HobbyMaster, HA1201, TBM-1C, President George Bush, VT51, Skala 1:72

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HA1201 TBM-1C George Bush
A must have model for anyone who collects WW II memorabilia. This supremely
fashioned copy of one of the most recognizable airplanes from WW II gives you a bomb
bay door that can be displayed open or closed, bombs and rockets. For every American
this is the best opportunity to own a fine replica of a plane piloted by an American hero
who lived to become President. With such detail and quality this model will have you
recalling the battles and air strikes the brave men who flew these birds had to
experience. A definite complement to any die-cast collection, you will proudly consider
this to be among your best.

History of G.H.W. Bush
The man who survived WW II to become the 41st U.S. President  George Herbert Walker
After graduating from Phillips Academy, Bush joined the U.S. Navy on June 12, 1942, his
18th birthday, as a seaman second class. While the Navy normally required their aviators
to have completed 2 years of college study, this requirement was waived for Bush,
without official explanation.
Bush was assigned to squadron VT-51 in September 1943, based on USS San Jacinto.
Bush flew his first combat missions in operations against the Japanese in the Marianas
archipelago in June. On June 17, 1944, Bush was forced to make an emergency water
landing and he and his two crew members were picked up by a US Destroyer, although
the plane was lost. Bush received a promotion to the rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade on
August 1, 1944.

August 1944 saw the USS San Jacinto begin operating in the Bonin Islands. September
2, 1944 four Avengers launched from the San Jacinto to neutralize a radio transmitter on
Chichi Jima Island. Bush was one of the pilots and during the attack, his plane was hit by
triple A and caught fire. With fire spreading towards his fuel tanks he persevered and
dropped his bombs on the target scoring several hits. According to Bush he realized the
plane was doomed and headed out over the water where he issued the order for all to
bail out. He was the only one to manage an escape and live as one crew member died on
impact with the water when his shoot failed to open and the other went down with the
plane. Bush was later picked up by a U.S. submarine. There seems to be some
controversy to this day as to what actually took place. The turret gunner in the plane that
was in front of Bush’s Avenger claims there were no flames and had Bush made a water
landing his two crew members probably would have survived. For his action in the raid
Bush received the DFC (Distinguished Flying Cross) for his bravery and gallantry.
Throughout his career he also was awarded three more flying medals and the
Presidential Unit Citation. In 1944 he had flown 58 combat missions and was reassigned
to Norfolk Navy Base and put in a training wing for new torpedo pilots. He was later
assigned as a naval aviator in a new torpedo squadron, VT-153. With the end of the war,
he was honorably discharged in September 1945 and then entered Yale University.

After graduation from Yale he went on to become a U.S. Congressman from Texas, U.S.
Ambassador to the UN, Republican National Committee Chairman, Chief of the Liaison
Office in the Peoples Republic of China, Director of the CIA, Chairman of the First
International Bank in Houston, 43rd Vice President under Ronald Reagan and 41st
President of the U.S..

History of the Grumman TBF/TBM Avenger
Just prior to the start of WW II the USN started to look for a replacement for their aging
Douglas Devastator. Grumman made a presentation of a prototype labeled as XTBF-1
that impressed the USN and they placed an order to purchase. The plane was perfect for
the Navy needs, a huge rotary engine that was enclosed in a barrel like fuselage to cut
down on drag, and with some increase in the fuselage and wing lengths would
accommodate a three-man crew. Production on what was now officially known as the
TBF Avenger and would come to receive the affectionate name of “The Turkey” from the
pilots that flew them began in 1941 with first delivery just in time for the Battle of Midway
in June 1942. What started out as a carrier borne torpedo bomber soon turned into a
close-support bomber, a patrol aircraft and even a trainer.

Because of Grumman’s commitments to produce other aircraft and the fact that this plane
was so well liked and in such demand they had to contract the work out to General
Motors. Grumman continued to make the Avenger until December 1943. The Grumman
plane was designated the TBF and the General Motors plane was the TBM. Of the 9,836
planes manufactured, GM made 7,546 of them.

Each variation of the Avenger only called for minor upgrades, such as adding 0.50 guns
in each wing, maximum fuel capacity increased from 335 to 726 gallons with two wing
drop tanks and bomb bay ferry tank and calling it the TBM-1C. Or the placing of a large
radome in the bomb bay and naming this version the TBM-3W. These minor changes
made it possible for both Grumman and General Motors to make these modifications
without slowing the production rate. The final Avenger left the GM plant in June 1945.
Besides the large part played in WW II the Avenger is probably best known for the
mysterious disappearance of a flight of 5 planes on a training flight out of Florida and
disappeared in the “Bermuda Triangle”.
After the war the Avenger was in demand in civilian life as crop dusters, forest fire water
bombers, air shows, privately own personal planes and for museums.

Specifications (TBF Avenger)

General characteristics
·        Crew: 3
·        Length: 40 ft 11.5 in (12.48 m)
·        Wingspan: 54 ft 2 in (16.51 m)
·        Height: 15 ft 5 in (4.70 m)
·        Wing area: 490.02 ft² (45.52 m²)
·        Empty weight: 10,545 lb (4,783 kg)
·        Loaded weight: 17,893 lb (8,115 kg)
·        Power-plant: 1× Wright R-2600-20 radial engine, 1,900 hp (1,420 kW)
·        Maximum speed: 276 mph (444 km/h)
·        Range: 1,000 miles (1,610 km)
·        Service ceiling: 30,100 ft (9,170 m)
·        Rate of climb: 2,060 ft/min (10.5 m/s)
·        Wing loading: 36.5 ft·lbf² (178 kg/m²)
·        Power/mass: 0.0094 hp/lb (0.17 kW/kg)
·        1x 0.30 cal (7.62 mm) nose-mounted machine gun
·        2x 0.50 cal (12.7 mm) wing-mounted machine guns
·        1x 0.50 cal (12.7 mm) dorsal-mounted machine gun
·        1x 0.30 cal (7.62 mm) ventral-mounted machine gun
·        Up to 2,000 lb (900 kg) of bombs
·        1x 2,000 lb (900 kg) torpedo


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