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Nov 22, 2013, 01:51 PM
Slip the surly bonds...
Sopwith Mike's Avatar
Build Log

Scale Build-Off 3 - Short S26 G-Class Empire boat from Ivanís Solent 480 plan


I was fortunate to see four of Ivan’s Solents flying together at the Chilliwack pond in 2012: Ivan’s 98” version and Luke Middleton, Rick Bell and Colin Dick’s 82” versions. Colin’s was actually Ivan’s build, so both of his models were flying that day. I collected a plan of the big one from Ivan and drew it up as a 100” C-Class, just to be slightly different but Bart83 beat me to it with his superb “Caledonia”, a laser-cut kit no less, in the spirit of the smaller Solent plan. By some quirk of arithmetic, the C-Class’s bigger brother, the G-Class also comes out at 98” span at the same scale as Bart’s C-Class (1:16.5) so in a fit of enthusiasm I drew up the G to the same size as Ivan’s big Solent.

I used the 1:40 drawings by Len Whalley (available via Brian Cassidy at the excellent Seawings website).as a basis. They only have a few sections, so I was forced to draw up my own by interpolation and “cut and fit” but the end results should look about right. You can tell a lot from photos that isn’t apparent from the 3-view and I was also able to draw in the wartime turrets and fairings as well as the post-war tail cone from a variety of sources.

Now that this is an entry in Steve85's build-off, I'll add some thoughts on my design process in a later post

Sources:

Shorts Aircraft since 1900 by CH Barnes (Putnam)
Aeroplane Collectors' Archive "Grest British Flying Boats"
World Aircraft "Commercial Aircraft 1955-1960" (Sampson Low)
Last edited by Sopwith Mike; Dec 30, 2013 at 01:33 PM. Reason: Title change
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Nov 22, 2013, 01:58 PM
Slip the surly bonds...
Sopwith Mike's Avatar

History and the boats


In 1938 Imperial Airways asked Short Brothers to build a larger version of the C-Class Empire flying boat in order to carry two tons of mail and freight non-stop across the Atlantic. The span was increased by just over 20’ and the fuselage and tail surfaces were enlarged in proportion. The general shape remained pretty much the same: perhaps the major change was the elimination of the second step on the planing hull, very much in the style of the Sunderland, which first flew in 1937. Funding was provided by the Government on the understanding that if war broke out, the aircraft would be impressed into the RAF..

The boats were:

G-AFCI Golden Hind, impressed as X8275, then with BOAC. Last flight in 1948, broken up in 1953.

G-AFCJ Grenadier (changed to Golden Fleece, impressed as X8274: lost at sea off Cape Finisterre after double engine failure)

G-AFCK Grenville (changed to Golden Horn, impressed as X8273, then with BOAC. Crashed at Lisbon on a test fight)

The first aircraft was delivered in 1939, but very soon all three were impressed into 119 Squadron RAF, having been fitted with two upper and a rear turret, bomb racks and other military equipment. After 119 Squadron was disbanded in 1941 the remaining two boats were returned to BOAC and converted to utility passenger aircraft, the turrets being removed but the tail fairing retained. Golden Hind survived the war, was stripped of her military modifications, given an extended tail cone, revised window arrangements and fully furnished for the passenger role, eventually being retired in 1947

There are at least four colour schemes available for Golden Hind:

As built in 1939 for mail and freight. (Aluminium overall with Imperial Airways civil markings, very much in the style of a C-Class boat).

119 Squadron RAF 1939 – 41: with ASV radar as convoy escort. (Dark sea grey and sea green upper surfaces and light grey lower surfaces camouflage (?), with RAF markings)

BOAC 1941 – 45: conversion to 40-passenger role (camouflage retained, civil markings in dark blue lined with white, underlined red white and blue. A big Union Jack behind the cockpit and “Golden Hind, British Airways London” above the BOAC Speedbird in the name location). Edit - it also appeared with BOAC wartime serials with the faired rear turret in aluminium overall.

BOAC 1945 – 47, upgraded to 24 passengers. Original rudder and revised tail cone. (Aluminium overall, civil markings, Union Jack on fin, “Golden Hind, the Speedbird and “BOAC” markings)

Whether the camouflaged versions were overall DSG and SG (as it seems from photos) or had light grey under surfaces (as was standard) or had aluminium under surfaces (as apparently was normal for civil aircraft in military service) I don’t know.

Mine will be Golden Hind in wartime BOAC service – did you guess? I’ll follow Ivan’s building scheme and hope to by flying by the next BIMBO weekend in September 2014.

There’s a peep through the workshop window to whet the appetite!
Last edited by Sopwith Mike; Nov 23, 2013 at 07:54 AM.
Nov 22, 2013, 04:38 PM
Registered User
how much's Avatar
Mike
I am subscribed! A great and unusual choice of model... Will be following this all the way!

I would be looking at doing the pre-war version... That rear turret takes away a great big piece of the rudder

Keep those images coming

David
Nov 22, 2013, 10:00 PM
Cut it twice, still too short
dglo's Avatar
Looking forward to this one! Is that all we get? A peek through the window? C'mon Mike, don't be stingy

Doug
Nov 23, 2013, 01:56 AM
71% of the world is runway . .
Bart83's Avatar
Mike ,

Finally the long awaited empire build thread reading your first posts gave me a big smile. I will follow your build with great interest.
Did you purchase the haynes repair manual on empire boats written by mr Cassidy ? it also has a chapter on the G-class.
One small correction , mine is not the Canopus but the Caledonia , the second boat build.
Could you maybe post some pictures of the plan you made ? i like to see your hand drawings very much

Have fun with this build Mike !


Bart.

some G-class photo's i had on my harddrive :
Last edited by Bart83; Nov 23, 2013 at 08:58 AM.
Nov 23, 2013, 02:17 AM
What could possibly go wrong?
nickchud's Avatar
Wow! She's going to be a beauty!

Let's hope for a another successful BIMBO weekend.

Nov 23, 2013, 05:56 AM
build like there is no 2moz
wallis_100's Avatar
looking good Mike :-)
Nov 23, 2013, 02:20 PM
Registered User
LukeZ's Avatar
Excellent subject Mike, we've been waiting for you to come out of the woodwork with this one for a while.

Your model has a propitious namesake, which never hurts. I don't suppose the name was kept anywhere on the military scheme, a shame. But it's worth it to give this thing some color, and the camo will look great. We already know you can do a mean paint-job.
Nov 23, 2013, 09:38 PM
The "pro" in procrastination
Steve85's Avatar
Y'know Mike, you just might talk me into attempting a flying boat myself one day. A smallish Sunderland, perhaps...

Subscribed!

Steve
Nov 24, 2013, 04:54 AM
Slip the surly bonds...
Sopwith Mike's Avatar
Thanks everybody! The fuselage emerged blinking into the light this morning, unpinned from the building board for the first time. The rear top longeron and the tip of the cabin longeron are on a level, making the erection process reasonably easy.

The drawings are just enlargements of a tracing of the Whalley plan with the essentials draw on.

My shed is 14' long, so yes, the fuselage is quite big!
Nov 24, 2013, 05:15 AM
What could possibly go wrong?
nickchud's Avatar
Beautiful Mike!

That's really inspiring.

Nick
Nov 24, 2013, 09:12 AM
Registered User
Trevorh's Avatar
Looking good Mike - some interesting sheeting operations in prospect!
Nov 25, 2013, 09:44 AM
GLM
GLM
AMA 209854
GLM's Avatar
Wonderful Mike!

Looking forward to this.

Cheers!

Gary
Nov 25, 2013, 10:11 AM
Slip the surly bonds...
Sopwith Mike's Avatar
Thanks again! The sheeting is so far proving reasonably easy. Keeping as far as possible to what I think are called conic sections has reduced much of the double curvature that I was not looking forward to.

Gary - I'm hoping that Bart and his friends in Holland can arrange a float plane fly-in so I can pop across the Channel and take part - or Bart can do the reverse and come to the BIMBO week/weekend here in UK. Having two Empire boats and possibly David's Sunderland would be just fantastic!
Nov 25, 2013, 10:44 AM
GLM
GLM
AMA 209854
GLM's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sopwith Mike
Thanks again! The sheeting is so far proving reasonably easy. Keeping as far as possible to what I think are called conic sections has reduced much of the double curvature that I was not looking forward to.

Gary - I'm hoping that Bart and his friends in Holland can arrange a float plane fly-in so I can pop across the Channel and take part - or Bart can do the reverse and come to the BIMBO week/weekend here in UK. Having two Empire boats and possibly David's Sunderland would be just fantastic!
That would be a picture, video and event I'd like to see!

Cheers!

Gary


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