another of Aurora's old goodies in civil aviation, this time an original
Aurora mold rather than a Comet reissue. This is the only injection-molded
kit ever available of this aircraft, and is done to a true 1/72 scale.
It's a nice complement to the recently reissued Airfix kit of the retractable
gear Cherokee Arrow, both aircraft being in the PA-28 series and otherwise
The version depicted by the kit is a four place aircraft designed in the early 1960s and produced with slight variations from 1963 through 1972.
(Knots, nautical miles in parentheses): Top Speed (Sea Level) 148 (129) Cruise: 142 (123) Best Rate of Climb: 85 (74) Stall Speed (with flaps) 57 (49)Fuel Consumption (75% power): 10 gph Range (75% at 7,000 ft.) 705 (612) Takeoff over 50' obstacle: 1,620 feet Ground run: 775 feet Landing over 50' obstacle: 1,150 feet Ground run: 600 feet Rate of climb (Sea Level): 720 feet Service Ceiling: 15,700 feet
kit consists of 18 parts molded in white plastic, three clear parts for
the windows and windscreen, and two more clear parts for the typical Aurora
stand. The parts are well-molded and crisp with very little flash. Surface
detail is recessed, slightly exaggerated for the panel lines. For some
reason the location for the fin decal is also indicated by recessed detail
even though the other decal locations are not (thankfully) so treated.
decal sheet in my example is in excellent condition and appears to be
for an aircraft marked for some sort of competition. I could swear that
I've seen a photo of this particular machine so feel fairly certain that
these markings are accurate.
The model matches well to dimensions and photos I've found online and includes fairly nice cabin detail, complete with a nicely engraved instrument panel which should respond very well to some careful drybrushing. Just a little scratchbuilding would really bring the interior to life but the cabin windows and windscreen would then need to be replaced as they're too thick to show off the interior.
This was one of the finest kits in this series and is yet another of the old Aurora tools I'd like to see Revell-Monogram reissue if they have the molds.
Before I go I've got some updated info for last's month's column about the Meikraft SPAD XIII thanks to Matt Bittner. Matt advises that the Meikraft kit was based on the Czechmaster, not the other way around. He also pointed out that the veneer included in the kit was intended for use on the struts. Yeah, sure - good luck! Thanks for the updates, Matt.
I'll look at more of Aurora's private aircraft in future issues but next month will feature one of the Life-Like 1/40 scale military series kits - treadheads stay tuned. Till then, "Build what YOU like, the way YOU want to, and the critics will flame you every time."