Allan Flowers designed, built, and donated this R/C model of the LA-11 “Ferret” ground support aircraft. This unique aircraft model was designed and built by former GM and Nissan stylist Allan Flowers in 1996-1997. Rather than modeling an existing plane, he decided to design his own next generation of a ground support and tank killer aircraft. It would be part A-10 “warthog” and part Cobra gunship with a little Humvee thrown in.
Allan handled the project as if designing a new car. First came sketches and computer drawings. Next he lofted the lines of the plane in three views using thin black tape on clear Mylar. Then he made a clay model of the fuselage from which molds were made, and eventually plastic fuselage parts were vacuum formed. The parts were then painted, the wings made, control surface and landing gear servos installed and finally the Magnum Pro .45 cubic inch 2-stroke, single-cylinder model airplane engine was installed in the rear as a “pusher.” Using a turboprop engine in the real version would give P-51-like performance, but keep cost down to a minimum.
The model ended up being featured on the cover of Radio Control Modeler magazine in June, 1997 (see photo below). The cover photo was shot at Miramar Naval Air Station, known as “Fightertown USA,” where the movie Top Gun was filmed. The planes and hangars in the background are real. The model was posed on a gray board and aligned to get the perspective right.