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Found 7 results

  1. 1/18 scale Hafner Rotabuggy flying Jeep Willys Royal Air Force 1943 Solido diecast conversion & scratchbuilt The Hafner Rotabuggy (formally known as the Blitz Buggy or Malcolm Rotaplane) was an experimental aircraft that was essentially a jeep (actually a Willys MB) combined with an autogyro. It was designed by Austrian born British designer Raul Hafner of the AFEE - Airborne Forces Experimental Establishment after their development of the Hafner Rotachute enjoyed some success. The prototype was built by the M.L. Aviation Company at White Waltham in 1942. One of several failed concepts for the equipping airborne forces, the effort and risk in getting the Rotabuggy into battle would probably have outweighed its utility. Initial testing showed that a Willys MB could be dropped from heights up to 2.35 metres (7.7 ft) without damage to the vehicle. A 12.4 metres (40.7 ft) diameter rotor was attached, along with a tail fairing and fins, but no rudders. The design work was carried out by AFEE staff, while most of the construction was undertaken by R. Malcolm Ltd, with H. Morris & Sons assisting in the manufacture of the rubber hub. The serial numbers RD123 and RD127 were allotted for the two Malcolm Blitz Buggys, although they were never to be used. The basic Jeep was fitted with a pylon to support the two-bladed rotor and a fairing to carry the tail surfaces. The Hafner Rotabuggy, as it became known, was to carry a pilot and a small load, together with a complete tankage of fuel and spare wheel, spare tank, tools and snow chains. The pilot occupied the starboard front seat, but an alternative arrangement for a second pilot was made in the port seat with dual controls. The tail fairing was a plywood monocoque structure attached at four points to the rear of the Jeep and cabin. Because consideration loads were transmitted through the fairing in some conditions of flight and in heavy landing, the Jeep was strengthened locally at the points of attachment. The twin-spar tailplane had trimming flaps on either side which were adjustable on the ground by means of turnbuckles. Large endplate fins were set at a slight angle in plain view to give incidence relative to the local airflow. Replacing the standard Jeep windscreen was a streamlined sheet metal framework with perspex sheets. The remainder of the cabin was built of plywood. Access doors with large perspex panels were fitted both sides. A hole in the cabin roof accommodated the pylon, with allowances for movement owing to the elastic suspension. In the cockpit a special dashboard on the starboard side contained an airspeed indicator, a rotor speed indicator, a sensitive altimeter and a turnand- slip indicator. A standard telephone system via the towrope allowed the pilot to communicate with the tug pilot, the amplifier and batteries being located behind the starboard seat. The Hafner Rotabuggy, camouflaged, carrying RAF roundels and a prototype “P”.
  2. 1/18 scale Flettner Fl-282 V21 Kolibri 3D printed / scratchbuilt model After request, a 1/18 scale Fl-282 V6 helicopter with WWII Kriegsmarine markings built for a wealthy collector from Kiel, Germany. A second Luftwaffe’s Fl-282 V21 model followed for my own personal collection at home. Since the whole project cost (CAD design, 3D printing & model building) was entirely funded by the client, I did not hesitate to use the best available materials & machines to do the job. The text follows, is to describe the Flettner Fl-282 Kolibri (“B-0” series) helicopter as manufactured by Anton Flettner Flugzeugbau GmbH on early 1940ies, used by Kriegsmarine & Luftwaffe during WWII and scratch built by me as a 1/18 scale model, now days. Anton Flettner was a German aviation engineer & inventor who made important contributions on airplane & helicopter design. During the WWI, Anton Flettner developed remote control & pilotless aircraft projects, which culminated in the prototype Siemens Schuckert Werke 1000 kg wire guided air to surface missile of 1918. Following WWI, he directed aeronautical & hydrodynamic research institute in Amsterdam and during the WWII, he headed the Anton Flettner Flugzeugbau GmbH, which specialized in helicopters. It is believed that the firm was founded in Berlin in 1935. By this time, however, Flettner had developed the idea of counter-rotating, intermeshing twin rotors. Many of his advisers thought that the airflow disturbed by the intermeshing blades would make this system less efficient than one using a single rotor; but Flettner believed that any problems thus encountered would be more than offset by the reduced drag resulting from having no external rotor-carrying structure. His pioneer work is often overshadowed by the more publicised activities of his contemporaries Heinrich Karl Johann Focke and Igor Sikorsky; yet Flettner’s helicopter, was far superior to the Henrich Focke’s FW-61 and made a successful free flight several months before Igor Sikorsky’s VS-300 began tethered flights. Following pictures taken at Pfaffenwiesbach a district of the municipality Wehrheim, Germany. This artistic wall painting cultural monument, created by the local municipal council in memory of Anton Flettner who was the village teacher in Pfaffenwiesbach from 1906 to 1909. Although Anton Flettner built his helicopters for the German military, his wife Lydia Freudenberg Flettner was Jewish. Because of his personal friendship relationship with head of Gestapo, Heinrich Himmler, Anton Flettner’s Jewish wife and their family safely moved to Sweden for the duration of World War II. Anton Flettner’s partner and confidant was Dr. Kurt Hohenemser, a brilliant and thorough engineer who developed the details necessary for the helicopter’s success. Dr. Hohenemser's father was also Jewish, yet the pair remained unharmed during their tenure together throughout the War as they worked to develop the helicopter for military use. While the final product could be factory assembled, Anton Flettner and his partner Dr. Kurt Hohenemser insisted that they were the only ones who were capable of assembling the complex intermeshing rotor gearbox assembly. However, plans for 1000 helicopters mass production were made, the project was disrupted by the destruction of the designated factory by Allied bombing. In following pictures, Anton Flettner is proudly posing in front of his Fl-282s fleet at Schweidnitz (today Åšwidnica, Poland), on October 1944. The first helicopter is a V14 registered as CJ-SH. Upon the WWII conclusion, Anton Flettner was held in the “Dustbin†interrogation camp at Kransberg castle. After 1945, Flettner, along with many other aviation pioneers, was brought to the United States as part of Operation Paperclip. He started Flettner Aircraft Corporation, which developed helicopters for the US military. His company was not commercially successful, but his work was shared with the Army Air Corps. Many of his designs, such as intermeshing rotor concept, saw widespread use in a series of postwar helicopters built by Kaman for the US Navy and USAF. Anton Flettner moved to the United States in 1947 to work as a consultant to the Office of Naval research and became the chief designer of Kaman Aircraft, creating the Kaman HH-43 Huskie, a concept with intermeshing rotors. He died at age 76 in New York City, USA on December 29th, 1961 and buried in Eddersheim cemetery at Frankfurt, Germany where he was born. In following photograph, Anton Flettner (2nd from left) meets Wernher von Braun (3rd from left).
  3. 1/18 scale Jukka Tervamäki JT-9T autogyro scratchbuilt model Having tried my (suicidal) virgin 40 minutes flight experience with a friend's homemade autogyro during my summer holidays with him on flight controls and me on the passenger's backseat, I can surely say that you really feel like a bird, sensing even the slightest airwave or gravity accelerating change straight in your floating stomach. As soon as I safely stepped on solid ground again and returned back home in one piece, I felt the iresistable temptation to try a 1/18 scale autogyro scratchbuild. The following article is to describe step by step the 1/18 scale Jukka Tervamäki Engineering JT-9T autogyro, designed by Mr. Jukka Tervamäki and currently flying by ultralight aviators around the world keeping the Mad Max II GyroCaptain's (aka Road Warrior) spirit alive! In the photo below, Mr. Jukka Tervamäki, with his latest (at that time) creation of the JT-5, which was a predecessor of JT-9, which I'll try to represent in scale. The basic JT-9 autogyro concept is about a tractor gyro design with good aesthetics and performance with fairly low power. A 1.7 m diameter 2-blades propeller is powered by HKS 700 or Hexadyne Aviation P60 diesel engines, both delivering about of 65 hp at 2400 rpm. The fuselage of the JT-9 is of normal steel tube construction covered with dacron fabric. On the other hand, the JT-9B model is equipped with an electric motor instead of a diesel engine, with only difference the 3-blades propeller and wider front cover to house the battery packs onto both sides of the fuselage. The model I'll try to build in 1/18 scale, is the two-seat trainer (as for the "T") JT-9T model, equiped with diesel engine & 2-blades propeller made by carbon fibers. Having the basic blueprint line diagrams in hand, it was easy to convert them into 1/18 scale with a photocopier and I began the scale model building, starting from zero using 0.25mm styrene card and plastic sprue. To make the construction look more interesting, I decide to build the model in a way that airframe should look like cutaway side opened and let cockpit detail be easily observed. In the following pictures, the real (one-seat) Alex “GyroBeast2” Lameko's autogyro JT-9, during the successive stages of building.
  4. 1/18 scale Wallis WA-116 Agile autogyro 3D printed / scratchbuilt model The following construction is a tribute to RAF Wing Commander Kenneth Horatio Wallis DSO MBE CEng FRAeS PhD, a pioneer gyrocopter aviator, who passed away early on Sunday morning, September 1st 2013. Ken was 97 years old. During the WWII, Wallis served in the Royal Air Force as Westland Lysander and Wellington pilot and flew 28 bomber missions over Germany. After the War, he flew the massive Convair B-36 and later involved in research and development, before retiring in 1964. He later became one of the leading exponents of autogyros and earned 34 world records, still holding eight of them at the time of his death. He was an inspiration to us all and we shall greatly miss him. A local hero and a national treasure. He was born on the 26th April 1916, at Ely in Cambridgeshire. With his father and uncle having built an aeroplane in 1908 to fly the channel in a competition that was eventually won by Louis Bleriot, Ken Wallis acquired an interest in practical mechanics at an early age and by the time he was eleven years old had built his own motorcycle. He eventually turned his attention to aviation following a flying demonstration he watched in 1936 of the Henri Mignet HM-14 Flying Flea / Pou Du Ciel. Ken will be greatly missed by the Flixton museum members. He was a frequent visitor, generous fundraiser and a great ambassador. In addition to the numerous professional institutions who welcomed Ken as a member and the vast number of clubs who regarded him with great respect and fondness, many ordinary people will also feel a loss in one way or another. Even a short chat with him left the individual feeling that it was something special and his warmth made them feel that he would remember them! Ken was recognised wherever he went. Admirers would soon gather and he would usually produce a small clipboard from a pocket, to sign and give away autographed postcards of him flying the “Little Nellieâ€. I am sure that many a childless adult has asked for a card to give to their “offspringâ€. Ken was inspirational, a great role model and possessed a rare old-world charm plus the impeccable manners of his age; all without a hint of grandeur. I am not alone in thinking that he was probably the grandfather figure we would all have liked to have had at some time. Norfolk was Ken's home from 1963 and I venture to think he was appreciated by such a large part of its population that he was likely a close second to its most revered inhabitant: Horatio Nelson. Goodbye Ken - our gyrocopter aviation hero and national treasure.
  5. 1/18 scale Instytucie Szybownictwa IS-A Salamandra 53 3D printed / scratchbuilt model The text following is to describe the 1/18 scale Instytucie Szybownictwa IS-A Salamandra 53 (1953 version) glider model building, as produced by aviation factories throughout Poland.
  6. 1/18 scale Bolkow Bo-102 Helitrainer scratchbuilt model The Bölkow Bö-102 Helitrainer was an unusual ground-based helicopter training aid that was developed and built by Bölkow of Germany in the late 1950ies. It embodied all essential elements of a conventional helicopter, but was mounted on an articulated gantry to allow a student controlled experience of helicopter systems. Designed to be mounted on a swivelling captive rig the Bölkow Bö-102 Helitrainer allowed trainee pilots to practice procedures such as engine starting, rotor engagement and manipulation of the flight controls. Many of the Bö-102's components, including the single bladed fiberglass main rotor were used in the company's next design, the Bölkow Bö-103. Looks like a kiddie heliride, a toy for big boys huh? Rolled out in 1957, this Helitrainer was powered by a Hirth 3-cylinder / 2-stroke 40hp ILO L3X375 piston engine rated at 30 kW, driving a simple 21 foot one-bladed fiberglass rotor with a counterweight. In all 18 of these Helitrainers were built operating throughout Europe, training military helicopter pilots. Although unable to fly, they were ideal for the teaching of hovering techniques and were replaced by dual trainer helicopters. The Bölkow Bö-102 Helitrainer offered a variety of advantages for a safe helicopter training and was developed in land and water based versions, both of which were semi-captive. The first training section was conducted on this model mounted on a boogie. It facilitated the training of starting, tuning the rotary speed, taking off, hovering, turning, and landing. Simple exercising device for beginners’ training. Safety risk minimized by captivation, yet limited flight maneuvers possible. This feature allowed the helicopter to rise to a height of 2m (6ft), turn around a vertical axis and dip at up to 6° but prevented it from flying outside these limits.
  7. 1/18 scale Lockheed Martin F-16CJ Fighting Falcon HAF BBI - Elite Force conversion / scratchbuilt The following article is to describe step by step the 1/18 scale Lockheed Martin F-16CJ Fighting Falcon Block 52, currently flying with Hellenic Air Force, conversion using the BBI - Elite Force toy model kit, bought from the States a couple of years before for less than $60 USD. Despite my enthusiasm when I finally got this 1/18 model in my hands, as soon as I opened the box which exceeds in length the 3 feet (!!!), I realized that I would face hard time and massive scratch building and I'd need to spend hundreds hours on my hobby bench to make it look descent. In the substance, it is not even a model to assembly but a game for children which could be ready in less than 2 minutes. The detail convinces only if you look the model from a distance while points such as landing gear system, engine nozzle, panel lines etc are real dramatic. Luckily, the model is accurate on dimensions and could possibly be used as a F-16 exhibit model that do not interest on conformity of colors, special details etc. So, I decide to begin the building from the zero and give life in this 82cm long monster with no detail (comparing to scale models by Hasegawa, Tamiya etc) but however this 1/18 F-16 toy has almost unlimited possibilities of becoming a high detailed scale model. It should be noticed that the model's airframe comes straight from the box already sealed and I had to open it and work it from inside. That's a hard work to do, because the fuselage remains stuck with internal reinforcing possessors and metal supports & screws that I should locate and carefully remove without causing any damage on plastic material. Following pics show the 82cm long beast, immediately after opening of packing box. I am already start thinking about finding the proper window to place this Falcon. By selecting heavy metal on my CD player (in order to become aggressive and get the “Friday 13th” feeling) and using a saw and a Dremel tool, I opened the fuselage, the basic airframe pieces were cut and useless parts such as landing gear, engine nozzle, a part of the air intake etc were removed and led to the garbage.
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