Aeroclassics AC219375 – 1/200 Scale C-46A Commando Diecast Model
|Length||11.6 cm||4.56 in||Approx|
|Wingspan||16.5 cm||6.50 in||Approx|
Diecast model features include:
- Constructed with metal and plastic components
- Undercarriage fixed extended
- Display stand not included.
1/200 Scale Curtiss C-46A Commando – Aeroclassics AC219375
Aeroclassics AC219375 diecast model replicates in 1/200 scale the Curtiss C-46A Commando, registration CU-T583, in the livery of Cuban airline Aerovias ‘Q’.
This C-46A went to the United States Army Air Force (USAAF), with s/n 43-47197, in February 1945, sold to Babb Co an American used aircraft dealer in 1947. After several more changes in operators, went to Aerovias ‘Q’ in 1957, registered initially as CU-T554, later CU-C554 and finally CU-T583 before been onsold to LACSA Lineas Aereas Costarricenses in 1959.
Aerovias ‘Q’ was a Cuban airline formed on September 28, 1945, by Manuel Quevedo Jaureguízar. The airline operated scheduled services within Cuba, internationally to Mexico and the US ports of Key West, Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale. In 1959 Cuba’s revolutionary government merged Aerovías Q, Cuba Aeropostal and Expreso Aéreo Interamericano into Cubana, rebranded as Empresa Consolidada Cubana de Aviación.
Curtiss C-46 Commando
The Curtiss C-46 Commando is an American twin-engine transport aircraft that first flew on March 26, 1940, and entered service in 1940 with the USAAC. A military variant of the Curtiss CW-20, a pressurised high-altitude, 24 to 34 passenger airliner, intended to compete with the Douglas DC-4 and Boeing Stratoliner.
It served during World War II with the USAAC/USAAF, and the US Navy/Marine Corps, designated as the R5C, used in most theatres of operation. The most famous, flying over “The Hump” (Himalaya Mountains), transporting supplies to China from India. Throughout the war, the Commando suffered a high number of airborne explosions, traced to gasoline leaks. The fuel pooled in the wing root of the unvented wings and ignite with an electrical spark; this remained unresolved until after the war.
Postwar the C-46 saw limited use as an airliner due to high operating costs. Use in the commercial sector was limited to cargo transport, and passenger routes requiring the Commandos long range and high altitude performance. Many small carriers operated the type, becoming a common sight in South America. The C-46 is still in service today in the remote locations of Canada, Alaska and South America. It remained in service with the USAF until 1968 and served in Korea and Vietnam. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) used the type in covert operations from the late 1940s until the early 1950s.
The C-46 (CW-20) fuselage is of a patented design, referred to as a “figure-eight”, able to better withstand the pressure differential at high altitudes. Streamlined Cockpit glazing. Cooling air tunnelled through the engine nacelles exits the cowling on the underside of the wing, reducing turbulent airflow and drag across the top of the wing. Military versions differed from its civilian counterparts in enlarged cargo doors, strengthened floor and a convertible cabin that can quickly change between freight or troops. None of the aircraft purchased by the US military was capable of pressurisation. The C-46 cargo capacity is twice the volume and three times the weight of the C-47 (DC-3).