Just another query related to my model aircraft Collection. Although I have had examples of the "main three" RNZAF Lockheed twins (Hudson, C60 Lodestar and PV1 Ventura) I have just managed to acquire the two lesser known variants to complete the set. I have just tracked down a rare glass nosed RB-34a Lexington and a PV2 Harpoon. Unfortunately photos of these types (especially the Harpoon) in RNZAF schemes are incredibly rare. I was wonding if anyone has any tucked away in thier private collections anywhere. Motat has an RB34 (known as a Ventura in RNZAF service, in the same way all P40s were "Kittyhawks") in good but somewhat dirty condition in the roof of the restoration Hangar (and therefore really difficult to photograph) but I'm not sure if the markings, especially the cartoon beside the door are accurate. Did NZ RB-34s all carry Yagi - type Radar antenna under the wings? the few photos I have seen all show them, but the photos only cover one or two aircraft in the fleet. the MOTAT example doesnt have them, but I heard that it has Lodestar wings fitted at the moment (although I have doubts about this as I wouldnt think they would fit) Any photo of an RNZAF Harpoon would be great - 4 aircraft made it to Hobsonville before the order was cancelled, and they never entered service. I have no idea what colour scheme they were in, or any other details as to thier equipment fit - can anyone help me?
If it was supposed to be easy. everyone would be doing it...
Post by Dave Homewood on Apr 17, 2005 23:06:24 GMT 12
Bruce, have you seen the Ventura Publications book "Pacific Twins"? Lots of PV-1, PV-2 and RB-34 stuff in there.
Here are some photos I took years ago of the Motat Venture before it was hoisted up into the lofts of the hangar. Thankfully it should be coming down again soon when the huge new extension is built.
I think this aircraft is in the scheme it would have worn with No. 2 Squadron when based at RNZAF Station Gisborne in the defence of the east coast. I am unsure if the artwork of the Jap is accurate, because a very similar one appears on an aircraft (Lodestar or Hudson) of No. 40 Sqn in the book 'To The Four Winds', except the sleeve says USA rather than NZ as on the Ventura.
The fact that it says USA persuades me to think it was factory applied by the Disney people who worked at Lockheed in their spare time creating such art. That would rule out it being a Hudson as the tarnsport Hudson C.63's were all converted at Rukuhia from ex-combat veteran bombers into transports, at which point they were repainted in Olve Drab or a similar colour, so wouldn't wear a USA logo'd artwork I wouldn't think.
So, if the artwork on the Ventura is genuine and right for an RNZAF Ventura that has been painted in Olive Drab for coastal patrol work, it may have been inspired by a photo of the Lodestar's art I guess. Perhaps someone saw it in a magazine at the time. OR - it simply inspired the team in the 1970's when the Ventura was restored? Only someone at Motat might know, or maybe the RNZAF Museum I guess.
RB-34's wore other colours apart from the green by the way, the Ventura Publications book has a blue TTS one detailed in its drawings and photos.
By the way, I think it may be a myth that all P40 variants were known as Kittyhawks in the RNZAF. Maybe generally and colloquially they were, maybe by the unitiated. I'm not sure. But I have some RNZAF Contact magazines that refer to the later models as Warhawks, just like other Air Forces did. Perhaps it was just an over diligent author though.
Post by Dave Homewood on Jun 9, 2005 18:24:37 GMT 12
Lovely shot of the Hudson, thanks.
A pity about the Ventura, I think it's a shame to stick it up on poles, especially when it's so rare.
I read that the new hangar extension was meant to start later this year, and that was on an official Auckland Council website with all the plans, etc. It's going to be quite a building. I wonder why it has been delayed. It is a shame to think the Sunderland has more years in the open to come.
Did the restoration chaps confirm to you at all whether the Hudson will have it's wings attached? I'm a little worried, with no new hangar space for a few years, but the Mossie with wings, what is going outside???
Post by Dave Homewood on Jun 13, 2005 14:17:14 GMT 12
I do not believe the Hudson's wings have ever been attached whilst under Motat ownership. I may be wrong there, but from every source I have, it seems the chief restorer, Barrie East, completed the RB-34 and then started the Hudson. He was near completion on that, when he suddenly died. The work seems to have stopped then, no wings attached. Probably a very good thing in the long term, if it had wings attached it may have suffered years otdoors and gone rotten like the Lodestar.
How's the Lodestar looking these days Marcus? Last time I was there (May 30th, 2004) they'd begun to strip the paint and hoped to begin a restoration.
Post by Dave Homewood on Jun 13, 2005 15:31:53 GMT 12
Yes I did get your PM, after the forum came back online, and I replied to it yesterday. Didn't you get my reply?
As for the Lodestar, thanks for the photos. Apart from the engine covers being added, it looks like very little has changed in over a year. I hope they eventually do restore it, and I'd really like it if it were put into RNZAF colours to compliment the Hudson and Ventura, especially since the GAPS Lodestar is in Fieldair colours (or was last time I saw it).
Hi guys, Thanks to the assistance received from this forum and the "ADF serials" page I have completed my PV2 Harpoon NZ4702. My internet connection is really slow tonight so I'll have to wait until later to post a picture, but I think it looks O.K , especially as its my first vac form kit (a Rareplanes kit, but I also bought a cheap academy PV1 and scavenged the detail fittings). I have to say it is interesting to compare the PV2 with the PV1. The wing, tail feathers, nacelles, cockpit and bomb doors are all very different - far more than I had initially thought. On the nose the bomb aimers panel is replaced by a pack of 3 .50 cal Machine guns! . While on the subject of lockheed noses, perhaps someone can enlighten me about a query I have had for some time. The PV1s and PV2s both had "solid" nosecones which I understand were a very early use of GRP (Fibreglass) - what was behind the nosecone? did the venturas and Harpoons carry a centimetric Radar unit similar to that fitted in the pod above the cabin of the Boeing Catalinas? The RB34s carried the earlier ASW radars that used Yagi aerials under the wings, once again like the early Catalinas. Certainly the PV1 and PV2 nosecones dont appear to have been painted, which generally indicates something electronic is firing through it - do any of those Ventura books mentioned earlier say anything about it? just one of those nagging little questions......
If it was supposed to be easy. everyone would be doing it...
"The main differences between the PV-1 and the B-34 were the inclusion of special equipment in the PV-1, adapting it to its patrol-bombing role. The maximum fuel capacity of the PV-1 was increased from 1345 gal to 1607 gal, to increase its range; the forward defensive armament was also reduced for this reason. The most important addition was of an ASD-1 search radar.
Early production PV-1s still carried a bombardier's station behind the nose radome, with four side windows and a flat bomb-aiming panel underneath the nose. Late production PV-1s dispensed with this bombardier position and replaced it with a pack with three 0.50 inch (12.7 mm) machine guns underneath the nose. These aircraft could also carry eight 0.50 inch (12.7 mm) rockets on launchers underneath the wings."