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Messages - AKA_Skewer

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IL-2 Battle of Stalingrad / Re: Skewer back in the cockpit
« on: October 03, 2019, 03:03:08 am »
Thanks for that neat info Rel. Amazing story of the church and 2 UXBs. I think, in answer to the questioner on the site, that they probably were not targeting the church  - more likely a case of random dropping or collateral from the notoriously hard task of hitting your target. Kesselring had orders to smash Malta, so by my reading,  it was more about tons rather than targets.
Hope you get back there sometime. Amazing place.
These German ords (Link to pic below) were in the WW2 museum n Malta which was a headquarters, in Victoriosa  The 'scale' bloke on the left is 5'11" and 1/2.... (yeah :) ) and the 500KG is taller than that with the fins on.

IL-2 Battle of Stalingrad / Re: Skewer back in the cockpit
« on: October 01, 2019, 11:26:40 pm »
Thanks gents, I think :)
Rel - we stayed in 3 places in Malta - In Victoriosa (3 harbours) near the War Museum / operations HQ and Fort St Angelo castle that was renamed from HMS Egmont  , then in Mdina, the medieval walled town in the middle where RAF chaps made their digs to escape the Valletta Blitz, and finally in Valletta itself.
Passed though Mosta which lies just below Mdina - So wow - you are Maltese! What an amazing heritage. You have a history that fills many volumes on its own - Phoenicians, Greeks, Arabs, Knights Templar, Napoleon Boney, the Brits.
Were you born there /been there???
Reading 'Fortress Malta' by James Holland (An Island Under Siege 1940-43) Wiedenfield & Nicolson 2004). This is a detailed and disturbingly candid account of the attacks by Italian and German forces from the viewpoints of a wide range of individuals involved.
We had 9 days there which we thoroughly enjoyed!

IL-2 Battle of Stalingrad / Skewer back in the cockpit
« on: October 01, 2019, 12:10:02 am »
<S> Gents
Just reporting in after a 7 week break away from the controls in France Malta and Sicily. Glad to see things are afoot and the JG 51s may well add some spice to business. Hope it works out
Thanks Big10 for the new a/c info and BOS tweaks - but I am a little disturbed by this gem:
  '38. The crew can become motion sick from alternating G loads;' - The way I fly, will there be up-chucking noises which will surely disturb my aim... ?Definitely staying below oxygen mask alts from now on...
See you aloft

Ha! Thanks for the replies (and the grin) gents.
Busted, it seems. Will happily clean latrines, with Gos' toothbrush, but I hear he is as overactive in 'other' departments as he is in the air, so I will have to be somewhat naughtier before I qualify for his.
Will follow orders regarding ceremonial booze, of course.

Skewer reporting from somewhere in East Anglia.
WARNING - it’s big, so get a brew and get comfy or run away.   (If the pics don't show, at least you have an idea what I have been up to then I will do the pics from home in a few weeks...

<S> Gents - Thought I would pop in a few aeroplane related comments from my tour.
The Group Captainess and myself have been ambling northwards from the heel of Italy (Apulia) to the northern lakes then from Southern England (Hawkinge) up the east coast to Whitby where James Cook started his impressive sailing career.
She loves the winding dickensian cobbled alleys (as do I) but I get to visit every air museum, WW2 airfield and anything that flies on the way.

What is below:
>>> Aeronautica Regione museum just north of Rome - The Macchi M.C.72 ! Could this beautiful Italian speed monster have changed the course of WW2 and the BOB???
>>> in the footsteps of BOB - winding through the airfields and museums honouring the pilots of the Battle of Britain:
>>> Hawkinge RAF and the Kent Battle of Britain museum
>>> Manston RAF and the BOB memorial museum
>>> Parham USAAF airfield - 390th B17s
>>> London and the Churchill War rooms
>>> RAF Cottishall RAF and commorating USAAF including 36th and 458th Liberators, and special ops.
>>> RAF Scampton  617 (Dambusters) and Red Arrows

The story so far:
1 Italy - picked up rental and scurried out Rome to the Italian Air Force museum (Museo storico dell'Aeronautica Militare di Vigna di Valle) on a lovely lake to the N.E. A lake you cry? Yes a significant early development of the Aeronautica Regione was in flying boats- not so many airfields about then, but rivers, harbours and oceans all over the place. Some amazing aerial feats too including a Balbo - (named after Italo Balbo the leader of this mass world tour in 1933) popping into the USA and impressing the socks off FDR with whom he had lunch .
My BOB interest here, surrounded by astounding feats of Italian aviation engineering, included;:
The pestilential CR 32 and upgrade CR 42 which myself, Red and Goshawk have wasted many precious .303 rounds on in CLOD (lL2 Cliffs of Dover), or running away from which I have had to do. Very well constructed and versatile:

The Macchi C202 and C205 with the BMW 801. The C205 was heavier but with cannons, and said to rank with the top fighters of its period.

But my my attention was really captivated by the Schneider Trophy entries which were highly capable and especially the amazing Macchi MC72 for which I have a “what if” to pose and titivate your grey cells:
So here are the three different entries together, the furthest away being the M39 with which, the company won the trophy in 1926 at 396 MPH!. The nearest kite is the MC72 which did NOT make it to the time slot allocated in the final Schneider race in 1931 due to technical problems - it had a very narrow temperature range to get top performance. Supermarine almost didn't make it either when the British Government withdrew funding. In stepped the redoutable Lady Houston with her 100,000 pound donation (around $6,300,000 US bucks today!), and they had the new Rolls Royce R (which became the superb Merlin). The UK was the only country to make it to the start (says Wiki) so they won, but did make a good showing at 380 MPH and later in the year breaking 400 mph barrier.
First check out the construction - astounding engineering - the I will lay down my ‘whatif’

OK - my poser: In 1933 once the MC72 was tickled up and sadly, on its 3rd pilot, it set the world speed record for all aircraft which stood for 5 years and still holds the fastest piston seaplane ever at 440.7 MPH.
!!! WHATIF the MC72 made it to the start and performed OK. It would have walked away from the Supermarine and its RR-R, the UK - and Supermarine - would not have won the trophy in perpetuity (forever) having done it 3 times in a row, and MAYBE Mitchell would have had a much harder time getting funding for his new fighter than even the limited development it did achieve. Would Supermarine have invested in the type 300? The Air Ministry had rejected both of Mitchell’s early offers for the fighter specification… No Spitfires for the BOB which was won on a knife edge (yes, the wonderful Hurris did the heavy lifting, but the Spits allowed them to be more effective) - outcome: German air superiority, invasion and a different story for History.
Whaddayathink? All comments welcome, but remember the Regimental Sgt Mjr gets all posts :)
Here is the beast - what would happen if you lined up two Merlins in a SuperSpit?

Off to England and the BOB airfields.

Started at RAF Hawkinge
Every bump is well known to me (and you!) from CLOD so I had to see what is was really like. Sorry to shatter the mood, but progress has achieved what the Hun bombers could not - the destruction of this airfield, significant for being the front line - closest to France… It is now a housing subdivision - a victory in its own way with swords turned to ploughshares as we would wish.
But there was the wonderful Kent Battle of Britain museum run by a passionate life long enthusiast David Brocklehurst (MBE!) and telling the personal stories of so many who gave their lives. Many shattered Merlins and their histories leave a very strong impression, and there are lots of other bits and pieces, 3 ‘gate guardian’ Hurricanes done in 32 Squadron livery, a complete but crashed 109 and more.
I was pleased though to stumble on a painting of the very Hurricane I have been assigned in my ACG CLOD squadron, trusty GZ-V P3522. There it was - but I could not photograph it as some plonkers were using cameras to take pics to defeat the security and had stolen a number of rare and valuable items (FW109 control column etc) so no cameras allowed now - More on this painting later.
I asked Dave if the annoying bump on the eastern side of the airfield was actually there, and he insisted it was real (well done IL2 CLOD!) - I had planned to find it and ceremonially relieve myself on the spot, but thought better of splashing one on number 42 Spitfire Way’s letterbox! A must-see if you are down this way (yes the museum. The letterbox is unexciting).
I was allowed pics of the Hurris under supervision...

BTW - how white are the ‘White cliffs of Dover? Really white! And again well portrayed in CLOD.

Headed for London but on the way called in to pay my respects to RAF Manston which is still there, and bumped into the Battle of Britain memorial museum on its edge.

Small but interesting, with a Hurricane IIC and Spit XVI on display - no, neither took part in the BOB (10 Jul 1940 – 31 Oct 1940) both being later developments, but I did stumble on a the original photograph of ‘my’ Mk1 Hurricane posed with some lads of 32 Squadron! It had been taken at Hawkinge and used in publicity in the 1940s to help reassure the public that their fighter boys were on top of things and bearing up well. Here tis:

Aint I chuffed!
And colourised to commemorate the squadrons of the BOB and the oh so young lads thrust into mortal combat.
But felt pretty sad at the losses and once again angry at the elites who make war and expect others to pay for it.

Puttered north through East Anglia visiting bomber airfields that are once again wheat fields and potato patches. Parham hosted the 390th B17s whose first mission was to ‘bomb’ Holland with much needed food supplies as the Germans were starving them.
  <<<< Parham airfield today...

RAF Coltishall though still had an active airfield, and a museum (last remaining BOB airfield to be upgraded. The opinionated Douglas Bader was here) and they commemorated others including 36th and 458th Squadron Liberators, and others. Interesting tale of the ‘Judas goat’ assembly ship ‘First Sergeant’  - zoom in the pic and read for yourself…

I had better post this or I will be home before you get it!!
So, a quick wrap up…

Churchill War rooms in London - His underground war rooms for times when above ground was a bad idea. 
Fantastlc not just for the war frozen in time (It was sealed up straight after the war) but for the comprehensive museum added aftewards. MUST DO if in London.
The map room as it was then and now.

The bombs away story in a graph presented late in the war - Really lopsided - eventually.
Zoom into the bottom left graph in particular...

Chain Home radar aerial Stenigot (Lincolnshire)
The last remaining RAF Chain Home radar was spectacular - 110 M tall and standing proud. Impossible to underestimate the importance of these to not losing the BOB - Along with Dowding and Parks information network and brilliant management of fighter deployment, the radar was a multiplier that made the significantly fewer Spits and Hurris have the impact of (my opinion) 3 or 4 times that number. Even on their last legs when Churchill popped in to Fighter Command during a large raid and asked ‘ what are your reserves at this point?’ and got the chilling answer ‘none sir, they are all up…!’ the RAF still made the German flyers think that the allies had an inexhaustible supply of kites and pilots.
640 = The number of aircraft that RAF Fighter Command had to take on the Germans in July, 1940
2,600 = The number of Luftwaffe aircraft British pilots faced that month

617 Squadron, Scampton RAF
The wing-commander herself hit me with a delightful surprise : She had arranged in NZ for a visit to the active RAF base at Scampton (Norwich) for a guided tour of the Dambusters quarters, briefing rooms history of the field from WW1 on etc and popped it on me a few days before the actual visit. It had to be done early for security checks to be made as it is an active base. A wonderful 3 hours with an excellent guide. Amazing raid and conception, with the highest proportional losses of any raid, but it was a morale booster and black eye for the Germans at a useful time.
The Red Arrows aerobatic team live there but were not active on this day. The newest recruit was there though :)

Don't think they'd accept a recruit with that look though! Cheeky... To put the record straight, here are three Tall boys, and yes, I am the tallest one! Barnes Wallis genius bombs were all on display - Titanium was used for the penetrating so they are still worth a lot of cash! Tallboy large (22, 000 pounds) and Tallboy medium (12,000 pounds) as modelled in the pic. The one at the back - Two pounds ten and sixpence ha'penny, at least.

Looking forward to being back and doing my bit in the AKS and hope you are still keen on Cliffs of Dover - I am further amazed at how well the landscape and environmental designers did in capturing the English countryside. It may look a bit cutsey in CLOD but that is how it is. 
I saw this field which looks identical in all ways to my last crash landing in England.

All the best, see you in the air (about 2 weeks time for me).


IL-2 Sturmovik 1946 / Re: Friday/Saturday 1946 nights again
« on: March 20, 2018, 07:59:13 pm »
<S> all
Thanks for the sitrep Gos.
The Sunday (my Monday 12.00 in NZ)  is more achievable for me than the Friday (My Saturday 13.00 with its family events) which I can arrive at late if at all. As a timezone outrider I appreciate that my situation is a minority one and happily accept the consequences of that.
I enjoy the 1946 campaign greatly and will be there anytime I can. Will continue support that strongly.
Cliffs of Dover feels such a great sim I am hugely attached to that and its great to see other AK's giving it a whorl.
I have BOS and BOM now and I'm starting to put time into gaining proficiency in that, so might manage to participate there soon if it goes that way.

IL_2 Cliffs of Dover / bombing aid - navigating across the channel in CLOD
« on: February 11, 2018, 11:24:08 pm »
S all
For those who wish to add bombing insults to the Hun's 303 injuries, here is a grid times/speed table which much improves the odds of arriving across the channel where you want to be.
I have tested the numbers in ACG public server and they work. And it is easy ..ish.

Our map grids are 6 x 6 miles . I checked.
I worked out how long it takes to cross the 6 miles at right angles (Nth or South) and at 45 degrees (NE-SW etc), for a range of speeds, and got this:

To turn ‘point 3 mins’ into seconds, just multiply by 6. 3.3 mins = 3m 18 sec. (3x6 = 18 in the 1940s)

If you are being vectored, be sure to check if your directions are grid or (more likely) magnetic, where you will need to SUBTRACT 10 degrees to give you the grid direction ( flying along a grid line horizontally to the right is 100 degrees magnetic - 90 deg true plus 10 deg magnetic declination. Heading straight up the map grid lines is 10 degrees mag. (Detailed explanation of this below is you are so inclined ... as I am :) )
Load a Blennie and try it out!
IMPORTANT NOTE - being a technological breakthrough, this table is for your eyes only, and any leaking of this will have you shot, or, if more severe punishment is deemed appropriate, you will clean Goshawk's cockpit and then be shot (the latter as an act of mercy.)

Magnetic declination in 1940 in southern England...
magnetic declination is the variation caused by the unevenness of Earth’s magnetic field (caused mostly by the irregularity of the semi molten mantle and its convection, which results in constant changes in declination over time.)
Link: Neat graphic of the changes over time:
Link: Even better one where you can pick your date to see the declination:
Link: All right then, you are still reading so here are pictures and moving images to tell the story :) ...

As you can see from the historical declination maps (if you looked!) in our patch of southern England in 1940 it was 11 degrees to the West of True north. (In Kent it was 10 degrees, in Penzance it was 12 degrees). In 2016 it reduced to about 2 deg, and in 2050, it will be pretty much the same as true north in the Slightly United Kingdom, so you can forget all this malarkey.

Instead of exiting your kite and re-planeing each time you land, you can "Refuel and Repair " for a quick turnaround. This is especially useful of you land at a non-active airfield.
On the mission map, active airfields are shown as a white aircraft icon, inactive ones are grey, and the red ones have been bombed out of commission.
You can launch initially only from the active fields (white), but you can refuel and repair at white or the more numerous grey fields even if damaged. Very handy in times of trouble, and saves a long flight to an active field to reload.

How to...
Do not exit your current aircraft, even if banged up. Instead...
2  Open or click into a text chat window (Ctrl + Left mouse click on the window, or your hot key ) To make a text window, right mouse on your active screen / click New Info Window / select Chat Input, select chat output, save.
3  Type the following in the message bar:     <RR80   
    <RR = refuel and repair. The '80' is the percentage of fuel you choose to take.   <RR100 therefore gets you a full tank which is more than an hour mostly flat out. 30% or 40% will get you to winchester on most sorties.
4  VERY IMPORTANT 1 !!!  You need to click out of the text chat window for your key commands to work again.
5  EVEN VERY IMPORTANTER 2 Your brakes are set to 100% - full on, when you have refueled. Make your first action to release your brakes (Just tap your brakes and they will release) then start as usual... chocks in , fuel on, up elevator trim, ignition, 20% throttle for 20 secs, 25%+ for 20 secs, full power and chocks away.
Nice point - your radiator will retain its setting from your landing. But do check it anyway.

When (not If :)) you forget to take off your brakes, you will nose over and send $1 to the AKA beer jar. Its pretty full, but still room! 20 refuels without forgetting brakes, the jar is yours. Apply to the SargMgr.

<S> AKA_Skewer

IL_2 Cliffs of Dover / A faster warm-up procedure for your Merlin - Blitz
« on: February 07, 2018, 02:00:43 am »
I fiddled around,  as one does, wanting to get my Hurri / Spit into the air faster and had success with this:
1 Chocks in
2 Radiator open  (100% recommended. However, I use 50-55% which is my general action setting and get away with that)
3 Mags and fuel on (Mags will come on automatically anyway - just switch fuel and go ...)
4 Ignition
   Now the speeding up bit:
5  Immediately push the throttle to 20% for about 20 seconds (You can use the + and - keys to achieve this, with the throttle slider closed)
6  Push it up to 25% for another 20 secs - tease it higher during this period, keeping the highest setting which does not over-choke the beast.
7  Ram the throttle to 100% (if the Srnt'Maj is not about).  The engine may be rough but if it does not splutter to a stop, it will build to full power - chocks out, right rudder, menace the vicious skies.

PS - you did put in full up elevator trim and apply some up elevator before going 100% with chocks in , didn't you? :)
PS 2 - If you you are a well-behaved pilot, ram the throttle only to 80% to get over the rough patch in the mid revs area knowing that 100% in powerful fighters will put you on the nose and in a pile of potatoes. (<S> Wayno for this wisdom, borne of experience in obscenely powerful propeller-less flying arrows.  )
PS 3  The same general procedure can speed warm-up times for the Beau, Blennie etc. FW's have fuel injection, and just need warm oil and seem to get off quite quickly.

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