Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Sunday, August 31, 2014
Thursday, July 10, 2014
Topping Models of Akron and Elyria, Ohio is best known for its plastic manufacturer's display models, made for aircraft companies, and others, from the 1940s into the late 1960s; many of those are offered for sale on the Display Models page link. Topping also made gas model airplane items including plastic propellers, an adjustable-pitch prop, and an incredible, pre-formed aluminum control-line model, the Topping "100" which came out in December 1945 and was on the market for a year or so (can't find any 1948 ads). An almost ready to fly Ukie model, the Topping "100" was elegantly constructed of die-formed alclad aluminum, spot welded where necessary, and came in a box, ready to assemble, including a plastic three-blade prop. Assembly, however, necessitated the installation of an engine, which required measuring and drilling holes, making cutouts, aligning the crankshaft with the fuselage centerline and figuring out how to install a modified fuel tank and various ignition system components - not an easy task. A number of engine installations were pictured on the instructions but exact details of dimensioning and cutouts were not provided. A wet cell flight battery was indicated but not provided - there were several companies advertising the wet cells in the 1945-46 era. The model kit sold for $10.00 (without engine and ignition components). Example of the first Topping 100 kit as advertised.
An example of the earlier Topping "100" model, the "100" was obtained with an Ohlsson 60 Custom (1940 model with 1/4" prop shaft) installed and equipped with an Ohlsson glow plug. There were no signs that the model had ever flown, no indication of an ignition system nor had the engine been run in the model. The model was completely restored and returned to the ignition system as originally sold prior to the glow plug invasion after 1947. Ignition components for the Kettering system are of the 40s vintage with an Austin-Craft pen-cell battery box, a metal Perfect fuel tank, a metal clad condenser, and a Smith Competitor Coil with fuse-type mounting clips. The model was wired properly and has a battery switch on the L.H. side; the engine has a "V" type Champion spark plug. Component installation and control wires and leads are all in accordance with the original "100" instruction sheet; the instructions for this early version gave the option of either rotational direction of flight as wires could extend from either wing tip. The aluminum fuselage was made from two elegantly formed aluminum shells so that the right hand side could be removed (two screws - three on the Madewell version) for access to the inside without removing the wing or horizontal tail. Jogged tabs aligned the shell halves when closed. The raised Topping logo is formed into the right hand shell. 3-blade version of Topping 100 displayed in the AMA National Model Aviation Museum in Muncie, Indiana. CollectAir photo.
Although preformed, the early Topping "100" was a formidable project which many a modeler must have found out. A look at Topping advertisements for the "100" prove to be somewhat schizophrentic; as an example, the August 1946 ad in Air Trails is for the early version with "photograpghic guide for various engine installations" but the picture of the model shows a two-bladed prop with the new "wobble proof" plastic spinner. At some time later, the the two-bladed prop version became the factory-completed Madewell 49 version. This later model came equipped with a fine Madewell 49 lgnition engine and had cutouts for the timer arm, needle valve and fuel filler. All ignition components came with the model including a dry cell battery box, coil, condenser, switch and high tension lead. Included also was a wood propeller and the Topping "wobble proof" spinner and control wire with a handle - very complete. I can find no advertisements for this version of the Topping "100" in any of the model airplane magazines so I have no idea what the list price was with the engine (engine alone advertised elsewhere for $18.00 in late 1946), however if you add up all parts on the plan's "Parts and Price List", the sum comes to $34.65. One correspondent mentions purchase of the Madewell version at a Skelly gas station!
The instruction sheet for the early version was less specific than the plan which came with the Madewell version. A portion of the Madewell plan issalong with part of a November 1946 ad for the engine.The photos below picture the model being offered with the right hand, removable fuselage shell off. Note the mirror image of the interior on the lower surface of the wing. The stabilizer suffered a minor "crinkle" on the leading edge on both sides. THERE'S NO THRILL LIKE FLYING!
Anyone who has ever controlled the live power of an airplane and felt it lift free of the earth has experienced a real thrill! Whether it's a "hot" fighter plane splitting the clouds, a huge transport spanning the oceans or a trim graceful model whizzing through the air, an airplane in flight is a thing of beauty and excitement and genuine entertainment. Controlling it is a thrill that grows greater with increasing experience and skill. Years ago when life moved more slowly, the popular pastime of youngsters and oldsters alike was waiting at the depot to watch the train steam through. In those days, an electric train was the dreamed-of treasure of every youth. Today, the airport has taken the place of the railroad station as the romantic magnet of transportation that attracts and fascinates the youth of America. And today, owning a plane that flies under its own power is the ideal of boys of all ages. Topping, the pioneer in practical prefabricated flying model airplanes, is the first to serve American youth with an airplane that brings all the fun of flying with minimum time spent preparing for flight. Printed on the instruction sheet for the Topping 100.
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
History: The Focke Wulf FW 190 was a true engineering masterpiece of its time, it served with distinction from its inception in 1941 until the final days of the war. Originally, the FW 190 was produced with a BMW 801 radial engine, the radial-engine powered version is the "A/F/G/S" model or "short nose" 190. The only reason the FW 190 was initially allowed to be produced is because it used a radial engine, virtually all of the Daimler Benz 600 series engines were allotted for Messerschmitt 109 and 110 aircraft. If the Focke Wulf had been designed to use the Daimler Benz engine, it would never have been produced. Because of a need for better performance at high altitudes, the FW 190A was re-equipped with the Jumo 213 series engine. Again, the Jumo 213 was chosen because the Daimler Benz engine was produced primarily for the Bf 109. It is interesting to note that the Jumo 213 was used in bomber aircraft not high performance fighters. Because the Jumo 213 is an inverted inline V-12 engine as opposed the BMW 801 radial design, fitting the Jumo 213 to the FW 190A airframe caused the appearance of the Focke Wulf fighter to change significantly. The nose of the aircraft was much longer, and in order to maintain the correct C.G., an extension plug was added between the tail section and the fuselage. These design changes give the FW 190D version a stretched look when compared to the FW 190A. The Focke Wulf FW 190D-9 "long nose Dora" became operational in the summer of 1944 and was universally acclaimed as the best fighter available to the Luftwaffe at that time, and is generally considered Germany's best mass-produced piston engine fighter aircraft of WWII. Approximately 700 FW 190D-9's were produced and served on western and eastern fronts in a variety of roles. Specifications (Fw 190 D-9) General characteristics * Crew: 1 * Length: 10.20 m (33 ft 5 1/2 in) * Wingspan: 10.50 m (34 ft 5 in) * Height: 3.35 m (11 ft 0 in) * Wing area: 18.30 m² (196.99 ft²) * Empty weight: 3,490 kg (7,694 lb) * Loaded weight: 4,350 kg (9,590 lb) * Max takeoff weight: 4,840 kg (10,670 lb) * Powerplant: 1× Junkers Jumo 213 A-1 12-cylinder inverted-Vee piston engine, 1,287 kW, 1,544 kW with boost (1,750 PS / 2,100 PS) Performance * Maximum speed: 685 km/h at 6,600 m, 710 km/h at 11,300 m (426 mph at 21,655 ft / 440 mph at 37,000 ft (11,000 m)) * Range: 835 km (519 mi) * Service ceiling: 12,000 m (39,370 ft) * Rate of climb: 17 m/s (3,300 ft/min) * Wing loading: 238 kg/m² (48.7 lb/ft²) * Power/mass: 0.30 - 0.35 kW/kg (0.18 - 0.21 hp/lb) Armament * 2 × 13 mm (.51 in) MG 131 machine guns with 475 rpg * 2 × 20 mm MG 151 cannons with 250 rpg in the wing root * 1 × 500 kg (1,102 lb) SC 500 bomb (optional) Add a Comment:
Cockpit details revealed:
Cockpit details from IL-2 screen shots shown below in the following 3 images
The Cockpit details of the model generated from flight simulator screen images:
Irvine 120 2 stroke installed with the radial mount which was supplied by the manufacturer with the engine and attached to the plywood and oak sandwich spacer by 3 number 10 rubber well nuts providing a measure of vibration isolation.
With the batteries still to be installed the model balances about an inch behind the recommended center of gravity location which is indicated by the line made with a black felt marking pen. At this point I am estimating that a pound or so nose weight will be required before I will attempt to fly it.
Since writing these words I this model has successfully completed its maiden flight. I took the model to the flying field yesterday together with its forty five year stable mate; another FW 190 A which incidentally is a very good flyer with many flights logged over the years. The plan was to have three or four flights on the trusted 190 then switch out the flight battery and satellite receiver and install them in the new model, then do some serious shake-down testing. It all went so well when she became airborne on a high speed taxi run and rather than abort at 10 feet altitude
we decided to do a few circuits of the field and land. The landing was controlled into a 12 kilometer headwind with 15 degrees of flaps, so the touchdown speed was quite low with a gentle sink rate. To my surprise the port landing gear unit separated the wing cleanly and the plane slid to a stop on one wheel. I was prepared for the eventuality that reinforcing would have to be made. I have already filled the area with gap filling foam to help stabilize the built-up structural members; its a trick that I often perform for high stress areas and the results have usually been quite positive.
During what was to be a high speed taxi test the plane became suddenly airborne and the decision was made to do a circuit and land rather than to abort from 10 feet altitude.
The gap filling foam can be seen in the picture below as well as the pathetic glue area for securing the gear retract mounting beams.
The foam was cut away so that 1 X 1/2 X 2 inch oak beams were epoxied into the cavities and making sure that there was a good bond to the plywood box. Then the plywood gear mounting beams was epoxied and screwed to the oak beams. The repair seemed to holdup well during taxi tests, but are yet to be tested in a landing.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Looping the Loop
F-35 unintentional loop at takeoff on a carrier This guy clearly has brass and you know the sailors on the flight deck had a cow when they saw this unfold in front of them. Intentional? Hardly! This is unbelievable! F-35 unintentional loop at takeoff a real "check your laundry" event. A supremely well-trained US Navy pilot, ice running in his veins instead of blood, fully regains control of his $70 million, F-35 joint strike force fighter, after a problematic vertical take-off attempt... Watch as the rear vertical thrust-er fires to cause the problem. There's nothing about this the pilot enjoys. If he could have ejected at 100' upside down and lived, he would have. Looks like the afterburner kicks in while still vectored for vertical takeoff. Lockheed would call this a "software malfunction" and do a little more "regressive testing". This is a good demonstration of power-to-weight ratio of this aircraft! And talk about stability control... wow! If he didn't come out of the loop wings-level, it probably would have been bad news; maybe taking some of the carrier with him! Add to this flying through your own exhaust, which can lead to equipment malfunctions, as in "flame out". The F-35 is single engine aircraft with vertical takeoff/landing capability, but it has the aerodynamics of a Steinway piano at zero airspeed. This is the most unbelievable piece of flying you will ever see in your life. This guy's coolness saved a 70 million-dollar aircraft! On the other hand, he might not have had time to react to anything except just ride it. (click on the picture to view his loop)
Sunday, February 23, 2014
The Model 314 ' s nickname Clipper came from an especially fast type of sailing ship, used in the 19th century.
The ship analogy was appropriate, as the Clipper landed on the water, not runways
Boeing Company's diagram of the different areas of the plane.
Night Over Water is a fictionalized account of the final flight of the Pan American Clipper passenger airplane during the first few days of World War II, early September, 1939. Follett is careful to state that, though the flight and all of the characters are fictional the plane, a Boeing 314, was real and was nicknamed the "Pan Am Clipper." It was a seaplane, an aircraft that landed in the sea, not on an airstrip, powered by 4 propeller engines. It was capable of crossing the Atlantic Ocean in little more than 24 hours with intermediate stops in Shannon Estuary at Foynes, Ireland, Bay of Exploits at Botwood, Newfoundland and Shediac Bay, Canada, at each of which stop Follett adds a scene or two of intrigue. This route made the Pan Am Clipper the fastest mode of transatlantic travel at the time — and very appealing to those who wanted to escape from Britain before the start of the war. The tale begins with several separated threads, telling the individual stories of the people who later all end up in this last flight to New York. Though Follett manages to bundle all these together, the events the characters share while travelling with the clipper are still told through the perspectives introduced before. Each of these main characters is heading for his own interests in the beginning but soon they melt together.
On Pan Am flights, passengers had access to dressing rooms and a dining salon that could be converted into a lounge or bridal suite.
Seating accommodations converted into births for overnight flights.
Crew sleeping accommodations
Sparse complement of instruments in the cockpit suggests that flying a Clipper was a strenuous job.
Flight Deck-It carried a crew of 10 to 16 depending on the length of the flight.
urinal a part of the facilities in the washroom
Ladies power room
War time passenger President Franklin Roosevelt.
There was only one class on a Pan American clipper and that was first class. Meals were prepared fresh on the aircraft and served on china. Pan-American advertisements focused on the fact that each aircraft has at least two Stewards on every flight, to attend to food and drink. Besides breakfast lunch and dinner, snacks and drinks were always available.
Based on an August 1st 2009 article in the St. John's Telegram commemorating the 70th anniversary of the first full-service trans Atlantic flight.
Pictures are courtesy of Pan-Am Historical Foundation.
For those visiting the area check out this.
Botwood Flying Boat Museum
Tourism Region: Exploits Valley
The Botwood Flying Boat Museum, through murals, models and artifacts depicts the aviation history of our town from 1920 to 1945. It also houses the Archive of the Botwood Heritage Society.