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Roger Holden

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    NW England
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    Pre-WW2 Civil & Military Aviation, Scratchbuilding

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  1. Great to see Japanese interwar types finally getting some attention. More than a thousand of these were built.....
  2. ......and the British register was re-set from G-EAxx to G-AAAA in 1929.
  3. Pan Am's use of International Orange goes back to around 1929, on its Fokker Trimotors and Sikorsky S-38s. Incidentally, International Orange was so named after its use by the International Harvester Co's agricultural machinery, not because of any wider connotation....
  4. The early pre-War versions had a foot stirrup in the fuselage just aft of the wing on the stbd. side only, so that was presumably the preferred ingress route for the pilot. But that was then replaced by a handgrip in the bulkhead at the rear of the fwd cockpit on both sides, which suggests either side entry was acceptable.
  5. There is a massive gap in the market for a new kit of a Ford-built B-24H/J. Nearly half the B-24s built came from Ford, but every kit is of the Consolidated version. The 2 are quite different: Consolidated redesigned the entire front end to mount the nose turret, whereas Ford grafted a turret on to a B-24D, much like the original conversions made by the Hawaiian Air Depot. Basically, everything forward of the cockpit is different. Half the decals produced are for Ford planes, with no kit you can use them on. A Ford-built B-24 to the same standard as their B-17G and B-25s would be great - how about it, Airfix ?
  6. Great work and so rare to see something scratchbuilt in 1/43 scale. I've still got a pile of Model Cars mags that my dad bought in the 60s and the plans articles in them were always very inspiring (even if some of the shapes occasionally looked a bit 'off'). Even better was the short-lived 'Miniature Auto' magazine, which had more detailed plans. Both were great documentation of the 'golden age' of motorsport. Completely agree with your comments re Clark.
  7. I have the Crosby and it's nothing special. You can see the master was 3d-printed as the striations are slightly visible. You can turn it into something decent but it will need work. I have a number of 1/72 racer kits from Dekno, Karaya, LF, Kora, SBS, CMR, etc and it's the worst of the lot.
  8. One of the best aspects of the Eduard kit is that it comes with lots of redundant parts you can use to 'dress up' less good D-VII kits. In the case of the Roden kits, that includes the axle wing, radiator and wheels, thereby solving some of the problems. Although, comparing the wings between the 2, both are around 3mm shorter in the Roden kit, compared with the Eduard and I'm guessing the latter is correct, without getting the plans out.
  9. Many thanks, gentlemen, for your comments which are more than kind. Projects like this take a few hundred hours of single-minded determination (masochism ?), so it's nice to know it's appreciated. I'm also a big student/fan of this era of aviation history and like to 'set the scene' and place things in their correct historical perspective (no pasting from Wikipedia....). Regards, Roger
  10. Hi Joachim, No, they are planed from thin wood planks and covered with embossed sheets of plastic. Basically the method 'invented' by the late, great Harry Woodman and described in his classic 1970s book 'Scale Model Aircraft in Plastic Card'. https://rclibrary.co.uk/title_details.asp?ID=1216 I consider myself a fabric aircraft specialist and have refined the method over 30+ years. I've seen other methods of representing fabric-covered surfaces, but they are all inferior.....
  11. That sums it up pretty well. A good story of the aeronautical aspect is the book '1927 - Summer of Eagles'.
  12. Almost forgotten today, the 1927 Dole Race is one of the most infamous air races in history. An event which has come to symbolise the near-mania for risky over-water flights which followed in the wake of Lindbergh’s Atlantic flight. Hawaiian pineapple millionaire James Dole put up a $25000 prize for the first flight from Oakland, California to Honolulu, Hawaii. Expecting just a few, high-profile contenders, the organisers were surprised to receive multiple applications from pilots across the U.S., including some semi-amateurs keen to jump on the Lindbergh bandwagon. They decided the best response to this was to organise a ‘race’ between the various entrants. Now, Lindbergh’s flight from New York to Paris was one thing; he had a whole continent to aim at. But trying to find some small islands in the middle of the vast Pacific was something else entirely, calling for exceptional navigational skills that few aviators at the time possessed (even Earhart/Noonan couldn’t manage it, 10 years later...). It was the recipe for a disaster, which is precisely what ensued. The mayhem started well before the race start. The entrants in general were a motley collection of one-off, or small production aircraft from what was then only a fledgling civil aircraft industry in America and almost all were powered by the ubiquitous Wright J-5 engine. The Dole Race reminds me of the film ‘Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines’, transported to 1920s America. Three of the most outlandish entrants, a twin-engined triplane, a twin-engined, twin boom pusher/puller and something which can best be described as an orange crate with wings, all crashed on test flights, recording the first 3 fatalities of the proceedings. The field was further reduced as the scrutineers rejected other aircraft for having insufficient fuel capacity to reach Hawaii (!) and there were the inevitable drop-outs and ‘no shows’. One thing the organisers didn’t do, however, was thoroughly evaluate the competence of the navigators involved, although some basic tests were performed. Race day, 16th August 1927 arrived and 8 aircraft (reduced from the 30+ entrants) lined up for a sequential take off from Oakland's dirt runway, cheered on by 75-100,000 spectators. Two failed to become airborne and were wiped out, without casualties. Two more turned back with problems shortly after take off. Leaving just four to head out across the Pacific. Two of those were never seen again, as was one of the aircraft which had earlier turned back, but joined the extensive, but fruitless, search afterwards. It was not too much of a surprise that the only two aircraft which did make it to Hawaii, after a gruelling nearly 30 hours of flight, had the most experienced and best-known pilots. They were also directed by men who were both professional marine navigators and unusually, carried radios. A total of 10 deaths and 7 aircraft lost/destroyed was on the negative side of the balance sheet.... So here is my 1/72 , 100% scratchbuilt model of the winning plane, the Travel Air 5000 ‘Woolaroc’, built by one of America’s foremost 1920s aeronautical enterprises, the Travel Air Manufacturing Co of Wichita, Kansas and flown by Art Goebel with navigator Wm. V. Davis,USN. (The strange name was taken from sponsoring oil man Frank Phillips’ Oklahoma ranch, named after its ‘Woods, Lakes and Rocks’). I also built in parallel, the original commercial Travel Air 5000 from which it derived (in fact the Woolaroc was an extensive re-design by Horace Weihmiller and should more properly be considered a Travel Air 5000 ‘Special’, along with it’s sister plane ‘Oklahoma’, one of those which turned back during the race...). The Travel Air 5000 was the first aircraft designed to the specific requirements of a US airline, namely National Air Transport of Chicago (one of the four companies merged in 1930 to form today's United Airlines). It was mainly the work of US monoplane pioneer Clyde Cessna, an evolution in a long line of prototype monoplanes he had designed going back before WW1. 8 were built and flew mail and 4 passengers on the Chicago to Dallas portion of NAT’s network, until replaced by Ford Trimotors, whence they were relegated to charter service. The last survivor was restored around 2014 and is on display in Fort Worth, Texas ( I advised with some reference photos/notes, although disappointingly, it turned out less accurate in some respects than my model......) and ‘Woolaroc’ itself is preserved in the Woolaroc natural history museum in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, although not in its exact Dole Race configuration. A few drawings have appeared down the years, but none are close to being accurate. So I was compelled to create my own. I took the ok parts from the 1971 Aeromodeller ‘Woolaroc’ plan as a starting point (rear fuselage and vertical tail) and scaled most of the rest from original 8 x 10 photos and dimensional data. I’m happy with how they turned out and the models were completed in 2011. (If anyone is interested, the Dole Race has been the subject of at least 3 books and numerous US magazine articles.) One of the better internet articles: http://www.kingairmagazine.com/article/walter-beech-and-the-pineapple-derby/ Both models: Travel Air 5000 Woolaroc : NAT Travel Air 5000 commercial aircraft: Some WiPs: Many of my engines are scratchbuilt from the dimensioned drawings in the original engine manuals, as here.
  13. There are lots of worthwhile French aircraft still to be done.......Potez 39, Wibault 72, Levasseur PL10/101 and many others, but they seemed to have moved on to more modern types which presumably sell better.
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