Fairey Battle target tug

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ME453
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Fairey Battle target tug

Post by ME453 » Mon May 05, 2014 10:15 am

This is the CA 1/48th scale Battle TT with the Heritage Aviation correction set for the nose and tail sections. This particular aircraft, L5716, was flown on several occasions by my father when he was attached to No. 24 Bombing, Gunnery and Navigation School based at Moffat, S Rhodesia in 1944.

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K4KittyCrew
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Re: Fairey Battle target tug

Post by K4KittyCrew » Mon May 05, 2014 10:35 am

Great pictures, great story, great scenery, Max. Perhaps you can elaborate about the 'thingy-me-jig' near the rear window for us, the uninformed.
John
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Re: Fairey Battle target tug

Post by R5868 » Mon May 05, 2014 1:21 pm

Looks like an early attempt at making a VTOL out of a Battle.
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ME453
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Re: Fairey Battle target tug

Post by ME453 » Mon May 05, 2014 2:29 pm

Ha ha, very good Kerry! John, it's the winch arm for the tow line. When the line was deployed the drive was put into neutral and the drag of the drogue pulled the line out until its desired length was reached. When it was time to recover the drogue, the arm was rotated through 90 degrees so that the slipstream of the aircraft caused the blades to rotate. The mechanism was put into gear and the line winched in. The danger for the operator was if the drogue came off the line, this caused the line to reel in extremely quickly, the free end coming right into the cabin. At least one operator is recorded as being killed by such an incident. The dangers of war eh?!!!!
Max
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Re: Fairey Battle target tug

Post by R5868 » Tue May 06, 2014 4:01 am

Maybe they should have employed that winch for the undercarriage of an Annie.
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Re: Fairey Battle target tug

Post by PAFG » Tue May 06, 2014 8:51 am

She's a beaut, Max, and the personal connection makes it all the more compelling. Did your father comment on the Battle's performance?

Richard

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Re: Fairey Battle target tug

Post by ME453 » Tue May 06, 2014 11:05 am

Yes Richard, he did. He hated Battles, they were so slow and gutless. But when I read up about the pre-war design brief set by the AM and the responses by various companies it became clear that the decision to go with the Fairey option was a political one NOT a pragmatic one based on performance etc. Even Fairey weren't happy with this, they knew their design was flawed from the outset in terms of power and had plans drawn up for a twin engined version. Below is a picture comparing the size of a Hurricane and a Battle, both Merlin-engined and the Battle with a crew of three:

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Re: Fairey Battle target tug

Post by smudgersmith218 » Tue May 06, 2014 11:18 am

Max,

Great pics and build mate.

Max, did your father hate them because they were old and knackered and generally war weary, or just hate them because he had flown other aircraft to compare?

Interestingly, I have a letter from a pilot on 218 who found the Battle a delight to fly……in peace-time. His opinion changed in May 1940 however that was due to the poor defensive armament rather than flying characteristics.

Steve
No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron 1918-1945
The Nomads

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Re: Fairey Battle target tug

Post by PAFG » Tue May 06, 2014 11:18 am

Should be fine - 09.30? Will shout if work ... :roll:

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Re: Fairey Battle target tug

Post by ME453 » Tue May 06, 2014 5:43 pm

Good-oh Richard, 9.30 as usual!

I think Steve he didn't like them for two reasons; firstly because they were so slow and secondly because of the duty associated with them. Compared with what the RAF had they were of course an advanced design (for 1933), especially when compared with the aircraft that it was replacing, the Hawker Hart which was classed as a light bomber. The AM saw light bombers as being single-engined, medium bombers as twin-engined so they, the AM would not budge when C R Fairey asked for the specification to be revised because he knew that the engines then available were inadequate for a single-engined bomber. Sadly, the Fairey Battle has earned an undeserved reputation as a "bad" or flawed aeroplane when in truth it should have been declared obsolete before they were pressed into service. It was nothing short of murder sending those aircraft out in the early stages of the war.
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