March 5, 1932—February 5, 2013
Joe Martin Foundation "Metalworking Craftsman of the Year" award winner for 2002
Young C. Park of Honolulu, Hawaii is a retired dentist who has been an aircraft modeler since childhood. He is now fullfilling a lifelong dream of making an airplane model all out of aluminum. Following the article about Mr. Park are photos of his aircraft models.
Young Park seems amazed that his work is admired by other craftsmen. Like a skilled sculptor who feels inadequate looking at the work of a great painter, he fails to see that the painter is equally in awe of his skill as a sculptor. He admits that his work is unusual and unique, but when comparing it to that of a precision machinist he sees many faults in his own work. Because of this, he has been hesitant to share his accomplishments beyond his local area. Every part of his plane is completed to his personal satisfaction, and he did not build it with any intent beyond creating something that was pleasing to him. He did not build it to enter in shows or contests. He says that it is less important that his parts be technically perfect than it is that they “look and fit right”. In fact, it is in the fit of all the complicated parts where his art really comes to light.
When you consider the number of actions that must take place at once when a wing folds up, a landing gear rotates into position or control surfaces move when the stick in the cockpit is moved, his model is truly amazing. A microscopic inspection of each part will show that most are not technically “perfect”, but the completed airplane with all its complicated, interrelated mechanisms and moving controls is an accomplishment almost too grand for most model craftsmen to contemplate. Taken as a complete metal sculpture, it just looks completely “right”. Somehow, the fact that some of his hand work on each part is still in evidence gives the finished piece a character that would be lost if a real Corsair had been shrunken down to 1/16 size. It is the difference between a good technical photograph and a painting of great skill. The photograph contains all the correct information, but the painting has a quality that will cause you to want to look at it again and again, finding a new pleasure each time. Young C. Park is truly an artist in metal.
Until these models were displayed at the North American Model Engineering Society show in Detroit in April, 2002, Mr. Park had shown them to only a few friends and a local model club. He was a little apprehensive about showing them to the machinists, metalworking craftsmen and hobbyists that attend a model engineering show. In reality, the craftsmen at this show were among those best qualified to appreciate the skill it takes to scratch build a model to this level of detail with no dimensioned plans to work from. The reception was one of overwhelming approval, and we thank Mr. Park for making that long trip and risking his models in the shipping process to share them with those who could really appreciate what he has accomplished. He now recalls the weekend as one of the most enjoyable of his life, and I'm sure many who were able to see his models will agree it was special for them because of his attendance.
After the show in 2002, Young Park donated the first of his Corsairs to the Foundation's museum in Vista, CA. In 2005 he donated the second one. The first is fully paneled on the right side and done as a cutaway on the left side so that all the internal workings of the wings and fuselage can be seen. The second one is fully paneled but made in four sections like the original with the motor removed so that the internals can be seen that way. In 2006, it came as a total surprise when we received the recently completed P-51 made as Mr. Park's final project. Three years in the making, this model represents the culmination of Mr. Park's metalworking and modeling skills. The details, working parts and panel fits must be seen to be believed. These models are now on display at the museum, but you can examine them in closeup detail as you read on below.
The following biographical information was provided by Young C. Park. In addition, he has provided a write-up of the processes used to create the super-detailed aluminum Corsair models he has built.
I was born in Kona on the island of Hawaii on March 15, 1932 to immigrant parents who came from Korea in 1910. I grew up on the opposite side of the island in Hilo. World War II left a lasting impression on me, especially the fighter airplanes with their speed and loud noise.
After the war, I became interested in a new product; the Olson 23…an ignition, gas powered model airplane engine. I delivered newspapers and saved enough to buy my first engine, a Vivall 35. Now I could build an airplane with speed that made lots of noise.
I was fortunate to have an older friend, Louie Carvalho, who was a modeler and taught me all he knew. He was patient, meticulous and understanding. My first U-control model was a failure. Like all beginners, I rushed the model to see how it would fly. He taught me to be patient and to do the best I could at each step. I remember Louie teaching me in detail, saying, “Wait for the solder to turn dull,” or stopping me and saying, “Flat washers and nuts have a ‘face’.”
Louie took me to a graveyard of World War II airplanes being processed for scrap. I remember seeing 50 caliber machine guns rusting on wings and being amazed to see that many parts of the fighters were made like a U-control model—cloth painted with dope. I took pieces of aluminum, which was a novelty at the time, and made jewelry and bellcranks, control horns and switchplates for my U-control planes. One day I said to Louie, “Wouldn’t it be neat to build an all aluminum scale airplane?” I became excited about the idea but soon became discouraged when I took a mental inventory of my tools. I had an X-Acto knife, a file and a hand drill. Louie passed away at the early age of 25, but I always think of him while modeling to get his silent approval, as he was my mentor.
Young C. Park (center) in 1947 at age 15 is flanked by friend and mentor Louie Carvalho on the left and another friend to the right. (Though looking much younger, Louie is about 20 years old in this photo.) Young had just won a U-control stunt contest in Hilo, Hawaii. The homemade plane sported an Atwood 60 engine. Notice Young is barefoot. He says he didn’t start wearing shoes until he went into high school.
I was inducted into the army in 1952 and again saw the beautiful Corsairs in Korea. During the next 40 years I continued to build models. I built radio control planes in the era of single channel escapement radios, enjoyed rubber powered planes and was intrigued with plastic kits when they came out, but I could never seem to finish them. Nothing I did in the hobby seemed to bring me total satisfaction.
In 1996 I got the urge to build again and ordered a Lockheed Vega kit with a 9-foot wingspan and a 5-cylinder Sidel engine. I built most of the framework and decided to use aluminum for the dash, windshield and window frames. The aluminum parts looked good, so I looked for more parts to convert. I suddenly remembered my long-forgotten dream of an all aluminum airplane. This was what I had been searching for all these years. I now had the tools and space necessary for my new hobby. I knew I would never work on the Vega again, so I hung the unfinished model in the garage where it remains to this day. Working in aluminum was to bring me the satisfaction I had been seeking.
Young C. Park at work in his
He is holding the partially completed
fuselage of the Corsair which gives a
good reference as to its size.
He is holding the partially completed fuselage of the Corsair which gives a good reference as to its size.
The corsair had always been a favorite of mine, so I decided to build its tail fin and rudder to see what it would look like in aluminum. I also decided on moveable trim tabs and rudder and planned to use it as a decorative piece if I could complete it. At this point the tail was my only objective. Had I considered building an entire plane at this point I would have surely become discouraged and never started.
For reference material I used the plans from the 3/4" to 1' scale Guillow kit and the cutaway and other illustrations by Rikyu Watanabe from The Great Book of World War II Airplanes. I began with these references and later added more detail with better resources. After a month, the horizontal tail was complete and looked pretty good for a first project. I next added the vertical stabilizer and rudder after doing more research on the structure. I was getting better and really enjoyed working with the aluminum, so I decided to continue with the fuselage. Three years later, a cutaway model was virtually complete, although I continue to add detail to this day, so it will probably never be “done”.
In making the first Corsair, I ran into some jobs that I could not complete to my satisfaction with hand tools and knew I would need to learn to use small machine tools to make better parts. I purchased a Sherline milling machine and started on a second model. This one would be built in sections that could be assembled like the real plane and would be built to a higher level of quality. I added a Sherline lathe to my shop as well and am now in the process of finishing the second model.
Up until 2000, the first model had only been seen by a few friends. The president of a model club in Honolulu asked me to display the model in a show at a local mall. I had not really planned to attend, but an article about the model in the Honolulu Star Bulletin announced that the plane would be at the show, so I felt I had to attend. It attracted a fair amount of attention, but there was really nothing to compare it to, as no one else was making all metal models. That article, however, was also published on the Internet, and it led to a feature photo article in the November, 2000 issue of Fine Scale Modeler Magazine. In the meantime, I had been in contact with the people at Sherline after they found out about the model. I kept them up to date on my progress by sending photos now and then.
I retired from my dental practice in December, 2001 to spend all of my time modeling. In January, 2002 I received a call informing me that I had been selected as the “Metalworking Craftsman of the Year” by the Joe Martin Foundation. I was speechless. After seeing the accomplishments of the five former winners and looking at the projects in Joe Martin’s book, Tabletop Machining, I felt like a dwarf among giants. I always thought of my model as being unique and unusual, but not from the machinist’s point of view. When I see the beautiful precision machining that some of the other modelers do I feel that I will never be able to achieve that level of perfection, but I do agree that my model has a unique character. I am not so concerned with technical accuracy as I am with the way it looks and how all the parts fit together. In fact, I have been asked many times what motivated me to build this unusual model, and I had no good answer until I talked it over with Craig Libuse when he notified me of the award. He pointed out that it was not the individual details of the model that were unique, but the interaction of so many parts and how they all fit together. I now realize that it is the pleasure that I get from the aluminum material and the interaction of these parts that has kept me motivated day and night for the last five years, and I hope it will keep me going for another five years at least.
As a dentist, I have worked with gold casting, and I find aluminum to have very similar properties. It can be annealed, work hardened, burnished and made malleable. Living in Hawaii I appreciate most its non-rusting properties, particularly as I see all of my tools slowly rusting in our salt air.
I plan to keep honing my skills and continuing to work with aluminum. If all goes well, my next project may be a P-51 Mustang. I hope Louie approves.
Young C. Park
Photo: George F. Lee, Honolulu Star-Bulletin
By Young C. Park
When I first started work on building just the tail of the Corsair, my first attempts were disheartening. It was difficult trying to hold two pieces at different angles and expecting them to stay in place. I used “rivets” by drilling holes, inserting pieces of wire and squeezing them together. It became so flimsy that I wanted to stop. I knew if I did, I would never go back to it, so I continued and slowly the tail became more stable as pieces were added. It took over a month, but the tail looked good for a first project.
I next decided to build the stabilizer and elevator using the same method and reference material. It again looked good, so I decided to connect the fin and stabilizer. I needed more reference material to see how this was done. I collected all the literature, photos and drawings I could find on the Corsair. Most helpful were the copies of the original government manuals dealing with the complete illustrated parts list and the detailed repair and maintenance sections from AeroTec Data. I also received photos and scale drawings from Bob Banka’s Scale Aircraft Documentation and Resource Guide catalog. I needed a three-dimensional view and used the 1/48 and 1/32 scale plastic and resin kits to learn more about the plane—particularly the engine and cockpit.
I now had visions of making a complete airplane. I decided to build a cutaway model with internal moving parts. I now knew that I must always use a jig or support made from wood—balsa or hardwood—for stability. I began the fuselage at the tail section using a 3/4” x 3/4” x 30” straight wooden stick as a guide and temporary central brace. The stick was shaped to accept the tail pieces. Skin and carved aluminum pieces were mounted at the tail end. The fin and stabilizer were aligned and screwed to the skin using round head sheet metal screws for easy removal. Main bulkheads were added and super-glued to the stick. All construction was started at the rear and moved forward. Pre-shaped aluminum skin was added to the bulkheads. I used the ball of my foot to shape the large area of the skin behind the cockpit. I used a folded towel for padding. The raised hump directly behind the cockpit (the turtle deck) was annealed and slowly hammered to shape before installation.
I try not to anneal skin with single curves because of the “oilcan” effect. I annealed only areas with multiple curves and areas that can be work hardened. I used the largest piece that could wrap around this area, which gave an even flow and contour to the skin. Panels were cut out after the skin was installed. The skin was fitted around the bulkheads which were, in turn, pressed against the stick. The initial fit was not good. Tape and rubber bands were used to hold the pieces in place. I wrapped my hands around the skin and slowly squeezed. I cannot describe the sensation of an aluminum fuselage held in my hands. I sometimes think of it as an aluminum sculpture as it takes shape.
I used the flat side of a 2 x 4, applied pressure and slowly rolled the wood around the fuselage. The fit slowly gets better. I always kept the ends of the skin pulled tight. I removed the skin to straighten out dents or to move more metal by the previous methods. This was repeated many times until I had a fairly good fit. This procedure took a few days. The end result is a part of Corsair model no one had made before. The skin was held to the bulkhead with round head sheet metal screws, size 0 rivets were added and finally the screws were replaced with more rivets. The screws act as “Cleco clips”. Flat head sheet metal screws were used on the removable panels. I removed the stick after all of the skin was attached. I now had a half exposed, hollow tube with tail and good internal access.
I used common aluminum roof flashing for most of the covering and internal parts. The flashing is found in all hardware stores. There are two types: the old stock which I use and a new stock with lower aluminum content. It is shiny and cannot be annealed because it turns brown before annealing temperature is reached. Both come in different width and roll lengths. I must have used over 50 feet on my first model. There was a lot of waste due to trial and error and finding the correct method of annealing.
After much experimentation I found that using a red “Sharpie” permanent marker pen made by Sanford works well as a heat indicator. Draw lines on both sides of the aluminum. Use a brush flame butane torch and slowly head both sides. The lines will turn brown and disappear completely. At that point it is properly annealed. I sometimes see a dark orange glow. The aluminum returns to its original color after it is correctly annealed. If I over anneal a part it is discarded. When correctly done, the soft metal is now easier to form, drill or carve. Carving was done with a Dremel mototool with straight and angled drives. I burned out two before finishing the first model. I have since learned to use my dental handpieces and a small lathe and mill for the bulk of precision removal.
After three years and 6000 hours of work on the model, the exterior was completed and the major internal controls were installed. There were many on-going improvements and additions. There were many minor controls yet to be installed. I saw no end to the project, so I declared the cutaway model temporarily “completed” so that I could start another project.
I decided to build a better model with what I had learned. I needed more accurate tools and bought a Sherline milling machine with a tilting table and rotary table. I milled the wheels and brake drums and made the gun breech hinges and other parts. They were not very good by machinist’s standards but ideal for a scratch scale airplane hobbyist. I later added a Sherline lathe to compliment the milling machine.
I decided to do another Corsair. I felt I did not have enough time to do all the research on a new airplane. I was 68 going on 70.
On the first cutaway model, the front curved cowling and wing root intakes were made by stacking solid pieces of metal together and carving out their anatomy. I now felt I had the skill to hammer out these parts. I decided on a model with a full aluminum covering and a fuselage that could be put together and removed in four sections like the original. I planned to deviate from the original by installing many of the removable panels for future access. The Corsair fuselage is a hollow tube mainly supported by its outer shell or skin.
Many of the Corsair’s minor joints were originally spot welded. I inquired about buying an aluminum spot welder and was politely informed that our household electrical wiring was not compatible with the requirements of spot welding. Instead I would use 24 gauge wire “rivets”. I could not find that gauge in aluminum so settled for sterling silver wire until the craft store supply ran out. I next used copper and brass. Copper gives a good contrast and is a lot cheaper. The wires are superglued in place The large wires are hammered or squeezed in place when possible. Otherwise, they are glued. The major joints on the real airplane—the section-to-section or skin-to-bulkhead connections were flush riveted and the minor joints—the skin-to-formers and longerones were spot welded.
When I retired from the practice of dentistry I did remember to transfer four dental handpieces to my workshop at home. Cutting aluminum for the first time with a dental high speed carbide drill was a unique experience. It cuts like butter until it digs in and binds or grabs the metal. The use of cutting oil and very light pressures reduces this problem. Diamond drills are slower but behavior is better. The first chance I get, I will mount the dental drill on the Sherline lathe and see how it cuts.
I look forward to completing this second model, although I see both as on-going projects. I will continue to add details and fine tune parts to make them better. The satisfaction I have received from making them has inspired me to begin to think about future projects such as a P-51 Mustang.
Update: The P-51 was completed in early 2006 and has been donated to the Joe Martin Foundation museum along with the first two Corsair models. Photos of these planes can be seen below, or you can visit the museum in Vista, California and see them in person.
Young Park's P-51, like the first Corsair is paneled on the right side and cut away on the left side to show all the internal workings. See below for more photos. Click on the above photo to view a larger image. (Young Park photo)
Young Park has offered to describe some of the techniques he used to build these fabulous and unique aircraft models. There was no book or video to teach him where to start or how to build these planes. He developed these techniques by trial and error or through his many years of aircraft model making techniques and his familiarity with working with aluminum. Perhaps someday these will be collected into the form of a book, but for now we are making them available on his web page as he supplies them. Here is the first one, sent in a letter in March, 2010 on how he used glue in the models.
By Young C. Park
Visitors to the museum probably ask if I used glue to build the models. Let me clarify how I used glue on some of the skin and other parts. The photos I sent to you that have lots of clamps are holding down glued parts to temporarily hold the part to the frame so I can “rivet” the piece. The builders of the real airplane used what are called “Clico" clips to temporarily hold the skin to the frame. When I was in Seattle, I visited Boeing Aircraft and bought different types of surplus Clico clips to see how they worked. They insert hundreds of these clips into the rivet holes and tighten the clips to draw the skin to the frame. Really neat tool! I used the glue to stabilize the piece so I could “rivet” or, in some cases, screw the piece together. I let the glue—goop or shoe glue thinned with toluene—set overnight. None of the skin depends on the glue to stay in place after riveting. The models were built like a tank—many screws, true rivets and false rivets; that is, wire super-glued to the skin and frame.
1. 2. 3. 4.
Photo1—Many clamps hold a plate in place while glue dries to temporarily hold it for riveting. Photo 2—The same plate later on after being shaped and riveted to the underlying frame. Photo3—Parts are clamped while holes are drilled and tapped for countersunk screws. Photo 4—"False" rivets made from soft aluminum wire are pushed in holes in the wings and super-glued in place before being ground to shape. (Click on any photo to view a larger image.)
I feel none of the major parts will come apart. For the false rivets I used the thinnest, most expensive superglue (cyanoacrylate) I could obtain. It was called “triple distilled,” which is how superglue is or used to be graded. I dipped the wire into the glue and quickly threaded the wire through the rivet holes, being aware that moisture quickly sets the glue.
Young Park was visited in his shop by 2005 Craftsman of the Year award winner Gerald Wingrove. Gerald and his wife Phyllis were visiting Hawaii soon after his win to do some research on the iron-hulled clipper ship Falls of Clyde that was docked in Hawaii and stopped by to visit with the 2002 award winner. Here Gerald inspects some of Young's work on the Corsair before it was donated to the Joe Martin Foundation's museum for display.
To view an article on Young Park's Corsair from Fine Scale Modeler magazine (Sept., 2005) CLICK HERE.
To view an article on Young Park's P-51 from Fine Scale Modeler magazine (Sept., 2008) CLICK HERE.
To view an article in the Russian Edition of Popular Mechanics magazine (March, 2010) CLICK HERE. (English translation provided)
Though not related directly to Mr. Park's model, for those interested in learning how a real F4-U is flown, you can view an old pilot training film at http://www.rogerdodger.net/videos/ww2/f4u.html.
Shortly after his death, Flugzeug Classic 5 magazine (May, 2013) from Germany published an article on Young Park and his planes. CLICK HERE or on the photo to the left.
Young C. Park passed away February 5th, 2013 in Honolulu, Hawaii. His three aluminum model aircraft remain on permanent exibit at the Miniature Engineering Craftsmanship Museum in Carlsbad, CA.
(Click photo for larger image.)
Cutaway F-4U-D Corsair Model #1
|An overall view of the corsair. Part of one side is skinned while the other side is left as a cutaway so the viewer can see everything that goes on inside the airplane. The wings fold, the wheels and hook retract and the controls work. This aircraft took about 6000 hours over a period of 5 years to build. (Photo: Augie Salbosa)|
|Rear view of the aircraft with the wings folded up into storage position to take up less space on an aircraft carrier flight deck. (Photo: Augie Salbosa)|
|Front view with wings folded shows some of the engine detail through the cowl opening. The tires, like everything else on the model are made from aluminum. On Young's second model, the tires are made from rubber and fitted to detailed aluminum wheels. (Photo: Augie Salbosa)|
|A view from the skinned side of the aircraft gives a better overall impression of the clean lines of the Corsair. (Photo: Augie Salbosa)|
|Inside the wing, 50-caliber machine guns nest in the structure along with boxes of ammo to feed them.|
|Some of the cockpit controls can be seen in this detail.|
|Using a tweezers, the controls can be moved. All cables and linkages are in place to work the wing control surfaces as well. Young Park has since carved a pilot's face and hands from solid aluminum and built an articulated pilot to sit in the cockpit. (Photo: George F. Lee, Honolulu Star-Bulletin)|
Take-apart Corsair Model #2
|This second model is the same scale, but is built differently. For one, Mr. Park felt that his skills had increased in building the first model and he could make the second one better. On this one, the fuselage comes apart if five sections much like the real aircraft was built.|
|More of the wings and fuselage are skinned on this model, giving it a more finished look. The tires on this model are rubber rather than aluminum as on the first version. For this model, Mr. Park purchased miniature machine tools to make some of the machined parts more accurately than he had been able to make with the hand tools used on the first model.|
|When displaying this model at the N.A.M.E.S. show in Detroit in 2002, Mr. Park disassembled this model and showed it in its five main sections so that spectators could look inside each section. Like the first model, the wheels retract, the wings fold and the control surfaces all work.|
|Folding the wings allowed more aircraft to be stored in a small space on an aircraft carrier.|
|Right side view|
|Wing flaps shown in the "down" position.|
|A detail of the landing gear shows the many parts needed to get the gear to fold and rotate into position while the doors close into position. Slight depressions in the inside panels of the gear doors had to be made just like on the prototype so that the doors would close without hitting the tires.|
|Another view of the landing gear and underside of the plane|
|Showing the extent of his carving skills, Mr. Park sculpted a pilot's head and hands out of solid aluminum. The articulated figure is dressed in a custom made uniform and can be placed in any position to give a good sense of scale to the model.|
|Mr. Park (left) is seen showing his models to the crowd at the 2002 North American Model Engineering Society show in Detroit. They created a lot of attention and were one of the most memorable exhibits of the show. He crated the models and shipped them from Honolulu by UPS for this show, where he accepted the award as "Metalworking Craftsman of the Year" from the Joe Martin Foundation.|
|Young Park accepts the award plaque and check from Craig Libuse representing the Joe Martin Foundation. Mr. Park is the sixth winner of the Foundation's highest award.|
Additional detail photos of Corsair #1
Digital photos by Young C. Park, 5/02
|The wing root view on the left side shows access into the wing as well into the cockpit with cutaway panels removed. Throttle controls run through tubes in the fuselage. Hydraulic lines can be seen inside the wing.|
|Side detail of the cockpit control area|
|Closer view of the controls|
|The control lines continue aft through the fuselage bulkheads to the tail wheel, hook, trim tabs and stabilizer control surfaces.|
|The tail section with the wheel extended|
|Tail of fuselage removed with some access panels open|
|Detail inside the vertical stablilizer shows how the control linkage is connected|
|Underside view of tail with tail wheel and arresting hook extended|
|Side view of engine compartment|
|Detail of engine|
|Cowl removed to show cowl flaps and linkages|
|Right side of wing root and access panels to .50 Cal. machine gun loading area|
|Detail of three .50 Cal. machine guns and ammo cans. Ammo cans are loaded outside the aircraft and then simply set into place in the wing. Their doors become the top surface of the wing. This allowed for rapid reloading by the ground crew.|
|Looking forward into the cockpit with the rear half of the fuselage removed. Notice the working rudder pedals near the floor.|
|A detail of the instrument panel. Instruments are not installed.|
|Another view looking at the pilot's controls inside the cockpit|
|The pilot's seat is attached to the front of the rear fuselage section.|
|This closeup view of the cockpit controls shows some details in better color than the other photos.|
|Young Park's garage shop is packed full of tools and materials. His Sherline tools can be seen on the center bench and some of the aircraft parts under construction are in the lower left.|
|Mr. Park generously donated the first (cutaway) Corsair model to the Joe Martin Foundation. It can be seen in person in its display at the Foundation's museum in the Sherline building in Vista, California. A collection of photos showing how the model was built and all the historical data on the Corsair Mr. Park collected to build it has also been donated and is available for viewing. In 2005, Mr. Park also donated the second corsair and it is also now on display in the Foundation's museum.|
|The Mustang with gear up is one of the prettiest planes every designed. This model reproduces every detail inside and out down to the rivets.|
|The Mustang with gear down can be seen with the first Corsair. Though built to the same 1/16 scale, the Mustang is a much smaller plane, adding to the difficulty of making everything fit inside.|
|A closer top view with the gear still folded into the wings and tail.|
|Though the engine doesn't run, it sure looks like it could. It is fully plumbed and, like the Corsair, all the cockpit controls are connected to the appropriate functions on the engine and control surfaces.|
|Though all parts are machined from solid aluminum or made from sheet aluminum, Mr. Park is good at making cast parts look real. He uses a fine dental burr to put tiny pockets in the surface to look like an un-machined casting. Inside the spinner, the "cast" propeller hub can be seen.|
|There is such a wealth of detail in the engine compartment and cockpit you can stare at this model for hours and not see it all. After looking at the first Corsair since 2003 I still see things I never saw before, and this model is even more detailed.|
|Looking forward into the cockpit shows every detail a real pilot would have seen.|
|The right side of the cockpit can be seen along with part of the bubble canopy. Young vacuum formed his own canopy. One thing you can't see in the pictures--When you slide the canopy closed it moves perfectly straight and smooth, no wobbling, and the canopy meets the fixed windwhield with virtually no gap at all.|
|Like the Corsairs, all the control surfaces including the trim tabs actually work. The tail gear mechanism has been lowered in this photo.|
|Inside the left wing you can see the .50 cal ammunition threaded into the three wing guns. Each round is machined in 3 parts—brass cartridge with copper bullet and primer and is held together with a small copper feed jacket.|
|A detail shows the ammunition belt threading into the open receiver of one of the .50 caliber machine guns. (Y. Park photo)|
|Young Park took a number of photos during construction of the model. Here we see the partially complete engine before it was installed. (Y. Park photo)|
|Control wires are being threaded around their pulleys underneath the cockpit during construction. (Y. Park photo)|
|The radiator air intake sits under the fuselage ready for installation. Much of the detail of some of the parts is hidden once it is assembled. (Y. Park photo)|
|The wing structure early in the construction process. (Y. Park photo)|
|Each panel is hand formed over a wooden shape. The metal is annealed to the proper softness and then pounded and bent into shape. The plane is made up of many individual panels, and the fits between panels are just about perfect. (Y. Park photo)|
|Here we see the panel above in it's final position. Looks easy now, doesn't it? (Y. Park photo)|
|The form for the air intake and the final part. As is often the case in machining and model making, fixtures can take a long time to make and are never seen by the public viewing the finished model. (Y. Park photo)|
|Young Park's P-51 and both Corsair models are now a featured display in the Joe Martin Foundation Craftsmanship Museum in Vista, CA.|
|Young Park's niece Claudia Kobayashi and her family recently visited the Craftsmanship Museum in Vista and got to enjoy seeing her uncle's fine work on display as a featured exhibit.|
|Young Park had passed along some of his practice parts, spare .50 cal. cartridges and his miniatuer pilot figure to his nephew Scott when he was cleaning out his garage years ago. Scott was kind enough to donate them to the museum after his uncle passed away. The display give some insight into how some of the parts like hinges, wingtips and cylinder heads were made.|
In looking at these pictures, the close-ups actually give you a better view than you would get in person with the model in a covered display case. In the photos, however, you only see one small part at a time. You have to see the entire plane in person to really get a concept of the incredible amount of detail inside and also the perfect panel contours and the tightness of the fits. If you are in the North San Diego area, make time to come by and see these works of art in person. We feel very privileged to be able to display them for you.
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