PDA

View Full Version : Burnelli UB-20 1934 'Flying wing airliner' 1/48 scale


contourcreative
10-23-2012, 09:26 PM
Vincent Justus Burnelli (November 22, 1895 June 22, 1964) was was one of the first American designers to capitalize on the "flying wing" design. In the 1920s, he produced two biplane transports with large, airfoil-shaped fuselages that contributed a considerable portion of the airplane's lift. Burnelli's goal was to develop a more efficient airplane that could carry a large payload. Burnelli referred to his lifting body transports as "flying wings", but his production aircraft invariably retained some kind of a tail, frequently supported by upswept booms that extended rearward. More correctly, Burnelli employed a "lifting body" design, rather than a true "flying wing" like the B2 Stealth Bomber where all major aeronautical components are within the wing.

The 1930 - UB-20 was the first American aircraft to employ the use of flat metal stressed-skin construction. In 1934, for promotional purpose, the Sun Oil Company employed the use of the Burnelli UB-20 to carry a Ford automobile to sub-zero temperatures at altitude to prove the performance of their petroleum products under extremely low temperatures. In flight, a brave mechanic descended into the automobile and started the engine at sub-zero temperatures!!

The UB-20 aircraft externally appears to suit paper construction with very few compound curves. After a time obtaining images (never enough and expensive!!) I created an original drawing for this spectacular if awkward aircraft. With a 23 inch wingspan this will be a large model and an impressive addition to any civilian collection of aircraft from that era. I attach an image of the initial build showing the fuselage and the wings. All pretty rough at this stage of course...

SJPONeill
10-23-2012, 10:46 PM
Woof!! I am definitely in for this when it is released...big and beautiful (well, big anyways)...

contourcreative
10-23-2012, 10:57 PM
Ta Simon..one day you should make it up to Kaiwaka and have a cuppa. This makes the much and unfairly maligned Farmans appear transcendentally beautiful! Hope all well down by the mountain.

Texman
10-24-2012, 04:55 AM
A most interesting and required build!

Don Boose
10-24-2012, 05:55 AM
Bravo!

I remember when I first read about the Burnelli aircraft in aviation and science magazines in the 1950s. This latest Contour Creative project brings all that back to mind.

You are sure to draw a lot of interest with this one.

Don

PS: You WILL include a model of the 1934 Ford, won't you?

Isaac
10-24-2012, 06:05 AM
Burnelli was certainly a very good designer that was a practical engineer. Why not shape the fuselage like a wing ( a lifting body )? Unfortunately there were so many designs and ideas at that time, that it was difficult to compete. On top of that you need lots of capital and supporters.

Anyhow, I got to see his last design called the CBY-3 Loadmaster built in 1945. The aircraft flew for a few short years and as the other prototypes it never went into production. Burnelli had 8 prototypes from 1925 to 1945.

This example is in the New England aviation museum in Windsor Locks Connecticut ( USA ). I saw it in 2006. I may be wrong, but there was allot of politics at that museum and they may have destroyed this plane on purpose.

Here are some photos I took.


Isaac

Werner Smuts
10-24-2012, 08:32 AM
I'm sure to follow this build :-)

scon10
10-24-2012, 01:25 PM
I always found the Burnelli aircraft fascinating. I still wonder how the actual shape of fuselage and wing looks like, so I'll be looking with great interest. I hope this model becomes available!

contourcreative
10-24-2012, 04:51 PM
I always found the Burnelli aircraft fascinating. I still wonder how the actual shape of fuselage and wing looks like, so I'll be looking with great interest. I hope this model becomes available!

LIkewise, a fascinating and incredibly rich period of aircraft design. Absolutely, this will be made available. Enjoying the comments on this thread. Had little idea that there would be much interest in this design. At present I am just working on the tail booms.

looker
10-24-2012, 08:32 PM
Nice model. It's interesting to note that the earlier RB 2 biplane carried it's motorcar (and showroom :) ) internally.
Picture down page at
Burnelli- RB-2 (http://www.aircrash.org/burnelli/ch_rb2.htm)

Wyvern
10-28-2012, 11:55 AM
Can't wait for this one!

Wyvern

billy.leliveld
10-28-2012, 12:29 PM
I just love it, I was always interested in the Burnelli planes, when it comes out I'll surely buy/ build it...

whulsey
10-28-2012, 03:15 PM
Most of have been late 34 when the promotional stunt was done since that's a 35 Ford. Anyway a really interesting looking aircraft.

papermodelfan
10-29-2012, 06:53 PM
The museum at Windsor Locks, CT had a number of interesting planes that got wrecked when a tornado came through in 1979. This may be a bit of tornado damage. Per Wikipedia, they have begun restoring it now (in 2011) and plan to bring it back completely - another great subject for a model. I have some old AeroDigests from early 1930.s with pics and 34 views of other Burnelli's, earlier than the UB-20. Here is a pic of the Loadmaster in better days.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ec/Burnelli_CBY-3_Loadmaster.jpg (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ec/Burnelli_CBY-3_Loadmaster.jpg)

contourcreative
10-30-2012, 04:44 PM
Over the years I've noticed a growing appreciation of the lack of many 'Golden Age' subjects in any kit media form. The Wings of Peace forum was very supportive in our projects and our relationship with members there has continued to be a great help. Our sincere hope is that the Aviation's 'Golden Age' in a real 3D sense will be more accessible and represented.

Thank you for the images and the encouragement. It really does make a difference. Any further pictures of the UB 20, other than those on offer on the Internet are gratefully received. You can never have enough pictures for these!

In many ways this model is indebted to an anonymous French aviation enthusiast of the C1920's - 1940's and whose careful collection of period clippings of the Burnelli species yielded a poor quality, but useable image of the upper surfaces of the UB 20.

If you have wondered if there was any beauty within this radical design it is far more evident in this view. I have attached the tail booms and tail. (No work on the engine nacelles and underwing struts as yet).

This is one of those aircraft that is very difficult to 'see' in photographs and I was surprised at the attractive organic quality of the UB 20 from that angle. A dragonfly aspect to the design. Certainly not what you would expect from ground level.

Don Boose
10-30-2012, 05:04 PM
It is a surprisingly good-looking aircraft at that angle.

Don

contourcreative
10-30-2012, 06:08 PM
It is a surprisingly good-looking aircraft at that angle.

Don

Yes. I was really surprised..my daughter thinks it looks like a fish..I think the most exciting thing about designing models is these little discoveries..Speaks volumes of the dominance of photography from the ground...

Don Boose
10-30-2012, 06:10 PM
It is one of the advantages of paper modeling. You really learn a lot about the mechanism (airplane, ship, vehicle, or machine) that you are modeling. I find that this is true even when I am reading the build narratives and seeing the images of others as they build the model.

And it DOES look like a fish.

Don

gomidefilho
10-31-2012, 07:06 AM
I Cant' wait for release...

Isaac
10-31-2012, 07:46 AM
The museum at Windsor Locks, CT had a number of interesting planes that got wrecked when a tornado came through in 1979. This may be a bit of tornado damage. ]

I went thru that Tornado. I lived about 2 miles from the museum when it got wacked. The aircraft were tossed like toys. Most were damaged severely.



If you go to Google maps and click on the satellite view or Google earth, you can see this aircraft is parked outside.
coordinates here:
41.94813,-72.692607

New England Air Museum
Bradley International Airport
36 Perimeter Road, Windsor Locks, CT 06096
USA


Isaac

SJPONeill
10-31-2012, 04:22 PM
Ta Simon..one day you should make it up to Kaiwaka and have a cuppa. This makes the much and unfairly maligned Farmans appear transcendentally beautiful! Hope all well down by the mountain.

All is magnificent down here at the moment: no rumbling volcanoes and log days of awesome sunshine Terry...would love to stop by for a cuppa and have looked up Kaiwaka on the map...although I don't normally get north of Auckland, I am changing my work profile over Christmas/New Year so may have more time and opportunity to get further afield...

Simon