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Dirk Derks
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C-31A “Troopship”(F-27 Fokker Friendship) US Army

January 4, 2019 · in Aviation · · 14 · 2.6K

In December of 1985, the U.S. Army Parachute Team, the Golden Knights, leased two -400M Friendship aircraft from the Dutch aeronautical firm, . The two planes were to replace the team's aging fleet of YC-7A Caribou, which had served the Knights' airlift needs for more than 10 years. A short time later the Army purchased the two aircraft from Fokker and redesignated them as the C-31A "Troopship."

The two planes are primarily used to provide the Golden Knights with safe and economical travel to more than 300 different demonstration sites annually. While at these sites, the C-31A serves as the team's jump platform, carrying the men and women of the Golden Knights to altitudes as high as 2 1/2 miles above the show site where they begin performing the precision freefall maneuvers and formations that have become trademarks of the team. During many of the Golden Knight's shows, once the jumpers have exited the C-31A, it will descend and perform a low altitude, high speed fly-by demonstrating the maneuverability and versatility of the aircraft.

The model is from scale . The paint used is from Xtra Color.
The decals are from Draw Decals.

Regards, Dirk/The Netherlands.

Reader reactions:
9  Awesome

5 additional images. Click to enlarge.

14 responses

  1. Great to see the friendship built up so well Dirk - I remember these clearly the dart engines had such a distinctive sound.

  2. Hello David,
    Thanks for your response.
    Indeed, that squeaking sound. That sound is not gone. Still many operators (Military and Civilian) are still relying on this old workhorse.
    Regards, Dirk

  3. Beautiful work, sir...nice build.

  4. Very nice Dirk. Great job on her!

  5. Beautiful work on a beautiful aircraft!

  6. Fantastic build, great subject as well.

  7. A great looking build Dirk!

  8. Great work Dirk! Got many good memories of the F-27, military and civilian versions. The Golden Knights model really stands out! I'm privilaged to have seen your work for real.
    Take care and see you soon.

  9. Good looking F 27 Dirk, well done, is the other one yours also ?

  10. Have seen the "Golden Knights" on several occasions at air shows, you've done an outstanding job representing their aircraft Dirk. Really like it.

  11. Beautiful build that really captures a nostalgic ‘feel’ of a different age; a very, very, difficult thing to do with a replica but the finish and colouring, especially, really catch a ‘vibe’.


  12. Nice build Dirk, very striking.

  13. Hi There,
    Thanks for the positive responses. My problem was the side windows. No masking available.

    So I did the build in reverse. Painting the two fuselages completely, including decals and final varnish coating. Installing the windows and the putting the two halves together.

    I did the same with the wings. It takes longer, but the windows are CLEAN.

    Regards, Dirk

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