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Saturday, July 1, 2017

Scratchbuilt Santos Dumont 14 Bis canard

(From the archives, model built in 2007)

Oh, the flair and charm of the combination of French and Brazilian blood! Monsieur Santos Dumont does not need introduction to the aviation world, and his well renowned 14 bis is a familiar –although somewhat awkward- sight.
This box kite-based pusher canard design left the earth in 1906 after some tests and adjustments, much to the delight of the crowd at Bagatelle. Stoically standing at his piloting post with unmovable face, Santos Dumont made a place for himself in posterity.
A relatively large model in 1/72 with some attractive detail, this one is not a difficult one to try. As usual -much to the delight of the scratch-builder- references differ from each other and also the plane went trough a few modifications.
The only detail probably worth of mention is the “wicker gondola”, made of double-sided, wicker-pattern printed paper. In the original plane, this was a remnant of Santos-Dumont previous experiences with dirigibles.
The plane was propelled by a Levavasseur Antoinette-type engine.
This pusher canard had at the front end a sort of omni-directional moving surface, in order to achieve (or attempt) control. 

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