Azur/Frrom 1/72 Delta 'Over Spain'
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||New tool kit (2017)|
When Jack Northrop set up the Northrop Corporation as a joint venture with the Douglas Aircraft Company in 1932, he set out to design two closely related single-engine aircraft as the new company's first products: a mailplane/record-breaking aircraft, which was designated the Gamma, and a passenger transport, the Delta. The Delta was a low-winged monoplane, with a fixed tailwheel undercarriage. It was of all-metal, stressed-skin construction, with streamlining spats covering the main landing gear. While the Delta's wings were common with those of the Gamma, it had a new, wider fuselage, which seated the pilot in an enclosed cockpit immediately behind the engine, and had accommodation for eight passengers in a cabin behind the pilot.
The first Delta was flown in May 1933, and received an airworthiness certificate in August that year.
Although it was intended that the Delta would be sold in both airliner and executive transport (initially named "Victoria") versions, a change to the regulations governing commercial air transport in the United States in October 1934, prohibiting the use of single-engine aircraft to carry passengers at night or over rough terrain which would prevent a forced landing, stopped the market for single-engine airliners in the United States, and only three aircraft, all ordered before the passing of this regulation, were built as airliners. These consisted of the prototype, leased to Trans World Airlines for use to carry airmail, which crashed on 10 November 1933, one sold to Pan-Am for use by its Mexican subsidiary, destroyed by a fire in May 1934 and one sold to AB Aerotransport of Sweden, delivered in April 1934.
In May 1937 SE-ADI Hšlland (c/n 7) ceased its Swedish airline service and after several ownership changes was purchased in September by an Iraqi citizen, but then flew to Prat de Llobregat, near Barcelona, in the Spanish Republic. The aircraft was incorporated in the LAPE under registration EC-AGC and performed liaison duties for Republican leaders, piloted by Pedro Tonda and Josť Maria Carreras, who had been airline pilots before the civil war. Worth noting is the special mission to Zurich on September 9, 1938, when it flew Dr. Negrin, the Republicís Prime Minister, to negotiate with the Nationalistís Duke of Alba to end the civil war. The negotiations did not succeed however.
The plane was found by the Nationalists on a Catalan airfield after the fall of the Republic and went on to serve the Ejercito del Aire, under code 43-18. Its registration changed to L12-18 when the Ejercito del Aire reorganized in 1945, but was written off later that year.
It is my hope that those interested in aircraft from this time period will support Azur/Frrom by picking up this or one of the other boxings. Manufacturers need to be encouraged to continue in this sort of thing and the only way this will happen is through sales. The kit is such that those who have never built a short run kit will find this one to be a great way to be introduced into the genre. The rest of us should have no issues and will be rewarded with a neat model.
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