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Extra 300L

What happens when you have a partial pre-production kit with no decals and no back-up support?  You build a "What-If" model!  The uncertainty that has surrounded the Snowbirds prompted me to do a humorous follow-on to the Snowbirds' Tutors using the Airshowmodels Extra 300L kit.  There were numerous issues with the fit of the components in the kit and after a lot of filing, sanding, inserting wedges of plastic card followed by plenty of putty, I was able to get the fuselage to fit together.

The instrument panels were finished using Mike Grant's 1:32 scale instrument decals.  The rest of the markings came from my spares box including the 1:48 scale Snowbird decals by Mike Belcher.

The 1972 Snowbird sticker was one of the few that I have left from those terrific days at Moose Jaw when the Snowbirds were first beginning to show their true capabilities.

There was a lot of funny comments by the modelers that haunt Aircraftresourcecenter.com web site which helped with the story line.  With the age of the Tutors and the increasing operating costs, it was decided that if the Snowbirds wished to continue as a Demonstration Squadron, the crews would have to buy their own aircraft and find sponsors.  The makers of a certain bathroom cleansing product won the sponsorship contract until the pilots decided that the "Downward Spiral Flush" maneuver was too hairy...

The next contract was let to the company behind a certain theme park in California but we could not find an appropriate mouse to put on the tail.  During the first few shows, it became obvious that the 300L did not have the range to make it from Vancouver to Calgary without a refueling stop.  Cpl Smedley, RCAF Retired, was able to find the spare Golden Hawks drop tanks that were specially used for flights into the USA where the ground crews would fill them up with that amber medicinal fluid known as Jack Daniels.  When the tanks were inspected they were found to be in great shape thanks to having been "pickled" so many years ago.

The aircraft were suitably modified with the Sabre drop tanks and by 2010, Canada's pride and joy was ready to show off their new aircraft to the world starting on the soggy we(s)t coast where a team of float plane specialists were standing by in case they were required to teach the crews how to fly  seaplanes.

This story was passed on to Col. George Miller, a former Snowbird Lead who got a big chuckle out of it.  There was more to the story but I've left that part out in case someone takes offence to it.

The above is all in fun as I have a lot of admiration for the job done by one of the best air demonstration teams in the world.


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Last modified: 10/05/12