Full Size Printed Plans Scale 1:144 Based upon WWII Catapult Aircraft Merchantship suitable for radio control
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Full Size Printed Plans Not a KIT or MODEL no Material
Based upon WWII Catapult Aircraft Merchantship
Full-size printed plans on a 46" X 24" Sheet
Twelve-page article with building notes (not all shown)
Length 36 ins.
By Glenn Guest
During the early part of the Battle of the Atlantic there was a desperate need to provide some form of air cover for convoys. Not only was defence against direct air attack needed but also some means of driving off the reconnaissance aircraft that guided the 'U' boat towards the convoys.
The Escort Carriers, based on a mercantile hull with a small but effective aircraft complement, were under construction and would ultimately provide the most effective solution. However, they were not immediately available and the stop gap measure of the CAM (Catapult Aircraft Merchantship) ships had to be introduced. A total of 35 merchant vessels were converted to carry a single fighter aircraft on a catapult over the bows. Perhaps the term catapult is a little misleading since it was nothing more than a track along which a rocket propelled sledge hurled the aircraft forwards.
From several sources a reasonable profile of a typical 1930-40's merchant ship was produced. By using a scale of about 1/144 (1 in. = 12ft.) the model's length would conveniently fall within the standard sheet balsa size. This scale also allowed the use of a small plastic kit for the fighter aircraft, which saved more valuable time.
The heading shots show Empire Jubilee as originally finished, looking a little bare. and with aircraft and some deck cargo added; making all the difference.
Above, sides trimmed, hull bottom shaped, forecastle and stern block added. Below, hull sides plated with card.