Roden has released their 1/144 scale Boeing 307 Stratoliner kit, with Trans World Airlines markings. Kit number is ROD339, and is available to order.
It follows the usual Roden style, with what looks to me to be a reasonable amount of engraved detail and a clear cockpit part. Decal is provided for one of TWA’s five Stratoliners.
At this time, one after market decal is available for Pan American World Airlines, by Vintage Flyer. See VFD144-228.
The 307 Stratoliner was developed from the B.17C bomber, using the same wings, stabs and fin with a new fuselage that could be pressurized.
The prototype was lost in a crash that occurred when the aircraft went into a spin, and the wings failed during the recovery. Apparently wind tunnel testing revealed insufficient fin area, and an enlarged dorsal fin was the result, this subsequently also being fitted to B.17’s.
Nine more airframes were built, three going to Pan American, five to TWA, and one to Howard Hughes. The TWA machines were pressed in to WWII service by the USAAF. Post war they were modified with B17G wings, stabs, and more powerful engines, and returned to TWA as 307B’s. TWA operated them until 1951, when all 5 were sold to Aigle Azur (France). The last one remained in service in the far east until 1974.
Today, one is preserved at the Smithsonian Udvar-Hazy Center at Washington’s Dulles airport, restored in full Pan American World Airways markings. Interestingly, this one was restored twice by Boeing, as just before it was to be delivered to the Smithsonian, it suffered a forced landing in Elliot Bay, Seattle after running out of fuel.
The Hughes airframe still exists, though converted to a houseboat (!!), and moored at Ft Lauderdale in Florida. It bears the name “Cosmic Muffin”.
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