The Martin-Baker MB8 Marlin PR1

Started by PR19_Kit, November 11, 2010, 10:48:31 PM

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Martin-Baker MB8 Marlin PR1

The combined product of a German and a British aircraft company, both somewhat idiosyncratic in their own fields, the MB8 Marlin was an extremely effective tool in its own sphere, albeit for a very short time. It also holds one significant record, being the RAF's first aircraft to be fitted with an ejection seat. It could possibly have laid claim to the world altitude record for piston engined aircraft, although no official attempts were ever made.

The genesis of the Marlin was of course the WWII Luftwaffe's Bv-155 high altitude fighter project, itself the outgrowth of a previous Messerschmidt project, the Me 155 which was a very developed Me-109. Neither of the aircraft reached production status, indeed the Me 155 itself never flew under Messerschmidt's aegis, the design and development having been transferred to Blohm & Voss by the Luftwaffe Technische Amt in 1943. B&V updated the design radically, although the general  layout itself was retained, having a powerful inverted V12 piston engine in the nose, variously a DB 603E or a DB 603U, both of which were fed by a large turbo-supercharger mounted behind and below the centrally mounted cockpit, this being fed in turn by a belly mounted air intake and producing some 1660 bhp for take-off. The fuselage was extremely long in order to house the turbo-supercharger, but its length was eclipsed by that of the wing, which spanned some 67 ft! The most obvious visual characteristic of the BV 155 was its mid-wing mounted radiator groups, above the wing in the early versions and below in the later ones.

The development of the Bv 155 was extremely protracted, and the Bv 155B V1 prototype did not fly until September 1944, and the test programme threw up numerous problems in the cooling system which in turn triggered a C of G issue, which entailed moving the cockpit forward! The opportunity was taken to cut down the rear fuselage, improving the rear visibility, and also to enlarge the rudder. All these modifications were incorporated into the V2 prototype, which flew in February 1945, and the V3 prototype, almost to the same build standard as the V2, was almost ready to fly but B&V were still not satisfied and proposed an even more highly modified version, the BV 155C.

By this time of course the Allies were knocking at Germany's front door, and no further work on any of the projects took place, the B&V Hamburg factory being overrun by British troops in May 1945. All three Bv 155s were found in quite good states of repair, and the V1 itself was flown from the Hamburg airfield by an RAF pilot, but crash landed soon after take-off and was destroyed. Both V2 and V3 prototypes were shipped to RAE Farnborough where the V2 was found to be in a flyable state after some work was carried out, but the V3 was not able to be flown immediately, although many parts were shipped with it and it was hoped to fly the aircraft later on.

The performance of the V2 was found to be quite remarkable, and it could reach some 430 mph and 55000 ft, a performance that no Allied aircraft, apart from the Westland Welkin which was designed to a similar specification, could even begin to match. Even the Welkin could only manage  44000 ft, some11000 ft lower than the Bv 155. Numerous teething problems were encountered however, mostly in the cockpit environment, as the canopy suffered severely from misting at high altitudes, and the pilot's workload was extremely high, the placement of the controls and instruments being anything but ergonomic. At this time the RAF did not have a requirement for this type of aircraft and the Bv 155 was just an item of aeronautical interest, but the USAAC were interested in evaluating such a type and one of the Bv 155s was shipped to Wright Field at Dayton, Ohio, where it was tested under the designation FE-505, and eventually ended up in the Smithsonian Storage Facility where it can be seen to this day if you know the right people!

It has always been a bone of some contention if it was the V2 or V3 aircraft that was shipped to the USA, and only recently has information come to light to clarify this. It seems that the V3 was upgraded to full flight status using the spares that had been gathered at the time of its capture, and this was the aircraft that went to Wright Field. The V2 in the meanwhile remained at Farnborough, at least for a short while.

The RAF's PR capabilities at this time, at the end of 1945, rested in the Spitfire PR19 and the Mosquito PR34, both of which had been developed to a high level during the latter years of WWII, and both were considered to have some years of life before them, at least until newer jet powered types could be developed. The reconnaissance squadrons of the RAF were only too aware that they tended to be viewed with a lower priority than the fighter and bomber squadrons and they didn't expect to be using jets until the 50s at least, but any and all additions to their capabilities were to be welcomed.

So it came about that the flight reports of the Bv 155 V2 reached the desk of the Air Staff Officers at RAF Headquarters who oversaw the RAF's reconnaissance efforts. The altitude capabilities of the Bv 155 were impressive, being 10000 ft or more higher than that of the PR19 or PR34 and feelers were put out to see if the BV155's configuration could be used in a British design, but optimised toward PR work. It was not lost on the Air Staff that our erstwhile ally, the Soviet Union, was rapidly becoming a potential enemy and would therefore be likely to be a reconnaissance target in the near future. The current capabilities of the Soviet Air Force were reasonably well known, but many ex-German engineers had been taken behind what was soon to become known as the Iron Curtain, and major advances in the Soviet's capability could be expected. An aircraft with the Bv 155's altitude capability could well prove to be the answer to any interception problems if targets on the other side of Churchill's 'Iron Curtain' were to be investigated.

Accordingly the Ministry of Defence were asked to approach various UK manufacturers with a view to them either building an updated version of the Bv 155 or using some of its design parameters to build an ultra-high altitude PR aircraft for the RAF. The production run for the new type was not going to be large, only some 25-30 aircraft being envisaged, and thus the larger manufacturers were not too interested. In any case most of them were engaged in winding down their large WWII factories to peace time levels, and all had suffered serious contract cancellations after the war ended. Two companies responded positively, one being General Aircraft and the other Martin Baker. GAL proposed a virtual re-build of the Bv 155 but with British standard threads and materials, and fitted with a Merlin 70 series engine, as used in the Spitfire PR XI, and  still retaining the BV 155's turbo-supercharger in the rear fuselage, fed by the drag producing external pipework originally fitted by B&V.

The Air Staff were not too enthused by GAL's proposal as Martin Baker's project ideas exceeded all their expectations by a considerable degree. MB's proposal was to retain the wings, cooling system and main undercarriage of the BV 155, but using a more modern laminar flow wing section profile. This was to be mated to the MB5 fighter's rear fuselage and tail blended with the centre section of the Bv 155, but fitted with a Griffon 80 series engine developed from the Series 80 used in the Supermarine Spiteful. This engine was some 690 bhp more powerful in standard form than the DB 603U and therefore did not need the Bv 155's turbo-supercharger installation, producing a much lighter and less draggy airframe. As the MB5 had been praised by everyone who flew it for the exceptionally high standard of its cockpit arrangement, this was to be retained for the new reconnaissance aircraft. The redundant supercharger bay would provide ample room for a camera fit, and smaller cameras could be fitted in the outboard radiator pods. The MB5's belly intake was to be retained to feed the Griffon's three-speed mechanical supercharger via an internal duct. This proposal resulted in an order for two prototypes to Specification PR.21/46, which became known as the MB8, the MB6 and MB7 type numbers having already been allocated to previous MB projects.

The MB8 prototype was built at MB's Denham plant in early 1946, and actually used the BV 155 V2's wings during the jigging-up process, but these were soon changed for the proper MB-built wings before the aircraft flew. Because of the use of airframe items that had already been designed and jigged for the MB5 the prototype build was quite rapid, and indeed the entire tail assembly was taken from production MB5 stocks. As the sleek nose design of the MB5 did not allow much room for the internal ducting for the high level pressurisation required for the ultra-high altitudes anticipated, the complete engine mount and forward cowling of the Spitfire PR19 was mated to the hybrid fuselage of the MB8, producing a long and pointed nose which mated to the taller Bv 155 centre section by a tapered fairing, and this may have been the source of the aircraft's name when it entered service. The Griffon 80 series engine turned a Rotol contra-prop in this application, there being some doubt about the ground handling with such a torque rich engine and the ultra-wide track of the Bv 155 undercarriage. RAE pilots had reported some problems of this nature during the testing of the Bv 155, and the MoD were keen to resolve such issues from the outset.

At the same time as the MB8 was being developed Martin Baker were working on the product which would make them world famous for the remainder of the 20th and for the 21st century. This was of course the ejection seat escape system. It was thus almost a certainty that the MB8 would be fitted with an early ejection seat, escaping from the aircraft at its operational altitude would be difficult in the extreme, and the seat's capabilities would assist in this quite considerably. Accordingly the prototype was fitted with an MB Mk1B seat, and later production versions standardised on the Mk 1C, also used in early Canberras.

The engine-less MB8 prototype, now serialed TX888 by some whimsy of the MoD, was shipped to Martin Baker's Chalgrove test airfield during the autumn of 1946, and spent a considerable time in the hangars there while Rolls-Royce staff installed the big Griffon and ensured the belly intake air flow path matched the Griffon's supercharger intake and was free of restrictions. As the aircraft would fly at a heights never before reached by a British aircraft it was essential that the fuel and air flow systems balanced in the oxygen-lean air and many hours were spent on this aspect of the project. During early October 1946 the aircraft underwent it's initial ground runs, which proved very successful, and low speed taxi tests took place almost immediately. The contra-props proved to be useful in resolving the ground handling issues reported with the Bv 155, and the aircraft's airfield behaviour was considered to be very good, considering its huge size. 

An interesting sidelight on the massive size of the MB8 was that while the aircraft was at Chalgrove Martin Baker allocated 'wing tip staff' to walk with it while it was on the somewhat cramped ramp area, who were able to talk directly to the pilot via headsets plugged into sockets provided in the wing tips! By mid-November '888 was ready for its first flight, and Martin Baker arranged that Capt. 'Winkle' Brown from the RAE carry out that task due to his previous flights with the Bv 155, not to mention his huge experience on a vast range of other types, both Allied and enemy. So on November 10th 1946 the MB8 lifted off from Chalgrove's runway and climbed away for an almost perfect first flight. Capt. Brown limited himself to low speed handling checks at first, to try to ensure a trouble free landing, and then tested the aircraft's climb performance, which proved to be startling.

From 1000 ft the MB8 had an initial climb rate of over 5000 ft/min, such was the lift generated by the huge 67 ft span wings, and the power of the Griffon 80 engine. Limiting his altitude on this flight to some 20000 ft, to enable initial checks on the pressure cabin, Capt. Brown remained aloft for 1 hr 45 mins before returning to an almost fault free landing at Chalgrove, only marred by the failure of the flaps to extend. These had been pneumatically operated on the Bv 155s, but had been changed to hydraulic operation on the British built machine. Unfortunately some contamination in the MB8's systems had hindered operation of the flap system's valves, so Capt. Brown was forced to land the aircraft at a higher speed that originally intended. However no problems were experienced and the brakes proved powerful enough to stop the aircraft easily.

During the following month '888's flight test programme proceeded well while the 2nd prototype was being assembled, and so successful were the results of the tests that the Air Staff issued a production order for 30 MB8s on December 12th that year, at the same time naming the aircraft as the Marlin PR1. Martin Baker had planned to set up a small production line at Denham, but it became apparent that the site there could not handle such a project, the access roads being extremely narrow and tight, and permission could not be obtained to build new roads at the time, there being Government restrictions on new building while war damage was still being repaired. Accordingly the line tooling was transferred to Chalgrove and two of the hangars there given over to Marlin production.

During the flight tests there were two problems that manifested themselves, firstly a lack of elevator authority at high altitudes, the pilots reporting that sometimes even full stick movement was not enough to keep the aircraft at the desired angle of attack, and secondly some snaking occurred in the mid-altitude ranges. The MB8's original fin and tailplane used almost standard MB5 parts, and '888's surfaces had been taken from standard production MB5 stocks as mentioned previously. There were also some pitch stability issues at high speeds at lower altitudes and a re-design of the tailplane was carried out out, giving it greater span and deeper root chord. The snaking was cured by a slight increase in the height of the fin and rudder assembly, the thinking being that the side area of the massive wing mounted radiators were producing a de-stabilising effect at times. These modifications were retro-fitted to both prototypes and cured the handling problems nicely, and all 30 production Marlins were built with the long span tailplanes and the taller fin-rudder. The highest altitude that was reached during test programme was the specified 55000 ft, and Capt. Brown was of the opinion that the aircraft had performance to spare at that point, but the cabin pressurisation system wasn't rated for higher levels. The maximum level speed reached was some 482 mph at 50000 ft, considerably more than any jets of the period could manage, if indeed they could reach that altitude in the first place. Being optimised for high altitudes, the MB8 was not at its best nearer the ground, although cruising speeds of well over 300 mph were possible up to 30000 ft, from whence the big Griffon's power started to make itself felt and speeds improved as the aircraft climbed.

Both prototypes were flown at first in primer finish without serials being displayed at all, but soon afterward both were painted in the standard RAF camouflage scheme of the period, Ocean Grey and Dark Green camouflage on the upper surfaces with Light Aircraft Grey lower surfaces. The first prototype carried the wartime ringed yellow 'P' on the fuselage side, even though this marking was no longer required under the then current marking regulations. It seems that the Martin Baker drawing office had just re-issued the paint schemes used for the MB5 prototype that had been built some years before! The two prototypes, the 2nd carrying its newly allocated serial VH978, were flown the short hop to RAF Benson, some 6-7 miles to the south west, in mid-Spring 1947 for service evaluation by the PRDU (Photographic Reconnaissance Development Unit) and there they were both re-painted in the overall PRU Blue scheme carried by the Spitfires and Mosquitos based there. Both were coded in the 6C range used by the PRDU, '888 being coded 6C-T and '978 6C-Z.

While both aircraft had been built with racks for cameras and the necessary wiring for the Camera Control Unit, none of the dedicated PR equipment had been fitted for the flight tests, ballast being substituted to give the correct figures. The PRDU installed the various lens length cameras in the voluminous aft camera bays of the Marlins, access being much easier than on either the Spitfires or Mosquitoes due to the removable side panels inherited from the MB5 design. In addition some shorter focal length cameras were fitted in small bays in the rear of the wing radiators, but in trials these proved difficult to use due to the unpredictable temperatures experienced by the cameras, and serious lens fogging was experienced on far too many occasions for an operational aircraft. Production Marlins were therefore fitted with removable pods mounted just outboard of the radiators, and were rarely seen without these fitted. The two prototypes on the other hand, were rarely seen WITH them, even though they had originally been the trials aircraft for the pods.

Rolls-Royce, while being heavily involved in development of their various jet engine projects at this time, still retained an interest in piston engines, and had a very capable development team still working on the Griffon and other large piston engines. This department, while working with the MB8 prototypes, had managed to squeeze even more power from the big V-12, and thus produced the Griffon 90, the ultimate British high-altitude piston engine. The 90 series engine had variable angle impeller blades on both stages of its supercharger, and the diameter of the impellers themselves were increased to produce a maximum power output of 2520 bhp. Martin-Baker eagerly accepted R-R's proposal that the production MB8s used the Griffon 90, as very few structural and system changes were involved and required no changes to the external airframe whatsoever. VH978 was made available for trials with the new engine and was flown to R-R's flight test centre at Hucknall for the engine to be fitted and initial flight tests. These were so successful that after a very short time '978 returned to Benson and carried on with its schedule of operational tests. As a result all production MB8s were fitted with the Griffon 90 on the production line.

During the Summer of 1947 the first production batch of Marlins started to come off he line, this first batch of seventeen aircraft serialed VR141-158, and the second VR160-173, some of the latter batch taking over serials previously allocated to a cancelled Gloster E1/44 contract. All Marlins were flight tested by Martin Baker company pilots from Chalgrove, but in many cases the first flight actually went direct to Benson, and the aircraft were taken on charge immediately, such was the predictable performance of Martin Baker's precision build methods. All 30 aircraft had been delivered by mid-November 1947, and the heavy snow fall and extremely low temperatures of that memorable winter proved a major stumbling block in forming the two Squadrons allocated as the Marlin's operational units. These two squadrons concerned were Nos. 13 and 58 Squadrons, both being Mosquito PR34 operators, and they carried on using the de Havilland built aircraft as well as their new mounts for a short while. In an interesting pre-view to its later operation of the Meteor PR19, 13 Squadron effectively operated as two separate Squadrons, one flying Marlins and one Mosquitoes. 58 Sqdn. however soon gave up its twin engined aircraft and concentrated entirely on the Marlin. While 58 Sqdn. was actually based at RAF Benson when it took over its Marlins, 13 Sqdn. was flying its Mosquitoes from various Egyptian Canal Zone bases, but formed a new flight at RAF Wyton to take over its compliment of MB8s.

The production Marlins were painted in a unique scheme for the Marlin PR1, namely 'PRU Blue' lower surfaces with the upper surfaces in a slightly sandy grey colour developed by the RAE at Farnborough specifically for ultra-high altitude operation. This grey subsequently became known as 'High Altitude Grey' but as far as is known no other type ever used it. Production marlins were built to a very high standard and the surfaces were very smooth indeed, and the paint finish reflected this in being polished to a high level on roll-out. However operational flights soon dulled this polished surface to a semi-matt finish.

Type D roundels were carried on the fuselage and upper wings, together with standard three colour fin flashes, but no lower roundels were normally carried, although sometimes Type Ds were applied for Battle of Britain Day displays. Each aircraft carried its serial no. in black just forward of the tailplane, and usually a single code letter just aft of the fuselage roundel on each side. In 13 Sqdn's case these codes were in white, repeated in a much smaller size on the underside of the engine cowling, and in 58 Sqdn's case the codes were usually in a darker grey, but with the unit's badge carried high on the fin, above the fin flash. 58 Sqdn. aircraft had their spinners painted in their flight colours, Red, White and Blue as appropriate, but 13 Sqdn's Marlins' spinners were all black, no matter what flight the aircraft was allocated to. Propeller blades were black with yellow tips in all cases.

It's interesting to note that the Rotol contra-props fitted to the Griffon 90 engined aircraft had their tips cropped by approx 3". This was done because the tips were approaching sonic speed at the enormous altitudes reached by the MB8s, and cropping the tips reduced the very loud buzz-saw drone experienced by the prototypes. As service aircraft were expected to be airborne for many hours it was deemed easier to crops the tips than to make special sound deadening arrangements for the hapless pilot!

58 Squadron soon took its Marlin PR1s to Germany, where it operated from a number of airfields, all of which somewhat ironically were ex-Luftwaffe bases of course. The Squadron's activities during this period have been shrouded in secrecy for many years, but it can be assumed that the original intention of the Air Staff, namely to overfly and reconnoitre  the Eastern Bloc states, was being carried out. As the Marlin could fly at altitudes that even the PVO Strany's newly delivered Mig 15s could not manage, overflights could be made with virtual impunity, and Squadron records, such as they are, do not show any Marlins being lost on operational flights except for two aircraft that crashed during landing incidents, and for both of these the wreckage was recovered. While no official evidence of any Marlin overflights has been released, it's notable that when 58 Sqdn. moved to Wyton in 1953, by then flying Canberra PR3s, the Squadron Operations Room displayed a vertical photograph clearly showing a number of Mig 15s on a typically Russian airfield. As the Canberras had yet to be flown operationally one can only wonder at the source of the photograph!

13 Squadron, following its almost normal confusion generating movements, was operating both in the Middle East and Northern Italy at the same time. Their Marlin flight flew out to the Northern Italian bases from Wyton, and were effectively under US control for their tasking as the 13 Sqdn. flight  records have been unearthed in USAF records of the period. As the Marlin could outfly any of the aircraft then in service with the USAF it's hardly surprising that its talents would not be overlooked by the area Commanders in that theatre. In this case it can be shown that the Marlins did indeed overfly Eastern Bloc borders, as they were observed from Austrian observation posts while entering Hungarian airspace, but once again there are no records of the high flyers ever having been intercepted. Indeed post 1989 records released by Russian sources do not mention any such penetrations before the Canberra and RB-45 overflights of the early-50s. In typical 13 Sqdn. fashion, some of the Marlins were noted to be operating from Crete in the late 40s, while the rest of the Squadron was still based in Italy, and it can be assumed that these aircraft were operating over Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Rumania, all of which were well within range of the high flying RAF snoopers. The possibility of the 13 Sqdn. Marlins reaching the Soviet Union itself can not be ruled out as the south west corner of that state was within their range too.

In 13 Squadron's case, there were more aircraft losses than those for 58 Squadron, only one of which was a due to a landing accident, but none were lost during overflights, at least as far as can be discovered. At least two Marlins went down over the Mediterranean, and were total losses, but both pilots ejected, thus becoming the first RAF crews to use such an escape facility, and the first British pilots to do so as well. The oft quoted instance of the British pilot of the Armstrong Whitworth AW52 ejecting in May 1949 was thus pre-dated by at least a year, but such was the secrecy of 13 Sqdn's operations that these two escapes are often not considered.

The advent of the jet engine brought the service life if the Marlin to a premature halt. Canberra PR3s started to enter Squadron service in mid-1952 and their extra speed and range, not to mention the much greater scope of their camera fits, meant the days of the MB8 in service were numbered. By the end of 1953 almost all the Marlins had been replaced by Canberras, and only the two prototypes remained, still flying at Benson with the PRDU and still in their overall PRU blue scheme, but by now no codes were carried, just a small white letter on the nose.

Sadly, after languishing for a time in storage at RAF Shawbury, the ex-Squadron MB8s were all scrapped during late 1954, but both PRDU aircraft carried on there for some years, vacating their hangar at the west end of Benson's ramp only when the two RNVR Squadrons of the Fleet Air Arm Southern Air Division arrived in 1955. Both Marlins were parked outside for some time, and eventually '888 was 'reduced to produce' on the Benson scrap dump, but wiser heads prevailed in the case of '978 which was transferred to storage at RAF Henlow. In the mid 1970s however, VH978 was given a short but active lease of life.

13 Sqdn., having been flying its ultra-high altitude Meteor PR19s for some years under a veil of secrecy, were now able to show off their aircraft to the British public, and had worked up a display routine for Battle of Britain Days. The Commanding Officer of the Squadron, Wing Commander Bruce Mountford, had flown the Marlin PR1 while he was with 58 Sqdn. in 1950, and persuaded the RAF high command to take '978 out of store, repaint it in 58 Sqdn. markings of the period, even though the aircraft had never had flown in the blue/grey scheme during its service life at the PRDU, and to prepare it to join the PR19 displays. Rolls-Royce signed up for the project and re-worked the Griffon 90 and an RAF Museum team from RAF Cosford brought the Marlin up to speed structurally, and the aircraft was test flown by Wng. Cdr. Mountford himself, being the only pilot left in the RAF with Marlin hours in his log book! For two years VH978 and one of 13 Sqdn's PR19s flew in a two ship formation during BoB Day displays, providing a comparison between old and new methods of carrying out the same task.

Unfortunately VH978 suffered a wing spar failure during a display at RAF Finningley in 1978 and although landing safely the aircraft proved to be irrepairable, and was returned to Henlow for a short while, but was then donated to the Newark Air Museum where it is still displayed, albeit still painted as the last production Marlin, VR173, in the 58 Sqdn. markings carried during its short but active display career.

While only built in small numbers the Martin Baker MB8 Marlin had a marked effect on RAF thinking during the post war period, and it can truly be said to be the forerunner of such types as the Meteor PR19, which used their high altitude capability to outfly their potential enemies with great success. While a true record of the MB8's service career may never be divulged to the public its reputation is surely secure.

See build thread here :- https://www.whatifmodellers.com/index.php?topic=30318.msg464156#msg464156
Kit's Rule 1 ) Any aircraft can be improved by fitting longer wings, and/or a longer fuselage
Kit's Rule 2) The backstory can always be changed to suit the model

...and I'm not a closeted 'Take That' fan, I'm a REAL fan! :)



 :thumbsup: Great back story.

And the model...

She's a beaut!  :wub:


Absolutely Brilliant Kit.
Are you sure the wing is long enough? :wacko:

Alle kunst ist umsunst wenn ein engel auf das zundloch brunzt!!

Sic biscuitus disintegratum!

Cats are not real. 
They are just physical manifestations of collisions between enigma & conundrum particles.

Any aircraft can be improved by giving it a SHARKMOUTH!


Brilliant model, and a perfect backstory!  I have to wonder if, like the PR19, the backstory is a little too perfect.....! 


All hail the God of Frustration!!!


Brilliant back story. And I love that a bit of the MB.5 lives on  :thumbsup:

Proof that this is a Martin-Baker project? It needed "a slight increase in the height of the fin and rudder assembly"  ;D


Hehehe, thanks for the enthusiasm gentlemen, I'm flattered.  ;D

The wings could be a tad longer I agree, maybe the PR2 will have extended tips so as to reach 60000 ft.  ;)

As for the backstory, I had to make it up as I went along, but OGL's idea that it be built by M-B was a master stroke as I know the company well, having been to both Denham and Chalgrove in my time. The entrance road to Denham really IS narrow and windy and too small for big trucks :) And 'Winkle' Brown really did fly the Bv155 too, and said it was a handfull on the ground. 58 Sqdn and 13 Sqdn were where I said they were at the time too, so you could well be right.......... ;)

Yes, there's just a hint that the MB5 is already in production when the MB8 project got going. Well it was, wasn't it?  ;)
Kit's Rule 1 ) Any aircraft can be improved by fitting longer wings, and/or a longer fuselage
Kit's Rule 2) The backstory can always be changed to suit the model

...and I'm not a closeted 'Take That' fan, I'm a REAL fan! :)



Looks like that plane would have some awesome range.
That being said, I'd like to remind everybody in a manner reminiscent of the SNL bit on Julian Assange, that no matter how I die: It was murder (even if there was a suicide note or a video of me peacefully dying in my sleep); should I be framed for a criminal offense or disappear, you know to blame.

The Rat

Those wings are long enough to write AWESOME WINNER! on in huge letters!  :thumbsup: :bow:

"My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought, cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives." Hedley Lamarr, Blazing Saddles
Youtube: https://tinyurl.com/46dpfdpr


The talent of some guys on this forum never ceases to amaze me...  :wub: :wub: :wub:


Quote from: Stargazer2006 on December 10, 2010, 12:49:44 PM
The talent of some guys on this forum never ceases to amaze me...  :wub: :wub: :wub:

You should include yourself in that list as well Stargazer!  :thumbsup: :cheers:
Kit's Rule 1 ) Any aircraft can be improved by fitting longer wings, and/or a longer fuselage
Kit's Rule 2) The backstory can always be changed to suit the model

...and I'm not a closeted 'Take That' fan, I'm a REAL fan! :)



Quote from: Stargazer2006 on December 10, 2010, 12:49:44 PM
The talent of some guys on this forum never ceases to amaze me...  :wub: :wub: :wub:

Indeed. Some of the stuff you see just makes you wonder.."How did you make that?"..."How many kits did you use?"..."15hrs of continuous PSR!"  :wacko:  :thumbsup: :cheers: