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Mystery Plane

PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:44 am
by BWBrown
Hi Everyone -
Look at this photo of some training room during WWII. You can see a variety of plane models hanging over the heads of the students looking at a plotting board. Let's assume the guy with the pointer is the leader/teacher.

Image

Just above and to the right of his head is some strange plane. It appears to be a high-wing, 4-engined, twin-tailed aircraft, but it's not a B-24. What else has that type of configuration? See enlargement below. If you recognize it, please let me know.

Image

Thanks for any suggestions. Happy Holidays to all! -- Bryan

Re: Mystery Plane

PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:39 pm
by Tone
Might it be a Japanese bomber resulting from reverse engineering the DC-4E Super Mainliner?

Re: Mystery Plane

PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:17 pm
by sandmanoverhaul
We will never know for sure. There were many inaccurate models produced as recognition models. Bryan Brown's article on Bronzart recognition models proves this out. So here are my thoughts-

1) Could very well be our best rendition of the Nakajima G5N which was based on the Douglas DC-4E (one-off and sold to Japan)

2) May very well have been an early "proposed" version of the Consolidated PB4Y-2 with twin fins retained from the -1

3) It may also represent the "proposed" Consolidated B-32 which was prototyped with twin fins.

4) I also think that it could be French. Possibly a further development of the SNCASE SE.100

My 2 cents,
Tom Sanders

Re: Mystery Plane

PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:21 pm
by ramseyd
Incidentally, if you "View image" (or save the photo) you will likely get an expanded view of the "training room" that did not show up when viewing just the post. I have looked closely, but cannot identify. I thought maybe it was distorted or the lighting was playing tricks with the shape of the nose/fuselage. Four engine? Dual vertical stabilizers. Would be interesting to identify all the planes in the expanded photo (31 + 2 partials). Plus for the real diehards, how many of the ships (21) below can be identified? And finally, can anyone venture a guess on the year the photo was made based on the aircraft in the photo?

I have reattached the photo with each plane numbered for us to identify. Go for it!

Re: Mystery Plane

PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:00 pm
by BWBrown
Hi Dennis -
Great idea, and a great game, too! I commend you on your creativity! Am I allowed to play, or are moderators barred from competition?
Merry Christmas! -- Bryan

Re: Mystery Plane

PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 3:50 am
by ramseyd
I just hope we can identify all of them! So Go for it!

Re: Mystery Plane

PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 6:03 pm
by BWBrown
Hi Dennis -
I am having some trouble with a few of them. I can't increase the focus sufficiently to make out details. However, the models are interesting because they seem to be made of different materials. For example, the Short Stirling (#21) appears to be a Cruver model. As such, it would carry a date of June 1942. The P-47's (#24 and #25), however, appear to be from the "schoolboy" wood program of 1942. The Nells (#16, 18, and 23) are also schoolboy wood models. This would date the photo to sometime after mid-1942. The wood models were phased out of usage when the Cruver models arrived in large quantities, so my guess is that the photo dates from about Sept of '42. The "mystery" plane must also be made of wood, since it isn't a mass-produced item. The FW-200 Kurier (#9) appears to be wood. I got the low-hanging "fruit", so to speak, so now it's your turn for a few.
Merry Christmas! -- Bryan

Re: Mystery Plane

PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 8:32 pm
by ramseyd
My recognition skills would definitely cost me my life during the war. I have looked at several other "low hanging" ones and generated a list with the ones you noted along with several other candidates. Thought #31 might be a TBF, but the fuselage near the tail seems to thin. No 2 and 6 are similar to the A29 Hudson, PV-1 Ventura, but not satisfied with either selection. Anyway, list is below. Please correct and add as you can. I will do so accordingly. I don't think we can get them all since the photo resolution is not the best, plus I wonder how accurate some of the wood models are. I also wondered why there would be 3 Nells, but I did not know of any other similar models that one or more could be.
d models Candidates

1 -
2 -Hudson ?
3 -
4 -
5 -
6 - Hudson ?
7 -
8 - Wellington 3
9 - FW-200
10 -
11 -
12 -
13 -
14 - B-24
15 -
16 - Nell
17 - PBY-5 Catalina
18 - Nell
19 -
20 -
21 - Short Stirling
22 - PBM3 Mariner
23 - Nell
24 - P-47
25 - P-47
26 -
27 -
28 - Saro Lerwick
29 - P-40
30 -
31 -
32 -
33 -

Re: Mystery Plane

PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 9:42 pm
by BWBrown
Hi Dennis =

Good job! When you ask about the schoolboy wood models, you should know that these are wondrous examples of folk art when done by someone who knows what they are doing. To be accepted into the training curriculum, the models had to pass inspection by the Navy, who produced the plans. When compared with Cruver examples in cellulose acetate, the wooden models are hands-down winners every time. The Cruver models had to be made a bit thicker than real-scale life, just to provide sufficient structural rigidity. Floats, landing gear, struts, even wings are much more finely wrought when you put the wooden model next to its Cruver counterpart.

Anyway, Happy Holidays, and I will talk with you soon.

-- Bryan

Re: Mystery Plane

PostPosted: Mon Dec 25, 2017 10:59 pm
by fliegerii
12 - BF-110 (?)

Cheers!
Chris