Tailhook Topics

by Tommy H. Thomason

Saturday, January 14, 2017

F2H Banshee Canopies

16 January 2017: Bill Gilman noted (see his comment below) that the later canopy seemed to be more bulged laterally. I had wondered about this in passing but hadn't taken a close look at it. However, it's obvious, certainly the shape of the frames between the windscreen and sliding canopy.
I'm not sure that the later sliding canopy is bulged more laterally very far aft of its bow. The color picture on the right was taken by Don Hinton of the F2H-2P at the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola. A set of his pictures is available at Phil's Aeronautical Stuff here: http://www.philsaeronauticalstuff.com/f2h-2p/f2h-2p.html

There were two different F2H Banshee canopies, not counting the one on the original XF2D-1 prototypes.
It had a shorter sliding section and a somewhat different windscreen, particularly its forward interface with the fuselage. Note also that Bob Edholm is testing an XF2D without the benefit of an ejection seat.

For some reason, after completion of F2H-1 production and not quite half of the F2H-2s, McAir elected to produce the remainder, beginning with BuNo 124940, with a slightly different canopy. The center panel of the windscreen, which had been straight sided, was now an oval with heavier framing.
 (The red post in the color picture on the left is the Davis barrier activator; it was spring-loaded to extend when the tailhook was lowered. It was stowed manually after landing as shown in the gray-scale photo on the right.)

I only have a McAir lines drawing for the later canopy.

The sliding canopy bow, which had had a flattened top, now had a smooth curve.
It appears to me that the center panel of the new windscreen was raised slightly, parallel to the original one, as evidenced by the steeper slope of the fairing at its front edge. It's possible that the change was to provide better visibility of the LSO on the approach to the carrier.
I don't know how many F2H-2s produced prior to BuNo 124940 were retrofitted. I do have photographs of two, both F2H-2Ns, BuNos 123300 and 123301, with the later canopy.
Note the unpainted sheet metal of the fuselage-skin change required.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Markings - A Cautionary Tale Continued

For the first post on this topic, see http://tailspintopics.blogspot.com/2012/06/markings-cautionary-example.html

This example was provided by Joe Turpen:
Note the the marking of the side number and tail code markings on the right wings. Those on three of the F3H-2s appear to have been applied by the same person or at least in accordance with the same guidelines: size, location, orientation, etc. The width of the number varies because of the width of the individual digits, with 203 taking up more of the wing than 211.

However, the marking of the Demon on the bottom of the picture is notably different. The numbers are slanted and the tail code appears to be bolder.

A minor detail, certainly, but another example of variation when none is expected.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Corogard on the A4D (A-4)

Corogard was a protective treatment on the leading edges of U.S. Navy airplanes at one time. For background, see http://tailspintopics.blogspot.com/2012/01/corogard.html

I was recently asked a question about its applicability to the A4D (A-4) Skyhawk. There's no question that it was initially part of the production paint scheme as shown on this early A4D-1.

It's pretty obvious on this reserve A4D-1. Note that the vertical fin application is narrow and doesn't appear to extend onto the dorsal fin.

However, this YA4D-1, circa 1956, doesn't appear to have any Corogard on any leading edges although the gull gray appears to have been wrapped around to the lower surface of the horizontal tail for a short distance (and probably to the aft edge of the bottom of the wing slat as well).

In some cases, the squadron trim color was applied to the leading edge of the vertical tail with no Corogard evident and even the wing leading edge in lieu of Corogard.
(Yes, this is a non-standard blue.)

However, the benefit of the Corogard revealed itself as on this A-4C's vertical fin.

The A4D-2 on the left clearly has Corogard on the wing leading edges and the vertical fin leading edge. The one on the right (from a different squadron) may or may not have Corogard on the wing leading edges (in addition to not having the slat wells painted red) and the leading edge of the vertical fin is mostly yellow, the trim color of the second squadron.

As time goes on, Corogard is increasingly not obvious, if present at all, on the wing and horizontal tails but there is always a wraparound of the top color onto the bottom of the leading edges. But then there are these two A-4Fs from different squadrons on Bon Homme Richard...

I await comments.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Kitty Hawk F2H Engine Nacelle Correction

"Corey in Colorado" has made an excellent first start on fixing the most egregious shape error in the Kitty Hawk F2H Banshee kit, the interface of the top of the engine nacelle with the side of the fuselage. See http://www.network54.com/Forum/149674/message/1483660646/My+attempt+to+make+the+Kitty+Hawk+Banshee+look+a+little+better

The area that he replaced is roughly in the vicinity of the walkway provided on the upper side of the nacelle, reducing the work required to blend in the new section in that area.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Kitty Hawk 1/48 F2H-2 Outboard Flap

I've seen some very nice built-up Kitty Hawk 1/48 F2H-2 kits. Unfortunately, in some the modeler attached the outboard flaps according to the kit instructions. In fact, the part identified as the lower half of the flap (A15 and 16) should really be glued on as the upper surface of the wing and the part identified as the upper half (A14 and 18) attached under it, either extended or up. This is the Kitty Hawk build, which shows the outboard flap attached correctly per the instructions but incorrectly with respect to the actual airplane:

This is what the extended outboard flap should look like:
The aft portion of the upper surface of the outboard flap is also part of the upper surface of the wing when the flaps are up.

For more on the Kitty Hawk kit, see http://tailspintopics.blogspot.com/2016/09/kitty-hawk-148-f2h-22p-banshee.html and http://tailspintopics.blogspot.com/2016/12/kitty-hawk-148-f2h-banshee-kit-redux.html

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Kitty Hawk 1/48 F2H Banshee Kit Redux

20 December 2016: Added a picture by Michael Rieth comparing the kit main landing gear doors to the kit landing gear wells.

Click HERE for my first post on the Kitty Hawk 1/48 Banshee kit.

Michael Rieth subsequently provided me with illustrations of his more detailed assessment of more notable shape errors in the kit in addition to the upper inner wing interface with the fuselage, which is excessively bulged upward, and the shape of the inlet.

Both the upper and lower wing engine fairings are misshaped, the shortened upper likely forced by the high inner wing contour.
A true bottom view of the lower fairing is not available, either as a McDonnell drawing or a photo, but there are good enough photos to establish that the Kitty Hawk interpretation is incorrect.
To check my observation that the inboard pylons were not staggered, Michael overlaid a photo of an F2H-3/4 inner wing (identical in this regard) to confirm that the Kitty Hawk pylons (red outlined squares) are incorrectly staggered and the inner one is slightly too far outboard, although it appears to be correctly positioned longitudinally.

However, what becomes obvious from this overlay is that the inner main landing gear doors are oversized, extending too far forward.
The kit doors also don't match the incorrect kit wells, so building the model gear up and rescribing the outline of the wells involves some additional work.

The Hawk kit, deemed by some to be superior in shape to the Kitty Hawk offering, has its pylons even more out of position and the main landing gear well may be, although that could be due to the kit part being at an angle to the camera in the following comparison.
Bob Norgren

The significant lateral indentation of the bottom of the fuselage of the Hawk kit toward the front of the wing inner section is also incorrect. The Kitty Hawk kit is more accurate in this regard.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Blackburn Buccaneer

For a little background on the Royal Navy's Blackburn Buccaneer versus its U.S. Navy contemporary, see http://thanlont.blogspot.com/2016/12/horses-for-courses-intruder-vs-buccaneer.html.

CMR (short for Czech Master Resin) Models has released an excellent kit of the Buccaneer S.Mk.1, the original underpowered "Banana" (from its initial proposition as the Blackburn Advanced Naval Aircraft).

For a detailed build article by master modeler, Bill Gilman, see: http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235007140-172-scale-resin-blackburn-buccaneer-smk1/

Finished model photos and comments are HERE

The kit is the result of research provided by Buccaneer subject-matter expert Andy White in the form of drawings, illustrations, and as importantly, involvement in the review of test castings (definitely state of the art) and creation of the assembly instructions. See his website: http://www.blackburn-buccaneer.co.uk/