Author Topic: Before the Black Helicopters...  (Read 454 times)

Offline Brian da Basher

  • He has an unnatural attraction to Spats...and a growing fascination with airships!
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Before the Black Helicopters...
« on: May 08, 2019, 05:13:31 AM »
While black helicopters



have become fodder for conspiracy theorists



few remember that before there were black helicopters, there was a black autogyro.



This unusual prototype aircraft began its career at the Pitcarin concern, the leading manufacturer of autogyros in North America.



The cutting-edge advanced STOL test bed featured twin fins & rudders with an enclosed canopy.



The experimental autogyro was also given a new a twin-bladed, counter-balanced rotor as well as streamlined, spatted landing gear which would be the envy of test pilots world-wide.



While forward vision was a bit impeded by the rotor pylon, this aircraft had perhaps the best rear view of its era.



It was not put into production being far too ahead of its time and was passed on to a private buyer rumored to be Howard Hughes. He supposedly used it for short-field assignations with short girls.



The autogyro suffered bird strikes to the canopy said to have been incurred when Mr Hughes employed the aircraft's unique slow-speed capability to check out disheveled proto-valley girls sneaking back home as dawn broke.



The aircraft reportedly wore the bogus registration N931. How Hughes managed to do this in contravention of strict FAA regs remains a mystery.



This sinister, menacingly spatted black bird was spotted infrequently buzzing over southern California in the twilight.



Those who saw it didn't quite know what to make of it and wondered if there was a new crime-busting super hero patrolling the skies.



The Pitcarin Advanced Autogyro was not seen again after U.S. entry into World War II. It may have been impressed into military service for black ops.



Nothing remains of the advanced Pitcarin black autogyro today except this short-run model kit briefly offered for sale on the InfoWart website.



Still, for one brief moment this revolutionary aircraft showed a glimpse of things to come.



Brian da Basher
« Last Edit: May 08, 2019, 06:56:39 AM by Brian da Basher »

Offline kitnut617

  • Measures the actual aircraft before modelling it...we have the photographic evidence.
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Re: Before the Black Helicopters...
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2019, 05:29:22 AM »
Yuk! Yuk! Yuk!

Top notch again Brian  :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: Before the Black Helicopters...
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2019, 05:52:41 AM »
This all started when a good friend (thanks a million, hamsterman!) sent me something I didn't even know existed, an HO scale Willams Bros. Pitcarin Autogyro. Now I'm not unfamiliar with Williams Bros, having built a few of their kits, but this one is new to me.



While the packaging may not be that impressive, it's got everything you need, even instructions!



I really hope I don't need to test that Limit of Liability there...

Let's open it up and get a closer look.



Hmm ok it reminds me of some short-run kits, but I've built far worse.



Not a lot of parts, the very definition of basic. But it sure will look like an autogyro when you're done with it.



My mods were pretty simple. I covered the front 'pit with blisterpack and added white-metal landing gear legs I had spare as well as a tail wheel. I also made a new rotor pylon from a set of landing gear struts. The kit fin & rudder will be perfect for converting a Fokker D.VII into an Aviatik D.X so I swapped that out for drop-tank fins as dual rudders.



I also added some recycled spats made from P-35 brass catchers and an F-80 canopy. I squirreled away the kit rotor for another recycled part that I ended up re-building because of ham-handedness and repainted. Then in one of those moments of modeling serendipity, I discovered that a spare Sopwith Tripe cowling was a perfect fit.



This was capped off with a 1/144 DC-6 prop which was another nice fit.



The model was brush-painted by hand in acrylics, Model Masters Flat Black mostly. The canopy was tinted on the inside with Insignia Blue and the engine cylinders you can't see were done in Gold with a black wash. The center of the engine was painted Semi-Gloss Black and the struts and canopy framing were given a coat of Light Sea Gray.



The four decals (a new record woo hoo!) were all spares. The bogus registration came from a sheet for a 1/200 TWA 747. Before I forget, here's the "money shots" (U.S. penny for scale):



It took me three days to put this little gem together and I had a blast the whole time.



I'd like to thank Bill for his kindness in sending me the cool kit and Mr JCF for bravely moderating this GB. I couldn't do it without you!



I hope you enjoyed the Pitcarin advanced black autogyro and reading a little more forgotten aircraft history even if the so-called "experts" all think it's just conjured up from some very deep, black place.



Brian da Basher



« Last Edit: May 08, 2019, 06:49:46 AM by Brian da Basher »

Offline elmayerle

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Re: Before the Black Helicopters...
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2019, 06:33:17 AM »
Beautifique'!  Excellent model and back story.

Offline finsrin

  • The Dr Frankenstein of the modelling world...when not hiding from SBA
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Re: Before the Black Helicopters...
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2019, 07:06:25 AM »
Has big character for a little kit.  Wheel fenders and canopy tell you it means business.  Sneaky for dark ops.

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Before the Black Helicopters...
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2019, 07:08:40 AM »
Somewhat disturbed to see reference to that whack job Alex Jones and his Info Wars on BTS.  Nice model though.
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline Brian da Basher

  • He has an unnatural attraction to Spats...and a growing fascination with airships!
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Re: Before the Black Helicopters...
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2019, 07:19:57 AM »
Somewhat disturbed to see reference to that whack job Alex Jones and his Info Wars on BTS.  Nice model though.

You're right. I should've used a less flattering photo.



Brian da Basher

Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: Before the Black Helicopters...
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2019, 04:13:16 AM »
Has big character for a little kit...

It does indeed  :smiley:  I had to look up HO scale ... HO = 1:87 scale! Teeny!!
"And loot some for the old folks, Can't loot for themselves"