U.S. COAST GUARD DOUGLAS R5D “SKYMASTER” 1959
At the end of WWII the USCG flew a wide variety of fixed wing aircraft, from the B-17 Flying Fortress to the C-46 Commando. Looking for the perfect long range patrol aircraft, the Coast Guard acquired fifteen R5D-3 Skymasters. The USAAC had great success with the Douglas C-54 transport aircraft. Service of the transport was worldwide and during the three years of WWII flying an unequalled safety record was achieved. This record of reliability was attractive to the Coast Guard and the Service utilized these planes in Search and Rescue, International Ice Patrol, logistics, photo mapping and electronic tests. The USCG Skymaster was best known for patroling the 33,000 square miles off the Grand Banks from March to September. The searching and reporting of icebergs in the shipping lanes, as part of the International Ice Patrol, had the aircraft stationed in Newfoundland during the busy ice season. In 1965 the R5D was retired from service being replaced by the C-130 Hercules.
The 1:72 model is a Heller C-54 kitbashed into a USCG Skymaster. The windows were the biggest modification performed on the model. The CG decals were printed on my computer and the plane was painted in the Ice Patrol scheme using Tamiya paints. Just about all my planes are mounted on a brass rod, makes them easier to display all “overlapped” at different heights on a shelf.
6 additional images. Click to enlarge.