Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Albatros Project Part 3

I hope you have all recovered from the weekend. The long weekend here has left me confused. Last night I thought it was my weekly game club night with the “Lost Boys”. I was ready to go and wondered why my ride was late. Checking the calendar set me straight. It appears that I was not in error, merely ready a day in advance. Hopefully we will play tonight.

More News from the Albatros Project

Today's Albatros Project report is a mixed bag, part exposition, part correction. The project is rolling along and I will soon have the final Albatros experimental aircraft (D.IX) completed. By the time I am finished I should have close to 70 profiles in the series.

I had seen several profiles of this plane and as always it had a flashy stripe element which moved it onto my to do list. One of the better reference profiles was done by Bob Pearson who has been one of my Illustration heroes and a major source for inspiration.

This profile was based on one I found at Wings Palette. I liked the paint scheme and knew it would be fun to do. I think it was wealth of color and the way the white fuselage element played off the German iron cross which really got me.

The Brontosaurus Lesson

Albatros D.XI

Albatros D.XI - 1918
Albatros D.XI - 1918

I want to make a “Mia Culpa”. When initially researching the Albatros D.XI profile I rushed to judgement and created a profile that was incorrect. Much to my chagrin I found myself guilty of committing a Brontosaurus mistake. You my not know what I mean so here is some background information:

In the late 1870s, two paleontologists, Edward Cope and Othniel Marsh, were bitter rivals searching for dinosaur skeletons in the western United States. Sadly, on many occasions their rush to claim credit for finds caused them to get sloppy. This what happened with Brontosaurus. Marsh discovered a juvenile dinosaur without a head in Colorado. In his scientific article he labeled the creature as Apatosaurus. Later, in 1879, his crew found an amazing dinosaur. It was the nearly complete skeleton of the largest dinosaur ever found up to that time. All the skeleton lacked was a head, feet, and a large portion of the tail. Due to the size difference, and the way bones had fused, Marsh thought that the second find was an entirely different species. He named it Brontosaurus or thunder lizard. Marsh decided to mount the whole skeleton at Yale’s Peabody Museum, but it still needed a head, feet, and a tail. He decided to use feet found in the same quarry, and he “manufactured” the tail to look like he thought it should appear.

Sorry for the error I hope this will clarify matters and sets the record straight.

4 comments:

The Angry Lurker said...

Nicely done, love the brontosaurus story.

W. I. Boucher said...

Thanks Fran, the story is a good reminder to not jump to conclusions. I just need to practice the message more often.

kingsleypark said...

Interesting to see the D.XI (in it's correct shape - not that I would have known, mind you!), departing away from the lines of the D.V and looking more like a Siemans Schuckert

W. I. Boucher said...

@KP: The main reason for the departure was because in the late war it became difficult for Germany to produce enough inline engines to meet production quotas. Rotary and radial engines were easier to build and easier to maintain and repair than liquid cooled engines.