Eduard's 1/48 "Profipack" Hanriot HD.1/HD.2
The Hanriot HD.1 was first presented to the French Air Force in June 1916 as a potential replacement for the Nieuport 17. A delay in making the decision allowed the SPAD S.VII to come to the fore, and the Hanriot HD.1 received only a token order from the French Air Force. The French Navy used the HD.2, which was distinguished by a larger rudder since it was usually on floats where its main opponent over the Channel was the Albatros W.4.
With no major orders forthcoming from France, Hanriot demonstrated the airplane to the Belgians, who ordered several hundred. During 1917 and 1918, the airplane would be flown by most of the famous Belgian aces, including Willy Coppens, and it would continue in first-line Belgian service into the early 1920s.
The airplane was also offered to the Italians, where a number of Italian aces liked its nimble performance over that offered by the SPAD S.VII, and 831 Hanriots were manufactured in Italy by Nieuport-Macchi during 1917-18.
The Hanriot was also used by the U.S. Air Service as a trainer in France, and several were used by the U.S. Navy for experiments in flying airplanes off battleships and cruisers as the Royal Navy did with Sopwith Pups and Camels.
Charles Nungesser used the Hanriot for awhile after he stopped flying his Nieuports, and he took one to the United States after the war, flying it in air shows marked with his famous black heart insignia. The airplane was last flown in a show at Mines Field (today's Los Angeles International Airport) and was then put in storage until Ed Maloney re-discovered it in the 1960s. Today it hangs from the ceiling of the new hangar at The Air Museum, Planes of Fame, in Chino California, still carrying Nungesser's markings.
Eduard is now the major producer of 1/48 World War One aircraft, and their quality is such that they can be considered the Tamigawa of that period. The new Hanriot kit comes with two sprues of injection-molded medium-grey plastic, as well-produced as anything one would find in Japan. Unfortunately, the fabric effect is still the "hills and valleys" that may look good on a model but bear no resemblance to the way fabric-covered airplanes of the period actually looked. The parts are cleanly molded with nice detail and no flash.
As befits the more expensive "Profipack" version, this kit has a photo-etch fret of cockpit interior parts, and a cast-resin rudder to make the H.D.2 version, albeit without floats. The decal sheet, made by Aeromaster and printed in Italy, has markings for a very wild silver-finished star-studded Italian Hanriot flown by Tenete Antonio Boglio in 1918; an airplane of 5eme Escadrille, Aeronautique Militaire Belge in French five-color camouflage, in 1921; a U.S. Navy Hanriot used at North Island for tests aboard U.S.S. Mississippi in 1919, and a French Hanriot HD.2 of Escadrille de Chasse A.C.1, Aviation Maritime, in 1919. I understand the less-expensive version has markings for an HD.1 flown by Willy Coppens, the Belgian ace of aces, which I personally wish was on this sheet.
Overall, the kit looks like it will assemble as easily as does the Nieuport 17 and Albatros D.III recently released by Eduard. I am looking forward to adding it to my collection of First World War airplanes.
1/32 Scale Guide $18.00
1/48 Scale Guide $25.00
1/72 Scale Guide $25.00
HH-43 Huskie Color
Reference Guide $15.00
Please add $3.20 Postage in the US.
PO Box 90933