Author Topic: NASA Spirit of '76  (Read 2683 times)

Offline Brian da Basher

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NASA Spirit of '76
« on: March 09, 2014, 12:20:24 AM »
1976 was United States' Bicentennial:



The country celebrated in grand fashion:



NASA painted one of their modified T-33 observation planes in a suitable scheme for the occasion:





This aircraft had started out as a bog-standard trainer before being handed off to NASA as surplus in 1971. It was given a more powerful engine and new swept wings and tail.





These modifications allowed it to reach speeds and altitudes that made it a useful observation platform for many space launches, most notably the Viking and Voyager programs.





The NASA Spirit of '76 garnered a lot of publicity and was featured on the cover of Popular Science in July, 1976:



The aircraft was repainted in a more sedate scheme after the Bicentennial ended. Its last mission was the launch of the IRAS satellite in 1983. The chase plane was retired and used as an instructional air frame until sold for scrap in 1991. Forgotten today, the only remnant of this once-proud aircraft is this Mach .05 model kit which serves as a reminder of that colorful, bygone era.





Brian da Basher
« Last Edit: March 09, 2014, 12:22:14 AM by Brian da Basher »

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: NASA Spirit of '76
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2014, 12:37:20 AM »
This all began a few months ago when a good friend sent me a 1/144 S-3 Viking pre-painted model from F-Toys.



Luckily, I picked up a 1/72 Hasegawa T-33. While this is a pretty basic kit, it's ideal for my purposes.



The Viking wings and tail were a natural fit on to the T-33.









I knew I wanted to preserve as much of the Viking's striking Bicentennial scheme as possible. Then it hit me. A NASA Bicentennial bird seemed just the ticket. I used left-over decals from the Spirit of St. Louis and spare numbers to cobble together the Spirit of '76 motto.



I put a lot of work into the load out, especially the center line sensor pod which was made from a landing gear leg from an Airfix Mosquito.





I had a lot of fun building this model which took me about two weeks.





I hope you enjoyed the pictures and a trip down memory lane back to the heady days of 1976.

Brian da Basher


« Last Edit: March 09, 2014, 12:43:35 AM by Brian da Basher »

Offline The Big Gimper

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Re: NASA Spirit of '76
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2014, 12:51:29 AM »
Awesome scale-o-rama.  May I in a future build plagiarize your Viking wing idea?

You will now be known forthwith as Sir Brian of the loyal order of Shimming the Shooting Star with Styrene.
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I am giving up listing them. They all end up on the shelf of procrastination anyways.

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Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: NASA Spirit of '76
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2014, 01:06:45 AM »
Have at it, Carl! I'll be real interested in seeing what you come up with.

I'm really glad you liked the NASA Spirit of '76!

Brian da Basher

Offline Tophe

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Re: NASA Spirit of '76
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2014, 01:28:31 AM »
Interesting, I would have never thought of that kind of NASA plane... :)

Offline PR19_Kit

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Re: NASA Spirit of '76
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2014, 01:34:30 AM »
Yeah! Longer Wings Rule OK!  :)

Nice one Brian, but where are the spats?
Regards
Kit

--------------------------
Any aircraft can be improved by fitting longer wings

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: NASA Spirit of '76
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2014, 03:42:00 AM »
 :)
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline Weaver

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Re: NASA Spirit of '76
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2014, 03:52:28 AM »
Splendid stuff - really looks the part!  :)

Given the degree to which it proved possible to modify the T-33 (F-94) that's quite credible too.
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

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Offline father ennis

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Re: NASA Spirit of '76
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2014, 04:36:05 AM »
This is just great !  Outstanding work and a very clever idea.  This reminded me of something I'd forgotten, back in the mid90's I went to an airshow here. Parked all alone and being mostly ignored was a Canadian T-33.  It was in overall grey with low-vise markings. There were lots of other modern jets that were drawing big crowds so I had time to talk at length with the piolet. He told me that he was happy to get to fly it here to Oklahoma from its base in Canada but none of the other piolets wanted the job. They wanted to fly the "modern"jets. He said that it was the nicest aircraft he had flown and wasn't near as tiring on long flights.  He was like, "I fly it every chance I can get. " 
I may be old but I'm not dead ... yet anyway ... !!!    And NO I did not know Richard III !!!!!!

Offline buzzbomb

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Re: NASA Spirit of '76
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2014, 04:39:45 AM »
Took me a while to work out it was a kitbash!
Terrific work, really came out well

Offline Volkodav

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Re: NASA Spirit of '76
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2014, 06:42:40 AM »
Oh I do like it, very nice.

Offline kerick

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Re: NASA Spirit of '76
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2014, 09:24:23 AM »
It looks every bit the real thing. Totally believable!