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Anigrand #AA2112 1/72 Fairchild XC-120 Packplane



 
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Product Code: AA2112
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Kit #AA2112. 1/72 scale. This is a highly-detailed resin kit of the Fairchild XC-120 Packplane, an experimental offshoot of the company’s successful C-119 Flying Boxcar. It comes complete with decals.

First flown in 1950, the Fairchild XC-120 was a solution looking for a problem, or perhaps an aircraft a generation ahead of its time. The idea behind this unusual aircraft pre-dated by decades the now-common multi-modal use of standard-sized cargo containers that can be transported by ship, truck or rail car with equal ease. Designers hoped there was a market for the quick transport of pre-loaded cargo modules, or – more likely – pre-loaded command-and-control centers that could be flown, fully-equipped, to the airfield nearest a fast-moving battle. Fairchild, having created the C-82 Packet and the C-119 Flying Boxcar, as well as the remarkably useful C-123 Provider, had proven to be an innovator in tactical and theater cargo transport aircraft, and this failed design was yet another example of their visionary thinking.

The XC-120 was created by cutting the fuselage of C-119B 48-330, c/n 20312 at a point just below the flight deck. The wings between the fuselage and the engine nacelles were angled downward, raising the fuselage by several feet and giving the cut-up plane a distinctive inverted gull wing appearance, like an overgrown Stuka or Corsair. The landing gear was heavily modified – with no place to mount nose wheels, extensions of the main gear served that function. The landing gear could also be raised or lowered in a scissor-like movement. This lowered the fuselage, facilitating the mating or unmating of a cargo compartment.

The unusual-looking transport was extensively tested – despite potential problems such as landing gear failure, the plane seemed to work as planned. However, there was no military need for such an aircraft – though the concept was reborn when modules began being slung below heavy-lift helicopters and transported to the field of battle, ready to go to work.


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