Wibault 283 T 12
The first flight of the prototype, a Wibault 280 T took place in 1930, it was a very basic aircraft able to carry 8 passengers, no engine cowlings and no landing gear fairings.
A few improvements were brought up to the prototype, with more powerful engine and aerodynamic refinements, it became the Wibault 283 12T and could carry 10 passengers.
It was used on the Air France European network.
The drag generated by the engines left out in the open air was very important.
In the late 20s, the NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics) developed cowlings for radial engines which reduced the drag, increased the speed and fuel efficiency but also improved the engine cooling.
Wibault engineers tried to do something similar on their aircraft.
Initially, and I don't know why, only engines 1 and 3 received these NACA cowlings, later, all three engines were equipped.
Still to reduce the drag, it was decided to equip the landing gear with steamlined spats.
It was a good idea but these large fairings were not the best.
Their huge vertical surfaces ahead of the center of gravity had a negative effect on yaw stability, to fix the problem, additional vertical surfaces were added to the horizontal stabilizers and the rudder area was increased.
Also, struts were fitted under the stabilizers, surprising it took so long to discover the need for these struts.
The model I built is an interim version of the aircraft with the original tail surfaces, without the struts under the stabilizers but with the three NACA cowlings and streamlined spats.
Twenty aircraft were built, photos of that time show clearly that all the aircraft were not at the same standard.
A side note about Michel Wibault.
Michel Wibault was a talented engineer.
The Hawker P 1127 owes its origin to Michel Wibault who, in 1956, had the idea to use rotating nozzles to vector thrust.
He applied for several patterns concerning the vertical flight, but he failed to interest Marcel Dassault and the French government, later, he paid a visit to the NATO Mutual Weapons which had an office in Paris.
Bristol Aero Engine Company was approached.
They liked the vectoring notion but the system designed by Wibault was too complex.
Finally a Bristol Siddeley engineer had the idea to split the exhaust of an engine and adapt a pair of rotating nozzles.
The Pegasus engine with four rotating nozzles was born.
Hawker drew an aircraft round this engine, the P 1127 VTOL aircraft flew a few years later.
Very few people know the key role played by Michel Wibault in the development of the Harrier.
Back to the Wibault 283 T 12.
The model is white metal with many pieces fitting together very well.
This model was among Derek's castings and models which were for sale.
Sadly, Derek passed away while traveling in France last year.
A few details are made from scratch.
Decals have a F-RSIN origin, with some improvements and additions.
As usual, cockpit windows had to be redone to match the model.
Flight control cables running along the fuselage were added.
Not a big model, it does not take too much space in my cabinet.
The real aircraft was sometimes compared to the JU 52 which in fact, came later and was bigger.
On the last picture, it can be compared to the DC 3.
Next model will have four Jupiter XIF engines and two wings.
Guess what it is.