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1/48 Brokker glider, 1922


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1/48 Eduard (mostly) Brokker glider, 1922:

 

I have had the Eduard Bristol Fighter kit (weekend edition) for some time, but was always put off starting it by the complexity of the rigging. The obvious solution was to get an Eduard Fokker D.VII and combine the two kits.

 

The Brokker was built for the Daily Mail gliding competition held at Itford in Sussex from 16 - 21 October 1922.

Entered by Sqn Ldr A Gray and Fg Off W S Buchanan from RAF Northolt, it was a late arrival, only appearing on the final day of the contest. As it was hastily assembled, it became apparent that it consisted of the wing of a Fokker D.VII attached to a Bristol Fighter fuselage, and it was thus christened "Brokker". Most of the experts treated it as a joke and said it would be uncontrollable, and they were not disappointed when on its first launch the wheeled undercarriage was catapulted down the slope while the glider itself flopped heavily onto its belly.

The next attempt was much more successful and Sqn Ldr Alec Gray joined Alexis Maneyrol who had already been soaring his Peyret tandem monoplane on the ridge for two hours. The Brokker now seemed to be the most controllable machine present, but after an hour it was getting dark, and both gliders were forced to land by the light of car headlamps.

The Daily Mail prize of £1,000 was won by Maneyrol, who had set a duration record of 3 hours 22 minutes, but Gray and Buchanan received a prize of £50 for their efforts. The Brokker was taken to the Central Flying School at Upavon where it underwent testing until a fatal accident occured on 28.8.23.

 

There are only a few poor-quality photos of the glider, and no accurate drawings, presumably because the machine arrived late at the contest and by the time its qualities had been recognised it was dark. As a result some of the details are conjectural.

The tailplane looks too small for a Bristol Fighter, and the wrong shape for a Fokker, but the dimensions of the S.E.5A tailplane (later style with narrow-chord elevators) look right. I didn't have a spare S.E.5A kit handy so cut the Bristol tailplane to shape. The ailerons were enlarged by combining bits from both kits. The nose fairing was made from parts cut from the lid of a tub of butter substitute.

 

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I can see both, your first and your second download. Very skillful modelling - the parts are very nicely cut. I like this kind of scratch-building. I just wished you had weathered it more moderately. A lovely and rare model!

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