AST.364 BAC (Vickers) proposal

Started by Hobbes, November 19, 2016, 06:16:06 AM

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(not a What-if, but a cancelled project)

in 1964, the Air Staff published AST.364, which called for an aircraft capable of transporting 100 klbs (45 tons) over 5000 nm (9200 km) at a speed of 500 kts (900 km/h), for use as a strategic transport on Far East routes. Shorts submitted their SC.5/45 'Jet Belfast'.

Belfast top, BAC submission below

BAC submitted a design using the Vickers VC-10 heritage, with the wings and tailplanes being scaled up by ~25% from the VC-10 items. A new fuselage was designed, with a side-hinged swing-nose. Engines were RB.177 Medway variants.

Chris Gibson gave me a 3-view drawing last year, and the plan was to have the model ready in time for Telford 2016 and the publication of 'On Atlas' Shoulders'.

Wingspan = 158ft /48 m
Overall length = 197ft /60 m
Overall height = 50ft 6in /15 m

I found that the Airbus 330 fuselage was a reasonable starting point.

But the Airbus fuselage is circular, where the transport needed a slightly more 'pregnant' shape. I drew a crescent shaped rib to give the correct contour, and had 80 of these ribs lasercut.



I glued the ribs onto the fuselage at 5 mm intervals, then I tried 2 methods to create the new surface.
1. Filling between the ribs. This worked well (just used a lot of filler), allowing me to scrape the putty knife over the ribs to get the right shape. Used this on the rear half of the fuselage.
2. On the forward fuselage, I tried putting a new skin over the ribs using plasticard. Unfortunately I found the only plasticard thin enough to use was 0.15 mm thick (i.e. paper-thin). This is so thin that any work I did later on this surface would tend to dent the surface, potentially breaking off any paint or breaking the CA glue bonds holding it in place. I couldn't use regular styrene cement because that deformed the plasticard. I did this on the forward fuselage section, between the wing and the hinge line.

In retrospect, filling between the ribs was easier, cost less time, and created fewer problems later on.

I needed a new structure for the main gear sponsons, which I built from plasticard.
Again I used some lasercut parts: I used the 3-view drawing to create front, side and top views of the sponson and had these lasercut, giving a skeleton with the correct contours I could fill in with putty and scrap plastic.

The back end of the fuselage has a hump which was again made from a skeleton, filled with putty/scrap, along with the wing box and its front fairing.

I made the horizontal tailplanes from two sheets of plastic, with ribs in between to give the contours. The vertical tailplane had a rounded edge at the front, so I stacked 6 strips of plastic between the two outside surfaces, and sanded the edge to shape.

This is the fairing on top of the vertical tailplane.


This was my first experiment with laser cutting. It went better than I'd expected. The styrene came back from the laser cutting service with very clean cuts (no burned/melted plastic to deal with). Having all these parts cut to the right size (esp. when you need them to be identical) saved me lots of time vs. manual cutting and sanding: even when I use one part as a cutting template to get a second copy, they're never truly identical and need sanding to remove the differences. Cutting 80 identical crescents, only 2 mm wide at their widest point, would have been a slog.
So this is an option i'll definitely use again.

For the wings I used a Boeing 747 wing, which had nearly the correct shape. I had to remove the inside 20% of the wing, and add some plasticard strips to make the wing a bit thicker.


I added a main spar between the wings so I could handle the wings as one object. I made the wing detachable to make transporting the model easier.

For the engines I couldn't think of a suitable donor, so I drew them in a CAD program and had them 3D printed. I've scratchbuilt engines before, but they took a long time to get the shape right and I was running out of time. Printing them also meant the pods were sure to be identical.

Landing gear is a mix of Boeing 747 mains and Airbus 330 nose gear.

For the cockpit glazing, I used a section of 5 mm thick plexiglass, inserted horizontally, so you're looking at the sides of the sheet. Added the framing using 0.25x0.5 mm styrene strip.

Decals were custom printed (using Belfast decals as a design guide).


Captain Canada

Gorgeous ! Love the shape of this sexy beast. The shots from the top really show the lines. Classic shape ! Thanks for the great article with all of the pics and explanations.

:wub: :bow: :drink:
CANADA KICKS arse !!!!

Long Live the Commonwealth !!!
Vive les Canadiens !
Where's my beer ?


Having seen the 364 in all its plastic glory at Telford, I'm even MORE impressed now having seen the mega-complex build!

Well done Harro.  :thumbsup:
Kit's Rule 1 ) Any aircraft can be improved by fitting longer wings, and/or a longer fuselage
Kit's Rule 2) The backstory can always be changed to suit the model

...and I'm not a closeted 'Take That' fan, I'm a REAL fan! :)



Holy smokes!   Amazing work, truly! It's looks perfect. I love cargo haulers. This has a ton of features that I enjoy... the engine placement, T-tails, wing situated on the top of the fuselage, glorious paint job, etc.  Very good. 

:lol: :lol: :lol:
-Sprues McDuck-


Wow, that is some real modelling there.
Great work Harro!

:bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow:

Reality is an illusion caused by an alcohol deficiency

The Rat

"My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought, cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives." Hedley Lamarr, Blazing Saddles

Pineapple is a great pizza topping. Fight me.


I wonder if the same technique works with vacform kits? As I've got a1/72 vacform VC-10 in the stash and a Revell Airbus A4000M Grizzly/Atlas in one of my spares box.



- Can't be bothered to do the proper research and get it right.

Another ill conceived, lazily thought out, crudely executed and badly painted piece of half arsed what-if modelling muppetry from zenrat industries.

zenrat industries:  We're everywhere...for your convenience..


How to reduce carbon emissions - Tip #1 - Walk to the Bar for drinks.



Quote from: McColm on November 19, 2016, 03:22:20 PM
I wonder if the same technique works with vacform kits?

Yes. Vacform kits are generally in styrene, same as injection moulded kits, so they can be worked using the same tools and materials (glue etc).
Resin kits need different glue (CA), but you can still add styrene bits to a resin kit.


What a mega built! All wonderfull stuff. I had to be a ton of work!

You showed us the styrene sheets at last ESM meeting and some cut out ribs and was amazed with the accuracy of the laser cuts. This technique sure opens new possibilities. I'm sure I'm going try the technique, although i don't know on what model.....

Now I haven't seen the model itself as you had to do repairs to get it finished for Telford, but it must be quite a beast! I like the classic shape of an aerodynamic clean wing, rear engine and T tail. This shape is usually combined with a long, slender fuselage like the DC-9/MD-80 series or BAC 1-11. But your AST 364 proves it also works with such a proud fuselage and sponsons. It also works to have a high wing instead of the low wing.  The proportions your AST 364 are a bit odd, and I like that!

Whiffing at its best & love the livery! :wub:

:bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow:



Quote from: PR19_Kit on November 19, 2016, 10:33:18 AM
Having seen the 364 in all its plastic glory at Telford, I'm even MORE impressed now having seen the mega-complex build!

Well done Harro.  :thumbsup:

Likewise  :bow: :bow:
Decals my @r$e!