1/48 111-98 Aurora Douglas M2 Mailplane - (M-2)
Plastic Model Kit, Box Condition: NM-
First issue dated 1957 and in amazing 'near mint-' investment-grade condition. The box has like-new color and gloss, four solid corners with no repairs, no tags or tape or marks from either, no fading, no missing litho and no tears. It does have very light wear and a light crease at the lower left corner as shown. This classic Jo Kotula artwork kit is molded in deep gloss burgundy and black. Never started. Inventoried 100% complete with all parts, decals and instructions present. Decals are in amazing 'near mint' and flat with slight yellowing as the only flaw. The instructions are 'excellent++' and have little yellowing. This is the very first issue as it has the instructions missing the clear windshield part and NO small additional instruction sheet showing it. This aircraft has a fascinating history. From the internet: The United States Post Office had been running the air mail service since 1918 mainly using variants of the de Havilland DH.4 biplane. In 1925, it decided to modernize and placed an order with Douglas for a replacement aircraft based on the Douglas O-2 observation biplane. The company modified an O-2 by covering over the forward cockpit to make a mail compartment and moving the pilot into what had been the observer's cockpit. The aircraft was designated the DAM-1 (Douglas Air-Mail-One) but this was soon shortened to M-1. The M-1 used the same Liberty engine as the DH.4, which was available in large numbers. Small modifications were made to the exhaust system to keep fumes away from the pilot and the design was considered a success, but was not ordered into production. When the Contract Air Mail (CAM) routes were introduced, the newly formed Western Air Express Company (later Western Airlines) ordered six mailplanes with the designation M-2. The main change from the M-1 was that the tunnel radiator was replaced with a frontal type. It also had the provision to carry a passenger instead of mail in the front cockpit. Just before Western Air Express introduced the aircraft into service (in April 1926 from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City), the Post Office ordered 50 aircraft designated M-3 for its major route network. The M-3 had only detailed differences from the M-2.