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G. Ley
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Hey pardner, looking for an airplane?

September 10, 2018 · in Diorama · · 11 · 1.5K

A bird you can really love? How about a pre-owned, Revell, ? Yes, the T-6, that great North American product that trained thousands of budding young aviators so they could fly to a glorious doom.

This beautiful aircraft needs a new home. Take a look at this baby. She's being renovated by Sai Freddy and his crack mechanic dervishes personally trained right there at Sai Freddy's School of Aeroplane n' Spacecraft Technology in south Bengaluru India. As any informed aircraft mechanic knows, Sai Freddy is the guru of aircraft maintenance and no wonder.

Sai Freddy began his illustrious career as a dedicated aircraft mechanic for the Army Air Corps. During the war, Freddy was right there at the front lines in Harlingen, Texas changing tires on T-6s just like this one! But from there, Freddy quickly moved on to changing USAAC tires on other aircraft for the duration.

Here Sai Freddy communes with aircraft maintenance wizards over a problem with the aileron balance for the ill-fated, B-97 prototype.

This beautiful bird has only 25,000+ TTAF hours and was never flown by a student pilot!* That's what makes this T-6 so special. Engine logbooks were lost somewhere around the time of Methuselah, but not to worry, the engine has been rebuilt and re-logged. That's Freddy and his crack team of aircraft maintainers; aero-students of the higher realm.

Look at the rivet alignment and almost all of them are there! That's Sai Freddy for ya'! Just as soon as Freddy's mechanical wizards get the battery in and the prop on this beauty, she'll be ready to taxi and don't forget, wings and tail feathers are included in the price! And the price? Only 54.5 million rupees! Such a deal for you my friend!

So come on over to Sai Freddy's website and talk turkey, like the kind you'll never find at Sai Freddys. That's

(This aircraft has been fully certified by the FAA in the “GIA” category - Ground Instruction Aircraft)

*In the long forgotten 1938 Royal Birdman Act (RBA) by the Indian Aircraft Authority (IAA), the Raj decreed that all Aerial Swamis undergoing flight training would henceforth be called Grand Vimāna Operators of the Great Beyond, or GVOGB, replacing the term “student pilot.” Thus there have been no student pilots in India since that time.

Actually, this is yet another episode in the ongoing saga of my Tropical Airport Diorama, or “TAD”, but who would have guessed it? The salvaged T-6 is located next to the "dope and fab" restoration hut. 

In addition, I built a Tamiya Tug with crew. This one has seen some action and is representative of one I once drove. I tried a few new techniques in these two models, including salt chipping, Alclad aluminum finish, cockpit details like placard and instrument decals, along with cloth seat belts, none of which can be seen. I researched the visible wing attachment points and various access holes. 

The battery? I never worked on a T-6 so . . .  well, let's just say the access panel was there and just the right size. Besides, this would put the battery close to the CG. so what's not to like?   Anyone that has worked around these birds will tell you the fifty-five gallon drum is the universal propeller support. 
Reader reactions:
5  Awesome

22 additional images. Click to enlarge.

11 responses

  1. Nice job, well done!

  2. A great narrative and accompanying scene, my friend. Actually, my father WAS an instructor in an AT-6 in Texas during the war years. He was hoping to transition to bombers in order to fly for an airline subsequent to the end of WWII, but they told him the best pilots were to STAY instructors. Perhaps it was for the best, who knows? At any rate, loved reading your story and looking at your model. Thanks.

  3. Lovely story to go with the T-6 G, made my day. As to the price, is it firm, or can it be bought for say something closer to 45 million rupees?

  4. Heck, I'll give 46 million Rupees! (Sorry Tom!) You can't go wrong at that price. PLUS, the fact that no student pilots ever flew this gem makes a great selling point.

    Seriously, this is a great build and the whole story is wonderfully humourous! I really look forward to the completed ... uh ... diorama - or should I say Masterpiece?!

  5. Love ALL of this... great story and a beautiful model of the lovely T-6. All of your dioramas are genius.
    I have to reminisce about the quonset hut. One of these was my home for 16 weeks at MCRD San Diego in 1956. Was an experience one never forgets...

    • I was there too - 1970, although only nine weeks as there was a war, ~ er ~ "police action," going on and they needed a quick supply of cannon fodder for Vietnam. After boot camp there was another five weeks in ITR, where we were once again billeted in huts. Not long after I graduated, Quonset hut billets were abandoned for new concrete barracks, like the ones we stayed in at Edson range during pistol and rifle qualification.

      However, I have far more memories of working in numerous Quonset based facilities as a mechanic. Quonset huts were cheap after the war and many airfield operators bought them surplus for use as everything from storage buildings to operations shacks to paint and machine shops. I worked in them all.

  6. I have one question - how'd a back-of-the-hangar queen like that stay so shiny? I've seen polished aluminum go flat in an hour of sunlight.

    Not a big deal - like all your other dioramas, you do recreate a time and aviation attitude I remember. Nice work.

  7. Nice, I'll take it!

    1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

  8. Great work - looking forward to more enlightenment from Sai Freddy!

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