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Old 23rd February 2023, 16:27   #1981
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Re: Scale Models - Aircraft, Battle Tanks & Ships

1:72 Sukhoi Su-24MK Fencer-D Blue 91, Russian Air Force (Calibre Wings)
In the 1970s, both the US and the USSR introduced a low-level strike aircraft with "variable geometry (VG)" or "swing wings". The US General Dynamics F-111 would prove, after a troubled development history, a capable machine; its Soviet counterpart, the "Sukhoi Su-24", would prove generally a match, and is still in service, while the F-111 has long been retired.

The Su-24 was developed as the answer to the Soviet requirement of a capable & long range strike aircraft for the Soviet Air Force.

In the mid-1960s, request for proposals were issued to the Mikoyan (MiG) and Sukhoi experimental design bureaus (OKBs in their Russian acronyms) for a low-level strike aircraft. The requirement was demanding, specifying a machine with a strong airframe to withstand the buffeting of low-level flight, as well as advanced engines with a good power to weight ratio and low specific fuel consumption. Advanced navigation and flight control systems would be required to support low-altitude penetration.

The MiG OKB developed what would become the MiG-23B/MiG-27 Flogger single-engine VG strike fighter, while the Sukhoi OKB would produce the comparable Su-17 Fitter. The MiG-27 and the Su-17 were not in the same league as the F-111, being smaller, with less range and weapon load. But Sukhoi also invested effort in development of a heavy strike aircraft much more comparable to the F-111. After tinkering with a number of preliminary designs, the Sukhoi OKB went forward on development of a series of flight prototypes for the heavy strike aircraft under the OKB "T6" designation....which later went onto to become the Su-24.

The initial twin seat, side by side seating prototype was heavily influenced by the Su-15. retaining the Su-15's cranked double delta wing and it was powered by three liftjet engines for VTOL operations. The low-level ride of this prototype with its big cranked-delta wing was extremely rough, "like riding a washboard" as one test pilot put it, being both hard on aircrew and airframe. Sukhoi OKB engineers decided to then focus on a Variable Geometry wing concept and conventional engines instead, resulting in an aircraft concept much more similar to the F-111. In fact, in 1967 the F-111 had put on an impressive performance at the Paris Air Show, helping convince the Soviets that VG was the way to go.

The evolution of the Su-24 from the Su-15 through the liftjet of the first protype tends to undermine the perception in the West at the time that the Su-24 was a clone of the General Dynamics F-111. Some of the critics of the F-111, which had a notoriously difficult development history, were delighted with the idea that the Soviets had tried to copy it!

In reality, though the Su-24 did end up having a definite configurational resemblance to the F-111, it would be unfair to say that the Su-24 had copied the American design, except for the VG wing. The resemblance was a case of "convergent evolution", with two aircraft designed to similar specifications and drawing from the same contemporary pool of design concepts unsurprisingly ending up looking a good deal like each other. The "copycat" accusation was not all that unreasonable on the face of it, however, since the general similarities of the two types were indeed striking, with the Su-24 having dimensions like those of the F-111, marginally lower maximum weight and weapons load, and marginally faster top speed. The major difference was that the Su-24 had only about 60% of the unrefueled range of the F-111.

Although the Su-24's airframe was rugged and generally reliable, the machine was unusually sophisticated and complicated, and early on avionics system reliability was very poor. The number of maintenance hours required to turn around the Su-24 for a new mission was substantially greater than that for other aircraft types in the Soviet Air Force.

In 1975, work began on a new Su-24 variant with substantial changes, with this version going into production in 1978 as the "Su-24M", which was assigned the NATO reporting name of "Fencer-D". Primary improvements were:
*A forward fuselage stretch of 76 centimeters (30 inches) and a reprofiled nose radome, giving a total length of 22.59 meters (74 feet 1 inch). The old cluttered nose probe assembly was replaced by a simple barbed nose probe. Prominent rounded-off wing fences were fitted above the wing glove stores pylons, though they were later removed when it was learned that they did about as much harm as good aerodynamically.

*A third centerline fuselage stores pylon, giving a total of nine pylons.

*A generally updated PNS-24M Tiger nav-attack system, with new IRS, radio altimeter, central processor, radio-navigation systems, and autopilot. A particularly important component of this upgrade was the replacement of the original Zarya electro-optic targeting system for radio-guided missiles with a Kayra-24M (Grebe-24M) laser designation system, featuring cameras and boresighted laser, fitted under the forward fuselage.

*Improved countermeasures, significantly including two sets of APP-50 upward-firing chaff-flare dispensers. The dispensers were originally fitted in the wing fences, but when the wing fences were deleted, they were shifted to the rear fuselage. Some Fencer-Cs were also refitted with the dispensers.

*A retractable inflight refueling probe in the nose, just ahead of the cockpit. Tanker services were often provided by a second Su-24M carrying a UPAZ-1A Sakhalin buddy tanker pod on the centerline. Fit of the retractable probe in front of the cockpit meant that the infrared sensor previously fitted in that location had to be moved to a dome on the spine.

The inflight refueling capability of the Su-24M led the Americans to insist on including the type in strategic arms limitation talks. The relatively limited range of the original Su-24 series meant it could be reasonably judged to be a tactical aircraft, but with inflight refueling an Su-24M could, in principle, perform nuclear strikes on targets far outside East Bloc borders.

Although the Su-24 series was not intended for export, late in the 1980s that rule was relaxed, with an "Su-24MK" export version of the Su-24M built for a number of Middle Eastern states. The SU-24MK was almost identical to the Su-24M except for slightly downgraded avionics, the only visible difference being that it was fitted with squared-off, not rounded, wing fences, containing upward-firing chaff-flare dispensers. It of course retained the "Fencer-D" designation. Sales were modest:

Syria obtained 22 Su-24MKs in 1989, followed by 20 in 1991, all apparently bought with Saudi money. The Israelis complained loudly to Moscow about the sale. It appears that at least some of these machines have been upgraded recently, with the fleet expanded by upgraded machines from Russian air force stocks.

Libya obtained 16 Su-24MKs from 1989, and Algeria also bought 13 Su-24MKs.

Iraq obtained 24 Su-24MKs in 1990. The Iraqi Su-24MKs did not fight in the 1991 Gulf War, all of them being flown to Iran when, in one of the most baffling moves in military history, much of Saddam Hussein's air force was sent there to find refuge.

Since the Islamic Republic of Iran and Saddam Hussein's Iraq were bitter enemies, to no surprise the Iranians kept the Su-24MKs, and apparently bought 14 more from the Russians. One was lost in a disastrous midair collision on 8 February 1993 with an Iran Air Tours Tupolev Tu-154M jetliner, all on board both aircraft being killed. Iranian Su-24s retain the light underbelly colors but have a desert disruptive camouflage pattern topside, and it is likely other Middle Eastern states used the same or similar color scheme.

Su-24 in action
The VVS Su-24s saw some action in the Afghan War, with aircraft flying from (what were then the Soviet states of) Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. The Su-24s were used when heavy bombing and precision strikes against fixed targets were needed, the battlefield close-support mission being handled mostly by the Sukhoi Su-17 strike fighter. Typical warloads were two external tanks and either four 500-kilogram (1,100-pound) or twelve 250-kilogram (250-pound) general-purpose bombs. An initial series of Su-24 strikes in 1984 proved ineffectual, since the Afghan mujahedin guerrilla warriors were dug into rough terrain where it was hard to find targets, much less destroy them.

In the post-Soviet era, the Su-24 remains an important asset of the Russian VVS, and of several of the post-Soviet states -- the Ukraine is said to have a large fleet of the aircraft. The Su-24 is being gradually replaced by the Su-34.

In the 90s, Iranian Su-24s were used to bomb Taliban positions in Afghanistan and one of these Su-24s was rumored to be shot down.

Russian Su-24s went back to combat in 2015, performing strikes in support of the Syrian government in the Syrian civil war. They were originally flown in theater with national markings painted over. On 24 November 2015, a Russian Su-24M was shot down by a flight of two Turkish F-16s near the Turkey–Syrian border. The two crew ejected before the plane crashed in Syrian territory. Russia claimed that the jet had not left Syrian airspace while Turkey claimed that the jet entered their airspace and was warned 10–12 times before being shot down. The pilot was killed by the rebels wile the WSO was rescued.

In the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, Su-24s are being used by both sides and continue to fly on reconnaissance & strike missions. In one of the dramatic bombing footages of the war, Ukrainian Su-24s were seen coming in low, dropping bombs inside Hostomel Antonov airport before pulling up & dumping flares, after Russian heliborne forces occupied it in the early phase of the war in 2022.

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Two Ukrainian Su-24s were shot down during the Battle for Hostomel Airport. Ukraine is confirmed to have lost 10 Su-24s in the ongoing conflict( they had around 15-20 SU-24s operational before the war), while Russia seems to have lost nine Su-24s.

The Su-24 continues to serve the Air Forces of Algeria, Belarus, Iran, Libya, Russia, Syria and Ukraine.

Specifications (Su-24MK)
General characteristics
Crew: 2 (Pilot and Weapons Systems Operator/Navigator)
Length: 22.53 m (73 ft 11 in)
Wingspan: 17.64 m (57 ft 10 in) wings spread
10.37 m (34 ft) wings swept
Height: 6.19 m (20 ft 4 in)
Wing area: 55.2 m2 (594 sq ft)
Airfoil: TsAGI SR14S-5.376; TsAGI SR16M-10[98]
Empty weight: 22,300 kg (49,163 lb)
Gross weight: 38,040 kg (83,864 lb)
Max takeoff weight: 43,755 kg (96,463 lb)
Fuel capacity: 11,100 kg (24,471 lb)
Powerplant: 2 Lyulka AL-21F-3A turbojet engines, 75 kN (17,000 lbf) thrust each dry, 109.8 kN (24,700 lbf) with afterburner
Performance

Maximum speed: 1,654 km/h (1,028 mph, 893 kn) / M1.6 at high altitude
1,315 km/h (817 mph; 710 kn) / M1.06 at sea level
Combat range: 615 km (382 mi, 332 nmi) lo-lo-lo attack mission with 3,000 kg (6,614 lb) of ordnance and external tanks
Ferry range: 2,775 km (1,724 mi, 1,498 nmi)
Service ceiling: 11,000 m (36,000 ft)
g limits: +6
Rate of climb: 150 m/s (30,000 ft/min)
Wing loading: 651 kg/m2 (133 lb/sq ft)
Thrust/weight: 0.6
Armament
Guns: 1 internal 23 mm Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-6-23M rotary cannon with 500 rounds
Hardpoints: 9 hardpoints with a capacity of up to 8,000 kg (17,635 lb), with provisions to carry combinations of:
Rocket Pods, IR Air to air missiles (R-60/R-73), A2G missiles( Kh-25/29/31/59), Bombs ( dumb/Laser/GPS/TV guided)

The model is lightly armed . Weapon Options include 4 X R-60 (in twin launcher, 2 X B-8 Rocket Pods, 2 X PTB-3000 drop tanks & 2 X Efir-1M Pod.

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Pilot Figures
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Cockpit Detailing
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The Kayra-24M system under the fuselage modelled in great detail
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Thirsty Fencer
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Last edited by skanchan95 : 23rd February 2023 at 16:39.
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Old 23rd February 2023, 16:32   #1982
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Re: Scale Models - Aircraft, Battle Tanks & Ships

OKB Sukhoi
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Old 23rd February 2023, 21:41   #1983
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Re: Scale Models - Aircraft, Battle Tanks & Ships

Quote:
Originally Posted by skanchan95 View Post
1:72 Sukhoi Su-24MK Fencer-D Blue 91, Russian Air Force (Calibre Wings)
Oh my God what an outstandingly detailed model. Congratulations on this find. I bought a Calibre Su-24 kit 4 years ago and have not assembled it yet!!!! Your colour scheme is much superior with the browns. Mine is all grey. Fencer was the scare word on NATO lips in the 1980s just as Foxbat was in the 1970s. For a comfortable ride fast and low as needed by a lo-lo-lo attack aircraft the machine needs a wing that is sharply swept more than 45 degrees has a long chord especially at the root and a high or very high wing loading. Other than aerodynamics this is needed to reduce the bone jarring attention distracting g bumps the crew experiences flying fast and low. While as we know for take-off with a really heavy load relative to wing size and power you want unswept wings. A swing wing met both needs. Sadly now gone out of fashion due to advances in composite materials which give blended wing-fuselage designs. The swing wing really had a lot going for it in this one area of lo-lo attack aircraft. In the 1970s for a while it seemed all fast attack aircraft would become swing wing.

Sandesh, I cannot stop myself complimenting you on your photography.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skanchan95 View Post
OKB Sukhoi
Mogambo err sorry Comrade Foxbat khush hua! :-) Lethal looking warplanes. Your Soviet fleet doth grow Comrade Sandesh.

Last edited by V.Narayan : 23rd February 2023 at 21:44.
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Old 25th February 2023, 04:37   #1984
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Re: Scale Models - Aircraft, Battle Tanks & Ships

Quote:
Originally Posted by skanchan95 View Post
1:72 Sukhoi Su-24MK Fencer-D Blue 91, Russian Air Force (Calibre Wings)
Thats a striking livery and great a looking model. I agree with V.Narayan this livery is much better than the white and grey one.

May your Sukhoi collection grow larger than your Tomcat collection !


In that picture is that a Ukrainian Su-24 over Hostomel airport? If so are those black objects Russian helicopters in the background? I didn't know two Ukrainian Su-24s were shot down in this battle, I need to stop reading Imperialist propaganda

Quote:
Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post

Mogambo err sorry Comrade Foxbat khush hua! :-) Lethal looking warplanes. Your Soviet fleet doth grow Comrade Sandesh.
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Old 26th February 2023, 01:48   #1985
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Scale Models - Aircraft, Battle Tanks & Ships

Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxbat View Post
Some steady progress in recent days. Brush painting with consistency is a major problem. I think Skanchan has a Su-27UB is the same squadron colours in 1:72.

Attachment 2416829
Ready for final assembly!

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Old 26th February 2023, 08:44   #1986
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxbat View Post
Ready for final assembly!
Your efforts and skill are laudable

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Old 26th February 2023, 12:18   #1987
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Re: Scale Models - Aircraft, Battle Tanks & Ships

Quote:
Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
Oh my God what an outstandingly detailed model. Congratulations on this find. I bought a Calibre Su-24 kit 4 years ago and have not assembled it yet!!!! Your colour scheme is much superior with the browns. Mine is all grey.
Thank you Sir. Yes, Calibre Wings models are in a league of their own but can be tricky to assemble.

Isn't yours the Ukrainian one? Please do assemble it, it is a lovely model, probably even better than their Tomcat. But I would advise you to refer to the video before assembly. Also, the "old type" wing fences pylon on the wing glove stays attached better than the 'new type' pylon. Also, the IFR probe has a tendency to pop out and fall when you invert the model for fitting the attachments. So, be careful

Please refer to the video before assembly:


Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxbat View Post

In that picture is that a Ukrainian Su-24 over Hostomel airport? If so are those black objects Russian helicopters in the background?
Thank you.

No, those are parachute retarded bombs dropped by the Su-24 that is closest to the camera. In the background, there is another Su-24 that is dispensing flares. I clearly remember there was a video available of this bombing run by the Ukrainian Su-24s and the screengrab is from that video


Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxbat View Post
Ready for final assembly!
Oh wow!!! Wonderful work. Can't wait to see the assembled model rolling out of Foxbat's Aircraft Factory.

I have a Su-27UB Blue 43 from the same 54th Guards Regiment, recognised from the unit logo on the tail fin
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Old 26th February 2023, 19:41   #1988
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Re: Scale Models - Aircraft, Battle Tanks & Ships

Quote:
Originally Posted by skanchan95 View Post

I have a Su-27UB Blue 43 from the same 54th Guards Regiment, recognised from the unit logo on the tail fin
Yes I noticed that. I actually found this thread and the pictures of your model on Google Search when I was trying to search for pictures of the actual aircraft. These squadron markings are after market and rare and one of the reasons for making another 1:48 Su-27 was not letting these decals go to waste


Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxbat View Post
I think Skanchan has a Su-27UB is the same squadron colours in 1:72.

Last edited by Foxbat : 26th February 2023 at 19:42.
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Old 28th February 2023, 05:51   #1989
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Scale Models - Aircraft, Battle Tanks & Ships

1/48 Scale Sukhoi Su-27 'Flanker-B' 54th GvIAP / 148th Combat and Training Centre, based at Savasleyka Air Base, Russia, 1998.

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Next to it's Indian brother Su-30MK-1. Although they seem to be identical apart from the extra seat and front fuselage while assembling the Su-27 I compared many parts and they were of slightly different size and shape. The radome of the Su-30 is slightly more full, the air bake is bigger and the horizontal tails are larger. All these parts can't be interchanged. I'm sure there are many more differences but these are the ones I noticed.

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Last edited by Foxbat : 28th February 2023 at 05:56.
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Old 28th February 2023, 06:06   #1990
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxbat View Post
1/48 Scale Sukhoi Su-27 'Flanker-B' 54th GvIAP / 148th Combat and Training Centre, based at Savasleyka Air Base, Russia, 1998.
A masterpiece not only for its size and the aircraft that it is but for the fact you painstakingly assembled its 1000 parts and hand painted the model yourself.

Hearty congratulations. Your finished work & your skill is laudable.

Please share some more snaps :-)
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Old 28th February 2023, 17:00   #1991
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Re: Scale Models - Aircraft, Battle Tanks & Ships

Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxbat View Post
1/48 Scale Sukhoi Su-27 'Flanker-B' 54th GvIAP / 148th Combat and Training Centre, based at Savasleyka Air Base, Russia, 1998.
Superb work and very well done!!

1:43 Willys MB Jeep 814th Tank Destroyer Battalion, 7th Armored Division, US Army, Belgium, 1945

Another Willys MB Jeep, but this time a soft top.

The 814th TD Battalion was activated by 1 May, 1942, at Camp Polk, Louisiana. They arrived at Greenock, Scotland, in February, 1944. Landed at Utah Beach beginning 8 August equipped with M10 Wolverine Tank Destroyer. Raced across France in August and participated in fighting around Metz in September. Transferred to Peel Marshes in Holland in late September. Began re-equipping with M36 Jackson Tank Destroyer in October, then supported Ninth Army’s drive toward the Roer River in November. Transferred with 7th Armored Division to the Ardennes on 17 December and participated in the defense of St. Vith. Supported operations against the West Wall in February, 1945. Crossed the Rhine River at Remagen on 23 March. Helped reduce the Ruhr Pocket in April. Drove east to the Elbe River and crossed, reaching the Baltic coast on 3 May.

The model is a replica of a Willys Jeep that was attached to the 814th Tank Destroyer Battalion, 7th Armored Division, then deployed to Belgium during 1945.
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Last edited by skanchan95 : 28th February 2023 at 17:02.
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Old 7th March 2023, 15:46   #1992
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1:200 Hawker Siddeley/Avro/British Aerospace HS.748-2B G-BGJV BAe House Colours (JC Wings)

Personally, I have very vivid childhood memories of flying in the HS748. In the late 80s and till early 90s, Vayudoot HS 748s used to fly on the Keshod-Mumbai route in the evenings(at times by Do 228s and Fokker F27s). Keshod airport is a small airport in Saurashtra that served the towns/cities of Sothern Saurashtra - Junagadh & Veraval. One of the small things I still remember is that the HS748 was just called & referred to as "Avro", as if the aircraft name as Avro. I still remember the visuals of walking from the small terminal building in Keshod to the aircraft - under the wing to board the aircraft from the rear door on the port(left) side, the cramped & noisy cabin, the scary and bumpy rides during monsoon, of having puked in the aircraft. Now if only JC Wings makes the HS 478 in Indian Airlines or Indian AF livery.

The HS 748
The HS.748 is a twin turboprop airliner, powered by two Rolls-Royce Dart engines, that was sold successfully world-wide for both airline and military transport service.

The HS.748 Series 2B was the main production model after Hawker-Siddeley was absorbed by British Aerospace, the 2B featured a 4-foot increase in wingspan, increased gross weight, Mk 536 engines, a modernized cabin, and systems improvements.

The first prototype (G-APZV) first flew on 24th June 1960.

Designed by AV Roe & Co Ltd, the type was later built by Hawker Siddeley Aviation Ltd, British Aerospace and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and is most widely known as the HS748, the majority having been built under the aegis of Hawker Siddeley Aviation.

The aircraft continued in production until 1988, and is still in limited service today including the Indian Air Force, more than sixty years after its first flight.

The HS.748 was remarkably successful and has been an effective Douglas DC-3 replacement, in many inhospitable parts of the world. A total of 381 aircraft were built including 89 aircraft manufactured by HAL, the first Indian-built aircraft Dakota flying on 1st November 1961.

The type was designed from the outset for operation from short, unimproved airstrips and was aided by the fitment of large Fowler flaps and reverse thrust propellers with and effective braking system.

Significant users included Indian Airlines & Vayudoot (HAL-built); Aerolineas Argentinas; VARIG; Phillipine Airlines; Thai Airways; LAN-Chile; Bouraq Airlines; the Indian Air Force (HAL-built); Brazilian Air Force; and the Royal Australian Air Force.

The HS.748 & HAL
The HS.748 was selected by the Indian Government as a replacement for the Indian AIr Force's C-47 fleet and was used by the IAF for short & medium range transportation of personnel and freight and for VIP communication flights. 45 HS748s were manufactured by HAL for the IAF with the last 20 being Series 2M with a large freight door.

On the 1st November 1961, the AVRO 748 Series 1 (BH 572) with Dart 6 engines took to the air for the first time with the famed IAF test pilot Sqdn Ldr Kapil Bargava at the controls. Flt Lts Chandu Gole and Ripu Daman Sahni (both test pilots) were also on board. Defence Minister Mr. V.K. Krishna Menon was present to see its first flight. He was overjoyed with the aircraft (named Subroto after the first Indian Chief of the Air Staff). Krishna Menon immediately saw great possibilities in it to help his own election campaign. As is now common practice, he decided that the first Indian assembled transport aircraft needed to be inaugurated properly and “dedicated to the nation”, as if till this were done, the minister concerned had been funding it and not the tax payer!!!! He convinced Prime Minister Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru to do the needful. This was scheduled for 26th November at Palam.

Only four Series 1 AVRO 748s were assembled in India. All these were delivered to the Air Force and three of were retrofitted with Dart 7 engines to upgrade them to Series 2. A total 85 Series 2 aircraft with Dart 7 engines were manufactured at Kanpur.

In view of the need for a similar aircraft type for Indian Airlines, the government determined that the same Avro 748, delivered from HAL should fulfil this need which precluded further purchases of the Dutch-origin Fokker F-27s.

In order to help in the sale of HS 748s to Indian Airlines, these were actually subsidized by the government such as to make the HAL delivery price equal to that of the imported F-27.

After much reluctance, Indian Airlines (IA) was induced to use seventeen of these aircraft as feeder liners. Its cabin conditioning was somewhat deficient. In summer, the interior got unbearably hot and did not cool down enough during its short-haul flights. The seating pitch was rather small – resulting in discomfort to passengers. The aircraft was not very popular with fare paying passengers. Among the IA pilots who flew it on commercial flights was Mr Rajiv Gandhi, who later became the Prime Minister. He is said to have not liked it too much even though it was his first airliner.
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Former PM Shri Rajiv Gandhi - someone who I admired greatly during my childhood and I remember crying as an eight year old when I woke up the next morning of his assassination.

The 748 during its service with the Indian Airlines has had a very distinguished safety record. A total of three fatal crashes occurred in commercial service of almost three decades. The first aircraft flew into mountains when the IA pilot on a commercial flight descended through cloud, based entirely on his estimated position, without using any navigation aids. He had decided that he knew exactly where he was. The second accident occurred during an instructional flight at IA’s training centre at Hyderabad. An instructor and his pupil were killed. After this crash, checks were introduced to ensure that pilots were not inebriated before flight. The third IA aircraft crashed on a clear night while on an ILS approach into Bombay hitting the ground 28 nautical miles short of the runway. All three crashes were almost certainly entirely due to pilot error. Other accidents were non-fatal.

The Indian Air Force had a large fleet of AVRO 748s and the Border Security Force had two HS.478s in their fleet. The majority of these were used for communication, carriage of freight and courier duties, especially within the areas of responsibility of various IAF Commands. Seven aircraft were specially equipped for training navigators and four for signals training. Eighteen aircraft were made into pilot trainers. The mod involved only the duplication of the nose wheel steering tiller for the instructor seated on the right. Pilots were trained on these at Yelahanka Air Force Base just north of Bangalore. This base has recently come on the international map with air shows being held at it once every two years. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation acquired two aircraft mainly for calibration of navigation and approach facilities at civil airfields. One aircraft was used by the National Remote Sensing Agency for geological exploration and the paramilitary Border Security Force used one aircraft for communications.

Unfortunately, the 748 was never meant to be a military transport. At the request of IAF, its door was enlarged to enable larger cargo items to be loaded and to allow para dropping without hitting the tail plane. However, to load a jeep in it, a 30-ft long ramp was required. The jeep would drive in and insert its front wheels into the aircraft. Then it had to be manually lifted and turned to get it in. Unloading it was just as difficult. Para dropping of troops or cargo even from the aircraft with the enlarged door was considered too dangerous with the risk of hitting the tail plane. The aircraft’s performance at hot and high airfields was hopelessly inadequate. Eventually IAF acquired the tail-loading An-32s which were powered specifically for IAF’s need for operating in the Himalayas.

The IAF has had four fatal crashes of the 748. The first occurred at Leh killing all 28 persons on board. At Yelahanka during an instructional sortie, the right engine of another aircraft seemed to lose power. It veered to the right, resumed its original take-off heading and then hit the ground and caught fire. The possibility that the engine was feathered either automatically or by the crew and that the aircraft was overloaded cannot be ruled out. The instructor, a pilot of the Navy, the pupil and 28 joyriding pilot officers from Jalahalli were killed. The next crash resulted from fatigue failure of the support of the right engine’s jet pipe. It dipped down and damaged the fuel pipeline leading to fire and fracture of the right wing. The relevant mod to prevent such an occurrence may not have been implemented on the doomed aircraft. The crew and an Air Force band perished in this accident. One IAF 748 loaned to Defence R&D Organisation had been modified for establishing airborne early warning technologies. Its radome separated from the support pylons and sliced off the top half of fin and rudder. All eight occupants of the aircraft were killed.

G-BGJV & it's tragic fate
G-BGJV began life as the British Aerospace HS748 Series 2B demonstrator and had it's first flight in early 1979. It was sold to Air Marshal Islands in July 1982 and re-registered as MI-GJV before being acquired by British Airways in December 1982 as G-BGJV. It was later sold to Helitours,Sri Lanka as 4R-HVA in 1992. It was leased by the Sri Lankan Air Force(SLAF) and assigned military registration CR-834.

CR834 was shot down by LTTE rebels using a SA-7 missile while on final approach to land at Palaly air base on 29/04/1995. The day before the incident, another SLAF Avro 748 serial number CR835 crashed in the sea near Palaly Airport soon after takeoff. Initially the official cause was stated as engine trouble even though there was consideration that there was the possibility of a missile attack. The SLAF dispatched an investigation team to Palaly on the next scheduled flight from Ratmalana Airport to Palaly via Anuradhapura Airport.

HS -748 Avro Plane Crash (CR 834) - 29/04/1995
SLAF Headquarters sent an Avro(CR834) to Palaly from Ratmalana(Colombo) via Anuradhapura on 29/04/1995 with a team of SLAF experts headed by Group Captain Shirantha Goonetileke to investigate the crash of Avro (CR-835) on the previous day. The aircraft was piloted by Flight Lieutenant Sujeewa Pathirathne & Flight Lieutenant Priyantha Adikaram.
However, after landing at Anuradhapura, Flt Lt. Priyantha Adikaram was replaced by Flt Lt. Megawarna Abeywickrama who was supposed to take-off to Ratmalana on another Avro which was flying from Palaly carrying dead bodies of the HS748 crash victims from the previous day.

Avro CR 834 took off for Palaly from Anuradhapura, with Sqn Ldr. Sujeewa Pathirathne & Flt Lt. Megawarna Abeywickrama in the cockpit, total 52 on-board. As it was preparing to land at Palaly airfield, it was hit by a SA-7 missile & crashed killing all on-board.

Within two days, the SLAF lost two Avros & 105 personnel.

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G-BGJV
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The large freight door HS.478 in IAF service
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Last edited by skanchan95 : 7th March 2023 at 16:00.
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Old 8th March 2023, 15:32   #1993
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Re: Scale Models - Aircraft, Battle Tanks & Ships

1:200 Grumman F-14A Tomcat VF-1 "Wolfpack", US Navy, NK101,Bu No. 158627, USS Enterprise, 1974
VF-1, Wolfpack, was established on 14 October 1972 at NAS Miramar, at the same time as VF-2, and these units were the first operational fighter squadrons equipped with the Grumman F-14 Tomcat. VF-1 received the first F-14A’s on 1 July 1973. The squadron's insignia was a red wolf's head designed by Grumman Commercial Artist, George M. Kehew, who himself is a World War II combat veteran. The squadron insignia is registered in the U.S. Library of Congress.

VF-1 was assigned to Carrier Air Wing 14 (CVW-14) aboard USS Enterprise. Their first cruise came in September of 1974. The end of the cruise saw the first Tomcat's combat debut, as VF-1 and VF-2 flew cover over Saigon for the evacuation of US personnel in April 1975 as part of Operation Frequent Wind.

On 6 February, 1991 an F-14A Tomcat from VF-1 based on the USS Ranger, downed an Iraqi Mi-8 Hip helicopter with an AIM-9M Sidewinder missile. It was the US Navy Tomcat fleet's only confirmed kill during Operation Desert Storm.
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The front section of F-14A 158627 is on display at Hickory Airport Museum in the US
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1:200 Grumman F-14A Tomcat VF-154 "Black Knights", US Navy NF101, Bu No. 161276, USS Kitty Hawk, 2003

US Navy Fighter Squadron 154 (VF-154) Black Knights was the new designation given to VF-837 on February 4th, 1953. The squadron transitioned from the F9F Panther through the FJ-3 Fury, F-8 Crusader and F-4 Phantom II before upgrading to the F-14 Tomcat in October, 1983.

The Black Knights deployed many times with the F-14 on various Nimitz class carriers. The squadron's final cruise with the F-14 took place in 2003 aboard the USS Kitty Hawk. Upon return, VF-154 was redesignated VFA-154 and transitioned to the F/A-18F Super Hornet.
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Last edited by skanchan95 : 8th March 2023 at 15:41.
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Old 8th March 2023, 15:44   #1994
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Re: Scale Models - Aircraft, Battle Tanks & Ships

1:200 Tomcat Fleet

VF-1 "Wolfpack" & VF-2 "Bounty Hunters" - the first two operational US Navy F-14 squadrons
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Tomcat Fleet
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Old 9th March 2023, 15:39   #1995
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Re: Scale Models - Aircraft, Battle Tanks & Ships

1:200 Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet VFA-2 Bounty Hunters, Bu No. 165916, NE100, 2007
Having been the second US Navy squadron raised on the F-14 and having operated the F-14 for 29 years, VF-2 was redesignated VFA-2 on 01 July 2003, and began transition to the twin seat F/A-18F Super Hornet, receiving its first aircraft on 6 October 2003.
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VF-2 to VFA-2 - F-14D to F/A-18F
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1:200 Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet VFA-103 Jolly Rogers, Bu No. 166620 AA103, NAS Oceana
US Navy Fighter Squadron 103 (VF-103) was activated in 1952. Three US Navy squadrons have used the name and insignia of the Jolly Roger: VF-61 (originally VF-17), VF-84, and VFA-103. While these are distinctly different squadrons that have no lineal linkage, they all share the same Jolly Rogers name, the skull and crossbones insignia and traditions. VF-103 began life as an F4U Corsair squadron and after progressing through the F9F Cougar, F-8 Crusader and F-4 Phantom II, it was among the last fighter squadrons to transition to the F-14A Tomcat. In 1989, they upgraded to a more powerful breed of Tomcat, the F-14B. When VF-84 was disestablished in 1995, VF-103 abandoned its "Sluggers" nickname and adopted the famous "Jolly Rogers" name and insignia for itself. After several deployments to the Perisan Gulf, VF-103 deployed with the F-14B for the final time in 2004 aboard the USS John F. Kennedy before transitioning to the F/A-18F Super Hornets it operates today.

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1:200 Hornet Fleet
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