In late September we were asked by the Scout Leader of 17th Bournemouth Scouts as a trial to see if the scouts would be interested in aircraft flight and if successful possibly they would move on to gaining their Air Badges as the Longham Scouts had previously done. We suggested coming along and giving a talk on historic aircraft of around WWII era along with the RC model versions.
On the 13th November Phil Ford, David Tappin and Colin Arnold supported this request. Phil brought his B25 Mitchell, Colin had a Mustang and Focke Wolf190 and David an EDF Venom and also a PowerPoint presentation of the beginnings of jet engines using the WMAC projector.
Unfortunately a lot of the time we thought was to be devoted to us was taken up with a parade and a short closing service before the Scouts were able to attend to our presentation. They sat on the floor in front of us to listen and after it was all over the scout leader told us that she had never seen the group so quiet and absorbed. Due to the time constraint we had to rush things a bit but were helped by the parents who had turned up to take the youngsters home and stayed on to listen in to our presentations. So all ended well and we three were rewarded each with a bar of chocolate!
Phil Ford started the evening of with a short video about the B25 which included real film clips of the launch of the Doolittle Raid from the carrier USS Hornet, Clips from the Catch 22 film where they used 17 B25s and one scrap in the film and factory images during 1944. Followed by cockpit and in-flight video of B25s flying today. He then described the B25's purpose, it's armament using the his model on display. At the same time explaining what each control surface does with regards to flight. Finally ending with the fact that many of the crews were late teens to early twenties. Payback for Pearl Harbour was needed and they knew that the Doolittle Raid was possibly a one way ticket but it would show the Japanese that US was capable of carrying out raids on their mainland.
Phil invited questions of which there were quite few showing that the scouts were generally interested.
Mustang and FW190
Colin then followed on with describing the North American Mustang, using his model for demonstration purposes. Explaining it was real stallion in the air war theatre. Agile and what's more had superb range to able to accompany bombers well into Germany.
To balance the Mustang out he then produced his “foamie” FW190 fighter describing it's armament and fire power. Comparisons were then made with other WWII fighters and the inline liquid cooled Merlin engine of the Mustang compared to the Radial air cooled B.M.W engine of the FW 190.
The construction of each model and their power systems were described and the Instruction Manuals for each passed round together with laminated photographs notated with brief details of the model and the full size aircraft.
Colin also spent some time responding to questions.
The Scouts were sitting on the hall floor in a loose circle and we offered a rest break but no, carry on please.
David gave a PowerPoint presentation on the history of the gas turbine covering designer Frank Whittle’s early days, with the original Whittle turbojet first running on April 12th 1937, eventually leading to success with the first flight of the Gloster Whittle E28/39 on May 15th 1941. David then covered the history of the development of gas turbines thanks to financial and technical support from many commercial proponents when further engineering input resulted in power plants offering much greater thrust and fuel efficiency. A simple explanation of how thrust is generated was also covered.
Finally, there was a demonstration of thrust using an EDF Venom. Initially Phil operated the TX for David so he could show the control surfaces moving and cycling of the landing gear. David then taxied it around the hall to the Scouts delight but there was more to come. While Colin held the model securely, David opened up to full throttle to demonstrate the power of it’s electrically driven fan. The scouts were amazed at how much thrust came from such a small model. The usual question about the cost of such a model resulted in worried looks from some of the parents.
We expect this initiative to lead next spring to the WMAC offering air experience flights at Cashmoor to those scouts from the troupe who may be interested in studying for their Air Activity Badges.