Author Topic: FM-71 - Aus post really delivers  (Read 291 times)

Offline Haemon

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FM-71 - Aus post really delivers
« on: February 21, 2018, 01:33:21 PM »
Hello again all,

this comes from the backlog of builds i made while hoovering up kits at a ferocious pace.

I only paused briefly to slap some glue on a few and spent the rest of my time sniffing the new plastic of the rest. For this build, Paint and overall finish was a secondary consideration as i was learning about washes, primers, and what order to lay paint down. Suffice to say, i am a slow learner but i'll get there.

the Backstory:
in 1990 the SR-71 was retired from US service as the fall of the iron curtain necessitated a peace dividend.

In 1995 the  plane was reactivated despite some resistance, as there was no current system that could match the speed, surviviability and responsiveness of the aircraft. yet, the forced reactivation had cost budgets considerably, and with the advent of UAV platforms the final 2 planes flew their last missions in 1999 for NASA.

OUr story begins: a small detachment was placed in to storage consistent with the ability to be reactivated at 3 months notice.
within 3 years it was clear that UAV's, Satellites, and the newly upgraded RC135's would be able to handle all major reconnaissance duties and the SR-71's were offered to museums. In the meantime the Australian Mining boom had begun and huge orders for vastly expensive mining equipment was being placed with US manufacturers. this equipment would cost a mine millions of dollars in lost revenue if even one dump truck, excavator or strip miner was down for more than a day.

Australia Post worked with BHP, Rio Tinto and other major miners to develop a robust and quick system to deliver spare parts for these machines but could never deliver quick enough.

looking to the US experience with Fed ex in the 1970's, AusPost looked at much quicker ways to deliver high value, but relatively small spare parts at lightning speed. Unmanned rockets where proposed but quickly rejected as development costs would be prohibitive.
Now working at Auspost after a successful career in the ADF that included the successful introduction of the ARH-87 Taipan, Boz "Bozza" Bogan was browsing his favourite Airplane related websites. He noted the story about the SR-71's in storage at Davis-Monthan airforce base in Arizona and an idea started to form.
Utilising contacts from the US Air force and NASA, he brokered a deal to have ex SR-71 pilots form a corp of pilots around 4 airworthy hulls, to fly twice daily from Perth to the mine fields in remote western australia. NASA would pay rental to allow high altitude testing and sampling to take place, helping to offset the cost, and AusPost would get their name splashed all over the fastest plane on the planet.

without further ado: the Fast Mail 71, or FM-71.

I know there have been quite a few Fed-ex and DHL versions of the SR-71, but i always thought red made things go faster!

Offline finsrin

  • The Dr Frankenstein of the modelling world...when not hiding from SBA
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Re: FM-71 - Aus post really delivers
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2018, 04:45:43 PM »
Such a deal to keep mines in production.  Can bet airports had spectators.
Surprising and fine color scheme for FM-71.  Makes it "pop".

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: FM-71 - Aus post really delivers
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2018, 02:20:18 AM »
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline Tophe

  • He sees things in double...
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Re: FM-71 - Aus post really delivers
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2018, 12:03:22 PM »
Fascinating! :-*

Offline Robomog

  • Would you buy a used kit from this man?
Re: FM-71 - Aus post really delivers
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2018, 12:32:59 AM »
Inspired story and Beautifully modelled, brilliant  :icon_alabanza:


Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: FM-71 - Aus post really delivers
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2018, 09:29:24 PM »
That's pure eye-candy in that color scheme!

Brian da Basher

Offline ericr

  • He's like some sort of Dr Frankenstein of modelling...
  • Has something for red, yellow or blue...
Re: FM-71 - Aus post really delivers
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2018, 02:21:27 AM »

excellent civil-ization !

Offline Madhatter

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Re: FM-71 - Aus post really delivers
« Reply #7 on: Yesterday at 09:18:58 PM »
Very eye catching in red ins't it! The Ferrari of the aero world if you will. I didn't think I'd like it in any other colour than black but am so very happy to be proved wrong. Well done!
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