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Author Topic: Record Breaking 'Meatbox'  (Read 2967 times)

Pen-Pusher

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Record Breaking 'Meatbox'
« on: June 04, 2016, 10:00:02 AM »
On 7th November 1945 Group Captain Hugh Joseph Wilson, CBE, AFC, Royal Air Force, Commandant of the Empire Test Pilots’ School, Cranfield, set the first world speed record with a jet-propelled aircraft and recorded the first speed record by one in excess of 600 miles per hour (965.6 kilometers per hour) when he flew a Gloster Meteor F Mk.IV to 975.68 kilometers per hour (606.26 miles per hour) at an altitude of 250 feet (76.2 meters) over a course from the Herne Bay Pier to Reculver Point, along the south coast of the Thames Estuary. This set a new Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) record for speed over a 3 kilometer course.
In fact two Meteor F Mk.III fighters, EE454 and EE455 were modified on the production line to attempt the speed record. The Rolls-Royce Derwent Mk.I turbojet engines were replaced with Derwent Mk.V turbojets which produced 3,500 pounds of thrust each. (Following the speed record attempts the wingspan was shortened and outer wings reshaped making these airframes the prototypes for the Mark IV). Both aircraft were lightened with all armament deleted. The surfaces were smoothed and painted in a high gloss finish. EE454 retained the standard camouflage while EE455 was painted in a distinctive yellow-gold color. Group Captain Wilson RAF set the record of 975.68 kilometers per hour flying EE454, with Gloster’s chief test pilot Eric Stanley Greenwood flying EE455 (photo and drawing) to a slightly slower 603 miles per hour (970.43 kilometers per hour).

Modelling either of these aircraft in 1/72 presents a number of problems and unless you’'re prepared to invest in a very expensive resin conversion or convert the MPM kit, the cheaper option is to canabalise an Airfix MK III using the outer wings and cockpit with the standard Frog MK IV. Watch this space….!
« Last Edit: June 04, 2016, 07:47:11 PM by Pen-Pusher »

Pen-Pusher

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Re: Record Breaking 'Meatbox'
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2016, 10:40:22 AM »
First step...

Pen-Pusher

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Re: Record Breaking 'Meatbox'
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2016, 07:48:58 PM »
Woooooooah!! Just noticed 'Hero Member' status!! Do I get key to private car park now?

Bigkev

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Re: Record Breaking 'Meatbox'
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2016, 08:29:46 PM »
Hi Pen Pusher,
Congratulations on Hero Status, not only the key to private car park, but to the executive loo as well!!!
Bigkev

Pen-Pusher

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Re: Record Breaking 'Meatbox'
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2016, 08:16:21 AM »
I found in both the Airfix and Frog Meteors, the panel lines do not exactly match on the upper and lower wings, so decided to glue the already 'severed' upper portions to the bottom half before using that as a template for the second cut.... Hope that makes sense? Beginning to wish I'd used the first generation mould of the Frog Meteor instead of the severally moved-on Novo one!

Pen-Pusher

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Re: Record Breaking 'Meatbox'
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2016, 08:39:32 AM »
Just for interest this is another record-breaker EE549 on display at Horse Guards' Parade in London.

Pen-Pusher

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Re: Record Breaking 'Meatbox'
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2016, 08:04:39 PM »
Built for 'speed' EE455 had no armament or associated 'plumbing' so it is necessary to remove guns and gun-ports from the Frog nose and of course the gunsight. A dry-run with the 'combo-wings' shows the distinctive plan-form of this machine...

Pen-Pusher

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Re: Record Breaking 'Meatbox'
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2016, 08:06:28 PM »
side-view...

Pen-Pusher

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Re: Record Breaking 'Meatbox'
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2016, 01:18:21 PM »
As is my want, delving into the finer detail it was interesting to discover the original engine that powered the Meteor was designed by the Power Jets Company which lacked manufacturing capability to produce engines on a large scale and an experienced manufacturer was urgently needed to produce the large number of engines that would be required. To satisfy the demand, the Air Ministry ‘recommended’ (by a short sharp memorandum?) that Power Jets join up with the Rover Car company for the joint development of the W.2 Whittle engine. A dispute erupted between these two companies, especially after Rover had made fundamental changes to Whittle's pioneering design in secret without notifying Power Jets. After Rover’s engineers began pursuing their own design, they stopped cooperating with Whittle and his suggestions were largely ignored.

As Rover began to understand the workings of the turbojet engine, it became apparent that there were fundamental shortcomings in Whittle’s design and Rover engineers began a new approach. Whittle’s original design incorporated a reverse-airflow configuration, which complicated not only the manufacturing process, but also limited airflow through the engine. Rover looked at it from a long term approach, and came up with a new design that would both simplify construction and increase airflow. This would eventually become the Rolls Royce Derwent engine. However, Rover’s straight-flow design required a reconfiguration of almost the entire engine, and by not completing the design that Whittle had started, delays occurred. Rover’s new design experienced persistent surging and turbine blade failures. This was an area in which Whittle already had experience, but since the two companies were not working together, virtually no progress was made on the W.2 engine. This disagreement resulted in almost two vital years of development being lost.
Due to delays with the W.2 engine, the Air Ministry showed its frustration by actually cancelling the Meteor and the order for the F.9/40 prototypes was reduced to six. With the production aircraft program cancelled, the Air Ministry had issued a replacement specification E.5/42 for a single-engine jet fighter, the F.9/40 though the plan was quickly abandoned. Gloster continued work on the design and submitted a proposal for an updated specification E.1/44. It was powered by a 5,000 lbf (22.24 kN) de Havilland H.1 engine and was designated as the Gloster E.1/44 Ace (Photo). Three prototypes were ordered, but they were not completed until after the war. The Ace did not go into production, but a redesigned tail on the third prototype created a breakthrough in design and performance and was incorporated into the future model, the F.Mk 8.

Ernest Hives, head of Rolls-Royce's aero engine division, saved Britain's jet program from disaster. He took Rover's chief engineer, Maurice Wilks, to dinner and did some horse-trading. Wilks had said that he was not happy working with Frank Whittle, so Hives replied, "I'll tell you what I will do. You give us this jet job and we'll give you our tank-engine factory in Nottingham."6 Rolls Royce wanted to build jet engines after the war, because they knew the market would be flooded with Merlin engines. Whittle had revolutionized the aero-engine business making the Merlin obsolete. Rolls Royce put over 2,000 people to work on the W.2B and in January 1943, Rolls Royce logged nearly 400 hours of testing, nearly ten times what Rover had completed the previous month. The turbine blade situation was finally corrected by using alloys of nickel-chromium, Nimonic 80, and by creating stiffer and using fewer blades.

Meanwhile, de Havilland was making greater progress on the H.1 Halford engine, which provided 1,500 lbf (6.62 kN) static thrust (s.t.). It was installed in the fifth prototype and it provided enough power to get the Meteor off the ground. Due to delays with the W.2B Whittle engines, the H.1 was used for the first flight of the Meteor on March 5, 1943. The H.1 would serve as the basis for the future Goblin jet engine, which was later used successfully on the de Havilland Vampire. After the W.2B had improved enough to provide suitable power of 1,700 lbf. (7.56 kN) s.t., it was installed in the fourth prototype. Despite the superiority of the H.1 and Derwent engines, the W.2B engine would be selected to power the first production order of twenty F.Mk Is with the company designation G.41A. With the W.2B problems resolved, the number of prototypes was increased back to eight and the production of the Meteor assured.

Now - as a modelling project......?

Wizzel

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Re: Record Breaking 'Meatbox'
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2016, 12:21:59 PM »
Woooooooah!! Just noticed 'Hero Member' status!! Do I get key to private car park now?

Careful now, that sounds awfully like banter to me  ;)


Wizzel

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Re: Record Breaking 'Meatbox'
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2016, 12:31:15 PM »
Having just finished a book entitled "Meteor Eject", I was astounded to learn that we once again beat the Germans soundly by a high proportion of Meteor crashes to their F104 Starfighter pile ups.  From memory, something like 913 Meteors lost.  The book is an excellent read and follows the story of author Nick Carter, former 257 Squadron RAF pilot who did himself a fair bit of mischief during a bad eject in one of the early seats (NOT Martin Baker but another company that was hoping to win the contract and which strangely, Carter worked for prior to his RAF service and subsequent serious injuries as a result of this seat).  He recovered and 'conned his way back' into operational flying.  Apart from his own accounts, there is a huge list of Meteor crashes at the end along with the serials numbers and causes where known.

Pen-Pusher

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Re: Record Breaking 'Meatbox'
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2016, 02:02:43 PM »
Yes, whilst effective it certainly wasn't the 'happiest' aircraft in service!

Pen-Pusher

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Re: Record Breaking 'Meatbox'
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2016, 04:11:13 PM »
A second dry-fit to ensure everything 'fits'. Decided to use the Airfix tail-planes as they are certainly the better option from those in the abysmal Novo kit. (Thankfully they were the same for this a/c). Tonight I'll start on the cockpit and see how we go from there?

Pen-Pusher

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Re: Record Breaking 'Meatbox'
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2016, 07:26:55 PM »
Making a start... never underestimate the weight needed in a Meteor!

Pen-Pusher

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Re: Record Breaking 'Meatbox'
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2016, 07:28:40 PM »
Oooops