Here is my latest, done as an entry in the "Between the wars" GB.
After WWI, France was the leading nation in aeronautics, and this lead was demonstarted by a series of speed world records in the early 20s, by manufacturers such as SPAD, or Nieuport.
France was also the place where major international races took place, one of the most famous being the Coupe Deutsch de la Meurthe.
After an initial domination by SPAD, Nieuport took the lead with a number of record planes based on their Nieuport 29, which arrived too late for the Great War, but was the main fighter of the French air Force in the early 20s.
Then Nieuport arrived with the Sesquiplane, an aircraft designed only for speed, using the famous Hispano V8 engine. The name "Sesquiplan" came from the difference between the two wings, one being significantlt smaller than the other one. In the case of the Sesquiplan, one can wonder whether it had two wings, or was a monoplane with a large faired wheel axle. Anyway, Nieuport used their know-how in producing monocoque wooden fuselages to make an streamlined thoroughbred, with a monocoque fuselage and plywood-covered wings.
They hired one of the great pilots of the times, French Sadi Lecointe, to fly their new racer, with the goal of beating the world speed records and winning the 1921 Coupe Deutsch.
At times when aviation was still a new technology, less than 20 years old, there were plenty of questions of how far it could go. One of the questions was how fast a man could fly. It was said that 300 km/h was the maximum speed a man could endure.
On September 26th 1921, flying one of the two Sesquiplanes, number 6, Sadi Lecointe beat the world speed record and reached 330.275 km/h (200 mph). Already famous, he became in the instant a hero for French crowds. One week later, "6" was destroyed in the Coupe Deutsch, but Kirsch, piloting its twin brother "7" took away the Coupe Deutsch.
The Sesquiplan proved to be the swansong of the French Aeronautic industry as far as leading the world was concerned. Major innovations were brewing in the US, with the new wet-sleeve engines (the famous Curtiss D12) and fuel developments that culminated with the discovery of the virtues of lead-tetraethyl in the late 20s. From then (fater the Bernard record plane) on world speed records belonged to the US, the Uk and Germany.
I found this vacform kit, produced by a British cottage manufacturer called AirCraft Models on eBay a few years back. The kit is actually extremely well engineered, being molded in female molds, and having been thoroughly researched. Building it was a pleasure, even if the vacform format presented its own challenges. My building thread can be found here :
In the course of the build, I was inspired by a pic of Sadi Lecointe standing near its aircraft, and decided to add a figure mimicking Sadi. I also chose to represent the finished aircraft on a base where I tried an electrostatic device to represent grass standing upright.
Here are the pics of the kit I finished yesterday, taken today outside, in my garden, starting with 3 that should remind the period pics posted in the WiP
Edited by MostlyRacers, 10 October 2016 - 05:48 PM.