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kkarlsen

Aeromarine 75/Curtiss F-5-L (Highball Express)

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So this will be my contribution to the 'Multi Engine' anniversary GB.

I will attempt to convert the Wingnut Wings Felixstowe F.2a flying boat into one of the first real passenger/airways aeroplanes.

The Aeromarine 75 were surplus US Navy Curtiss F-5-L flying boats from WWI, which were converted into carrying passengers.

The original company 'Aeromarine West Indies Airways', was one of the first international airlines in the United States.

Aeromarine began operating flying boats in 1920, transporting passengers, mail, and freight from the United States mainland to the Bahamas and Cuba. 

In 1922, Aeromarine began transporting passengers from New York to Cuba, on a two-day trip nicknamed the "Highball Express"

This nickname was earned, because many of the passengers were trafficking in alcohol, which was illegal during Prohibition (1920-1933)

 

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Aeromarine 75 'Santa Maria' in Havana Harbor.

 

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'Santa Maria' in New York.

 

For the first time I'm not at all sure whether it will be possible to complete this challenge. The amount of conversion involved is humongous... 

 

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The Wingnut Wing Felixtowe kit, + extra wing sprue's...

 

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Two Wingnut Wings Liberty engine sprue's to replace the Roll Royce Eagle engines...

 

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Gaspatch turnbuckles and HGW seatbelts (I'm not yet sure if they were used in US flying boats?)

 

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The plan of the fuselage I've been working on, to get my head around the interior layout of the extended hull...

 

Well it's out there now, no way back from this...

 

Happy modelling y'all: Kent

 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Thomas Lund said:

What an interesting subject. What is the conversions needed ? I notice you have some extra wing frames, are the wings longer ?

 

Thanks Thomas, the F-5-L flying boats were larger overall.

 

The hull was longer: F2a was 46 ft 3 in (14.1 m) and the hull of the F-5-L was 49 ft 4 in (15.04 m) - The hull has to be extended by almost 30 mm's.

Wingspan has to be extended from 95 ft 7½ in (29.15 m) to 103 ft 9 in (31.62 m) - This means a larger wingspan than the Lanc, which is 102 ft 0 in (31.09 m).

But the biggest difference is the wing area being much larger: F2a was 1,133 ft² (105.3 m²) and the F-5-L was 1,397 sq. ft (129.8 m²). So the wing width has to 

widened by 10 mm's, thats what the extra wing sprues are for.

 

I'm pretty sure how to lengthen the hull, but the wings is another matter, I will have to figure out a way to accomplish this, when I get around to this eventually...

 

Cheers: Kent

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49 minutes ago, Jan_G said:

wow Kent, this looks like superb project of really nice plane :speak_cool:

will follow with greatest interest

jan

 

Thank you Jan, I think I will be needing all the support I can get for this ;)

 

Cheers: Kent

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Wow, I love these ambitious projects of yours. What is even more impressive is that you finish them at a very good pace which make them a pleasure to follow. I love the subject. Is the "75 minutes" marking an indication of flight time between New York and the other destination which I cannot guess?

 

I will follow with much interest.

 

Cheers,

 

David 

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23 minutes ago, Dukie99 said:

Wow, I love these ambitious projects of yours. What is even more impressive is that you finish them at a very good pace which make them a pleasure to follow. I love the subject. Is the "75 minutes" marking an indication of flight time between New York and the other destination which I cannot guess?

 

I will follow with much interest.

 

Cheers,

 

David 

 

Thanks David. It's an ambitious project for sure, but the idea of building a civilian version of this iconic flying boat, just 'clicked' instantly.

When I later learned of the Aeromarines, I just fell in love with them immediately. The history behind them and all of the anecdotes around them

are just what I need to throw myself into something like this.

Although Richard (WNW) may be right, it would perhaps be easier to scratch a F-5-L than to convert one. Anyway lets see were this goes...

 

I haven't yet exactly decided which version to make:

1920/21 version Key West/Cuban mail plane or the later 1922/24 'Black tailed' Airliner...

They certainly had colorful names...

Nina, Pinta, Santa Maria, Columbus, Mendoza, Balboa, Ponce de Leon, Governor Cordeau, Buckeye and Wolverine.

 

Cheers: Kent

 

 

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Completely forgot that the 'Duellists kit' contains the early Felixstowe, so I had Richard and Dave send me the parts from the 'late' version along with the kit...

 

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The sprue have the late type balanced ailerons needed for the F-5-L

 

Cheers: Kent

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Wow. Very ambitious and impressive! I’m looking forward to seeing how this plays out!

 

jimbo

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Posted (edited)

I've spend some time figuring out where to extend the hull and to get it to correspond with the wings when these are widened.

 

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The interior of the Aeromarine had wooden panels added inside to add some yacht-like atmosphere I guess...

 

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So the approach I'm taking, is to scratch build a interior 'box' using the kit parts as template, adding the extra length and then cut the fuselage halves and fit them onto this 'box' and add the missing parts of the exterior of the hull when assembled. This will also add the wooden panels to the interior walls.

 

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This way I will be able to have control of the windows and other openings. At least that's the idea...

 

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The cutout for the rear passenger cabin.

 

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Dryfitting the 'new' interior... I have made peace with the fact that it's not going to be 100 % correct, there will parts of the build were I will have to accept less...

 

Cheers: Kent

Edited by kkarlsen

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