Author Topic: The Spirit of St. Louis II - the Story of an Epic Flight in 1/72 scale  (Read 4574 times)

Offline Brian da Basher

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The Spirit of St. Louis is truly one of the most iconic aircraft ever to take to the sky.



Completely forgotten today is that this famous airplane had a successor, the Spirit of St. Louis II.



Charles Augustus Lindbergh gained fame by being the first to fly non-stop from New York to Paris and thus winning the highly sought-after Orteig Prize.



Lindbergh wasn't content to rest on his laurels however, and looked for a new challenge.



In 1929 he was determined to win the lesser-known Ortega Prize for the first non-stop flight from New York to Tabasco, Mexico.



His announcement that he was taking on the challenge sparked headlines in even the smallest town's newspapers of the era.



The Lone Eagle was not content to just win the prize. He wanted to do it in style and using the most cutting-edge aircraft of the day, the Lockheed Vega.



This time around, Lindy's forward view wouldn't be blocked by a fuel tank and his aircraft would have space to carry a few of the dignitaries he was sure would want a ride after his successful flight.



Christened the Spirit of St. Louis II, Lindbergh's Lockheed Vega seemed ideal for the flight ahead. It had the range and incredibly streamlined, spatted landing gear which was bound to intimidate any competitors.



The Lone Eagle's 1929 effort mirrored his more famous 1927 flight in that he was not the only one vying for the honors. Wrong-Way Corrigan, fresh off an attempt to reach Miami which actually ended in Omaha, was planning a New York to Edmonton run.



Lindy saw a potential rival on the horizon and hurriedly prepared the Spirit of St. Louis II.



On Augustus 14th, the Spirit of St. Louis II took off from Mitchell Field and disappeared into the early morning fog, headed south.



The flight proceeded without incident except for a minor problem. Lindbergh had hoped to use wireless signals to help him find his way, but as the hit single Mexican Radio was still 50-plus years in the future, he was forced to navigate by dead reckoning.



The Spirit of St. Louis II landed at Habanero Field a mere 13 hours after departing New York. Unlike his more famous 1927 flight, Lindbergh wouldn't be sleep-deprived after this journey.



A crowd of excited locals carried the famous flyer off the field on their shoulders and the world acclaimed yet another stunning aeronautical achievement, which, unfortunately, has long-since been lost in the mists of time.



Save for a few yellowed and crumbling old newspapers and this tiny model, nothing exists of the Spirit of St. Louis II today. Lindbergh attempted to donate the aircraft to the Smithsonian, but was turned down due to space limitations.



The aircraft was sold and re-sold many times until it ended up derelict and abandoned outside of Lufkin, Texas where it was eventually eaten by termites. Still, for one brief, shining moment, Lindbergh and his Spirit of St. Louis II held the world's rapt attention.



Brian da Basher
« Last Edit: August 13, 2016, 10:41:57 PM by Brian da Basher »

Offline Tophe

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Re: The Spirit of St. Louis II - the Story of an Epic Flight in 1/72 scale
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2016, 09:43:00 PM »
it was eventually eaten by termites.
:-* Thanks to your model, the legend survives!

Offline AXOR

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Re: The Spirit of St. Louis II - the Story of an Epic Flight in 1/72 scale
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2016, 09:53:23 PM »
 :)
Alex

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: The Spirit of St. Louis II - the Story of an Epic Flight in 1/72 scale
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2016, 10:03:28 PM »
This all started with the 1/72 MPM Lockheed Vega Model 5/UC-101. Doesn't the stunning box art just grab you?



What's inside the pre-crushed, flappy box is closer to a short fun run kit, meaning butt-joined parts with no locator tabs.





Still, it's a nice, simple kit that goes together pretty easily except for the landing gear, for which you'll need three hands to get it attached.



As I'd never built one of these before, I held off on any serious kit surgery and limited myself to just replacing the kit spats for a set of white-metal aftermarket ones from Aeroclub that were made for a Gauntlet.



I also left off the kit cowling because I've never seen a Vega with an uncowled engine and spatted landing gear.



The model was painted using the old hairy stick and Model Masters Primer Gray mostly. The nose was done in Jet Exhaust and the engine in Gunmetal with highlights picked out with Aluminum. The canopy and windows were tinted with Model Masters Insignia Blue.



Decals were all from the classic Testor's Spirit of St. Louis kit. I was lucky to have two complete sets which allowed me to come up with the NX-2112 registration number.





The under-wing numbers just barely fit but I like that they're so large, all the better to be spotted from the ground to enhance media coverage of this non-famous flight.





I had a blast on this project which only took four days total build time but that was stretched out due to a heat wave which slowed things down.





I hope you enjoyed the Spirit of St. Louis II and reading about the over-looked story of the Ortega Prize.



Here's a couple of bonus shots of those incredibly intimidating spats which no doubt had Wrong-Way Corrigan quaking in his boots.







Brian da Basher

Offline Jeffry Fontaine

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Re: The Spirit of St. Louis II - the Story of an Epic Flight in 1/72 scale
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2016, 01:08:50 AM »
The spats really make this Spirit of Saint Louis stand up and gat noticed. :)
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Offline The Big Gimper

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Re: The Spirit of St. Louis II - the Story of an Epic Flight in 1/72 scale
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2016, 01:46:47 AM »
Brian: I'm not sure what your best talent is: Designing and building new A/C or re-writing aviation history based on the impact of food.

Either it's bated breath anticipation and always a pleasure to view and read up on your many builds. And also your unseen mutation of having three arms and hands used to assemble MPM landing gear.
Work in progress ::

I am giving up listing them. They all end up on the shelf of procrastination anyways.

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Offline taiidantomcat

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Re: The Spirit of St. Louis II - the Story of an Epic Flight in 1/72 scale
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2016, 02:37:34 AM »
LOL this is great!!  ;D
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Re: The Spirit of St. Louis II - the Story of an Epic Flight in 1/72 scale
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2016, 06:01:25 AM »
 :)
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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Offline jcf

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Re: The Spirit of St. Louis II - the Story of an Epic Flight in 1/72 scale
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2016, 06:12:19 AM »
 :)

Howabout big spats and a Speed-ring?  ;)

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Offline finsrin

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Re: The Spirit of St. Louis II - the Story of an Epic Flight in 1/72 scale
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2016, 07:54:42 AM »
Ideal looking airplane for epic Ortega prize flight. :)
Front fuselage color with exposed engine retains original Spirit of St. Louis visual ques.  Wise of Lindy and you to do so.  Fits the part well.
Drag reducing spats important for long flight fuel efficiency.

Offline TimJ

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Re: The Spirit of St. Louis II - the Story of an Epic Flight in 1/72 scale
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2016, 05:36:19 AM »
Great build and story to go with it.  ;D

Offline apophenia

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Re: The Spirit of St. Louis II - the Story of an Epic Flight in 1/72 scale
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2016, 04:10:11 AM »
Indeed it was! Made me think of this: http://beyondthesprues.com/Forum/index.php?topic=6504.0
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