C-47

Back in 2010, I was talking to Mike Griffin about wanting to build a “Gooney Bird” and he told me that he had a set of plans for said airplane.

When he gave me the plans I made two copies and set about making my templates.   I had a set of matching OS Max .25 engines and started cutting the wood for the build.

 

I decided to build the wings in three sections and ran into my first problem.   The fuel tanks would not fit behind the engines.   I had to rig them sideways, being careful that they would feed from the back right section.   I am relying on the centrifugal force to feed the engines properly.

 

After placing the tanks sideways I started the fuselage, rudder, stab and the two outer wings.   This was when problem number two popped up.   The engine nacelles would not let the props clear the fuselage.   They were just two close to the fuselage so I could not use the proper propeller sizes.   I decided to just add two inches to the center of the absolute center section.   This gave me enough clearance for the propellers.   It also helped that by changing to three bladed props I lost one inch in diameter.   This did the trick and I started to close the holes and began sanding the model.

 

I had no idea how I was to paint the model at this time, only to think that I did not want to use the standard olive drab scheme of WW2.    One day I was at Hub Hobby Shop buying more Champion Balsa Filler coat and I met Joe Weathers.   We talked about models and he sent me many pictures of DC-3’s with different color schemes.   Most looked good but none moved me.

 

In my travels while working I remembered that there was a dilapidated C-47 at the Houma Airport.   Since my son lives in Bayou Blue, my wife and I took a trip to visit him and his family by way of the Houma airport.   Much to my surprise the plane was not there.   But since we were already there we decided to ride around the airport just to see.   Lo and behold! There on the tarmac staring me in the face was two beautiful round engine C-47’s.    The company is the Clear Gulf Associates, Airborne Support.   They have two round engines and two turbo prop conversions.  They also have a DC-4.  This was it, I found my paint scheme!   All planes are equipped with spray bars under their wings that are used to spray chemicals over any oil spilled in the Gulf.   They are on 24 hour alert and I was able to tape one of the round engines start up and take off.

 

But I digress, as most modelers do when they find what they want.   I returned to my model confident that I could duplicate their paint scheme by using masking tape on waxed paper.   I also took extra care while sanding and painting because I wanted this model to be my best. 

 

 I even went so far as to balance the model.  The plans noted that this would have to be done because the fuselage front is so close to the center of gravity.   It did not say that it would take almost 16 oz. of lead to get the model to balance.   The first flight will tell if I added enough lead and balanced it right.

 

When I finished the model my wife and I took a trip back to the Houma Airport to show it off to the company.   This trip rated another trip to the tarmac via golf cart where I took more pictures.   This time I was able to take both planes together.   I also promised the company that they would get the model when I passed away (provided it is still in one piece).

TIME WILL TELL

 

PS:  Since I wrote about this C-47 my daughter-in-law, who works at Nichols State University was talking to a student and discovered that he is the grandson of the owner of the company who owns the full sized C-47.  I sent them some pictures of my model and he spoke of my promise to give his grandfather the plane.

DSCF8438.JPGDSCF8443.JPGDSCF8445.JPGC-47_finished.JPGC-47_FLYING_THROUGH_ISSAC.JPG

Double-click to edit text, or drag to move.

Double-click to edit text, or drag to move.

Double-click to edit text, or drag to move.

Double-click to edit text, or drag to move.

C-47_%26_friend.JPG

Double-click to edit text, or drag to move.

Double-click to edit text, or drag to move.

Double-click to edit text, or drag to move.