Saturday, 13 February 2010

Major Hawker VC, Skytrex DH2

I have painted up one of the DH2 scouts. This is plane registration 5964 of No.24 Squadron, Bertangles, November 1916, flown by Major Lanoe G Hawker VC. I have simplified the paint job slightly to suit the small scale. The Airco DH2 was Britain's first purpose-designed air superiority fighter. It was the plane that ended the Fokker Scourge. The pusher layout was one way of solving the problem of how to mount a forward firing machine gun. Not using interruptor gear allowed a higher rate of fire.

The problem with pushers was that the mass of wires and struts caused drag. Initially this was not an issue but became one as fighters got faster. By November, 1916, the DH2 was obsolete. Bloody April was coming.

I made a mistake in the colour scheme. The horizontal booms were aluminium and should be silver grey. An easily fixable error.

It is dusk here even at midday, so the pics are taken with a flasgun.

Major Hawker was the "English Boelcke", He led the first air superiority squadron, No. 24 Squadron, and devised training and tactics. Often this was achieved against opposition of the aristocratic muppets at the top of the army. He was shot down and killed by the Red Baron, Richothofen, on the 23rd November 1916. Hawker was alone, outnumbered, flying an obsolete aircraft that was slower both on the flat and climbing, miles behind enemy lines, with a wind pushing him deeper to the east. It was not really Richthofen who killed Hawker but the horse-riding half wits in command who devised this master strategy.
(Picture copyright Guttman, 2009, Osprey, Pusher Aces of World War 1 - a very good book, by the way.)

More essential sustenance while painting struts on a 1:144 model biplane.


  1. I'll have to visit over the pond one day if for no other reason than to sample your essential sustenance's. Beautiful work on the DH2, by the way!

  2. Dear Geek
    Don't think I did not notice what you noticed first. :)

  3. Hi John
    Like the plane. Funny when you think about the rate of the design process when there was a war on (if you think how long it has taken to get the euro fighter into service; know its a different level of complexity but even so...) If you think we went from the Avro 504K 60MPH with the turning circle of a super tanker to the SE5A at what 160MPH? turn on the proverbial 6d well perhaps half a crown anyway..P.S. Clean.. Clean.. in the no longer infectious way of things If you want to pop over we can trail your new machine.