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  #1  
Old 09-24-2017, 03:35 PM
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Paper Kosmonaut Paper Kosmonaut is offline
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Handley Page HP.42 whiffery

I have started a new build. My eye fell on Gary Pilsworth's Handley Page HP.42 (unofficially known by some under the name "Halifax-class"). This brilliant looking 1930s-era aircraft was only built six times for Imperial Airways and that was that.
But. What if.

Suppose the KLM also bought half a dozen. Why? Their Fokkers of that era were getting obsolete very fast. They were small and slow and showing their age.
(I wrote a longer, quite elaborate story about the six KLM-owned HP.42's which I am happy to share with you all if you like.)

This is my build of the only survivor of those six, spending the autumn of his life in Dutch New Guinea in the 1950s for a daughter company of KLM.

I took the liberty of recolouring Gary's HP.42 in the livery used by "Kroonduif", the local airline in New Guinea and in the process I also redid the corrugated metal a little. The printout I made was two original pages per 1 A4, which makes the scale about 1/100 if I'm right. The paper is 160 grams.

The first leg started pretty well, Although I got to say the bulkheads are a tad too large in use and I should have made them a little smaller.
Fit is good, but I used inner glue strips instead of the tabs. Might be why the long rear end of the plane was a little loose in the fit.

The stance of the bottom wings was fiddly to say the least. Hard to get the right angle but with a three-view I downloaded it got a little easier. Now the big wing gave me some trouble. I couldn't get the two parts straight. The wing was warped and I printed it again for a second try.
Any tips for keeping it dead straight?
Attached Thumbnails
Handley Page HP.42 whiffery-p1110128.jpg   Handley Page HP.42 whiffery-p1110131.jpg   Handley Page HP.42 whiffery-p1110134.jpg   Handley Page HP.42 whiffery-p1110140.jpg   Handley Page HP.42 whiffery-p1110141.jpg  

Handley Page HP.42 whiffery-p1110144.jpg   Handley Page HP.42 whiffery-p1110145.jpg   Handley Page HP.42 whiffery-p1110146.jpg  
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  #2  
Old 09-24-2017, 04:36 PM
RickPink65 RickPink65 is offline
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Schreiber has a beautiful rendition of the HP-42, printed in beautiful metal color. It also includes a printed floor to help making a diorama. Mine is yet to be built. It is a "one fine day must build" project. The model is excellent as all Schreiber aircraft models. And instructions are excellent with nice numbered sequence. No gueswork here. Parts should fit perfectly as other models from this traditional German firm.
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Old 09-24-2017, 04:40 PM
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Don Boose Don Boose is online now
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Great story! I'd love to hear more.

I, too, have that Schreiber model of the wonderful HP.42, but have not yet developed sufficient skill to try to build it.

I will follow your work on this model closely, since I also have Gary's model. I hope you can sort the wing issue out.

Don
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Old 09-24-2017, 04:43 PM
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Hi Rick, I know the Schreiber. I think I even might have had an earlier version of it when I was little. It was big, no, huge. (and I was small.) I cannot remember any metallic ink, though.
But now I am making this small (and free) one. I don't have room for those big planes.

Don, the story will follow soon.
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Old 09-24-2017, 06:51 PM
RickPink65 RickPink65 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paper Kosmonaut View Post
Hi Rick, I know the Schreiber. I think I even might have had an earlier version of it when I was little. It was big, no, huge. (and I was small.) I cannot remember any metallic ink, though.
But now I am making this small (and free) one. I don't have room for those big planes.

Don, the story will follow soon.
Well. mine is printed in some sort of metallic ink. It looks beautiful and, Don, it is not that difficult to make mostly due to the fantastic instructions all Schreiber models have. It might take some time, agreed, but I have seen more difficult subjects around and with very poor instructions.
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Old 09-24-2017, 08:05 PM
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Looking forward to seeing your build come together.

Wyvern
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Old 09-25-2017, 04:25 AM
Ponytail Ponytail is offline
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Always like Dutch airplanes! Any chance this recolor will be in the Downloads, permitted by Gary offcourse?
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Old 09-25-2017, 04:33 AM
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With a permission from Gary (whom I not yet have PM-ed on this matter) it might be an idea to share the recolour. I also have one in full pre-war KLM livery, flying dutchman banner and all. I wanted to do a tiny diorama with the old Schiphol building and the HP42 waiting in front.

First I have to deal with the wing issue. Any good suggestions on how to get a 30 cm two part (left-right) wing dead straight?
Add more ribs (there are just three for the entire wing)? One strip of heavy cart lengthwise? You tell me. I just printed out a new copy to retry.
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Old 09-25-2017, 11:25 AM
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Storytime!

Here's the quite elaborate back story I made up:

The story of the six Dutch - owned HP.42 “Halifax” - class aircraft


When Handley Page announced its HP.42, which had its first flight in November 1930, Imperial Airways was not the only airline which was interested in buying the airplane. Dutch airline KLM also liked a couple to give their busy line to the Dutch East Indies a much needed boost.

Their own Fokkers were sturdy and trusty planes all right, but they also were slow and often coped with mechanical issues on their journeys and, well, most of them were starting to show their age. Fokker really tried to keep up with developments but they were very conservative in their choice of materials and the configuration of their designs. Frankly, they actually were too slow for the momentum in the aircraft industry at the time. While in the U.S. The development of monocoque aluminium airframes with low wings was in full swing, Fokker’s planes still were shoulder-winged, clad with plywood and linen.
The newest plane Fokker had in development, the triple engined F-XX Zilvermeeuw, was a pretty sight with its more modern appearance. It even could have been a good comparison to the HP.42, being some kind of hybrid between the old-fashioned wooden planes and the soon-to-come modern looking shapes like the all-metal Boeing 247 and Douglas DC-2. But the F-XX also had a lot of developing troubles and was still in its early test phase.
In short, KLM's main fleet of planes were ageing rapidly and the board-members of the KLM knew it all too well. Besides all that, Fokker's biggest planes only could carry up to 16 passengers, the HP.42 could carry a for that time whopping 38 people.

So in early 1931 KLM turned to Handley Page and ordered six of their big, all-metal HP42’s. A little less than one and a half year later, they all were in service and flew prolifically and quickly to and from the Dutch East Indies. The KLM wanted the planes to be a bit more luxurious for the long flights, so the 38 seats were reduced to 30 seats and everyone had a bit more legroom and there was a bit more space for luggage.
The six planes got christened with names from Dutch cities: Groningen, Nijmegen, Haarlem, Enschede, 's Hertogenbosch and Vlissingen.

By the time the HP 42's were delivered to the KLM, the thirties progressed, and KLM ordered even more modern foreign planes, like Douglas' DC-2 and DC-3. But the HP 42’s performed just as well, just like their British sisters and they kept on flying, as luxurious airborne Orient Expresses.

Handley Page HP.42 whiffery-hp-42-klm-samach-small.jpg
One of the HP42's of KLM, refueling in Palestine on its way to the Dutch Indies, around 1934. (original photo from Wikipedia, reworking by Yours truly)


When at the end of April 1940 war was imminent and already very much looming over Europe, two of the six HP42’s (Groningen and Enschede) just had left Schiphol for respectively Java and Sumatra and two of them (Vlissingen and 's Hertogenbosch) were just about to head back. The other two were in a hangar at Schiphol. One of them was under repair and had its undercarriage removed, and the other was in the middle of a big engine overhaul. Then came that unavoidable May the 10th, 1940, and the Nazis invaded the Netherlands. Schiphol was severely bombed by the Luftwaffe and although all but one of the military planes on the airport were unharmed, the KLM suffered huge losses, while all their DC-2's and 3's were painted orange as a way of showing their neutrality, which made them great targets. The hangar in which the two HP.42's were repaired got a couple of direct hits and although the Amsterdam fire brigade tried their best to extinguish the fire, the Nijmegen and Haarlem were lost.
The two planes that just left from the Dutch East Indies were about to land in Karachi. There they heard of what happened in Europe and specifically in the Netherlands and the crew decided to fly back to Batavia (the city which now is called Jakarta). Soon thereafter, they were joined by the two other HP.42’s that had taken off days before the invasion.
In Batavia, the four HP.42's were put into service with the Royal Dutch East Indies Airlines (KNILM) who made good use of the planes, together with their own DC-2's and 3's and Lockheed Super Electra's.

Then the war also reached the Pacific in 1941 and in early January 1942, two of the HP.42's were chartered by a big group of wealthy Dutch people, eager to escape the imminent Japanese invasion. They set off to fly to Australia. The 's Hertogenbosch was never heard from again and probably crashed in the sea, being too heavily loaded. The other one, Vlissingen, flew from the island of Timor and reached Darwin on just fumes due to a leaky fuel line. Having only one chance to land the heavy aircraft, it came down quite rough and it broke its main landing gear and crashed. Luckily, without any casualties. Unfortunately, it left the plane with irreparable damage and its useless remains were scrapped not long thereafter. Of the other two, the Enschede was destroyed in its hangar at Batavia airport in one of the first Japanese bombing raids in March of 1942. Most of the other planes of the KNILM could reach Australia before the attacks started and were sold to the allied forces.

Groningen, The last HP.42 in existence, managed to escape to the airfield of Merauke, a city on the island of Papua New Guinea, which also partially was a Dutch colony. Merauke was the only city on the Indonesian archipelago that never was occupied by the Japanese army. It apparently was of no strategic or other interest to them, although there have been a couple of heavy bombardments at the airfield.
Here, the HP.42 survived the war. It undertook some transport flights to and from Australia. After the war, things did not go back to normal again. Turmoil in the Dutch East Indies caused a lot of disruption, the local people demanded their independence. Using guerrilla tactics, the Indonesians kept on fighting The Dutch reacted with brute and excessive force to try and bring these revolts to a halt. But only with partial success and lots of casualties and cruelty along with it. Under the pressure of the United Nations, the Dutch finally had to give in and in 1950, Indonesia became an independent nation. But this didn't include all of the Dutch East Indies. There still was a part of Papua New Guinea which remained Dutch.
Indonesia however, had no plans to exploit a single airline between Papua and Indonesia. So for a while, air traffic over New Guinea was almost gone. No cargo flights with food, mail and clothing, no passenger flights across the dense jungle areas and mountains. The Dutch governmental department of Papua decided to charter a single Dakota from KLM to start inland flights and soon they added some De Havilland Beavers on floats and also three Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer freighters to their fleet,.

In the mid fifties, it became a real regular airline and a daughter enterprise of KLM. A pilot of KLM became manager of the fleet. It was around this time the last HP.42 was 'rediscovered' in a dusty hangar at the back of the airport of Merauke. They immediately brought the old plane back into service after some small necessary repairs and a bit of new oil for the engines. It quickly became the flagship of their airline company, which now was called Kroonduif (Western Crowned Pigeon). They had a very successful business. Kroonduif flew cargo and people to places at Papua New Guinea but also (with a chartered Lockheed Constellation of KLM) to Amsterdam and even Tokyo. The HP.42, which got the new name Kalong (a huge type of fruit bat also called the Flying Fox) was used for inland cargo and passenger flights and for flights to the Australian part of the island.

Handley Page HP.42 whiffery-foto-asvvrm6a-g.jpg
Two Dakotas and a Twin Pioneer of Kroonduif, probably at Biak airfield, Dutch New Guinea, 1950s.

The old HP.42 was kept in service until 1962, when the Dutch part of Papua New Guinea became part of Indonesia and the Dutch had to leave all their assets behind. In Indonesia, the HP.42 was of no use any more and after having been a hangar asset for yet another couple of years, the plane was eventually scrapped in 1966.



Credible? Well, most of it actually is true. The only thing that never happened is the existence of those six extra HP.42’s for the KLM and their fate. In reality, there were only ever 6 built and all of them served with Imperial Airways. All of them perished in the first year of the war while in RAF service, either due to storms that blew the planes against one another and practically wrecked them, or by very clumsy landings that did about the same job for the planes. None of them survived the year 1940. A sad ending for this glorious and rather beautiful plane.
Attached Thumbnails
Handley Page HP.42 whiffery-hp-42-klm-samach-small.jpg   Handley Page HP.42 whiffery-foto-asvvrm6a-g.jpg  
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Old 09-25-2017, 11:28 AM
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Oh, and I managed to build a pretty straight wing. I used a ruler, a flat piece of wood and some clamps to let the wing parts separately set. I also didn't use my regular PVA but Aleene's tacky glue, which is manipulatable a little longer. Pics follow soon.
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