Yakovlev UT-1: Resting Places (XII).

The ultra cute UT-1 was a decently aerobatic advanced single-seat trainer operated, mainly, by the Soviet AF’s VVS during the late 1930’s-early 1940’s period. Well-liked and sturdy, some of them even were hastily armed at the start of WW2, but that was only a temporary measure. The total of 1,241 produced were mainly employed as “military pilot makers”.

A suitably all-red painted example exhibited inside the incredible Vadim Zadorozhny’s Museum of Equipment, Arkhangelskoye (Moscow).

Boulton Paul P.103B: “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”

At first sight, apart of those contra-rotating props, this neat sketch looks like an Allied early interpretation of the German Fw 190A. In fact, this Bristol Centaurus-powered  “clone” was one of the two Boulton Paul’s proposals (the P.103A was a RR Griffon-engined version) to fulfill the Royal Navy N.7/43 fighter specification. That requirement was conceived to supply, at last, the Fleet Air Arm with an up-to-date all-British carrier fighter after years of barely satisfactory landplane conversions (Sea Hurricanes & Seafires) and American types. In the end, after a tortuous path, it was the Sea Fury the one which answered the “Senior Service” prayers…., but only after the war ended.

Ah, that cockpit canopy.

Supermarine 327: A bloody shame.

The 327 had its origins in an alternative Supermarine’s answer to the RAF F.18/37 requirement: the one that was fulfilled by the Hawker Typhoon/Tornado. The people of Supermarine chose the twin-engined formula for their heavily armed fighter, a fighter that show its clear Spitfire heritage. Preceded by various models equipped with Bristol Taurus radials in tractor configuration and also by both Bristol Taurus and RR Merlin in pusher configuration, the 327 was the cleanest and more refined example of this unlucky family. Conceived after the Hawker proposal won the original requirement, its intended function was fulfill the role of cannon-equipped fighter. The rearmed Hawker Typhoon with its 4 x 20mm won again. This splendid mock-up was as far as these gorgeous aircraft went.

It comes to my mind….

Republic F-84F “Thundermirage”: Old soldiers never die, they just fade away.

The retirement time of the Belgian “Super Hogs” only meant a change of occupation. A considerable number of the F-84F’s became decoys at operational air bases. Some, just like this one, were even modified to look like Mirage V fighters… delta wing, side air intakes and nose radar included. Granted, at close on these “Thundermirages” looked plain terrible, but from the air at speed it was indeed very hard to see the difference with the real deal. A plus to this arrangement was that thanks to this curious second career many Belgian F-84 -the not modified- have survive to be preserved.

An ugly duckling trying unsuccessfully to be a swan.