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  1. Dear all, It seems as if I'm growing fond of designing and building aircraft models... So here's my latest one: Antonov An-2TP, CCCP-41301, built by PZL Mielec (Poland) in 1965. The prototype First flown in 1947 and originally designed as a crop-spraying plane, the Antonov An-2 soon proved itself as a highly versatile aircraft for a wide range of both military and civilian purposes. The seemingly old-fashioned biplane layout, high-lift devices (automatic leading edge slats) and quick acceleration thanks to its monstrous 1,000 hp radial engine gave the plane phenomenal STOL abilities. In addition to that, the slow-flying qualities are almost legendary, too: The aircraft has no official stall speed, and there are reports of pilots flying the An-2 in full control at only 30 mph. More than 18,000 An-2 were produced over a period of more than five decades (first in the Soviet Union, later in Poland and China, too) and became widespread over all countries of the former Eastern Bloc. A large number of them still exists today, and many have found a new home in Western countries, where they are used for sightseeing flights or as parachute drop aircraft. The model My model of the An-2 is held in 1/70 scale, thus almost matching my Tu-144 (an identical 1/80 scale was impossible to achieve, the An-2 would have become too small to get the proportions right, let alone to replicate any detail). It consists of ca. 370 parts. The propeller can spin freely; however, I wasn’t able to implement any other movable parts in this small scale. And just because the sound of the mighty 9-cylinder engine is so awesome: Instructions for this model are available for free on Rebrickable. Thanks for stopping by! Best regards, Sven
  2. Hi all, (I don't really know where to put this - "Special Themes" or "Scale Modeling" - so if it's wrong here, please let me know... ) LEGO’s new Concorde is a fine set overall, but it has, in my opinion, some flaws which compromise its looks.So I had to decide whether to modify it or to build something different… and, as I prefer the more "brutal" appearance of the Concorde’s Soviet counterpart anyway, I chose the latter. The prototype The Tu-144 was the first commercial supersonic aircraft, its maiden flight taking place two months before the Concorde took off. Nevertheless, the Tu-144 is often regarded as much inferior to the Concorde, but that’s not the full story. Commercial passenger flights were only offered for a few months, that's true, but it was due to changing political circumstances rather than for technical reasons that the Tu-144 was finally withdrawn from passenger service. Indeed there were some technical issues (as perhaps with every completely new aircraft), but they most probably would have been solved had not the Soviet authorities lost interest in supersonic commercial aviation and thus ordered not only commercial flights, but the whole development programme to be terminated in 1983. And yet, while the first production variant Tu-144S was hampered by its inefficient Kuznetsov engines, the improved Tu-144D version (with Kolesov engines) had performance figures almost on par with the Concorde. Consequently, it was a Tu-144D (CCCP-77114, disguised as "aircraft 101" for unclear reasons) that set 13 official world records for speed and altitude with given payloads in July 1983, just after the cancellation of the Tu-144 programme had been announced. (For those of you who have a deeper interest in this matter: Yefim Gordon, Dimitriy Komissarov, Vladimir Rigmant - Tupolev Tu-144, The Soviet Supersonic Airliner. A very good reading about the Tu-114’s design, development and the political affairs behind it) The model To celebrate the 40th anniversary of its above-mentioned flights, my model bears the registration and "101" titles of the world record plane. I was originally motivated to design it by ungern 666’s Tu-144 sketch on Rebrickable, but, apart from some inspirations I took regarding the tail section, it has evolved into a completely different scale model. The plane consists of approx. 1900 parts an weighs ca. 1.3 kg. The "droop nose“, canards, rudders (yes, two) and elevons are moveable. While the landing gear is not retractable (I prefer a true-to-scale look over functions), it can be replaced with parts for the closed landing gear bay doors. Also, the tail cone can be replaced with a sub-model assembly showing the deployed brake parachutes. Unfortunately, at the moment there's only one photo of the completed model, which has a crudely photoshopped grey background. More pictures will follow as soon as I have found a sufficiently large, neutral, real background... Thanks for stopping by! Kind regards, Sven