Scratch-built 1/72 Joy JX -1935

Gallery Article by Gabriel Stern on May 26 2009

 

   I know, I know. So easy to call it names. But look at it from another perspective, more art-like: imagine you see it in the MoMA, MoCA, or SFMoMA. Thatís what Iím talking about.
   I donít know what intentions brothers Ervin and Lyle Joy had, but I know what they achieved: A remarkable, out-of-the-ordinary piece of design, considering that the year was 1935.
   Regarding the flying abilities, one could say that it hoped and it hopped. Eventually, a wire fence prevented what could have been a record number of UFO sighting reports.
   With five rudders, two engines and what can be considered as a lifting body lodging a no doubt pensive pilot, this apparatus deserves our admiration just for the mere fact of being.
   The Joy JX quite precisely falls Ėin this case the use of the verb depicts more than it intends- in the category of lifting fuselage designs. Usually you have, in ďnormalĒ planes, different parts accomplishing specific functions:  The fuselage lodges the payload, the wings are in charge of the lift and the tail performs the control and gives stability to the whole. In the case of lifting bodies or flying wings, those functions are accomplished blending, eliminating or fusing some of the above-mentioned elements together, thus reducing drag, weight and cost, and hopefully improving the overall efficiency of the system.

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  The search for information on this one was arduous and rendered just enough to go ahead and concoct a three view.
   Since this was bigger than what my Super-Mattel Psychedelic Machine can handle in its little vacuforming plate, two styrene shells were cut and formed as per images, trying to convey the underlying tubular structure of the original. An interior was produced as well as the other, many, flying surfaces Ėone fin/rudder, one stab/elevator, two auxiliary rudders under the stab, two more following the engines nacelles, one fin under the fuselage and last but no least a small wing between the engines.
   Bombs from the spares bin were transformed into more useful engine nacelles (I always like that part). The abundance of struts was dealt with using metal Strutz from Aeroclub, from where the two Salmsons and wheels came too. Decals of course were home made.
It wasnít that difficult: just get a stork, an umbrella, a pancake, two blenders and a fish. Mix everything well and Presto!

   I canít feel but admiration for the boldness, creativity and gills of the remarkable bunch of designers, mechanics and pilots -some times one and the same person- that contributed so much to aviation and, in the process, to general amusement.
   A real Joy.

Gabriel Stern

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Photos and text © by Gabriel Stern