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Hajo L.

WIP: ACH-47A in 1/72, Italeri-kit + Eduard

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Basically what Ray said. In addition, feeding without the feed chutes was often less reliable (see the welding of ration cans to the feed tray on the M60 to help prevent jamming), but the benefits of additional flexibility and ease of reloading were seen by many to trump this. Jams weren't unheard of with the feed chutes either and clearing them was more complicated with them than without. I believe the feed chutes were lubricated to try and improve reliability (and I also believe this is what you see happening in the picture with the feed chute fitted), which potentially added additional issues to the entire system.

Edited by thatguy96

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Perfect!

Because I have some nice photo-etched ammo-belts that will suit really fine here. Would have been more complicated to scratch ammo-chutes.

HAJO

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Basically what Ray said. In addition, feeding without the feed chutes was often less reliable (see the welding of ration cans to the feed tray on the M60 to help prevent jamming), but the benefits of additional flexibility and ease of reloading were seen by many to trump this. Jams weren't unheard of with the feed chutes either and clearing them was more complicated with them than without. I believe the feed chutes were lubricated to try and improve reliability (and I also believe this is what you see happening in the picture with the feed chute fitted), which potentially added additional issues to the entire system.

Joe,

I know you are a fanatic for the details so I thought you might like to know that the C-ration cans just snapped into place on the M60. No need to weld them. Also, both full and empty cans were used. Some guys used the empty cans because Vietnamese kids would steal them if they were full. My dad used the same can of spaghetti his whole tour and a tradition was to eat your can of rations on your last flight. However, some little kid ripped dad's off right before he left country!

Ray

Edited by rotorwash

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Had no idea. Good to know. The anecdotes I'd always read talked about more permanent attachment, but it was probably better that it didn't require that level of modification.

Field mods are actually not something I've delved too much into because there are so many variations it makes trying to keep track of official and semi-official variants seem like a cakewalk. I actually found an Army Concept Team in Vietnam (ACTIV) report on field modifications to Army aircraft in Vietnam and its surprisingly sparse all around. I imagine they found it similarly difficult to try and catalog everything that was being done.

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Another good reason to avoid the feed chutes and use the can on the side was a condition we could get called run away gun. This generally was a result of the barrel chamber getting too hot and causing cook off rounds which generated a constant fire of the weapon. The quick way to stop the gun was to twist the belt breaking the links apart. Once the few remaining rounds ran through the gun the cycle stopped. Unlocking the barrel, kicking it away and inserting a spare allowed the gun to be reloaded and resume firing. This condition meant the gun needed remedial inspection by the armorers because worn parts in the internals was a contributor to the run away.

Chris M

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Had no idea. Good to know. The anecdotes I'd always read talked about more permanent attachment, but it was probably better that it didn't require that level of modification.

Field mods are actually not something I've delved too much into because there are so many variations it makes trying to keep track of official and semi-official variants seem like a cakewalk. I actually found an Army Concept Team in Vietnam (ACTIV) report on field modifications to Army aircraft in Vietnam and its surprisingly sparse all around. I imagine they found it similarly difficult to try and catalog everything that was being done.

Field mods were myriad in number and type. The 118th AHC had a UH-1D with a 20mm cannon bolted into a frame slung under the body. It was called "Big Daddy". First the muzzle blast blew out the chin bubbles so they made deflectors for it. It could only be aimed by point and fire. The idea was submitted to ACTIV which gave it a nomenclature description but the system was scrubbed because the recoil kept breaking the aircraft hard points where it was attached. Some years ago I acquired the side panel artwork and the ACTIV document from the guy who was crewchief on Big Daddy. Pictures of the aircraft can be found on the 118th AHC website.

Chris M

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Do you have a link to a picture? I'm having a hard time finding it. I have a document for a field modified twin 20mm system, and there was a purpose built twin 20mm setup that was tested as well (XM31).

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I wrote a wrong number down, it was the 116th AHC Stingers platoon that operated the 20mm aircraft. The site that is up now does not show the aircraft anymore. The gun rig was called Xm-188. Here is a link to a nose on photo that is contained in a book about helicopter nose art. You can see the gun mount below the nose.

http://books.google.com/books?id=7w22x-jzXUQC&pg=PA69&lpg=PA69&dq=Big+Daddy+UH-1D&source=bl&ots=dtJTMkN3rg&sig=V4v_OGLaGPWkeSJfyrJ09g6rDaY&hl=en&sa=X&ei=v--GUca3Gs794AO1xoGoCA&sqi=2&ved=0CDUQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=Big%20Daddy%20UH-1D&f=false

Chris M

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I think the "XM188" might be different from the initial design on Big Daddy, I have a document relating to it and it describes it as a twin system, with one gun on either side of the helicopter. Could also be that this was a proposed further modification to the XM188 design. Might be worth starting a new thread for this, or for field modifications in general, so as not to side track this thread anymore heh.

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The can and the incidents with the run away gun are related to M60s, right?

I think I´ve never seen these cans attached to a M2, while I´ve seen many pictures of M60s with this field modification.

HAJO

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The can and the incidents with the run away gun are related to M60s, right?

I think I´ve never seen these cans attached to a M2, while I´ve seen many pictures of M60s with this field modification.

HAJO

Yes, the cans and run aways are related to M-60's. I have never seen any cans attached to M2's either. The feed mechanism for the M2 was a better system, the M-60 feed was developed from the German MG-42.

Chris M

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Hey, no ************ on the MG42... I shot the MG3, it was a hell of an experience! ;)

One of my first major obstacles has been tackled: The 20mm ammo-boxes and the ammunition. Like described above I used a small strip of paper and small pieces of a heated up sprue. I´m quite satisfied with the effect:

IMG_0692_zps62ddf705.jpg

IMG_0694_zps47985b86.jpg

I also started working on the first two M2s. Eduard is offering a small metal sheet with holes to simulate a barrel - all you have to do is bend it to get it into barrel-shape. I quickly decided that I´ll keep the original gun barrels...

Here we can see the first of the gunners (still 4 to do) who seems to point out of the window, saying: "Ive got it!":

IMG_0696_zps6170ac24.jpg

HAJO

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She's coming laong nicely. I found this pic and thought it might be useful. You can see the 40mm cans and the electronics behind the cockpit along with all the armor plating. From the Army Transportation Museum.

Ray

A1409_zps78973a31.jpg

Edited by rotorwash

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Ray, thanks a lot for the details! I don´t know if I will do this all to my model, I already have the feeling that I´m not working fast enough. Of course I know that working fast is usually not a criteria for modelling, but I have already three other kits waiting for me and I want to finish the ACH-47 first.

So, here is some little update, aft guns and gunners are "on station"!

IMG_0733_zps24ff1a29.jpg

The ammo-belts are from some fellow german tank modeller and are for 1/87 scale, but look good in 1/72. The figure is one of the standing pilots of Revells new pilot set, but with a different head. I also made a first attempt of issueing him a Flak-vest made out of a small sheet of paper - well, it looks a bit like the real deal.

IMG_0735_zpsf598806d.jpg

And the other side:

IMG_0737_zps4cfc5fc2.jpg

HAJO

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"After modernization only" says Eduard, referring to the dust-filters and some little pods to be attached on top of the aircraft. Any idea when this modernization happened?

HAJO

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I´m thinking about adding an "external" crew member - some GI or other military who is joining the crew for familiarization, or whatever excuse someone else may come up with to take a ride in the chopper.

Would that be an option or is it a total "no-go"?

HAJO

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I'm sure it could have happened given the experimental nature of the whole thing (someone from ACTIV for instance doing the report on the evaluation), but another option would be a civilian contractor. I'm sure individuals from Boeing were around to offer technical assistance. If I remember correctly, when the project was canceled, the remaining aircraft was converted to a GCH-47A and used by the Boeing in-country team as a maintenance trainer/technical demonstrator.

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I´d like to call the following pictures "Men at work", because they really are!

IMG_0791_zps338405ee.jpg

IMG_0789_zps4139f4ef.jpg

We can see that the rear gunner is manning the gun, we also see the "guest" (which looks more like a simple grunt than a Boeing-technician) and the crew chief who is discussing things with No.2 gunner on the starport side.

And the whole bunch with the fuselage halfes.

IMG_0787_zps633efd98.jpg

What will be real "fun" is the attachement of the ammo belts for the two forward M2s. These guns are mounted to the fuselages, so that I can only glue the belts when the compartement has been mounted to the halfes...

IMG_0785_zps865f33bd.jpg

HAJO

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Box is closed!

As usual, you now can hardly all the goodies that are in there...

IMG_0803_zpsec3ad235.jpg

IMG_0805_zps1be59a4c.jpg

IMG_0807_zps401f10f5.jpg

I need to attach the grenade launcher and the antenna on the left side, then it´s ready for painting.

HAJO

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I´m planning to arm the helo with a rocket pod and a SUU-11/A-pod. Any idea what colour the gunpods usually were?

HAJO

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I´m planning to arm the helo with a rocket pod and a SUU-11/A-pod. Any idea what colour the gunpods usually were?

HAJO

Hajo,

Unless you are building a stateside bird, you should use the M24 20mm cannon. The Go-Go birds never flew with the XM18 pods in Vietnam to my knowledge.

Ray

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Argh, I´m afraid you are right... Well, in this case I have to bend history a little bit and do an "in-country" bird with Gunpod.

HAJO

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