I had a nice chat with the guys from Red Roo about their upcoming DAP Beaufighter Target Tug conversion at this years SAPMA Model Expo. I mentioned I had seen a side view picture of a Beau TT in one of the buildings here on base at Edinburgh and I had a chance to look at the picture again today.
It is a large format picture of A8-363 taken almost dead on from the righthand side of the aircraft and the terrain (or lack there of) behind it says Woomera to me. This would place the aircraft there as part of its service with the Air Trials Unit in 1957.
Does anyone have any images of this aircraft that would match that view? I just want to know before I pursue getting a scan of the image if it is previously unseen.
A8-363 was indeed with the Air Trials Unit at Woomera from July 1956. My notes suggest that this was the last unit the aircraft served with before being sold for scrap in April 1958 to W. Brown and Sons from Hindmarsh in South Australia.
The image of A8-363 is intriguing. Theoretically, the airframe should have had Aluminium upper surfaces, the traditional target towing Yellow/Black stripe under surfaces and a Yellow band around the rear fuselage. The photo supports the upper and lower surface colours but its difficult to discern a Yellow band around the rear fuselage although it may be present with the rear edge intersecting the 6 of the serial.
Interesting features include the device behind the tail wheel (I'm assuming this was some sort of device to prevent fouling of the flying surfaces by the target/drogue cable), the bulge, which I've not seen before, on the lower fuselage (presumably in line with the position of the rear fuselage band) and the guide for the target/drogue on the lower surface beneath the winch. This latter fitment corresponds with the entry/escape hatch for the observer. Given the position of the target winch and what I believe is a guide pulley for the target cable, I would think that this fitment rendered the observers entry/escape hatch unusable.
I agree with David, Tony. Ive not seen this image before so please see if you can arrange a scan. It will be a welcome addition to my TT reference material.
Attached is another shot, (poor), of A8-363 at ATU.
There is a yellow fuselage band as Roger says there should be, although not in the position he suggested. Seems to be in 'stock standard' position to me.
The 'thing' behind the tailwheel is not apparent in this shot. Maybe that and the 'bump' forward of the tailwheel are something behind the aircraft in Tony's photo. Or were they mods for a particular trial? On the original you can just make out the cover fitted on the port side of the tailwheel to prevent fouling the cable.
Tony, I have other photos of TT Beaus that may help with your model. Let me know if I can be of use.
And if you get a good copy or scan of that photo, I also would appreciate a copy.
the Yellow fuselage band being present and its usual positioning.
I must admit though that those 'bumps' on Tony's original image have me completely stumped. As you say, they could be something not even associated with the airframe or a later modification. If it's the latter, it certainly 'puts the cat among the pigeons'. I'll need to do some digging.
Your image clearly shows the demarcation line between the upper surface Aluminium and the lower surface Yellow as well as the normal retention of the HVAR stubs on the outer wings. I'm pretty sure I can just make out the cover on the tail wheel. Does the original show the guard frame on the outer horizontal tailplane that carried the wire guard for the rudder and ailerons? There seems to be something there but I can't quite make it out.
Re: Thanks, Peter. Your image ceratinly clears up ...
November 17 2010, 10:08 AM
No worries guys, I will ask whether I can scan the image the next time I am in that area as it is not my normal work area.
From looking at the image I am pretty sure the extra bulges are on the airframe and not located behind it.
that object in the foreground looks as if it could be a boarding ladder. If that is the case and given the curvature in the ladder frame, this could well support my theory that the observer's boarding/escape hatch was rendered unusable by the fitment of the TT winch and associated towing cable. Food for thought?
I believe that the winch operator gained acsess to his station via the pilot's hatch.
If you caheck out both those photos you can see that the observer's hatch appears to be cracked slightly open. (Down at the front). I believe that this was done to allow cooling air for the winch. UK A/C ha a cooling intake on the port side of the fuselage. I understand that the observer's hatch could still be jettisoned in an emergency.
Incidentally, I believe the ladder was used to gain access to engine cowling to check oil level etc. May have been used for rear cokpit access as well, but looks a little dodgy for that.
I have found another photo showing that rear fairing on Tony's photo. It is a chute!
I will post that photo and some more info tomorrow. No time today as I am comitted to take SHMBO to visit friends.
Hadn't noticed that, Peter, re the observer's hatch.
November 17 2010, 7:56 PM
That circluar bit at the top of the ladder had me bluffed as to how it could be used to gain access to the observer's/winch operator's position. The curvature as such seems too shallow to fit around the engine cowls but, as always, I'll stand corrected.
Rear fairing = a chute? Now I am baffled. A chute in that position would be associated with spinning trials would it not? A la a Winjeel operating out of Laverton seen in landing configuration but trailing a 'drogue chute'? At the DAP Beaufighter's age, this seems a little incongruous??
I look forward to the next instalment. As you know, anything TT and I'm hooked.