McDonnell XV-1
Converti Plane

Anigrand Craftworks McDonnell XV-1 in 1/72 scale
prototype model by Meindert de Vreeze 
modelling report

The McDonnell's XV-1 was developed  for research to investigate the concept of a propeller driven autogyro with tip propulsion assistance in the blades. In 1954 it was first flown and 2 prototypes were build. It had tip pipes in the blades and was in fact an autogyro powered by a single 550 hp Continental R-975 nine-cylinder radial piston engine. It drove two air compressors to drive the tip exhausts and a two-bladed propeller was mounted at the rear of the fuselage for forward flight. Two small vertical props were mounted at the tail booms for yaw control. It reached a high speed of no less of 320 km/h, but it was thought that the the XV-1 was too complex. Conventional helicopters were also becoming better and faster, so the program was canceled in 1957.

The Anigrand resin kit #AA2006 is the only one in 1/72 scale. This Hong Kong manufacturer provides you with the parts necessary for the kit and a small decals  sheet. The resin moulded is a bit basic and not to the highest resin standards seen elsewhere but the about 25  parts give you a nice model anyway. You will need some clean-up, sanding and filling with putty in areas. 

The transparant parts are vacuformed and very fine.

The XV-1 at this scale is small and particularly the interior needs some fine work to get a nice result. 

No big problems popped up during the construction. Make sure to align the tail boom and small wings to be perfectly symmetrical and horizontal.

The interior was painted light grey, with red seat cushons, and black instruments and panels inside.

The vacuformed glass windows need careful cutting and make sure to get the right dimensions. I used tape to make a pattern to cut from.

For the main rotor, a small hole was drilled to take a metal pin to get a better fix. Also, the tip exhausts were drilled open, as well as the tiny outlets at the rear fuselage. 

Any gaps around the windows were sealed with white glue and after drying the windows weree masked off.

The overall finish of the XV-1 is highly polished metal. After the model was puttied and sanded, it first got a light grey primer coat with the airbrush. After correcting any flaws, Alclad aluminium metal coat was applied with the airbrush; make sure to avoid finger prints.

Most of the decals were OK and were used, except for the small props at the tail. These were painted yellow with red stripes using a very fine brush. 

Some details on the model are red I think, like the tips, bands at the tailbooms and some panels at the rotor blades. 

Also, at the horizontal stabilizer leading edge, two rods were added from metal needles. I am not sure what they are, maybe weight balances to reduce vibration? 
The pitot tube below the nose and two very tiny red and blue anti-collision lights at the tips complete the model.

After finishing, the overall model got a gloss coat of Johnson future to protect the metal and the decals.

Overall, this remarkable XV-1 autogyro is a nice addition to the helicopter collection... now where is my large 1/32 scale Glencoe kit....

Have a look at another McDonnell helicopter type... the XHJD-1 Whirlaway..


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Created this page October 12, 2007