Rocketeer builds a Giant Airliner

A while ago, an estimable fellow on one of the scale model forums posted some pictures of a GeeBee he had converted to a giant airliner. I liked it a lot; so, after obtaining his blessing, I decided to build my own. As is usual, the whole thing turned into a massive case of overcomplicationitis. :wink:

But it’s finished now.


When the Granville brothers finally went completely mad, they decided to enter the airliner business; and what more logical than to simply increase the size of their (in)famous racing airplane? Hence, the GeeBee A-1 was born.

I started with the fairly cartoony old Lindberg 1/32 kit of the GeeBee R-1, and re-scaled it to 1/144 scale.

I decided that it ought to have working counterrotating props, so I built a little mechanism out of a gearmotor from eBay and some slot car gears:
Motor assembly

A Giant Airliner needs a giant motor, so I selected the Wright Multibank aero engine, consisting of six radials driving into a common gearbox:
Wright Multibank

And of course, the Airliner had to have a complete interior. I ended up with three decks (well, four, counting the flight deck).

The lowest is the cargo deck, complete with passenger entry vestibule and luggage shelves.

The next is the passenger deck, which uses a potload of seats from the old Hawk Comet airliner kit (recently reissued).
Deck installed in the fuselage.

The third deck is the passenger lounge, which I furnished with sofas left over from Aventine.

…and here are some finished shots:

Overall view

Another overall


Airways beacon tower

Doodlebug tanker (from Shapeways) and a couple workers

After I took these pics, I noticed that the fershlugginer superglue I used to attach the figures had blushed white around the feet of every single one. :frowning: I touched it up, and it’s all good now. :slight_smile:

I am debating moving the boarding ladder a tad to better align it with the entry door; but I’m scared of messing up the runway paint; nor do I want to foul the Airliner when removing it from the base. Decisions, decisions.

I did it; the boarding ladder is now better aligned. Amazing how much angst is associated with five minutes’ work. :wink:

Every time I see a concept like this, I think “My God, why didn’t we go ahead and build things like this back in the '30s?” :frowning: (Same with rocket designs like the *Luna *and the XR-1, back in the '50s.)

Looking at the interiors, I’m reminded of this plane, which I’ve flown on more than once. It’s like sitting inside a whale:

And yes, you do have to stow your baggage yourself on the lower deck, before climbing the steps to the main cabin.

As usual, Outstanding! Thanks for sharing.

I hope they secure all those crates prior to take-off. :wink:

You sure do build some amazing things. My first thought looking at this fantastic scene is how beautiful the plane is. My second is how that tiny truck is going to fuel that giant airliner.

Do you build these just for fun or is there some grander purpose?

Thanks for all your kind comments!

For fun only–but is there any grander purpose? :smiley:

Definitely fun to look at. Glad you shared it with us.

Impressive work, thanks for sharing.


Is it even possible to see any of the luggage deck, when the model is fully assembled? I think that’s what impresses me most about your models: The attention you give to even the details which can’t be seen.

Those blade tips are going to be traveling at like mach 3 at speed. It’s gonna liquify anyone standing within a quarter-mile radius, and cause uncontrollable bowel movements within a 1-mile radius (ref: Republic XF-84H Turboscreech).

(nice work, though)

The trait of a True Master, I think.

That is very nice. Stuff like that makes me happy.

Is the Wright Multibank aero engine a real thing? No hits on wiki. I guess Immabe googlin’

Some of the luggage deck is (barely) visible through the entry door and the lower row of portholes. There’s actually quite a bit that’s invisible, but I didn’t really know how much an onlooker was going to be able to see through the windows, so I decided to err on the safe side, and build everything. Compulsive, I agree. :rolleyes:

Totally fictitious! :smiley: There was a Chrysler A57 Multibank engine used in WWII tanks that was a masterpiece of Rube Goldberg engineering: Five Chrysler straight-six automobile engines arranged around a common crankshaft. It was so huge that Grants and Shermans that used it had to have specially lengthened hulls.

The Wright Multibank was built using six resin copies of the engine from a Goshawk kit, and some styrene sheet for the gearbox.

very cool

From the A57 wiki page:

Ha! that’s a lot of parts and engineering for a measly 370hp!

Awesome, as always

Wow! I apologize if this is unseemly, but do you ever sell your creations?

Another epic build, Rocketeer! Now how about a battle zeppelin a la Crimson Skies? :smiley: Hangar Shot

Thanks for your comments, everybody! :slight_smile:

I’ve done a bit of commission work, but when I build a model for myself I rarely sell it (although I sold a 1957 Cadillac model once). However, in the dark hours of the night I’ve begun to wonder what’ll happen to all of them when I’m gone. It’d be nice to place the whole mob of them with some sci-fi appreciating billionaire who could give them a good home.