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Aircraft Recognition - for DannyAircraft Recognition - for Danny

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Aircraft Recognition - for DannyAircraft Recognition - for Danny

Old 29th Aug 2017, 21:09
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Aircraft Recognition - for DannyAircraft Recognition - for Danny


As we sit in our on-line crew room, Baby Burco gurgling in the background and cup of coffee and biscuit in hand, can I ask your advice please?
A friend lent me a book with a small section on aircraft recognition - I was intigued because I'd never come across the aircraft described. Two in particular were particularly noteworthy - an American USAAC trainer and a British bomber that saw service in the Far East. So Danny, given that you trained in America and later saw service in the Far East you are doubtless familiar with both - so give me your observations do!

The first is a Harley-Fairfax K-55 Air-Pal Trainer.

“You can’t send those nineteen kids up in a crate like” that bandied the wags whenever a near score of student pilots filed aboard this controversial Army Air Corps ship in the late Thirties; and as the Senate hearing later confirmed, they were chillingly close to the truth. The 19 neophytes could be sent up, all right; it was a matter of how suddenly and how violently they came back down. Trouble started with the pilot and worked its way back to the man at the rear. Conceived as an economical flying trainer, the Air-Pal was so economical that it lacked any intercom system among instructor and pupils. No problem in a two or even three-seater — but with 19 sets of controls? Elaborate pre-briefings, hand signals, screaming — all were tried but all fell short of the desired result, unanimity of action, as in “Bank left!” Happily for all concerned, a further economy move halted production altogether only five months after it began. But those who flew or tried to fly her are not likely to ever forget this stillborn regent of the cloud lanes — memories shared by those on the ground lucky and sharp-eyed enough to catch a necessarily brief glimpse of an Air-Pal cart-wheeling across the sky while 19 plucky, if somewhat perplexed students tried outguessing one another, their teacher and fate itself.

The second is the Humbley-Pudge Gallipoli Heavyish Bomber.

Lewis gun blazing, flour bags cascading down, the pachydermic Gallipoli terrorised practice target ranges across the empire from 1933 to 1939. Four Varley “Panjandrum” motors screwed her up to a cruising altitude several feet over the legal minimum of the day. Relatively few were built, but more than enough Gallipolis were delivered to the R.A.F. which handed them over to the Royal Indian Air Force, which in turn handed them over to the Royal Malayan Air Force, which promptly found itself plagued by wholesale desertions of its flying personnel. The Gallipoli’s moment of glory came, and lightning like, vanished during the surprise Japanese invasion of Singapore in early 1942. Hordes of Japs swarmed toward the R.A.F. aerodrome; out went the call, “Warm up the Gallipolis!” And, indeed, 36 of the breed might have risen to meet the foe had not their special boarding ladders turned up missing.
The sobriquet Sitting Duck has clung to the Gallipoli ever since — an unjust cut in view of this perfectly harmless old war horse’s clearly worthwhile intentions. The last survivor serves today as a chicken house — albeit an impressive one — for the Maharani of Gunjipor. It crash-landed on her lawn in 1944, but the R.A.F. despite numerous reminders, simply keeps forgetting to come round and pick it up.

Images Copyright 1982 by Bruce McCall

(Very much tongue in cheek!)
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Old 30th Aug 2017, 03:54
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The thing is, if you imagine an early Trans-Manche collaboration between, say, Amiot and Fairey, the Humbley-Pudge is half-plausible (and would have much less of a CoG problem than the multi-trainer, which could actually be guaranteed never to have an incident while airborne).
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Old 30th Aug 2017, 06:45
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Thank you Warmtoast.
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Old 30th Aug 2017, 07:25
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I think the top one would need an extra engine on the tail (like the Trilander)
to keep the tail up...
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Old 30th Aug 2017, 07:30
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A delightful start to the day! Thank you, Warmtoast.
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Old 30th Aug 2017, 08:07
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The Gallipoli is slightly restricted with its elevator movement.
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Old 30th Aug 2017, 08:18
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The Gallipoli is slightly restricted with its elevator movement.
I thought that was a very clever idea of the designer. As the elevators look as if they have no 'up' movement the only way it would get airborne would be thanks to the curvature of the earth - and with no reheat it probably wouldn't go round corners either

(Thinks: where have I heard that before?)
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Old 30th Aug 2017, 08:39
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Not sure why the trainer needs such a high tailplane, can't be to keep it out of supersonic airflow, maybe it's to make room for the 19 sets of control linkages?
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Old 30th Aug 2017, 15:21
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The Humbley-Pudge no doubt developed into the Blockbone Beveridge postwar!
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Old 30th Aug 2017, 17:45
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Warmtoast (#1),

Yer 'avin a larf ? Or Been Ingesting Banned Substances, by any chance ? I plead Guilty to having been flung up into the Wide Blue Yonder by the US Army Air Corps and "Did my time in India's sunny clime, a-servin' of 'is Majesty the King", but never in my wildest bindaloo-induced nightmares have I seen such monstrosities !

As for the Air-Pal, I can see a difficulty with the CoG out if sight of the Centre of Pressure, so if it ever got off the ground it would do ever-decreasing loops until it performed the Well Known Anatomical Absurdity. But who would build more than one of such a thing ? (Come to think of it, somebody did) - but "no names, no packdrill" (de mortuis, nil nisi bonum).

I suppose I must answer for the Gallipoli (as it's wearing SEAC roundels), and may even have designed it in a fit of malarial delirium - but you can't hold that against me, can you ? Anyway, I'm sure BAE would build you one - at a price !

And then I woke up - what a relief !

Old 30th Aug 2017, 18:33
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Dunno about the Harley-Fairfax K-55 Air-Pal Trainer, but the Humbley-Pudge Gallipoli looks like a Short Shetland got a bit frisky with an AW Whitley when nobody was looking.
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Old 30th Aug 2017, 19:33
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Zany Afternoons

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Old 30th Aug 2017, 22:29
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Thanks for the links - Bruce McCall's the author of the book in which the images appear.

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Old 31st Aug 2017, 09:07
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I thought that the second image was that of the mythical Farley Fruitbat, but then I realised it was not nearly eccentric enough in appearance.
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Old 1st Sep 2017, 08:20
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For Danny...

......speaking to a departing guest this morning the subject of an RAF engineering officer getting a George Medal for rescuing a crewman from a crashed Vengeance in India. As the chap was a bit late in leaving for the airport there was no time for follow up questions. I think that the officer's surname was Davies. Ring any bells?

The Ancient Mariner
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Old 1st Sep 2017, 09:25
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but never in my wildest bindaloo-induced nightmares have I seen such monstrosities !
Well what about this one then?

TURD U-14 (дерьмо U-14) Military Transport
The bent fuselage of the Turd U-14 stood for many years as a Soviet military secret. The Germans after invading Russia in 1941 found the wreck of a Turd U-14 on an airfield and examining it speculated that Russia had discovered a unique and new aerodynamic principle by bending the front of the fuselage downwards. It was only after the last example of this little-known type had safely crashed and details became known following the collapse of the Soviet empire in 1989 that its true origins were revealed.
It seems that during the design stage in 1938, a blueprint had been wrinkled accidentally when sent to the Kremlin for authorisation and it was this wrinkled blueprint that was authorised and signed into production by Stalin. Because of this none of the designers would own up to responsibility for the wrinkled blueprint — since according to the Soviet penal code, altering documents signed by Stalin was a treasonable offence that carried the death penalty — so the mistake went unchecked and it went into production as authorised by Stalin complete with wrinkled fuselage.
As a work-horse transport aircraft, this behemoth of the blue, with its four Kapodny-Gifk engines, each producing 400 hp, and its vast cargo capacity, “had everything” according to the state media. Unusual features were tiny cockpits on each wing, where an engineer sat supervising the engines in front of him, and solid iron wheels. These last ingeniously got over the acute Russian rubber shortage, but caused another problem; reports claim the railway locomotive-style cast-iron wheels so badly chewed up even paved landing strips that bringing a Turd to earth meant maximum risk to plane, crew and all nearby buildings and collective farms. Obliquely, this may explain the Soviet insistence that a Turd had set a world record for nonstop flight in 1941 — staying aloft over 64 hours while travelling nearly 3500 miles and averaging over 54 mph — and also why the pilot and navigator although awarded the Order of Heavy Industry immediately after landing were then transported to a Siberian Gulag to keep them quiet.

Unfortunately none of the Turds, with their unique examples of Russian ingenuity have survived — mores’ the pity.

Image Copyright 1982 by Bruce McCall


Last edited by Warmtoast; 5th Sep 2017 at 16:09.
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Old 1st Sep 2017, 11:58
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Clearly a misnomer, the original name was the Droop Snoot (Дрюп Снюп), but Stalin's little grand daughter couldn't pronounce it, so they had to think of another one.

Not many people know that.

Old 5th Sep 2017, 13:06
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Bruce McCall is a brilliant, if zany, illustrator.

In a similar ilk is Stan Mott.

Personally I rather like his take on an aircraft carrier with a difference.
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Old 6th Sep 2017, 08:46
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Minimal chance of those wing-floats surviving the take-off, though
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Old 6th Sep 2017, 09:50
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Tupolev TB-3 in 1935

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