Martin PBM-5 “Mariner”, ( Rare Planes Vacforms, Vacu Formed)

TYPE: Long-range patrol bomber flying boat

ACCOMMODATION: Crew of seven

POWER PLANT: Two Pratt & Whitney R-2800 radial engines, rated at 2,100 hp each

PERFORMANCE: 205 mph

COMMENT: The Martin PBM-5 “Mariner” was an American patrol bomber flying boat of WW II. It was designed to complement the Consolidated PBY “Catalina” in service with the US Navy.
Designed in 1937, the Model 162 continued the rivalry which had sprung up between Martin and Consolidated by challenging the latter company’s PBY “Catalina”.  A somewhat later design than the PBY, the Martin 162 was in due course to demonstrate a marked superiority of performance, an although it served in smaller quantities than the PBY during WW II, it continued to give important service for many years after 1945.
The Model 162 design featured a deep hull with a gull wing and two Wright “Cyclone” engines. To test the handling qualities of the design, Martin built a single-seat, quarter-scale model known as the Model 162A, an on June 1937, the US Navy places a contract for a single full-scale prototype, to be designated XPBM-1. First flown on February 1939, the XPBM-1 had 1,600 hp Wright R-2600-6 engines an provision for nose and dorsal turrets plus additional gun positions at the waist and tail position. The XPBM-1 was designed to carry 2,000 lb bombs or depth-charges. It had retractable stabilizing floats under the wing and a flat tailplane with outrigged fins. Later, dihedral was added to the tailplane, canting the fins inward to give the Martin flying boat one of its most striking characteristics. At the end of 1937 the Navy ordered 20 production model PBM-1s, for which the name “Mariner” was eventually chosen. All aircraft were completed by April 1941 and went into service during 1941.
On November 1941, orders were placed with Martin for 379 PBM-3 “Mariners and these appeared, from 1942 onwards, in several different versions. All “Mariners” from the -3 model onward had fixed, strut-braced wing floats and lengthened engine nacelles, the latter providing stowage for bombs or depth-charges. The basic PBM-3 had Wright R-2600-12 engines, and variants includes 50 unarmed PBM-3R transports with seats for 20 passengers, 274 PBM3Cs with standardized US/British equipment and 201 PBM-3Dswith Wright  R-2600-22 engines and improved armament and armor protection. Many of the PBM-3Cs and -3Ds carried search radar in a large housing above and behind the cockpit, and experience with the use of this radar led to development in 1944 of a long-range anti-submarine version, the Martin PBM-3S. A total of 156 of the latter variant were delivered, with R-2600-12 engines.
In 1943, the Martin XPBM-5 appeared with 2,100 Pratt & Whitney R-2800-22 or -34 engines, and production contracts were placed for this variant in January 1944. The PBM-5, delivered from August 1944 to the end of the war, had eight 0.50-in machine guns and AN/APS-15 radar. They were used as long-range reconnaissance aircraft and for the anti-submarine role. Production totaled 631 aircraft (Ref.: 23).

Dornier Do 317 V1 (MPM Models)

TYPE: Medium bomber

ACCOMMODATION: Crew of four

POWER PLANT: Two Daimler-Benz DB 603A liquid-cooled piston engines, rated at 1,750 hp each

PERFORMANCE: 348 mph at 19,685 ft

COMMENT: When the “Führungsstab der Luftwaffe” (Operations Staff of the Luftwaffe) drafted its so-called “Bomber B” requirement which was translated into a specification for issue to selected airframe manufactures in July 1939 by the “Technischen Amt des Reichluftfahrtministeriums” (RLM), (Technical Office of the RLM), its intention was nor merely the provision of successors for the Junkers Ju 88 and Heinkel He 111; its aim was also to carry the state of the art in medium bomber design a significant step forward.
The specification was noteworthy in the performance advances that it stipulated, and equally so in design innovations that it called for. The “Bomber B” had to possess a range of 2,237 miles do endow it with a radius of action sufficient to encompass the entire British Isles from bases that it was assumed would be available in France and Norway, a maximum speed of 373 mph at 19,685-22,965 ft., which compared favourably with the speeds of the best contemporary fighters, and a bomb load of 4,410 lb. It had to carry three or four crew members, possess a loaded weight of the order of 44,090 lb., and be of twin-engined configuration, utilizing the extremely advanced 24-cylinder liquid-cooled Daimler-Benz DB 604 or Junkers Jumo 222 engines then at an early stage in development, but the really radical demands of the specification were its insistence on pressurized accommodation for the crew, and the use of remotely-controlled barbettes to house defensive armament.
Initially, the specification was issued to four manufacturers: Arado, Dornier, Focke-Wulf and Junkers, although the scope of the contest was later to be broadened to include Henschel (Henschel Hs 130) when it was realized by the RLM that this company has more pressure cabin experience than any other contestants, with the possible exception of Junkers. The final proposals of the original four competing companies were submitted to the “Technisches Amt” in July 1940, and evaluation eliminated the Arado contender, the Ar 340, prototypes being ordered of each of the other contender, Dornier Do 317, Focke-Wulf Fw 191 and Junkers Ju 288.
Dornier’s proposal was based broadly on the design of the Dornier Do 217, the four crew members being housed ahead of the wing in a pressure cabin which, taking the form of a detachable compartment pressurized by tapping the superchargers of the Daimler-Benz DB 604 engines, was extensively glazed by a series of curved panels.
Two versions of the Do 317 were proposed: the simplified Do 317A, powered by two DB 603A engines (instead of the troublesome Daimler-Benz DB 604) and featuring conventional defensive armament, and the more advanced Do 317B with the heavy 1.5 tonnes apiece, counter-rotating DB 610A/B “power system” engines, remotely aimed “Fernbedienbare Drehlafette” (FDL)-style gun turrets (remotely-controlled turrets), heavier bombload, and an extended wing.
Six prototypes of the Dornier Do 317A were ordered, and the first of these, the Do 317 V1, commenced its flight test program on September 1943. The Do 317 V1 was very similar in appearance to the later Dornier Do 217K and -M subtypes, with a visually reframed slight variation of its multiple glazed-panel “stepless cockpit”, fully glazed nose design that accommodated a pressurized cabin provision, and triangular tailfins. Trials with the Do 317 V1 revealed no real performance advance over the Do 217. However, it was clear even at this point that the call for designs was to some extent a formality, as the Junkers Ju 288 design had already been selected for production. So it was decided to complete the remaining five prototypes without cabin pressurization equipment and fit them out with FuG 230 “Kehl-Straßburg” radio guidance transmitting gear to employ them as Henschel Hs 293 missile launchers. In this form, the prototypes were redesignated Dornier Do 217R. At this time, the Do 317B project was abandoned due to changing wartime conditions (Ref.: 7, 24).

Tachikawa Ki-54c (Army Type 1 Transport Model C), (“Hickory”), (A+V Models, Resin)

TYPE: Trainer and light transport aircraft

ACCOMMODATION: Crew of two plus eight passengers or equivalent cargo

POWER PLANT: Two Hitachi Ha-13a radial engines, rated at 510 hp each

PERFORMANCE: 233 mph

COMMENT: The Tachikawa Ki-54 was a Japanese twin-engine advanced trainer and light  transport aircraft used during WW II. The aircraft was developed in response to an Imperial Japanese Army Air Force requirement for a twin-engine multi-purpose trainer, principally for crew training. The prototype first flew in summer 1940 and, on completing trials, entered production in 1941 as “Army Type 1 Advanced Trainer Model A” (Tachikawa Ki-54a). The Ki-54a was soon followed by the Tachikawa Ki-54b as “Army Type 1 Operations Trainer Model B” and Tachikawa Ki-54c as “Army Type 1 Transport Model C”.
The Tachikawa Ki-54c was a light transport and communication version characterized by its smooth upper fuselage line and was fitted with eight seats. A similar version was built in small numbers as Tachikawa Y-59 for civil operators. Late in the war an all-wood version of the Ki-54c, the Tachikawa Ki-110 was built, but the aircraft was destroyed during an American air raid.
As a crew trainer and light transport, the Tachikawa Ki-54 was one of the most successful Japanese aircraft of the war and was well known to the Allies which named it “Hickory” regardless of the version. The code name “Joyce” was erroneously assigned to a non-existent light bomber version.
A total of 1,368 Ki-54 were built by Tachikawa Hikoki K.K. during the war. A few captured aircraft were flown after the war by various users (Ref.: 1, 24).