£32.99 inc. VAT
Wonderful complete model kit of a Cessna Bird Dog
Whether you’re new to model building or an old hand, we have a kit to delight and entertain you. Model kits make great presents – not just because they look great when they’re finished but because they offer the recipient hours of enjoyment, the ability to learn new skills and the sense of achievement when the model’s complete.
Following on from the Second World War, the U.S. Army sought to source a more robust and durable liaison aircraft than they had used previously, specifying an all metal construction and better overall performance than the typical fabric over wood of its forebears. Cessna took up this challenge and in 1949 the model 305A first flew. The efficient design incorporated a cabin with a very large, all-round glazed area with distinctive sloping side windows, allowing the crew to see downwards more easily.
If flown economically, it is claimed that the 305A could stay airborne for up to 5 hours. These qualities made it an effective aircraft for spotter duties and for circling over the enemy while directing fire. This led to it being nicknamed Bird Dog, as it served much like the dog of a hunter. The short take-off and landing capabilities allowed it to take off from hastily prepared strips, making it ideal for medical evacuation duties amongst a multitude of other tasks. The U.S. Army and the U.S. Marine Corps took delivery of these aircraft in 1950, designated the L-19 and OE-1 respectively. They served with great success in the Korean War.
This tough, agile little aircraft continued service into the Vietnam war – now designated the O-1. It was also taken up by the US Air Force as a forward air control aircraft, the object of which was to direct fast attack aircraft to the target. The pilots that flew this smallest and simplest of warbirds were indeed brave – shooting at one would not have been difficult. However, losses were far less than may have been feared, simply because by shooting at the Bird Dog, the enemy would give away their position. Nearly 3500 aircraft were built, mainly by Cessna, but also in small numbers by contractors in both the United States and Japan. After their military service, many were sold on as recreational aircraft. They found a particular use as glider and advertising banner tow aircraft.
Today a large number of these aircraft are still airworthy – testament to their resilience, but many can also be seen on static display in museums in the many countries that operated them.
We’ve made building the kit easier for you – the precision laser-cut balsa parts simply push out ready for you to stick together using readily available PVA wood glue. We’ve included an original plan and instructions along with lightweight japanese tissue, propeller, rubber motor and wheels – in fact everything you’ll need to create a fully flyable recreation of this iconic aircraft.
So much more fun than a plastic “Airfix” kit, enjoy time together with your son or daughter developing engineering skills they’ll value forever and creating memories they’ll treasure for a lifetime. These kits make great Christmas gifts and birthday presents for that “hard to buy for” man who has everything (please note children under 14 should be supervised by an adult).
WHAT’S IN THE KIT?
Three balsa sheets with precise laser cut parts and strip wood.
PVA glue for building the wooden frames.
One 150mm diameter plastic propeller.
One pre-bent motor hook and shaft.
Three low friction plastic nose bushings – one for the propeller and two for the undercarriage wheels.
Acetate sheet for screens.
Piano wire for the main undercarriage and tail wheel legs.
One motor peg (cocktail stick or toothpick).
Rubber motor strip.
Tissue to cover the model.
Parts reference sheet (W), full size summary plan sheet (X), scheme diagram sheet (Y) and scheme markings (Z) printed on lightweight paper.