Air and Space Photos from Alternate Worlds.

hopefully ignited sequentially.
How much G-load would a pair of SRB's generate on a vehicle like that?
Can’t help on the maths (other than to say a lot!) but it seems the most logical way of launching something with such short notice - using solids that is rather than trying to invent orbital refuelling quickly.

Considering that each shuttle SRB weighed 590ton however I’m not sure what the launch campaign would look like. Maybe launched segment by segment and assembled in space near the ISS/using a shuttle and its arm.

Perhaps Enterprise would be cannibalised for the cockpit, you’d need the other orbiters going flat out to bring up materials and components. Maybe the cockpit would be launched unmanned on the side of a ET/SRB stack.

Probably worth exploring some of the abandoned plans for bringing things up in the STS ET - either in the aft cargo carrier position that was abandoned after Challenger or as a hammerhead fairing - with the proviso that lack of ability for RTLS was a risk you were willing to take.

Interesting thought experiment really.
 
Jane's All the Galaxy's Fighting Starships #9 (2429 edition)

Name: U.S.S. Dallas (NX-1984)
Type: Experimental Testbed Ship/Starfleet Intelligence Special Mission Cruiser
Class: Keldon-class (19 of ?, built overall: N/A)
Nationality: Cardassian Union/Federation Starfleet (United Federation of Planets)
Service: Starfleet Service Date: 2375 - 2423)
Armaments: 9x Spiral Wave Disruptors; 6x Spiral Wave Disruptors; 2x Fore, 1x Aft Torpedo launchers
Speed: (Type 2 Scale) Warp 7 (Max Cruise), Warp 9.1 (at extreme risk)

The length and nature of the 4th Klingon War revealed a number of truths about the Federation to the general public that were somewhat contrary to the Federation's ethos, such as the clandestine existence of a small fleet of ships in various sizes that answered directly to the Commander in Chief of Starfleet and the head of Starfleet Intelligence outside the normal chain of command.

U.S.S. Dallas is one such ship. Like the rest of the Black Fleet, Dallas was primarily used for Intelligence gathering and scouting missions during the war, a vital role she performed well in, but the majorty of her service with Starfleet was before then.

Dallas started her existence as the Cardassian Navy ship Stellar Envoy. Laid down in the brief detente period between the destruction of the Obsidian Order and the arrival of the Dominion in Cardassian space, the Stellar Envoy languished as little more than the basic, bare spaceframe with a number of hull panels for several years until after the outbreak of the Dominion War.

When the Federation and the Klingon Empire proved to be a tougher nut to crack than the Dominion had anticipated, the Cardassian Central Command decided to comb through the various shipyards for halted or stalled ships that could be finished relatively quickly and the Stellar Envoy was finished in record time, using both Dominion-supplied construction methods and Cardassian convict labour. Entering service the same day Starfleet launched Operation Return, the Stellar Envoy was pressed into service without a number of minor issues that had become apparent during her abbreviated shakedown cruise ever being addressed during her brief time in Cardassian service.

When the Cardassians tried to change sides and the Dominion purged those disloyal elements they could reach, the Stellar Envoy was engaged by two Dominion ships, but an unresolved issue in the secondary EPS overloaded ninety percent of her onboard systems and the rest of the ship a drifting hulk. The survivours of the crew abandoned ship, but were executed on the spot by the Dominion. The ship itself was left adrift, and before it could either be scuttled or towed to a loyal base, a Federation Intelligence gathering raid swept through the same system.

Thus having come into the possession of a Keldon-class cruiser hull that had slagged most of it's own internal systems, most commanders would have tractored the ship into the nearest sun and moved on. However, the few systems that still worked was the structural integrity field, which left Starfleet with a fully intact hull that no one else knew about. The section of Starfleet Intelligence that oversaw the Black Fleet and Section 31 was always in the market for more ships, and the raid had been carried out by them. Therefore, it took a few hasty subspace calls, and within two hours, an S31[1] strike team had boarded the Stellar Envoy, secured her and she was under tow back to Federation lines, and on to the location of the yard that services the Black Fleet.[2]

The exact nature of the lengthy refit that followed are still classified, but what is known is that the power systems, down to the warp core and EPS conduits was refit, using Cardassian that were scavenged from various battlefields. Thanks to the assistance of a number of Cardassian dissidents within Starfleet and Starfleet Intelligence, it took the yards somewhere around four months to bring her back into service, even fixing some of the faults caused by her rushed first launch. She was named Dallas and put into service in early October 2374.

What exacly she did for the remainder of the war remains classified, but what is known is that by the time the treaty of Bajor was signed, she was scirting somewhere around the far edges of Cardassian space and had to take a very circuitous route to return home, lest the presence of such a blatant espionage effort derail the peace.

Ultimately, this was a very unlikely event.

Upon her return, the Black Fleet once more dissolves into te shadows of secrecy.

With the final death of the Khitomer Accords in 2396 and correspondingly rising tensions, the Black fleet became slightly more visible, by way of Dallas nearly causing a three-way diplomatic incident between the Empire, the Ferderation and the Cardassian Republic and nerly triggering the war years early.

In 2400, a number of Honourbound[3] ships, among them the I.K.S. Rotarran, carrying former Federation Ambassador Worf and former Chancellor Martok's family was attacked by KDF warships as they crossed the Klingon border into the Nimbus sector. Even though defended by the lion's share of House Martok's remaining ships, the Honourbound were only saved by the intervention of a neutral 'Cardassian' ship supposedly on the way to one of the many worlds suffering from the ongoing nightmare that was the Romulan civil war.

Afterwards, it quickly turned out that the ship was not a part of the Cardassian Republic Defence Forces. Chancellor Jm'Aroc claimed the Fedeartion to be at fault, demanding that they hand over the persons responsible, the Honourbound and pay for the damages. At the same time, an effort was made to convince the Cardassians to demand the return of their ship.

However, it was Cardassian elder statesman Elim Garak who pointed out that a number of Cardassian ships, from small patrokl craft up to and including a number of Galor and Keldon-class cruisers were still unaccounted for, and that much of the piracy problem that had been so endemic in the farther reaches of Cardassian space and beyond in the years after the war had used stolen Cardassian hardware.

It is, of course, now well known that Garak knew very well who and what Dallas was, and that he assisted the Federation because he a saw it as in the best interest of Cardassia. What he was given in return is still classified, but a meeting with the half-Bajoran daughter of the late Guhl Dukat at her residence in Annapolis, Maryland, on Earth is known to have taken place some months later.[4]

The Klingons, having no actual proof that Starfleet was involved re-called their Embassy from Earth as well as Cardassia Prime, but in the end, Jm'Aroc decided that it was not yet time for war and instead re-doubled his efforts to ut the Klingon industrial base on a more even keel with the Federation, as well as seeking out Allies. It is presumed that contact between the True Way and the KDF was made around this time.

When war finally did break out, Dallas was actually supposed to be scrapped for want of spare parts, but the Cardassian Republic, well aware hat they were next should the Federation fall, quietly approached Starfleet and offered technical assistance to keep Dallas running, as part of a larger secret agreement on intelligence sharing and mutual technical aid. The only requirement was that efforts had to be taken so that those parts could not be traced back to the CRDF, and that Cardassia would publicly denounce the Federation for using the Dallas, should they be caught. Of course that agreement would be rendered moot eventually, but for the moment it kept Dallas in service.

As with her first war, most of her exploits are classified still, but the incident is the one that outed the existence of the Black Fleet to the general public and that also saw the near-death of both the Federation President and Chancellor Sirella of the Honourbound. This incident is well-publicised elsewhere though.[5]

The end of the war saw Dallas finally relegated to retirement.[6] She was scrapped in 2423, though her Captain's chair and Federation ship's plaque are preserved at the Intelligence Museum at Starfleet Intelligence Headquarters in Bletchley Park, Earth, while her main deflector and Cardassian Registry stripes can be viewed on Cardassia Prime.



Notes:

[1]For the record, in this verse, S31 is... let's say they are the Federation's Black Ops/Wetwork arm with shades of the 00 Section. Entirely sanctioned, entirely supervised and entirely not what Sloan made it out to be to Bashir. Here, Sloan was a former member, who went off on his own when he was told that there were lines he was not to cross. He merely used an authority he had no right to when interacting with the crew of DS9. They have no control over the Black Fleet, and they were mercilessly culled after the events of DSC Season 2. Starfleet Intelligence is aware that something fishy happend to the Discovery, but they never discovered any details.

[2] It's near one of the many smaller Starfleet yard facilities, located a couple light years from Memory Alpha. Since something of that size and complexity can't really be kept secret in any recognizeable Trekverse, the activities of the Black Fleet are camouflaged under the activities of that section of Starfleet R&D that evaluates alien tech. At almost no point is the Black Fleet more than a dozen ships, most of them a lot smaller than the Dallas, think something of the size of Neelix's ship as a guideline for most, so they do tend to get lost in the clutter.

[3]Meaning Klingon dissidents who deplore both the end of the Alliance with the Federation and Chancellor Jm'Aroc's "Romulan" way of solidifying his hold on power that remind way too many of the way things had been in the 23rd Century, both pre-DSC and TOS eras. Worf is one of them, which is why the Feds had to pull him from his post.

[4]And here we have one of the two PODs for my Star Trek AU. Tora Ziyal surviving the events of "Sacrifice of Angels" shouldn't materially affect the course of the war itself, especially when Dukat is led to believe that she died.

At any rate, she was spirited away to Earth, had her head sucked dry by SI and then renounced anything to do with both sides of her heritage. In the course of this, she inadvertently caused some minor HR rotations to be changed, which in turn led to POD 2 after the war and a different makeup of Starfleet Command leading to a more pragmatic Starfleet and Fedceration leadership.

She revealed being alive after the war, but refused to go back to Cardassia. She works closely with the Cardassian exile community in Federation space and her three part-human kids are probably among the rarest combination of genetic traits around. I.e. she has a happy life.

[5]Totally not because I don't want to nail myself down just yet. Honest, guv.

[6]To be replaced by a technobabble monstrosity of a ship co-developed by the Federation and their new best buds, able to disguise and outright fake energy and weapons signatures, along with a hell of a cloaking device. Not that Janes Information Group know this...
 
Last edited:
Jane's All the Galaxy's Fighting Starships #9 (2429 edition)

Name: U.S.S. Dallas (NX-1984)
Type: Experimental Testbed Ship/Starfleet Intelligence Special Mission Cruiser
Class: Keldon-class (19 of ?, built overall: N/A)
Nationality: Cardassian Union/Federation Starfleet (United Federation of Planets)
Service: Starfleet Service Date: 2375 - 2423)
Armaments: 9x Spiral Wave Disruptors; 6x Spiral Wave Disruptors; 2x Fore, 1x Aft Torpedo launchers
Speed: (Type 2 Scale) Warp 7 (Max Cruise), Warp 9.1 (at extreme risk)

The length and nature of the 4th Klingon War revealed a number of truths about the Federation to the general public that were somewhat contrary to the Federation's ethos, such as the clandestine existence of a small fleet of ships in various sizes that answered directly to the Commander in Chief of Starfleet and the head of Starfleet Intelligence outside the normal chain of command.

U.S.S. Dallas is one such ship. Like the rest of the Black Fleet, Dallas was primarily used for Intelligence gathering and scouting missions during the war, a vital role she performed well in, but the majorty of her service with Starfleet was before then.

Dallas started her existence as the Cardassian Navy ship Stellar Envoy. Laid down in the brief detente period between the destruction of the Obsidian Order and the arrival of the Dominion in Cardassian space, the Stellar Envoy languished as little more than the basic, bare spaceframe with a number of hull panels for several years until after the outbreak of the Dominion War.

When the Federation and the Klingon Empire proved to be a tougher nut to crack than the Dominion had anticipated, the Cardassian Central Command decided to comb through the various shipyards for halted or stalled ships that could be finished relatively quickly and the Stellar Envoy was finished in record time, using both Dominion-supplied construction methods and Cardassian convict labour. Entering service the same day Starfleet launched Operation Return, the Stellar Envoy was pressed into service without a number of minor issues that had become apparent during her abbreviated shakedown cruise ever being addressed during her brief time in Cardassian service.

When the Cardassians tried to change sides and the Dominion purged those disloyal elements they could reach, the Stellar Envoy was engaged by two Dominion ships, but an unresolved issue in the secondary EPS overloaded ninety percent of her onboard systems and the rest of the ship a drifting hulk. The survivours of the crew abandoned ship, but were executed on the spot by the Dominion. The ship itself was left adrift, and before it could either be scuttled or towed to a loyal base, a Federation Intelligence gathering raid swept through the same system.

Thus having come into the possession of a Keldon-class cruiser hull that had slagged most of it's own internal systems, most commanders would have tractored the ship into the nearest sun and moved on. However, the few systems that still worked was the structural integrity field, which left Starfleet with a fully intact hull that no one else knew about. The section of Starfleet Intelligence that oversaw the Black Fleet and Section 31 was always in the market for more ships, and the raid had been carried out by them. Therefore, it took a few hasty subspace calls, and within two hours, an S31[1] strike team had boarded the Stellar Envoy, secured her and she was under tow back to Federation lines, and on to the location of the yard that services the Black Fleet.[2]

The exact nature of the lengthy refit that followed are still classified, but what is known is that the power systems, down to the warp core and EPS conduits was refit, using Cardassian that were scavenged from various battlefields. Thanks to the assistance of a number of Cardassian dissidents within Starfleet and Starfleet Intelligence, it took the yards somewhere around four months to bring her back into service, even fixing some of the faults caused by her rushed first launch. She was named Dallas and put into service in early October 2374.

What exacly she did for the remainder of the war remains classified, but what is known is that by the time the treaty of Bajor was signed, she was scirting somewhere around the far edges of Cardassian space and had to take a very circuitous route to return home, lest the presence of such a blatant espionage effort derail the peace.

Ultimately, this was a very unlikely event.

Upon her return, the Black Fleet once more dissolves into te shadows of secrecy.

With the final death of the Khitomer Accords in 2396 and correspondingly rising tensions, the Black fleet became slightly more visible, by way of Dallas nearly causing a three-way diplomatic incident between the Empire, the Ferderation and the Cardassian Republic and nerly triggering the war years early.

In 2400, a number of Honourbound[3] ships, among them the I.K.S. Rotarran, carrying former Federation Ambassador Worf and former Chancellor Martok's family was attacked by KDF warships as they crossed the Klingon border into the Nimbus sector. Even though defended by the lion's share of House Martok's remaining ships, the Honourbound were only saved by the intervention of a neutral 'Cardassian' ship supposedly on the way to one of the many worlds suffering from the ongoing nightmare that was the Romulan civil war.

Afterwards, it quickly turned out that the ship was not a part of the Cardassian Republic Defence Forces. Chancellor Jm'Aroc claimed the Fedeartion to be at fault, demanding that they hand over the persons responsible, the Honourbound and pay for the damages. At the same time, an effort was made to convince the Cardassians to demand the return of their ship.

However, it was Cardassian elder statesman Elim Garak who pointed out that a number of Cardassian ships, from small patrokl craft up to and including a number of Galor and Keldon-class cruisers were still unaccounted for, and that much of the piracy problem that had been so endemic in the farther reaches of Cardassian space and beyond in the years after the war had used stolen Cardassian hardware.

It is, of course, now well known that Garak knew very well who and what Dallas was, and that he assisted the Federation because he a saw it as in the best interest of Cardassia. What he was given in return is still classified, but a meeting with the half-Bajoran daughter of the late Guhl Dukat at her residence in Annapolis, Maryland, on Earth is known to have taken place some months later.[4]

The Klingons, having no actual proof that Starfleet was involved re-called their Embassy from Earth as well as Cardassia Prime, but in the end, Jm'Aroc decided that it was not yet time for war and instead re-doubled his efforts to ut the Klingon industrial base on a more even keel with the Federation, as well as seeking out Allies. It is presumed that contact between the True Way and the KDF was made around this time.

When war finally did break out, Dallas was actually supposed to be scrapped for want of spare parts, but the Cardassian Republic, well aware hat they were next should the Federation fall, quietly approached Starfleet and offered technical assistance to keep Dallas running, as part of a larger secret agreement on intelligence sharing and mutual technical aid. The only requirement was that efforts had to be taken so that those parts could not be traced back to the CRDF, and that Cardassia would publicly denounce the Federation for using the Dallas, should they be caught. Of course that agreement would be rendered moot eventually, but for the moment it kept Dallas in service.

As with her first war, most of her exploits are classified still, but the incident is the one that outed the existence of the Black Fleet to the general public and that also saw the near-death of both the Federation President and Chancellor Sirella of the Honourbound. This incident is well-publicised elsewhere though.[5]

The end of the war saw Dallas finally relegated to retirement.[6] She was scrapped in 2423, though her Captain's chair and Federation ship's plaque are preserved at the Intelligence Museum at Starfleet Intelligence Headquarters in Bletchley Park, Earth, while her main deflector and Cardassian Registry stripes can be viewed on Cardassia Prime.



Notes:

[1]For the record, in this verse, S31 is... let's say they are the Federation's Black Ops/Wetwork arm with shades of the 00 Section. Entirely sanctioned, entirely supervised and entirely not what Sloan made it out to be to Bashir. Here, Sloan was a former member, who went off on his own when he was told that there were lines he was not to cross. He merely used an authority he had no right to when interacting with the crew of DS9. They have no control over the Black Fleet, and they were mercilessly culled after the events of DSC Season 2. Starfleet Intelligence is aware that something fishy happend to the Discovery, but they never discovered any details.

[2] It's near one of the many smaller Starfleet yard facilities, located a couple light years from Memory Alpha. Since something of that size and complexity can't really be kept secret in any recognizeable Trekverse, the activities of the Black Fleet are camouflaged under the activities of that section of Starfleet R&D that evaluates alien tech. At almost no point is the Black Fleet more than a dozen ships, most of them a lot smaller than the Dallas, think something of the size of Neelix's ship as a guideline for most, so they do tend to get lost in the clutter.

[3]Meaning Klingon dissidents who deplore both the end of the Alliance with the Federation and Chancellor Jm'Aroc's "Romulan" way of solidifying his hold on power that remind way too many of the way things had been in the 23rd Century, both pre-DSC and TOS eras. Worf is one of them, which is why the Feds had to pull him from his post.

[4]And here we have one of the two PODs for my Star Trek AU. Tora Ziyal surviving the events of "Sacrifice of Angels" shouldn't materially affect the course of the war itself, especially when Dukat is led to believe that she died.

At any rate, she was spirited away to Earth, had her head sucked dry by SI and then renounced anything to do with both sides of her heritage. In the course of this, she inadvertently caused some minor HR rotations to be changed, which in turn led to POD 2 after the war and a different makeup of Starfleet Command leading to a more pragmatic Starfleet and Fedceration leadership.

She revealed being alive after the war, but refused to go back to Cardassia. She works closely with the Cardassian exile community in Federation space and her three part-human kids are probably among the rarest combination of genetic traits around. I.e. she has a happy life.

[5]Totally not because I don't want to nail myself down just yet. Honest, guv.

[6]To be replaced by a technobabble monstrosity of a ship co-developed by the Federation and their new best buds, able to disguise and outright fake energy and weapons signatures, along with a hell of a cloaking device. Not that Janes Information Group know this...
Good stuff! Would make for an interesting TL.
 
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Tigers of the Luftwaffe, Issue No.3
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Kamikaze 1946, Issue No.3


Frankincane
Link: www.whatifmodellers.com/index.…

Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIC-23
White 32, 423 Belarus Escadrille, 420 International Regiment, Socialist Union Red Army Air Force
unknown airstrip, Battle of Kursk, July, 1943

By September, 1941, the Belarus Army Air Force had ceased to exist as an effective fighting force. On the 16th of that month it was officially absorbed into the Socialist Union Red Army Air Force, its front line personnel being concentrated into several International units, including the 420 International Fighter Regiment, alongside Ukrainians (whose air force had also collapsed).

The 420th was initially equipped with SUAC I-153s and I-16s during the Autumn of '41 and subsequent winter. During the spring of '42 they were equipped with SUAC MiG-3Ts, which were replaced by various models of the Hawker Hurricane. By the time of Kursk the 421st Ukrainian Escadrille was flying the IL-2 and both the 422nd Ukrainian and 423rd Belarus Escadrille were armed with Hurricanes.

The Hurricanes flown by the 420th were initially second-hand Hurricane Mk.Is, but by late 1942 new Mk.IIs were entering service. By then most Red Hurricanes assigned to combat units were of the locally modified -20 version, having been re-armed with 12.7mm UB machine guns and 20mm ShVAK cannon before delivery to the front line. However, the Belarus White 32 photographed during the Battle of Kursk is armed differently. First flown in June 1942, the -23 conversion of the Hurricane featured two 23 mm Volkov-Yartsev Vya-23 cannon, supplemented two 7.62mm ShKAS machine guns. A few Hurricane Mk.IIBs were fitted with this combination for combat trails, but about half of the all-cannon-armed Mk.IIC Hurricanes were were converted to -23 standard, the remainder receiving the lighter -20 conversion. The -23 is easy to identify, owing to its long cannon barrels protruding from a prominent fairing and larger blisters on the upper wings. As seen here, both the -20 and -23 were also commonly armed with six RS.82 rockets for ground attack missions (and the heavy -23 was used exclusively for ground attack).

White 32 displays another wrinkle in the story of Hurricane deliveries to the Socialist Union. Look closely at the fairing ahead of the tail wheel and you'll notice that it's forward portion is truncated. An even closer inspection will reveal that there is a V-shaped notch in the fuselage just ahead of this fairing. Also, the Vokes filter is painted blue, not Sky like the rest of the lower surfaces. That's because this IIC-23 was converted from one of 60 Sea Hurricanes delivered to the Socialist Union in April and May, 1943. Themselves converted for the Royal Navy from Hurricane Mk.IICs built under RAF contract, these planes had been declared as surplus to RN requirements soon after delivery. With few flight hours logged they were dismantled, crated and shipped to the Socialist Union via Iran. Apparently most of the batch showed signs of having been built for use against Japan, as a RAF Far East-standard Dark Earth and Dark Green camouflage showed through under the RN's Slate Green and Sea Grey paint. Once rebuilt, partially repainted with their British markings hidden under standard USRAAF paint, prepared with Red radios, spare Vokes filters and re-armed, 30 of these nearly-new Sea Hurricanes replaced all of the 420th existing Hurricanes just days before the Germans launched their Kursk offensive.

The Belarusian and Ukrainian flown Sea Hurricanes IIC-20s and -23s performed well during Kursk. Together with the crews of the Ukrainian-flown Il-2s, several battle honours were received by both the units and personnel of the 420th International Regiment. Crews flew several sorties a day, performing close air support, battlefield area interdiction and armed reconnaissance missions.

The regiment was relieved from combat in August, 1943, to rest and re-equip, returning to combat during the winter armed completely with new Il-2s.
 

One of the few captured A6M "Zeroes" with Japanese markings in use in the Philippine Air Force, 1947.

In real-life, the captured Japanese planes were scrapped or used as target practice. Would have been awesome to see a Zero in use within the PAF.
 
$_57_17.JPG
(idk where is from, just roll with it)

Hornets: Venezuelan National Bolivarian M Aviation
Link: www.whatifmodellers.com/index.…

McDonnell Douglas VF/A-18C Hornet (a/c 5002) and VE/A-18D Hornet (a/c 5014)
Escuadrón 101, Venezuelan National Bolivarian Military Aviation, Santiago Mariño
The Arabian Sea, 16 December 1999

Finding great wealth following the UN’s total blockade of revolutionary Iran, the oil-rich South American nation of Venezuela undertook a significant military expansion and modernisation program during the 1980s and ‘90s. This included buying a surplus Canadian Queen Elizabeth II-class aircraft carrier and equipping it with a full carrier air wing. The McDonnell Douglas (later, Boeing) F/A-18 Hornet was selected as the carrier’s multirole combat jet, the Venezuelan subtypes being the VF/A-18C (single-seat), VF/A-18D (two-seat) and VE/A-18D (two-seat electronic attack), which were partly modelled on the upgraded CF-18A+ Hornet FGR. 4, CF-18B+ Hornet T. 5 and CEF-18B+ Hornet E.6 models of Royal Canadian Navy. Like the Canadian Hornets, the Venzealan Hornets featured extended-chord flaps to safely operate from the Canadian-built carrier, which in service was named Santiago Mariño (after the nineteenth-century Venezuelan revolutionary leader and hero in the Venezuelan War of Independence).

The decision to operate an aircraft carrier was largely a political one, the Bolivarian Navy of Venezuela not having requested a carrier. They were unprepared for carrier operations, never having operated a ship of even half the carrier’s displacement, nor having any pilots with fast jet experience. The Navy’s only fixed-wing aircraft at the time were 17 P-3C Orions, nine EMB 111A Patrulha and an assortment of King Airs and Cessna light planes. Helicopters included a mix of Sea Kings, Bell UH-1s and Hughes 500s, including the Hughes 500MD/ASW. To solve the inevitable manpower issues, the Hornet squadrons would be staffed and operated by the Venezuelan National Bolivarian Military Aviation (air force), while the vessel’s helicopters were to be Navy assets. Although ordered in 1984, the Santiago Mariño was and it’s Carrier Air Wing was not declared fully operational until 1996.

In 1999 the Santiago Mariño was deployed on a UN assigned mission to the Arabian Sea on operations in support of the Iranian blockade and the UN-mandated demilitarized zones inside Iranian territory along its borders with Iraq, the Persian Gulf and Pakistan. The deployment coincided with Operation Desert Fox, a four day UN air assault on Iranian military and industrial targets in response to frequent violations of the demilitarised zones (which, understandably, Iran didn’t recognise). During these missions, the Santiago Mariño’s Hornets specialised in providing SEAD/DEAD services in addition to flying fleet air defence sorties.

Both aircraft modelled here are depicted as photographed on 19 December 1999 prior to undertaking an Operation Desert Fox mission.

This VF/A-18C’s notable equipment includes the following:
- one AGM-84E SLAM IIR-guided air-to-surface missile (to be guided via an AN/AWW-14 datalink pod on another aircraft)
- two AIM-9M Sidewinder IR-guided air-to-air missiles (carried on Phillips Canada Green Door BOL launch rail/countermeasure dispensers)
- three AIM-120B AMRAAM radar-guided air-to-air missiles
- one CAE Gold Heart ALARM anti-radiation missile
- one AN/AAS-38B Nite Hawk FLIR/laser designator/laser ranger and laser spot tracker pod
- one AN/AAS-42 IRST (nose-mounted and displacing the Vulcan cannon - only four VF/A18Cs were so equipped)[/li][/list]

The VE/A-18D features the following:
- Phillips Canada Purple Haze SERVAL ECM (jamming and spoofing)/ESM system with centreline and wingtip pods
- Philips Canada Cayenne Pass Felis electronic attack (hacking) system (nose-mounted and displacing the Vulcan cannon and requiring a ventral air scoop for cooling and a flush port side antenna)
- one Orenda Blue Jean Taurus C rocket-powered GPS/INS guided SEAD/DEAD munition (with bulk chaff dispenser and ALARM radar seeker for terminal anti-radar guidance).
- one CAE Gold Heart ALARM anti-radiation missile
- one AIM-120B AMRAAM radar-guided air-to-air missile
- one AN/AAS-38B Nite Hawk FLIR/laser designator/laser ranger and laser spot tracker pod

Both aircraft are equipped with the three-bladed Phillips Canada Yellow Taxi IFF system (visible ahead of the cockpit).

During Desert Fox, the Santiago Mariño’s Hornet ordnance expenditure included 34 Gold Hearts, seven Blue Jeans and five SLAMs. GBU-10, GBU-12 and AGM-65D munitions were also used. In air-to-air combat, three AMRAAMs and one Sidewinder were fired for the claiming of one Iranian Flanker. No Venezuelan Hornets were lost in combat, although one VF/A-18C was lost in a non-combat related incident (the pilot ejecting safely). Few details of targets have been publicly released, other than the vague reference to “air defence related facilities.”

(and now from Dizzyfugu, again :D)

Curtiss Tomahawk PR.Ic, RAF 46 Squadron, late 1940
Link: www.flickr.com/photos/dizzyfug…

The Curtiss P-40 Warhawk was an American single-engined, single-seat, all-metal fighter and ground-attack aircraft that first flew in 1938. The P-40 design was a modification of the previous Curtiss P-36 Hawk which reduced development time and enabled a rapid entry into production and operational service. The Warhawk was used by most Allied powers during World War II, and remained in frontline service until the end of the war.

The P-40 was originally conceived as a ground support aircraft and was very agile at low and medium altitudes but suffered due to lack of power at higher altitudes. At medium and high speeds it was one of the tightest turning early monoplane designs of the war due to its great structural strength.

In all, 18 Royal Air Force (RAF) squadrons, as well as four Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), three South African Air Force (SAAF), and two Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) squadrons serving with RAF formations, used P-40s. In RAF service, the early P-40 types were called Tomahawk.

The first Tomahawks delivered came without armor, bulletproof windscreens or self-sealing fuel tanks. These were installed in subsequent shipments. Initial deliveries came to Great Britain mainland, including an oder from France which did not reach its destination due to the country's fall to Germany's assault.

However, it soon turned out that Tomahawk's qualities were of little use in the Northwet European theatre of operations: Testing showed the aircraft did not have adequate performance in high-altitude combat due to the effective service ceiling limitation. Comparable early Spitfires operated at heights around 30,000 ft (9,100 m), while the P-40's Allison engine, with its single-stage, low altitude rated supercharger, worked best at 15,000 ft (4,600 m) or lower. The Tomahawk's armor and firepower were also inadequate for the Bf 109E.

Hence, when the P-40B was operated by the RAF and Allied units based in the UK from mid 1940 on, these limitations relegated the Tomahawk to second line duties like training or low-level reconnaissance with RAF Army Cooperation Command. For this task, the machines received cameras and respective openings on the flanks and under the rear fuselage. Since it was stable platform, later, improved versions of the P-40 were used in the ground support role, mainly in North Africa where they replaced the Hawker Hurricanes of the Desert Air Force (DAF) from early 1941 on.

One of the RAF operators of the early Tomahawk was 46 Squadron, even though only as a stopgap solution. In May 1940, RAF 46 Squadron was, equipped with Hawker Hurricanes, selected to form part of the Expeditionary Force in Norway, which had been invaded by the Germans on 9 April. No. 46 Squadron assembled at Bardufoss and began operation on 26 May. Patrols were maintained over the land and naval forces at Narvik without respite, some of the pilots going without sleep for more than 48 hours. Conditions on the ground were very basic with poor runways and primitive servicing and repair facilities.

Many air combats took place, but on 7 June the squadron was ordered to evacuate Norway immediately and, on the night of 7 through 8 June, the aircraft were successfully flown back to HMS Glorious — a dangerous procedure as none of the aircraft were fitted with deck arrester hooks! The ground parties embarked on HMS Vindictive and SS Monarch of Bermuda and reached the UK safely, but the squadron's aircraft and eight of its pilots were lost when Glorious was sunk by German warships on 9 June 1940. The crippled squadron was soon re-formed at RAF Digby, but the lack of aircraft forced 46 Squadron to accept the Tomahawk. The unit became operational once again at the end of June.

The Luftwaffe's main effort at the time was against coastal objectives and shipping off the coast of Essex and Kent, and for the next two months 46 Squadron was occupied in rather uneventful convoy and defensive patrols as well as photo reconnaissance over the Atlantic and the North Sea, before moving south to Stapleford Tawney, the satellite of RAF North Weald, for the defense of London during the Battle of Britain.

The squadron, now consisting of novice pilots and without any experienced command after its decimation in Norway, suffered heavy casualties during continuous action against far superior numbers of enemy bombers and escorting fighters. But the enemy sustained such shattering losses amongst their long-range bomber forces that they had to change their tactics. The attacking forces began to fly their fighter bombers at very high altitudes and to make use of every possible patch of cloud cover. Interception became difficult, and the squadron had to change its tactics too — principally maintaining patrols at heights between 20,000 and 30,000 feet. At that time, all Tomahawks had already been withdrawn from armed missions, just the reconnaissance aircraft still flew - some with the wing-mounted machine guns removed and fitted with extra tanks instead.

The squadron claimed 34 aircraft destroyed July to December 1940, but lost 26 aircraft itself, with 16 pilots killed and three badly wounded. After the Battle of Britain ended, the squadron engaged in convoy patrols, interspersed with escort duty to medium bombers in their attack on objectives in occupied France, but got totally rid of the Tomahawks, which were in service replaced by the more capable Kittyhawk (P-40D) and mostly transferred to RAF training units or to the Soviet Union in the course of the Land Lease program.

General characteristics:
Crew: 1
Length: 31 ft 9 in (9.68 m)
Wingspan: 37 ft 4 in (11.38 m)
Height: 10 ft 7 in (3.23 m)
Wing area: 235.94 ft² (21.92 m²)
Airfoil: NACA2215 / NACA2209
Empty weight: 5,600 lb (2,636 kg)
Loaded weight: 7,464 lb (3,393 kg)

Powerplant:
1× Allison V-171-33 liquid-cooled V12 engine, 1,040 hp (750 kW) at take-off,
driving a three blade Curtiss Electric constant spee propeller

Performance:
Maximum speed: 350 mph (307 kn, 565 km/h)
Cruise speed: 270 mph (235 kn, 435 km/h)
Range: 730 mi (640 nmi, 1,175 km) on internal fuel
Service ceiling: 29,000 ft (8,800 m)
Rate of climb: 2,656 ft/min (810 m/min)

Armament:
2× 0.50 in (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns with 235 RPG above the engine;
one hardpoint under the fuselage for bombs or a drop tank
 
Jane's All the Galaxy's Fighting Starships #10 (2429 edition)


Name: Delta Flyer
Type: Multi-Purpose Ground Attack and Support Shuttle
Class: Delta Mk.IIM (1 of - ), still in production, Mk.III version in development
Nationality: Federation Starfleet (United Federation of Planets)
Service: Starfleet Service Date: 2385 - 2408)
Armaments: 4x Type XIII Pulse Phaser Cannons; 3x Type V Phaser Arrays; 2x micro-torpedo launchers (1x fore, 1x aft), 1x Photonic missile launcher
Speed: Warp 5.7 (cruise) Warp 8.9 (max sustained) Warp 9.2 (at extreme risk)



The return of the Starship Voyager not only heralded a metaphorical end to the immediate post-war era for the Federation, but also brought forth a number of technological advancements. Beyond information that would revolutionize warp coil design and direct hull-armouring alloys, Voyager also returned data on the performance of a number of common Federation technologies and pieces of equipment under operating conditions far more extreme than what could ever be tested for in Federation space.

Mass production of the Intrepid-class with many of the modifications and improvements incorporated into Voyager’s systems over the years for the newly chartered Explorer Corps started in 2383, but it was a smaller vessel that arguably had an even greater impact.

In the pantheon of Starfleet shuttlecraft, the Delta Flyer fit in between the Class Six/Type 2 size vessels and the Runabout-types such as the Danube-class and it’s Yellowstone-class successor.

While vastly more versatile than the former and much faster and heavily armed than the latter, especially after refits in 2382, the Delta Flyer lacked the modularity and had less endurance in terms of both range and crew comforts of the Runabouts then in use. In some ways, it was therefore yet another shuttlecraft in an area where the Federation was already using far more types than some deemed wise.

However, the Fleet Marine Force showed interest, and at their request, in 2384 the Delta Flyer was tested against the closest equivalent in terms of size and general capabilities, the Type 11 as developed for the post-refit Souvereign-class Starships.

Piloted by one of it’s original designers, Lt. Commander Paris (then assigned as a test pilot and flight instructor to Starfleet Academy and the ASDB), the Delta Flyer came out ahead of the Type 11 in every category the FMF cared about, quite aside from being far faster and easier to produce. Thanks to this display, the Delta Flyer was adopted by the FMF as the Delta Mk.IIM, with the proviso that a number of changes be made, such as increased tactical systems, increased forward-facing and dorsal hull armour, as well as incorporation of the new generation of warp coil designs then under development.

The rest of Starfleet took longer to give the design another chance, but by 2386, it became increasingly clear that the existing lineup of small craft in their service was, as had happened with their starship, no longer sufficient, and the practice of designing major starship classes with shuttles more or less exclusive to them was a waste of time and resources. The Galileo-type had already been scrapped or sold off earlier in the decade, but that left them with a number of others. The Type 5, Type 6 and Type 7 class were all facing block obsolescence, with especially the Type 7 not being conducive to further upgrades due to a number of design compromises made in the 2350s, so the decision was made to retire them all. In the face of the Delta Flyer, the Type 11 was clearly inferior, so they too were retired.
In the end, there remained three main shuttle types, the Class 2 Mk.IV, replacing the Class 6 and similar-sized types, the Delta class for everything between them and the third type, the Runabouts.

A large number of Starships and bases would need adaptation to handle the new types, but Starfleet Command and the Federation Council judged that expenditure of resources vastly more efficient in the long term than the previous practice, especially in light of worsening relations with the Klingon Empire.



tbc

For the record, I like Endgame in that I enjoyed it and still enjoy it on re-watching it. However, would it have fucking killed them to find a way that wouldn’t require setting-breaking future!Tech? The absence of the slipstream tech (yes, I know, different episode, but it’s bound to come up, so I put it here) and the ablative hull armour can be explained easily enough by “they couldn’t make it work/safe enough for use so far, but it allowed warp coil design to jump two generations” and “damaged beyond repair, but revolutionized Federation hull alloys” respectively, but the transphasic torpedoes? Those things are the equivalent of giving the US Navy Mk.48 ADCAPs and modern fire control in 1941, and I just can’t see Starfleet, especially this version of Starfleet, not jumping on them hard. “we fired them all” isn’t enough, and saying “kept secret, in storage, will issued when next contact with the Borg is confirmed to prevent tech leaking out” is… eh, and a bit of a cop-out. I’ll go with that tho, as I want the Federation strong, but not that damn OP. Would make for a boring story. Sucks that they had to jigger the records to prevent people from wondering how Voyager one-shotted a Cupe, but eh. For the sake of the story.


Also: No fighters, this ain’t Star Wars and is never going to be, so please don’t ask.
 
The absence of the slipstream tech (yes, I know, different episode, but it’s bound to come up
i never understood why they mothballed the transwarp drive that they had. yes it goes unstable after 10 seconds but who cares.
just don't use it longer than 10 seconds, it would essentially function as a jump drive, jumping from one spot to the next, it still would have allowed them to get home rather fast.
 
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Luftwaffe 1946, Volume 2, Issue No.12

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World War II 1946, Issue No.10


Wyvern GR.8
www.whatifmodellers.com/index.…

By 1968, much of the region around the borders of Chad, Nigeria and Cameroon was held by the Marxist African People's Liberation Army (APLA). Launched in January, the UN's Operation Paper Cut was an attempt to draw the APLA into battle so that it could be destroyed.

One of the most active units involved in Paper Cut was Task Force Taylor, a multi-national special operations group which combined air and land units into a single fighting force. Integral to Taylor's airpower was Team Wyvern, which was a government and industry joint venture to promote and sustain the operation of de Havilland Canada's Wyvern in Africa. Taylor included 2 Team Wyvern escadrilles, one of which was Air Commando Escadrille Shark, which featured aircraft and personel from Canada, Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria.

Date: 15 January, 1969
Mission: Close air support for air assault on APLA camp near Mada, Cameroon
Base: Bougoumene, Chad
Unit: Black Flight, Air Commando Escadrille Shark, Task Force Taylor
Airforce: Cameroon
Ordnance: Centerline drop tank, 2 x CARDE 155 rocket pods, 4 x Mk 82, 2 x Mk 82SE, 1 x CARDE FlareWinder, 2 x SUU-14 dispenser

A point of interest with this aircraft is the counter-shaded fuselage band, typical of Task Force Taylor's attention to detail when it came to morale building camouflage.
 
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