Scratch-built 1/72 High Speed Flying Boat project -1930-

By Gabriel Stern


The quest for Speed has originated a plethora of beautiful shapes, dazzling prototypes, unique machines which only purpose was to combine lots of power with a polished, streamlined, efficient, lean airframe.

The object of this article was just a study, a proposal on the subject by W.G. Carter published in the “Aircraft Engineer” supplement of Flight Magazine of September 1930.

This racer was supposed to use two Napier Lions in a tandem configuration, thus canceling the dreaded torque effects that made these super-powered machines hard to control specially in take-off runs. Of course the tremendous heat delivered by the power plants needed a huge radiating surface – these were water-cooled engines – that had to be spread over almost every surface. The oil radiators were placed on the model in the lower surfaces of the engine gondola, while the water radiators were represented by colored decals in several areas, depicting the aluminum “skin” type radiator also used, for example, in the Supermarine S6.


The model is based on the 3–view given in the second page of the above-mentioned article. With extremely attractive lines this proposed machine was conceived to embody the state of the art of the trade for the time. Since this design was just a study, there is no really detail to talk about, so for example radiators surfaces location, cockpit interior and colors are speculative. I did the best to…please myself regarding those issues. A trolley was also devised to help exhibit the model. The tiny canopy was vacuformed in my smelly Mattel contraption.

In-progress images will tell the story of the building development, while shots of the finished model will give an idea of the refined concept and gleaming beauty of this 1930 study on marrying horsepower with elegance and efficiency.

One float – modified – from the Aeroclub generic floats vacformed sheet. One seat from a long ago forgotten kit, reversed and modified. A Napier Lion metal casting also from Aeroclub. Several aluminum tubes, wires and liberal use of styrene sheet and rod. Home made decals. Completing the ingredients list are Yerba Mate, putty and a modicum of predisposition towards sanding, and a couple of Fellini’s DVDs for the breaks.

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