Back to the Beginning…

Way back in naval aviation history, even before 800 Naval Air Squadron had been founded, aeroplanes carried by the Royal Navy belonged very firmly to the RAF. Aircraft were either seaplanes that were catapulted from cruisers or wheeled aircraft operating from aircraft carriers. The latter were organised into fleet fighter flights. Two of these, Nos. 402 and 404 (Fleet Fighter) Flights RAF were amalgamated in 1933 to form 800 Naval Air Squadron.

The standard fighter on aircraft carriers in the early 1920s was the Gloster (Nieuport) Nightjar. Two competing designs were trialled to replace them, the Fairey Flycatcher (of which more later) and the Parnall Plover. Six aircraft were given to 404 (Fleet Fighter) Flight for evaluation.

Cover art, but misspelt name!

The kit comes from a Polish company called Choroszy Modelbud. It is a resin kit, not my favourite medium as you will remember from the Hawker Nimrod II, but it is the only one available so there we go.

The kit comes as a collection of loose bits and some things on tiny supports. Everything needs cleaning up due to moulding flash, even some very delicate things like interplane struts. Anyway, it all goes together reasonably well, with the usual problem of trying to get the upper wing set in place. In the end I used a biplane rig which holds the two wings in place so the struts can be glued in place and some brass wire rigging added. This stabilises everything, then the small cabane struts can be placed between the fuselage and upper wing.

The rigging also needs to be done for the tail controls. All the cables attaching to the rudders and elevators were exposed from about half way down the fuselage.

Overall paint is aluminium dope with a black nose.

Apart from the issue of trying to put the upper wing in place, this resin kit went reasonably well and has resulted in a charming addition to the project.

The Plover also went reasonably well, but the Flycatcher was found to be easier to fly and easier to rig on ship. So the Flycatcher was purchased and the Plover went into relative obscurity. No examples survive.

Next up is the Plover’s rival, the Fairey Flycatcher…

3 thoughts on “Back to the Beginning…

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