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Aaronw

Interwar military cargo planes?

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I haven't been able to find much on the subject. I've found some referance to the US using the Fairchild 71, Fokker F.VII/3m and Ford Trimotor as cargo planes prior to WW2. It is fairly easy to find info on the major combat planes. Does anyone know of a source for info on the support aircraft? I think it would be fun to do a few to mix in among the bombers and fighters.

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I'm primarily interested in US cargo / transports but I won't turn down info from other lands as I do have a few non-US interwar aircraft.

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:D, Hi Aaron, there were the Ju-52/3M from Germany, the Italian SM81, the British Bristol Bombay and Handley-Page Harrow/Sparrow. These last 2 were actually converted bombers, the Sparrow being used as an ambulance aircraft. There were also the Vickers types such as the Vernon, Victoria and Valentia, all based on the WW1 Vimy bomber. As for US types there were several single engined Fokkers and Douglas types as well and I think (don't quote me here but also early military variants of the Douglas DC commercials. IIRC there were military variants of the DC-2 that came before the C-47. And also IIRC there were some variants that had similar fuselages to the C-47 but with DC-2 wings. I may be wrong but I think the c-33 and/or C-39 fitted into this category.

:cheers:,

Ross.

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As far as I've been able to find all of the mid-late 30s airliners like the DC-2, DC-3, Boeing 247, Beech 18 and Lockheed Electra were adopted by the US military after Pearl Harbor.

Thanks for the forign aircraft suggestions, I forget about the many German "airliners" of the 1930s that became a big part of the Luftwaffe bomber and transport fleet.

It is kind of amazing when you really look at it, pre-war air logistical services were pretty pathetic.

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You've got the Curtiss Condor, too. While it doesn't have US Military markings it does have some interesting markings options:

GlencoeCurtissCondor.jpg

GlencoeCondorInstructions.jpg

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Cool thank you, I had completely forgotten about that kit. I know it is a bit smaller than 1/72 but I can live with that.

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I did an article for "The Mobility Forum" for the USAF's 60th anniversary, and it was a surprise to find that the USAAC did not have transport squadrons untill after the Germans showed us what a paratroop orgganization could do. Prior to that one to six "transprots" were used as squadron hackx for the fighter and bomber units.

May I suggest you look at the transport history on the National Museum of the USAF site?

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If you're looking for WWII Military transport, you can forget about the C-46 Command. Big beautiful plane.

C-46_Commando.jpg

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I did an article for "The Mobility Forum" for the USAF's 60th anniversary, and it was a surprise to find that the USAAC did not have transport squadrons untill after the Germans showed us what a paratroop orgganization could do. Prior to that one to six "transprots" were used as squadron hackx for the fighter and bomber units.

May I suggest you look at the transport history on the National Museum of the USAF site?

That is what I'v been finding in snipits here and there. The US (and for the most part other nationalities too) just seemed to purchase a few cargo / transport aircraft and just hand them out a few at a time for local needs. Some appear to have even been one off local acquisitions. Absolutely no thought seems to have been given to proper air logistics. Just amazing that the worlds militaries managed to go from a couple dozen to 10's of thousands of cargo planes in a very short time. Eddie Rickenbacker and the other airline pioneers probably deserve a lot of the credit, without them pushing aircraft makers to develop airliners there would have been no aircraft to impress into service in 1942, and no production line of C-46, and C-47 ready to go with relatively minor adjustment into the massive production of military cargo aircraft that followed.

If you're looking for WWII Military transport, you can forget about the C-46 Command. Big beautiful plane.

No doubt the C-46 is a great aircraft, but like so many other it was adopted after the war started. I'm really looking for pre-1941 stuff.

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That is what I'v been finding in snipits here and there. The US (and for the most part other nationalities too) just seemed to purchase a few cargo / transport aircraft and just hand them out a few at a time for local needs. Some appear to have even been one off local acquisitions. Absolutely no thought seems to have been given to proper air logistics. Just amazing that the worlds militaries managed to go from a couple dozen to 10's of thousands of cargo planes in a very short time.

Even still, there was a lot to learn, as Operation Vittles (a.k.a., Berlin Airlift) didn't reach its stride until Maj. Gen. W. H. Tunner took over operations. An outstanding discussion of this effort is in Andrei Cherny's excellent The Candy Bombers: The Untold Story of the Berlin Airlift and America's Finest Hour.

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You could always make a Junkers Ju-52 or Curtiss-Wright Condor on floats of the Colombian Air Force circa 1933/4. Or a Lufthansa Ju-52 which was later impressed into USAAC service as a C-79... the only one of it its kind. That was after the war started however.

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No doubt the C-46 is a great aircraft, but like so many other it was adopted after the war started. I'm really looking for pre-1941 stuff.

Surely you mean pre-1939... :woot.gif:

Vince

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:D, Hi Aaron, there were the Ju-52/3M from Germany, the Italian SM81, the British Bristol Bombay and Handley-Page Harrow/Sparrow. These last 2 were actually converted bombers, the Sparrow being used as an ambulance aircraft. There were also the Vickers types such as the Vernon, Victoria and Valentia, all based on the WW1 Vimy bomber. As for US types there were several single engined Fokkers and Douglas types as well and I think (don't quote me here but also early military variants of the Douglas DC commercials. IIRC there were military variants of the DC-2 that came before the C-47. And also IIRC there were some variants that had similar fuselages to the C-47 but with DC-2 wings. I may be wrong but I think the c-33 and/or C-39 fitted into this category.

:cheers:,

Ross.

Ross,

The C-39 was built with DC-2 fuselage and outer wing panels and DC-3 center section and tail feathers. I've got a friend that used to own one (set up for spraying) - that one ended up in the Air Force Museum.

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:D, G'day Hawk10,

Thank you for the correction and additional info. I had an idea that I'd read something like that a fair while ago but wasn't 100% on the exact details. Wow, that would have been one expensive to run crop sprayer wouldn't it?

:cheers:,

Ross.

Edited by ross blackford

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Here's what the National Museum of the USAF Factsheet has to say:

The C-39 was a mixture of DC-2, DC-3 and military specific parts and assemblies. The plane used a basic DC-2 forward and center fuselage section mated to a DC-3 style aft fuselage and tail. The wing consisted of a DC-3 center section and DC-2 outboard wings. The landing gear was based on the design developed for the Douglas B-18 bomber. Because the C-39 was essentially a hybrid of DC-2 and DC-3 assemblies, it was unofficially known as the DC-2½.

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I was looking at the Fokker FVII, F9, and F10 and Ford 3-AT, 4-AT, and 5-AT. I had assumed the Ford was a copy of the Fokker. Nothing I found suggested anything more than coincidence around reliability concerns.

Also noticed the Fokkers were made by a variety of licensees, including Plage i Laśkiewicz in Lublin. :)

If only there was one in 1:48 :crying2:

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Hmmm...

"Before the war"...That depends upon which nation one is referencing. For the US, the war began in late 1941. It had been active since early 1939. Since the C-46 Curtiss Commando flew in 1940, it falls in the war by European standards, but pre-war by US standards. Douglas aircraft seem to have the biggest likelihood of having been military transports before the US entered the war, what with the DC-2, DC-3 and DC-5 all antedating the war. According to the Virtual Aircraft Museum, the latter was acquired by the US Navy as the R3D-1 prior to US involvement.

Although I do not know for sure, I'd bet that the DC-2 had been purchased by both US Navy and USAAF prior to the war...1935 on.

Then, there is the Boeing rig which the DC-2/3 models were a response to the Boeing, what Model 247?

Ford also had an "8-A" which might have seen military use...might.

You might want to peruse the Virtual Aircraft Museum for more possibilities. It's arranged by nation, then manufacturer, then within each manufacturer's section, the various makes are arranged chronologically. It is not exhaustive, but it can be helpful at times.

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