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Lou Hansen's Wooden Model Aircraft

Lou is originally from a small farming town, Shaunavon, Sask.  Born in 1930, he quickly learned a lot of different skills, one of which was using scrap wood and a good knife to produce model aircraft.  There were many British Commonwealth Air Training Plan bases in southern Saskatchewan and seeing the many types of aircraft flying over his house infected Lou with that dreaded bug...aviation!  Lou and his family now live in Langley, BC where he still whittles, designs, builds and flies full scale aircraft, some depicted here. 

The models shown here are but a few of the many wooden wings that he has carved for his close friends.  He always makes 2 of everything so that he can enjoy his handywork.  Lou spends a lot of time measuring the 1/1 scale aircraft before starting on a wooden replica and the replicas are accurate.

Click on the pictures below for larger images. They are in no particular order other than that's the way I photographed them...so enjoy.

This model is of Mike Davenport's Stinson which is based at Langley and other than the drooped wing tips is "stock".  It still has the 165 hp Franklin engine.  The model has a fully detailed interior replicating the original including hand painted instruments.

 

Danny Holliday of Langley wanted a good, new taildragger and so he and Werner Griesbeck built this Not-quite-Piper PA-14 from scratch.  It is a cosy 4 seat fun airplane with good performance.  Lou makes everything in a model, right down to turning his own wheels and propellers.
Werner "Barnstormer" Griesbeck has been building and re-building aircraft for over 40 years and when this Fairchild F-24K came available, he trucked it home and turned it into an Oshkosh prize-winner...and of course Lou had to build a model of it.
In the late 1960's, the Canadian Reds formation team was formed by ex-military, now airline pilots using the Pitts biplane.  They later changed sponsors and for many years were known as the Ray-Ban Golds.  And Lou has built replicas of that team as well.
This is a mini version of Lou's own design, the Shaunee.  It is a 2 place, 150 hp baby Staggerwing built from wood, fabric and steel tubing.  Lou started this aircraft in 1979 and it first flew in 1987.  These models are all carved from pine, the fuselages hollowed out and then the interiors added
Based at Langley for many years, this WACO RNF is owned by Arnie Olson and the model was built last year for his birthday.  This is the only model using what most modellers take for granted...cast resin parts.  In this case, engine cylinders provided by Engines n' Things.  Everything else was taken from measurements made by Lou whenever we could get Arnie out of the hangar.
Werner Griesbeck re-built this 1941 Porterfield from a pile of old parts, turning it into another prize-winner.  It is powered by an 85 hp Continental.  The models shown here all have hand-carved propellers made from aircraft grade Ash...the scraps of which were left-overs from the 1/1 scale propeller on the next model.
This is the Chinook designed by Lou and built from 1970-75.  He used fibre-glass to mould the wing ribs and skins over a wood spar, a method that the Feds knew nothing about...but it still flies regularly.  At the time that this was built Lou was not a pilot, but his son, an instructor for Skyways, taught him to fly in this aircraft.
Lou will carve models of just about anything, and he has many shelves full of his projects, including Brian Carr's modified RV-4.  Note the paint job...he used the original paint and hand-lettered the model.  On all of these masterpieces, the paint scheme is a mask and brush and polish job that is flawless.
Lou mainly builds in 1/32 or 1/24 scale but in this case all he had to work with in 1942 was an aircraft recognition booklet and using that he carved these 8 miniatures, all with about 3 inch wing span.  I wonder how many modellers can keep their pet projects this long?
Lou is a "horse-trader" if there ever was one.  He, at one time owned an Ercoupe and a friend of his owned a Piper PA-17 Vagabond...well they swapped aircraft and then some time later Lou got the Ercoupe back and it resides in his hangar.  He frequently flies this tiny 65 hp Vagabond along with his other toys.
Since this article was first posted, Lou Hansen has passed away after a short illness.  He will be long remembered by the aviation community in Langley, BC, Canada.

 

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Last modified: 10/05/12