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Author Topic: Horsa-ing around  (Read 6512 times)
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Jack Plane
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« Reply #200 on: June 06, 2019, 03:46:45 AM »

Indeed!

I can see Lurker Industries branching-out into new markets...
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abl
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« Reply #201 on: June 06, 2019, 05:54:03 AM »

> ... abl, this build's Éminence grise, and I'm not letting him get away without pointing this out.

Bit of an exaggeration there, Lurk, but thanks anyway.


Wait... I think the two on the right in the middle of the picture are almost entirely intact.

As far as I can see, the landing flaps were powered by compressed air - not sure if it was a one-shot process (i.e. no means of putting the flaps away once they're down), but if it was, that might go some way towards explaining the frequent landing carnage.

A.
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TheLurker
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« Reply #202 on: August 01, 2019, 02:25:25 PM »

*cough*

I thought this thread was closed, but today I had a rather pleasant surprise by way of a short biography of Mr. Base sent to me by Gray of The North Cotswold MAC* who says, "I stumbled upon it in my collection of SAM Speaks mags."  It's from Dec. 2005 when Mr. Base had not long turned 80.  I've attached the photograph Gray sent and I've also transcribed the text in case it's not legible in the thumbnail view.  I hope that the various SAMS bods don't mind about that.  I was also very pleased to find out from the piece that the out of scale after section of the fuselage that Ron (cvasecuk) noticed could be traced to the three views available to Mr. Base at the time he drew up the design.

Lurk.

*Reminder.  NCMAC 70th Birthday Bash 10th & 11th of August.

-----------------------------------------8<-----------------------------------------

A Lost Designer Reappears, by Nigel Druce

In the Aeromodeller for December 1943 there is a design for a 20 inch model of an Airspeed Horsa glider by R.V. Base.  Three years later for November 1946 there is a further design, a 48 inch model of the General Aircraft Hamilcar.  The outlines for both these models are taken from three views in various volumes of, "Aircraft of the Fighting Powers."  Then the mysterious R.V. Base disappears as designer of model aircraft.  After a gap of nearly 60 years this designer has reappeared having moved into the world of proper gliding, full size aircraft and vintage cars in his spare time from the late 1940s.

Ray Base started flying gliders and rubber models at Ainsdale Sands near Southport in the early 1940s and still has photos of his models from those days.  In 1943 he joined the RAF hoping to become a pilot but was trained as a flight engineer instead, getting his wings in 1944.  It was at this time he designed the Horsa.  In time Ray joined 115 Squadron at Witchford on the Isle of Ely and completed a whole tour on Lancasters, finishing with the test flights for Operation Manna, the supply drops to the starving people of Holland, in front of Bomber Harris and other senior Air Ministry officials.  The plan for the Hamilcar was published just before Ray was demobilised.  He then joined British Messier in Cheltenham who built undercarriages and spent the rest of his career on undercarriages, ending up with the Dowty Group and Concorde.  In his spare time he acquired his gliding Silver C, apparently getting the height qualification during and extended lunch hour.  Then on to a private pilot's licence and he also qualified as a licensed aircraft engineer so that he could keep the Dowty Flying Club Auster flying.  

Ray had a series of sports cars and in 1958 he acquired a 1927 Renault Type NN which had broken down and been left in a country garage in Gloucestershire.  He still owns this car and also now owns a 1920 Renault Type EU.

I first met Ray Base some nine years ago and for some time knew nothing of his modelling past.  One day I was going through my stock of old Aerodellers, as you do on winter's evenings, and noticed the Hamilcar was designed by R.V. Base.  Fortunately I had a membership list that had his full name on it.  Yes his second initial waswas'V so I asked him whether he had designed any model aircraft. "Yes", he said saying that there were these two and also a solid model of the ill-fated Avro Manchester.  Over time a plot was hatched, with the approval of Ray's wife, to build a replica of the Hamilcar for Ray's 80th birthday.  The plan and instructions say that the original model was made of spruce and the wood sizes shown are for spruce construction.  Having made a model completely of spruce and plywood in the past I preferred to build the replica of larger size balsa.  In fact Ray says the original was built of Cottonwood.  The only unusual feature of the model was the fixing of a dual tow-line on the wings in line with full size practice at the time. This was retained with the provision for a tow hook under the fuselage.  The model bore the registration number of a Lancaster Ray actually flew in.

In due course the model was finished with two days to spare before his birthday and put in a box addressed to Ray at 115 Squadron Witchford.  During the speeches at his party the model was handed over and then assembled.  Then Ray posed for photographs with the completed model and we plan to fly it one of these days.

-----------------------------------------8<-----------------------------------------

PS.
> ... abl, this build's Éminence grise, and I'm not letting him get away without pointing this out.
Bit of an exaggeration there, Lurk, but thanks anyway.
No exaggeration.
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DavidJP
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« Reply #203 on: August 01, 2019, 05:08:14 PM »

Thanks - very interesting and I think I remember now the article in Speaks. That Hamilcar looks a bit of a brute!  Hmmm.....
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