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TOPIC: Merit International J2F-5 Duck

Merit International J2F-5 Duck 21 Feb 2017 16:06 #1

History: Grumman company in late 1929 developed a practical aircraft float that included a retractable wheel undercarriage. First tested on the Chance Vought O2U-1 biplane, it was then used in a design to meet the U.S. Navy requirements under the designation XJF-1. First flown on May 4, 1933 the XJF-1 was an equal span, staggered wing single-bay biplane with a metal fuselage and fabric covered metal wings. Its single step float was faired into the fuselage and the wheels retracted into recesses in the sides of the float. Space was provided in the fairing between the float and fuselage for wireless and photographic equipment or for a stretcher. It was powered by a Pratt and Whitney R-1535-62 Wasp engine and the success of the initial trials resulted in an order from the Navy for twenty-seven production aircraft under the designation JF-1.

The JF-1 differed from the prototype in having an R-1830-62 engine rated at 950 hp. The first Navy unit to receive aircraft was VS-3 aboard the U.S.S. Lexington which received eighteen of them, using them for photographic, target tug, rescue and ambulance duties. Fourteen similar aircraft but powered by the Wright R-1820-102 Cyclone engine were supplied to the U.S. Coast Guard. under the designation JF-2. The U.S. Navy also acquired five Cyclone powered aircraft in 1935 as JF-3's.

As a successor to the JF series, Grumman evolved an improved version specifically for use from carriers and equipped with arrester gear and catapult points. Designated the J2F-1 and known popularly as the "Duck" the new model flew for the first time on June 25, 1935. Eighty-nine of this type were supplied to the Navy. The J2F-1 was powered by the R-1830-20 engine and weighed about one thousand pounds more than the JF-3 fully loaded. Tandem cockpits were provided for the pilot and observer and provision was made for accommodating two additional crew members in a lower compartment. The first armed version to be supplied to U.S. services was the J2F-2 with thirty delivered to the Marines. Twenty-one J2F-3's were supplied to the Navy with R-1820-36 engines featuring increased supercharging and thirty-nine J2F-4's for target towing duties followed in 1939-1940.

These completed production of the "Duck" until 1941 when orders were placed for a further 144 of the amphibians under the designation J2F-5. Several of these were diverted to the Coast Guard for air-sea rescue duties and one was delivered to the Air Force for evaluation as the OA-12. Grumman completed sixty-nine J2F-5's in 1941, delivering the remaining seventy-five in 1942 when production was transferred to the Columbia Aircraft Corporation. The Columbia built version designated J2F-6 featured some aerodynamic improvements including a long-chord cowling and production deliveries began in 1943 with thirteen aircraft, 198 being delivered in 1944 and 119 in 1945 before production was terminated. Total production of the "Duck" was 653 machines. In addition to the aforementioned tasks the J2F-6 could also serve as an anti-submarine patrol aircraft with two 325 pound depth bombs on under wing racks.

The kit:


Merit has ties with Trumpeter and Hobbyboss and this kit looks very much like a Trumpeter kit. The Merit kit comes in a sturdy two part tray type box with both the top and bottom made from corrugated cardboard. The box has an inner divider that provides a space to house the cowling which is on a separate sprue and the clear parts. The cowl is bagged separately from the clear parts which also have some protective foam wrapped around the sprue. Extra points for some careful packaging. Each sprue is separately bagged and everything in my kit survived delivery intact. The kit is molded in a gray color and the surface detail consists of some really fine recessed panel lines and rivet and fastener detail. The fasteners are slightly larger than the rivets and both are nothing like what is seen on some Trumpeter kits. The surface is matte and smooth with little or no flash to be seen. The mold separation lines are a bit heavier than I would like to see but not much different than seen on other main stream kits. The cockpit detail is adequate and not a lot of it will be seen through the small opening. The engine looks pretty good with separate intake and exhaust manifolds and a casting for the front with push rods. Some ignition wiring will set this off and make it look more complete. There are a few ejector pin marks but I found none that will show. I also did not find any obvious surface flaws. The propeller is a single piece casting which is a nice relief from all the multi part props that kit makers seem to like to use to boost the parts count. OK, lets look at the parts.

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Merit International J2F-5 Duck 21 Feb 2017 16:11 #2

Love the plane But I would have liked to see some War time decals included

Thanks for the look inside the box :drinks
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Merit International J2F-5 Duck 22 Feb 2017 18:03 #3

Thanks Gary. Always thought this was a cool prewar design aircraft.
I told you photobucket sucks...



"If you don't like it why don't you just let it be"
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Merit International J2F-5 Duck 22 Feb 2017 21:26 #4

Nice job Gary, I have this kit myself!

My only complaint is that I wish the decals were a little more detailed. I'm planning on building the Argentinian bird.
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Merit International J2F-5 Duck 03 Mar 2017 16:55 #5

I used to have the Glencoe kit... NOT the best kit I have ever built....
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