Blackburn Krait Mk-I

Started by TomZ, June 24, 2020, 05:47:17 AM

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Blackburn Krait Mk-I

The Blackburn B.44 was a British single-engined fighter aircraft designed by Blackburn Aircraft in 1942. It was notable as a rare example of a flying boat fighter, featuring Blackburn's unique retractable hull, and designed to meet the requirements of Air Ministry Specification N.2/42.
After Japan's initial successes in the Pacific during World War II, the need for a fighter aircraft capable of operating from austere island sites with minimal infrastructure was regarded as a high priority.

N.2/42 called for a retractable-hull flying-boat fighter, and Blackburn decided to utilise as much of the structure of the Blackburn Firebrand as possible. The fuselage of the aircraft was split in two with the lower float-like half extending and retracting hydraulically.
The B-44 was powered by the Napier "Sabre" engine outputting 2,240 horsepower engine which was in the nose of the upper fuselage half, and armament was to have been carried in the wings. The first prototype of the B-44 flew in August 1943 and after a short test phase the first production aircraft was delivered to the Fleet Air Arm in March 1944.

The B-44 was named Krait after a venomous sea snake. The Krait Mk-I was deployed to the far east and stationed at numerous small Islands to defend them after being liberated from the Japanese. There were only a few recorded instances in which the Kraits encountered Japanese fighter aircraft and although the Krait ware quite fast, it was too heavy and was easily out manoeuvred by the nimble Japanese fighters.
The Krais did however manage to shoot down a number of Japanese bombers from the end of 1943 onwards. As the Japanese withdrew more and more from the Pacific the usefulness of the Krait diminished and the type was withdrawn from service in early 1945.
In all 452 Kraits were produced.

Model by Unicraft in 1/72

Reality is an illusion caused by an alcohol deficiency


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Old Wombat

Certainly has that Blackburn ugliness ... but in a good way! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Has a life outside of What-If & wishes it would stop interfering!

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veritas ad mortus veritas est


That's splendid TomZ. I'm a big fan of the Blackburn retractable hull aircraft, and I've got a B.20 kit in The Loft, but I've never seen a B.44, either as a kit or built.

It really looks the business.  :thumbsup:
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! :)



I was amused by the name ...

If one reads inter-war American novels with an aircraft-theme, a common slang term for an airplane was "Crate."   
I believe the term was often used in the Tom Swift series, too.

:wacko: :wacko:
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Congratulations! Wonderful result! :wub: :thumbsup: :bow:
[the word "realistic" hurts my heart...]


Nice work, certainly looks Blackburn like and with all the nods to the retractable float sell it nicely

Glenn Gilbertson

Really good work - well done! :thumbsup:


To many Australians, the name "Krait" is synomous with the commando raid on Singapore which used HMAS Krait a fishing boat to carry the men and canoes to that harbour.    :thumbsup:
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Quote from: Old Wombat on June 24, 2020, 07:50:46 AM
Certainly has that Blackburn ugliness ... but in a good way! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

I know exactly what you mean  :thumbsup: :thumbsup:  That retractable float system has always fascinated me.

Decals my @r$e!

comrade harps




- Can't be bothered to do the proper research and get it right.

Another ill conceived, lazily thought out, crudely executed and badly painted piece of half arsed what-if modelling muppetry from zenrat industries.

zenrat industries:  We're everywhere...for your convenience..