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Ross Paton
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Hawker Audax. No 4 Glider Training School 1942

April 25, 2021 · in Aviation · · 17 · 1.6K

My Father completed primary training in Georgia, USA. Before being posted 61 OTU Rednal and thence to 243 Squadron Spitfires he spent quite a few months of 1942 towing Hotspur gliders at the No 4 Glider Training School, Kidlington (Now Oxford Airport).

This fate indicates that he was perhaps not the very best fighter pilot They weren't short by this stage and delayed sending "average" pilots to their deaths any sooner than necessary!

Anyhow, he flew Hectors and Audaxes for what was almost certainly troop training for D-Day. There are very few pictures of this time probably because the training of Airborne Troops was top of the Top Secret list. However. His logbook shows that he actually flew K7424 (shown in flight here) on.

This is the third kit I build after starting back and it's pretty rough. This is the converted to Audax. At the time this was the only scale Hart available and is no longer in production. Now, those who know SW kits know they are pigs to build if you're a beginner (I had a SW Stearman too which has gone to Resin Shrapnel Heaven, replaced by an ICM one). No sprues or numbers. Extremely fragile cockpit frames etc. Some experten have built some gorgeous Inter War Harts from this kit and people should check them out on the Silver Wings Galleries. ( I think there might be one or two on iModeller too.

The Camouflage took a bit of research and it seems correct as far as I can make out for early war trainer/second line aircraft ie. standard camo with yellow bottoms. The Audax exhausts were formed from copper wire and a tailwheel scrounged from somewhere.

I'd love to see an injection Hart in 1/32 and thought Roden might oblige. I would try again and make a tidier job.

Reader reactions:
7  Awesome

6 additional images. Click to enlarge.

17 responses

  1. Very interesting story and nice representation of an unusual aircraft. I guess most pilots never cut it to the coveted title of fighter pilot, and quite possibly if your father had, he would never had become your father.

  2. Nice work, Ross! It’s great to see Hart’s and their derivatives built. I just finished a 1/48 Hind.

  3. Lovely work and a fascinating story as well , you must be very proud of your fathers contribution.
    I have in my gallery here a Hotspur glider marked with the letter L on the nose which appears to be the second one along on the lined up gliders .

  4. Very besutiful build, Ross.
    An unknown aircraft to me, likely because of that top secret list.
    Well done.

  5. Nicely done Ross, especially on a kit or A/C I've never heard of.

  6. Great looking build. Maybe your father towed my father who trained in Hotspurs before moving on to Horsa gliders and operations Market Garden and Varsity.

  7. Looks great, and thanks for sharing your father's story.

  8. Modeling a plane your father flew is an event by itself; finishing it in such excellency makes this build truly outstanding, Ross!

  9. Excellent model, Ross, and your father's story makes it seem more real, definitely liked.

  10. Very nice! Not one seen built too often, and an interesting story.

  11. Great looking build Ross. and a great tribute to your father and to his service.
    Nice rigging and I love the camo with the yellow undersides.

  12. Great job, Ross (@ross4), especially well-done rigging and paint. Great story about your father's service. Anyone who served deserves all the credit and gratitude we can give.

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