Author Topic: The C-123 Provider in RAAF Service  (Read 912 times)

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Offline rickshaw

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The C-123 Provider in RAAF Service
« on: July 21, 2020, 04:35:35 am »
The C-123 Provider in RAAF Service

The Fairchild C-123 Provider is an American military transport aircraft designed by Chase Aircraft and then built by Fairchild Aircraft for the U.S. Air Force. In addition to its USAF service, which included later service with the Air Force Reserve and the Air National Guard, it also went on to serve most notably with the U.S. Coast Guard and various foreign air forces. During the War in Vietnam, the C-123 was used to deliver supplies, to evacuate the wounded, and also used to spray Agent Orange.

The C-123 Provider entered Royal Australian Air Force service in 1958.  Until then, the RAAF’s tactical airlift was provided by C-47 Skytrain aircraft.   By that stage, the writing was on the wall, the C-47 was no longer able to provide the service sought by the RAAF although, it simply would not lie down and die.  It’s utility however was such that the C-47 still kept on flying.  The RAAF had examined other aircraft, such as the Bristol 170 and the Fairchild C-119 but none had measured up.  Then along came the C-123.  It featured a rear ramp and an uninterrupted floor space throughout the length of the aircraft.  The RAAF ordered a half a dozen initially.   That was quickly followed up by two dozen.

The aircraft arrived in 1964, just in time to be deployed to Vietnam.   Replacing the C-47s of initially 35 Squadron, the aircraft deployed to South Vietnam.   Forming what became known unofficially as “Wallaby Airlines”, the C-123s became an essential part of the RAAFs effort in Vietnam.   Powered by 2 × Pratt & Whitney R-2800-99W Double Wasp with 2,500 hp (1,900 kW) each the aircraft had a top speed of 173 mph (278 km/h, 150 kn) maximum at 10,000 ft (3,048 m).  Wallaby Airlines suffered two losses to enemy action in Vietnam.

In 1970 with the announcement of the end of the commitment to Vietnam, the C-123s returned to Australia.  Once home they formed an essential part of the RAAF’s transport capability in and around the continent of Australia.   In 1973, the Oil Shock occured and the experience of operating piston powered aircraft started to become prohibitive.  The RAAF began seeking alternatives.  The Royal Thai Air Force was doing the same at the same time. 

In 1976, the Royal Thai government, seeking to extend the life of their C-123 fleet, placed a contract with the Mancro Aircraft Company, supported by the USAF, to convert a single C-123B to turboprop powerplants. Allison T56-A-7 turboprops were used and by the time the aircraft, dubbed C-123T, was complete it had new "wet" wings, an auxiliary power unit (APU) to assist with power movement of the control surfaces, and a heating system for the cargo compartments that also fed a new de-icing system.

The RAAF bought similar kits, which were in turn fitted to their own C-123s by the Government Aircraft Factory.  The Allison T56 turboprops had the advantage that they were already in inventory, powering the C-130 Hercules transport, so ground crews were familiar with the engine and conversation of pilots was easy.   The turboprops were downgraded to only 3,000 hp because of airframe limitations but even that offered 500 more horsepower than the previous piston engines.  This increased the top speed to 250 mph.

The aircraft depicted is one from 35 Squadron, the original Wallaby Airlines, which is commemorated in the Fin Flash.

















The Kit

The kit is the Roden 1/72 scale C-123.  It was a choice between that or the much older Mach2 one.  I decided after too many experiences with Mach2 kits to try Roden.   In the end, it was nearly as horrid as the Mach2 one would have been I think.   It is not a kit I can recommend.  The engines were from Flighpath Resins.  Painted with a hairy stick with Vallejo and Tamiya acrylics.  Decals from the spares box.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2020, 06:22:20 pm by rickshaw »
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Offline PR19_Kit

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Re: The C-123 Provider in RAAF Service
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2020, 06:08:17 am »
A pretty neat idea there Brian, and very logical too.  :thumbsup:

I  didn't even know Eduard DID a C-123, it's a lot larger than their usual stuff.  :o
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Offline NARSES2

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Re: The C-123 Provider in RAAF Service
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2020, 06:32:08 am »

I  didn't even know Eduard DID a C-123,

Nor did I, but you've done well with it Brian, and as Kit says it's a logical idea.

Scalemates only lists the Mach 2 and Roden kits, plus Magna in resin and airmodel, Combat and White Eagle but they may be vacform/resin ?
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Offline rickshaw

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Re: The C-123 Provider in RAAF Service
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2020, 06:21:30 pm »
Actually, you're right.  My wrong.  It isn't Eduard, it's Roden.   Which is surprising 'cause I though it was Eduard!   :banghead: :banghead:
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Offline McColm

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Re: The C-123 Provider in RAAF Service
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2020, 08:15:55 pm »
Great build,  got one in the stash  :thumbsup:

Offline chrisonord

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Re: The C-123 Provider in RAAF Service
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2020, 01:37:47 am »
Very nice Brian, shame it was a pig of a job to build though, it can  certainly take the  fun out of it. :thumbsup:
Chris
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Offline zenrat

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Re: The C-123 Provider in RAAF Service
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2020, 03:54:44 am »
Good job Brian.

What are the problems with the kit?  I've been thinking about getting one of these to do in an Air America scheme.
Fred

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

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Offline rickshaw

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Re: The C-123 Provider in RAAF Service
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2020, 04:45:06 am »
Good job Brian.

What are the problems with the kit?  I've been thinking about getting one of these to do in an Air America scheme.

The fuselage halves don't match because the internal floor is slightly too large.  The canopy doesn't fit.  Large quantities of PSR were required.   Basically it was a bit of a bugger.  I somehow expect those problems with a Mach2 kit, not a Roden one.   :banghead: :banghead:
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Offline chrisonord

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Re: The C-123 Provider in RAAF Service
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2020, 04:54:03 am »
Canopy problems  would  stop me  from  wanting one straight away, as they are tricky to put right and look right, plus to me anyway are a prominent part of an aircraft.  I  have put part and near complete builds back in its box because of  crap canopy  fit.
Chris
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Offline zenrat

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Re: The C-123 Provider in RAAF Service
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2020, 04:56:37 am »
Thanks Brian.
Fred

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

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Online JayBee

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Re: The C-123 Provider in RAAF Service
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2020, 06:03:15 am »
My take on the turbo Provider was the AModel kit in 1/144 with RR Tyne engines.






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Offline NARSES2

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Re: The C-123 Provider in RAAF Service
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2020, 06:22:24 am »
Some of the earlier Roden kits are right p.i.a.'s. Very, very limited run. It's a case of if you really want to build an example of a type and there is no alternative.
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Offline rickshaw

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Re: The C-123 Provider in RAAF Service
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2020, 06:31:27 am »
My take on the turbo Provider was the AModel kit in 1/144 with RR Tyne engines.

Looks nice.   :thumbsup:
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Offline chrisonord

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Re: The C-123 Provider in RAAF Service
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2020, 07:13:21 am »
That's very nice  JayBee, and  right up my street  for what I am  building now.  Shame its nano-scale though   ;D ;D
Chris
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Offline PR19_Kit

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Re: The C-123 Provider in RAAF Service
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2020, 08:59:57 am »
What Chris said. ^^^^^

That looks GREAT Jim.  :thumbsup:
Any aircraft can be improved by fitting longer wings, and/or a longer fuselage

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

Regards
Kit