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The X-Files Group Build

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GAF
  • Member since
    June 2012
  • From: Anniston, AL
Posted by GAF on Wednesday, April 10, 2024 12:17 AM

Excellent work, Bob.  She'll be a beauty once finished!

Gary

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Monday, April 8, 2024 11:03 PM

Bob: That looks perfect to me! Love how the finish came out. Heart

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    November 2003
  • From: Nashville, TN area
Posted by bobbaily on Monday, April 8, 2024 4:32 PM

Making some progress on the Aerotech-got the dark metallic grey painted-not perfect but close enough

The front end was a bigger concern with the curvature-not sure if the decal will match but if not, I can live without the red stripe

The upper cowling will fit snugger so the seam should be minimal-it does show on the real vehicle.

Drivers seat attached

Indycar bodywork is attached to the Aerotech body, engine is maybe 85% complete-hope to have the ignition wiring & rest of the engine & chasis complete tomorrow (maybe)

Most flaws will be hidden by the body....Whistling

Gary-thanks for posting the info for the Douglas X-3 Stiletto-I've added the Lindberg kit to my stash, along with some other X-Files types for future GB's....or maybe this one if I get on a streak....

Bob

 

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Friday, March 29, 2024 8:26 PM

John: Whoa! She looks fantastic! Great job!!! Heart

Bob: Great to see her coming along! I always get the same 'dirt pimple' or dust or something in all my finishes. 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

GAF
  • Member since
    June 2012
  • From: Anniston, AL
Posted by GAF on Friday, March 29, 2024 7:05 AM

Douglas X-3

The Douglas X-3 Stiletto was the sleekest of the early experimental aircraft, but its research accomplishments were not those originally planned. It was originally intended for advanced Mach 2 turbojet propulsion testing, but it fell largely into the category of configuration explorers, as it never met its original performance goals due to inadequate engines. The goal of the aircraft was ambitious—it was to take off from the ground under its own power, climb to high altitude, maintain a sustained cruise speed of Mach 2, then land under its own power. The aircraft was also to test the feasibility of low-aspect-ratio wings, and the large-scale use of titanium in aircraft structures.

Construction of a pair of X-3s was approved on 30 June 1949. During development, the X-3's planned Westinghouse J46 engines were unable to meet the thrust, size and weight requirements, so lower-thrust Westinghouse J34 turbojets were substituted, producing only 4,900 pounds-force (22 kilonewtons) of thrust with afterburner rather than the planned 7,000 lbf (31 kN). The first aircraft was built and delivered to Edwards Air Force Base, California, on 11 September 1952.

The X-3 featured an unusual slender, streamlined shape having a very long, gently-tapered nose and small trapezoidal wings. The aim was to create the thinnest and most slender shape possible in order to achieve low drag at supersonic speeds. The extended nose was to allow for the provision of test equipment while the semi-buried cockpit and windscreen were designed to alleviate the effects of "thermal thicket" conditions. The low aspect ratio, unswept wings were designed for high speed and later the Lockheed design team used data from the X-3 tests for the similar F-104 Starfighter wing design. Due to both engine and airframe problems, the partially completed second aircraft was cancelled, and its components were used for spare parts.

With the completion of the contractor test program in December 1953, the X-3 was delivered to the United States Air Force. The poor performance of the X-3 meant only an abbreviated program would be made, to gain experience with low aspect ratio wings. Lieutenant Colonel Frank Everest and Major Chuck Yeager each made three flights. Although flown by Air Force pilots, these were counted as NACA flights. With the last flight by Yeager in July 1954, NACA made plans for a limited series of research flights with the X-3. The initial flights looked at longitudinal stability and control, wing and tail loads, and pressure distribution.

NACA pilot Joseph A. Walker made his pilot checkout flight in the X-3 on 23 August 1954, then conducted eight research flights in September and October. By late October, the research program was expanded to include lateral and directional stability tests. In these tests, the X-3 was abruptly rolled at transonic and supersonic speeds, with the rudder kept centered. Despite its shortcomings, the X-3 was ideal for these tests. The mass of its engines, fuel and structure was concentrated in its long, narrow fuselage, while its wings were short and stubby. As a result, the X-3 was "loaded" along its fuselage, rather than its wings. This was typical of the fighter aircraft then in development or testing.

These tests would lead to the X-3's most significant flight, and the near-loss of the aircraft. On 27 October 1954, Walker made an abrupt left roll at Mach 0.92 and an altitude of 30,000 feet (9,100 metres). The X-3 rolled as expected, but also pitched up 20° and yawed 16°. The aircraft gyrated for five seconds before Walker was able to get it back under control. He then set up for the next test point. Walker put the X-3 into a dive, accelerating to Mach 1.154 at 32,356 ft (9,862 m), where he made an abrupt left roll. The aircraft pitched down and recorded an acceleration of -6.7 g (-66 m/s²), then pitched upwards to +7 g (69 m/s²). At the same time, the X-3 side-slipped, resulting in a loading of 2 g (20 m/s²). Walker managed to bring the X-3 under control and successfully landed.

The post-flight examination showed that the fuselage had been subjected to its maximum load limit. Had the acceleration been higher, the aircraft could have broken up. Walker and the X-3 had experienced "roll inertia coupling," in which a maneuver in one axis will cause an uncommanded maneuver in one or two others. At the same time, several North American F-100 Super Sabres were involved in similar incidents. A research program was started by NACA to understand the problem and find solutions.

For the X-3, the roll coupling flight was the high point of its history. The aircraft was grounded for nearly a year after the flight, and never again explored its roll stability and control boundaries. Walker made another ten flights between 20 September 1955 and the last on 23 May 1956. The aircraft was subsequently retired to the National Museum of the United States Air Force.

Although the X-3 never met its intention of providing aerodynamic data in Mach 2 cruise, its short service was of value. It showed the dangers of roll inertia coupling, and provided early flight test data on the phenomenon. Its small, highly loaded unswept wing was used in the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter, and it was one of the first aircraft to use titanium. Finally, the X-3's very high takeoff and landing speeds required improvements in tire technology.

GAF
  • Member since
    June 2012
  • From: Anniston, AL
Posted by GAF on Friday, March 29, 2024 6:59 AM

Nice, Bob!  Off to the paint booth!  The "dirt pimples" will sand out.

Gary

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Northern California
Posted by jeaton01 on Thursday, March 28, 2024 9:10 PM

Thanks, Gary and Bob.  Looks like you are getting pretty close, Bob.  I hate dirt pimples but they are certainly attracted to my paint jobs!

John

To see build logs for my models:  http://goldeneramodel.com/mymodels/mymodels.html

 

  • Member since
    November 2003
  • From: Nashville, TN area
Posted by bobbaily on Thursday, March 28, 2024 1:45 PM

Back at it-spent some time masking for the metallic grey for the lower body work-a red pin stripe decal goes above it so the front will be the more challenging task-a clear coat of Tamiya Clear Gloss after tape to hopefully prevent any paint seepage-noticed some 'dirt pimples' (as we called them in the automotive sheet metal stamping sector) that I attempted to polish out but went a bit too far and will require another coat of silver before clear coat....anyway, hopefully I can paint the grey tomorrow.

It appears that the good folks at Imgur have made some changes on posting formats, so I'll be researching for a bit....grrrrrr

Edit-looks like the folks at Imgur do give the option of using the prior format-thankful for that.....anyway, here's the Aerotech before trim work.  Gonna try to get the engine and suspension wraped up next week...

 

Bob

 

  • Member since
    November 2003
  • From: Nashville, TN area
Posted by bobbaily on Tuesday, March 26, 2024 6:36 PM

Nice build John-love the red!

Bob

 

GAF
  • Member since
    June 2012
  • From: Anniston, AL
Posted by GAF on Tuesday, March 26, 2024 5:55 PM

That's spectacular, John!  That red really stands out!  Congrats!

I'll get you up on the front page ASAP.

Gary

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Northern California
Posted by jeaton01 on Monday, March 25, 2024 10:27 PM

Thanks, Cliff and Gary.  I used Gunze Red Madder for the color, it looked good to me and I had it in the drawer.

This one is a wrap.  All the main gear doors are photoetch on this one, and they are rather weird on the real thing, with one door covering most of the gear well and standing way out from the gear strut. Very delicate! The decals were thin and liked to break, I had to find alternates for the insignia on the fuselage as the kit decals were hopeless. A good coat of Future covered all sins. It really wasn't a very large airplane as you can see in the last photo with a Mustang and D-7.

John

To see build logs for my models:  http://goldeneramodel.com/mymodels/mymodels.html

 

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Monday, March 25, 2024 7:58 PM

That looks great John!!! 

Even more like a fire-cracker!!! 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

GAF
  • Member since
    June 2012
  • From: Anniston, AL
Posted by GAF on Sunday, March 24, 2024 3:55 PM

Looks great, John!  What color did you use?

Gary

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Northern California
Posted by jeaton01 on Saturday, March 23, 2024 10:01 PM

Thanks, Cliff.  Here's the current state.  Landing gear is next.

John

To see build logs for my models:  http://goldeneramodel.com/mymodels/mymodels.html

 

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Monday, March 18, 2024 8:50 PM

Jeaton: She looks great! Love the look of the cherry red flaming tube of fire! Like a screaming fire-cracker!!! 

Keavdog: Glad to see you got her! 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Sunday, March 17, 2024 8:46 PM

Yes - and he's looking out the port window.

Thanks,

John

GAF
  • Member since
    June 2012
  • From: Anniston, AL
Posted by GAF on Sunday, March 17, 2024 8:22 PM

That's excellent, Keavdog!  Does this one come with a seated pilot figure?

Gary

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Saturday, March 16, 2024 5:57 PM

It's here!

 

 

Thanks,

John

GAF
  • Member since
    June 2012
  • From: Anniston, AL
Posted by GAF on Friday, March 15, 2024 4:23 PM

Good work on the Skystreak!  I understand about the interior details. Although I made an instrument panel and added a pilot in the Skyrocket, they're practically invisible unless you really get up close!

Gary

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Northern California
Posted by jeaton01 on Thursday, March 14, 2024 11:52 PM

I have a report on the D558-1.  Work started a couple of days ago, so here is where it is at.  The instrument panel is a plastic/film/pe sandwich, the yoke on the control pedestal is a nice little pe bow tie.  Once the fuselage is closed up they will never be seen again.  There was some pe for the seat belts but I used Tamiya tape, it's just easier for me in 1/72.   This airplane's general look reminds me of the Italian half jet, the Caproni Campini CC-1, just a big long tube.  I shoved and hauled and believe or not all those interior pieces fit inside. It called for 6 grams of weight under the cockpit and I stuffed as much liquid gravity in there as I could and I think it will not be a tail sitter.  Had to squeeze pretty hard on the fuselage to get that part together. The next speed bump came when I started fitting the wing. SH tells you to glue a wheel well center section on to the lower wing, and then fit that to the fuselage. Perhaps they even intended that the upper wings should be added to the lower before putting it all up to the fuselage. Right away things did not look good for the lower wing fitting up high enough to fair to the fuselage, so I ripped the resin insert off the wing and tried fitting just that to the fuselage. I had to do some grinding on the inside edges of the fuselage, and also deepen the notches where the insert fit into the fuselage. All was well in the end, but the upper wings just barely cover the deeper notches in the fuselage. Fit is pretty good everywhere now. Since I took these photos I taped off the seams and put some Mr Surfacer to work on them.

http://goldeneramodel.com/mymodels/d558/2d558/0012d558.jpg

 

 

John

To see build logs for my models:  http://goldeneramodel.com/mymodels/mymodels.html

 

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Northern California
Posted by jeaton01 on Thursday, March 14, 2024 11:38 PM

John, your X-15 came out really nice.  Not always easy with the kind of black on that machine.  I built that X-3 as a flea, you probably did too.

John

To see build logs for my models:  http://goldeneramodel.com/mymodels/mymodels.html

 

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Thursday, March 7, 2024 7:45 PM

keavdog

I think I'm in for another :)

Just found this pretty cheap on ebay

 

Oh that's so cool! 

 

And yeah I'm still in this. Having some issues with the tow cables and tools on the FV205. The instructions have them blocking each other when applied. I might just leave some of the tools off.  

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

GAF
  • Member since
    June 2012
  • From: Anniston, AL
Posted by GAF on Wednesday, March 6, 2024 6:01 PM

North American XB-70A Valkyrie

The futuristic XB-70A was originally conceived in the 1950s as a high-altitude, nuclear strike bomber that could fly at Mach 3 (three times the speed of sound) -- any potential enemy would have been unable to defend against such a bomber.

By the early 1960s, however, new Surface-to-Air Missiles (SAMs) threatened the survivability of high-speed, high-altitude bombers. Less costly, nuclear-armed ICBMs (Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles) were also entering service. As a result, in 1961, the expensive B-70 bomber program was canceled before any Valkyries had been completed or flown.

In the mid-1950s, the USAF wanted a radically advanced new bomber that could fly much faster (Mach 3+ or 2,000 mph) and higher (70,000+ feet) than the B-52 it would replace.  The revolutionary B-70 design promised to meet this demanding requirement.  It would be expensive, however, and its survival could not be guaranteed against future Soviet defenses.  In 1961—before a prototype was built—the B-70 bomber program was canceled.

Although the bomber program was canceled, the USAF ordered two XB-70As (AV-1 and AV-2) as pure test aircraft.  Between 1964-1969, they carried out 129 flights, generating valuable data and knowledge regarding large supersonic aircraft.

The Museum’s XB-70A (AV-1) was the first one built and also the first Valkyrie to fly at Mach 3 (about 2,000 mph).  After this flight, however, it was limited to Mach 2.5 due to structural concerns.  The second XB-70A (AV-2) flew multiple times at Mach 3, including a sustained, 32-minute, Mach 3 flight in May 1966.  Valkyrie AV-2 was lost in June 1966 after an F-104 collided with it in mid-air.  F-104 pilot Joe Walker (NASA) and XB-70A copilot Maj Carl Cross (USAF) died.  North American pilot Al White ejected from the XB-70A, but was badly injured.

Paint flaked off XB-70 AV-1 during its early flights.  North American solved the problem by repainting AV-1 with a thinner coat.

The first XB-70A (AV-1) was completed in May 1964, and the second XB-70A (AV-2) rolled out of its Palmdale, CA, factory in May 1965. 

       
Only seven pilots flew the Valkyrie:
-Al White (North American Chief Test Pilot)
-Col Joe Cotton (USAF)
-Lt Col Fitzhugh “Fitz” Fulton (USAF/NASA)
-Van Shepard (North American)
-Maj Carl Cross (USAF)
-Don Mallick (NASA)
-Lt Col Emil “Ted” Sturmthal (USAF)

The US government encouraged supersonic airliner progress with the National Supersonic Transport program.  NASA used XB-70A AV-1 as its primary aircraft to investigate SST operations.  In 1971, the American SST program was canceled, in part due to the problem of sonic booms on the ground—sonic booms are loud, explosive noises caused by aircraft flying faster than the speed of sound.

The XB-70A was later installed at Wright-Patterson Museum of the USAF.

GAF
  • Member since
    June 2012
  • From: Anniston, AL
Posted by GAF on Wednesday, March 6, 2024 5:54 PM

Very good, John!  That X-3 is as old a model kit as the Revell D-558-2!  Considering the work you did on the X-15, I look forward to seeing what you do with it.

Gary

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Wednesday, March 6, 2024 5:43 PM

I think I'm in for another :)

Just found this pretty cheap on ebay

Thanks,

John

GAF
  • Member since
    June 2012
  • From: Anniston, AL
Posted by GAF on Wednesday, March 6, 2024 4:29 PM

It's been a month since anybody posted anything.  Any progress?  I'm still trying to clear my desk, but with the weather, rebuilding computers, and general lack of funds, it's slow going!  Hope to get to the G8N1 before too long.

Gary

GAF
  • Member since
    June 2012
  • From: Anniston, AL
Posted by GAF on Sunday, February 18, 2024 2:18 AM

The most expensive Range Targets!

Gary

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Northern California
Posted by jeaton01 on Saturday, February 17, 2024 11:05 PM

Shades of the Fisher XP-75!

John

To see build logs for my models:  http://goldeneramodel.com/mymodels/mymodels.html

 

GAF
  • Member since
    June 2012
  • From: Anniston, AL
Posted by GAF on Saturday, February 17, 2024 3:12 PM

M247 Sargeant York

The M247 Sergeant York DIVAD (Division Air Defense) was a self-propelled anti-aircraft gun (SPAAG), developed by Ford Aerospace in the late 1970s. Based on the M48 Patton tank, it replaced the Patton's turret with a new one that featured twin radar-directed Bofors 40 mm rapid-fire guns. The vehicle was named after Sergeant Alvin York, a famous World War I hero.

The Sergeant York was intended to fight alongside the M1 Abrams and M2 Bradley in the U.S. Army, in a role similar to the Soviet ZSU-23-4 and German Flakpanzer Gepard. It would replace the M163 Vulcan Air Defense System SPAAG and MIM-72 Chaparral missile, ad hoc systems of limited performance that had been introduced when the more advanced MIM-46 Mauler missile failed to mature.

At the time, most U.S. military policy was based on the US Air Force quickly gaining air superiority and holding it throughout a conflict. In keeping with this, the Army had previously placed relatively low priority on anti-aircraft weapons. This gave them time to mature through testing and shakedowns. In the case of DIVADs the threat was considered so serious and rapidly developing that the Army decided to skip the traditional development period and try to go straight into production by using a number of "off-the-shelf" parts.

Colonel Russell Parker testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee in March 1977 that "We expect this somewhat unorthodox approach to permit a much reduced development time, thus resulting in an earliest fielding date, albeit with higher but acceptable risks... the manufacturer will be required by the fixed price warranty provisions, to correct deficiencies." It was claimed that this would cut up to five years from the development cycle, although it would require problems to be found in service and fixed on the operational vehicles.

Colonel Parker unveiled the DIVAD plan to 49 industry representatives on 18 May 1977. The DIVAD's requirement demanded that the entrants be based on the M48 Patton tank chassis, provided by the Army, which were held in large quantities in surplus depots. DIVAD called for the gun to acquire a target and start firing within five seconds (later extended to eight) of it becoming visible or coming into its 3,000 m range, and had to have a 50% chance of hitting a target with a 30-round burst. In addition to all-weather capability, it also needed to have optical aiming capabilities, including a FLIR and laser rangefinder.

Several companies responded to the DIVADs contest: Sperry Rand, General Electric, Raytheon, General Dynamic, and Ford Aerospace. On 13 January 1978, General Dynamics and Ford were given development contracts for one prototype each, the XM246 and XM247 respectively, to be delivered to Fort Bliss in June 1980. On schedule, both companies delivered their prototypes to the North McGregor Test Facility and head-to-head testing began. In the DT/OT II test series they shot down two F-86 Sabre fighters, five UH-1 Huey helicopters and twenty-one smaller drones.

After the 29-month Phase One trial, Ford's entry was selected as the winner of the DIVADs contest on 7 May 1981, and given a fixed-price $6.97 billion development and initial production contract for deliveries at various rates. The system was officially named M247 Sergeant York when the contract was awarded. The decision was controversial, as the General Dynamics entry had "outscored" the Ford design consistently in testing, nineteen "kills" to nine by most accounts.

Ford's prototype vehicle started demonstrating problems almost immediately. The main concerns had to do with the tracking radar, which demonstrated considerable problems with ground clutter. In testing, it was unable to distinguish between helicopters and trees. When the guns were pointed upward to fire on high-angle targets, the barrels projected into the radar's line of sight and further confused the system. Additionally, the reaction time was far too slow; against hovering helicopters it was 10 to 11 seconds, but against high-speed targets it was from 11 to 19, far too long to take a shot.

The RAM-D (reliability, availability, maintainability and durability) tests ran from November 1981 to February 1982, demonstrating a wide range of operation concerns.[16] The turret proved to have too slow a traverse to track fast moving targets, and had serious problems operating in cold weather, including numerous hydraulic leaks. The simple electronic counter-countermeasures (ECCM) suite could be defeated by only minor jamming. The used guns taken from U.S. Army stock were in twisted condition due to careless warehousing. Perhaps the most surprising problem was that the 30-year-old M48 chassis with the new 20-ton turret meant the vehicle had trouble keeping pace with the newer M1 and M2, the vehicles it was meant to protect.

In February 1982 the prototype was demonstrated for a group of US and British officers at Fort Bliss, along with members of Congress and other VIPs. When the computer was activated, it immediately started aiming the guns at the review stands, causing several minor injuries as members of the group jumped for cover. Technicians worked on the problem, and the system was restarted. This time it started shooting toward the target, but fired into the ground 300 metres (980 ft) in front of the tank. In spite of several attempts to get it working properly, the vehicle never successfully engaged the sample targets. A Ford manager claimed that the problems were due to the vehicle being washed for the demonstration and fouling the electronics. In a report on the test, a reporter jokingly wondered if it ever rained in central Europe.

In February 1984 the Defense Department sent a "cure-notice" censuring Ford Aerospace for numerous "totally unacceptable" delays in the program. In March 1984 the Army took delivery, six months late, of the first production model for testing.

In spite of the bad press and development problems, the Army continued to press for the system's deployment as they had no other system in the pipeline to replace it. To add to the problems, another generation of Soviet helicopter and missile designs was pushing their envelope out to 6,000 metres (6,600 yd), rendering DIVADs ineffective at long range. In response, the Army announced it would consider adding the Stinger missile to the DIVAD system, leading to even more cries about its ineffectiveness.

As Washington became increasingly fed up with the DIVAD's problems, Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger ordered a $54 million series of battlefield-condition tests. Congress authorized production money to keep the program alive through a test-fix-test cycle but with a caveat; the funds would be released only if Weinberger certified that the gun "meets or exceeds the performance specifications of its contract." The tests were monitored by the Pentagon's new Director, Operational Test and Evaluation Office (DOT&E), mandated by Congress in 1983 to serve as an independent watchdog. The tests were carried out late in 1984.

The results were abysmal. When the gun proved unable to hit drones moving even in a straight line, the tests were relaxed to hovering targets. The radar proved unable to lock even to this target, as the return was too small. The testers then started adding radar reflectors to the drone to address this "problem", eventually having to add four. The system now tracked the drone, and after firing a lengthy burst of shells the drone was knocked off target. As it flew out of control, the range safety officer had it destroyed by remote control. This was interpreted by the press as an attempt to "fake" the results, describing it as "sophomoric deceits". From that point on, every test success was written off as faked.

The OT&E concluded that the gun could perform the mission as originally specified, but the tests also showed that the system had considerable reliability problems, many as the result of trying to adapt a radar system developed for aircraft to the ground role.

On 27 August 1985, Weinberger killed the project after about 50 vehicles had been produced. He said, "the tests demonstrated that while there are marginal improvements that can be made in the York gun, they are not worth the additional cost-so we will not invest any more funds in the system."

Most of the production Sergeants York ended up as targets on air force bombing ranges. However, one is on display at the Sgt. Alvin C. York State Historic Park in Pall Mall, TN where its namesake hailed from, one is in the Wahner E. Brooks Historical Exhibit at the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Grounds, AZ, another is located at the AAF Museum in Danville, VA, one at the Fort Snelling Military Museum in Minneapolis, MN (now closed), and one located at the Arkansas National Guard Museum at Camp Robinson, North Little Rock, Arkansas.

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