1/48 111-98 Aurora Douglas M2 Mailplane - (M-2)
Plastic Model Kit, Box Condition: Good+
First issue with classic Joe Kotula artwork dated 1957. The kit is a very good depiction of this rare mail plane and is molded in a beautiful burgundy, black and clear. Never started. Inventoried 100% complete with all parts, decals and instructions present. This is the very first issue as evidenced by the error in the instructions. Jim Cox left out the clear windshield; so a small addendum sheet was added to the kit, showing the placement of the part. 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.