This is my new entry for the addicting and amazing DH100GB: it is the Hobbycraft 1/48 DHC-3 Otter, which will be finished as a U.S. Army U-1A of the 18th Aviation Company, Vung Tau, Vietnam, July 1963.
The de Havilland Canada DHC-3 Otter is a single-engined, high-wing, propeller-driven, short take-off and landing (STOL) aircraft developed by de Havilland Canada. It was conceived to be capable of performing the same roles as the earlier and highly successful Beaver, including as a bush plane, but is overall a larger aircraft.
Like the Beaver, the Otter can be fitted with skis or floats. The Otter served as the basis for the very successful Twin Otter, which features two wing-mounted Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 turboprops. A total of 466 Otters were manufactured.
Although the Otter found ready acceptance in bush airlines, as in a similar scenario to the DHC-2 Beaver, the United States Army soon became the largest operator of the aircraft (184 delivered as the U-1A Otter). Other military users included Australia, Canada, and India, but the primary role of the aircraft as a rugged bush plane continues to this day.
This is the 1998 Hobbycraft kit that I had in my stash, waiting an opportunity to build it.
It comes in a HUGE box that is more than half empty. Inside you can find four sprues of well molded parts, plus a clear one, packed together with one of them.
External detail is good, with the exception of the PW R-1340 engine, which is poorly represented.
Internal details are on the ultra basic side with a very simplistic cockpit and no cargo interior. Ihope that not a lot will be seen through the small windows.
There’s a set of skis provided, but looks a bit toyish to my eye…
Instructions are adequate and clear.
Decals are provided for a Canadian and a U.S. Army bird and look ok.
The latter is my choice. It is U-1A, s/n 58-1695, belonging to the 18th Aviation Company, Vung Tau, Vietnam, July 1963. It is olive drab overall with a black antiglare panel.
At http://www.dhc-3archive.com, I found the specific airframe’s story, from its delivery to the U.S. Army in 1958, till its destruction in 1980, when the roof of the hangar in which it was parked collapsed due to an accumulation of snow.
More to come soon!