Our Muse, that will guide us through these times of political darkness

Sunday, November 27, 2016

A 2009 build (from my archives): Scratchbuilt 1/72 Correa of 1911 -Argentine-

(this is a 2009 build that did not get posted here yet, it is related to a post that will follow on another plane/model of negative aspect ratio)
Argentinians are very creative people. They have a knack for food, dances and…aviation.
Being myself originally from Argentina, let this be an homage to those pioneers that far away from the then centers of development nevertheless dared to dream.
Mr. Federico Correa, an engineer, was one of the many pioneers that fed and propelled aviation in the country from the early days. Of his innovative design only one photo seems to be available, which I saw published in the AAHS (American Aviation Historical Society) Journal. Some helpful data there provided the basic core for the reproduction presented here.
The creation that resembled a boat on top of a carriage roofed by an overstretched empanada (the typical, yummy, Argentinean turnover) never –that we know of- took to the air, but was enthusiastically taxied at the historical airstrip of El Palomar.
The model started by getting what was already available: the Aeroclub engine and prop to represent the Gnome Omega rotary engine. The prop in this case goes behind the engine. Four photoetched wheels were set apart too. The main elements were made of styrene of adequate thicknesses according to their function. The “wing” required a special approach depicted in the images, were a bed of styrene was prepared and engraved and then painted to represent the supporting structure of the original. Some additional elements -as per the photo of the real plane- were fabricated in diverse materials to populate the Jules Verne-like apparatus. Then I realized that I had to make 1,816 struts, all different of course. Tricky little thing. My consolation laid in the fact that no decals would be needed.
The diverse tanks were made of brass. One wonders why would you need so many tanks, but then you speculate that one was for the gasoline, one for the oil, one more may have been for the soup and the other for drinking water (in the event the plane may remain indefinitely suspended in the air).
It becomes apparent that aviators of that time period seemed to believe that Mr. Louis Bleriot achieved success in his renowned Across the Channel Flight only thanks to the aerodynamic properties of his beret and moustache, since every photo of the era shows wanna-be pilots so groomed.
Equally apt to navigate at “El Tigre” river delta given its canoe-shaped fuselage, have a tea under the “umbrella wing” at the Palermo Woods or cruise elegantly on the supporting undercarriage at the 9 de Julio Avenue in Buenos Aires, it is surely a loss that gravity stubbornly kept it firmly attached to the ground.

My thanks to fellow modeler Mr. Psarras, (aka the Monster of the Black Swamp) who provided Greek recipes and aviation information in masterfully balanced quantities.

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