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How to build model airplanes >> Famous Aviators and their Planes Cookup >> Claire Chennault and the P-12, Hawk 75, and C-46
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Message started by simpleflyer on May 10th, 2016 at 12:06am

Title: Claire Chennault and the P-12, Hawk 75, and C-46
Post by simpleflyer on May 10th, 2016 at 12:06am
When one hears of Claire Chennault, the first things that usually come to mind are the P-40 and  the exploits of the AVG group in China.  As a young modeler, I was no different.  Over the years, we've built some 20 models of the P-40.  Most in card, a few in balsa wood, and a couple in plastic. 


In recent years we've developed a deeper interest in Claire Chennault and a greater respect and admiration for the man and his accomplishments.  With this increased interest we've done a little research into the airplanes that he flew or were significant in his career.  Three that caught my interest were:  Boeing P-12, Curtiss Hawk 75, and Curtiss C-46.  The more we read about these aircraft and collect information about them, the more we want to build models of them and tell a liitle bit of the part they played in Chennault's life.  This is the goal of this thread.


Title: Re: Claire Chennault and the P-12, Hawk 75, and C-46
Post by bigrip74 on May 10th, 2016 at 8:20am
Al, very interesting concept since almost all have heard of Claire Chennault and the AVG.

Bob

Title: Re: Claire Chennault and the P-12, Hawk 75, and C-46
Post by Sky9pilot on May 10th, 2016 at 11:32am
Bring it on Al...I look forward to learning more about the man and his aircraft!
Sky9pilot

Title: Re: Claire Chennault and the P-12, Hawk 75, and C-46
Post by simpleflyer on May 10th, 2016 at 7:22pm
Thanks, Bob and Tom, for your comments and encouragement.  First a few brief paragraphs describing Claire's journey to the seat of a Boieng P-12.

Claire Chennault was born in Commerce, Texas, on September 6, 1890.  As a child, family moved to Louisiana.  Attended LSU for three years, but transferred to Louisiana State Normal for his senior year so he would be eligible for a teaching job.  Married Nell Thompson on Christmas Eve, 1911.  World War I began, Chennault enlisted, and for a very short time was stationed at Gerstner Army Camp, south of Lake Charles LA. Then he went to Kelly Field in San Antonio, TX.

In his own words, Claire describes how he became an Army Pilot.  "The Signal Corps rejected me for flight training three times......But taking advantage of the general confusion around Kelly, I found a few genial instructors who were willing to explain the fundamentals of flying from the rear cockpit of a Jenny......I was also in charge of fueling and checking the training planes, so whenever there was no cadet handy, I hopped in and racked up another hour of flying time.''

In the spring of 1920, the war ended and Chennault was honorably discharged. But that fall, he put in a request for a commission in the newly organized US Army Air Service and was accepted for their first fighter pilot course.

In 1923, Claire Chennault was sent to Hawaii, where he was commanding officer of the 19th Pursuit Squadron.  (planes used by 19th Sqdn were JN-6 and SE-5, 1921-1922. In addition to MB-3 and SE-5, included DH-4 and JN-6 during period 1923-1926; primarily PW-9 during period 1927-1930; primarily P-12 during period 1931-1937)  1926 USAAA becomes USAAC.

chennault_P12.jpg (76 KB | )

Title: Re: Claire Chennault and the P-12, Hawk 75, and C-46
Post by simpleflyer on May 11th, 2016 at 4:44pm
The years following his assignment in Hawaii, afforded Claire with ample opportunities to become quite familiar with the P-12.

He came home to instruct for two years at Brooks Field, Texas, where he was promoted to captain in April 1929 and named director of flying.  He next attended the Air Corps Tactical School at Langley Field, VA. graduating in June 1931 and remaining there as an instructor.

Chennault was promoted to major in June 1936 at Maxwell Field, AL, where he was chief of Pursuit Training.  While at Maxwell Field in 1932, he organized and flew with the aerobatic team "3 Men on the Flying Trapeze."  An impressive display was to join three P-12s together with 40 feet of control cable between the wings and fly thru a sequence of complex maneuvers and land with the cable intact.

More info and pix of the 3 men on the Flying Trapeze at:
http://aerobaticteams.net/men-on-the-flying-trapeze.html

Short biographies of Chennault at:

http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/clchenna.htm

http://www.af.mil/AboutUs/Biographies/Display/tabid/225/Article/107526/major-general-claire-lee-chennault.aspx

Two books in our modest collection are:  "Flying Tiger-Chennault of China" and "God Is My Co-Pilot".  Both  written by Robert Lee Scott and very helpful in our research of Chennault.



Title: Re: Claire Chennault and the P-12, Hawk 75, and C-46
Post by simpleflyer on May 1st, 2017 at 9:00pm
We are still slowly working on this project in the background of all the 'busy stuff' going on now-a-days.  In a picture posted in a messages back, Chennault is standing in front of a Boeing P-12.  Chennault led the USAAC aerial demonstration team '3 men on a trapeze' flying these craft.  We did a bit of research on the P-12 and found it to be an impressive and interesting airplane.

We've started building a plastic model of the Monogram 1/72 Boeing F4B and want to change it into into a P-12.  The Monogram kit is well designed and will be a delight to  build.  Wanting to build more P-12s we began to look for more Monogram F4Bs.  This past weekend, we were a vendor at the local IPMS contest and found this trio of jewels and were able to snag them for $5 apiece.  Happy days [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

al
Mono_F4B_04-29-17.JPG (52 KB | )

Title: Re: Claire Chennault and the P-12, Hawk 75, and C-46
Post by Sky9pilot on May 1st, 2017 at 9:43pm
That's a real catch Al.  Congrats on the find.  Plastic kits are out of this world in prices around here!  I look forward to your conversions.
Tom

Title: Re: Claire Chennault and the P-12, Hawk 75, and C-46
Post by simpleflyer on May 7th, 2017 at 10:18am
In my first build of the kit it will be built box stock as a later version of the P-12, so the conversion will be simply painting it in USAAC colors.  Here is a dry fit of the kit parts simply held together with a clip.
SC_05-08-17a.JPG (29 KB | )

Title: Re: Claire Chennault and the P-12, Hawk 75, and C-46
Post by simpleflyer on May 7th, 2017 at 10:19am
Another view.  Only seven parts [smiley=thumbsup.gif]
SC_05-08-17b.JPG (47 KB | )

Title: Re: Claire Chennault and the P-12, Hawk 75, and C-46
Post by simpleflyer on May 7th, 2017 at 10:34am
The secret of the small number of parts for such a complex aircraft is the brilliant design of the kit.  The fuselage is an example.  Here half of the fuselage is complete with vertical tail and landing gear and wing struts as one piece.  Other clever assembly features make it an easy kit to build.  So it should come together quickly.

al 
SC_05-08-17c.JPG (38 KB | )

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