Avro Biplane 1911

Published: January 30th, 2015     
Product Image
Box art
Reviewed by: 
Chris Smith, IPMS# 39182
Scale: 1/48
Company: Round 2 Models
Price: $14.99
Product / Stock #: HL505/12

Background

The Avro Biplane was the first biplane design built by A. V. Roe. It was a further development of his previous designs, which featured tri-plane layouts. I remember an Avro tri-plane in this series but its not been reissued.  The design shared some common features with the other aircraft of the day. A triangular shaped fuselage was large enough for a pilot and passenger. The increased surface area of two wing surfaces handled the extra weight. Wing warping was used to turn the aircraft. What set this design apart was the 35 HP water-cooled engine built by the Green company.  A cooling system helped provide reliable power over long durations, something that plagued other aircraft engines.

The Kit

As promised, I've wrapped up this series by building all four of them for you. As I suspected this was the most difficult of the four because of the biplane layout and the rigging required to make it look somewhat realistic, As with the others, you get the parts molded in tan plastic along with a puzzle depicting the aircraft in flight. The single sheet instructions mirror the other kits in the series being a reprint of the original sheet. A color guide is included but you will have to refer to the box top or the puzzle to figure out the rigging. The picture on the box top is not exactly what's inside. There is no radiator shown on the box illustration but the rear fuselage is fabric covered instead of the open design in the picture. Once again, I'm really impressed by the quality of the castings given the age of the kit. Also of note is that each kit seems to have a different pilot figure in lieu of just recycling the same one.  Like the other kits, the engine is really well cast.

The Build

This one went together fast until I got to the top wing. The struts are very thin and to scale. There are tiny nubs cast on top and bottom in an attempt to help the modeler with rigging but I didn't use them. To mount the top wing I started by putting in the struts closest to the fuselage and the outside ones. Then I popped in the middle struts while holding the whole assembly together with tape. I was surprised how sturdy it was when dry. To rig it I went to the trusty 4lb test line I've used on all the other kits.  I ended up drilling holes through each point and threading the line through them. After securing it with superglue and accelerator I then cut off the excess with nail clippers.

Conclusion

So there you have it.  The Avro Biplane joins the Bleriot XI, Deperdussin and the Martin Handasyde on my model shelf.  It's interesting to note the various monoplane designs of the era and yet the bi-plane dominated the scene for quite some time until we came back to a single wing.  From what I've read this was the easiest of the designs to fly which might have had a lot to do with this layout's popularity in addition to the limited HP of early aero engines. For the fourth time, thank you to Round2/Lindberg for reissuing these kits.  Thanks to my daughter Kira for building the puzzle and thanks to IPMS for sending me the whole series to build for you. 

  • Completed model and puzzle
    Completed model and puzzle
  • Completed model
    Completed model
  • Completed set
    Completed set
  • Completed set
    Completed set
  • Completed model
    Completed model
  • Completed model
    Completed model