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What Santa Will Fly: 2006

Gallery Article by Alvis 3.1

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The Christmas Goose

Needing large carrying capacity and long range has always been a requirement for Santa, and in the 1940s, a design came to his attention that seemed natural: the Hughes HK-1 Spruce Goose. 

Realising the planes' natural beauty as well as the performance potential, Santa also realised that since elves made most of the toys from wood, this plane would be very suitable to North Pole production. Modifying the design took several years, and after WW II Santa had become disenchanted with airplanes as a tool to carry toys. After the loss of the Santa X-1 Manta Sleigh, and the retirement of several of his more experienced reindeer, Santa was forced to look at aircraft again to fill the gaps until new reindeer were fully integrated. Production of the HK-2A began in 1948.

Some changes were implemented, such as folding tip floats instead of the original fixed ones, and amphibious capability was added as well. More importantly, box clamshell doors and a loading ramp were added, allowing rapid loading of cargo, and aft drop hatches were used to allow aerial present deliveries. Several HK-2s were made, including the turboprop HK-2D and an all jet version, the HK-2J, but Santa still flies the original HK-2A as often as possible. He even has had all the engines named after his classic reindeer team. 

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The Model:

It is the Academy 1/200 scale Spruce Goose with custom ink jet printed decals, and a scratch built interior. The floats were reattached onto the wingtips, and the bow was cut open to fabricate the doors. Landing gear was added as well.

Alvis 3.1

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Photos and text by Alvis 3.1

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