Gotha Go 242A-1 (Huma Models)

TYPE: Assault and transport glider

ACCOMMODATION: One or two pilots + 23 troops or equivalent freight

POWER PLANT: None

PERFORMANCE: 186 mph

COMMENT: The Gotha Go 242 was designed in response to a ReichsLuftfahrt Ministerium (RLM) requirement for a heavy transport glider to replace the DFS 230 then in service. The requirement was for a glider capable of carrying 20 fully laden troops or the equivalent cargo.
The aircraft was a high-wing monoplane with a simple square-section fuselage ending in clamshell doors used to load cargo. The empennage was mounted on twin booms linked by a tail plane. The fuselage was formed of steel tubing covered with doped fabric. The flight characteristics of the design were better than those of the DFS 230. Cargo versions of the glider featured a hinged rear fuselage loading ramp that could accommodate a small vehicle such as a “Kübelwagen” (Jeep) or loads of similar size and weight.
Two prototypes flew in 1941 and the type quickly entered production. At the end of 1942 253 Gotha Go 242A-0 and A-1A have been delivered primarily used for freight transportation. For take-off a two wheel jettisonable landing gear and for landing three landing skids were provided. In total 1,259 Gotha Go 242A-0 and A-1 were produced.
In service, Go 242s were towed into the air by Heinkel He 111s or Junkers Ju 52s. Most saw service in the Mediterranean, North Africa, and Aegean. Occasionally, Junkers Ju 87D-2 were used as tow plane. These had strengthened rear fuselage and combined tailwheel and hook for towing the Gotha Go 242.
Furthermore, the glider was tested with rockets for overloaded take offs. A jettisonable rack of four 48 kg Rheinmetall RI 502 solid fuel rockets each developing at 153 kp thrust for six seconds was attached to the rear of the cargo compartment. These were ignited in sequence to provide a continuous 153 kp thrust for 24 seconds.
A second rocket assisted system called the “R” (Rauch) Gerät (“Smoke” Decice)  was also used with the glider. This was a liquid-fuel Walter KG R I-203 (HWK 500A) “Starthilfe” (Take-off Assist) monopropellant, RATO podded rocket engine which was mounted beneath the wing on either side of the body and was jettisoned after takeoff, parachuting down to be recycled (Ref.: 24).

Tachikawa Ki-94-I (A+V Models, Resin)

TYPE: High-altitude fighter. Project

ACCOMMODATION: Pilot in pressurized cockpit

POWER PLANT: One Mitsubishi Ha-211 Ru radial engine, rated at 2,200 hp

PERFORMANCE: 485 mph at 32,810 ft (estimated)

COMMENT: Preliminary discussions regarding a heavily armed high-altitude fighter were held between the Koku Hombu and Tachikawa Hikoki K. K. in mid-1942. The new aircraft was to be fitted with a pressure cabin and capable of reaching a top speed of 490 mph.  The aircraft proposed by Tachikawa, which received the Kita designation Ki-94, was of a highly unconventional design. The aircraft was a large twin-boom monoplane, powered by two 2,200 hp Mitsubishi Ha-211 Ru air-cooled radials which were mounted fore and aft of the pilot’s cockpit and drove four-blade tractor and pusher propellers. The very heavy armament that should have been mounted on the aircraft should have been powerful enough to make short work of most US heavy bombers of that area at that time. A full-scale wooden mock-up of the Ki-94 was ordered and built although at the same time a contract was placed with Nakajima for another high-altitude fighter, the Ki- 87, with less stringent range requirements as a fall-back design for the Tachikawa Ki-94.
Notwithstanding the outstanding prospective performance, which however was judged by the technical department of the Japanese Army Air Force as “unduly optimistic” and too complex, the design was discarded. But in mid-1943 Tachikawa submitted a new proposal to meet the same requirements as the competitive Nakajima Ki-87. In order to avoid confusion the Kitai designation the first Tachikawa design received the designation Ki-94-I, and the new design Ki-94-II (Ref.: 1, 24).

Consolidated B-24D”Liberator”, 389th BG (H), 8th USAAF (Matchbox)

TYPE: Heavy long-range bomber, in service as Assembly ship

ACCOMMODATION: Crew of five to six

POWER PLANT: Four Pratt & Whitney R-1830-35 turbocharged “Twin-Wasp” radial engines, rated at 1.200 hp each

PERFORMANCE: 290 mph

COMMENT: In February 1944, the 2nd Division of the Eight Army Air Force in Europe authorized the use of “Assembly Ships” (or “Formation Ships”) specially fitted to aid assembly of individual group formations. They were equipped with signal lighting, provision for quantity discharge of pyrotechnics, and were painted with distinctive group-specific high-contrast patterns of stripes, checkers or polka dots to enable easy recognition by their flock of bombers. The aircraft used in the first allocation were B-24Ds retired by the 44th, 93rd and 389th Groups. Arrangements for signal lighting varied from group to group, but generally consisted of white flashing lamps on both sides of the fuselage arranged to form the identification letter of the group. All armament and armor was removed and in some cases the tail turret. In the B-24Hs used for this purpose, the nose turret was removed and replaced by a “carpetbagger” type nose. Following incidents when flare guns were accidentally discharged inside the rear fuselage, some assembly (formation) ships had pyrotechnic guns fixed through the fuselage sides. As these aircraft normally returned to base once a formation had been established, a skeleton crew of two pilots, navigator, radio operator and one or two flare discharge operators were carried. In some groups an observer officer flew in the tail position to monitor the formation. These aircraft became known as „”Judas goats“.
The assembly ship shown here belonged to the 389th Bombardment Group (Heavy) “The Sky Scorpions” stationed at Hethel, UK from 1943 to 1945 (Ref: 24).

Messerschmitt Me P.1102/105 (Antares Models, Resin)

TYPE: Fast medium bomber, heavy fighter. Project

ACCOMMODATION: Pilot only

POWER PLANT: Three Heinkel-Hirth HeS 011 turbojet engines, rated at 1,200 kp each

PERFORMANCE: 627 mph

COMMENT: During the summer of 1944, the Messerschmitt Me P.1102/105 project was on the drawing board at the same time as the Me P.1101 projects were designed, e. g. Me P.1101/92, Me P.1101/99 and Me P.1101/101. Several of these projects were of variable-geometry wing designs, a configuration which was a novelty in aircraft designing at that time.
The Messerschmitt Me P.1102/105 was developed as a fast bomber and heavy fighter.The variable-sweep wings were mounted in the center of the fuselage and could be swept between 15 and 50 degrees. For take-off and landing the wings were to be set at 20 degrees and for high speed flight the wings were to be set at the maximum of 50 degrees. The tail unit was of a normal configuration, with the tail planes swept back at 60 degrees.
Three jet engines powered the Me P.1102/105, two were located beneath the fuselage nose and one was located in the tail with an air intake on the top of the rear fuselage to feed this turbojet. Either three BMW 003 or Heinkel-Hirth He S 011 jet engines were to be employed. A single pilot sat in a cockpit located in the forward fuselage and three fuel tanks of 1200 liter capacity each were located behind the cockpit. The lower fuselage held an internal bomb bay and the tricycle landing gear.
The collapse of Germany ended work on this design. All Messerschmitt documentation relating to this projects series was seized by the US and was used in the development of several post-war aircraft. The Messerschmitt Me P.1102/105 project’s unusual three-engine power plant arrangement, in particular, was employed on the Martin XB-51 high-speed attack-interceptor which first flew in mid-1949 (Ref.: 17).

Aichi S1A1 “Denko” (“Bolt of Light”), A+V Models, Resin)

TYPE: Night fighter

ACCOMMODATION: Crew of two

POWER PLANT: Two Nakajima NK9K-s radial engines, rated at 2,000 hp each

PERFORMANCE: 360 mph

COMMENT: The Aichi S1A “Denko” (“Bolt of Light”) was a Japanese night fighter, intended to replace the Nakajima J1N1-S “Gekko” (“Moonlight”, Allied code name “Irving”). It was to be, like the “Gekko”, equipped with radar to counter the B-29 air raids over the Japan. Development time increased while trying to overcome design shortcomings, such as the insufficient power of the Navy’s requested Nakajima “Homare” engines, resulting in no aircraft being completed before the war ended.
Because it was full of special equipment the “Denko’s” service weight exceeded ten thousand kilograms. Some of this specialized equipment included oxygen injection but the turbocharger’s remote location from the engine caused many problems. Because the initial prototypes’ engines did not pass Navy standards only two were ever manufactured. Two more had been planned before cancellation that would have used the more powerful Mitsubishi HI MK9A Ru or MK10A Ru engines.
Additionally, Tonokai earthquake occurred in December 1944 and the aircraft factories and prototypes were badly damaged. On 1945 June 9 the airstrikes on Aichi Kokuki KK and Aichi Tokei Denki Seizo Co, Ltd blew up the first prototype and forced movement of the second to the Gifu large Sadakazu factory to be assembled. But on July 9 of that year another airstrike destroyed the second prototype. At that time Aichi S1A “Denko” was the most massive fighter developed in Japan’s naval history (Ref.: 24).