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

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Scratchbuilt 1/72nd Johnson Uniplane

(From the archives, model built in 2007)

By now, as you probably assumed, we are well into the foggiest regions of scratch-building.  Not only there are no kits, but there are also no plans or three-views.  Fortunately a few images can be grabbed here and there, and, most important, fellow modelers can guide you when the light becomes too dim.
To say that the Johnson’s Uni-plane of 1934 was once offered by his builder to a hamburger company to make flying advertisement will definitely make the case. The builder, though, couldn’t: due to an unfortunate crash upon take off -one in a series of them, if I may add- sponsorship was unplugged.
At a mere 14 feet span (about 4.27 meters) massive it is not, but it has charm. A Church Marathon engine of 42 hp took the plane to the air, but since in its first incarnation it had only control in two axis (no ailerons), it was extremely difficult to make it stay there. Further development included a single vertical tail and the missing ailerons, but this lovely machine stubbornly refused to stay aloft. It made, though, a series of straight-line long hops and eventually –err, after some crashes- reached plane’s heaven, wherever that may be. 

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