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Aircraft I've Flown Part I - A Tribute to the Mighty 747-436


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This has become a busy thread! I guess building a BA 747-400 right now has a certain poignancy and has a¬†captured the Zeitgeist of the moment...ūüôĀ¬†

 

On 22/07/2020 at 07:53, melvyn hiscock said:

missing the hell out of this one, but I did let it nearly break me (honestly, you guys that get paid to go flying?......... no idea...............)

 

Full rebuild plus about 450 hours flying. It it any wonder I ended up broke?

I know exactly what you mean Melvin. Having a share in the Vampire T11 for 15 years was a financial challenge...! Plus there was the initial cost of flight training to get my ATPL. I went down the 'self-improver' route as it was known then, getting a PPL, building hours, upgrading to a CPL and eventually my ATPL. It took seven years of saving, scrimping and using my annual leave for training and exams, but I don't regret a minute of it - I think you appreciate something more when you have worked hard for it! As for the Vampire, I would do it all again in a heartbeat, even with the benefit of hindsight - it will always be some of the most enjoyable flying I have done.

 

On 22/07/2020 at 07:53, melvyn hiscock said:

Please excuse the lecture, but wring the most out of what you have (do I regret going broke flying the Rearwin now???? It was only money) and NEVER miss a test!

Sounds like wise words to me! The Rearwin looks immaculate BTW.ūüĎć

 

On 22/07/2020 at 08:42, theaa2000 said:

What made you choose that particular One World marking? And are you planning to have it displayed in flight or with gear down? (I guess gear down since you painted the wheel bays?)

Good question! I have always liked the BA world images/Utopia livery (which I accept puts me into a minority!). Some of the schemes were far better than others! Here are three of my favourites, from my time as a Cityflyer pilot at Gatwick:

 

rjs.jpg

 

As you rightly guessed, the 747 will be built with the¬†gear down and will join my other models on the shelf.ūüĎć

 

On 22/07/2020 at 12:05, 71chally said:

It's amazing watching them land here at St Athan from their final journey.  It was standard for heavies to roll past the turn off which is about mid point, but it's a real pain because they are then required to shut down and be pushed all the way back off and to rest, closes the runway for a long time, pilots get bored etc etc.

Anyway, first BA 747 arrival on RW 25 amazed all here by hauling to a stop and making the turn off, it's something to see as they must be stopping in about 2500 meters, they are empty obviously. 

The 747 stops very well! 16 wheel brakes and a light aircraft don't require much tarmac... Thanks for the images too James, they are fantastic.

 

On 22/07/2020 at 12:05, 71chally said:

Some of the BA 767s that arrived also marked the last flights for a couple of Captains and were quite emotional.

My colleague Chris Letchford delivered a couple of the BA 767's to St. Athan for scrapping. This Youtube clip shows the final two 767 landings - Chris was flying the first one to land and this was his final flight at BA before retiring. I believe his wife was in the St. Athan tower to witness his final landing:

 

 

 

Can't believe that was almost two years ago...¬†I guess there will be some videos online over the coming weeks showing the final flights of various 747's...ūüė¶

 

On 22/07/2020 at 12:05, 71chally said:

I've become completely enamoured by the 747, and utter respect to people like yourselves Matt that get to fly them, and I really wish the best for you all.

Thank you. The 747 is a bewitching aircraft, totally iconic and full of grace. You can't help but look back at it after a flight, admiring it in its glory as it awaits its next journey.

 

On 22/07/2020 at 13:17, Biggles87 said:

I don’t normally follow airliner builds but this will be an exception. Having worked in ATC at Heathrow for 30 of my 40 years in the job I’ve seen more than my fair share but oddly never flown in one.

Thanks John, I will do my best with it! The LHR controllers are the best in the world (IMVHO), followed by the guys and girls at London Centre. We have excellent ATC in this country.ūüĎć

 

20 hours ago, Fritag said:

The 747 has been around all my adult life and I felt rather stupidly sad when I heard the announcement that BA were retiring them :blush: 

You're not the only one...ūüėĘ

 

20 hours ago, keefr22 said:

I'm along for the ride too (shame it's not in the Queen of the Skies!)

 

20 hours ago, PhantomBigStu said:

Watching along :)

Thank you both!

 

Enough of my comments; I'm off to do some building!ūüėČ

 

Thanks for all the contributions, photos and reminiscences about this wonderful aircraft - keep them coming please!

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1 minute ago, Back in the Saddle said:

I have always liked the BA world images/Utopia livery (which I accept puts me into a minority!)

Well, it's a minority you'll find me in too. I remember Thatcher draping her hankie across a tailfin to express her disapproval. Anything that riled that nasty old witch gets my vote.

 

 

With best wishes from the Notts coalfields...

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Hello BS,

Do not fear the Kristal Klear !! It's a very good stuff

I used it for years and never get disappointed, let it dry thoroughly and the result is very fine to me...

Sooo the Jumbo will be phased out ?? 

I never flew in one, it was DC-10... Sorry about that !!

I'll pay a visit to your thread if you don't mind it.

I like builds with such a story behind it !!

Sincerely.

CC

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21 hours ago, Tiger331 said:

I'll follow this with interest having flown on BA 747s for many years in the 80/90s on the Hong Kong/London route. I well remember being on one of the first non-stop flights (with a -400) when that was quite an achievement. I'll refrain from making any comment on your chosen scheme. Fully appreciate the sentiment but it's not one of my favourites. Nice theme though.....one day I'll get around to completing my Hawks, Hunters, Gazelle, Scout, Wessex, Sea King HC.4 and SH-2F Sea Sprite.

 

Good luck for the future too.....difficult times for the airline industry, for sure.

Thanks Tiger. It was an aircraft that shrunk the world. Uncertain times ahead for everybody in the industry...

 

I hadn't realised my choice of scheme would be so controversial!

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2 hours ago, TonyOD said:

Well, it's a minority you'll find me in too. I remember Thatcher draping her hankie across a tailfin to express her disapproval. Anything that riled that nasty old witch gets my vote.

It was certainly a 'marmite' livery. In my defence, some variants were better than others - I think the 'Colum' (Celtic) ethnic fin was one of the best ones - some of the others were truly awful! Out of interest, the "Benyhone' (Scotland) fin was originally a proposal for British Caledonian's new livery - when it was not required it was recycled by the same design agency and used for BA.

 

I've spent the past couple of days working on wings and tailplanes. Both had a thick trailing edge:

 

tail.jpg

 

step.jpg

 

A session with sandpaper has reduced this down as far as I dare to go. The halves were then glued together:

 

pegged.jpg

 

A session with Mr. Surfacer 500 awaits!

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Count me in as another fan of the 'World' livery. Much more creative than a mutilated flag, and it makes for a nice variety when you see a whole lot of them standing together.

 

The best livery ever though is the Air New Zealand Middle Earth theme!

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4 hours ago, Back in the Saddle said:

My colleague Chris Letchford delivered a couple of the BA 767's to St. Athan for scrapping. This Youtube clip shows the final two 767 landings...

Wow, I never realised that there was a video out there on those arrivals, I was sat next to Jamie, the controllers voice that you hear.  I remember Chris' speech very well and it's the only one I've heard on frequency, quite emotional.  His daughters were there for that last flight, I had the good fortune to drive his wife out to the first 767 that he delivered.

A good friend of mine captured the human moments and sent the pics to Chris.  I'm better with painted metal!

 

You can see in that video just what I was talking about, landing on 25 and making the turn off.   The first BA 767 captain to make that turn hopped across from Cardiff (two miles away!) and she made the stop and turn with an 8 knot tail wind!  That set down the gauntlet for the following BA heavy arrivals, apparently it became a bit of a 'crew room' challenge after that!

747 G-BNLX did the same short hop,

https://ukaviation.news/could-this-be-the-shortest-747-flight-in-history/#:~:text=BA9154 Cardiff to St Athan ‚Äď Worlds shortest,total distance of 3.67miles as the crow flies.

 

Coming from a military airfield background I didn't see many of the 'One World' tails, apart from the Dash-8s that operated St Mawgan/Heathrow and the then new Embraer 145s on crew training.

 

 

 

Great to see your build coming together, I have heard that the nose profile might be a bit off a wee bit, not sure it's with this particular kit though, how does it look to you?

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I'll follow this build with interest - I too have a liking for the World Tails.

 

Coincidentally, I got my 747-436 out of its box last weekend and started to think about filling in the windows - but now might keep this kit in case the proposed 747 Group Build takes off.  Personally I'd go down the route of filling all windows and using Authentic Airliner's decals for them.

 

Although I've flown with BA to Vancouver several times, a quick check of my "Passenger Log" shows it's never been CIVP.

 

Mike

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I had a busy evening last night, filling and sanding. I'll post some pictures once there is something worth seeing - much more work is needed...!

 

19 hours ago, corsaircorp said:

Do not fear the Kristal Klear !! It's a very good stuff

I used it for years and never get disappointed, let it dry thoroughly and the result is very fine to me...

Sounds reassuring! Look what the postman delivered today:

 

klear.jpg

 

The files are the ideal size for cleaning the window openings and hopefully (at the end of the build, to avoid tedious masking!) I can plug the holes successfully with the Kristal Klear.

 

I have also finished scratch-building a cockpit:

 

pit2.jpg

 

It's a bit rough and ready and will barely be visible through the windscreen... However, it should add a tad more realism to the model - it will look better than an empty gap!

 

15 hours ago, Jur said:

Count me in as another fan of the 'World' livery. Much more creative than a mutilated flag, and it makes for a nice variety when you see a whole lot of them standing together.

 

Thanks Jur - I was feeling a bit lonely in expressing a liking for this scheme!ūüėĀ

 

 

14 hours ago, 71chally said:

Wow, I never realised that there was a video out there on those arrivals, I was sat next to Jamie, the controllers voice that you hear.  I remember Chris' speech very well and it's the only one I've heard on frequency, quite emotional.  His daughters were there for that last flight, I had the good fortune to drive his wife out to the first 767 that he delivered.

A good friend of mine captured the human moments and sent the pics to Chris.  I'm better with painted metal!

Thanks for the info James - it's always good to hear a bit more background. Maybe some 747's will be coming your way - some are already at Kemble for scrapping.ūüėĘ

 

I think a few hours of filing windows and sanding wings is ahead of me!

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One thing I'd say is to give the KK a try before you close the fuselage up, just to make sure you're happy with it. I'm 'currently' building a Hasegawa 1/200 744 and originally was going to go the open windows/KK route but changed my mind to fill the windows and use Authentic windows decals - and from previous experience I can say (for me anyway!) it is much easier to fill the windows from the inside! :)

 

1 hour ago, Back in the Saddle said:

Maybe some 747's will be coming your way

 

Model club friend of mine works for the 'disposal' company at Saints - ripping apart beautiful 747's means nothing to him...!! 

 

Keith

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2 hours ago, Back in the Saddle said:

Thanks for the info James - it's always good to hear a bit more background. Maybe some 747's will be coming your way - some are already at Kemble for scrapping.ūüėĘ

 

I think a few hours of filing windows and sanding wings is ahead of me!

We've had six in total, two are still going through the final breaking up, the BA stuff is even more dramatic as they seemed to get smashed down as complete aircraft, minus engines and undercarriage.

there are fourteen stored at Cardiff, so I think we will see some of them, it was a bit of a surprise that four went to Kemble.

 

Nice work adding some detail into the cockpit.

Does the kit come with transparencies for the cabin windows?  The later Revell -8 kits do.  

Just call the filing of windows therapy, it all helps!

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Good morning!

Busy weekend with the family, so I have not managed too much on this build. That's not to say we didn't get any modelling done...ūüėČ:

 

tommy.jpg

 

One Tomahawk nearing completion!

 

 

On 24/07/2020 at 12:05, keefr22 said:

One thing I'd say is to give the KK a try before you close the fuselage up, just to make sure you're happy with it.

Good suggestion Keith - thanks.ūüĎ欆Hopefully I'll have a look at the KK and the windows in general later this week. I agree that if they¬†need filling its much easier at this stage!

 

On 24/07/2020 at 13:23, 71chally said:

Nice work adding some detail into the cockpit.

Does the kit come with transparencies for the cabin windows?  The later Revell -8 kits do.  

Just call the filing of windows therapy, it all helps!

Thanks James. At least I'll know it's there - it should be vaguely visible through the plastic! No cabin window transparencies were supplied, so the options were either filling and adding decals, filling with KK or leaving them as holes in the fuselage.

 

Continued below (this is an edit!), as my laptop froze and I couldn't add anything else to this post...?

Edited by Back in the Saddle
Tech issues!
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I had a cunning plan for sanding the tailplanes and wings. I placed a large sheet of sheet of sandpaper on the kitchen worktop and used that as a huge sanding block:

 

top.jpg

 

It worked rather well! A normal sanding block was used on there smaller areas, such as between track fairings on the wing. I think another session of this will be needed, then a coat of primer to see what I've missed!ūü§Ē

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A cracking start to this kit, I know many have knocked it for its outline but you more than anyone should know its errors....

 

Love the junior modeller pic, very similar to my daughter building an Airfix Meteor 111 for a school project but not on the carpet !!

 

Personally I hope all turns out well for you, a mate of mine is on the 78 fleet so I hope you get that cross over on your rating am sure all that experience on the 74 will not go to waste,

 

Take care mate

 

Paul.  

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On 7/23/2020 at 3:44 PM, Back in the Saddle said:

 

pegged.jpg

 

I‚Äôve said it before and I‚Äôll say it again. One can never have enough pegs. ūüßźūü§£

great little office you built from nothing. Bravo. ūüėá

 

Johnny

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Nice progress there, and good idea with the sanding on a flat.  Also good to see you getting daughter involved with modelling.  Will get mine into it but still at that crucial Humbrol all over the carpet stage.

 

I did scare the bejesus out of the pair of them by standing under the most recent 747 arrival at St Athan, genuinely felt bad about that, I didn't appreciate that it's arrival would feel like the sky falling in to a 5 year old!:devil:

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17 hours ago, Back in the Saddle said:

tommy.jpg

 

One Tomahawk nearing completion!

Painting on the carpet! That would never happen in my house - SWMBO would hit the roof! Great to see another young modeller in the making, though.

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6 hours ago, Bell209 said:

Painting on the carpet!

 

It's not on the carpet, she's got a lovely big piece of cardboard to work on and we all know how stable those tins of Humbrol are. What could possibly go wrong.....?! :whistle: :)

 

Keith

 

PS that P-40 looks good Matt, neat job by the little 'un - I helped mine with the build of a 1/72 Tucano when she was a similar age, but the paint job was all her own work - in a fetching camo scheme of pink and lime green poster paint! First and last build as she moved onto horses after that, and cost me an absolute fortune! Don't believe anyone who says modelling is expensive!!

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Another small progress report coming up, but first I need to address a few comments!

 

On 27/07/2020 at 13:19, keefr22 said:

Just like building a vacform...!! :)

Cheers Keith. I thought I'd come up with an original idea - I didn't realise everybody else used kitchen worktops to sand things flat too!ūüėĀ

 

On 27/07/2020 at 19:13, Paulaero said:

Personally I hope all turns out well for you, a mate of mine is on the 78 fleet so I hope you get that cross over on your rating am sure all that experience on the 74 will not go to waste,

 

Take care mate

Thanks PaulūüĎć

 

On 27/07/2020 at 22:26, Glen said:

Is there anyone left current to fly them to their final destination!

There are¬†a few pilots being kept current - sadly, not me. I think I've had my final flight on the 747, without realising at the time...ūüėĘ

 

On 27/07/2020 at 22:59, The Spadgent said:

I‚Äôve said it before and I‚Äôll say it again. One can never have enough pegs. ūüßźūü§£

great little office you built from nothing. Bravo. ūüėá

Wise words Johnny! Having made the trailing edges as flat as I could with sanding, it seemed a shame to potentially lose that work due to sloppy clamping!

 

I quite like the office - basic, but effective enough for this model. I've never been a fan on expending effort on something you will never see...!

 

 

On 27/07/2020 at 23:21, 71chally said:

Nice progress there, and good idea with the sanding on a flat.  Also good to see you getting daughter involved with modelling.  Will get mine into it but still at that crucial Humbrol all over the carpet stage.

 

On 28/07/2020 at 02:32, Bell209 said:

Painting on the carpet! That would never happen in my house - SWMBO would hit the roof! Great to see another young modeller in the making, though.

 

On 28/07/2020 at 09:20, keefr22 said:

It's not on the carpet, she's got a lovely big piece of cardboard to work on and we all know how stable those tins of Humbrol are. What could possibly go wrong.....?! :whistle: :)

Both kids enjoy modelling and¬†they picked their next kits from my stash earlier today - my daughter chose a 1/72 Airfix Gnat and my son opted for a 1/72 Airfix Hurricane. That should keep them busy for a while! I find the carpet is the best place for them to build, but a big sheet of cardboard is a must.¬†To be fair, the biggest mess was when I knocked the paint over - they were both blameless!ūü§£

 

So back to the build...

 

I had a little experiment with the Kristal Klear, filling the front window on the upper deck:

 

winds.jpg

 

I'm very pleased with how that looks, so can now begin the process of tidying up all the window apertures, rather than filling them. I actually need to open up a few more windows, as some are present on the real aircraft but closed up on the plastic. For example, on the upper deck there should be a complete run as shown below, rather than the filled window next to the one with the KK:

 

side.jpg

 

The first class cabin (lower deck, in the aircraft nose) also has a missing window which I need to make. The above picture was taken this year and shows the aircraft with modified cabin windows in this section (two per seat, with one window blanked out). When G-CIVP was flying in the 'Colum' scheme it had all 14 windows available, rather than four blanked out windows. Fortunately Revell supplied the molds with the windows partly formed, so opening up the extra ones should be fairly straight-forward:

 

fill.jpg

 

A session with my drill and mini files is next!

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On 28/07/2020 at 09:20, keefr22 said:

PS that P-40 looks good Matt, neat job by the little 'un - I helped mine with the build of a 1/72 Tucano when she was a similar age, but the paint job was all her own work - in a fetching camo scheme of pink and lime green poster paint! First and last build as she moved onto horses after that, and cost me an absolute fortune! Don't believe anyone who says modelling is expensive!!

Hi Keith. I will try to keep her away from horses! Also poster paints...!ūüėĀ

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Make sure you model Row 62 correctly - I always tried to get one of the two window seats in that row, the very best of Business Class in my opinion :)

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18 hours ago, Jur said:

Make sure you model Row 62 correctly - I always tried to get one of the two window seats in that row, the very best of Business Class in my opinion :)

I'll do my best Jur!ūüėĀ

 

I spent some time this morning researching old photos of G-CIVP. At some point in the past¬†the aircraft was reconfigured,¬†moving toilets and changing the¬†seating layout.¬†That work also involved¬†blocking off¬†some windows (new toilet locations) and¬†other windows were reinstated¬†(new seating areas). I cannot post the reference photos I used, as¬†a well known website hosting these airliner picture will get¬†a bit angry!¬†ūüėČ

 

The outcome of my deliberations was this:

 

marked.jpg

 

Please excuse my hieroglyphics - I was getting a bit muddled! Essentially there are about ten corrections required on each side. Some windows need filling, others need to be drilled out. Once that is done I will get the two halves joined together.

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You're more than welcome to use my shots if it helps with either your build or illustrating various points,

https://www.flickr.com/search/?user_id=56270329%40N08&sort=date-taken-desc&text=747&view_all=1

 

48122948097_3fcd083b87_b.jpg

Boeing 747 -436 G-BNLN by James Thomas, on Flickr

 

I don't know how much of the fleet went through the same changes as VP, or indeed when the changes were made.

 

 

I spent a good bit of time today crawling all over a 747 and two things really struck me, one is just how flippin cavernous that centre undercarriage bay is, it's like a cathedral of alloy skinning and piping! 

The other, is how beautifully smooth the wings are in reality, the only noticeable panel lines are the moving surfaces and the inspection panels.  Some of those wing skins are amazingly long and smooth.

 

 

 

Great to see this attention to detail with your build.

 

 

 

Edited by 71chally
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