Sea Vixen FAW.3 in Royal Navy Service​


In 1961, the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm was very interested in acquiring the US Navy's latest carrier borne fighter, the McDonnel-Douglas F-4 Phantom. It seemed the answer to all their problems of a successor to the Sea Vixen, twin-boomed fighter, which would fly from the planned CV-01 carrier.

However, a monetary crisis intervened and the British Government firmly put it's foot down and declared that the successor to the Sea Vixen would, it seems be well, another Sea Vixen!

De Havillands had worked out how to fix some of the worse problems of the Sea Vixen. It improved the size and the shape of the Sea Vixen's radar scanner and brought the radar operator out of his "Coal Hole" and placed him in a tandem cockpit, behind the pilot, where his eyes would be useful in a dog fight. They improved the missiles carried by the aircraft, adding some Blue Jay radar homing missiles, based on the Red Top IR guided missile. They retained the Red Tops the previous versions had been armed with as well and kept the 30mm Rarden cannons, much to the delight of the pilots.







The Kit

The model is based on an illustration of an F-14 nose which was added to a Sea Vixen fuselage, which I have unfortunately lost track of. It fitted surprisingly well, actually, coming from a Hobby Craft kit. The Missiles were converted from standard Red Tops. The fuselage is from a Frog kit. Painted with a hairy stick from Tamiya Acrylics and the decals came from a aftermarket sheet.
 

When they cancelled the TSR.2...take 2...​


When the decision was taken to cancel the TSR.2, the RAF was desperate for a replacement. BAC, undertook another upgrade to the Canberra. They broadened the chord of the wings and shortened the span. They used new tip tanks. They upgraded the engines and added a small, terrain following radar to allow the aircraft to fly low and close to the contours of the land. The result was dubbed the Canberra S.28. Christened the "MRCA" - Must Refurbish Canberra Again by the wags in the RAF, the S.28 was purchased in numbers and replaced all other versions of the Canberra in RAF service. Displayed here in the markings of 617 Dambusters Squadron.









The Kit

Basically it's an Airfix PR.9 with shortened, broadened wings, Kit. Despite stuffing as much lead weight I could into the nose, it ended up a tail sitter so I found one more fishing weight made it sit properly. I put it as a FLIR ball turret behind the nose wheel leg. The 617 Squadron markings came from a TSR.2 sheet by Modeldecal. The tip tanks are from an F-4 Phantom kit.

This is the second version I built. The first was a Revel PR.9 and I added a resin Buccaneer nose which I faired in. Problem was it was too low for its undercarriage and so I ended up discarding it. I didn't like the wing fairings for the engines either. Not streamlined enough. The Airfix kit, which is now as rare as hen's teeth, is a much nicer kit.
 
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Sea Vixen FAW.3 in Royal Navy Service​


In 1961, the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm was very interested in acquiring the US Navy's latest carrier borne fighter, the McDonnel-Douglas F-4 Phantom. It seemed the answer to all their problems of a successor to the Sea Vixen, twin-boomed fighter, which would fly from the planned CV-01 carrier.

However, a monetary crisis intervened and the British Government firmly put it's foot down and declared that the successor to the Sea Vixen would, it seems be well, another Sea Vixen!

De Havillands had worked out how to fix some of the worse problems of the Sea Vixen. It improved the size and the shape of the Sea Vixen's radar scanner and brought the radar operator out of his "Coal Hole" and placed him in a tandem cockpit, behind the pilot, where his eyes would be useful in a dog fight. They improved the missiles carried by the aircraft, adding some Blue Jay radar homing missiles, based on the Red Top IR guided missile. They retained the Red Tops the previous versions had been armed with as well and kept the 30mm Rarden cannons, much to the delight of the pilots.







The Kit

The model is based on an illustration of an F-14 nose which was added to a Sea Vixen fuselage, which I have unfortunately lost track of. It fitted surprisingly well, actually, coming from a Hobby Craft kit. The Missiles were converted from standard Red Tops. The fuselage is from a Frog kit. Painted with a hairy stick from Tamiya Acrylics and the decals came from a aftermarket sheet.


I like it, it keeps Centaur, Hermes and Victorious viable throughout the 60's and 70's.
 

Meanwhile over the straits of Formosa...​


In 1945 the Koumintang Government of the Republic of China contracted with Gloster aircraft of the UK to create a single-engined Jet fighter. Being only the fourth country in the world to put into operation a jet powered combat aircraft, the ROCAF was proud of it's achievement. It didn't win the Chinese Civil War though, and in 1948, the KMT Government of Chiang Kai Shek was forced to flee the mainland for the island of Formosa. The Communists, thwarted of their ultimate goal of ruling all of China bided their time on the mainland. The US Navy intervened and prevented them from invading Taiwan, as the island became known. The KMT, leery of becoming too dependent on the United States turned again to Glosters who supplied them with their most advanced product, the Javelin, all-weather fighter.





The Kit

The kit is a Polish repop of the venerable Frog Javelin Mk.9 kit. It required considerable work and I decided to try an alternative method of creating a polished metal surface, using cheap Aluminium foil. It worked reasonably well, I felt. The decals came from the spares box.
 
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Sea Vixen FAW.3 in Royal Navy Service​


In 1961, the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm was very interested in acquiring the US Navy's latest carrier borne fighter, the McDonnel-Douglas F-4 Phantom. It seemed the answer to all their problems of a successor to the Sea Vixen, twin-boomed fighter, which would fly from the planned CV-01 carrier.

However, a monetary crisis intervened and the British Government firmly put it's foot down and declared that the successor to the Sea Vixen would, it seems be well, another Sea Vixen!

De Havillands had worked out how to fix some of the worse problems of the Sea Vixen. It improved the size and the shape of the Sea Vixen's radar scanner and brought the radar operator out of his "Coal Hole" and placed him in a tandem cockpit, behind the pilot, where his eyes would be useful in a dog fight. They improved the missiles carried by the aircraft, adding some Blue Jay radar homing missiles, based on the Red Top IR guided missile. They retained the Red Tops the previous versions had been armed with as well and kept the 30mm Rarden cannons, much to the delight of the pilots.







The Kit

The model is based on an illustration of an F-14 nose which was added to a Sea Vixen fuselage, which I have unfortunately lost track of. It fitted surprisingly well, actually, coming from a Hobby Craft kit. The Missiles were converted from standard Red Tops. The fuselage is from a Frog kit. Painted with a hairy stick from Tamiya Acrylics and the decals came from a aftermarket sheet.
It kinda makes me think of a Sea Vixen capable of using Long-Range Missiles, if it could carry them.
 
The Grumman 134R LARA entry

The LARA competition was to create the OV-10 Bronco - a light, armed reconniassiance aircraft for COIN operations. Along the way entries were received from various manufacturers, including Grumman. Twin turboprop powered and heavily armed the aircraft was a twin seater.


The Kit

What do you get when you combine these two kits? You end up with this, the Grumman 134R for the US Army's LARA competition or rather my interpretation of it. Combining the nose of a TA-4 and the body of a Grumman Mohawk, finish with a hairy stick and the decals from an old ESCI set.

You can certainly see the Mohawk design and the ultimate product reminds me of an earlier IAI Pucara.
 

The Short March North


In 1962 the Kennedy Administration stated a requirement for a low-cost export fighter, selecting the Boeing Mirage IIIW as winner of the F-X competition on 23 April 1962 subsequently becoming the "F-5A". It was ordered into production in October that year. It was named under the 1962 United States Tri-Service aircraft designation system, which included a re-set of the fighter number series (the General Dynamics F-111 was the highest sequentially numbered P/F-aircraft to enter service under the old number sequence).

Boeing built 624 F-5As (including three YF-5A prototypes) before production ended in 1972. These were accompanied by 200 two-seat F-5B aircraft. These were operational trainers, lacking the fuselage mounted cannon but otherwise combat-capable, while 86 RF-5A reconnaissance variants of the F-5A, fitted with a four-camera nose were also built. In addition, Canadair built 240 first generation F-5s under license, with CASA in Spain adding a further 70 aircraft.

The first contract for the production F-5A was issued in 1962, the first overseas order coming from the Royal Norwegian Air Force on 28 February 1964. It entered service with the 4441st Combat Crew Training School of the USAF, which had the role of training pilots and ground crew for customer nations, on 30 April that year, it still not being intended that the aircraft be used in significant numbers by the USAF itself.

This changed with testing and limited deployment in 1965. Preliminary combat evaluation of the F-5A began at the Air Proving Ground Center, Eglin AFB, Florida, during the summer of 1965 under project Sparrow Hawk, with one airframe lost through pilot error on 24 June. In October 1965, the USAF began a five-month combat evaluation of the F-5A titled Skoshi Tiger. Twelve aircraft were delivered for trials to the 4503rd Tactical Fighter Squadron, and after modification with probe and drogue aerial refuelling equipment, armor and improved instruments, were redesignated as the F-5C. Over the next six months, they performed combat duty in Vietnam, flying more than 2,600 sorties, both from the 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing at Bien Hoa over South Vietnam and from Da Nang Air Base where operations were flown over Laos. 9 aircraft were lost in Vietnam, 7 to enemy ground fire and two to operational causes. Although declared a success, with the aircraft generally rated as capable a ground-attack aircraft as the F-100, but suffering from a shorter range, the program was considered a political gesture intended to aid the export of more F-5s than a serious consideration of the type for U.S. service.33 From April 1966 the aircraft continued operations as 10th Fighter Commando Squadron with their number boosted to 17 aircraft. (Following Skoshi Tiger the Philippine Air Force acquired 23 F-5A and B models in 1965. These aircraft, along with remanufactured Vought F-8 Crusaders, eventually replaced the Philippine Air Force's North American F-86 Sabre in the air defence and ground attack roles.)

In June 1967, the 10th FCS's surviving aircraft were passed to the air force of South Vietnam, which previously had only Cessna A-37 Dragonfly and Douglas A-1 Skyraider attack aircraft. This new VNAF squadron was titled the 522nd. The President of Vietnam had originally asked for F-4 Phantoms used by the Americans, but the VNAF flew primarily ground support as the communist forces employed no opposing aircraft over South Vietnam.

That however changed when the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) embarked on Operation Lam Son 719 in 1971. The operation, intended to be a limited, short campaign to interdict the North Vietnam supply line, known as the "Ho Chi Minh Trail" which ran through Laos, proved to be an unqualified success. The PAVN was caught completely unprepared for a ground offensive and quickly crumbled in front of the ARVN forces, supported heavily by US and RVNAF (Republic of Vietnam Air Force). The RVNAF made extensive use of its F-5A, which had started to be supplmented by an improved version, the F-5E, which had a much more powerful J-79 engine. Hammering the few points of resistance the South Vietnamese rapidly advanced up the Loatian "Pan Handle" and found themselves poised on the "Plain of Jars" opposite North Vietnam. Seizing the moment, President Nguyên Van Thiêu decided that after a short pause, to regroup and move reinforcements into Laos, the ARVN would swing East and attack North Vietnam.

This decision was taken against the direct wishes of the US Government. However Nguyên Van Thiêu took the unprecedented step of removing himself from the Presidential Palace in Saigon and hence making himself incommunicado to the US Ambassador who had come a calling to make sure he understood exactly what the Wishes of the US Government were. Thiêu had travelled to the advance Headquarters of the force engage in Lam Son 719, deep inside Laos.

The victories of Lam Son 719 galvanised the peoples in both Vietnams. For the first time the people of the Republic of Vietnam felt their country was theirs' and was winning against the feared Communists from the North. In the North, the people of the Peoples Democratic Republic of Vietnam felt under threat. Here was an invasion force about to spring down from the mountains and threaten their very existence. For the forces of both nations, their most pressing problem was manpower. The South's was primarily in the South and moving it rapidly into Laos was a problem. For the North, their best units and a large proportion of their manpower, was in the South, fighting there. It became a race against time as each attempted to redeploy their forces and prevent the other from doing the same.

After a four week wait, the offensive opened. Just as the Viet Minh had after the successful Battle of Diên Biên Phu, the ARVN swept down from the Laotian hills. They encountered heavy opposition. However, they had caught the PAVN (Peoples' Army of Vietnam) flat footed. They had been planning a major invasion of the south in 1972, after the expected withdrawal of US Forces. While most of their best troops were in the South, many of their elite forces were actually out of the country, training in the Soviet Union. In particular their armoured corps were "training on the steppes of Odessa" en masse. What was available was their "home guard" and units in training. Their capabilities were patchy at best. There were also large numbers of Anti-Aircraft guns and gunners, which would prove often to be better fighters than the other units, taking a heavy toll of ARVN armoured vehicles.

As the ARVN forces advanced, the US Government began to give tacit approval to the ARVN offensive and ordered air support be provided. Up until then, the tiny RVNAF had been stretched to provide everything that was required. The VNPAF (Vietnamese Peoples' Air Force) had attempted to fight but found itself unable to achieve much. It's relatively small number of MiGs found itself largely outclassed as the RVNAF pilots found themselves finally able to engage in dogfights with their hated enemy. Unhindered by the Rules of Engagements which had been imposed on the US pilots in North Vietnamese skies and which had given the VNPAF such an advantage, the RVNAF soon achieved air superiority. The wreckage of crashed MiG-17s and 21s littered the landscape, downed by the better flown F-5s, Canberras, Skyraiders. Even a T-28 Trojan managed to bag a MiG-17 which it caught taking off.

In the South, the NLF (National Liberation Front - Viet Cong) and PAVN (Peoples' Army of Vietnam) units deployed there attempted to prevent ARVN reinforcements from advancing northwards. However, whenever they came out into the open to attack, they rediscovered the hard learnt lessons of Tet'68 about US firepower. The US units which had stayed behind in South Vietnam made short work of them, along with the overwhelming air support they had available to them.

China, alarmed at the events unfolding on it's southern boarder found itself unprepared for intervention. Five years of the ongoing Cultural Revolution had demoralised and confused the rank and file. The leadership had been purged so often that no one was willing to stick their necks out. Even the removal of badges of ranks, in an egalitarian spirit meant that it was difficult for messages to be passed as couriers couldn't or wouldn't give their messages to those they considered to be of insufficient rank. While Chinese troops massed on the Vietnamese border, the US cautioned Beijing through indirect channels (there being no US recognition of the Revolutionary Government and so no US Embassy in Beijing) intervention would be met with "utmost force" and the PRC itself would not be spared. Mao and Chou en Lei, alarmed at the even by Nixon's standards, aggressive and belligerent language decided to sit by and observe events as they played out.

The USSR was also caught flat-footed and unable to directly intervene. Brezenhev briefly considered imposing a fresh blockade on Berlin but got cold feet at the last moment. Fearful of the possibility of West Germany or South Korea undertaking their own wars of reunfication, the Soviet High Command began to beef up the defence facing each of those countries.

Hanoi fell on 25 April 1972. PAVN forces retreated to the Chinese border where they were allowed to cross. Minor fighting continued throughout the countryside but it was obvious the North had been defeated. The Government in Saigon recognised it was going to face an on-going insurgency but it would take some considerable time for it to become a large danger.

When the news was announced, it was reported that President Nixon and Secretary of State Kissinger looked at each other and remarked that the world was changing and for the better it seemed. In reality, they stared in amazement at each other and said, "Damn!" Neither of them or anybody else in the world had expected the South to win. Vietnam was reunited.

The aircraft depicted is that of an F-5A from the RVNAF 522nd Fighter Squadron during the air campaign over North Vietnam.







The Kit

The kit is the venerable Revell Mirage III, finished with Vallejo paints, brush painted. The markings are from an equally venerable Esci F-5A set which featured those for a Northrop F-5A. The seat is an Aeroclub metal one. The Revell kit is quite good, nicely details with raised panel lines and even includes a complete Atar 9C engine!
 
The Avro Canada CF-100 Canuck in RAAF Service

When the RAAF entered the Korean War in 1950, it was very obvious that it's F-51 Mustangs were very much behind the curve of moden aeronautical developments. The USAF was already fielding large numbers of jet aircraft, the F-80 Shooting Star, the F-84 Thunderstreak and the soon to be introduced F-86 Sabre. The Communists were quick to introduce their latest aircraft in the MiG-15, which completely outclassed the RAAF's piston-engined aircraft. Hurriedly, the RAAF ordered Gloster Meteors from the UK, having already had limited experience with the type, just after WWII when in 1946 a Meteor captured Australian newspaper headlines when it flew over Melbourne at 788 km/h (490 mph). Imported on 7 June 1946, this Meteor F 4 carried out trials at Laverton and Darwin and, at one time, carried two identification numbers - the RAF serial EE427 and the RAAF allocation A77-1. However, it was not until 1951, when Meteors went into action with No 77 Squadron in Korea, that these aircraft made their mark in RAAF history.

Ninety-three Meteor F 8s and six Meteor T 7s were allocated to the Korean War with scattered serial numbers ranging between A77-2 (T 7) and A77-982 (F
8)
. They were used mainly in the ground-attack role, but also accounted for three MIG-15s. Forty-one F 8s and three T 7s returned to Australia aboard HMAS Vengeance, and continued on in service with the RAAF, as second-line fighters until 1963. The Meteor was an excellent introductory aircraft to jet propulsion, however as was discovered when facing the far faster and more manoeuvrable, swept-wing fighters it had severe limitations.

Another was that the Meteor was purely a clear weather fighter, with no radar. The RAAF found this limited it's usefulness, particularly in the wintery skies above Korea. So, it began a search for an all-weather fighter compliment to it. Internationally, there were several alternatives available - a variant of the Meteor (based on the T.7), the F-89 Scorpion and the Canadian CF-100 Canuck. However, due to the massive re-equipment of the RAF and USAF as a consequence of the Korean War emergency, neither the UK or the US would be in a position to fulfil any orders from the RAAF for several years. When the performance characteristics of the three contenders were compared and confirmed by an investigating commission sent overseas to test the aircraft, the CF-100 was a clear winner, particularly when it was able to demonstrate that it could break the sound barrier in a dive. Avro Canada, manufacturers of the CF-100 were quite willing to negotiate a license production agreement with Australia.

The Australian Government Aircraft Factories started licensed production of 50 CF-100 Canuck aircraft in 1953 (48 fighters and 2 TF-100 trainers). Entering service with the RAAF serial A82, they were issued to Nos 21,22 and 23 Squadrons. During their service lives from 1954 to 1966, the CF-100s were steadily upgraded from Mk.3 to Mk.5 standard, with the main changes being to electronic equipment and eventually armament. Unlike Canadian and Belgian versions, the RAAFs were armed to carry 4 x 30mm ADEN cannon instead of the standard 8 x .50in machineguns, an armament they retained throughout their careers. In 1960, while waiting their replacement, they were finally upgraded to operate air-to-air missiles (2 x AIM-7C Sparrow and 2 x AIM-9B Sidewinder). Their advanced, for the day, radars and air intercept systems allowed them to find and destroy targets in all weathers and times of day, an advantage particularly in the tropical storms experienced in and around Darwin and far North Queensland when the main day fighter for the period, the CA-27 Avon Sabre lacked any radar.

The aircraft depicted is that of A82-5, serving with 21 Squadron, Richmond, in 1960. Unusually, this aircraft does not carry it's serials, which in the various pictures of it has never been fully explained.






The Model

This is the venerable Hobbycraft CF-100 Mk.4, in 1/72 scale. It is constructed as standard, except for the addition of four underwing hardpoints and the missiles they carry. I experimented on this model with Baremetal Foil. As a consequence, I've learnt a lot and will more than likely continue to use it (or plain Aluminium foil) in future for bare metal finishes. I'm pleased with the results. Much better than anything I've achieved from a tin of paint.
 

Pangur

Donor

The Short March North


In 1962 the Kennedy Administration stated a requirement for a low-cost export fighter, selecting the Boeing Mirage IIIW as winner of the F-X competition on 23 April 1962 subsequently becoming the "F-5A". It was ordered into production in October that year. It was named under the 1962 United States Tri-Service aircraft designation system, which included a re-set of the fighter number series (the General Dynamics F-111 was the highest sequentially numbered P/F-aircraft to enter service under the old number sequence).

Boeing built 624 F-5As (including three YF-5A prototypes) before production ended in 1972. These were accompanied by 200 two-seat F-5B aircraft. These were operational trainers, lacking the fuselage mounted cannon but otherwise combat-capable, while 86 RF-5A reconnaissance variants of the F-5A, fitted with a four-camera nose were also built. In addition, Canadair built 240 first generation F-5s under license, with CASA in Spain adding a further 70 aircraft.

The first contract for the production F-5A was issued in 1962, the first overseas order coming from the Royal Norwegian Air Force on 28 February 1964. It entered service with the 4441st Combat Crew Training School of the USAF, which had the role of training pilots and ground crew for customer nations, on 30 April that year, it still not being intended that the aircraft be used in significant numbers by the USAF itself.

This changed with testing and limited deployment in 1965. Preliminary combat evaluation of the F-5A began at the Air Proving Ground Center, Eglin AFB, Florida, during the summer of 1965 under project Sparrow Hawk, with one airframe lost through pilot error on 24 June. In October 1965, the USAF began a five-month combat evaluation of the F-5A titled Skoshi Tiger. Twelve aircraft were delivered for trials to the 4503rd Tactical Fighter Squadron, and after modification with probe and drogue aerial refuelling equipment, armor and improved instruments, were redesignated as the F-5C. Over the next six months, they performed combat duty in Vietnam, flying more than 2,600 sorties, both from the 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing at Bien Hoa over South Vietnam and from Da Nang Air Base where operations were flown over Laos. 9 aircraft were lost in Vietnam, 7 to enemy ground fire and two to operational causes. Although declared a success, with the aircraft generally rated as capable a ground-attack aircraft as the F-100, but suffering from a shorter range, the program was considered a political gesture intended to aid the export of more F-5s than a serious consideration of the type for U.S. service.33 From April 1966 the aircraft continued operations as 10th Fighter Commando Squadron with their number boosted to 17 aircraft. (Following Skoshi Tiger the Philippine Air Force acquired 23 F-5A and B models in 1965. These aircraft, along with remanufactured Vought F-8 Crusaders, eventually replaced the Philippine Air Force's North American F-86 Sabre in the air defence and ground attack roles.)

In June 1967, the 10th FCS's surviving aircraft were passed to the air force of South Vietnam, which previously had only Cessna A-37 Dragonfly and Douglas A-1 Skyraider attack aircraft. This new VNAF squadron was titled the 522nd. The President of Vietnam had originally asked for F-4 Phantoms used by the Americans, but the VNAF flew primarily ground support as the communist forces employed no opposing aircraft over South Vietnam.

That however changed when the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) embarked on Operation Lam Son 719 in 1971. The operation, intended to be a limited, short campaign to interdict the North Vietnam supply line, known as the "Ho Chi Minh Trail" which ran through Laos, proved to be an unqualified success. The PAVN was caught completely unprepared for a ground offensive and quickly crumbled in front of the ARVN forces, supported heavily by US and RVNAF (Republic of Vietnam Air Force). The RVNAF made extensive use of its F-5A, which had started to be supplmented by an improved version, the F-5E, which had a much more powerful J-79 engine. Hammering the few points of resistance the South Vietnamese rapidly advanced up the Loatian "Pan Handle" and found themselves poised on the "Plain of Jars" opposite North Vietnam. Seizing the moment, President Nguyên Van Thiêu decided that after a short pause, to regroup and move reinforcements into Laos, the ARVN would swing East and attack North Vietnam.

This decision was taken against the direct wishes of the US Government. However Nguyên Van Thiêu took the unprecedented step of removing himself from the Presidential Palace in Saigon and hence making himself incommunicado to the US Ambassador who had come a calling to make sure he understood exactly what the Wishes of the US Government were. Thiêu had travelled to the advance Headquarters of the force engage in Lam Son 719, deep inside Laos.

The victories of Lam Son 719 galvanised the peoples in both Vietnams. For the first time the people of the Republic of Vietnam felt their country was theirs' and was winning against the feared Communists from the North. In the North, the people of the Peoples Democratic Republic of Vietnam felt under threat. Here was an invasion force about to spring down from the mountains and threaten their very existence. For the forces of both nations, their most pressing problem was manpower. The South's was primarily in the South and moving it rapidly into Laos was a problem. For the North, their best units and a large proportion of their manpower, was in the South, fighting there. It became a race against time as each attempted to redeploy their forces and prevent the other from doing the same.

After a four week wait, the offensive opened. Just as the Viet Minh had after the successful Battle of Diên Biên Phu, the ARVN swept down from the Laotian hills. They encountered heavy opposition. However, they had caught the PAVN (Peoples' Army of Vietnam) flat footed. They had been planning a major invasion of the south in 1972, after the expected withdrawal of US Forces. While most of their best troops were in the South, many of their elite forces were actually out of the country, training in the Soviet Union. In particular their armoured corps were "training on the steppes of Odessa" en masse. What was available was their "home guard" and units in training. Their capabilities were patchy at best. There were also large numbers of Anti-Aircraft guns and gunners, which would prove often to be better fighters than the other units, taking a heavy toll of ARVN armoured vehicles.

As the ARVN forces advanced, the US Government began to give tacit approval to the ARVN offensive and ordered air support be provided. Up until then, the tiny RVNAF had been stretched to provide everything that was required. The VNPAF (Vietnamese Peoples' Air Force) had attempted to fight but found itself unable to achieve much. It's relatively small number of MiGs found itself largely outclassed as the RVNAF pilots found themselves finally able to engage in dogfights with their hated enemy. Unhindered by the Rules of Engagements which had been imposed on the US pilots in North Vietnamese skies and which had given the VNPAF such an advantage, the RVNAF soon achieved air superiority. The wreckage of crashed MiG-17s and 21s littered the landscape, downed by the better flown F-5s, Canberras, Skyraiders. Even a T-28 Trojan managed to bag a MiG-17 which it caught taking off.

In the South, the NLF (National Liberation Front - Viet Cong) and PAVN (Peoples' Army of Vietnam) units deployed there attempted to prevent ARVN reinforcements from advancing northwards. However, whenever they came out into the open to attack, they rediscovered the hard learnt lessons of Tet'68 about US firepower. The US units which had stayed behind in South Vietnam made short work of them, along with the overwhelming air support they had available to them.

China, alarmed at the events unfolding on it's southern boarder found itself unprepared for intervention. Five years of the ongoing Cultural Revolution had demoralised and confused the rank and file. The leadership had been purged so often that no one was willing to stick their necks out. Even the removal of badges of ranks, in an egalitarian spirit meant that it was difficult for messages to be passed as couriers couldn't or wouldn't give their messages to those they considered to be of insufficient rank. While Chinese troops massed on the Vietnamese border, the US cautioned Beijing through indirect channels (there being no US recognition of the Revolutionary Government and so no US Embassy in Beijing) intervention would be met with "utmost force" and the PRC itself would not be spared. Mao and Chou en Lei, alarmed at the even by Nixon's standards, aggressive and belligerent language decided to sit by and observe events as they played out.

The USSR was also caught flat-footed and unable to directly intervene. Brezenhev briefly considered imposing a fresh blockade on Berlin but got cold feet at the last moment. Fearful of the possibility of West Germany or South Korea undertaking their own wars of reunfication, the Soviet High Command began to beef up the defence facing each of those countries.

Hanoi fell on 25 April 1972. PAVN forces retreated to the Chinese border where they were allowed to cross. Minor fighting continued throughout the countryside but it was obvious the North had been defeated. The Government in Saigon recognised it was going to face an on-going insurgency but it would take some considerable time for it to become a large danger.

When the news was announced, it was reported that President Nixon and Secretary of State Kissinger looked at each other and remarked that the world was changing and for the better it seemed. In reality, they stared in amazement at each other and said, "Damn!" Neither of them or anybody else in the world had expected the South to win. Vietnam was reunited.

The aircraft depicted is that of an F-5A from the RVNAF 522nd Fighter Squadron during the air campaign over North Vietnam.







The Kit

The kit is the venerable Revell Mirage III, finished with Vallejo paints, brush painted. The markings are from an equally venerable Esci F-5A set which featured those for a Northrop F-5A. The seat is an Aeroclub metal one. The Revell kit is quite good, nicely details with raised panel lines and even includes a complete Atar 9C engine!
You really got me with that one. Read Mirage iii , then we have F5 and then it looked the story looked like the F5 and finally a pic. a Mirage. Good work
 
The Avro Canada CF-100 Canuck in RAAF Service

When the RAAF entered the Korean War in 1950, it was very obvious that it's F-51 Mustangs were very much behind the curve of moden aeronautical developments. The USAF was already fielding large numbers of jet aircraft, the F-80 Shooting Star, the F-84 Thunderstreak and the soon to be introduced F-86 Sabre. The Communists were quick to introduce their latest aircraft in the MiG-15, which completely outclassed the RAAF's piston-engined aircraft. Hurriedly, the RAAF ordered Gloster Meteors from the UK, having already had limited experience with the type, just after WWII when in 1946 a Meteor captured Australian newspaper headlines when it flew over Melbourne at 788 km/h (490 mph). Imported on 7 June 1946, this Meteor F 4 carried out trials at Laverton and Darwin and, at one time, carried two identification numbers - the RAF serial EE427 and the RAAF allocation A77-1. However, it was not until 1951, when Meteors went into action with No 77 Squadron in Korea, that these aircraft made their mark in RAAF history.

Ninety-three Meteor F 8s and six Meteor T 7s were allocated to the Korean War with scattered serial numbers ranging between A77-2 (T 7) and A77-982 (F
8)
. They were used mainly in the ground-attack role, but also accounted for three MIG-15s. Forty-one F 8s and three T 7s returned to Australia aboard HMAS Vengeance, and continued on in service with the RAAF, as second-line fighters until 1963. The Meteor was an excellent introductory aircraft to jet propulsion, however as was discovered when facing the far faster and more manoeuvrable, swept-wing fighters it had severe limitations.

Another was that the Meteor was purely a clear weather fighter, with no radar. The RAAF found this limited it's usefulness, particularly in the wintery skies above Korea. So, it began a search for an all-weather fighter compliment to it. Internationally, there were several alternatives available - a variant of the Meteor (based on the T.7), the F-89 Scorpion and the Canadian CF-100 Canuck. However, due to the massive re-equipment of the RAF and USAF as a consequence of the Korean War emergency, neither the UK or the US would be in a position to fulfil any orders from the RAAF for several years. When the performance characteristics of the three contenders were compared and confirmed by an investigating commission sent overseas to test the aircraft, the CF-100 was a clear winner, particularly when it was able to demonstrate that it could break the sound barrier in a dive. Avro Canada, manufacturers of the CF-100 were quite willing to negotiate a license production agreement with Australia.

The Australian Government Aircraft Factories started licensed production of 50 CF-100 Canuck aircraft in 1953 (48 fighters and 2 TF-100 trainers). Entering service with the RAAF serial A82, they were issued to Nos 21,22 and 23 Squadrons. During their service lives from 1954 to 1966, the CF-100s were steadily upgraded from Mk.3 to Mk.5 standard, with the main changes being to electronic equipment and eventually armament. Unlike Canadian and Belgian versions, the RAAFs were armed to carry 4 x 30mm ADEN cannon instead of the standard 8 x .50in machineguns, an armament they retained throughout their careers. In 1960, while waiting their replacement, they were finally upgraded to operate air-to-air missiles (2 x AIM-7C Sparrow and 2 x AIM-9B Sidewinder). Their advanced, for the day, radars and air intercept systems allowed them to find and destroy targets in all weathers and times of day, an advantage particularly in the tropical storms experienced in and around Darwin and far North Queensland when the main day fighter for the period, the CA-27 Avon Sabre lacked any radar.

The aircraft depicted is that of A82-5, serving with 21 Squadron, Richmond, in 1960. Unusually, this aircraft does not carry it's serials, which in the various pictures of it has never been fully explained.






The Model

This is the venerable Hobbycraft CF-100 Mk.4, in 1/72 scale. It is constructed as standard, except for the addition of four underwing hardpoints and the missiles they carry. I experimented on this model with Baremetal Foil. As a consequence, I've learnt a lot and will more than likely continue to use it (or plain Aluminium foil) in future for bare metal finishes. I'm pleased with the results. Much better than anything I've achieved from a tin of paint.
This airplane looks like a fat pig and the pilots thought it flew like one, too. I am absolutely shocked that it could get to Mach 1. I like the polished metal finish you gave this model and some others. I know the CF-100 is very similar to the F-89 Scorpion, so I am wondering why it wasn’t licensed for production like the F-86 Sabre.
 
This airplane looks like a fat pig and the pilots thought it flew like one, too. I am absolutely shocked that it could get to Mach 1. I like the polished metal finish you gave this model and some others. I know the CF-100 is very similar to the F-89 Scorpion, so I am wondering why it wasn’t licensed for production like the F-86 Sabre.
Just an alternative trouser leg of time. The CF-100 was an excellent choice for a Commonwealth which should have banded together but didn't.
 
The F-106 Delta Dart in RAAF Service

In 1958, the RAAF began seeking a replacement for the CF-100 Canuck in Australian service. While the CF-100 had barely been in service 4 years, it was very obvious the days of the straight winged jet interceptor were passing rapidly. The obvious solution was to go with the next, promised Canadian product the CF-105 Arrow. However, just as the RAAF started to express interest in this highly promising aircraft it was cancelled by the Canadian Government. When the RAAF became interested in Britain's TSR2 strike aicraft as a replacement for it's aging Canberra bombers, it was secretly briefed by BAC (British Aircraft Corporation) on the possible development of this aicraft as a fighter, armed with long range air-to-air missiles. Again, however, just as the RAAF was expressing interest in the possible adoption of the TSR2 to fulfil two roles, as both strike and fighter aircraft, this highly promising aircraft was cancelled by the British government. In frustration, the RAAF went cap in hand to the United States. Convair was at that time developing what had been initially known as the F-102B Delta Dagger and later redesignated as the F-106 Delta Dart.

The F-106 was the ultimate development of the USAF's 1954 interceptor program of the early 1950s. The initial winner of this competition had been the F-102 Delta Dagger, but early versions of this aircraft had demonstrated extremely poor performance, limited to subsonic speeds and relatively low altitudes. During the testing program the F-102 underwent numerous changes to improve its performance, notably the application of the area rule to the fuselage shaping and a change of engine, and the dropping of the advanced MX-1179 fire control system and its replacement with a slightly upgraded version of the MX-1 already in use on subsonic designs. The resulting aircraft became the F-102A, and in spite of being considered barely suitable for its mission, the Air Force sent out a production contract in March 1954, with the first deliveries expected the next year.

By December 1951 the Air Force had already turned its attention to a further improved version, the F-102B. Initially the main planned change was the replacement of the A-model's Pratt & Whitney J57 (itself replacing the original J40) with the more powerful Bristol Olympus, produced under license as the Wright J67. By the time this would be available, the MX-1179 was expected to be available, and was selected as well. The result would be the "ultimate interceptor" the US Air Force wanted originally. However, while initial work on the Olympus appeared to go well, by August 1953 Wright was already a full year behind schedule in development. Continued development did not improve issues, and in early 1955 the US Air Force approved the switch to the Pratt & Whitney J75.

The J75 was somewhat larger than the J57 in the F-102A, and had greater mass flow. This demanded changes to the inlets to allow more airflow, and this led to the further refinement of using a variable-geometry inlet duct to allow the intakes to be tuned to best performance across a wide range of supersonic speeds. This change also led to the ducts being somewhat shorter. The fuselage grew slightly longer, and was cleaned up and simplified in many ways. The wing was slightly enlarged in area, and a redesigned vertical tail surface was used. The engine's 2-position afterburner exhaust nozzle was also used for idle thrust control. The nozzle was held open reducing idle thrust by 40% giving slower taxiing and less brake wear.

The first prototype F-106, an aerodynamic test bed, flew on 26 December 1956 from Edwards Air Force Base, with the second, fitted with a fuller set of equipment, following 26 February 1957. Initial flight tests at the end of 1956 and beginning of 1957 were disappointing, with performance less than anticipated, while the engine and avionics proved unreliable. These problems, and the delays associated with them nearly led to the abandoning of the program, but the US Air Force decided to order 350 F-106s instead of the planned 1,000. After some minor redesign, the new aircraft was delivered starting in October 1959.

On 15 December 1959, Major Joseph W. Rogers set a world speed record of 1,525.96 mph (2,455.79 km/h) in a Delta Dart at 40,500 ft (12,300 m).

The F-106 was envisaged as a specialized all-weather missile-armed interceptor to shoot down bombers. Similar to the F-102, it was designed without a gun, or provision for carrying bombs, but it carried its missiles in an internal weapons bay for clean supersonic flight. It was armed with four Hughes AIM-4 Falcon air-to-air missiles, along with a single GAR-11/AIM-26A Falcon nuclear-tipped semi-active radar (SAR)-homing missile (which detected reflected radar signals), or a 1.5 kiloton-warhead AIR-2 (MB-2) Genie air-to-air rocket intended to be fired into enemy bomber formations. Like its predecessor, the F-102 Delta Dagger, it could carry a drop tank under each wing. RAAF F-106s of course never flew with nuclear weapons.

The RAAF, despite the numerous limitations of the early versions of the F-106 found it a pleasant aircraft to fly and manoeuvrable as a dog fighter. It's high speed (Mach 2.3) and long combat range (2,900 km) made it an ideal compliment to the new Mirage III fighter-bombers entering service with the RAAF. However, it was extremely expensive. The RAAF which lacked a comprehensive Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) network for ground control interception (GCI) missions, the Australian continent being so large and sparsely settled, asked if it was possible to delete this equipment. Convair, scenting the possibility of a sale agreed in the affirmative but stated this would also mean downgrading the radar, as it was an integral part of the Hughes MA-1 AWCS radar system. Instead, they proposed fitting the Westinghouse APQ-72 radar, which was fitted to the F-4B Phantom, which was due to also come into service soon with the USN and was designed also to guide the Hughes Falcon air-to-air missiles. While of similar performance, it was simpler and truth be known, more reliable. The RAAF accepted the proposal, ordering 27 F-106 Delta Dart's (24 F-106C fighters and 3 TF-106B trainers) in 1964, just as Konfrontasi with Indonesia under Sukarno was starting. These aircraft served with Nos.21 and 22 Squadron, replacing the CF-100 in their inventories. Primarily stationed in Darwin, where they were intended to prevent possible attacks by Indonesia Tu-16 Badger bombers, if conflict had occurred. Teamed with the British Bloodhound missiles, which were also stationed to protect Darwin, they made a formidable defence.

The F-106 served with the RAAF from 1964 until 1983 when replaced by the F/A-18 Hornet.







The aircraft depicted, A6-4 was assigned to the RAAF's ARDU (Aircraft Research and Development Unit) based at Edinburgh based, in South Australia. It wears a distinctive Orange and White "Fanta Can" scheme which was adopted for armament trials. Unusually for an RAAF aircraft, it does not carry any roundals on the upper surfaces. A fact which has been confirmed from the numerous photos taken of the aircraft during the various trials it was engaged on.

The Model

This is the venerable Hasegawa F-106 Delta Dart kit. Apart from a replacement seat and nose probe, it is stock. It was actually a very nice kit, despite it's obvious age, to put together, with excellent fit and little flash evident. Since building it, I've discovered Lone Star Resins do a replacement set of closed missile bay doors, which I intend to use on my next build of this model. However, the stock open doors and missiles go together quite well. The markings came from a Nova Scale Mirage III set which include the scheme for the Fanta Can Mirage III, which this one is based on.
 
The Saab 36 Nidhögg

Sweden's nuclear weapon programme was started after World War II and the American atomic bombing of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

In the early years after the war Sweden made a decision to become a neutral power that could defend itself militarily against any invading power. The biggest threats to Sweden were identified as being Soviet nuclear capabilities and in the late 1940s and 1950s much research was made into nuclear weapons to act as a deterrence to them.

In 1948 the first solid plans on how to create an atomic weapon was presented to the FOA ("Försvarets forskningsanstalt", Swedish Defence Research Agency). Plans were established to run a civilian nuclear power programme in parallel, using domestic uranium resources as nuclear fuel. The Ågesta and Marviken reactors were to be used to produce plutonium for the weapons, while also producing energy. Plans were created to develop initially aircraft to deliver these nuclear weapons, and later on, submarine launched missiles as a means of delivery as well.

All of the nuclear development activities took place at the FOA. The plan was to produce 100 warheads in a timespan of ten years.

During the 1960s the programme rapidly progressed. The turning point was on 18 August 1968 when a 10 Kiloton device was detonated deep underground in Northern Sweden. The explosion registered on seismographs around the world but was dismissed as a "minor earth tremor" by the Swedes. The Soviets and the United States were uncertain whether it had been an earth tremor or not. Scandanavia and in particular, Northern Sweden, is a seismically active region. For the Swedes, the event proved to them that they now had a successful design which could be weaponised. This test was followed by several more, all in the tens of kilotons and finally in a much larger warhead in the 50-60 Kiloton range, 18 months later. By this time, suspicions were aroused amongst observers. The Swedes though, again announced that more earthquakes had occurred. Both superpowers though, started to watch seismic events much more closely in Scandanavia. The Swedes never conducted another test, having proved the design and it's scaleability.

Officially, all plans for nuclear weapons were scrapped in 1969. Unofficially, the Nuclear Programme continued in deepest secrecy. The first weapon produced was a free-fall bomb, with an estimated yeild in the 100 Kilotonne class. While the Nuclear Programme had come to fruitition, Saab, the Swedish aircraft manufacture had been designing and building the means to carry it. Several designs were proposed, some more exotic than others. In the end, taking a leaf from the book of French designer, Marcel Dassault, the decision was taken to simply scale up the Saab 35 Draken fighter. Utilising the aerodynamic data accumulated from the design and testing of this fighter meant that the design and testing process for the new strike version would be decreased. The result was the Saab 36 Nidhögg.

Powered by twin license produced Rolls Royce Spey engines, the Nidhögg was capable of Mach 2.5 at altitude. It could carry a payload of 4,000 lbs, 2,000 nautical miles in it's internal weapons bay. It had a crew of two. Initially armed with nuclear free-fall bombs, later in it's career it was able to carry the RB-09 "Mjölnir" Nuclear Attack missile which allowed it to attack targets over 400 miles distant. It was able from bases in Sweden to reach all major targets in the Baltic and even as far afield as Moscow and Murmansk. The Saab Nidhögg were stationed on remote airfields with hangars built inside tunnels under many meters of granite. Through out it's service life, the aircraft received several upgrades. Perhaps the most important were the addition of canards during it's development and the addition of an attack missile late in it's life. Intended to improve controlability at lower speeds and high angles of attack duing the approach, particularly onto the roadway emergency airfields that the Swedish Air Force expected to be the only ones which were likely to survive a Soviet Nuclear attack, the canards earnt the aircraft it's nickname amongst some of its crew who resisted the Swedish Air Force's official discouragement of such frippery - "Puckelrygg" - "Hunchback" in Swedish.

The RB-09 "Mjölnir" nuclear attack missile enabled the Nidhögg to be able to attack from outside the Soviet SAM defences. Named after the hammer used by the Thundergod, Thor, it had a range of over 400 miles. Powered by a ramjet, the missile flew at Mach 3 and could be pre-programmed to fly a dog-leg course and attack from either low or high altitude. It carried a 100 Kilotonne warhead. The Nidhögg carried one missile semi-recessed into its weapons bay under the fuselage.

Nidhögg was deliberately chosen as the name of this remarkable aircraft. It reflected it's role, as the weapon of last resort. Nidhögg was of course the "dragon who gnaws at a root of the World Tree, Yggdrasill," in Norse mythology. Nidhögg is said to have been controlled by only one person, the Norse goddess named Hel (Goddess of the underworld for which the Christian realm of Hell is named after). When Nidhögg was released, Ragnarök - the end of the world - would occur. The Swedish high command recognised that if there was a need for Nidhögg and it's weapons, then the end of the world had arrived.

The existence of both the Swedish Nuclear weapons and the Saab Nidhögg strike aircraft was not publically revealed until 1993, when the Swedish Government officially announced that as the Cold War was over and the Soviet Union had collapsed, their need was ended. Throughout the career of the Saab Nidhögg, neither superpower had been able to detect it's existence. The Swedes had taken special care to only fly the aircraft at night and made sure that it was never left stationed next to a standard Saab 35 Draken fighter, so it's considerably larger size could not be easily ascertained from satellite photos. Keeping them inside the hangar caves kept them out of view as well. The revelation came as a surprise to the world. While the Soviets and the United States had both had their suspiciouns, they had never been able to confirm them. Sweden, with South Africa were the only two nuclear powers to unilaterally relinquish Nuclear weapons of massed destruction. Today, one Saab 36 Nidhögg resides in the Swedish Air Force Museum at Malmen Airbase in Malmslätt, just outside of Linköping, Sweden. Where it is displayed next to an RB-09 "Mjölnir" missile. A remarkable aircraft that thankfully, never flew an operational mission.









The Model

The model is a combination of a venerable Lindberg Saab Draken and a Heller TF-104 forward fuselage. Despite it's age and its several toylike features, the Lindberg kit had little flash and fitted remarkably well. The TF-104 nose went on extremely well as well, almost as if it was designed to. The undercarriage comes from a spare Mirage IV set I had in the spares box as do the drop tanks. The tail cones are Maestro Draken ones. Along with quite a bit of Milliput, PSR and effort, the aircraft has been painted in a combination of Vallejo and Tamiya acrylics by hand. The bang seats are Pavla ones. The missile is scratch built from spares in the spares box (couple of pods/fuel tanks and some plasticard for fins). The cart it's posed on is a modified Bloodhound one. The markings were supplied by Pellson (thanks very much!) after I discovered my stock of Swedish roundels had all perished. I originally wanted to paint it in splinter but then found out only two Drakens ever wore splinter so decided to go with the green/dark blue scheme. This fitted well with the subterfuge contained in the story.
 
Woah, a secret and operational for decades Swedish nuclear bomber would produce internal kittens in the country when revealed.

I suppose that the fact that the revelation was at the same its retirement would make things quite more palatable.
 

Hawker Sea Hunter, 1960


The Admiralty, impressed by the performance of the Hawker Hunter in RAF service commissioned Hawker to produce a trials aircraft, converted for carrier use in 1958. Hawker's added wing folding, an arrester hook and catapult stays. The first squadron of Hawker Sea Hunters went to sea on HMS EAGLE in 1960.











The Kit

A venerable Airfix Hunter kit, painted with a hairy stick. Apologies for the poor quality of the pictures. This is my first WHIF in plastic in over 30 years. Special thanks to Narses2 who supplied the decals.
 

Hawker Sea Hunter development - the Hawker Herne, 1962


As related in this build thread, the RN FAA adopted the Hawker Sea Hunter in 1958. The FAA was delighted with their new fighter. Finally they had something as good as the RAF! However, it was a visual only interceptor, which was not suitable for use in the cold and stormy North Atlantic when defending the fleet against possible Soviet bombers.

Their Lordships therefore requested that Hawker do something about this state of affairs! Sir Sydney Camm responded with a proposal to adopt the Hawker P.1109 to shipboard use. Equipped with an AI intercept radar and two or four Firestreak IR guided Air-to-Air missiles, it seemed like an ideal solution. However their Lordships listening to what their experts in the FAA said, demurred. They believed that using a radar and flying a plane was too much for one man and asked if it was possible to make the P.1109 a two seater. Camm of course agreed and offered the P.1109 adapted to carrying two crew, utilising the tandem seat trainer nose which was not adopted by the RAF, with an uprated Avon engine offering an extra 1,000 lbs of thrust to compensate for the heavier weight of the radar and it's operator, it was accepted. After trials, the tail was enlarged to compensate for the longer nose and it was in this form that it was adopted for service by the FAA, first seeing service in 1962. As a consequence of their Lordships desire to differentiate themselves from the RAF, the aircraft was renamed the Hawker Herne - Herne of course being the Celtic God of the Hunt. Usually carrying two, on short range intercept missions it could carry four Firestreak missiles, along with its two 30mm Aden Cannons and was able to detect possible threats at medium range with its radar in the dark or bad weather.







The Kit

The model is a Revell Hunter. It has been modified with a tandem seat trainer cockpit plus a P.1109 nose. It has a pair of Firestreak missiles added and a new tail. It has been painted with a hairy stick with Tamiya paints. Decals came from the spares box.
 
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1938

In a controversial move the Fleet Air Arm adopts the General Aircraft Gannet as its new single seat carrier fighter. What's controversial is that this is a licenced adaption of the Dutch Fokker D XXI. The Picture Post is heavily fined for reporting this with the headline "Admiralty Fokkers shame Britain."
 

Hawker Sea Hunter development - the Hawker Herne, 1962


As related in this build thread, the RN FAA adopted the Hawker Sea Hunter in 1958. The FAA was delighted with their new fighter. Finally they had something as good as the RAF! However, it was a visual only interceptor, which was not suitable for use in the cold and stormy North Atlantic when defending the fleet against possible Soviet bombers.

Their Lordships therefore requested that Hawker do something about this state of affairs! Sir Sydney Camm responded with a proposal to adopt the Hawker P.1109 to shipboard use. Equipped with an AI intercept radar and two or four Firestreak IR guided Air-to-Air missiles, it seemed like an ideal solution. However their Lordships listening to what their experts in the FAA said, demurred. They believed that using a radar and flying a plane was too much for one man and asked if it was possible to make the P.1109 a two seater. Camm of course agreed and offered the P.1109 adapted to carrying two crew, utilising the tandem seat trainer nose which was not adopted by the RAF, with an uprated Avon engine offering an extra 1,000 lbs of thrust to compensate for the heavier weight of the radar and it's operator, it was accepted. After trials, the tail was enlarged to compensate for the longer nose and it was in this form that it was adopted for service by the FAA, first seeing service in 1962. As a consequence of their Lordships desire to differentiate themselves from the RAF, the aircraft was renamed the Hawker Herne - Herne of course being the Celtic God of the Hunt. Usually carrying two, on short range intercept missions it could carry four Firestreak missiles, along with its two 30mm Aden Cannons and was able to detect possible threats at medium range with its radar in the dark or bad weather.







The Kit

The model is a Revell Hunter. It has been modified with a tandem seat trainer cockpit plus a P.1109 nose. It has a pair of Firestreak missiles added and a new tail. It has been painted with a hairy stick with Tamiya paints. Decals came from the spares box.
Did the original Hunter kits have folding wings? I don't know if any real Hunters had them IOTL. For the Herne, I like the nose and cockpit section, but I don't think it would be possible to mount large fuel tanks on hardpoints on the folding section of the wing and so far from the fuselage. On the F/A-18, hardpoints 1 and 9 are the wingtip mounts for AAMs and are the only hardpoints on the folding section of the wing. Hardpoints 2 and 8 are inboard of the fold, and then only the inboard wing hardpoints 3 and 7 (plus the centerline hardpoint 5) are plumbed for fuel tanks.

I searched for "Hawker Hunter folding wings" on Google and this was the second result :): https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235025267-hawker-sea-hunter/
 
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