by: Stephen T. Lawson [ ]
Originally published on:
History The prototype Salmson A had its maiden flight in January 1917 but did not impress the authorities so it was developed further to be powered by Salmson’s new 260hp 9z water cooled radial engine. This rugged new aircraft became the Salmson 2A2 prototype which was test flown in April 1917 and put into production with 2200 ordered from Salmson with another 1000 to be built by Campagnie General Omnibus (CGO), Hanriot and Latecoere and TAAF of Japan.
Kit Contents236 quality injection moulded plastic parts.
39 part highly detailed 260hp Salmson 9z water cooled radial engine .
65 photo-etched metal detail parts.
30 page fully illustrated instruction manual.
Good quality Cartograf decals with markings for 4 colourful USAS, French & Polish aircraft.
Fine rib tape details.
Express masks for wheel covers and windshields.
Rigging diagrams in progressive steps.
Released on 31 December 2013.
Page 1-2 has the paint recommendations chart and the parts maps for plastic, photoetch and decals.
Step 1 begins with the pilot’s left fuselage side (PP B 14) and seven former stations (PP D 25-28, 66-68) and rear floor plates (PP D 8 & 89). There is an alteration here and in step 3 that allows for a partially exposed motor.
Step 2 continues with the interior. Here you construct the rear gunner / observer’s seat (PP D 58, 60, 62) and the signal lamp (PP D 30) & holder (PP D 31) and compass (PP D 70).
Step 3 next the pilot’s right fuselage side (PP B 01 & 85) and seven former stations (PP D 21-24, 63-65). There is an alteration here and in step 1 that allows for a partially exposed motor.
Step 4 adds details to the interior right side. Starting magneto (PP D 78), small hand pump (PP D 72), telegraph sending unit (PP D 29), wireless spark coil / battery (PP D 56), antenna reel (PP D 57 or PE 13 X 2 & 14) and antenna & wire guide (PP D 15, 18 & 19).
Step 5 (pages 6 & 7) starts with a general painting guide for a pilot’s seat & control column. Then you assemble the fuselage bottom forward panel (PP D 92), control column & bracings (PP D 32, 33, 44 & PE 37), rudder bar (PP D 43, 46 & PE 36). There is an alteration here that allows for a partially exposed motor. Also you assemble the main fuel cell (PP D 86, 87). These were usually covered in a fabric outer sleeve for “self sealing properties”.
Step 6 (pages 8 & 9) the open engine option gives a reference to step 20. The radiator (PP B 7) comes in the closed position and the cowling ring (PP B 4) has an inner lip that it fits in to. Two of the cabane struts (PP A 8 & 9) are fitted here. The pilot seat (PP D 37, 40 – 42, 45, 72, 73 & PE 24 X 2 & 25 X 2)is assembled here. There is a scrap view of the rear attachment points for this installation. Next you assemble the 26 cm camera (PP D 6, 7, 9, 17 & Ce 1). There is a reference to camera alternatives in step 9. The tail skid (PP D 50 & PE 9) is also reference. Another cabane strut (PP A 9) is installed. For routes of control cables see step 27.
Step 7 now we close up with fuselage half(PP B 01).
Step 8 the rear cockpit Lewis gun ammo rack comes either in all plastic (PP D 10 – 14 & 90) or photo
etch (PE 18 X 3, 19 & 31). For this option the Lewis ammo reels (PP Cb 5 X 4 or Cb 5 X 4) are all plastic.
Step 9 (pages 11 & 12) assembles the alternative cameras spoken of in step 6. First, there is the 76 cm camera (PP D 1 – 3 & Ce 1) or the 50 cm camera (PP D 4, 5, 16 20 & Ce 1). While the 76 cm has an internal mounting bracket, the 50 cm camera mounts to the framing section (PP B 13). There is the photographic glass plate storage box (PP D 52 & 53)), rear cockpit magneto box (PP D 54), amp / strength meter (PP D 55), pump (PP D 79) and firewall / foot well (PP D 88).
Step 10 assembles the pilot’s instrument panel (PP D 82 & Ce 2). Now in this step you can apply the instrument gauge face decals over the molded plastic items or scrap them off and use the photo etch versions.
Step 11 continues with the plastic adjustment levers (PP D 71 & 74) augmented with some photo etch or simply built entirely with photo etch items. These are applied on the left and right sides per the scrap views and the partial former (PP D 83) is attached as well.
Step 12 closes up the fuselage with the turtle deck (PP D B 1) and the upper forward cowling (PP B 12).
Step 13 added fuselage exterior details. The radiator fill pipe and header tank (PP B 5) sits up front. Refer to step 21 if you are doing an exposed engine build.
Step 14 helps you assemble the kit jig for getting everything plumb and square.
Step 15 discusses the bottom wings (PP A 1 & 2) and with the cabane struts (PP A 8 X 2 & 9 X 2) already in place, adding the four interplane struts (PP A 7 X 4) using the jig it looks very simple to line up. Next add the wind screen masks if you intend on adding the wind screens (either all plastic Ce 4 X 2 or photo etch PE 20 X 2 and acetate). Note the external wireless generator USAS variation (PP D 59 & 61).
Step 16 (pages 17 – 18) the top wing (PP A 10), add the ailerons (PP A 3 – 6) and the Vickers (PP Cb 3) machine gun set up. For photo etch variations on the Vickers see step 21. Save the propeller (PP B 10) for a last step. Rigging is referenced throughout the building steps and Gaspatch turn buckles are described here on page 18.
Step 17 and undercarriage (PP Cd 9, 14, 15), bungee cords (PP Cd 10 - 13), wheels (PP Cd 1 - 8) with either covers of fabric types or the pressed metal versions. These are further divided into the early version (PP Cd 5 - 8) and the late version (PP Cd 1 - 4). Note viewing slats (PP B 8 or 9 or PE 23) can either be posed open or closed. The pilot used these on the full sized version to gauge the distance from the ground in landings or take offs. Note the external wireless generator French variation (PP D 80 & 81).
Step 18 on the tailplane(PP B 3 & 6) The Bracing or support struts (PP D 47 – 49) were resting in pivots so the horizontal tailplane could travel freely. It is important that these be treated to reflect that potential movement. Too much glue in this connective area will reflect poorly on the application.
Step 19 the observer’s armament is the typical Lewis guns and Scarff ring (PP Ca 5, 7 – 10 & PE 26 X 2). The ring base is A5 not A 15. Most of the Salmson A-2A types used the twin mount arrangement. The “French” Darne built Lewis (PP Cb 1 X 2) is an upgraded version of the original Lewis Mk.I design. The “US Savage Arms” built Lewis is a license built copy of the Lewis Mk.III (PP Cb 2 X 2) is mismarked as Mk.I. It is interesting to note that the American army Lieutenant Lewis that developed the gun offered it first to America and was turned down. Then took his design overseas where it was embraced and the design license purchased by the British & the French. For bungee material consider using “E-Z line”. Another option for the 26 cm camera is one that is mounted in place of the Lewis guns.
Step 20 is the construction of the 260hp Salmson 9z radial (PP C 1 - 4, 6, 9 X 18 & 11). Note the rear face of the radiator (PP C 5) attaches to the assembly from step 6. Then you have to cut some slots for the exhausts (PP D 35 & 36). The stub exhausts (PP C 8 X 9) and air intake (PP C 7) finish up this step.
Step 21 attempts to unite the exposed engine with the rest of the build. See step 13.
Further details to add are a forward rear view mirror, the optical forward gun sight and front ring sight. On the propeller (PP B 10), these were often heavily stained with some wood grain evident or entirely shellaced red brown with no wood grain is evident.
Step 22 deals specifically with the engine paint guide.
Step 23 is similar to Salmson 2A2 (#5464), “8”, 1st Aero Sqn, W.P. Erwin & A.E. Easterbrook, June 1918.
Step 24 Salmson 2A2 is a post 1918 machine flying in the Polish air service, 16th Eskadra against the Communist Russian army 1919-1920.
Step 25 Salmson 2A2 #1680, “7”, of Esc. Sal 32 French air Service 1918.
Step 26 Salmson 2A2 #5247, 104th Aero, unit insignia was a yellow Egyptian flying Sphinx on a dark blue oval. Late 1918.
Step 27 notes the control cable routes.
Marouflage & Finish From historian Alan Toelle “. . . later production aircraft were finished in the ‘standard’ French 5 colour marouflage scheme of chestnut brown, beige, light green, dark green that contained an small amount of aluminum powder which imparts a very subtle semi gloss pearlescent sheen and unaltered lamp black. The undersides appear to have been left as single ecru colour silk with metal panels painted a slightly different shade of ecru. To be clear as well the type of silk was called “Shap” this was an aircraft grade material that was more uniform than linen. Not the type used for clothing. For this kit the fabric area camouflage is represented without any aluminum powder effect. For this kit the fabric colours are too stark. For a good reference check out the artwork of artist Ronny Bar.
ReferencesSalmson 2A2 Windsock Datafile 109, John Guttman 2005.
Salmson Aircraft of World War I by Guttman & Davila, Flying Machine Press. ISBN 1-891268-16-3 March 2001.
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