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 Hobby Craft Royal Canadian Navy F2H-3 Banshee, VF-871, HMCS Bonaventure

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Join date : 2017-02-18
Location : Vancouver

PostSubject: Hobby Craft Royal Canadian Navy F2H-3 Banshee, VF-871, HMCS Bonaventure   Sat Feb 18 2017, 23:25

Hobby Craft
Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) F2H-3 Banshee
VF-871, 126381, #149
1/72 Scale Plastic Assembly Kit

Above: the unique RCN version (Type 1) of the maple leaf roundel.

Below: *Artwork from the cover of Carl Mills' excellent book - Banshees In the Royal Canadian Navy.

In 1951, the RCN expressed interest in replacing their obsolete Hawker Sea Furies with Banshees, drafting a $40 million deal for 60 new aircraft. Unfortunately, due to fiscal wrangling in the Canadian Cabinet, the purchase was not approved until after Banshee production had been shut down in 1953. The RCN was forced to acquire 39 second-hand USN aircraft at a cost of $25 million. The aircraft were delivered from 1955 to 1958, and flew with two squadrons (VF-870 and VF-871) from HMCS Bonaventure or as shore based NORAD interceptors.

In order to improve the Banshee's capabilities as a long-range interceptor, the RCN equipped the aircraft with the AIM-9 Sidewinder missile. The RCN conducted sea trials of the Sidewinder in November 1959. *The RCN continued to operate the Banshee until retired without replacement in 1962 (The A-4 Skyhawk was evaluated on board HMCS Bonaventure as a successor but not purchased). *The Sidewinder did not re-enter Canadian service until the CF-18 Hornet entered service 20 years later in 1982.

As an avid diecast collector it soon became obvious that some aircraft due to their limited time of service - may never be mass produced in zinc. *So I commissioned (my modelling skills are non existent) a plastic kit build of this particular RCN Banshee. *The Hobby Craft kit was used along with an aftermarket canopy and ejection seat. Canmilair decals were used as the decals supplied with the kit are sub standard. *The model represents Bu No. 126381/#149 while serving with VF-871 which is identified by the red rudder stripes (VF-870 used blue triangles on their rudders).


Below: The actual aircraft 126381 (as #700) with VX-10 Squadron during initial flight trials on board HMCS Bonaventure 2-7 April 1957. Note how when the wings are folded they remain vertical - unlike the erroneously displayed Banshee on display at the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa.

Below: *Again during sea trials with VX-10, Banshee #700 with external tip tanks about to be launched from the "Bonnie".

Below the actual aircraft 126381 (as #149) with VF-871.

Below: *The Banshee was also used in the ground attack role, equipped with 500 lb bombs (seen here) and rockets.

Below: *A VF-870 Banshee flies over Halifax armed with Sidewinders.

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