tiistai 15. elokuuta 2017

Buchón HA-1112-M1L

The Spanish government in 1942 arranged a manufacturing licence with Messerschmitt AG to build the Bf 109G-2, with DB605A engines, propellers, instruments, and weapons to be supplied from Germany. This proved impossible, as Germany was incapable of meeting her own needs, let alone Spain's; in the event, only twenty-five airframes (minus their tails) and not even half the necessary drawings were delivered.

As a result, Hispano substituted the 1,300 hp Hispano-Suiza 12Z-89 engine, which flew at Barcelona in 1944, while the first HA-1109-J1L made its maiden flight 2 March 1945 at Seville, using a VDM prop and lash-up engine mounting. The other twenty-four airframes were flown during 1947-9 with Escher-Wyss props, but never became operational.

A developed version, with an improved installation for the Hispano-Suiza 12Z-17 engine, appeared in May 1951 as the HA-1112-K1L. Fitted with a three bladed de Havilland Hydromatic propeller, it was nicknamed Tripala ("three blades"). Its armament consisted of one or two 12.7mm Breda machineguns and Pilatus eight-packs of 80mm rockets.


It first flew in 1951, and although 200 units were planned, only 65 were ever built. The Hispano engine was an upright V12 in contrast to the inverted V12 Daimler-Benz DB 601 & 605 engines used in the Bf 109. Being of compact design, it fitted the airframe of the Bf 109 well, representing it in the German 1957 film Der Stern von Afrika (The Star of Africa) about Luftwaffe ace Hans-Joachim Marseille. In the original design, an asymmetric vertical fin with an airfoiled profile had been introduced starting with the Bf 109F to produce a slight left movement of the tail, which counteracted the left-side torque reaction from the Daimler-Benz engine's counterclockwise rotation. Since this was left unchanged in the Buchón, and the Hispano V12 powered a clockwise-turning propeller instead, the combination of the airfoiled fin and the clockwise-turning propeller created a hard-to-counteract right swing on takeoff, since the fin and the propeller essentially worked in the same direction.

A second version, the HA-1110-K1L, was a two-place tandem trainer model.


HA-1112-M1L
The "Rote Sieben" (Red-7), a privately owned Hispano HA-1112-M1L Buchon rebuilt as a Bf 109G in Germany
The final variant was the HA-1112-M1L Buchón (Pouter), which is a male dove in Spanish. It first flew 29 March 1954. 

The 1112-M1L was equipped with the 1,600 hp Rolls-Royce Merlin 500-45 engine and Rotol propeller, both purchased as surplus from the UK. This engine had a chin intake, that altered the lines of the Bf 109's airframe visually. As such, this plane was an improvised assembly of outdated components for the specific purpose of controlling Spanish colonial territories in Africa where a higher level of technology was unnecessary, and moreover not available in isolated Spain at the time. Its armament consisted of two 20 mm Hispano-Suiza 404/408 cannons and two Oerlikon or Pilatus eight-packs of 80 mm rockets. It remained in service until 27 December 1965.


HA-1112-M1Ls remained in flying condition until the mid-1960s. This made them available for theatrical use, masquerading as Bf 109Es and Gs in movies like Battle of Britain, Der Stern von Afrika, Memphis Belle, Dunkirk and The Tuskegee Airmen. Remarkably, Buchons also played the Bf 109's opposition, the Hawker Hurricane, in one scene in Battle of Britain.

The HA-1112 have also flown in the film Battle of Britain alongside the CASA 2.111 bombers which were a Spanish-built version of the Heinkel He 111 German bomber. They had the same engines, the Rolls Royce Merlin 500.

lauantai 12. elokuuta 2017

Brewster 239 F2A1

Finland
Finnish company Nokia donated sufficient funds for the FAF to purchase a B-239. In return, the word NOKA was inscribed on BW-355. Operated by No. 24 Squadron, it was destroyed on 24 October 1944. Future ace Paavo Mellin shot down an I-16 and shared in the destruction of a MiG-3 whilst flying this aircraft.

In April 1939, the Finnish government contacted the Roosevelt administration to acquire modern combat aircraft for its air force as quickly as possible. On 17 October 1939, the Finnish Embassy in Washington, DC, received a telegram clearing the purchase of fighter aircraft. Prompt availability and compatibility with 87-octane fuel were the only requirements stipulated by the Finns. The U.S. Navy and State Department arranged to divert remaining F2A-1 fighter aircraft, in exchange for its order of F2A-2 Buffalos scheduled to be delivered later.


Consequently, on 16 December, the Finns signed a contract to purchase 44 Model 239 fighters. The total agreed price was U.S. $3.4 million, and the deal included spare parts, ten replacement engines and 20 Hamilton Standard propellers. The Buffalos sent to Finland were de-navalized; all the naval equipment, such as tailhooks and life-raft containers were removed, resulting in a lighter aircraft. The Finnish F2A-1s also lacked self-sealing fuel tanks and cockpit armor.

These F2A-1 Buffalos, given the export number Model B-239, were equipped with an export-approved Wright R-1820-G5 nine-cylinder radial engine of 950 hp. After their delivery to Finland, the Finnish Air Force added armored backrests, metric flight instruments, the Finnish Väisälä T.h.m.40 gunsight, and four .50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns. The top speed of the Finnish B-239s, as modified, was 478 km/h at 4,750 m, and their loaded weight was 2,640 kg.

Built and shipped in four batches, the Finnish B-239s were shipped to Bergen, in Norway, in January and February 1940 from New York City. The crated fighters were then sent by railway to Sweden and assembled by SAAB at Trollhättan, northeast of Gothenburg.

In February 1940, Finnish Air Force pilot Lieutenant Jorma "Joppe" Karhunen flight tested the first B-239. Unfamiliar with the aircraft, he burned out the engine while flying very low at high speed; crashing on a snow-covered field, damaging the propeller and some belly panels. Initially unimpressed, the Finns later witnessed a demonstration by a Brewster test pilot, who was able to stay on the tail of a Finnish Fiat G.50 Freccia fighter from Italy; although the Fiat fighter was faster in level flight,the Brewster could out-turn it.

Of the six Buffalo B-239 fighters delivered to Finland before the end of the Winter War of 1939–1940, five of them became combat-ready, but they did not enter combat before the war ended.

The Brewster B-239E fighter aircraft was never referred to as the "Buffalo" in Finland; it was known simply as the "Brewster" or sometimes by the nicknames Taivaan helmi ("Sky Pearl") or Pohjoisten taivaiden helmi ("Pearl of the Northern Skies"). Other nicknames were Pylly-Valtteri, Amerikanrauta ("Butt-Walter" and "American hardware" or "American car", respectively) and Lentävä kaljapullo ("flying beer-bottle"). The 44 Buffalo Model B-239 (export) fighters used by the FAF received serial numbers BW-351 to BW-394.

Finnish Air Force's Brewster B-239 formation during the Continuation War
In Finnish Air Force service, the B-239s were regarded as being easy to fly, a "gentleman's travelling plane." The Buffalo was also popular within the FAF because of its relatively long range and also because of a good maintenance record. This was in part due to the efforts of the Finnish mechanics, who solved a problem that plagued the Wright Cyclone engine by inverting one of the piston rings in each cylinder, which had a positive effect on reliability. The cooler weather of Finland also helped, because the engine was prone to overheating as noted in tropical Pacific use. The Brewster Buffalo earned a reputation in Finnish Air Force service as one of their more successful fighter aircraft, with the Fiat G.50, that scored an unprecedented kill/loss ratio of 33/1.

In service from 1941 to 1945, Buffalos of Lentolaivue 24 (Fighter Squadron 24) claimed 477 Soviet Air Force warplanes destroyed, with the combat loss of just 19 Buffalos, an outstanding victory ratio of 26:1.

During the Continuation War, Lentolaivue 24 (Fighter Squadron 24) was equipped with the B-239s until May 1944, when the Buffalos were transferred to Hävittäjälentolaivue 26 (Fighter Squadron 26). Most of the pilots of Lentolaivue 24 were Winter War combat veterans. This squadron claimed a total of 459 Soviet aircraft with B-239s, while losing 15 Buffalos in combat.

The Brewsters had their baptism by fire in Finland on 25 June 1941, when a pair of Buffalos from 2/LLv24 intercepted 27 Soviet Tupolev SBs from 201st SBAP over Turku. Five SBs were claimed as downed. Subsequent attacks were repelled by LLv24 pilots who, by dusk, had flown 77 missions.

Many Finnish pilots racked up enormous scores by using basic tactics against Soviet aircraft. The default tactic was the four-plane "parvi" (swarm), with a pair flying lower as bait, and a higher pair to dive on enemy interceptors. The Soviet Air Force was never able to counteract this tactic. The top-scoring B-239 pilot was Hans Wind, with 39 kills.Lt Hans Wind, with six other Buffalos of LeLv 24, intercepted some 60 Soviet aircraft near Kronstad. Two Soviet Pe-2 bombers, one Soviet Hawker Hurricane fighter, and 12 I-16s were claimed for the loss of just one B-239 (BW-378).After evaluation of claims against actual Soviet losses, aircraft BW-364 was found to have been used to achieve 42½ kills in total by all pilots operating it, possibly making it the highest-scoring fighter airframe in the history of air warfare.[citation needed] The top scoring Finnish ace, Ilmari Juutilainen, scored 34 of his 94½ kills in B-239s, including 28 in BW-364.

During the Continuation War, a lack of replacements led the Finns to develop a copy of the Buffalo built from non-strategic materials such as plywood, however the Humu, as they called it, was already obsolete and only a single prototype was built. By late 1943, the lack of spares, wear-and-tear, and better Soviet fighters and training greatly reduced the effectiveness of Finnish B-239s, though LeLv 26 pilots would still claim some 35 victories against Soviet aircraft in mid-1944. The last victory by a Buffalo against Soviet aircraft was claimed over the Karelian Isthmus on 17 June 1944.

From 1943, Finland's air force received Messerschmitt Bf 109Gs from Germany, and this much-superior fighter re-equipped most Finnish Air Force fighter squadrons.

After Finland signed an armistice with the Soviet Union in September, 1944, they had to drive Finland's former ally, Nazi Germany out of the country during the "Lapland War". The only clash with the Luftwaffe took place on 3 October 1944 when HLeLV 26 intercepted Junkers Ju 87s, claiming two, the last victories to be made by Brewster pilots in World War II. By the end of the war in Lapland, only eight B-239s were left.

Five B-239s continued to fly until 1948, with last flights of Brewsters by the Finnish Air Force on 14 September 1948, when they were stored until scrapped in 1953
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Jatkosota
Välirauhan aikana LeLv 24 varustettiin Brewster-kalustolla. Jatkosodan alussa Brewsterit muodostivat hävittäjäkaluston rungon ennen Messerschmitt Bf 109:n hankkimista. Jatkosodan ensimmäisinä vuosina Brewsterit osoittautuivat erinomaisiksi hävittäjäkoneiksi Neuvostoliiton ilmavoimia vastaan LeLv 24:n ollessa menestyksekkäin hävittäjäyksikkö. 

Brewster saavuttaa ennätykselliset 460 ilmavoittoa. Neuvostoliiton I-153 Tsaika- ja I-16 Rat (El Rata) hävittäjät olivat jatkosodan alussa täysin alakynnessä verrattuna suorituskykyiset ja raskaasti aseistetut Brewsterit, jota käytettiin oikein ketteriä konetyyppejä vastaan.

Katso myös: Luettelo Lentolaivue 24:n ilmavoitoista ja sotatoimitappioista
Toukokuussa 1944 BW-kalusto luovutettiin LeLv 26:lle, joka sekin saavutti silloin jo vanhentuneella kalustollaan 17 ilmavoittoa.

Lapin sota
Lapin sodassa HLeLv 26 pudotti mahdollisesti vielä kaksi saksalaista Junkers Ju 87 -konetta. Nämä kaksi pudotusta on kyseenalaistettu myöhemmin, koska laajoista tutkimuksista huolimatta koneiden hylkyjä ei ole löydetty.

2./LeLv 24:n Brewster-hävittäjä Selänpään lentokentällä kesäkuussa 1941.
Brewsterillä eniten ilmavoittoja saavuttivat kapteeni Hans Wind, joka sai Brewsterillä 39 (kaiken kaikkiaan 75) ilmavoittoa, ja lentomestari Ilmari Juutilainen, joka sai Brewsterillä 36 (kaiken kaikkiaan 96) ilmavoittoa.

Eniten ilmavoittoja keränneenä koneyksilönä on pidetty BW-393:a (Windin nimikko), jolla saavutettiin 41 ilmavoittoa. Venäjän arkistojen auettua ja ilmavoittojen ristiintarkistuksen myötä on käynyt ilmi, että BW-364:llä (Juutilaisen nimikko) on saavutettu 42 ½ ilmavoittoa.

Sodan jälkeen
Sodan jälkeen Brewstereillä lennettiin lähinnä yhteyslentoja vuonna 1948 tapahtuneeseen poistoon asti. Viimeisen lennon konetyypillä Suomen ilmavoimissa suorittivat koneyksilöt BW-377 ja BW-382 14. syyskuuta 1948.


1941 - 1942 winter








perjantai 11. elokuuta 2017

Fiat G50 1941 -1942

The G.50 saw its longest and most successful service in the two Finnish wars against the Soviet Union, the Winter War of 1939-1940 and the Continuation War of 1941-1944. At the end of 1939, before the outbreak of hostilities, Finland ordered 35 Fiat G.50s. The first 10 aircraft were to be delivered before February 1940. 
Propeller attachments

                                                       Propeller lubrication

A group of Finnish pilots attended a 10-hour training course at Guidonia airport and later at Fiat Aviazione in Turin. On a training flight, during a dive from 3,500 m (11,500 ft), Lieutenant Tapani Harmaja reached an estimated speed of 780 km/h (480 mph), which was considered excessive for the structural integrity of the aircraft. The windscreen was damaged.

Germany hindered the transit of the aircraft, so they were dismantled and embarked in La Spezia on the Norwegian ship Braga, which set sail for Turku, Finland, on 20 January. Because of this delay, the first G.50s did not reach No. 26 Squadron, Finnish Air Force (HLeLv 26) at Utti until February 1940.


                                                Air pressure compressor test and startup

Fills the Air Pressure Start

                                                        Fuel refueling

The G.50s were numbered from FA-1 to FA-35, but it seems that only 33 were delivered. Squadron No 26 received from material command G.50 fighters according to the table below. A day before the truce after the Winter War, they had received 30 Fiat G.50s of the 35 purchased and 33 not damaged during the procurement.

Fiat G.50 FA-8 was destroyed during take-off when the pilot, a Hungarian volunteer, second lieutenant lieutenant Wilhelm Bekasy, in bad flying weather, lost contact with his countryman, lieutenant Matias Pirity, who turned back. The next day sergeant Asser Wallenius took-off with FA-7, having forgotten to switch on the fuel pump of the main tank and as the extra fuel tanks emptied, FA-7 crashed and was damaged. Wallenius survived but he was injured. Because of technical problems in the Finnish airforce itself, only 33 of the 35 Fiat G.50s were delivered to Finland.
                                                              Cartridge supplement 12,7 mm

                                                              add cartridges

The Italian fighters had arrived too late to affect the course of that year's winter battles, however, most of them were soon sent to the front. The Fiat pilots found themselves involved in the heavy fighting over the bay of Vyborg in late February and early March. According to some sources, the first kill was achieved on 26 February.The following day, Second Lieutenant Malmivuo became the first Finnish pilot to be killed in a G.50, when his fighter FA.12 crashed after a battle with Soviet aircraft. And on 11 March, the Italian volunteer Sergente Dario Manzocchi crashed to his death while returning from a combat sortie.

The Fiat bases were under constant attack. The Utti airfield was bombed by the Soviet airforce. Consequently, the Fiats were transferred two kilometres to the north of Utti proper, onto the ice at Haukkajärvi (Falcon lake). As Haukkajärvi become bombed and attacked by fighters, another lake-side base was established near the city of Lahti, Hollola, also on the ice of Vesijärvi near Pyhäniemi manor. Overall, HLeLv 26 achieved 11 kills, against one loss in combat and another in an accident.


Watering truck (at the airport)

                                                  Rautu airfield
The Finnish G.50 y were taken from the 235 built by CMSA, both Serie I and Serie II, but all but seven had the open cockpit of the Serie II, a feature that Finnish pilots disliked, especially in winter. There were some attempts to improve the aircraft – one was tested with an enclosed cockpit, another with a D.XXI ski-undercarriage – but none of the modifications were put into service. Better protection for the propeller, which had problems at extremely low temperatures, and a few other changes were introduced. The speed of the Finnish G.50s was around 430–450 km/h (270–280 mph), much lower than the standard series could achieve. At this stage, Finnish pilots preferred the Hawker Hurricane, the French Morane-Saulnier M.S.406 and the Brewster Buffalo to the G.50.





                                                Fiat G-50 be on call, 31.8.1942

The first demonstration of the Finnish Air Force's effectiveness came on 25 June 1941, when the G.50s from HLeLv 26 shot down 13 out of 15 Soviet SB bombers.[50] Thirteen aerial victories were achieved altogether.

During the Continuation War, the G.50s were most successful during the Finnish offensive of 1941, after which they became ever less impressive.In 1941, HLeLv 26 claimed 52 victories for the loss of only two fighters. The Soviets brought better, newer types of fighter


Waiting for a start permit

Waiting for a start permit

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