Armand Deperdussin made a living as a silk broker but with the help of his technical advisor and designer Louis Bechereau, he built a number of interesting aircraft including the subject of this kit. The 1911 Deperdussin shared some similarities with its contempories such as a monoplane layout with conventional control surfaces except for wing warping in lieu of ailerons, its very shallow fuselage section characterized the Deperdussin. The pilot looked more like he was sitting on top of the aircraft then in it. This particular example was powered by a 50 HP Gnome Omega rotary engine. The really cool thing about this aircraft is that a real example survives in the Shuttleworth collection in England and numerous utube videos show it in flight.
OK I couldn’t get enough of these Lindberg kits the first time around (see my review of the Bleriot model XI) so here goes the second in this series of reissued kits originally done by Pyro, Life-Like and Lindberg models in that order. Once again you get a couple sprues of tan colored plastic parts with fabric effect and some predrilled holes and hooks to assist with rigging. Given the age of these molds (mid 1960s) this is still an impressive effort. The engine mount and leading gear assembly is sufficiently delicate to look the part while sturdy enough to allow construction. The only downside is the solid cast wheels that are spoked on the real thing. A pilot figure is included. All this comes in a nice flip top box with a single sheet instruction pamphlet and a puzzle picture of the subject.
This one was even easier then the last kit in this series since the rear fuselage is covered instead of on open box structure. I decided to preassemble most of the airframe and paint it after it was together. The only area the instructions lead you astray is in step 3 the instructions would have you mount the landing gear struts in the forward holes. In step four you’ll see that the control wheel frame is supposed to go in those holes. Follow step 4, as it is correct. If you try it the other way you will find the engine frame sits at a forward angle. The only other area I deviated for the instructions was in step 5 the trapeze structure that abuts the fuel tank needs to have rod across the top to tie them together and prevent warping when the rigging goes on. I made it from a piece of wire. I went old school and with the exception of the brass fuel tank, I hand painted everything. I drew the structure in with a sharpie and over painted so it would show through. I choose to go a bit lighter than the canvas effect I did on the Bleriot. Rigging was not hard at all. The tail control surfaces had several guy wires off the control horns for structural support. Nothing overly challenging on this kit if you’ve done any previous rigging.
So two down and two to go! I’ve enjoyed these projects so much I decided to claim the last two in the series off the review list. Stay tuned, as the last one is the Avro biplane with some very delicate rigging to do. Back to the Deperdussin kit No big surprises here. For a kit of mid 60s vintage its still a very respectable effort. It’s fascinating to learn how these early designers approached constructing their flying machines. This one gets a 9 of 10 for the instruction glitch. The interesting thing I’ve learned is just how much reference material there is out there on these old airplanes. These kits are a great reminder that the first order of business in building models is having fun. Thus far these kits have been just that. Thank you Round2 for reviving these kits and to IPMS for letting me pop them together for you.