Author Topic: Piper PF-1C Black Pearl  (Read 2527 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline comrade harps

  • Needs A Life Outside What-If
  • *****
  • Posts: 1280
  • lactose intolerant teetotal vegan gemini
    • The art of comrade harps on Flickr
Piper PF-1C Black Pearl
« on: September 16, 2013, 02:10:06 am »
Piper PF-1C Black Pearl
White 8, VMFA-531
Pusan, South Korean Zone of Occupation
December 1945



Piper was one of the few American aircraft manufacturers to respond positively when the British Purchasing Commission toured America seeking companies seeking  that were willing and able to produce British designs as "trans-Atlantic shadow factories". Keen to expand their capabilities beyond light planes, Piper agreed to produce the Bristol Beaufighter for the RAF. Designated in the 30 series, these Beaufighters differed chiefly in being powered by the Wright R-2600. When the US entered the war, the Piper Beaufighters came under Lend-Lease and were designated as P-73s, the USAAF going on to take both British and American manufactured Beaufighters as night fighters. As the USN and USMC were just as in need of night fighters as the USAAF, they adopted the type as the Piper PF-1 Black Pearl (and, indeed, many PF-1As were painted black).



The Black Pearl successfully served the USMC from late 1942 until the end of the Pacific war. The initial PF-1A was a dedicated night fighter performing interception duties, but during 1944 the PF-1B became a day/night long-range, AN/APS-4 radar-equipped fighter and attack platform against both land and maritime targets. The last Piper produced Beaufighters were 76 PF-1Cs for the USMC; these aircraft featured the more powerful R-2800 powerplant and AN/APS-6 radar.  




VMFA-531 used the PF-1C directly against the Japanese home islands during 1945-46, mostly performing nocturnal interdiction missions, but also night interception when required. For interdiction, a combination of 5 inch HVAR and either two 500lb bombs or 65 gal (US) napalm tanks (as seen here) were usually carried, along with a centreline fuel drop tank. While USMC PBJ-1 Mitchells and PBD-1 Invaders mostly conducted maritime interdiction, the PF-1Cs chiefly attacked land targets, including road and rail traffic, troop concentrations and construction sites. They also did a good trade in performing spotting for naval gunfire against coastal targets at night, plus acting as pathfinders and marking targets for medium and heavy bombers. This aircraft is typical of VMFA-531's Black Pearls in late 1945-early 1946, with minimal identification save for the star-and-bars and a single- or two-digit white individual aircraft in squadron number on the tail. Mission markings and nose art were rare.



With the war over and Grumman's F7F Tigercat finally available, the Black Pearl was retired soon after VJ Day.

« Last Edit: September 16, 2013, 08:36:13 pm by comrade harps »
Whatever.

Offline comrade harps

  • Needs A Life Outside What-If
  • *****
  • Posts: 1280
  • lactose intolerant teetotal vegan gemini
    • The art of comrade harps on Flickr
Re: Piper PF-1C Black Pearl
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2013, 02:16:17 am »
This is a re-furb of an old Matchbox Beafighter TF.X:



The decals were starting to fall off and rather than simply re-apply them, I decide to get creative with this sturdy old model again. I pulled off the Hercules and replaced them with Douglas A-26K nacelles and A-26C props, both left over from last year's RAAF Invader build. A really nice fit, too.

I really want to build a USMC PF-1B now, in the mid-war three-tone camo scheme.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2013, 02:21:24 am by comrade harps »
Whatever.

Offline Dizzyfugu

  • Needs A Life Outside What-If
  • *****
  • Posts: 9522
    • Lots of works in my FlickR gallery
Re: Piper PF-1C Black Pearl
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2013, 02:17:16 am »
That dark color suits the Beau well! Nice idea  :thumbsup:

Offline Captain Canada

  • "but this time it's different. I was drunk when I agreed to it."
  • Needs A Life Outside What-If
  • *****
  • Posts: 29170
Re: Piper PF-1C Black Pearl
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2013, 04:35:50 am »
Nice work ! She does look right at home in that colour. Nice refurb too

 :cheers:
CANADA KICKS arse !!!!

Long Live the Commonwealth !!!
Vive les Canadiens !
Where's my beer ?

Offline NARSES2

  • Nick was always on his mind - just ask the Pet Shop Boys
  • Global Moderator
  • Needs A Life Outside What-If
  • *****
  • Posts: 38866
Re: Piper PF-1C Black Pearl
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2013, 07:45:11 am »
Be still my beating heart - wonderfull build  :wub: :bow:
Decals my @r$e!

Offline lancer

  • Has never been to Hull
  • What-IF SIG
  • Needs A Life Outside What-If
  • *****
  • Posts: 10449
Re: Piper PF-1C Black Pearl
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2013, 12:58:22 pm »
That is seriously impressive and just looks spot on.  Makes me think of an interdictor in the early years of the Korean war. New uprated engines or even early turbprops
If you love, love without reservation; If you fight, fight without fear - THAT is the way of the warrior

If you go into battle knowing you will die, then you will live. If you go into battle hoping to live, then you will die

Offline PR19_Kit

  • Closeted Take That fan
  • What-IF SIG
  • Needs A Life Outside What-If
  • *****
  • Posts: 31183
  • Whiffing since the 70s
Re: Piper PF-1C Black Pearl
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2013, 01:21:16 pm »
Brillo idea that.  :thumbsup: :bow:

The 3-tone USMC one's got to be even better!
Any aircraft can be improved by fitting longer wings, and/or a longer fuselage

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

Regards
Kit

Offline Old Wombat

  • Needs A Life Outside What-If
  • *****
  • Posts: 7799
  • Armour: The Gods of War love it!
Re: Piper PF-1C Black Pearl
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2013, 09:42:09 am »
Neat variation on the Beau! :thumbsup:
Could be tricky getting the 3-tone right on a multi-engine but I'd love to see it! :party:

:cheers:

Guy
Has a life outside of What-If & wishes it would stop interfering!

"The purpose of all War is Peace" - St. Augustine

veritas ad mortus veritas est