Fairchild C-123B “Provider” aka “The Naples Clipper”, 1959
The C123 “Provider” was based on a cargo glider the XG-20. It’s development had the aircraft as a powered assault transport powered by two P&W R-2800-83 and then powered by four J47 turbojets. The first contractor was the Chase Aircraft and at this point the company was taken over by the Kaiser-Frazer Corporation. A successful design, a contract was let for 300 aircraft (powered by Pratt & Whitney engines) in 1953. But the Kaiser-Frazer plant had difficulties in meeting contractual obligations and the USAF cancelled the building program after five aircraft had been built. The Fairchild Engine and Aircraft Corporation of Maryland was chosen to take over production and on 1 September, 1954, the first C-123 built by Fairchild took flight.
In 1958 the U. S. Coast Guard took delivery of eight C-123B aircraft as cargo planes. Their mission was to to deliver supplies to Coast Guard LORAN stations around the world, ranges from Iceland to Africa, from Europe to the Far East. Two aircraft were stationed at the US Navy air base in Naples Italy.
The Model is offered by the RODEN models from the Ukraine. Over all the model went together OK but there were a few oddities in the kit. The inside of the wing and tail panels had these strange injecter pins. If one was new to modeling, you might get the impression they were part of the model. I had to use sprue cutters to remove the pins and sand the remains with my Dremel drum sander. The fuselage has indentations (lines) to represent the aircraft panels. On the old kits of yore the lines (and giant rivets)were extruded so one had to sand them off to rid the plane of it’s “steam punk” look. This plane was the opposite, deep lines were etched into the plastic. I was going to fill them in but decided I didn’t want to devote that much time to this kit. The decals were a treat, they tore if you tried to move them on the plane’s surface yet were impervious to any decal setting solution. Since this model was going to the Coast Guard museum, I omitted any landing gear or radio antennas. It was painted with Tamiya silver and airbrushed with Testors hi viz orange. The paint scheme depicts the original 1958 hi-viz scheme without the black striping. I’d recommend the kit, it’s unusual, the parts seem to fit well and makes a colorful addition to an aircraft collection.
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