Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Yokosuka MXY7 "Ohka" - video

Following our past posts with Yokosuka MXY7 "Ohka" photos, here and here, today we post a video from British Pathé, from here.

Friday, 25 January 2019

Japanese Focke-Wulf Fw 190 #2

Steve Mundt sent over a link to the post below (from here), posted by "johnbr" as a follow up of the older post on the Japanese Focke-Wulf Fw 190 originally posted on this blog, HERE.
 Japan’s Butcher Bird
In 1943, the Imperial Japanese Army imported a single Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-5 from Germany.

The plane was shipped over via submarine. It was tested comparatively with other native fighter aircraft of the time, and Japanese Bf 109 E-7.
Lieutenant Commander Aramaki Yoshitsugu, one of the test pilots, noted the superiority of the Focke-Wulf’s acceleration compared to the Japanese fighters. However, its maneuverability was terrible in comparison. Despite this, the control surfaces were highly responsive. The armament of four 20mm cannons and two 7.92mm machine guns was unmatched by any Japanese plane at the time.
Aramaki observed that the cockpit of the Fw 190 was not as comfortable as that of Japanese aircraft, but much more spacious than the Bf 109 E-7. The aircraft was quite solid and pleasant to fly overall. The flight performance was closest matched with the new Ki-84. Noted was the very high reliability of the plane.
 It was of Aramaki’s opinion that the Focke Wulf was superior to both Bf 109 E-7 and the American P-51C, which was acquired in 1945. Warrant Officer Takezawa Toshiro thought that Ki-61 was a better combat aircraft than Bf 109 E-7, while Focke Wulf was better than the latter due to its reliability. He viewed P-51C as the best of all these aircraft.
 When questioned of the fate of the aircraft, Aramaki stated that he thought it was loaned to a reconnaissance unit and knew no more. This was the last I could find on the Japanese Fw 190.
That is, until I recently came across this photograph in an American intelligence report.
I believe this is the first time this image is on the internet. It is captioned as follows:
“German engine from Focke-Wulf 190 fighter found in an experimental building at Kagamigahara. This was studied as a model in adaption of Tony from liquid-cooled to radial-engine installation.”
The remaining camouflage paint is matched, and it is clear what happened. The Fw 190 A-5 was acquired by Kawasaki in time for the development of the Ki-100 (radial-engine Ki-61) at Kagamigahara by late 1944. The aircraft was disassembled, and observed as an example for the installation of the radial engine Ha-112-II in the quite slim fuselage of the Ki-61.
 At the end of the war, the remains were located by the American occupiers at Kagamigahara’s experimental hangar and most definitely scrapped.
Thanks Steve!

Monday, 14 January 2019

Mitsubishi Ki-46 "Dinah" & more by Doug Beardsworth

Here's the Mitsubishi Ki-46 "Dinah" that I designed and built. Twin rubber power ships are a bit trickier to fly, but when they are "on song", they are gorgeous in the air. This one is built to a 44" span, and competes in the Giant Scale class. It also uses traditional stick and tissue construction.  I drew up these plans using some very detailed 1/72 scale drawings as the basis. I draw my plans in the "old school" manner, using a pencil, straightedge, French curves ...and lots of eraser  (smile).
Taking the 1/72 drawings to a commercial copy center, I then enlarge them to the span of the model I want to build, in order to establish the correct outlines. I then lay transparent vellum over these enlarged drawings, and then begin drawing  in the structure for the outlines and other structural elements. Wings and stabilizers get an outline, then spars and ribs are sketched in. Often the 1/72 drawings have accurate fuselage cross sections from which fuselage formers can be drawn, and then stringers placed running nose to tail.
Canopies are made from clear heat shrink tubing stock- the same material used to make tamper evident seals on vitamin bottles and similar. First, full size balsa patterns are  carved and sanded to shape. I don't find the need to seal the balsa at all like a vacuum-formed pattern would need. The plastic is drawn over the shaped balsa patterns using a hair dryer to heat the plastic, and pull it into shape by hand over that pattern. Finished thickness of a typical canopy is approximately .005 inches. 
Anyway, I find the entire process very gratifying and challenging at the same time. 
My good friend Mike Stuart shot the video below (link HERE) this past July of a nice flight, with a few thermalistic bumps adding to the duration:
Best wishes for 2019!
Doug also send over two videos featuring his brilliant Kawanishi "Kyofu" he took part in our latest contest with (HERE). In the first video below the "Kyofu" is flying under rubber power (link here)
In the second video (link here) is flying with electric power.
I hope you enjoy this fantastic post as much as I do. Thank you so much Doug!

Friday, 11 January 2019

Zoukei Mura - Kawasaki Ki-45 "Toryu" (Nick) - NOW ON SALE!

YES! Finally, the most anticipated kit of the year is finally on sale!
The brand new Zoukei Mura Kawasaki Ki-45 "Toryu" (Nick) in 1/32, number 13 in their Super Wing Series,  has hit the shelves and is HUGE! If you think the new Hasegawa "Emily" is a big kit, thing again.
Price at the stores is about $US140.
If you have difficulty ordering one and you need help, I can go to Volks and get one for you. Email me at:
All photos below from the Zoukei Mura* site.
* "ZO" as in zo-mbie, "Kei" as in ke-ttle, "Mu" as in moon but shorter, "Ra" as in ra-bit

Monday, 7 January 2019

Japanese Aircraft Online Model Contest 010 - And the winners...

Jean Barby #1 - 8, 9, 8, 9, 10 - 8.8
                    #2 - 9, 9, 9, 9 - 9
Rene de Koning - 9, 8, 9, 8, 8 - 8.4
Allan Jeffery - 8, 8, 8, 8, 8 - 8
Mirek Kadič - 10, 9, 9, 10 - 9.5
Zbyszek Malicki - 8, 8 - 8
Radek Pelikan - 10, 8, 10, 10 - 9.5
Aleksandar Andrić - 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 9, 10, 10 - 9.7
Miro Herold - 8, 10, 8, 8 - 8.5
Victor Klochkov #1 - 10, 9, 10, 10, 10 - 9.8
                             #2 - 10, 9, 10, 10 - 9.7
Gustavo Antonelli - 6, 7, 7, 7 - 6.7
William Adair - 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 9 - 9.8
Michael Thurow - 9, 9, 10, 9 - 9.2
Mike Driskill - 8, 9, 9, 8, 9 - 8.6
Doug Beardsworth - 9, 9, 9 - 9
...are William Adair in 1/144, Aleksandar Andrić in 1/72 and Victor Klochkov in 1/32.
Kiri said that they should all get a T-shirt and I fully agree with her.
So, guys take a look here and email us with your preferences.
Small detail: I chose "George" to be the subject of the contest because last year I turned 50. I think I have a few years left to release more issues of the magazine and Eagle Eyes.
Thank you all for participating, voting and your contributions of any kind.
The theme for the next online model contest is Japanese Prototype & Experimental Aircraft in any scale (no what-ifs) and will start from March 1 (because I need time to finish the 6 models I'm working on).

Saturday, 5 January 2019

Betty & Zero - video

A video from the NHK collection entitled "Seinan Taiheiyo Sensen" (Battle Front of the South West Pacific). Nothing really interesting by the narrator except that the whole video shows training. The Mitsubishi G4M "Betty" unit featured in the news reel is a small mystery. First of all there at least 27 "Bettys" flying in perfect formation. The planes nearest the camera all have two white lines on the fin and a 3-digit number that is placed towards the rear signifying that either the first part, which would have been the unit letter or number  was deleted or is in red. The video was taken on July 13, 1943 and the closest we could get was a photo featured in FAOW#59, p.29 where according to the caption: "Crew and a news reporter are taking a commemorative photo in front of Model 11 early production type in the South battle area (possibly in Rabaul)." Photo date is unknown but notice again the two white lines on the fin. Kisarazu Ku, which is shown in artwork to have a similar looking marking, moved in the area in the end of August 1942 and had the letter "R" to signify the unit. In November 1, 1942 the unit was renamed 707Ku and continued using the same marking. The unit though was dissolved on December 1, 1942 when most of their planes were destroyed. What remained was transferred to 705Ku which used the marking of their original Misawa Ku "H" but also just a number. From June 20, 1943 though it is said they used "TI-" (or "T1-") until they changed again to "705-" from March 1944. So, it is possible that these planes belonged to 705Ku during their marking transition period.
Note the "Betty" flying over a Minekaze-class destroyer and ofcourse the Zeros doing their thing.