Scale Aviator International Magazine Issue 3 - Page 29

David Gianakos with the highly detailed Aerotech P-47-25-RE finished to represent Col Dave Schilling’s mount from the 56th Fighter Group based at Boxted in 1944. panel lines accurately molded into it. A superb replica, its only flaw was its weight, and flying performance suffered as a result. Total flying weight ended up at between 32 and 34 pounds, which is quite heavy for a model this size. “ Hairless Joe, named after a colorful character in the L’il Abner comic strip series popular at the time, Hairless Joe had a very detailed and accurate cockpit, scale fowler flaps and retractable landing gear, sliding canopy, working scratchbuilt spring-loaded boarding steps and handles, and wing pylons capable of dropping scale 500 pound bombs. I also added M8 removable rocket tubes used during that time. The plane was finished in RAF Ocean Grey and Dark Green, with natural metal finish (NMF) and Medium Sea Grey on the underneath parts of the plane. Col. Schilling’s squadron, the 62nd Fighter Squadron, at this point of the war which the model is portrayed in the 29 early fall of 1944 had a red nose band and a yellow rudder as well as invasion stripes that were still visible on the bottom half of the fuselage and wings. I flew this aircraft in several contests over a few years back then, actually others flew it for me like Dino DiGeorgio, Ryan Haldenwanger, and Bob Frey, in some scale and team contests. During this time, I also got hold of the 56th Fighter Group Association, became an associate member and attended some of their reunions, getting to meet several of these great warriors who were a part of that august unit in WWII, and afterwards. Somewhere during this time I became aware of an upcoming airshow scheduled for August 2004 to be held on the actual old airfield at Boxted Air Field in England. This airfield, which first hosted the 386th