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Jet Craft Ltd. 'Mystery Jet 160 Landaulet'; G-AZRE, based at Manston (Kent, UK)

Started by Dizzyfugu, January 01, 2017, 04:25:15 AM

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Dizzyfugu

A Happy New Year everyone!
The first one to be posted in 2017 - based on a real project and something different from usual military vehicles.


1:72 Jet Craft Ltd. *'Mystery Jet 160 Landaulet"; G-AZRE, based at Manston (Kent, UK), 1975 (Whif/Kitbashing)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Jet Craft Ltd. *'Mystery Jet 160 Landaulet"; G-AZRE, based at Manston (Kent, UK), 1975 (Whif/Kitbashing)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Jet Craft Ltd. *'Mystery Jet 160 Landaulet"; G-AZRE, based at Manston (Kent, UK), 1975 (Whif/Kitbashing)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


Some background:
In the period immediately after the Second World War the world found itself with hundreds of thousands of surplus aircraft and just as many surplus aviators. Most aircraft would meet the salvage blade and the smelter's fiery furnace. Most pilots would return to civilian life, the bulk of them never to fly again.

With the plethora of military aircraft languishing in desert lots awaiting a certain fate, some of those disenfranchised aviators and aircraft designers would look to new growing markets for salvation. One of these emerging markets was the new-found requirement for fast and capable business transport aircraft for executives looking to link business interests across the vast distances of the nation. With few purpose-built business aircraft available for executives, medium bombers became the drug of choice for high flying big shots—fast, powerful and, with the right interior appointments, a visual statement of their success and power.


1:72 Jet Craft Ltd. *'Mystery Jet 160 Landaulet"; G-AZRE, based at Manston (Kent, UK), 1975 (Whif/Kitbashing)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Jet Craft Ltd. *'Mystery Jet 160 Landaulet"; G-AZRE, based at Manston (Kent, UK), 1975 (Whif/Kitbashing)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


In early variants like the Executive, On Mark simply removed military equipment and replaced them with fairings and civil avionics, sealed the bomb bay doors, soundproofed the cabin, and added additional cabin windows. Later models had special wing spars designed to give more interior room, pressurization and equipment from bigger surplus aircraft such as DC-6 brakes and flat glass cockpit windows. It was an elegant mashing together of equipment, but it was not a true business aircraft.

In the Sixties, Jet Craft Ltd. of Las Vegas, Nevada, went for a different interpretation of the same topic: The company had purchased a number of former Royal Australian Air Force Vampire trainers and RCAF single-seaters, which were to be converted to a new design for a business aircraft called 'Mystery Jet', offering 4-8-seats.
Jet Craft worked with stellar British conversion experts Aviation Traders to do the structural design work. Aviation Traders Limited (ATL) was a war-surplus aircraft and spares trader formed in 1947. In 1949, it began maintaining aircraft used by some of Britain's contemporary independent airlines on the Berlin Airlift. In the early 1950s, it branched out into aircraft conversions and manufacturing.


1:72 Jet Craft Ltd. *'Mystery Jet 160 Landaulet"; G-AZRE, based at Manston (Kent, UK), 1975 (Whif/Kitbashing)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Jet Craft Ltd. *'Mystery Jet 160 Landaulet"; G-AZRE, based at Manston (Kent, UK), 1975 (Whif/Kitbashing)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Jet Craft Ltd. *'Mystery Jet 160 Landaulet"; G-AZRE, based at Manston (Kent, UK), 1975 (Whif/Kitbashing)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


Aviation Traders worked on the drawings and the structural mock-ups. A full-scale mock-up of the Mystery Jet languished at Southend airport for a decade, trying to lure owners and operators into buying it. And this actually happened: about twenty former Vampire airframes were converted into Mystery Jet business aircraft, tailored to the customers' needs and desires.

The Mystery Jet was just what it looked like: a former De Havilland Vampire with a new, roomy nose section grafted onto it. The cabin was pressurized, and was available in two different lengths (130 and 160 inches long, with two or three rows of seats and reflected in the aircraft's title) and several window and door options - the most exotic option being the "Landaulet" cabin which featured a panoramic roof/window installation over the rear pair of seats (or, alternatively, a two-seat bench).


1:72 Jet Craft Ltd. *'Mystery Jet 160 Landaulet"; G-AZRE, based at Manston (Kent, UK), 1975 (Whif/Kitbashing)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Jet Craft Ltd. *'Mystery Jet 160 Landaulet"; G-AZRE, based at Manston (Kent, UK), 1975 (Whif/Kitbashing)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


The original Goblin engine, including the intake ducts, were retained. The Vampire's center of gravity could be kept because the new passenger cabin was, despite being up to 8 feet longer than the Vampire's original nose, much lighter. This was the consequence of the loss of the heavy cannons and their armament, as well as some more military avionics. The reduction of internal fuel capacity through the enlarged cabin was compensated through fixed wing tip tanks, so that range was on par with the former military jet. Just top speed and ceiling were slightly inferior.

Anyway, prices were steep and from the United States more modern and economical offerings ruled the market. Maintaining a former military jet was also a costly business, so, consequently, after a slight buzz (more of a hum, actually) in the early Seventies, the Mystery Jet and Jet Craft of Las Vegas, also fuelled by some dubious business practices by the company's owner, disappeared. Even further developments of the original concept, e .g. with a wide body for up to 14 passengers and two engines, would not save the Mystery Jet from failure.


1:72 Jet Craft Ltd. *'Mystery Jet 160 Landaulet"; G-AZRE, based at Manston (Kent, UK), 1975 (Whif/Kitbashing)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Jet Craft Ltd. *'Mystery Jet 160 Landaulet"; G-AZRE, based at Manston (Kent, UK), 1975 (Whif/Kitbashing)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Jet Craft Ltd. *'Mystery Jet 160 Landaulet"; G-AZRE, based at Manston (Kent, UK), 1975 (Whif/Kitbashing)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr





General characteristics:
    Crew: 1 pilot plus 5-7 passengers
    Length (Mystery Jet 160): 38 ft 5 in (11.73 m)
    Wingspan incl. tip tanks: 39 ft 7 1/2 in (12.09 m)
    Height: 8 ft 10 in (2.69 m)
    Wing area: 262 ft² (24.34 m²)
    Empty weight: 7,283 lb (3,304 kg)
    Max. take-off weight: 12,390 lb (5,620 kg)

Powerplant:
    1× de Havilland Goblin 3 centrifugal turbojet, rated at 3,350 lbf (14.90 kN)

Performance:
    Maximum speed: 516 mph (832 km/h)
    Cruising speed: 400 mph (644 km/h)
    Range: 1,220 mi (1,960 km)
    Service ceiling: 37,700 ft (11,500 m)

Armament:
    None




The kit and its assembly:
The first finished work in 2017 is a different kind of whif, one of the few civilian models in my collection. This conversion looks sick, but ,as weird as it may seem, the Business-Jet-From-Vintage-Vampires idea was real. For more information, and the source from where some of the backgound story was gathered, please check:

<a href="http://www.vintagewings.ca/VintageNews/Stories/tabid/116/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/444/Vampires-of-Las-Vegas.aspx" rel="nofollow">www.vintagewings.ca/VintageNews/Stories/tabid/116/article...</a>

Anyway, my build is just a personal interpretation of the original concept, not a true model of the Mystery Jet. In fact, this was limited through the donor parts for this kitbash.

The rear end was the smaller problem: Airfix offers a very good Vampire T.11 trainer with excellent detail and fit - the passenger cabin was the bigger challenge. Finding "something" that would fit in shape and especialsl size was not easy - my first choice was a nose section from a vintage 1:100 Antonow An-24 from VEB Plasticart (still much too wide, though), and the best solution came as an accidental find in a local model kit shop where I found a heavily discounted MPM Focke Wulf Fw 189 B-0 trainer.

The reason: the kit was complete, but the bag holding the sprues must have been heated immensely during the packaging process: the main sprues were horrible warped - except for some single parts including the canopies and the sprue with the cabin! Height wind width were perfect, only the boxy shape caused some headaches. But I guess I would not find anything better...

That said, the transplantation mess started. I never built any of the two donor kits before, so I carefully tried to find the best place where to cut the Vampire's nose - I ended up with a staggered solution right in front of the wing root air intakes.
The Fw 189's cabin was bit more tricky, because I had to get rid of the original wing roots and wanted to use as much space as possible, up to the rear bulkhead and together with the rear cabin window. The idea was to blend the Fw 189's roof line into the Vampire's engine section, while keeping the original air intake ducts, so that the overall arrangement would look plausible.


1:72 Jet Craft Ltd. *&#x27;Mystery Jet 160 Landaulet&quot;; G-AZRE, based at Manston (Kent, UK), 1975 (Whif/Kitbashing) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Jet Craft Ltd. *&#x27;Mystery Jet 160 Landaulet&quot;; G-AZRE, based at Manston (Kent, UK), 1975 (Whif/Kitbashing) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Jet Craft Ltd. *&#x27;Mystery Jet 160 Landaulet&quot;; G-AZRE, based at Manston (Kent, UK), 1975 (Whif/Kitbashing) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


The result became a pretty long nose section - and at that time the tail booms were not fited yet, so I was not certain concerning overall proportions. The cabin's underside had to be improvised, and blending the boxy front end with a flat underside into the tubby, round Vampire fuselage caused some headaches. I also had to re-create the lower flank section with styrene sheet, because I had originally hoped that I could "push" the new cabin between the wing roots - but that space was occupied by the Goblin's inlet ducts.

Inside of the cabin, the original floor, bulkheads and dashboard were used, plus five bucket seats that come with the MPM kit. In order to hide the body work from the inside, side panels from 0.5mm styrene sheet were added in the cabin - with the benefit of additional stability, but also costing some space... Since the machine was built with closed cabin, a pilot was added - actually a bash of a WWII Matchbox pilot and a German officer from an ESCI tank kit. Looks pretty good and "professional". ;-)


1:72 Jet Craft Ltd. *&#x27;Mystery Jet 160 Landaulet&quot;; G-AZRE, based at Manston (Kent, UK), 1975 (Whif/Kitbashing) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Jet Craft Ltd. *&#x27;Mystery Jet 160 Landaulet&quot;; G-AZRE, based at Manston (Kent, UK), 1975 (Whif/Kitbashing) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Jet Craft Ltd. *&#x27;Mystery Jet 160 Landaulet&quot;; G-AZRE, based at Manston (Kent, UK), 1975 (Whif/Kitbashing) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


Once the cabin was in place, lots of PSR followed and the tail booms could be fitted. To my relief, the longer nose did not look too unbalanced (and actually, design sketches for the original Mystery Jet suggest just this layout!) - but I decided to add wing tip tanks which would beef up wingspan and shift the visual mass slightly forward. They come from an 1:100 Tamiya Il-28, or better the "R" recce variant.

The only other big change concerned the nose wheel. While the OOB wheel and strut were used, the well is now located in front of the wheel and it would retract forwards, giving the nose a more balanced look - and the cabin arrangement made this change more plausible, too.

Another addition were three small porthole windows in the solid parts of the cabin flanks - one of them ending up in the middle of the cabin door on starboard, where a solid part of the canopy roof lent itself for a good place just behind the pilots' seats.


1:72 Jet Craft Ltd. *&#x27;Mystery Jet 160 Landaulet&quot;; G-AZRE, based at Manston (Kent, UK), 1975 (Whif/Kitbashing) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Jet Craft Ltd. *&#x27;Mystery Jet 160 Landaulet&quot;; G-AZRE, based at Manston (Kent, UK), 1975 (Whif/Kitbashing) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Jet Craft Ltd. *&#x27;Mystery Jet 160 Landaulet&quot;; G-AZRE, based at Manston (Kent, UK), 1975 (Whif/Kitbashing) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


Painting and markings:
I cannot help it, but the thing looks like a design from a vintage Tintin or Yoko Tsuno comic! This was not planned or expected - and actually the paint scheme evolved step by step. I had no plan or clue what to apply - the real Mystery Jet mock-up in silver with blue trim looked sharp, but somehow I did not want blue. So I started with the interior (out of a necessity, as the fuselage had to be closed before any further work progress at some point) and settled for plushy, British colors: Cream (walls and roof) and Claret-Red (carpet and seats).

I tried to find something for the outside that would complement this choice of colors, and eventually settled on Ivory and White (upper and lower fuselage halves, respectively) with some deep red trim, plus pale grey wing surfaces. I even considered some thin golden trim lines, but I think this would have been too much?

The trim was created with decals tripes from generic sheet material, the black anti-glare panel was painted, though. As a color contrast I painted some of the upper canopy panels in translucent, light blue, and this looks very good.

The wings received a lightb treatment with thinned black ink, in order to emphasize the engravings. No post-shading was done, though, for a rather clean look.


1:72 Jet Craft Ltd. *&#x27;Mystery Jet 160 Landaulet&quot;; G-AZRE, based at Manston (Kent, UK), 1975 (Whif/Kitbashing) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Jet Craft Ltd. *&#x27;Mystery Jet 160 Landaulet&quot;; G-AZRE, based at Manston (Kent, UK), 1975 (Whif/Kitbashing) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


Most markings were puzzled together; the registration G-AZRE actually belonged to a Vickers Vanguard (from the 1:144 Airfix kit), the large letters above and under the wings were created with single 45° letters (USAF style). Most stencils come from a Vampire trainer aftermarket sheet from Xtradecal, from the OOB sheet only the "No step" warnings on the wings were used.

Finally, the kit was sealed with a semi-matt coat of varnish, except for the anti-glare panel, which recived a matt coat. The three small windows received artificial panes made from Clearfix, after their rims had been painted black.


1:72 Jet Craft Ltd. *&#x27;Mystery Jet 160 Landaulet&quot;; G-AZRE, based at Manston (Kent, UK), 1975 (Whif/Kitbashing)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Jet Craft Ltd. *&#x27;Mystery Jet 160 Landaulet&quot;; G-AZRE, based at Manston (Kent, UK), 1975 (Whif/Kitbashing)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Jet Craft Ltd. *&#x27;Mystery Jet 160 Landaulet&quot;; G-AZRE, based at Manston (Kent, UK), 1975 (Whif/Kitbashing)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Jet Craft Ltd. *&#x27;Mystery Jet 160 Landaulet&quot;; G-AZRE, based at Manston (Kent, UK), 1975 (Whif/Kitbashing)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


A messy project, and you better do not take a close look. But the overall elegance of this creation surprises me - the real Mystery Jet already looked sleek, and this model, despite a more blunt nose, confirms this impression. The colors work together well, too - and the thing has a dedicated retro feel about it. Tintin might be on board, as well as Elton John, both sharing a cigar on the rear seats... ;)

Cheers!  :cheers:

Knightflyer

That's got a wonderful quirky look about it - A great start to 2017!  ;D
Oh to be whiffing again :-(

NARSES2

Do not condemn the judgement of another because it differs from your own. You may both be wrong.

Captain Canada

That sure is a great start to 2017 ! Love the shape of it. The wing and fuselage combo are so sweet, just looks right. Love the colours as well. And a nice little read, combined with those awesome pics ! And as always, great to see and read how she all came together. Cheers !

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

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

Dizzyfugu

Thank you very much, glad you like it. Building this thing was a rough ride. The Airfix parts are great, but the Fw 189 B nose section in itself was challenging (O.K., I did a lot of modding, but still I have doubt concersning overall fit...), and grafting it on- and into the Vampire was challenging. Sweet outcome, though, I am surprised, too, how good this thing looks.  ;D

kitbasher

What If? & Secret Project SIG member.
On the go: Beaumaris/Battle/Bronco/Barracuda/Corsair GA.1/Flatning/Hellcat IV/Hunter PR11/Hurricane IIb/Ice Cream Tank/JP T4/Jumo MiG-15/P1103 (early)/P1154-ish/Phantom FG1/I-153/Sea Hawk T7/Spitfire XII/Spitfire Tr18/Twin Otter/FrankenCOIN/Frankenfighter

Thorvic

Project Cancelled SIG Secretary, specialising in post war British RN warships, RN and RAF aircraft projects. Also USN and Russian warships

Glenn Gilbertson


Alvis 3.14159


kitnut617

If I'm not building models, I'm out riding my dirtbike

The Rat

"My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought, cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives." Hedley Lamarr, Blazing Saddles
Youtube: https://tinyurl.com/46dpfdpr


Dizzyfugu

Quote from: kitnut617 on January 01, 2017, 10:56:12 AM
Yes --- very nice.

You got it to look close to the real one too    :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

http://www.airliners.net/photos/airliners/3/9/8/0196893.jpg

Yup - even though I assume that this actually is the promotional full-scale mock-up that is mentioned in the text and the original source.
I considered a more pointed nose at some time in order to get the build closer to the real thing - but the need to put the cabin's rear bulkhead in front of the jet intakes made the nose section longer and longer, so I stayed with the Fw 189 OOB nose. Also looks good, IMHO, but the more slender nose certainly underlines the sleek, elegant lines of the Mystery Jet.

Anyway, glad you like it. Really something different from the usual topics.

zenrat

Fred

- 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..

Snowtrooper

Pretty enough to make me interested in civil aircraft (or at least converted warbirds) too! :wub: