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Showing results for tags '1930s Lightplane'.
Geoffrey Neville ‘Wicko’ Wikner was a self-taught Australian aircraft builder of Swedish descent. Having designed and successfully flown a series of home-built aircraft in his home country, Wikner had become disillusioned by a lack of support from the Australian aviation authorities, who he felt were effectively thwarting his attempts to build light aircraft in the country. Thus, he decided to follow in the footsteps of his illustrious uncle, Edgar Wikner Percival and re-locate to England. After several years working in various aeronautical jobs, notably for Miles, Wikner entered into partnership with one Jack Foster and furniture manufacturer Lusty & Sons, to design a new plywood lightplane suitable for factory manufacture or home-building. The prototype was built in Lusty’s furniture works in the East End of London and powered by a modified Ford V8 car engine, made its first flight in 1936. Despite it’s racy, bullet-nosed appearance, it was seriously underpowered. A couple of years (and engine changes) later, it finally entered production in a factory at Southampton airport (Eastleigh), with the popular DH Gipsy Major engine as the definitive powerplant, which gave it the desired performance. After only a year of production, which resulted in 11 airframes , WW2 intervened and brought things to a halt. Most of the planes had found ready buyers in flying clubs, with 2 having gone abroad to New Zealand and South Africa. All were readily impressed for military service, where they were mainly used for ferrying ATA pilots around the country. In fact, a military version optimised for this activity was proposed, to be named ‘Warferry’, but came to nothing as the Lend-Lease Fairchild Argus was used instead. Several aircraft survived the war and took part in King’s Cup races in the 1950s. Ultimately, only a single aircraft, G-AJFB has survived to the present day, which underwent a complete restoration to better than new condition in the 2000s : http://www.wicko.com/ Here is my model of this aircraft, in its original 1938 colours. It was donated to the Midland Aeroclub, Pendeford, Wolverhampton, by the Wolverhampton Express and Star newspaper, on the condition that it was used for training 4 local youngsters to fly as part of the Civil Air Guard scheme and was named ‘Wulfrun II’ (after the Anglo-Saxon woman who founded Wolverhampton). Model is 100% scratchbuilt from plastic sheet. With its boxy shape, I thought it would be a straightforward scratchbuilding project, but the complex colour scheme and window arrangement elevated it into a more challenging category.... A few WiPs :