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Moa

Tunison Scout, 1/72 Scratchbuilt

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Oops, another one, from 5 years ago.

 

The Tunison Scout, flown for the first time in 1928 (by no other than Jimmie Angel!), is a remarkable plane in many respects. Not only it favored the then rare cantilever low-wig monoplane formula, but also used and partially pioneered construction techniques (a plywood-molded wing with no spars, also plywood molded fuselage and trousers, among other things), plus offering a fully-enclosed -but removable- cabin. The way in which today's high-performance aircraft are made, selectively layering carbon fiber, kevlar and such, is exactly the same.

In most photos an X-247E registration can be seen, but at least two images show its other X425 registration on the wing. Further down the lane it was re-engined with an inline Miller (which changed the nose shape and also introduced an alteration of the aft fuselage) and re-registered as X13795.

The plane was successful and flew at notable speed, and also landed safely and reportedly was pleasurable to fly and control. As many other pioneering endeavors, it did not get the sales it deserved, but got quite a buzz on the specialized press, and I gathered articles from many sources, locally and abroad, among them Les Ailes #398 of 1929, L'Aerophile Feb 1929, Aviation July 13 1929 (This source, by far, is the richest in information and details, and was the main reference used to correct and modify the existing plans, all quite inaccurate in many regards), Popular Science Monthly April 1929, Popular Aviation, Sept 1930, Wings Magazine of August 1978, and snippets and bits on many other magazines.

WW1 Aero magazine of Dec 1987 run an article on it too, with a plan that although not really accurate, is closer to the mark than all the others and a pretty good job considering that the author did not have access to sources other than a few photographs.

Research on this particular subject was spread through many years, and it took a notable amount of hours, better left uncounted to keep one's sanity. This is almost invariably the case for most of the obscure/arcane/esoteric scratchbuilding projects, and it takes time, effort, dedication and unwavering intent. To give just an example of the subtlety of some features: the aft canopy -and therefore the overextended fin root- were purposely slightly offset to the left-seen from up and behind- to counteract engine torque, a written fact you corroborate looking very, very carefully to photos.

I have been scratchbuilding a number of mostly unknown types in the last years, far more than a hundred subjects by now, and I am very pleased that these strange jewels of aviation are brought back to life in 3D form. Aviation is a vast universe, full of mysteries and surprises, way beyond the known types that for some reason are obsessively repeated.

The Tunison Scout is not -configuration-wise- far removed from one of my recent projects, the Farman Tourisme 200, and they share the same design concept that brings forth those sort of clunky yet strangely appealing quasi-retro-futuristic lines. They even share the same Hispano-Suiza engine:

 

 

An Aeroclub aftermarket Hisso engine was used on the model (thanks, Armando!); the rest, regarding materials and techniques, is the usual gig utilized in other endeavors. Decals are of course home-made.

 

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That one looks like it should have Tin Tin at the controls.

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I like it but my first reaction was that it was a control line model aircraft

John

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See?

EbuITpDheDOyU8yjwzk4KNT-cNyvCKmcP0eEFePA

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Amazing work. There’s something a bit steampunk about this aircraft, or Tintin as someone’s already commented.

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26 minutes ago, goggsy said:

There’s something a bit steampunk about this aircraft,

Interesting to see how much information (in terms of symbolic/cultural meaning) objects can convey.

Semiotics is a curious thing. 

Signs are alive, hence the importance of what we communicate, consciously or otherwise.

Cheers

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3 hours ago, John R said:

I like it but my first reaction was that it was a control line model aircraft

John

Me, too! I kept looking for the leadouts and a 1/72 .049!

Mike

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Excellent build, I like scratch building and I find it very interesting, how you constructed this lovely model. 

 

I hope to show you one of my models soon but in 1/48 🙂

 

With regards,

JohnHaa 

 

 

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34 minutes ago, JohnHaa said:

I hope to show you one of my models soon but in 1/48 🙂

 

With regards,

JohnHaa 

Hi John

Is it civil enough for me to look at without rising my blood pressure?

I am curious, so I certainly hope so!

Cheers

 

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Once again Mr Moa you have returned from the labyrinthine depths of aeronautical esoterica to dazzle us with one of your scratch built jewels! That is both weird and wonderful and your skills have brought it to life. I can only stand (sit?) in wonder at your creations. "Well done" always seems so trite.

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To quote one of my favourite lines from cinema "groovy baby groovy"!

 

DennisTheBear

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3 hours ago, Horatio Gruntfuttock said:

Once again Mr Moa you have returned from the labyrinthine depths of aeronautical esoterica to dazzle us with one of your scratch built jewels! That is both weird and wonderful and your skills have brought it to life. I can only stand (sit?) in wonder at your creations. "Well done" always seems so trite.

Oh, ratio, what one could say: no futtok ever existed as Grunt as yours.

The solemnity of the occasion will not be marred by the exiguous reach of mere words, blunt instruments not unambiguous enough to account for the unfathomable, the ineffable.

 

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7 hours ago, 72modeler said:

Me, too! I kept looking for the leadouts and a 1/72 .049!

Mike

 

11 hours ago, John R said:

I like it but my first reaction was that it was a control line model aircraft

John

Well, who can resist that.

here it is, painting will follow tomorrow:

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10 hours ago, Moa said:

Well, who can resist that. 

here it is, painting will follow tomorrow:

OK, now you're just showing off, Moa! I will be more impressed when you do the spring starter! Can't wait to see a 1/72 glow plug! 😜

Mike

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31 minutes ago, 72modeler said:

OK, now you're just showing off, Moa! I will be more impressed when you do the spring starter! Can't wait to see a 1/72 glow plug! 😜

Mike

 

Impressionable members of the audience please overt your gaze.

 

A .049 U-Control and a .049 Radio-Control...many moons ago, flown then by yours truly:

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OK, now I'm impressed! Don't know about the 1/2A RC model, but the Ukie looks like a Jr. Shoestring Stunter or a Baby Jumping Bean! Those were the days- a 1 1/2v dry cell, a couple of spare glow plugs and a quart of Cox  racing fuel and  you were good to go! I went from a Cox PT-19 to a .35 Ringmaster and never looked back! Incredible Baby Bee .049, Moa!

Mike

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8 minutes ago, 72modeler said:

looks like a Jr. Shoestring Stunter or a Baby Jumping Bean!

I don't remember the name of the U-control model, the RC was called "Pulga" (flee).

Our club used to go some weekends to far away little towns in the countryside in Argentina, where people had never seen a flying model, and do demonstrations in their soccer field; those are the two I took because of their portability and easy operation and logistics (as you mentioned).

I was the chased plane with the RC one, and the other club member feigned pursuits and attacks in mass, until one day one clipped a wing almost totally, by accident. Full opposite rudder brought the model in tight circles to a relatively safe landing and disaster was avoided (the rubber bands that held the wing gave way, as they were supposed to do on the hard or bad landing, and the piano wire LG bent, again absorbing part of the impact force).

Our club was very small and we had a great time, all disciplines of the hobby were cultivated, from microfilm indoor flying to pulse jets. Not any kind of restrictions at the time, other than common sense and manners. I certainly miss it.

But I digress.

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