Well, after a lot of bluster and ballyhoo I finally started a bird that I felt I had the best chances of actually putting together well. I found a really good 3VUE drawing, and (thanks Rob!) following some design guide I just found laying around the Internet, got started framing it out. The engine wells are going to be a cast-iron pain, but other than that there are a lot of features on this airplane that I think would make it really popular.
For instance, did you know that:
- It (OA-37) was equipped with FOD screens that rotated up from under the fuselage to cover the intakes?
- It was the only aircraft that went though OT&E (Operational Test and Evaluation) in actual combat in Vietnam?
- It was so strong, it could carry it's own weight in ordinance, fuel, and ammo (cannon and rockets), and spend more time on station that the F-100?
- It was so loved and respected by the Vietnamese pilots that flew her that there are several still on static display in Ho Chi Min City?
- The trainer version went into service in 1956, along with the KC-135? Only the B-52 is older (by one year). The T-37 fleet received a structural overhaul in 1989, extending their lifespan another 40 years.
I have all of the data and info to build all the stores, too. She had fuel tanks, rocket pods, a nose cannon, cannon pods, and could haul almost any bomb in the inventory up to 870-lbs. She could even pack sidewinders!
Builders will have to be creative with air refuelable versions, as the piping is external. I'd also like to complete a Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF) "Black Eagles" aerial demonstration team paint scheme as well, depending on my patience.
I'll ask for test builders once I get to getting a body design, probably early to mid February. I wonder where I can find any?
AKA "The Sarge"