The Blohm & Voss Bv 238 was the last evolution in the Blohm & Voss flying boat series for Germany during World War Two.
The system was built as the largest aircraft ever produced by any of the Axis powers and was to provide The Reich with extended floatplane capabilities should the series have entered full-scale production. In the end, all the BV 238 project had to show for itself was one damaged prototype and two planned production prototypes started but never finished.
The Bv 238 was powered by a series of six Daimler-Benz piston engines producing upwards of 1,750 each. The powerplants were mounted on a high monoplane wing design with three engines per wing. The initial Bv 238 prototype was airborne by 1944, though it would later be damaged and sunk by allied fighter aircraft while the Bv 238 lay docked.
The Bv 238 offered up tremendous range, payload capabilities and respectable speeds for an aircraft of this size and in this role.
This AEC III Regal with Harrington body (full cab with tail fin) was delivered new to Bevan Brothers Soudley Valley, Gloucestershire, in 1950. It remained with Bevans until 1980, when it was sold to Nick Hellinker of Stroud for preservation.
Camionetta Desertica SPA-Viberti AS.42, this vehicle, specifically designed to operate in the desert, was a four wheels drive car entered in service with Saharan units in November 1942. It was built on the same chassis of the AB.40/41 armoured car but it was not armoured. It was powered with a 100HP gasoline engine and reached a maximum speed of 85 Km/h. This easily recognizable vehicle, had racks on the sides to carry 24 jerrycans (most fuel) and a spare tire on the front hood. It could carry a crew of six and different kind of weapons like the 20mm Breda cannon, the 47/32 Anti-tank cannon, the 20mm Anti-tank Soloturn rifle and up to three Breda mod. 37 machineguns. The AS.42 was 1,49 meter high, 5,20 meters long and 1,80 meters wide.
Here are some images of Italeri's 1/35 scale AS-42 Camionetta
The Kawanishi H6K was an Imperial Japanese Navy flying boat used during World War II for maritime patrol duties. The Navy designation was "Type 97 Large Flying Boat". The aircraft was designed in response to a Navy requirement of 1934 for a long range flying boat and incorporated knowledge gleaned by a Kawanishi team that had visited the Short Brothers factory in the UK, at that time one of the world's leading producers of flying boats, and from building the Kawanishi H3K, a license-built, enlarged version of the Short Rangoon. The Type S, as Kawanishi called it, was a large, four-engine monoplane with twin tails, and a hull suspended beneath the parasol wing by a network of struts. Three prototypes were constructed, each one making gradual refinements to the machine's handling both in the water and in the air, and finally fitting more powerful engines. The first of these flew on 14 July 1936. Eventually, 217 would be built. The first major production version, the H6K4 was powered by four Mitsubishsi Kinsei 43 radiais and armed with four 7.7mm machine-guns in bow and midships positions and a 20mm cannon in a tail turret, and was capable of carrying two 800kg bombs or torpedoes, a total of 66 being in service at the time of Pearl Harbor; later aircraft were powered by Kinsei 46 engines. These boats were widely employed, although the initial heavy defeats inflicted on the Allies in the Pacific rendered maritime reconnaissance duties subordinate to the need for air transportation of Japanese troops during the swift conquests in the East Indies and elsewhere. A number of aircraft, designated H6K4-L, were converted for transport duties and were each able to accommodate about 18 fully-armed troops; lacking armour and self-sealing fuel tanks, however, they were extremely vulnerable to fighter attacks and, after a number had been shot down, a new version entered production as the H6K5 in August 1942; by that time the maritime reconnaissance version had been given the reporting codename 'Mavis' by the Allies, the transport derivative being named 'Tillie'. Powered by either Kinsei 51 or 53 radials, the H6K5 was intended to eliminate the shortcomings of the earlier versions, but although the open bow gun position was replaced by a single-gun turret immediately aft of the pilot's cockpit, the overall armament was not increased. Only 36 H6K5s were completed by 1943, when production gave place to the greatly superior H8K. H6Ks served with the 8th, 14th, 801st, Toko and Yokohama Kokutais, and some of the H6K5s were employed as naval staff transports throughout the Pacific in 1943. Eighteen aircraft served on the quasicommercial courier services in South East Asia, a number of them being destroyed by Allied aircraft both in the air and at their moorings.
SS De Grasse, laid down as Suffren, was an 18,000-ton ocean liner built in 1920-1924 by Cammell Laird, Birkenhead, United Kingdom for the French Compagnie Generale Transatlantique, and launched in February 1924.
She operated on the CGT Havre-New York service until 1940, when seized by the Germans.
De Grasse was sunk by gunfire at Bordeaux on August 30th, 1944. The 1947 refit removed one funnel:
She was refitted for Canadian Pacific Steamships in 1953, then renamed in that same year as the Empress of Australia. She was sold in 1956 to Sicula Oceanica; and after refit, the ship was renamed Venezuela. The ship was wrecked off Cannes on 16 March 1962; and she was broken up at La Spezia in August the same year.