Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A decal for a WW2 era RIAF Spitfire VIII

...or how your research benefits the (modeling) world at large ...(and in turn we benefit from it)

A friend of mine sent me a link to modeling website which released a new decal sheet for a Spitfire Mk.VIII. This sheet contains specific decals for an RIAF aircraft from No.2 Squadron , "MT841" and features a pin-up model. An accompanying 'guide' sheet shows how the Spitfire looks (See below right).

"Pauline My Wee xxxx" as the Pin-up goes was designed thanks to in no small measure to this photograph from late Fg Offr O D Agnihotri's Photo Collection (As generously shared by his son Arun on the Bharat Rakshak Website )

At that time (2004!), I had asked around on the KeyForums on whether an 'original drawing' was available of the pin-up.

Seven Years later, we now have a decal sheet by a model decal manufacturer... The enthusiasts with an Indian interest benefits out of this.. .. We, the research blokes get a 'colour artwork profile' of how the Spit Looks.. .. The RIAF gets a wee bit more publicity.... and.. Everyone benefits!

Monday, June 13, 2011

If you go looking for IAF History, you will find it...

...Pennsylvania edition....

Watch in HD

Visitor's to the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Museum's yearly "World War Two Weekend" event would never guess that one of the Star attractions - an airworthy Supermarine Spitfire Mk XVIII (S No SM969) is an ex-Indian Air Force aircraft. The aircraft was flown in by its owner Jim Beasley, and gave an splendid display of aerobatics. This Spitfire is local to Pennsylvania, with its homebase at Coatesville. In a departure from other aircraft, this aircraft was displayed without any ropes cordoning it off.. so visitors could walk straight upto the aircraft, look inside the cockpit, see it ..up CLOSE..

I had captured the start up and taxing on High Definition Video, which can be seen above. Hit the maximise button to see it in all its glory. Watching an ex-IAF Spitfire made my day - and a photo of myself next to it is my now official mugshot on facebook!.

Spitfire SM969 started off with the IAF as HS877 in 1949 (there is a story about it serving in the RIAF Before and getting involved in an accident.. but are now easily disproven). Probably towards the end of 1957, When No.14 Squadron was converting to Hunters and got rid of the Spitfires, this aircraft was flown to Delhi and kept on (semi) permanent display at Western Air Command HQ.

Pic Copyright: Peter Arnold

In 1978, it was one of the numerous Spitfire airframes auctioned off to the West, it was recovered by Haydon-Baylie, and after numerous stops and owners, is currently owned by Jim Beasley Jr , a Vintage aircraft fanatic from Philadelphia - who flies a P-51 and now the Spitfire. (Just in case you were wondering, Jim Beasley is an Attorney, a Medical Doctor and accomplished "Super Lawyer in PA)...

The Spitfire is based out of the airfield at Coatesville, PA, at the Chester County Airport. Thats reason for me to file this post under the "If you go looking for IAF History, you will find it... PA edition".

Air India Website FAIL

Air India's Website brings this up today - Sigh....
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Monday, April 04, 2011

The Moment.... India won the World Cup 2011

The Moment.. India won the Cricket World Cup 2011 from J Pillarisetti on Vimeo.

Once in a while I have to make a non-defence related post - What best than to post one related to the spectacular match yesterday in which India won the World Cup playing against Sri Lanka? Colleagues from Work gathered at another colleaugue's house where he had a projector system showing the match live.. We had been going crazy for the past few overs with all the boundaries - Trust Dhoni to deliver the Pièce de résistance

I had this camera running near the corner of the room facing us and it did the job just right - captured the moment! The Clip was even featured on CNN in their ireports segment of CNN News Hour on April 3rd

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Westland Lysander in India

Amazon Kindle e-books opens up some great possibilities of 'publishing' ebooks to niche audiences. One can get to write and publish stuff that normally would not get done so by traditional publishing houses - yet at the same time may hold the interest of the audience out there.

Kindle gives an opportunity to put these ebooks out for those who are interested. Now that they are not platform specific - they can be read not only on the Kindle, but also on iPads, iPods, PCs - it makes sense that this new market should be tapped. Two of my ebooks are out there now - Westland Lysanders of the Indian Air Force and Westland Lysanders of No.28 Squadron, RAF . Now if I can do the history of the aircraft with No.20 Sqn, RAF and No.357 Sqn RAF (whose ORBs incidentally are available at http://www.rquirk.com/357.html ), then I will have completed the history of one aircraft type in India across all squadrons! That would be something

Now regarding the interest these ebooks generate - surprisingly, the Lysanders in the IAF ebook has done well. and by well, sales are well into double figures :)