WW2 70th Anniversaries this month:
Apr 1941 - German forces invade Yugoslavia
22-25 April - 60th Anniversary of the Battle of the Imjin River
Lippisch P.13a Ramjet Fighter, What-if 1946
The Lippisch P.13a was planned as a ramjet powered supersonic interceptor. As aviation fuel was in very short supply in Nazi Germany at the end of the war, it was intended to power the ramjet with powdered coal. An experimental engine design was successfully demonstrated by German engineers, although it is not clear how the aircraft would have been accelerated to the high speeds that would have been needed for the ramjet to start.
The war ended before the P.13a progressed beyond the drawing board and a few glider models, but its designer, Alexander Lippisch was taken to work for the US after the war and the influence of his designs can be clearly seen in several Convair and NASA aircraft.
I have been determined to complete this one for the beginning of April. Airfix released a number of models of "Luft 46" experimental German aircraft designs in the late 1960s, which are cheap and easy to build. They are also rather crude and probably aimed more at the toy market than serious builders. However, they do provide some fun as a quick build. This one started with the full intention of adding it to my Antarctic Nazis Horten, but in the end I have painted it much as intended.
PS - its an April Fools Day Joke - this is really the PM kit.
Link to my Sea Vixen Reference Pictures
Continuing from last month. I have also uploaded a number of my Sea Vixen reference pictures, which may be of use to anyone else building this kit.
The airbrake assembly and forward undercarriage bay are both painted and in place. Next up, the main undercarriage bays, intake trunking, tail hook assembly and jet pipes.
Intake and jetpipes in place, plus the wing strengthening fixtures - wings are going to be lowered. It will also be sitting on its undercarriage, so whilst I have lowered the airbrake and tail hook, both use the smaller of the 2 jacks that Airfix provide, in order to retain sufficient ground clearance.
And then its time to join the fuselage. Before doing so, you have to open up the slots in the wings for the weapons pylons - not the easiest task, and one that ended up in my damaging the lower port wing slightly. I also superglued a very large lump of lead into the nose to make sure we have no tail sitting! The fuselage join was very good, only needing a little bit of Tippex along the side of the forward fuselage, and around the lower intake lips. I also had some difficulty getting a tight fit with the tail pipes, needing a little more filler (Krystal Klear/PVA instead this time.
One slight hiccup - you really need to insert the Observer's window before the cockpit interior is fitted. I didn't and it was a very fiddly job to complete afterward.
With the tail booms, nose and jet intake lips attached (remember to paint the inside of the stbd intake to match the fuselage, as you can see it from inside once in place), it really is beginning to look like a Sea Vixen! So far, the build has progressed really smoothly, and I have been most impressed with the degree of thought and engineering that appear to have gone into this Airfix kit.
Some really nice touches include the different parts for different configurations (e.g. wings/flaps/undercarriage/air brake/hook up/down). One particularly useful touch is the way that all of the parts are numbered logically and consecutively on the sprue - one of my pet hates, especially prevalent with Russian and Japanese kits, is where the parts numbers are spread randomly across the sprue, so that you have to resort to a diagram to find them.
My only complaints so far are pretty minor - the sprues are quite thick, so removal of some of the very small parts requires a lot of care. Otherwise, I'm really getting into the swing of this large kit - maybe a permanent change of scale is called for!!!!
More FAA Jet aircraft (including 1/72 Sea Vixens) on my RN Jets Pages
Or - back to last month
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