Jack Murray of Winter Haven, Florida is one of those modelers that doesn't really do things half-way. Jack decided for his next modeling project, he was going to build a model that was a tribute to the Women's AirForce Service Pilots (WASP). During WWII, this select group of women pilots became pioneers, heroes and role models. The first women in history trained to fly American military aircraft.
The aircraft he chose is the PT-19a short kit by Aviation Concepts. The model was built to represent exactly what a WASP pilot would have seen as she ferried the plane to various training centers for our service men to learn their piloting skills. The pilot in the model is a 1/5 scale Nancy Harkness Love who was in charge of a major portion of the WASP command. Since Jack doesn't do things half-way, the 1/5 scale pilot needed to look like Nancy Love. That's where Best Pilots got involved.
The first process was to colorize the black & white image of Nancy Love.
Then the image was submitted to Thatsmyface.com for them to work their magic in three dimensions.
The 3-D full color print of the face was generated and positioned in the Best Pilots Pappy Boyington figure. With the jacket of Pappy painted to represent a leather flying coat. Voila! The first female pilot from Best Pilots!
Jack then crafted an incredible "office" for the 1/5 scale Nancy Harkness Love!
The accurate depiction of the INSIDE of a fabric covered aircraft is rarely seen. That is because it is not easy to do. With most models there are unscale 1/4" longerons running past those areas. Jack went the extra mile and made sure none of that is seen. This creates a very realistic cockpit interior!
I think Nancy Harkness Love would feel right at home!
The specifications for the model are: 87.5” wing span, 67” length, flying weight 19.7 lbs., engine DLE 35RA, short kit by Aviation Concepts
A brief WASP history:
• 1942 Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron(WAFS) was established
• New Castle Arm Air Base with 28 highly qualified civilian women pilots began to ferry planes
• The planes were PT-19 Fairchild and Stearmans. They quickly moved to 77 other aircraft types including P-38 and P-51.
August, 1943, WAFS were merged with another detachment to be called for the first time the WASP (Women Air Service Patrol)
• December, 1944, the WASP was deactivated.
• 25,000 women applied to be pilots
• 1,830 were accepted to become WASP pilots
• 1,092 became WASP pilots
• Miles flown 9,244,000
• 38 women died while in the performance of their duties.
Nancy Harkness Love
• Early 1942 Nancy convince the Air Force to use experience women pilots to supplement the existing pilot force to ferry aircraft.
• September, 1942, Nancy was placed on active duty as Deputy Chief of Staff of the Ferry Command
• She commuted to work from Baltimore, Maryland to Washington, DC by flying her airplane daily
• Starting in 1943, Nancy commanded 4 different squadrons: They were Love Field, Texas, New Castle, Delaware, Romulus, Michigan and Long Beach, California
• September, 1943 to December, 1944, her group deliver 12,650 aircraft of 71 different types Interesting facts: Nancy was the first women to be checked out in a P-51; one of two women checked out in a B-17; set a record time coast to coast in a B-25 with her all women crew; and she was proficient in 14 aircraft.
Nancy’s husband also was as a pilot during the war. Both received the Distinguished Service Medal. After the war, Nancy became a mother of three daughters. Nancy died October 22, 1976.
These brave women were the role models for so many of our female aviatiors of today. I personally think this is an outstanding tribute to the unsung heriones of the WASP and Nancy Harkness Love! Absolutely an outstanding work of art Jack and thanks so much for being a customer and sharing your amazing talent with us! - Lyle Vasser