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Crab with the Golden Claws: Type of sea-plane?

#1 · Posted: 4 Jun 2017 05:51
Looking to build a model of the seaplane.
Can anybody tell me the type of plane, and/ or where I can get plans?
#2 · Posted: 4 Jun 2017 16:26
It's similar (but not identical) to a Noorduyn Norseman, a Canadian bush aircraft produced between 1935 and 1959.
Robert B.C. Noorduyn, the designer, worked for other companies prior to starting his own firm, and it could be that there was an earlier 'plane from Fokker or similar which was closer to Hergé's drawing. It might also just be that Hergé had no specific original in mind, and made something up that suited his needs and was simple for him to draw.
The Norseman is available as a kit (or at least has been in the past), so it might be adaptable enough with a little tweaking.

Update: I knew I'd read it somewhere. While the Norseman might be close, a closer make, and the probable reference of Hergé's design is the Bellanca Pacemaker (I'm not enough of a technician to know which of the many variant models it is), which is what the research of Weta discovered when making the CGI model for the Spielberg film, according their The Art of... "making of" book.
I've not found a photo of either the Norseman or the Bellanca to match Hergé exactly - there seems to be variety in the number/ placement of windows, slight differences in wing shape, and (especially) the broad struts for the floats/ undercarriage seem to be unusual or unique to Hergé, but maybe an aeroplane enthusiast will be able to shed light on that.
#3 · Posted: 26 Aug 2021 21:46
Yes! The reason nobody can find much information on the CH-300 pacemaker is because it is a very very rare aircraft! Only around 35 pacemakers were built! Hope this helps!!
#4 · Posted: 27 Aug 2021 09:25
There were also a couple of other variants - the 300-W, which used a different engine (of which there were seven built, plus one proto-type, which was a standard CH-300 with the new engine, and presumably was one of the 35 already accounted for, as it's listed in references as a conversion); and the PM-300 Pacemaker Freighter, of which there were two, built to carry freight.

However, I am now interested in a diagram which is shown in the Wikipedia article on the 'plane, taken from the pages of a 1930 magazine, Æro Digest.

This, for me, casts doubt on the CH-300 as a positive match, as the wing and tail shapes are totally different to those drawn by Hergé - his are clearly rounded, where the CH-300 is shown as square (the Pacemaker appears to have a distinctive clipped end to the wings).

If one takes the schematic at face-value as being accurate, I can sort of live with the struts beneath the wings being different in profile, and attaching slightly differently to the under-surface of the wings, as that might have varied a bit from aircraft to aircraft, depending on how they adapted for use as float-planes, but the shape of the wings is just too far off, and the tail even more so.

It doesn't rule out Hergé using the Pacemaker as an intial reference, but, if he did, he's adapted it quite freely, to the point of changing it into something original.

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