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The P-51 Syndrome

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  • Member since
    May, 2016
The P-51 Syndrome
Posted by B-36Andy on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 1:07 PM

Talking to my modeller friends, it seems that most of the modelling subjects revolove around a few airplanes; P-51, P-47, F-86, F-16, etc. Other planes are absent as builds and civilian stuff is almost non existant.

Why is that? My friends say that if its not military--and well known military ---it's boreing and has no excitement. Could it be that most of us have only experienced civilian flying in a Southwest Airline trip (which is boreing) ;that the flight seems like sitting in your living room at home? Your jet can avoid all turbulence, windows are small and you fly so high that the ground is practically invisible. No climbs or dives, no practice stalls or steep turns. Where is the romance of just pure flight?

No wonder the flying factor has been left out of our modelling subjects. I'm from the generation where an airline ticket might include flying through thunderstorms, having severe mechanical problems, or getting trapped aloft by bad weather in unusal situations---this made any flying very exciting!

Also the beauty of actually getting the feel of the plane and the wonderful view at only 8,000 ft cruse.

Last week I got the experience of flying on a Ford trimotor; every passenger had the same reaction--"We wish airlines could be this way again."

I suggest reading "Fate is the Hunter" by Ernest Gann. Many copies available by the internet booksellers. It will put you in the jumpseat of airline travel the way it was meant to be; exillerating, magnificent, and at times absolutely terrifying. And a real adventure that we all yearn for!

Make no mistake, any kind of flight is risky but so exillerating! War is not the only adventure in aviation. Tex Hill, the old Flying Tiger, autographed his pictures at airshows. But if you were a pilot---any kind of pilot--- his message on the photo was, "all the best to a fellow aviator." And that meant a great deal to us that fly. 

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 2:31 PM

There are all of those concerns with boat and ship models as well.

How many Bismarck models does the world need?

  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by PFJN on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 2:48 PM

Hi,

Andy, your post made me remember something that happened to me a while back.  In general, when I was younger, I though my first passenger flight w :(as amazing, being able to go from Texas to Missouri in such a short time.  All previous trips with my family had been by car and took most of one day, if not parts of two Tongue Tied

Over time though, I've enjoyed air travel less and less.  Someone once told me that they had read that for many people it can be part due to the fact that basically you are squished into a metal can with no real control over your fate for many hours on end.

However, with modern wifi connectivity I've found that I can distract myself well enough to not be really "bothered" by being on a plane.

But, after my first flight on a turboprop commuter plane, and eventhough it was relatively small inside and kind of noisy and bumpy, I actually do recall kind of having enjoyed that flight because it was different and it made me think that in some ways it may have been more like what earlier travel was like Smile, rather than just being stuck in a metal tube.

Pat

  • Member since
    May, 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 3:34 PM

That reminds me of an old joke I have once heard at school, where a journalist visits a post office and asks the man stamping the letters: isn't this job boring? And he tells her: No, it's fascinating, look, every day you get to stamp the letters with a different date!

And isn't it so, that boring/not boring is in our brains and not in the subject itself?

We used to have a man on these forums, who had built a diorama of a hotel window with a view on a brick wall. Dang, that was fascinating - all those pipes, fire stairs, old newspapers, rats, that was really something! In comparison with that a Piper Cub should just blow your brains out - but you have to look at it with some love and with a lively mind.

But where to get love from - now that's a question, that mostly goes unanswered for generations...

Good luck with your modelling projects and have a nice day

PaweĊ‚

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 3:47 PM

Vespaboy!

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 5:22 PM

Well I certainly prefer military subjects over civil aviation. But my tastes there can run the gamut: fighters, attack/strike/bomber, scouts/observation, transports, helicopters in all their various roles. And my tastes in era cover the history of military aviation as well. Airliners hold a small appeal for me, but that is due to a family connection. Lets face it, a passenger airliner is essentially a flying bus, be it spartan or luxuriant inside. And general civil aviation is rather mundane to me as well. A civil Cessna Skymaster holds no appeal for me. But give it some warpaint, a radio rack and underwing smoke marking rockets, and it becomes an Oscar Deuce FAC, with associated tales of danger and daring-do. I suppose that if I was a civil aviator, I would build kits of the types that I've flown. But the closest I can claim to any of that is the observer seat in military and law enforcement helicopters. And unless I win the lotto to afford flight school and    flight time of my own, that's not likely to change.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    October, 2004
  • From: Orlando, Florida
Posted by ikar01 on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 7:54 PM

What people build and have as interests will normally depend on what they can associate with, such as personal experience or a game they played, movie they watched, or something they saw on T.V.  Is it excitement or familiarity? 

For me it was watching the nightly war news with the F04s taking off form the carriers, the B/W movies of the time when I was growing up, Flying Tigers, Air Force, S.A.C. and so on, listening to stories from my Father who flew C-47s and eventually the aircraft I encountered when I got drafted and joined the Air Force and got to see them in action and on occasion having to lfy in some of them from the C-47 to the H-43 to the C-141A, C-5A and C-130.  Then there were the air borne incidents I had while flying.  All these things tend to leave an impression and have an effect of what you like and build.

Then there's the people who get tired of all the camoflage and just crave some color on a subject.

The subject is wide and variable and as usual it all comes down to the individual.

  • Member since
    July, 2008
  • From: Vancouver, the "wet coast"
Posted by castelnuovo on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 10:46 PM

I have built only few civilian aircrafts long time ago, Boeing 707, Antonov 24, Concorde and don't remember what else. What I do remember is that they were all quite simple to build, not too many parts. What I enjoy with tanks is that they have hundreds and hundreds of parts and details, you can rust them and wreck them (any dioramas of crashed airliner?)...A $40 tank by Dragon will keep me busy for weeks which I can't say for my current build, a Harward by Rewell.

Cheers...

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 8:28 AM

I'm pretty well known in my area as someone who protests exactly like you.  I build odd stuff.  I don't want to build the same thing that everyone else is putting on the table.  Fortunately, there are a few companies that offer kits of the forgotten legion of those aircraft that were not icons of their type.

I build more commercial stuff than military, because now that is what I see.  If I go to MSP, our local big airport, I can see a few of the reserve squadrons C-130s, but far more of the Embraurs, the Airbuses, and the Boeing 7whatever7s.  At the smaller airports I see the Cessnas, Pipers and such.  I like to build what I see around me.  Yeah, I spent a few years in the military, and years working with the military, and did build more military stuff then, but in my later years, and in retirement, I build far more civil stuff.

And, I love the neglected time period between the wars- the golden age- when, military or civil, aviation took tremendous strides in development. Icons of that era include your Trimotor, the DC-3, the Beech Staggerwing, the Curtiss Hawks, P-26, and such.  Love to build that stuff.  I also build ships, and again build far more civil ships- tugs, container ships, freighters, etc.  than naval stuff.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    September, 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 9:02 AM

Airline travel will never be what it once was, just as rail travel never will be.  That's because to provide the same kind of service as in the Thirties and Forties, with the kind of amenities that were once the standard, for the number of people who use the service, is prohibitively expensive and a technical challenge.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v233/HansvonHammer/Humor/th_MonogramMafia.jpg?t=1296972087

  • Member since
    May, 2016
Posted by B-36Andy on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 10:28 AM

I'm with you, Don!

Thinking about doing some contest models of obscure stuff that is not exactly military. Some earlier stuff too!

  • Member since
    May, 2016
Posted by B-36Andy on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 10:51 AM

A passenger airliner is essentially a flying bus? Interesting.....

The FAA describes a passenger in an aircraft as "innocent bystander". Only an "innocent" would niavely think of them as flying buses.

How about a little thunderstorm flying in a DC-4? What would that be like?? Only a pilot would know. Tidy bags would be provided for those "innocent" enough to to believe that the flight would resemble a mundane bus ride.

If you don't have the ability to experience flight from the cockpit as pilot-in-command, then read the book that is mentioned in the earlier post. 

Oh ya, there are other avenues open to earning your wings---besides winning the lottery. 

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 11:41 AM

Some bus rides are pretty bad too. Especially outside of this country. But a jet airliner flight does have occasional turbulence or other rough air. But still,  I don't think many passenger aircraft trips compare to a C-130 flying nap of the earth on the way to someplace, while most of the cargo/passengers have their own body weight (and maybe then some more) strapped to them in combat equipment and a parachute harness. Once one guy loses their chow, it gets contagious. Oh and hang on to that bag, because the crew chief doesn't like you to leave it on his bird. You'll be taking it out the door with you.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    September, 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 12:01 PM

I'm reminded now of this joke from "The Simpsons":

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v233/HansvonHammer/Humor/th_MonogramMafia.jpg?t=1296972087

  • Member since
    May, 2016
Posted by B-36Andy on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 1:54 PM

Hey Don,

You really need to catch a ride on one of the trimotors when they come to your neck of the woods! They are about 90 years old but the EAA takes such good care of 'em. About the strongest bird I've ever seen. Very stable with straight and level but to get it to do anything takes brute force. 2-3 second delay before the control surfaces bite in. It would be a nightmare in an accidental spin!

Sweetest bird ever is a Cessna Bobcat! It flies like a dream with wings---

  • Member since
    February, 2003
  • From: Central Ohio
Posted by Ashley on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 2:09 PM
Andy, where did you fly in the Trimotor?

Have you flown a Ford lately?

  • Member since
    May, 2016
Posted by B-36Andy on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 5:29 PM

In Lubbock, Texas about a month ago----

Are you familiar with the EAA trimotors?

  • Member since
    February, 2003
  • From: Central Ohio
Posted by Ashley on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 5:48 PM

Well, I fly them. I had Savannah, Ga., and Smyrna Tn stops on our 4AT#69, so I was wondering if you flew with me! You were on the 5AT we lease from the Liberty Air Museum in Port Clinton Ohio, and I trashed the schedules so I don't know who was the pilot on that stop.

In any event, the airplane you rode was 5AT number 8, and in 1931, she belonged to TAT Airlines and was named "City of Wichita", and on the day they inaugurated the coast-to-coast combined train and air service, she was the second airplane to depart Columbus, Ohio westbound.

You had a first class seat with history, and every seat was both an aisle AND a window! 

Have you flown a Ford lately?

  • Member since
    May, 2016
Posted by B-36Andy on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 6:13 PM

Great to know you were the pilot!!!

That flight was one of the best I've been on in a long, long time!

I was on the first flight of the day, so we had to get the oil warm and sat there for an extra 15 min---listening to the radials singing their song!! This was a Friday? and on Sunday you guys couldn't fly because of high winds----I just sat in my car next to the fence watching it rock in the wind! Great ship!! Your copilot was a Delta girl and she had a tough time manhandling that bird---she landed it and we bounced 3 times!!

I wanted to take my grand kid with me but her parents said it wasn't safe---too bad because someday all this will be gone---she's a airplane girl and hopped in that round entry door and sat down in one of the seats and patted the seat across the isle---where I sat down for a couple of minutes---that's as close I got to flying with her.

Tell us more how old ship handles?----I wish some one made a good kit of the trimotor. The early stuff is so neglected and few of the modern generation know about the early ships and pilots of the golden age of flying.

  • Member since
    February, 2003
Posted by Jim Barton on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 6:25 PM

GMorrison

Vespaboy!

 

I remember Vespaboy! What ever happened to him?

"Whaddya mean 'Who's flying the plane?!' Nobody's flying the plane!"

  • Member since
    February, 2003
  • From: Central Ohio
Posted by Ashley on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 6:52 PM

Well, that wasn't me, unfortunately. But the girl you mention was a new pilot we are bringing in to the program, because it is obvious the Trimotors are going to outlive all of us, and we need young folks to carry on! But, the new generation of pilots has a lot to learn before they can court the old girl. Airplanes today rather coddle their pilots, but the Ford sees absolutely no reason to do that. It is difficult to explain what that means, but the Ford doesn't fly like anything you may be used to, she needs a firm and insistant hand, the controls are sluggish and not at all harmonized. When you roll a Ford into a turn, you must use generous rudder, or the nose will swing opposite the roll. You are never too high on approach in a Ford, it will fall out of the sky if you don't plan ahead, and it will eat you for lunch in a crosswind if you get lazy.

I am amused that your kids thought the old girl unsafe, she has been guarding over passengers for 87 years, I just hope I am able to fly her on her 100th birthday. She will be able, it is me who will fail. This weekend in Tennessee, I took a lady who was quite frightened, had never flown before. After the flight, her eyes just sparkled, she said the airplane talked to her and assured her that everything would be alright. And, she does.

I am honored to be able to share this icon of American history with people, we hope that people won't take for granted the magic that is air travel today, because the Ford made it all possible.

Maybe we will meet up someday when I am on tour with the Ford! Unfortunately, the only readily available kits of the Trimotor are the Revell offerings in "approximately" 1/77 scale, and they need work to represent most Fords flying today, especially in the windshield and passenger window area. The kit has inadequate engines, they are supposed to represent Wright J6s, but most flying Trimotors have Pratt&Whitney R985s. I have built a number of these kits, and they do look good with a little work.

Have you flown a Ford lately?

  • Member since
    March, 2009
  • From: Yorkville, IL
Posted by wolfhammer1 on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 10:08 PM

All, Unfortunately, its a matter of supply and demand for kits.  We do it to ourselves, collectively.  Why are there so many P-51s, etc,?  Because they sell, and the model company makes back the investment in the molds and turns a profit.  Why doesn't that happen with a P-26? or a Tri-motor?  Because the model building public doesn't lap up those kits with the same abandon that a P-51, etc gets purchased.  Its kinda a chicken-egg problem, but one that may have a solution on the horizon.  3-D printing has the capability to make entire kits to order, all that is required is a computer model of the subject.  You could even print out parts on a sprue to keep them together.  You want a Thunderscreech, no problem, once the computer model is created.  Interested in the Emden from WWI, not a problem.  The investment in hardware is less than injection molding equipment, and no molds are required.  The hard part is developing the computer model and then breaking it up into a kit for our building pleasure.  Right now the limitation on 3-D printing is the resolution so that you don't see the layers as they are built up.  That can be addressed, but it isn't cheap yet.  Just some thoughts.

John

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 10:54 PM

the Baron

I'm reminded now of this joke from "The Simpsons":

 

Now that is hilarious!

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Thursday, May 18, 2017 9:07 AM

B-36Andy

Hey Don,

You really need to catch a ride on one of the trimotors when they come to your neck of the woods! They are about 90 years old but the EAA takes such good care of 'em. About the strongest bird I've ever seen. Very stable with straight and level but to get it to do anything takes brute force. 2-3 second delay before the control surfaces bite in. It would be a nightmare in an accidental spin!

Sweetest bird ever is a Cessna Bobcat! It flies like a dream with wings---

 

Can't afford that Tri-motor ride, but I did take shelter under a wing during a thunderstorm at Oshkosh :-)    I'd love a ride in a bamboo bomber.  Rode in several Cessna twins, but never the Bobcat.  Rode in DC-3s number of times- sure wish I could afford an hour or two of dual in one!

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    May, 2016
Posted by B-36Andy on Friday, May 19, 2017 9:48 AM

Don,

Nice you have been to Oshkosh! I have never been--

The Bamboo Bomber is probably th e sweetest plane from that era. All sticks and fabric--light as a feather--and has those nice baby radials!! I have never flown a plane where you got the distinct feeling that the bird was actually taking care of you! Too bad there are so few now as the old horse hide glue is old and a restoration would take decades of work!

I have the Sky King squadron model in my stash. Have you built the Monogram 1/48 DC-3? I am starting it and hope to use the Draw decals of Delta ship 41. I have never used Draw and seems you must treat them differently. It is so hard to find good airline decals.

Have you ever heard of Apache Airlines?? i am building a Twin Beech and am using model railroad decals for the lettering as none exist for that carrier. Strange little airline. When my dad flew it, They had one plane and one employee!! 

  • Member since
    January, 2017
  • From: Colorado Springs
Posted by mawright20 on Friday, May 19, 2017 7:23 PM
Being a retired C-130 crew dog I have to agree with stick pusher regarding the 'sharing' of the effects of someone losing their cookies! I can tell you from experience of flying a -130 through a Pacific Ocean thunderstorm one night....I HAVE NO DESIRE TO EVER DO THAT AGAIN! To say it sucked would be an understatement, definitely one of the periods where worrying about the wings coming off was a concern. The Hurricane Hunters can keep that sport.
  • Member since
    May, 2016
Posted by B-36Andy on Friday, May 19, 2017 10:14 PM

Yes, loosing cookies sure can be a chain reaction! 

I think it has to do with fear also, as many who are not spooked by violent turbulence don't get airsick much. Glider pilots deal with some very rough turbulence and never do get sick.

And yes---airplanes have no business being in thinderstorms! Years ago they were taken on as part of airline travel, sometimes when there was no choice to get to your field or an alternate. A flight where the sheer forces are trying to persuade your wings to take flight, makes you wonder why you ever decided to get interested in flying in the first place! And the sick feeling of having your ship completely drop out from under you every 30 seconds---and being suspended only by yourseat belt----and then being jammed down in your seat so you can hardly move! No---flying machines were never meant for thunderstorms!! Years ago airlines had many crashes due to these nasty things.

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Saturday, May 20, 2017 9:29 AM

It is amazing how pilots never get airsick during aerobatics or turbulence, only passengers.  I know a few pilots who claim they can make anyone sick, even another aerobatic pilot.  I know several times I have been on rides during some aerobatics, and while I never lost my cookies, I told the pilot I had had enough for that day, and let's just enjoy the scenery for awhile.

I guess it is something to do with being in control of the airplane, versus just being along for the ride.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    May, 2017
Posted by Thiago Pacheco on Sunday, May 21, 2017 9:29 PM

That is an interesting discussion, which made me recall, I think, Bruce Dickinson comparing singing for Iron Maiden and flying their aircraft on tour. He said something along the lines of "there's nothing subjective about flying: you have the aircraft, the destination, the route, and your job is to get there safely". I don't think airline passengers want more excitement than getting to their destinations quickly. I recently watched a John Wayne flick in which he is a co-pilot in a DC-6 (I think) and has to act like a drill sargeant towards the pilot when an engine blows up. He also talks to the passangers and tries to calm then. Statisticaly, flying in those old propliners was a much more "thrilling" proposition than today's modern jetliners. Nowadays, flying is safer than taking an elevator (thankfully!). That is part of the answer, I think, why most of modeling is military related. I always attend a local modeling show and the rates are mostly the same: the majority of aircraft are military, and among them, most are "historical" aircraft. Not only you have fewer kits of new fighters such as F-22's and F-35's (when compared to 109's, Thunderbolts and Spitfires), but they also don't have much story to tell. For every dozen warbirds, though, there is one new state of the art 5th generation fighter kit built by the modeler whose interest is just that: the awesome design and technology of the new fighters.

That brings us to a question: why do we build what we build? And the question is two-fold: why do so many P-51 kits get built? I think that most of us like the stories of courage involved as well as its undeniably gorgeous lines. Also, the unbelievable variety of colour schemes available: checkers, stripes, nose-art, natural metal, olive drab...but the stories, they're always there. You may choose a particular P-51 scheme only for its looks - but you'll end up knowing a little bit about it in the process. I can only speak for myself, but most of the kits I built had to do with the "subject story". For instance, I always liked the looks of the F-105 - but being a warbird man, I only felt the urge to build it after reading about the Wild Weasel missions in Vietnam. That was flat out crazy - I had to have one on the display cabinet. On a funny (I think) sidenote: a friend of mine who likes airplanes but doesn't know much about them asked, after looking at the completed model: "that's Maverick's dad airplane, isn't it?"

And airline modelers? Maybe they like the looks of them, as well as the mission: getting there safely and on time. Also, LOTS of color schemes available! 

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Monday, May 22, 2017 9:51 AM

Thiago Pacheco

And airline modelers? Maybe they like the looks of them, as well as the mission: getting there safely and on time. Also, LOTS of color schemes available! 

 

I think one of the reasons is that it brings back memories- you can go back home again.  I remember when my dad took the family on Sunday drives (he was no Sunday driver- while he did have a day job he was also a professional race car driver).  Our Sunday drives often took us past Detroit City Airport, where we gaped at those big new silver airliners (DC-3s).  Dad's idea of quality time with me was taking me to airports with him, then let me wander around gawking at airplanes while he hanger-flew with buddies.  So, while I do model contemporary civil aircraft, my favorites are vintage ones.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

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