetan 1. Razreda Todor Gojic managed to shoot down 3 Ju-87s, a Bf 109 and a Hs 126, becoming the nation's only Buffalo ace before being injured during a Luftwaffe air raid 12 April. By then, only a handful of the stubby little fighters were still airworthy and most of these were destroyed before the 17 April surrender to prevent their capture.
 
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World War II 1946, Issue No.10
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Luftwaffe 1946 Color Special, Issue No.1

ROKAF F4U-5N Corsair
Link: www.whatifmodellers.com/index.…

Vought F4U-5N Corsair
Night Flight, 3nd Fighter Squadron, 1st Fighter Wing
Gwangju, Republic of Korea
April 1953

When the ROKAF was established in mid-1946, it was the USAAF that took responsibility for training and equipment, but the South Korea's leadership distrusted them due to several regrettable incidents involving Korean civilians and USAAF personnel. An additional concern was that the USAAF wanted to supply the South Koreans with P-51D fighter-bombers, whereas the fledgling ROKAF leadership preferred the F4U Corsair (which was still in production). Some sources suggest that his preference may also have been influenced by the then Second Lieutenant (later Major) Kurt Chew-Een Lee, USMC, who served in South Korea as a translator and was highly regarded in Seoul political circles.

The early 1947 decision to acquire Corsairs effectively meant a transference of American responsibility for the ROKAF to the USN and Marine Corps. Second-hand F4U-4 Corsairs were initially supplied, but later new F4U-5s and AU-1s were sent, with small numbers of the radar-equipped F4U-5N and AU-1Ns following.

During the winter of 1952-53, the USN trained several ROKAF pilots and technicians in the art of flying and maintaining the F4U-5N. This took place in California and in April the Night Flight of 3 Squadron stood-up at Gwangju, flying ground attack and interception missions. Little is publicly known about the unit's activities and some writers have questioned its combat readiness and speculated that the unit was little more than a training and propaganda exercise. However, two confirmed air-to-air kills were attributed to the Night Flight during July, 1953.

The F4U-5N remained in the inventory of the ROKAF until retired in 1956.
 
A follow up from this post:

KS-IVB Orbitanker

Initially named 'Ops', consort of Saturn and the Roman goddess of plenty, the designation of the KS-IVB Orbitanker imitated the tri-service designations used by the US Air Force and US Navy.

Inserted into orbit by a two stage Saturn VE, the tankers would use their J-2S engine for a total of 40 seconds to pursue the vehicle to be fuelled, closing with their quarry with a series of reaction control system (RCS) burns. The fuelling probe on their nose would then extend, before completing a ‘hard dock’ and transferring LOX and LH to the receiving vehicle via the probe.

Once fuelling was complete, each Orbitanker would separate before firing its RCS engines to depletion, targeting a destructive re-entry over the Pacific Ocean.



Orbital fuelling.png


Find out more
The Skylab Programme here and here
The Saturn I+
Saturn I+ Recovery - SL76B
Cape Canaveral Launch Complex 37
Apollo SL82A Launch Abort

Mars Exploration Module Test Programme and the Super Joe booster
 
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Today's special: Comrade Harp's US-built Spitfires


Grumman P-50D Spitfire
Link: www.whatifmodellers.com/index.…

Grumman P-50D Spitfire
Isabel II, 45th Fighter Squadron, USAAF
personal mount of Captain Gilmer "Buck" Snipes
Baker Island, October 1943

In mid-1942, the Hawaii-based 45th Squadron replaced their P-40s with Grumman-built Spitfires. These were initially the short-ranged P-50C version (equivalent to Supermarine's Spitfire VIII) To meet the range requirements of the Pacific war, these were replaced during 1943 with the long-ranged P-50D model, which featured extra internal fuel and could carry additional drop tanks. After the events of 17 December, 1941, the 45th had settled into a routine of air defense patrols and scrambles devoid of enemy air activity.

In September, 1943, the 45th deployed to Baker Island to support the build-up of the offensive forces in the area. Baker Island is isolated, tiny (just over 2km2) and barren. To conceal the aircraft from Japanese reconnaissance planes whilst on the ground, the Spitfires were camouflaged with an overall sand scheme that matched their sand and crushed coral environment. The conditions were primitive, the Island had no source of fresh water and the most prevalent wildlife were flies, a combination that lead to an outbreak of bacillary dysentery that forced the suspension of flying for 4 days in October with 91 personnel affected.

Fortunately for the Americans, the Japanese didn't approach the area whilst the 45th was grounded, but on the 22nd October the conditions were ripe for aerial battle. In response to a radar contact flying at 22,000 ft, two 45th FS Spitfires were scrambled. 22 minutes later, Captain Gilmer "Buck" Snipes, flying Isabel II (with ironic nudist beach girly artwork), a P-50D with extended wing tips and tail code 423878, called back a "Tally Ho" on an Emily flying boat. To celebrate this victory (the 45th only kill while stationed on Baker), the plane was adorned with a Japanese flag.

Isabel II would continue in service for a few more months, finally falling to crash landing when the brakes failed at Funafuti Airfield, Noumea in the Gilbert Islands on 22 December. Snipes survived this incident and April, 1944, was promoted to Major and became the 45th's squadron commander when they retired to Hawaii. He stayed with the squadron for the duration of the war, seeing them through a transition to the P-51D and flying long range fighter missions to Japan from Iwo Jima between March, 1945 and May, 1946.

Mongolian Spitfire
Link: www.whatifmodellers.com/index.…

Grumman P-50E Spitfire
Yellow 15, 3rd Fighter Escadrille, Mongolian People's Air Force
Zhangjiakou, China
September 1945

In early 1945, the Mongolian People's Air Force began a major re-equipment program. Included amongst the aircraft sourced from the Socialist Union (SU) were about 70 Grumman P-50E Spitfires (the American equivalent to Supermarine's Spitfire IX). These planes were U.S. Lead-Lease examples, built by Kaiser and, after the cessation of Lend-Lease in August 1944, replaced in SU service by indigenous fighters. About half the 70 supplied to Mongolia were refurbished in the SU prior to delivery (which included removing their outdated 0.30 inch machine guns and giving them a new camouflage scheme) while the remainder were unmodified airframes supplied as a source of spares.

Yellow 15 can be seen in several official photographs taken at Zhangjiakou in China, to where the 3rd Fighter Escadrille deployed in early September, 1945 as part of of the Great East Asian Liberation (GEAL) campaign against Japan.

During the GEAL offensive, the Mongolians operated two Spitfire squadrons. The 2nd Fighter Escadrille flew their P-50Es as fighter-bombers, using 20mm cannon, bombs and rockets to provide close air support and battlefield interdiction. They also deployed to Zhangjiakou alongside the 3rd, the latter using their Spitfires chiefly for air-to-air work, plus the occasional strafing of ground targets of opportunity and acting in the flak suppression role.

Although the pilots of the 2nd and 3rd escadrilles only claimed three Japanese air-to-air kills (two Ki-43 fighters and one K-51 reconnaissance plane) during the offensive, this is more a reflection on the paucity of aerial opposition than a comment of their skill and bravery. Between them, they lost no Spitfires to aerial combat and only four planes (with just one pilot killed) to flak and non-combat related losses.

Spitfires remained in Mongolian service until 1949, when they were replaced by La-9s.

The black and white "liberation stripes" were applied to all the aircraft involved in the GEAL campaign, partly as an ironic Red reference to D-Day and partly to avoid friendly fire in a theatre were both the Reds and their Japanese opponents used red markings.

Downfall Grumman Spitfire F.36
Link: www.whatifmodellers.com/index.…

Grumman Spitfire F.36
Sinbad II, personal mount of Squadron Leader Brian Sailor
Tsushima Island, April 1946

The Spitfire F.36 was the last of the American built Spitfires. From 1940 to mid-1945, Grumman supplied American versions of the Supermar Spitfire to the RAF, USAAF and Allied air forces. From early 1942, when the type came under USAAF contract, the USAAF P-50 designation was applied, the F.36 model being the P-50N in USAAF parlance. Although development was handled by Grumman in cooperation with Supermarine, from mid-1942 all American Spitfires were built by Kaiser.

Designed specificly to counter the kamikaze threat in the Pacific, the P-50N was roughly the equivalent of Supermarine's F.22 model. Differences included a broader, blunter 5 bladed Hamilton Steel propeller and American M3 20mm cannon.

In the kamikaze attacks that follwoed X-Day, 6 April 1946, Squadron Leader Sailor was credited with the destrution of 14 Japanese aircraft. This tally added to his 3 German and 2 Italian kills over North Africa and the Mediterranean and 4 more over Burma. However, the German and Italian kills were unable to be displayed on Sinbad II because, after The Seperate Peace with Germany in August 1944, the RAF ordered that no European Axis kill markings be displayed on aircraft. Based with USAAF P-47Ms on Tsushima (mid-way between Korea and Kyushu), 33 Sqd destroyed 137 Japanese aircraft over the course of the 3 day kamikaze assault.

Sinbad II's camouflage and markings were unusual. A partial camouflage finish was common on 33 Sqd Spitfires at the time, but all others had the rear horizontal tail surfaces camouflaged. On the rear fuselage, squadron colours as side bars to the SEAC roundel were featured instead of the usual squadron letter codes.
 
The Messiah from Deep Impact is a pretty cool realistic spacecraft that seems to made out of real life components such as a space shuttle cockpit:

I always thought the Messiah was an awesome looking spacecraft, despite the fact that it looks way over engineered for a trip to a comet nearing the Earth. I read somewhere that it was powered by an Orion drive, and I always thought that it was too dangerous and not efficient enough to use an experimental, possible interstellar propulsion method just to get to a comet that's relatively close to Earth anyway.

Kudos for what I assume is a late 90s/early 2000s version of the ISS above it. And is that a Shuttle launch SRB bolted onto the side? 😂
 
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