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 Post subject: Re: De Havilland Vampire
PostPosted: 12 Aug 2012, 00:06 
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De Havilland Vampire F.B.5, N°1 Squadron, AFS Waterkloof, 1950.

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 Post subject: Re: De Havilland Vampire
PostPosted: 12 Aug 2012, 01:59 
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Interesting bit of history here regarding the South African Air Corps, which in 1915, formed N° 26 Squadron RFC. The motto was "'n wagter in die lug" and the badge depicted a springbok head. The link remained until 1976, when N° 26 squadron was disbanded.

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Vampire F.B.5, VV451, N°26 Squadron, Royal Air Force, RAF Wunstorf, Germany 1950.

wikipedia wrote:
World War I broke out in August 1914, and one month later South African troops invaded German West Africa. Early in the German West African campaign, the Union Defence Force had realised the need for air support - having frequently seen German reconnaissance aircraft above their advancing columns and later, having been strafed by German aircraft. This emphasised the urgency for the need of the long-discussed air corps and brought about the establishment of the South African Aviation Corps (SAAC) on 29 January 1915.Although the SAAC had been formally established, the lack of aircraft led Sir Abe Bailey to lead a delegation in an attempt to acquire American aircraft and pilots for the air corps. The Wright double-wing aircraft initially earmarked for purchase were found to be unsuitable after having been tested in Britain; British aircraft too (being of wooden construction), were considered unsuitable for the hot and dry conditions of German West Africa.It was finally decided to purchase twelve tubular steel framed French Henri Farman F-27 aircraft, powered by Canton-Unné radial engines. Capt. Wallace was recalled from the RFC and oversaw the purchase of the aircraft in France, while Lieutenants Turner and Emmett were recalled to coordinate the building of an airfield at Walvis Bay and to prepare for the recruitment of 75 prospective pilots.The crest of No. 26 Squadron RAF depicting a Springbok head and Afrikaans motto

Due to a lack of steel tube in France, delivery of the Henri Farmans was delayed and the British government offered four B.E.2c's as interim aircraft and also provided three RFC pilots. Eventually, only two B.E.2c's and six Henri Farmans were delivered, with the last aircraft arriving in the Union on 15 May 1915. In addition, the SAAC received two Jeannin Taube monoplanes which had been captured while en route to German West Africa by British Forces in Douala. Although not air-worthy, these two aircraft were pressed into SAAC service for ground training at the Cape Town Drill Hall soon after their arrival in February 1915.

By June 1915 the SAAC commanded by Major Gerard Wallace, was deployed to its first operational airfield at Karabib in German West Africa. Operations were in support of Gen. Botha's South African ground forces, flying reconnaissance and leaflet dropping missions from Karbib and later from Omaruru, where improvised bombing missions were added when pilots started dropping hand grenades and rudimentary bombs by hand. On 9 July 1915, the German forces capitulated and most of the pilots and aircraft of the SAAC were sent to Britain in support of the Commonwealth war effort.

Although the SAAC remained active, its activities were limited to ground training at the Cape Town Drill Hall using the two Jeannin Taubes and two damaged (and now no longer air-worthy) B.E.2c's, while the pilots who had been detached to the RFC were grouped to form No. 26 Squadron RFC at Netharavon, becoming an independent squadron on 8 October 1915. No. 26 Squadron was equipped with the ex-SAAC Henri Farman F-27's used in German West Africa and B.E.2c's from the RFC. Shortly after becoming operational, the squadron was shipped to Kenya in support of the war effort in German East Africa, landing in Mombasa on 31 January 1916.

The eight aircraft had been shipped in wooden crates and were re-assembled in Mombasa and then flown to a forward airfield prepared inside German East Africa at Mbuyuni, with the South African and British pilots of 26 Squadron (now known as "The South Africa Squadron") being billeted in tents close to their aircraft. The squadron flew reconnaissance and observer missions throughout the campaign until February 1918. The squadron was returned to the UK via Cape Town and arrived at Blandford Camp on 8 July 1918 and was disbanded the same day.

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 Post subject: Re: De Havilland Vampire
PostPosted: 12 Aug 2012, 23:29 
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That looks fantastic Brent! :smt023

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 Post subject: Re: De Havilland Vampire
PostPosted: 13 Aug 2012, 00:24 
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Thanks :D

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 Post subject: Re: De Havilland Vampire
PostPosted: 14 Aug 2012, 07:49 
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Brilliant work on these Vamps Kremlin!!! Absolutely awesome!!!!

Does anybody out there have any info on what the badge of the Bumble Bees looked like? I think only "237" carried this badge. But if anyone has any info on it, I would really appreciate it.

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 Post subject: Re: De Havilland Vampire
PostPosted: 14 Aug 2012, 19:49 
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The "Bumbling Bees" were an ad hoc team and not an official one like the "Silver Falcons" - as a result there was no BB badge applied to any of the aircraft or worn on the flight suit.
When the BB were later reformed with Impalas (and the direct ancestor of the Silver Falcons) there was a cloth patch for the flight suit but the aircraft themselves still bore the emblem of FTS Langebaanweg.
A look at the port and starboard images of 237 posted previously will show that the only distinctive markings were the red "tulip" on the nose and wing tanks, wingtips and tailboom/tailfin "bullets".

The artworks are indeed excellent but I notice that the distinctive rearward angled aerial under the port wing is absent as are the engine fuel system vents/drains under the belly.


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 Post subject: Re: De Havilland Vampire
PostPosted: 14 Aug 2012, 20:12 
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Some scans from "Silver Falcons" by Winston Brent.

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Badge drawn by Piet van Schalkwyk, showing the patch on the flight-suit, from when the team flew the Impala.

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 Post subject: Re: De Havilland Vampire
PostPosted: 14 Aug 2012, 20:18 
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Hornet01 wrote:
Brilliant work on these Vamps Kremlin!!! Absolutely awesome!!!!

Thanks Hornet :D :D

flyingspringbok wrote:
...The artworks are indeed excellent but I notice that the distinctive rearward angled aerial under the port wing is absent as are the engine fuel system vents/drains under the belly.

Oi .. gee that man a bells :smt023

I've found the missing aerial, & will add it now .. however the vents/drains .. I'm still looking :?:

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Thanks flyingspringbok :D

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 Post subject: Re: De Havilland Vampire
PostPosted: 14 Aug 2012, 20:27 
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Now this is what the "Bumbling Bees" should have looked like :D

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De Havilland Vampire F.B.6, J-1081, Swiss Air Force, Emmen, 1977.

EDIT ... oops Swiss AF with RAF under-wing roundels ... :oops: :oops:

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 Post subject: Re: De Havilland Vampire
PostPosted: 14 Aug 2012, 20:42 
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The colour images of 213 and 235 show these vents/drains but these pipes would probably not be present if the engine was not installed. If your reference was the Vampire at the SAAF Museum at Ysterplaat they might not be there since I do not think that example has an engine in it.


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 Post subject: Re: De Havilland Vampire
PostPosted: 14 Aug 2012, 21:03 
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Ah .. I see this now. Thanks :D

I did indeed use reference pics from 208 at Ysters + 205 at PE. They both do seem to be missing these drains. ... but now that I know what I'm looking for .. :smt023

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 Post subject: Re: De Havilland Vampire
PostPosted: 14 Aug 2012, 21:06 
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=D> =D> =D> =D> =D>


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 Post subject: Re: De Havilland Vampire
PostPosted: 14 Aug 2012, 21:56 
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Thanks Mark :smt023

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 Post subject: Re: De Havilland Vampire
PostPosted: 14 Aug 2012, 23:13 
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I must admit that I find the name "Bumbling Bees" a little amusing as the insects aren't exactly the most nimble or graceful aviators. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: De Havilland Vampire
PostPosted: 14 Aug 2012, 23:23 
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:lol: :lol:

I think it was probably more in reference to the sound the Vampire's Goblin engine made. Jeez imagine that sound, .. four ship Vampire formation + aerobatics :smt023 :smt023

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