1.32 scratch build Airco de H aviland 1A

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3 years 9 months ago #303 by Stevef

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Evening All,

Before WingnutWings disappeared earlier this year I bought one of their excellent 120hp Beardmore engine kits and some Gaspatch wire wheels. I also had some Airscale instrument transfers and HG bezels, so I thought that I might build a de Haviland 1A as there is no kit of this type in 1/32 scale. I cobbled the model from the usual materials for a scratch build: brass bar and rod, plastic strip and card, wood, wire and assorted odds and ends. A fellow modeller provided me with some Eduard mesh for the radiator, (thanks Jim). I used plans from the DataFile number 148. My thanks too to Dennis on Britmodeller for directing me to other plans which enabled me to make a more accurate representation of the cockpit interiors. I found that the engine kit lacked an exhaust pipe and oil tank, so I had to make them and add some extra details such as ignition wires, etc.

For those who do not know what a DH 1A looked like here is a conversion that I made in 1/72 scale from the Airfix DH 4 some years ago:



I wanted to take some photos outside but the weather broke a few days before I completed the model and it has been too windy since. In addition I have not prepared the base yet so these are of the model as photographed on a neutral base in my house. I also saw that I had not touched in part of the nose after I had taken these photos - this issue has now been dealt with!







I decided to build a strip down model because I frequently read how modellers add large amounts of incredible detail to the interiors of cockpits and fuselages, engines and other parts, and then cover them all up for eternity, never to be seen again. Well I thought that if I am going to spend time adding lots of extra detail, others might like to see it. In addition, with the relatively simple WW1 types which do not have too much internal detail, why not show a little more - such as the whole aircraft structure. So I decided to reveal everything.......



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3 years 9 months ago #304 by Stevef

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When G. de Haviland left the Royal Aircraft Factory in 1914 to join the Aircraft Manufacturing Company as chief designer he had been working on the FE 1 and BE 2 designs. His first design for his new employer was a two seat tractor biplane, but the War Office wanted a pusher similar to the FE 2. Consequently de Haviland produced a two-seat pusher, the prototype of which was powered by a 70 hp Renault V8 engine. This first flew in January 1915 and an order for 49 machines followed. Called the DH 1 this machine took a long time to get into production, (like all other British aircraft at this time), and it was not adopted by the RFC because the FE 2b had already been ordered in large numbers and had a better overall performance.





The DH 1A was an attempt to improve the performance of the original design by installing a 120 hp Beardmore engine, (the same as powered the FE 2b), with a radiator behind the pilot and a gravity tank under the port upper wing. It was armed with a single Lewis machine gun on a mounting in front of the observer, and one behind: the observer sat in the front cockpit.





About 23 machines were built and delivered to the RFC of which 6 were sent to Palestine to no 14 Sqdn who operated it alongside other types. It was used mainly for escort duties but at least one enemy aircraft was shot down - a Rumpler two-seater. The remainder of the DH 1 and 1A's were sent to home defence squadrons in Britain or to training squadrons where the survivors were finally withdrawn from service in the autumn of 1918.



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3 years 9 months ago #305 by Stevef

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Thanks for looking.

Stevef.

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