Scratch-built 1/72 Bellanca CF 1922

 by Gabriel Stern




   The fluid, graceful lines of Giuseppe Bellanca’s designs have always captivated me.
From his drafting board took off many inspired creations of the sort of what has come to be known as a “Classic”.
   The Bellanca CF was based upon the then in vogue “limousine” configuration, a sort of extrapolation of the coach or carriage arrangement, with four passengers inside the fuselage in two rows facing each other and the pilot, of course, facing the wind in an open cockpit. The wing was supported on what will become a Bellanca trademark, the treatment of the wing struts integrated in a sort of smaller, auxiliary wing.  

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   The CF was the first in a series of cabin planes, and soon after being flown for the first time it was presented at a series of events where it earned a very good reputation for its reliable and remarkable performance.
No series production followed, but undoubtedly it spawned a line of successors and inspired more than one aircraft designer.  

   The model represents an early version, with squared wing tips and a small, slightly displaced to the left cockpit opening.
    The interior was allotted with the passenger seats and basic paraphernalia for the pilot.  About the engine I replicated for the model I would like to say, loosely quoting George Orwell, that all the cylinders are created equal, but some are more equal than others.
The only tiny decal on the rudder was made to match a photo, not the beautifully restored machine at NASM.
    Besides the canvas, the airframe was partially covered in mahogany, which I replicated with the well known trick of spraying a light-colored base (orange in this case) and then make a few passes with a wide brush with oil paint of an appropriate color (crimson red with a micro-smidge of black).
    As usual, I won’t mention any inaccuracies, boo-boos and so forth, in a shameless attempt to make you believe that I am a good modeler.
    All components were scratch-built, less the wheels, which came from a donor in the small pile of my “normal” kits, now lying hopelessly at the bottom of my closet.
    Now I will have to build my wonderful other Bellanca, the CH 400 Skyrocket from Khee Kha Art Productions to get a companion for the CF!


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Photos and text © by Gabriel Stern