Mitsubishi Ki-46 ‘Dinah’

One of the most elegant aircraft of World War Two, the ‘Dinah’ was so successful that Germany tried (in vain) to acquire manufacturing rights from Japan. Although fighter and ground attack versions were developed, it was in the high-altitude photographic reconnaissance role that the Ki46 excelled. Given allied codename ‘Dinah’, this aircraft combined high speed with long range and was able to cover the entire Pacific theatre of operations with little opposition.

This Mitsubishi Ki-46 ‘Dinah’ was on display at RAF Cosford.

Having first flown in November 1939, performance trials showed the prototype Ki46-I’s top speed to be 64kph (40mph) lower than the requirement, although at 540kph (336mph) it was still faster than the latest Japanese fighters! Ki46s were first used operationally over China, their speed enabling them to avoid interception by the few fighters available to the Chinese.

Before the highly successful Japanese campaign against the British in Malaya, detailed reconnaissance of the area was carried out by a Ki46 unit. Detachments of Japanese Army Air Force Ki46s were soon deployed to cover most of South-east Asia and their success led to the Japanese Navy operating a small number of Dinahs.

Although Dinahs became vulnerable to fast-climbing Allied fighters towards the end of the war, they still managed to make many reconnaissance flights over the large, well-defended airbases in the Mariana Islands that the Americans were using for massed bomber raids against Japan in 1944 and 1945.

Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet

The Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet was a German rocket-powered interceptor aircraft.

It is the only rocket-powered fighter aircraft ever to have been operational and the first piloted aircraft of any type to exceed 621 mph in level flight.

Over 300 Komets were built, but the aircraft proved lackluster in its dedicated role as an interceptor and destroyed between 9 and 18 Allied aircraft against 10 losses.

Me 163B, Werknummer 191614, has been at the RAF Museum site at RAF Cosford, since 1975. Before then, it was at the Rocket Propulsion Establishment at Westcott, Buckinghamshire. This aircraft last flew on 22 April 1945, when it shot down an RAF Lancaster.

Supermarine Spitfire Mk I

Supermarine Spitfire Mk I - RAF Cosford

The Spitfire is the most famous British fighter aircraft in history. It won immortal fame during the summer months of 1940 by helping to defeat the German air attacks during the Battle of Britain.

The prototype made its first flight four years earlier as Britain’s industry geared up to re-arm against the threat from Nazi Germany. From the beginning pilots recognised it as a thoroughbred combining a perfection of design with superb handling characteristics.

No.19 Squadron put this eight-gun fighter into service in August 1938 and by the outbreak of war, a year later, nine squadrons were equipped. Production rapidly built up and by July 1940 there were nineteen Spitfire I squadrons available. Although Hurricanes outnumbered Spitfires throughout the Battle of Britain, it was the Spitfire which captured the imagination of the British public and enemy alike.

Perhaps the greatest compliment paid to this aircraft was made at the height of the Battle of Britain by a German ace, who in a moment of anger and frustration, turned to his Commander in Chief and demanded a squadron of Spitfires!

1566 Spitfire Is were built and this machine is the oldest surviving example of its type.

FW-190

This FW-190 was on display at RAF Cosford.

The Focke-Wulf Fw 190 was a single-seat single-engine multi-role fighter-bomber, capable of carrying a larger bomb load than its counterpart the Messerschmitt Bf109. Entering Luftwaffe service in August 1941, the Fw 190 proved superior in many respects to the Royal Air Force’s main frontline fighter, the Spitfire V. It took the introduction of the much improved Spitfire IX in July 1942 for the RAF to gain an aircraft of equal capability.

One of the more unusual roles for the Fw 190 was as part of the twin-aircraft drone combination, code-named mistletoe or Mistel. A single engine fighter was mounted on top of a twin engine bomber, and on lining up with the target the fighter detached itself, leaving the bomber, packed with explosives, to impact the target.

Cosford’s Fw 190 is a unique survivor of a Mistel combination. Surrendered in Denmark in May 1945, the Fw 190 was part of a combination with a Junkers Ju 88, and assigned to a unit which trained Mistel crews. Flown to Germany as a twin combination, the Fw 190 was then split from its Ju 88 in order to be ferried to the UK for examination. The Ju 88 half never reached the UK, and it is assumed it was scrapped.

The Royal Air Force Museum Cosford, located in Cosford in Shropshire, is a museum dedicated to the history of aviation and the Royal Air Force in particular. The museum is part of the Royal Air Force Museum, a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Ministry of Defence and a registered charity.

Alvis Saladin

The FV601 Saladin is a six-wheeled armoured car developed by Crossley Motors and later manufactured by Alvis. Designed in 1954, it replaced the AEC Armoured Car in service with the British Army from 1958 onward. The vehicle weighed 11 tonnes, offered a top speed of 72 km/h, and had a crew of three. Saladins were noted for their excellent performance in desert conditions, and found favour with a number of Middle Eastern armies accordingly. They were armed with a 76 mm low-pressure rifled (spin-stabilised) gun which fired the same ammunition as that mounted on the FV101 Scorpion.

The Saladin also spawned an armoured personnel carrier counterpart, the Alvis Saracen.

Despite the vehicle’s age and dated design, it is still in use in a number of countries in secondary roles.

There are three surviving Saladins in The Tank Museum. One, in all over green, is displayed in the exhibition and is shown above. The second, in all over tan, is in operational condition and used in events.

Saladin
Simon Q from United Kingdom / CC BY

The third, in a tan and green camouflage pattern, is part of the museum’s reserve collection and is stored in the vehicle conservation centre.

This Alvis Saladin was on display at RAF Cosford.

It was part of their huge Cold War display.

Hawker Siddeley Dominie T.Mk.1

I am impressed with the range and variety of aircraft on display at RAF Cosford. The first aircraft you see (well apart from the VC10 and Hercules by the car park, oh and the huge Bristol Britannia 312!

So once you have entered the museum, proper, the first aircraft you see is the Hawker Siddeley Dominie T.Mk.1 a navigation trainer used by the RAF.

Hawker Siddeley Dominie T.Mk.1

The Dominie advanced navigation trainer saw long service with the RAF. It was the first jet-powered navigation trainer designed specifically for such a purpose to enter service with the Royal Air Force.

Hawker Siddeley Dominie T.Mk.1

The Hawker Siddeley Dominie T.Mk.1 entered service in 1965 and was developed from the Hawker Siddeley HS.125 a twin-engine mid-size business jet.

Hawker Siddeley Dominie T.Mk.1

The Dominie T1 was used to train weapon systems officers and operators, air engineers and air loadmasters in systems management, air leadership, decision making and teamwork. The Dominie was retired in January 2011.

RAF Regiment Scorpion

RAF Regiment Scorpion

On a recent visit to RAF Cosford Museum I took some more photographs of the RAF Regiment Scorpion that was on display in the Cold War exhibition.

RAF Regiment Scorpion

The RAF Regiment’s mission is protection of RAF bases from ground attack, and patrolling a large area around main operating bases abroad, in order to defend aircraft on ingress and egress from surface to air attack.

It was in November 1981, the RAF Regiment took delivery of its first Scorpions.

RAF Regiment Scorpion

The FV101 Scorpion is a British armoured reconnaissance vehicle. It was the lead vehicle and the fire support type in the Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked), CVR(T), family of seven armoured vehicles. Manufactured by Alvis, it was introduced into service with the British Army in 1973 and served until 1994.

In 1989 No. 1 Squadron RAF Regiment was based at RAF Laarbruch. It had 15x Spartan and 6x Scorpion. No. 51 Squadron RAF Regiment, at RAF Bruggen, also had 15x Spartan and 6x Scorpion.

RAF Bruggen was situated next to the village of Elmpt, approximately 43 kilometres (27 mi) west of Düsseldorf near the Dutch-German border.

RAF Laarbruch was also located in Germany, however it on its border with the Netherlands.

The role of the RAF Regiment would have been to defend the airfields from Warsaw Pact attack.

You can imagine in the world of Team Yankee (and Iron Maiden) that the RAF Regiment would be involved in fighting Warsaw Pact forces, though much of it would probably have been Spetsnaz, Soviet Special Forces. This is more appropriate to a 20mm or 25mm skirmish type game rather than the 15mm tank versus tank battles of Team Yankee.

Soviet Airborne forces made use of the BMD1 and BMD2 and these were air-portable.

BMD2
http://vitalykuzmin.net via https://commons.wikimedia.org CC BY-SA 4.0

These could be the ideal opposition for the RAF Regiment Scorpion tanks.

Though once the Cold War turned hot would the Soviets be able to push airborne troops that far west through contested airspace?

Maybe take an alternate perspective and use my own British Civil War background and have them as supporting Royalist forces, or as the Republican opposition.

I have some Team Yankee Scorpions, they are currently in the process of being painted as BAOR versions.