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Old 05-23-2015, 06:32 PM
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Kevin WS Kevin WS is offline
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Location: South Africa.
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Texman - first prize!

That was quick - I really thought there may be a bit of a struggle. Alas no!

Sakrison - very erudite indeed - you know your stuff!

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Yes, French built - the Reims Cessna FTB337G.

225 HP Continental TSIO-360-engines, Robertson STOL kit, and no cabin pressurization. By way of militarisation it only had 4 wing hard points. Little seemed to have been done to militairise them - no extra windows on top (like the O-2 etc.). The French called it the "Milirole". Pictures of them in service with the Portuguese and other airforces never seem to show them armed up or with the pylons!

61 only were built - 21 found their way to Rhodesia during the sanctions busting.

The Rhodesians then further modified them and called them the LYNX. A bubble window was fiited on the port side.

The hard points in the wings were not deemed to be 100 per cent for heavy loads, and there was a reluctance to use rockets off these (they were a bit "weedy") - although 63mm SNEB were deemed to be acceptable and within limits.

There were also only 2 hard points per wing and it was just not feasible, given the strength of the Reims airframe, to fit more.

However, as it was to be used in a COIN role to support "Fire Force" some more firepower was needed and eventually after a lot of trial and error a rather Heathrobisonish arrangement was made with two gun "pods" attached above the cabin - the only place apparently strong enough to support them without causing fatigue and damage. These were permanent fittings.

Even so, the guns were limited to 303 Browning (600 rounds each were carried).

Carried on the pylons were more commonly a mix of Frantan (napalm), and mini-Golf bombs (blast and shrapnel). There were two types of Golf Bomb - the small Mk1 and a later version which was distinguishable by a two metre long probe (looked like a cannon in flight!).

Both the Frantan and Golf bombs were also locally developed and manufactured.

Most pilots regarded the Lynx as "fragile" and did not generally undertake any drastic manouevers when they were armed.

The aircraft were the standard Cessna beige inside, and were camouflaged with a matt dark green and matt dark olive finish. Black serials on the fins, and yellow warning stripes (very thin) around the booms near the back prop, along with a small yellow arrow and warning sign. No other markings. The ammunition for the guns and the spent shell casings were in bins behnd the crew.

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Here are some photos that really show the differences and the interesting bits....

Photo 1 - a Lynx in flight. Shows the gun "pods" nicely!

Photo 2 - The gun arangement on the top! Very home made! But it worked fine....

Photo 3 - Mk1 Golf Bombs. Note the weedy little pylons!

Photo 4 - Later Mk golf Bombs (with the probes) and Frantan (without).

Photo 5 - A Lynx with rockets on the outer plylons. Note the other feature of this plane - the bubble window - only on the left.

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I keep trying to repaint a paper kit, but keep hashing it up. I will get there eventually!
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