1/72 317 Airmodel Blohm & Voss Ha-139 V3/U-1 Four Engine Catapult Seaplane
Vacuform Model Kit
In the 1930s Deutsche Lufthansa was operating a long distance airmail service. To expand this service, it was thought that if a ship could sail part way across the North and South Atlantic, it could catapult launch a long-range seaplane to carry the mail. This system would allow the mail to arrive days ahead of time. The result was the graceful Ha 139 V2 (D-AJEY) 'Nordwind' and Ha 139 V1 (D-AMIE) 'Nordmeer', which were finished late summer 1936. Using the Lufthansa catapult ship 'Friesenland' and 'Schwabenland', the Ha-139s proved to be exceptional aircraft and did very well on trans oceanic flights. Some 139s were launched from the ship near the Azores. This allowed the mail to arrive in New York only 16.5 hours later. Improvements were built into Ha 139 V3 (D-ASTA) 'Nordstern' and all three aircraft few the North Atlantic route. Eventually there were also used in service between Bathurst in Western Africa and Recife in Brazil. In June 1939 the 139s made their 100th crossing of the Atlantic Ocean. Now there were few obstacles for airline service to North and South America, but politics kept the Germans from landing in the USA. When WWII began, two aircraft were in service on the southern route and all three were impressed into Luftwaffe service. V1 and V2 became transports and took part in the Invasion of Norway. V3 was given defensive guns and minesweeping equipment and became U-1. The airborne endurance was 25 hours, which is quite remarkable. When the spare parts ran out, these graceful aircraft were scrapped. Never started. Factory sealed bag or inventoried 100% complete with all parts and instructions. The kit builds the civil or military versions of V3. Basic vac kit. Not recommended for builders who are not experienced with vacuform kits.
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