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bourdon

Dora Wings 1/72 Bellanca CH/J-300 Record Flight

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Everyone has heard of Lindbergh and his crossing of the Atlantic in a Ryan Monoplane but not so many have heard of the record flights in Bellanca aircraft. Dora Wings - a relatively new company has addressed this with a model of the aircraft involved. Incidentally the story goes that Lindbergh wanted to fly a Bellanca but couldn't afford the price Giuseppe Bellanca was asking. Anyway I bought the Lituanica boxing as I was particularly interested in doing 'Cape Cod' which flew from New York to Turkey. 

I had originally intended to include sprue shots and the like but I discovered I can't upload and I don't belong to photo sharing sites and can't use those. So what I've done is included the link to the Hyperscale review which should satisfy anyone's urges for these. 

http://www.hyperscale.com/2018/reviews/kits/dw72001reviewjm_1.htm

Unfortunately, Dora Wings decision to include 'Cape Cod' was last minute and the research to put it politely was 'rushed'. Thus one cannot build an accurate model of this aircraft from this kit. Likewise it seems one cannot build a CH-300 from this kit either. The wingspan is too long and relates to a J-300. For those not au fait with Bellancas the J-300s were the record aircraft and were pretty much custom built. I measured up the wingspan and it is probably acceptable for Cape Cod being very long and in scale much longer than the figures usually quoted for the CH-300. So what needs to change?

The collector ring included in the kit is suitable for Lituanica but not Cape Cod which had a different engine and different exhaust arrangement - twin exhausts exiting from the collector ring towards the rear. This also applies to the same plane in its 'American Legion' incarnation which is the other option in the kit.

https://www.digitalcommonwealth.org/search/commonwealth:6682zc900

https://www.digitalcommonwealth.org/search/commonwealth:6682zd222

The fuel tank arrangement is wrong on the upper wing and needs to be altered to the configuration shown below

https://www.digitalcommonwealth.org/search/commonwealth:6682zc943

Undercarriage details are missing - it was good of Dora Wings to include the modified spats but they forgot to include information on the actual undercarriage arrangement which resembles the American Legion configuration. They also failed to include decals for the prominent striping on the spats. The main failing in the Dora Wings kit is the colour scheme which is unfortunately not accurate. According to reliable sources (John Polando himself) Cape Cod was yellow and black NOT orange and black. All orange areas in the instructions should be painted yellow. The Cape Cod name and logo were powder blue as was the prominent molding running along the side. Poland and Boardman got into an argument with Bellanca over the cost he charged to repair American Legion after it burnt out and removed the Bellanca logo from the tail. Thus to be correct one needs only the Bellanca script. The serial numbers are also the wrong size and font. A under fuselage fuel dump needs to be fabricated and the strange fairing in front of the windscreen of Cape Cod needs to be scratched (see below).

https://www.digitalcommonwealth.org/search/commonwealth:6682zd329

How to correct?

Mika Jenfors (Arctic Decals) kindly made up a new more accurate decal set for me. The revised engine and collector ring was bought from Khee Kha. Cape Cod (2 x large, 1 x small) and American Legion (2 x large) had Venturi tubes located in front of the cockpit (not on the roof as given in the instructions which only really apply to Lituanica). They can be sourced from the Croco models set (which is superb but very delicate). The molding along the side came from Evergreen Rod. It was nice to see someone doing an injection molded Bellanca but sad to see that it was let down by overly-hurried research. 

 

Edited by bourdon
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