Warbirds (Historical, Veteran & Vintage Military Aircraft)

ngatimozart

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This is a catch-all thread for Historical, Veteran & Vintage Military Aircraft - a.k.a., Warbirds news, posts etc. As always please make sure that you post your sources.
 

ngatimozart

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At lakes

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HARS at Albion Park NSW have the shell of a Bristol Beaufighter, in many pieces. which they are endeavoring to restore to airworthy condition. The biggest problem they had was no rebuildable engines available to them. Now with the arrival of 16 tons of Bristol Hercules engines and spare parts and other little bibs and bobs from New Zealand the project can move forward. Hopefully we can see one in the air in the not too distant future.
The engines are being rebuilt in Brisbane.

I also read somewhere that the RAF Museum at Hendon or is it now at Gosford not sure has a partly restored RAAF Beaufighter as well I think at one stage they had ambitions to get that into the air as well.


Edit: The restoration of the Beaufighter in the UK is at Duxford IWM and they are having the same issues as HARS had no rebuildable engines.
 
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ngatimozart

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@At lakes Do you know where abouts in NZ the 16 tonnes of Bristol Hercules engines and spares came from? Did John Smith have any in his Mapua collection?
 

At lakes

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Three possible location. John Smith although think it is unlikely as none of the aircraft he had used the Bristol Hercules engine. Possible would be Safe Air and a very remote possibility they could ex RNZAF although I think that's unlikely. The B170 engine is a Bristol Hercules engine but a later model than the Beaufighter and is not a one for one swap. There are a lot more attachments on B170 engine and it take a very special engineer to make it work.
 

ngatimozart

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Thanks. I was just wondering because John Smith had a heck of a lot of stuff at his place. I believe that the Hercules engine on the Freighter has more attachments to it than the variant on the Beaufighter so that makes for big problems because there isn't a lot of room for movement with the Beaufighter. IIRC the DAP looked at installing P&W Wasp engines on their Beaufighters. However the P&W R-1830 Twin Wasps that were license built by CAC weren't powerful enough having 1,200 HP, whereas the Beaufighter's Bristol Hercules XVII or XVIII engines developed 1,600 HP. The P&W R-2000 Double Wasp A or B series producing no more than 2,000 HP could have been used if they could have been made available either from the US or by obtaining a licence to build. However the problem was the mounting brackets for the engines to the airframes.
 

At lakes

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Had a conversation with Robert Greinert from HARS and he advised that the intention is to get the Beaufighter back in the air within two to three years. He also advised that the 16 ton of spares for the Bristol Hercules engine was purchased from Dwenair motors at Ardmore airfield. Some of the spares originated from SafeAir. This company was also supplying the RNZAF with spares for their B170’s. Robert advised that HARS has a couple of original engines and with the spares obtained from NZ they will be able to rebuild them to get the aircraft in the air again.

I have obtained Roberts permission to use his name in this entry and he has provided me with his contact details for any further details that may be required.
 

ngatimozart

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Had a conversation with Robert Greinert from HARS and he advised that the intention is to get the Beaufighter back in the air within two to three years. He also advised that the 16 ton of spares for the Bristol Hercules engine was purchased from Dwenair motors at Ardmore airfield. Some of the spares originated from SafeAir. This company was also supplying the RNZAF with spares for their B170’s. Robert advised that HARS has a couple of original engines and with the spares obtained from NZ they will be able to rebuild them to get the aircraft in the air again.

I have obtained Roberts permission to use his name in this entry and he has provided me with his contact details for any further details that may be required.
That's great thanks. Much appreciated. HARS is on my bucket list if I ever get back across the ditch again.
 

John Fedup

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This short article describes Dornier’s Do 335 fighter, supposedly the fastest piston engine fighter of WW2.

 

ngatimozart

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This short article describes Dornier’s Do 335 fighter, supposedly the fastest piston engine fighter of WW2.
I believe that it wasn't the easiest of aircraft to fly and could be quite dangerous if the engines were out of synch.
 

John Fedup

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Not sure about how important synchronization of a push/pull propulsion setup would be but as the article mentions, bailing out would be a challenge even if the explosive charge removed the rear prop. Take off and landing with that rear prop would also be a challenge.
 

Toptob

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Not sure about how important synchronization of a push/pull propulsion setup would be but as the article mentions, bailing out would be a challenge even if the explosive charge removed the rear prop. Take off and landing with that rear prop would also be a challenge.
Still to design such things pens paper and brain power is pretty amazing!
 

ngatimozart

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Not sure about how important synchronization of a push/pull propulsion setup would be but as the article mentions, bailing out would be a challenge even if the explosive charge removed the rear prop. Take off and landing with that rear prop would also be a challenge.
IIRC it had to do with the power differences. However on looking into it further I have found that I am wrong. Apparently they did have a bang seat in it as well.
 

At lakes

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Ngati is correct there was an ejector seat in this aircraft and a photo of said seat can be found on the above link. Scroll towards the end. Apparently it seriously hurt more pilots than it saved.

There is a u tube video on that link of what appears to be the first flight, not good quality but worth a look. Also there appears to have been plans or drawings made up with the aircraft with a turbo jet engine. also on the attached link
 
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John Fedup

The Bunker Group
Not a bad video at all IMO, nice find. The turbo jet proposal would have eliminated the concerns with the rear prop clearance. I wonder if a inline arrangement of two jet engines was feasible, thinking maybe not as it wasn’t followed up on.
 

ngatimozart

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Not a bad video at all IMO, nice find. The turbo jet proposal would have eliminated the concerns with the rear prop clearance. I wonder if a inline arrangement of two jet engines was feasible, thinking maybe not as it wasn’t followed up on.
Two turbojets side by side or vertically mounted like the EE Lightning would've have worked. Probably the side by side arrangement because of easier replacement when the German jet engines only had a 25 hour life on a good day. Think some only reached 10 hours before self destructing.
 

At lakes

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Warbird Restorations Downunder – Rob Greinert’s Workshop

Rob Greinert the workshop manager for HARS has large backlog of restoration work on hand.

He has bits and pieces for three Lockheed P-38 Lightnings, 3 P47’s and a Kawasaki Ki-61 Hein. He also appears to have enough bits and pieces for three Bristol Beaufighters, one of which is destined to go to the Darwin museum another to a UK client and the third local. Unsure if all three will be made to airworthy condition but I suspect the Darwin one may be static.

He appears to have the view if it can be made to fly then fly it will.

On a side note the restoration of the Bristol Beaufort is proceeding well in Queensland and the aim is to get that back in the air as well.

Bristol Beaufort – Restoration Report
 

ngatimozart

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Their's plenty of Lightnings and Thunderbolts flying at the moment, especially in the US, but a Hein and a Beaufighter is a completely different story. Having a Beaufort flying to will be great.
 

ngatimozart

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The XP-82 display at Oshkosh last year. This aircraft is powered by Merlins, but the production variants were to be powered by Allison with 2 stage turbo chargers. Don't know if they could've got the same level of performance that the Merlin achieved. Beautiful aircraft, but I think that it's underarmed. Prefer the Mosquito to it.


EDIT: Think the armament could've been either another 6 x 50 cal ( 3 ea on out board wings) or mount 4 x 20 mm cannon on the inboard wing and 2 - 3 ea 50 cal on the out board wings. That would've given it a really good bite.
 
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