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HP.52 Hampden aerials, machine guns

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  • Member since
    July 2019
  • From: Vancouver, British Columbia
HP.52 Hampden aerials, machine guns
Posted by Bobstamp on Thursday, July 30, 2020 5:56 PM

I don’t recall what thread I was in, but a FineScale discussion board member recently recommended a product called EZ Line for aircraft aerials. I bought some, and installed my first antenna just last night. All it took was a .5 mm drill bit to drill holes in the vertical stabilizers of my Airfix HP.52 Hampden model, some white glue to stiffen one end of a piece of EZ Line, and some crazy glue. In less than 10 minutes I had installed one aerial, and it looks great! Tonight, the next ones. Thanks to whomever it was for the recommendation. But the installation of the aerial raised a question.

The Hampden’s armament include twin Browning machine guns in it’s dorsal turret, pointing towards the tail of the aircraft. The aerials had to have been right in the arc of the machine guns as they traverse. Here’s an image, courtesy of Wikipedia:

The Hampden had a reputation for being a very dangerous airplane. Its poor armament (.303 Browning machine guns) and lack of armour made it a sitting duck for German fighters. It had a nasty habit of side-slipping in low speed turns, and the narrow cockpit, designed just for one pilot, made death for the crew almost certain if the pilot were seriously wounded or killed. A damaged aerial probably wouldn’t result in a crash, but Hampden crews depended heavily on radio signals for navigation. So how in heck would Hampden dorsal gunners avoid severing the aerials when they were trying to shoot down German fighters?



On the bench: Italeri 1/72 UH-34 Seahorse helicopter; Academy 1/72 F-86F Sabre; Revell S.S. Hope, being built as the hospital ship U.S.S. Repose, and a diorama to illustrate the crash of a Beech T-34B Mentor which I survived in 1962.

  • Member since
    July 2016
  • From: Malvern, PA
Posted by WillysMB on Friday, July 31, 2020 11:50 AM

Really nice to see a Hampton finished. I did one a number of years ago and remember having a lot of the same thoughts about actually using the aircraft. It's stablemates, the Whitley, Wellington, Battle and Blenheim were all products of then current design philosophy also seen in other country's designs, especially the French. Experience would turn most of that on it's head in a few months.

I have the new Airfix Whitley, Wellington, and Blenheim I'm eyeing to join the old Hampton on the shelf.


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