Scratch-built 1/72 Payen Pa 101

Retro-futurism at its best

by Gabriel Stern



   Credited as the first delta wing plane and the first delta canard, this extremely streamlined racing machine was created by French designer Roland Nicolas Payen. It was supposed to receive an in line engine to fit the carefully polished lines of the plane, but what it got was a radial that had to be adapted to the existing fuselage, creating a sight that we only thought could come out of a comic of the era.
  Before you ask, yes, it did fly.  It never made it to the planes races or speed record flights, but for sure all involved had a lot of fun.
  The first –very cautious- flight was made by Louis Massotte, chief pilot for Bleriot, on October 1934.
In April 1935 is flown by Jean Meunier.  After several flights that demonstrate the critics the viability of the design, it has a bad landing and although not very badly damaged it is decided to proceed instead with other designs.  

Click on images below to see larger images




The Model:
Some of you may already be familiar with the scratch process, visible in the photographs, with just an addendum this time: a Fimo fuselage, a material I am told is similar to Sculpey and other “bakeable” polymers.
   Prop and wheels came from the well stocked shelves of Aeroclub Models, the basis for the engine was a partial from a left over of the Northrop Gamma Williams Brother kit, as was the cowl. This last element had to be “stretched” with the addition of a wide styrene strip and some made-up valve cover bumps were added, as depicted in the images. Little stubs of aluminum tube were located in the proper places and the small oil cooler was added too.

  A bit of the interior was done including the "perforated" seat, an instrument panel -just a drilled-out styrene sheet, the control column and very simple rudder pedals. Instrument faces and windows were simulated with Testor's window maker
  The exhaust that you can see in front of the cylinders was made of painted soldering wire.
One funny fact is that while painting it, as I usually do on the balcony, a wind gust blew the model out of the board, but it landed undamaged . This little thing really wants to fly!


Click on images below to see larger images






Photos and text © by Gabriel Stern