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Knowledge Quiz for Warbird wiz

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Knowledge Quiz for Warbird wiz

Old 07-03-2019, 04:27 AM
  #17301  
Top_Gunn
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Fairey Battle, perhaps?
Old 07-03-2019, 05:04 AM
  #17302  
FlyerInOKC
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Bristol M.1?
Old 07-03-2019, 11:40 AM
  #17303  
Ernie P.
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Originally Posted by Top_Gunn View Post
Fairey Battle, perhaps?
The Fairey Battle it is, Sir; and you are now up. A decent aircraft, but it was all but defenseless against strong fighter opposition. In the dark days of June, 1940, the squadrons flying the Battle were more than decimated. Yet they kept flying, because they were all that was available and the missions they flew were critical. The men who flew them, knowing they would probably not return, did their nation proud. Ginger Lacey (the highest scoring British ace during the Battle of Britain) is the ace referenced in clues 30 and 31. Thanks; Ernie P.
Question: What warbird do I describe?



Clues:

1. This plane is NOT remembered for being particularly successful.



2. In fact, it was demonstrably unsuccessful.



3. But it is remembered for the bravery of the men who flew it.



4. Their bravery was memorialized by awards and decorations.



5. And at their funerals.



6. They were widely considered to be no more than fodder for enemy fighters.



7. And their loss rates were horrible.



8. On many missions, their loss rates exceeded 50%.



9. Our subject aircraft was a low wing monoplane.



10. One which replaced well known biplanes.



11. Single engine.



12. Powered by an iconic engine.



13. An engine which powered a number of eminently successful aircraft.



14. Aircraft which included single engined fighters and multi-engine aircraft.



15. So the engine wasn’t the problem.



16. The problem was that our subject aircraft was simply overweight.



17. Nevertheless, our subject aircraft was initially considered a success.



18. It outperformed the aircraft it replaced.



19. And so, a few thousand were produced.



20. And it even scored a few “firsts” when it initially entered combat.



21. It was the first aircraft of its service to shoot down an enemy aircraft when war came along.



22. Unfortunately, when the shooting started for real, it was usually on the receiving end of the shooting.



23. The problem was that our subject was getting a bit on the obsolescent side by the time the war started.



24. Although other aircraft designed in the same time period served successfully throughout the war.



25. In some cases, aircraft which were powered by the same engine utilized.



26. Another problem was that the armament was more than anemic.



27. And, the aircraft was now more than a bit slow for its intended role.



28. So, when the rubber started hitting the road, our subject aircraft was overweight for the power its engine supplied, and slow, with weak armament.



29. Flaws which enemy aircraft quickly learned to exploit.



30. One (later) noted ace, preparing for a mission escorting our subject aircraft, asked why the navigators were slow leaving the mission briefing.



31. When the navigators told him they were plotting their return route, he remarked (para) “You don’t seriously think any of you will be coming back, do you”?



32. On that particular mission, one of the six of our subject aircraft dispatched on the mission did, in fact, make it back home.



33. But only because it suffered engine problems and aborted the mission.



34. None of the other five returned home.



35. Such was the day in, day out, result of sending our subject aircraft up against enemy fighters.



Answer: The Fairey Battle

The Fairey Battle was a British single-engine light bomber designed and manufactured by the Fairey Aviation Company. It was developed during the mid-1930s for the Royal Air Force (RAF) as a monoplane successor to the Hawker Hart and Hindbiplanes. The Battle was powered by the same high-performance Rolls-Royce Merlin piston engine that powered various contemporary British fighters like the Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire. The Battle was much heavier, with its three-man crew and bomb load. Though a great improvement over the aircraft that preceded it, the Battle was relatively slow and limited in range. With only two .303 in machine guns as defensive armament, it was found to be highly vulnerable to enemy fighters and anti-aircraft fire. The Fairey Battle was used on operations early in the Second World War. During the "Phoney War" the type achieved the distinction of attaining the first aerial victory of an RAF aircraft in the conflict. In May 1940 the Battle suffered many losses, frequently in excess of 50 percent of aircraft sorties per mission. By the end of 1940 the type had been withdrawn from front line service and relegated to training units overseas. As an aircraft that had been considered to hold great promise in the pre-war era, the Battle proved to be one of the most disappointing aircraft in RAF service.

Development

Origins

In April 1933, the British Air Ministry issued Specification P.27/32 which sought a two-seat single-engine monoplane day bomber to replace the Hawker Hart and Hindbiplane bombers then in service with the Royal Air Force (RAF).[2] A requirement of the prospective aircraft was to be capable of carrying 1,000 pounds (450 kg) of bombs over a distance of 1,000 miles (1,600 km) while flying at a speed of 200 mph (320 km/h).[2] According to aviation author Tony Buttler, during the early 1930s, Britain had principally envisioned that any future war would see France as its enemy and thus the distance to enable the bomber to reach Paris was a factor in determining the necessary range that was sought.[3] According to aerospace publication Air International, a key motivational factor in the Air Ministry's development of Specification P.27/32 had been for the corresponding aircraft to act as an insurance policy in the event that heavier bombers were banned by the 1932 Geneva Disarmament Conference.[4] The Fairey Aviation Company were keen to produce a design to meet the demands of Specification P.27/32 and commenced work upon such a design.[2] The Belgianaeronautical engineerMarcel Lobelle served as the aircraft's principal designer. One of the early decisions made by Lobelle on the project was the use of the newly developed Rolls-Royce Merlin I engine, which had been selected due to its favourable power and compact frontal area.[2] The Merlin engine was quickly paired to a de Havilland Propellers-built three-bladed variable-pitch propeller unit. The choice of engine enabled the designing of the aircraft to possess exceptionally clean lines and a subsequently generous speed performance.[2] The resulting design was an all-metal single-engine aircraft, which adopted a low-mounted cantilever monoplane wing and was equipped with a retractable tail wheel undercarriage.[5] A total of four companies decided to formally respond to Specification P.27/32, these being the Fairey, Hawker Aircraft, Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft, and Bristol Aeroplane Company.[2] Of the submissions made, the Air Ministry selected Armstrong Whitworth and Fairey to produce prototypes to demonstrate their designs. On 10 March 1936, the first Fairey prototype, K4303, equipped with a Merlin I engine capable of generating 1,030 hp (770 kW), performed its maiden flight at Hayes, Middlesex.[2]
[6]
The prototype was promptly transferred to RAF Martlesham Heath, Woodbridge, Suffolk for service trials, during which it attained a maximum speed of 257 MPH and reportedly achieved a performance in advance of any contemporary day bomber.[2] Even prior to the first flight of the prototype, some members of the Air Staff had concluded that both the specified range and bomb load, to which the aircraft had been designed to, were insufficient to enable its viable use in a prospective conflict with a re-emergent Germany.[2] Despite these performance concerns, there was also considerable pressure for the Battle to be rapidly placed into mass production in order that it could contribute to a wider increase of the RAF's frontline combat aircraft strength in line with similar strides being made during the 1930s by the German Luftwaffe. As such, the initial production order placed for the type, for the manufacture of 155 aircraft built as per the requirements of Specification P.23/35, which had received the name Battle, had been issued in advance of the first flight of the prototype.[2]

Production

In 1936, further orders were placed for Fairey to build additional Battles to Specification P.14/36.[7] In June 1937, the first production Battle, K7558, conducted its maiden flight.[2] K7558 was later used to perform a series of official handling and performance trials in advance to the wider introduction of the type to operational service. During these trials, it demonstrated the Battle's ability to conduct missions of a 1,000 mile range while under a full bomb load.[2] The first 136 Fairey-built Battles were the first to be powered by the Merlin I engine.[2] By the end of 1937, 85 Battles had been completed and a number of RAF squadrons had been re-equipped with the type, or were otherwise in the process of re-equipping.[7] As the RAF embarked on what became a substantial pre-war expansion programme, the Battle was promptly recognised as being a priority production target. At one point a total of 2,419 aircraft were on order for the service.[8]
[9]
In June 1937, the first aircraft was completed at Hayes, but all subsequent aircraft were manufactured at Fairey's newly completed factory at Heaton Chapel, Stockport.[5] Completed aircraft were promptly dispatched for testing at the company's facility adjacent to RAF Ringway, Manchester. A total of 1,156 aircraft were produced by Fairey.[8]
[9]
Subsequently, as part of government-led wartime production planning, a shadow factory operated by the Austin Motor Company at Cofton Hackett, Longbridge, also produced the type, manufacturing a total of 1,029 aircraft to Specification P.32/36. On 22 July 1938, the first Austin-built Battle, L4935, conducted its maiden flight.[10] At that point, concerns that the aircraft was obsolete had become widespread, but due to the difficulties associated with getting other aircraft types into production, and the labour force having already been established, stop-gap orders were maintained, and production continued at a steady rate through to late 1940.[10] A further 16 were built by Fairey for service with the Belgian Air Force (contrary to popular belief, they were not built in Belgium).[11] The Belgian Battles were delivered in early 1938, and were differentiated from British-built examples by having a longer radiator cowling and a smoother camouflage finish.[8]
[9]
In September 1940, all production activity came to a close and the final assembly lines were shuttered. Overall production of the Battle during its entire manufacturing life was 2,201 machines, including 16 for Belgium.[11] A number of Battles which had been originally completed as bombers were later converted to serve in different roles, such as target tugs and trainer aircraft.[9]

Design

The Fairey Battle was a single-engine monoplanelight bomber, powered by a Rolls-Royce Merlin engine. Production aircraft were progressively powered by various models of the Merlin engine, such as the Merlin I, II, III (most numerous) and V but all bomber variants were called the Battle Mk I.[11] The Battle had a relatively clean design, having adopted a slim oval-shaped fuselage which was manufactured in two sections.[2] The forward section, in front of the cockpit, relied mainly upon a steel tubular structure to support the weight of the nose-mounted engine; the rear section was of a metal monocoque structure comprised hoop frames and Z-section stringers which was built on jigs.[12] The structure of the aircraft involved several innovations and firsts for Fairey, it had the distinction of being the company's first low-wing monoplane; it also was the first light-alloy stressed-skin construction aircraft to be produced by the firm.[2] The wing of the Battle used a two-part construction, the centre section being integral with the fuselage.[13] The internal structure of the wings relied upon steel spars which varied in dimension towards the wing tips; the ailerons, elevators and rudder all were metal-framed with fabric coverings, while the split trailing edgeflaps were entirely composed of metal.[13] The Battle was furnished with a single cockpit to accommodate a crew of three, these typically being a pilot, observer/navigator and radio operator/air gunner.[13] The pilot and gunner were seated in a tandem arrangement in the cockpit, the pilot in the forward position controlling the fixed .303Browning machine gun mounted in the starboard wing, while the gunner was in the rear position where he could use the manually-aimed .303 Vickers K machine gun. The observer's position, who served as the bomb aimer, was situated directly beneath the pilot's seat; sighting was performed in the prone position through a sliding panel in the floor of the fuselage using the Mk. VII Course Setting Bomb Sight.[13] Complete with a continuous glazed canopy, the cockpit of the Battle had several similarities to that of a large fighter rather than a bomber. The armament and crew of the aircraft were similar to the Bristol Blenheim bomber: three crew, 1,000 lbs standard bomb load and two machine guns, although the Battle was a single-engine bomber with less horsepower.[15] The Battle had a standard payload of four 250 lb (113 kg) bombs which was carried in cells contained within the internal space of the wings.[16] Maximum bomb load was 1,500 lb (680 kg), with two additional 250 lb (113 kg) bombs on underwing racks or with two 500 lb (227 kg) bombs carried externally under bomb bays and two 250 lb (113 kg) bombs on underwing racks.[16] The bombs were mounted on hydraulicjacks and were normally released via trap doors; during a dive bombing attack, they were lowered below the surface of the wing.[13] The Battle was a robust aircraft which was frequently described as being easy to fly, even for relatively inexperienced pilots.[17] The pilot was provided with good external visibility and the cockpit was considered to be roomy and comfortable for the era but the tasks of simultaneously deploying the flaps and the retractable undercarriage, which included a safety catch, has been highlighted as posing considerable complication.[17] Climate control within the cockpit was also reportedly poor.[7] By the time that the Battle was entering service in 1937 it had already been rendered obsolete by the rapid advances in aircraft technology. The performance and capabilities of fighter aircraft had increased to outstrip the modest performance gains that the light bomber had achieved over its biplane antecedents.[18] For defence, the Battle had been armed only with a single Browning machine gun and a trainable Vickers K in the rear position; in service, these proved to be desperately inadequate.[5] The Battle lacked other common defensive features of the era, such as an armoured cockpit and self-sealing fuel tanks.[19] The Battle was considered well-armoured by the standards of 1940, although there was an emphasis on protection against small-arms fire from the ground.[20] No RAF bombers were fitted with self-sealing tanks at the beginning of the war, although they were hastily fitted once the necessity was made apparent. Since it was some time before self-sealing tanks could be mass-produced, it was a common stop-gap in 1940, even into 1941, to simply armour the rear of the fuel tanks with single or double layers of 4 mm armour.[21] The Battle, along with the rest of the early-war inventory, was taken out of front-line duties before it had a chance to be fitted with self-sealing tanks.

Operational history


Introduction

In June 1937, No. 63 Squadron, based at RAF Upwood, Cambridgeshire, became the first RAF squadron to be equipped with the Fairey Battle.[22] On 20 May 1937, the delivery of the first Battle to No. 63 occurred; following further deliveries, the squadron was initially assigned to perform development trials. The type holds the distinction of being the first operational aircraft powered by a Rolls-Royce Merlin engine to enter service, beating the debut of the Hawker Hurricane fighter by a matter of months. By May 1939, there were a total of 17 RAF squadrons that had been equipped with the Battle. While many of these were frontline combat squadrons, some, under the No. 2 Group, were assigned to a non-mobilising training role; on the eve of the outbreak of war, these squadrons were reassigned to operate under No. 6 Training Group or alternatively served as reserve squadrons.[10]

Wartime bomber service

The Battle was obsolete by the start of the Second World War, but remained a front-line RAF bomber owing to a lack of a suitable replacement. On 2 September 1939, during the "Phoney War", 10 Battle squadrons were deployed to pre-selected airfields France to form a portion of the vanguard of the British Advanced Air Striking Force, which was independent of the similarly-tasked Army-led British Expeditionary Force.[10] Once the Battles arrived, the aircraft were dispersed and efforts were made to camouflage or otherwise obscure their presence; the envisioned purpose of their deployment had been that, in the event of German commencement of bombing attacks, the Battles based in France could launch retaliatory raids upon Germany, specifically in the Ruhr valley region, and would benefit from their closer range than otherwise possible from the British mainland. Initial wartime missions were to perform aerial reconnaissance of the Siegfried Line during daylight, resulting in occasional skirmishes and losses.[24] On 20 September 1939, a German Messerschmitt Bf 109 was shot down by Battle gunner Sgt. F. Letchard during a patrol near Aachen; this occasion is recognised as being the RAF's first aerial victory of the war.[24]
[25]
Nonetheless, the Battle was hopelessly outclassed by Luftwaffe fighters, being almost 100 mph (160 km/h) slower than the contemporary Bf 109 at 14,000 ft (4,300 m). That same day, three Battles were engaged by German fighters, resulting in two Battles being lost.[24] During the winter of 1939–1940, the Advanced Air Striking Force underwent restructuring; some of the Battle-equipped squadrons were returned to the UK while their place was taken by Bristol Blenheim-equipped squadrons instead.[24] The activities of the Advanced Air Striking Force were principally restricted to training exercises during this time.[24] Upon the commencement of the Battle of France in May 1940, Battles were called upon to perform unescorted, low-level tactical attacks against the advancing German army; this use of the type placed the aircraft at risk of attack from Luftwaffe fighters and within easy range of light anti-aircraft guns.[24] In the first of two sorties carried out by Battles on 10 May 1940, three out of eight aircraft were lost, while a further 10 out of 24 were shot down in the second sortie, giving a total of 13 lost in that day's attacks, with the remainder suffering damage. Despite bombing from as low as 250 ft (76 m), their attacks were recorded as having had little impact on the German columns.[26] During the following day, nine Belgian Air Force Battles attacked bridges over the Albert Canal that connects to the River Meuse, losing six aircraft,[9]
[27]
and in another RAF sortie that day against a German column, only one Battle out of eight survived On 12 May, a formation of five Battles of 12 Squadron attacked two road bridges over the Albert Canal; four of these aircraft were destroyed while the final aircraft crash-landing upon its return to its base.[29]
[30]
Two Victoria Crosses were awarded posthumously for the action, to Flying Officer Donald Garland and air observer/navigator sergeant Thomas Gray of Battle serial P2204 coded PH-K, for pressing home the attack in spite of the heavy defensive fire.[31] The third crew member, rear gunner Leading Aircraftsman Lawrence Reynolds, did not share the award. Both fighters and flak had proved lethal for the Battles. Although Garland's Battle managed to destroy one span of the bridge, the German army quickly erected a pontoon bridge to replace it. On 14 May 1940, in a desperate attempt to stop German forces crossing the Meuse, the Advanced Air Striking Force launched an "all-out" attack by all available bombers against the German bridgehead and pontoon bridges at Sedan. The light bombers were attacked by swarms of opposing fighters and were devastated. Out of a strike force of 63 Battles and eight Bristol Blenheims, 40 (including 35 Battles) were lost.[33]
[34]
After these abortive raids, the Battle was switched to mainly night attacks, resulting in much lower losses.[35] A similar situation befell the German Luftwaffe during the early days of the Battle of Britain, when the Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber suffered equivalent losses in a similar role. With the exception of a few successful twin-engine designs such as the de Havilland Mosquito, Bristol Beaufighter and Douglas A-20, low-level attack missions passed into the hands of single-engine, fighter-bomber aircraft, such as the Hawker Hurricane, Hawker Typhoon and Republic P-47 Thunderbolt. On 15 June 1940, the last remaining aircraft of the Advanced Air Striking Force returned to Britain. In six weeks almost 200 Battles had been lost, with 99 lost between 10 and 16 May.[36] After the return from France, for a short period of time, the RAF continued to rely on the light bomber. Reforming No. 1 Group and later equipping four new Polish squadrons with the type, it continued to be deployed in operations against shipping massed in the Channel ports for Operation Sealion. Their last combat sortie was mounted on the night of 15/16 October 1940 by No. 301 (Polish) Squadron in a raid on Boulogne, and Nos 12 and 142 Squadrons bombing Calais. Shortly afterwards Battle squadrons of No. 1 Group were re-equipped with Vickers Wellington medium bombers.[37] Battles were operated into 1941 by 88 and 226 Squadrons in Northern Ireland and 98 Squadron in Iceland, for coastal patrol work.

East Africa

Meanwhile, the South African Air Force had been supplied with some Battles. In August 1940, No. 11 Squadron took possession of at least four, which were flown north to be operated in the Italian East Africa (Ethiopia, Italian Somaliland and Eritrea) campaign. They conducted bombing and reconnaissance operations. Whereas in France the RAF's Battles had encountered modern German fighters in large numbers, the South Africans faced a smaller number of Italian biplane fighters (Fiat CR.32 and CR.42), which enabled the aircrews to contribute more effectively to the campaign; but not without several losses, especially when surprised above some predictable targets (air bases, ports etc.). Italian biplanes dived as fast as possible over the bombers, trying to shoot them down in the first pass.

Greece

The last combat operations carried out by Fairey Battles were during the Italian and German invasion of Greece, from the end of 1940 until April 1941. A few Fairey Battles of the RAF and about a dozen belonging to the RHAF – serial numbers starting from B274 – participated in secondary bombing roles against enemy infantry. Most of them were destroyed on the ground by Luftwaffe air attacks on the airfields of Tanagra and Tatoi north of Athens between end of March and mid April 1941. No significant contribution of this type was reported during this period, although some hits were recorded by the Greek Air Force. Prior to the Second World War, in spring 1939, the Polish government had placed an order for 100 Battle bombers, but none of these were delivered before the outbreak of war. The first 22 aircraft were sent in early September 1939 on two ships to Constanta in Romania, to be received there by the Polish crews, but the ships were ordered back while in Istanbul when the fall of Poland became inevitable. They were next offered to Turkey.[41] Some sources state that the Fairey Battle was licence-produced in Denmark for the Danish Air Force before the German invasion in 1940, but no such plane is known to have been completed.

Trainer role

While found to be inadequate as a bomber aircraft in the Second World War, the Fairey Battle found a new niche in its later service life. As the Fairey Battle T, for which it was furnished with a dual-cockpit arrangement in place of the standard long canopy, the type served as a trainer aircraft. The Battle T was equipped with dual-controls in the cockpit and optionally featured a Bristol-built Type I gun turret when employed as a bombing/gunnery training.[43]
[44]
As the winch-equipped Fairey Battle TT target tug, it was used as a target-towing aircraft to support airborne gunnery training exercises. Furthermore, Battles were not only used in this role by the RAF, several overseas operators opted to acquire the type as a training platform.[45] In August 1939, the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) received its first batch of eight Battles at RCAF Station Borden, Ontario, Canada.[43] A total of 802 Battles were eventually delivered from England, serving in various roles and configurations, including dual-control trainers, target-tugs, and gunnery trainers for both the Bombing and Gunnery schools of the Commonwealth Air Training Plan.[44] Canadian use of the Battle declined as more advanced aircraft, such as the Bristol Bolingbroke and North American Harvard, were introduced; the type remained in RCAF service until shortly after the end of hostilities in 1945.[43] The Battle served as a trainer with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), which allocated it the prefix A22.[46] On 30 April 1940, the first four RAAF Battles were delivered to No. 1 Aircraft Depot; on 29 June 1940, the first assembled aircraft, P5239, conducted its first flight. Deliveries occurred at a steady pace until the last Battle was received on 7 December 1943.[47] These aircraft were a mix of bomber, target tug, and dual-control trainer variants; they were mainly used by Bombing and Gunnery schools until 1945; the last aircraft were phased out in 1949.[47] Following an initial evaluation using a handful of aircraft, the South African Air Force (SAAF) purchased a number of Battles; operated in the Western Desert and East Africa, SAAF Battles were used into early 1942.[31] Battles were also sold to the Turkish Air Force, who were reportedly pleased by the type's manoeuvrability.[45] The type remained in RAF service in secondary roles until 1949.

Engine testbed

While the Battle was no longer viable as a frontline combat aircraft, its benign handling characteristics meant that it was an ideal platform for testing engines, and it was used in this role to evaluate engines up to 2,000 hp (1,500 kW) including the Rolls-Royce Exe, Fairey Prince (H-16) and Napier Dagger.[47] These trials were often conducted to support the development of other aircraft, such as the Fairey Spearfish, as well as the suitability of the individual engines.[47] As part of a study of potential alternative engines in the event of supply interruptions of the Merlin engine, which normally powered the type, be encountered, a single Canadian Battle, R7439, was re-engined by Fairchild Aircraft with a Wright R-1820 Cycloneradial engine. R7439 was the sole aircraft to be equipped with this powerplant.[43] In 1939, one Battle, K9370, underwent extensive modifications in order to test the Fairey Monarch 2,000 hp (1,500 kW) or higher engine; in addition to the engine itself, K9370 was furnished with electrically-controlled three-bladed contra-rotating propellers and a large ventral radiator.[47] According to Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1946–47, the aircraft was shipped to the US after 86 hours test time in December 1941. Testing continued for a time at Wright Airfield, Liberty County, Georgia.[47] Two aircraft, K9270 and L5286, acted as flying testbeds for the Napier Sabre engine.[47] Modifications included the adoption of a fixed undercarriage, large ventral radiator, and an auxiliary intake. The two Sabre-equipped Battles accumulated roughly 700 flight hours.

Variants

Fairey Day Bomber

Prototype (K4303).



Battle Mk I

Three-seat light bomber version. Powered by a 1,030 hp (770 kW) Rolls-Royce Merlin I, a 1,030 hp (770 kW) Merlin II, Merlin III or Merlin V inline piston engines (sometimes known unofficially as Battle I, II, III, V respectively).[11]

Battle T

After May 1940, a number of Battle Mk Is, IIs and Vs were converted into training aircraft.

Battle IT

After May 1940, a number of Battle Mk Is, IIs and Vs were converted into training aircraft with a turret installed in the rear.

Battle IIT

In October 1940, a sole RCAF Battle Mk I was converted into a prototype for a future series, powered by an 840 hp (630 kW) Wright Cyclone R-1820-G38. The Battle IIT was conceived as a stopgap conversion in the likelihood that supplies of RR Merlins were unavailable.[48]

Battle TT

After May 1940, a number of Battle Mk Is, IIs and Vs were converted into target tug aircraft; 100 built.

Battle TT.Mk I

Target tug version. This was the last production version; 226 built.

Operators

In addition to the units listed, many Battles were operated by training schools, particularly for bombing and gunnery training. Australia· Royal Australian Air Force received 366 aircraft which were used for training purposes[49]
[50]
· · Belgium· Belgian Air Force operated 16 aircraft.[11] Canada· Royal Canadian Air Force received 739 aircraft. India· Indian Air Force received four Battles in 1942.[51] Ireland· Irish Air Corps interned 1 ex-RAF target tug in 1942. It was in use as a target tug from 1944 to 1946.[47]
[51]
Greece· Hellenic Air Force received 12 aircraft. Poland· Polish Air Forces on exile in Great Britaino No. 300 Polish Bomber Squadron Ziemi Mazowieckiejo No. 301 Polish Bomber Squadron Ziemi Pomorskiejo No. 304 Polish Bomber Squadron Ziemi Śląskiej im. Ks. Józefa Poniatowskiegoo No. 305 Polish Bomber Squadron Ziemi Wielkopolskiej im. Marszałka Józefa Piłsudskiego South Africa· South African Air Force received approximately 340 aircraft. o 11 Squadron SAAF
Turkey· Turkish Army Air Force received 30 aircraft, including 1 Target Tug.[52] United Kingdom· Royal Air Force· No. 12 Squadron RAF· · No. 15 Squadron RAF· · No. 35 Squadron RAF· · No. 40 Squadron RAF· · No. 52 Squadron RAF· · No. 63 Squadron RAF· · No. 88 Squadron RAF· · No. 98 Squadron RAF· · No. 103 Squadron RAF· · No. 105 Squadron RAF· · No. 106 Squadron RAF· · No. 141 Squadron RAF· · No. 142 Squadron RAF· · No. 150 Squadron RAF· · No. 185 Squadron RAF· · No. 207 Squadron RAF· · No. 218 Squadron RAF· · No. 226 Squadron RAF· · No. 234 Squadron RAF· · No. 235 Squadron RAF· · No. 239 Squadron RAF· · No. 242 Squadron RAF· · No. 245 Squadron RAF· · No. 253 Squadron RAF· · No. 266 Squadron RAF· · No. 616 Squadron RAF· · Fleet Air Arm (operated 3 aircraft)



Specifications (Mk.II)



General characteristics· Crew: 3· Length: 42 ft 4 in (12.91 m)· Wingspan: 54 ft 0 in (16.46 m)· Height: 15 ft 6 in (4.72 m)· Wing area: 422 ft² (39.2 m²)· Empty weight: 6,647 lb (3,015 kg)· Loaded weight: 10,792 lb (4,895 kg)· Powerplant: 1 × Rolls-Royce Merlin II liquid-cooled V12 engine, 1,030 hp (768 kW)

Performance· Maximum speed: 257 mph (223 kn, 413 km/h) at 15,000 ft (4,600 m)· Range: 1,000 mi (870 nmi, 1610 km)· Service ceiling: 25,000 ft (7,620 m)· Climb to 5,000 ft (1,520 m): 4 min 6 sec

Armament· Guns:o 1 × .303 in (7.7 mm) Browning machine gun in starboard wingo 1 × .303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers K machine gun in rear cabin· Bombs:o 1,000 lb (450 kg) bombs internally (4 × 250 lb (110 kg) bombs) oro 1,500 lb (680 kg) bombs externally
Old 07-03-2019, 12:04 PM
  #17304  
Top_Gunn
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It was the engine clues (11, 12, and 13) that got me headed in the right direction.

This one shouldn't be too hard.

Looking for the name of a warbird.

1. It was named for a bird.

2. Flown by ten countries.

3. Popular enough with modelers that scale models are sometimes seen. But not as many as you'll see of P-40's, if that's the airplane clue no. 1 made you think of.
Old 07-03-2019, 04:02 PM
  #17305  
Ernie P.
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Originally Posted by Top_Gunn View Post
It was the engine clues (11, 12, and 13) that got me headed in the right direction.

This one shouldn't be too hard.

Looking for the name of a warbird.

1. It was named for a bird.

2. Flown by ten countries.

3. Popular enough with modelers that scale models are sometimes seen. But not as many as you'll see of P-40's, if that's the airplane clue no. 1 made you think of.
I knew the engine clues might start someone looking in the right direction, but decided to give the clues anyhow. As to your question, how about the Snipe? Thanks; Ernie P.




Answer: Sopwith Snipe

The Sopwith 7F.1 Snipe was a British single-seat biplane fighter of the Royal Air Force (RAF). It was designed and built by the Sopwith Aviation Company during the First World War, and came into squadron service a few weeks before the end of the conflict, in late 1918. The Snipe was not a fast aircraft by the standards of its time, but its excellent climb and manoeuvrability made it a good match for contemporary German fighters. It was selected as the standard postwar single-seat RAF fighter and the last examples were not retired until 1926.
Design and development

In April 1917, Herbert Smith, the chief designer of the Sopwith Company, began to design a fighter intended to be the replacement for Sopwith's most famous aeroplane, the successful Sopwith Camel.[1] The resultant design, called Snipe by Sopwith, was in its initial form a single-bay biplane, slightly smaller than the Camel, and intended to be powered by similar engines.[nb 1] The pilot sat higher than in the Camel while the centre-section of the upper wing was uncovered, giving a better view from the cockpit. Armament was to be two Vickers machine guns.[3]
[4]
In the absence of an official order, Sopwith began construction of two prototypes as a private venture in September 1917. This took advantage of a licence that had been granted to allow construction of four Sopwith Rhino bomber prototypes, only two of which were built. The first prototype Snipe, powered by a Bentley AR.1 rotary engine was completed in October 1917.[1]
[4]
The second prototype was completed with the new, more powerful Bentley BR.2, engine, which gave 230 horsepower (170 kW) in November 1917. This promised better performance, and prompted an official contract for six prototypes to be placed, including the two aircraft built as private ventures.[5] The third prototype to fly, serial number B9965, had modified wings, with a wider centre-section and a smaller cutout for the pilot, while the fuselage had a fully circular section, rather than the slab-sided one of the first two aircraft, and the tail was smaller. It was officially tested in December 1917, reaching a speed of 119 mph (192 km/h), and was then rebuilt with longer-span (30 ft (9.14 m)) two-bay wings (compared with the 25 ft 9 in (7.85 m) single bay wings).[6] This allowed the Snipe to compete for Air Board Specification A.1(a) for a high-altitude single-seat fighter. This specification required a speed of at least 135 mph (225 km/h) at 15,000 ft (4,573 m) and a ceiling of at least 25,000 ft (7,620 m) while carrying an armament of two fixed and one swivelling machine gun. An oxygen supply and heated clothing were to be provided for the pilot to aid operation at high altitude.[7]
[8]
The Snipe was evaluated against three other fighter prototypes, all powered by the Bentley BR.2 engine: the Austin Osprey triplane, the Boulton & Paul Bobolink and the Nieuport B.N.1. While there was little difference in performance between the aircraft, the Sopwith was selected for production, with orders for 1,700 Snipes placed in March 1918.[9] The Snipe's structure was heavier but much stronger than earlier Sopwith fighters. Although not a fast aircraft for 1918, it was very manoeuvrable, and much easier to handle than the Camel, with a superior view from the cockpit - especially forwards and upwards. The Snipe also had a superior rate of climb, and much better high-altitude performance compared with its predecessor, allowing it to fight Germany's newer fighters on more equal terms. Further modifications were made to the Snipe during the war and postwar. The Snipe was built around the Bentley BR2 engine - the last rotary to be used by the RAF. It had a maximum speed of 121 mph at 10,000 ft compared with the Camel's 115 mph (185 km/h) at the same altitude and an endurance of three hours. Its fixed armament consisted of two 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers machine guns on the cowling, and it was also able to carry up to four 25 lb (11 kg) bombs for ground attack work, identical to the Camel's armament. The design allowed for a single Lewis gun to be mounted on the centre section in a similar manner to those carried by the Dolphin - in the event this was not fitted to production aircraft. The Snipe began production in 1918, with more than 4,500 being ordered. Production ended in 1919, with just under 500 being built, the rest being cancelled due to the end of the war. There was only one variant, the Snipe I, with production by several companies including Sopwith, Boulton & Paul Ltd, Coventry Ordnance Works, D. Napier & Son, Nieuport and Ruston, Proctor and Company. Two aircraft were re-engined with a 320 hp (239 kW) ABC Dragonfly radial engine and these entered production as the Sopwith Dragon. An armoured version entered production as the Sopwith Salamander.
Operational history



First World War

In March 1918, an example was evaluated by No.1 Aeroplane Supply Depot (No.1 ASD) at St-Omer in France. Lieutenant L. N. Hollinghurst (later an ace in Sopwith Dolphins, and an Air Chief Marshal) flew to 24,000 ft in 45 minutes. He stated that the aircraft was tail heavy and had "a very poor rudder", but that otherwise manoeuvrability was good. The first squadron to equip with the new fighter was No. 43 Squadron, based at Fienvillers in France, which replaced its Camels with 15 Snipes on 30 August 1918. After spending much of September training, it flew its first operational patrols equipped with the Snipe on 24 September.[11] The Snipe also saw service with No. 4 Squadron Australian Flying Corps (AFC) from October 1918. While 43 Squadron's Snipes saw relatively little combat, the Australians had more success, claiming five victories on 26 October and six on 28 October, while on 29 October, 4 Squadron claimed eight Fokker D.VIIs destroyed and two more driven down out of control for the loss of one of 15 Snipes. No. 208 Squadron RAF converted from Camels in November, too late for the Snipes to see action. One of the most famous incidents in which the Snipe was involved occurred on 27 October 1918 when Canadian Major William G. Barker attached to No. 201 Squadron RAF flew over the Forêt de Mormal in France. Barker's Snipe (No. E8102) had been brought with him for personal evaluation purposes in connection with his UK-based training duties and was therefore operationally a "one-off". The engagement with enemy aircraft occurred at the end of a two-week posting to renew his combat experience as Barker was returning to the UK. While on his last operation over the battlefields of France, Major Barker attacked a two-seater German aircraft and swiftly shot it down. However, Barker was soon attacked by a formation of at least 15 Fokker D.VIIs, an aircraft widely considered to be the best operational German fighter of the First World War. The ensuing melee was observed by many Allied troops. In the engagement, Barker was wounded three times, twice losing consciousness momentarily, but managing to shoot down at least three D.VIIs before making a forced landing on the Allied front lines. Barker was awarded the Victoria Cross for this action. The fuselage of this Snipe is preserved at the Canadian War Museum, Ottawa, Ontario.
Old 07-03-2019, 04:13 PM
  #17306  
Ernie P.
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Originally Posted by Top_Gunn View Post
It was the engine clues (11, 12, and 13) that got me headed in the right direction.

This one shouldn't be too hard.

Looking for the name of a warbird.

1. It was named for a bird.

2. Flown by ten countries.

3. Popular enough with modelers that scale models are sometimes seen. But not as many as you'll see of P-40's, if that's the airplane clue no. 1 made you think of.
And, of course, before there was a Warhawk, there was a Hawk. Thanks; Ernie P.
The Curtiss P-36 Hawk, also known as the Curtiss Hawk Model 75, is an American-designed and built fighter aircraft of the 1930s and 40s. A contemporary of both the Hawker Hurricane and Messerschmitt Bf 109, it was one of the first of a new generation of combat aircraft—a sleek monoplane design making extensive use of metal in its construction and powered by a powerful radial engine.Perhaps best known as the predecessor of the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, the P-36 saw little combat with the United States Army Air Forces during World War II. It was nevertheless the fighter used most extensively and successfully by the French Armee de l'air during the Battle of France. The P-36 was also ordered by the governments of the Netherlands and Norway, but did not arrive in time to see action before both were occupied by Nazi Germany. The type was also manufactured under license in China, for the Republic of China Air Force, as well as in British India, for the Royal Air Force (RAF) and Royal Indian Air Force (RIAF).Axis and co-belligerent air forces also made significant use of captured P-36s. Following the fall of France and Norway in 1940, several dozen P-36s were seized by Germany and transferred to Finland; these aircraft saw extensive action with the Ilmavoimat (Finnish Air Force) against the Soviet Air Forces. The P-36 was also used by Vichy French air forces in several minor conflicts; in one of these, the Franco-Thai War of 1940–41, P-36s were used by both sides.From mid-1940, some P-36s en route for France and the Netherlands were diverted to Allied air forces in other parts of the world. The Hawks ordered by the Netherlands were diverted to the Dutch East Indies and later saw action against Japanese forces. French orders were taken up by British Commonwealth air forces, and saw combat with both the South African Air Force (SAAF) against Italian forces in East Africa, and with the RAF over Burma. Within the Commonwealth, the type was usually referred to as the Curtiss Mohawk.With around 1,000 aircraft built by Curtiss itself, the P-36 was a major commercial success for the company. It also became the basis not only of the P-40, but two other, unsuccessful prototypes: the P-37 and the XP-42.
Old 07-03-2019, 04:19 PM
  #17307  
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Not the snipe or the hawk, so here's your bonus clue:

Looking for the name of a warbird.

1. It was named for a bird.

2. Flown by ten countries.

3. Popular enough with modelers that scale models are sometimes seen. But not as many as you'll see of P-40's, if that's the airplane clue no. 1 made you think of.

4. It was withdrawn from service very early when it was tried out in a major war.
Old 07-04-2019, 04:02 AM
  #17308  
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Today's clue:

Looking for the name of a warbird.

1. It was named for a bird.

2. Flown by ten countries.

3. Popular enough with modelers that scale models are sometimes seen. But not as many as you'll see of P-40's, if that's the airplane clue no. 1 made you think of.

4. It was withdrawn from service very early when it was tried out in a major war.

5. It was a single-engine monoplane.
Old 07-05-2019, 04:27 AM
  #17309  
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Today's clue, and one word has been added to clue 4, which was inaccurate if read literally:

Looking for the name of a warbird.

1. It was named for a bird.

2. Flown by ten countries.

3. Popular enough with modelers that scale models are sometimes seen. But not as many as you'll see of P-40's, if that's the airplane clue no. 1 made you think of.

4. It was withdrawn from combat service very early when it was tried out in a major war.

5. It was a single-engine monoplane.

6. Its original military uses were reconnaissance and bombing. Having proved unsatisfactory in those roles, it was used as a trainer.
Old 07-05-2019, 06:40 AM
  #17310  
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How about the Vindicator? It was withdrawn from service in June 1942, by the US, after it and the Brewster Buffalo were decimated at Midway. The Dauntless and Aichi D3A both outperformed the Vindicator though, as shown at Midway, the D3A could be easily shot down by both AA and Wildcats.
Old 07-05-2019, 12:05 PM
  #17311  
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Not the Vindicator, which was not named for a bird, but close enough for a bonus clue:

Looking for the name of a warbird.

1. It was named for a bird.

2. Flown by ten countries.

3. Popular enough with modelers that scale models are sometimes seen. But not as many as you'll see of P-40's, if that's the airplane clue no. 1 made you think of.

4. It was withdrawn from combat service very early when it was tried out in a major war.

5. It was a single-engine monoplane.

6. Its original military uses were reconnaissance and bombing. Having proved unsatisfactory in those roles, it was used as a trainer.

7. Its one military-related "first" involved bombing.
Old 07-06-2019, 04:27 AM
  #17312  
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Today's clue, and some more information in clue 6:

Looking for the name of a warbird.

1. It was named for a bird.

2. Flown by ten countries.

3. Popular enough with modelers that scale models are sometimes seen. But not as many as you'll see of P-40's, if that's the airplane clue no. 1 made you think of.

4. It was withdrawn from combat service very early when it was tried out in a major war.

5. It was a single-engine monoplane.

6. Its original military uses were reconnaissance and bombing. Having proved unsatisfactory in those roles, it was used as a trainer, a job for which it was better suited.

7. Its one military-related "first" involved bombing.

8. One of its weaknesses as a bomber was poor maneuverability.
Old 07-07-2019, 05:24 AM
  #17313  
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Today's possibly very helpful clue:

Looking for the name of a warbird.

1. It was named for a bird.

2. Flown by ten countries.

3. Popular enough with modelers that scale models are sometimes seen. But not as many as you'll see of P-40's, if that's the airplane clue no. 1 made you think of.

4. It was withdrawn from combat service very early when it was tried out in a major war.

5. It was a single-engine monoplane.

6. Its original military uses were reconnaissance and bombing. Having proved unsatisfactory in those roles, it was used as a trainer, a job for which it was better suited.

7. Its one military-related "first" involved bombing.

8. One of its weaknesses as a bomber was poor maneuverability.

9, Versions of this airplane were manufactured by a surprisingly large number of companies. Its designer and original manufacturer sued the first person to copy his design, but dropped the suit after the war began and made the design available to all comers.
Old 07-08-2019, 04:29 AM
  #17314  
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Today's clue:

Looking for the name of a warbird.

1. It was named for a bird.

2. Flown by ten countries.

3. Popular enough with modelers that scale models are sometimes seen. But not as many as you'll see of P-40's, if that's the airplane clue no. 1 made you think of.

4. It was withdrawn from combat service very early when it was tried out in a major war.

5. It was a single-engine monoplane.

6. Its original military uses were reconnaissance and bombing. Having proved unsatisfactory in those roles, it was used as a trainer, a job for which it was better suited.

7. Its one military-related "first" involved bombing.

8. One of its weaknesses as a bomber was poor maneuverability.

9, Versions of this airplane were manufactured by a surprisingly large number of companies. Its designer and original manufacturer sued the first person to copy his design, but dropped the suit after the war began and made the design available to all comers.

10. Model kits of this airplane are still being made.
Old 07-09-2019, 04:19 AM
  #17315  
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Today's clue:

Looking for the name of a warbird.

1. It was named for a bird.

2. Flown by ten countries.

3. Popular enough with modelers that scale models are sometimes seen. But not as many as you'll see of P-40's, if that's the airplane clue no. 1 made you think of.

4. It was withdrawn from combat service very early when it was tried out in a major war.

5. It was a single-engine monoplane.

6. Its original military uses were reconnaissance and bombing. Having proved unsatisfactory in those roles, it was used as a trainer, a job for which it was better suited.

7. Its one military-related "first" involved bombing.

8. One of its weaknesses as a bomber was poor maneuverability.

9, Versions of this airplane were manufactured by a surprisingly large number of companies. Its designer and original manufacturer sued the first person to copy his design, but dropped the suit after the war began and made the design available to all comers.

10. Model kits of this airplane are still being made.

11. The two kits that I know of are sport-scale versions. One of their departures from true scale makes the models more maneuverable than the full-scale airplane was. It also simplifies construction. Another simplifies the landing gear. Some of the full-scale copies manufactured during the war also had simplified landing gear.
Old 07-09-2019, 04:28 AM
  #17316  
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Albatros F-3?

Old 07-09-2019, 05:23 AM
  #17317  
Ernie P.
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Al Gunn; you have a PM. Thanks; Ernie P.
Old 07-09-2019, 06:08 AM
  #17318  
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Not the Albatros, but you're getting close. Here's your bonus clue:

Looking for the name of a warbird.

1. It was named for a bird.

2. Flown by ten countries.

3. Popular enough with modelers that scale models are sometimes seen. But not as many as you'll see of P-40's, if that's the airplane clue no. 1 made you think of.

4. It was withdrawn from combat service very early when it was tried out in a major war.

5. It was a single-engine monoplane.

6. Its original military uses were reconnaissance and bombing. Having proved unsatisfactory in those roles, it was used as a trainer, a job for which it was better suited.

7. Its one military-related "first" involved bombing.

8. One of its weaknesses as a bomber was poor maneuverability.

9, Versions of this airplane were manufactured by a surprisingly large number of companies. Its designer and original manufacturer sued the first person to copy his design, but dropped the suit after the war began and made the design available to all comers.

10. Model kits of this airplane are still being made.

11. The two kits that I know of are sport-scale versions. One of their departures from true scale makes the models more maneuverable than the full-scale airplane was. It also simplifies construction. Another simplifies the landing gear. Some of the full-scale copies manufactured during the war also had simplified landing gear.

12. It had a somewhat unusual wing shape, which was based on the shape of a seed, not the wing of the bird the airplane was named for.
Old 07-09-2019, 08:28 AM
  #17319  
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It must be the Etrich Taube. It had a very bird like appearance but the bird wasn't the basis for the wing design.
Old 07-09-2019, 08:52 AM
  #17320  
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Originally Posted by FlyerInOKC View Post
It must be the Etrich Taube. It had a very bird like appearance but the bird wasn't the basis for the wing design.
That's the airplane! "Taube" is German for "dove." The Taube, according to Wikipedia, was the first plane to drop a bomb. More details here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etrich_Taube

Even more detail in German here: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etrich_Taube

According to the German Wikipedia article, more than 40 firms made variants of the design under their own names. Rumpler was the first, and the one which Etrich sued.
Old 07-09-2019, 09:29 AM
  #17321  
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Cool! I thought I had it figured out. Now that puts me on the hook. Anyone else care to take a stab at it? Let me do a bit of a think and if no one else jumps in I'll come up with something.
Old 07-09-2019, 12:09 PM
  #17322  
Ernie P.
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Originally Posted by FlyerInOKC View Post
Cool! I thought I had it figured out. Now that puts me on the hook. Anyone else care to take a stab at it? Let me do a bit of a think and if no one else jumps in I'll come up with something.
Good job, Sir! I think Al did a fine job of playing the clues. Thanks; Ernie P.
Old 07-09-2019, 12:41 PM
  #17323  
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OK just to change things up a bit by going with the infamous. I'm looking for a warbird. Good luck!

1. This airplane's roots started out with an unusual specification.
2. The service leadership had second thoughts and the design was modified to drop this specification but the initial prototype kept an unusual tail feature.
Old 07-09-2019, 12:52 PM
  #17324  
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I know I just started but I may need to step away from the computer this evening so I'll post the evening clue now.
I'm looking for an infamous warbird. Good luck!

1. This airplane's roots started out with an unusual specification.
2. The service leadership had second thoughts and the design was modified to drop this specification but the initial prototype kept an unusual tail feature.
3. The initial order was for 3 prototypes and each one was sufficiently different due to changing specifications to cause a change in name. (And I thought I my specs was wishy washy!)
Old 07-09-2019, 07:04 PM
  #17325  
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