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Thread: Fleet Air Arm Radios

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    Default Fleet Air Arm Radios

    Hi all,
    Wondering if anybody can help me here.
    Am about to start on a kit of a Fleet Air Arm Chesapeake (Vindicator), and was wondering if when these aircraft were sent over from America, would The FAA have stood by using American Radio Sets or do you think they would have been swopped for ours ?
    Thanks.
    Brandy Annie.

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    Brandy Annie,
    An interesting question. So far as I know, the few Chesapeakes delivered to the FAA arrived in the UK in early 1941 and were the residue of a French contract, with many having already being delivered to France prior to the capitulation. As such they were NOT Lend Lease aircraft, and would have been intended to be either shipped with American radio equipment specified by the French Govt, or more likely supplied without certain equipment installed, this to be of French manufacture and therefore fitted post arrival in France. So the question would be, would the British request that the undelivered aircraft be fitted with (acceptable) American radio equipment or would the British prefer to fit their own radio gear on arrival in the UK (or wherever they intended to accept them.) It was quite common for American-built aircraft to be shipped to the UK or West Africa in the early years of WW2 (up till late 1941 or even into early 1942 in many cases) without any radio equipment, and frequently lacking most armament and safety quipment (turrets, bomb racks, dinghies, and much miscellaneous RAF or FAA specified equipment, as this was under the terms of the contracts (in many cases signed pre-hostilities), the intention being that this would be fitted on arrival from British stocks of locally manufactured equipment. By way of contrast, most Lend-Lease aircraft were shipped fully equipped (particularly in the case of radio/radar equipment), although certain safety equipment of British design and/or manufacture might still be retrofitted for various reasons, sometimes in the USA. This was because the British Empire radio/radar industries were overtaxed to even fit such equipment to British-built aircraft, let alone the flood of American imports, so they learned to appreciate the huge manufacturing capacity and talent for innovation of the former American colonies! It was not for nothing that a good proportion of British nightfighters in the latter part of WW2 had American designed and supplied radar, as did a large proportion of the anti-submarine aircraft (especially Liberators).
    David D

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    David,
    Thank you very much for your reply.
    From that, I think I will go with the American Radio.
    Many thanks for your help.
    Kenny Walker.

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