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Piaseki, H - 21 - Flying Banana"?

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  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Piaseki, H - 21 - Flying Banana"?
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Saturday, May 1, 2021 2:09 PM

Hi Ya'll;

    It seems years ago I found this bird and then it was labeled the "Flying Banana" in Yellow., Is that right or am I wrong? The reason I ask is this. I found this one in the Box( The original) sealed (With the original tape!) and it was labeled on the box the "Piaseki H -21 Workhorse"!) Oh! it was priced at $24.00 bucks. Was that too much? Well, I don't care I am going to build it anyway. I like unusual helicopters anyway.

   Well I opened the box and got a shock. Heavy moldings and a mold Pin release point right in the middle of the way thick canopy! Sinkmarks all over the fuselage and on the smaller parts including the sliding doors into nothing! The back of the instruments had a canyon that needed to be filled and the ends of the seat platform as well. Surprisingly the Fuselage had few. The only poor fit there was on the top where the 2 1/2" flange forced the opposite side up. I got that fixed already.

    The Canopy? Well, it got sanded to remove the pin mark that was INSIDE of it. Right in the center.!. I went through the numbers from 180 all the way to 12,000.Viol'a it was Successful! The canopy is clear and fits right. Lotsa rubbing with Polishing compound by both Novus and Meguires! The frames, Well, what I could see were nothing like the picture on the box ,but, that's okay. As per Aurora's doings the frames were heavy in front dissappearing to almost nothing on the sides. Just like the F -111 was !

   You may think I lost it, but no, I enjoy taking these trips back in time Wow! These were considered the "Cat's Meow" Back in the day. If anyone put out something like this now, they would be out of business toots sweet! Just hadda let ya know what I was up to in "Choppers" Oh, By the way the decals were there, but toast. The background paper was actually brown! The Plastic, Swirly Silver as to be expected but smooth as a baby's butt except where the not so bad, but noticeable where they were, Rivets, Very few panels worth, compared to the F-86 from the same era!

 I have to add this. I find building these OLD Helo kits more fun than the later Revell and Monogram releases. I have never built any from any  other Mfgr. Granted these were re-purposed even then. But an almost 1/32 scale model of the old helo from "M.A.S.H in Korea was awesome. My Step Grandfather served on one flying guys to the various M.A.S.H. units. After Chosin Reseviour!

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Saturday, May 1, 2021 4:10 PM

The official name of the Piaseki H-21 was Workhorse in the USAF, and Shawnee in the US Army.  Flying Bannana was a nickname given by its crews due to the shape of the fuselage.

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  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Saturday, May 1, 2021 5:31 PM

TB, if you found an original sealed Aurora H-21 kit for $24 sometime in the past 25 years you picked up a good bargain. I personally am hoping that Atlantis models finds those molds one day soon and reissues the kit so I can do one of these MAAG-V "Flying Bannanas"


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  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Saturday, May 1, 2021 5:36 PM

i have two of the Italeri ones on salt, plus a PE kit for one. Will do a camouflage US Army one.



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  • Member since
    July 2011
  • From: Armpit of NY
Posted by MJames70 on Saturday, May 1, 2021 6:30 PM

Technically, it wasn't really an Aurora kit. They purchased an outfit called Helicopters for Industry that made about a half dozen 1/48 helo kits in the early 50s. Mid 50s, Aurora bought the line and released them under their branding. The Piasecki Army Mule/HUP-2 that Atlantis already released was one of those kits that had appeared in Helicopters for Industry and Aurora branding in the past. They're so-so kits, but it would not be bad to see some of the others like the H-21 return as well. 

  • Member since
    October 2004
  • From: Orlando, Florida
Posted by ikar01 on Sunday, May 2, 2021 8:01 AM

If you like odd copters, try my favorite the H-43.  Its company name was Huskie but nobody used it, preferring instead the name Pedro.  I think it came from a squadron call sign and stuck with every squadron.  An interesting and dangerous aircraft to be near while running on the ground.  Get too close to the ground and the exhaust can get pulled in to the rear cabin, causing people to get sick from the fumes.

  • Member since
    November 2005
  • From: Newnan, GA
Posted by J.H. Primm on Saturday, May 22, 2021 7:14 AM



Its company name was Huskie but nobody used it, preferring instead the name Pedro.  I think it came from a squadron call sign and stuck with every squadron


"Pedro" is a generic term used in the Marine Corps and Navy for Air Station SAR aircraft.

For example, HH-46s at MCAS Beaufort, MCAS Cherry Point and MCAS Iwakuni were all referred to as "Pedro"


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