Wednesday 23 November 2011

Yokosuka P1Y "Ginga" (Frances)

Photo from a vintage magazine. Luzon, Philipppines, February 1945.
At that time period, the following "Ginga" units operated from Clark airfield of Luzon: 761Ku, 763ku and the Kogeki 401 and 405 Hikotai (attack air units).
Personally I think it's a plane belonging to the 763ku but ofcourse I can't be sure without a visible tail marking.

Sunday 13 November 2011

Vintage magazine cover

Hiko Shonen, December 1942

Saturday 12 November 2011

Mitsubishi Ki-15 / C5M "Babs"

In this photo of a vintage magazine released in March 1942, teenager maintenance crew members work on a "Babs" revealing excellent details of the engine.

Friday 11 November 2011

Mitsubishi G4M "Betty"

One of the most famous cockpit photos of the Betty from a vintage publication, a very rare one taken at a time when the Army and Navy issued strict orders not to take photos of sensitive aircraft areas.
The lay-out of the instrument pannel indicates that this plane had a registration number of less than 222. The guy sitting on the foreground on the right is the plane commander, the one in front of him is the pilot. The one on the left side with the binoculars is the observer while the one sitting in front of him is the co-pilot.
A number of interesting details are visible in this photo. Notice that none of the crew members wears a parachute (at least I can't see one). The observer and the co-pilot wear a 1942 life vest which had a pocket on the right and lower side including a pencil and a small mirror in case of an emergency landing. Later type of this life vest didn't have that pocket. The vest was filled with cork for flotation.
The commander doesn't wear even the life vest but has a set of radio receivers on his helmet (if he wears one) produced by Toyo Tsushinki. The helmet of the observer is difficult to discern but is probably a winter version of the type produced early in the Pacific war. The lining was usually of rabbit fur. His gloves are probably Type 1940. The binoculars were produced by Tokyo Shibaura Denki but were commonly known as "Matsuda". 
Notice that none of the crew members wears the well known pilot uniforms but white summer clothes. The cords behind the commander's seat fastened the radio receiver; the box with the piece of paper on it's side.
Under the reading lamp in front of the observer, was the navigator's table. 
Finally notice the absolute lack of any form of armour protection giving the impression of a civilian passenger plane. Unless someone considers as protection the shades on the canopy...

Wednesday 9 November 2011

Vintage magazine cover

Hiko Shonen, October 1942

Friday 4 November 2011

Nakajima Ki-43 "Hayabusa" (Oscar)

A photo from a vintage publication dated October 8th, 1943, of a Nakajima Ki-43-II Ko.
Another photo taken a few seconds before this one is featured in Model Art #395, p. 79.
According to the caption the plane belonged to the 1st Chutai of the 25th Sentai and the boarding pilot is 1st Lt. Okumura Masao. On August 23, 1943 the 25th took off from their base in Hankou (Hubei province), made a stop in Yichang (Hubei province) and then proceeded attacking the then capital of Nationalist China, Chongqing
The photo is retouched by the war-time censor and the air intake at the top of cowling as well as the machine gun muzzle ports are missing. Nevertheless, this angle still provides interesting information regarding the colour of the wheel wells (not aotake), the camouflage pattern and the brilliant tent that gives plenty of diorama ideas.

Thursday 3 November 2011

Vintage magazine cover

"Jitsugyo Nippon" (Business in Japan) July 1st, 1943