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B-36 Crop duster

"The Hopper Stopper"

The spring of 1957 bought out some unique weather conditions in the Central Plains of the United States.  Several years of drought were interrupted with a wet winter, then a rapid turn to a warm, dry spring.  These conditions, combined with thousands of farms which had gone untilled due to drought were ripe for a major locust infestation. 

Not since the late 1800's when the Rocky Mountain Locust swarms had turned the skies of the U.S. black with an estimated 12.5 trillion locusts had there been such an infestation.  Entomologists were deep in debate whether this was a mutation of the Rocky Mountain locust, perhaps revived from a dormant, "solitary phase", or a new sub-species. 

While the scientists debated the species origin, the need for action was readily apparent as the new spring crops were quickly overwhelmed with hoards of locusts.  The swarms destroyed hundreds of acres an hour.  Small crop-dusters were rapidly mobilized, but it was realized a massive application would be required to contain the plague before it fully reached the central plains corn and wheat fields.

The Tucson, Arizona based private company, U. S. AIR SPRAY, which was a subsidiary of Mar-Pak, submitted an unsolicited bid to the Department of the Interior to rapidly convert several B-36 bombers to aerial sprayers.  Due to the extreme urgency of the situation, the Department of The Interior was able to persuade the US Air Force and the Department of Defense to release several of the recently retired bombers and to assist with the de-milling of the bombers. All armament and bombing equipment was removed.  The bombers were leased to U. S. AIR SPRAY for a nominal fee.

The company ultimately selected 6 aircraft, with 3 of the 6 acting as spares and remaining in at the boneyard in Tucson.

The aircraft: B-36H, sprayer "47" derived from the original serial number, and nicknamed the "The Hopper Stopper"       

The kit, the venerable 1/72 RB-36 Peacemaker.  I have had this in the stash for sometime.  It is time she sees the light of day.   Converted to a H model with the original long bomb bays.

The box, 1/72 Sea Fury for scale

Opening the box, I'm like a kid at Christmas.....

It is longer than my arm!

Two seat Harrier and SeaFury for scale. 

on the floor of the garage

Horizontal stab....

Captain Canada:
Um, can we see more of that Harrier ?   :thumbsup: :wub:

That thing is huge ! Love the story...can you imagine ? There's a guy on Craigslist selling one across the river that's been started. When I get paid on Friday if it's still around.....


BIG! :o :o :o

 :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Hehehehehe, I LOVE it!  :thumbsup: :bow:

Those pesky locusts better look out, the 'Magnesium Overcast' is out to get 'em!  ;)

Could you imagine a B-36 thundering by at a couple hundred feet? This is awesome!


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