Classic Large Scale Piece: Cox Curtiss Pusher
This came down from where I display for a cleaning it so I thought I would do some detailed photos and share some information about this piece.
In the 1960's Cox Hobbies was well known for making small control line gas powered aircraft. These aircraft were available in the classic hobby shops and a variety of them were made. The most impressive of these pieces was the large Cox Curtiss Pusher representing early flight. I am very fortunate to own one of these unique and rare surviving models. This Curtiss Pusher was owned by my grandfather who fueled it, started it but never flew it. He stuck it in his basement and it sat there for years. He finally gave it to me a few years ago. After cleaning it up, it now is a proud part of my collection.
This is a picture of the aircraft. The Curtiss Pusher was designed by aviation pioneer Glenn Curtiss. It featured ailerons and a classic steering wheel for the pilot. This model is 1/12 scale according to the paperwork. The model measures a large 22 inches in wingspan. This model had to be assembled and came in kit form. The detail on this model was excellent considering it was produced in the 1960's.
The plane had to be assembled and came modeled in two colors, black and orange. The pilot was two pieces and had to be glued together and painted. My grandfather did that save for the gloves, which should be light brown. I intend to correct this in the future. The plastic parts are well made and cut nicely. The parts have molded details such as rivets where needed. The tires are real rubber.
This is a front view of the aircraft. The Curtiss letters on the wings are decals and have some light fuel staining from Granddad putting gas in originally, but not bad. The airplane does have rigging wire between the wings, just like the original.
This is a view of the back showing the booms and tail piece. The control system to make the airplane go up and down is located there. This part of the airplane is extremely fragile. You can also see the aileron parts between the wings just like on the Curtiss Pushers. The surviving models I have seen often have the tail parts missing or broken. It's a fragile piece and I always try to handle this area with great care.
This is a view from the front into the area that holds the fuel line and the .049 engine. The silver piece is a fuel tank like the actual Curtiss planes had in this area. When Granddad put the plane away it had not been cleaned, so the engine and fuel hose was covered and clogged with dried fuel. I changed out the engine with another engine and fuel line because of the condition of these items despite cleaning. It's the only portion of the plane not original, but they are original parts.
Another view of the engine area, this from behind, showing the simulated wooden plastic propellor.
This is the original box and instruction manual and fuel can. All things my Grandfather had. I have also found two original sales posters and keep them as well and a postcard.
This is a picture of the postcard. The postcard is local history. In the early 1900's, the local Allentown Fair had an airshow as part of its fair featuring early airplanes and balloons. Curtiss sent one of his Pushers to attend the event and be demonstrated. This postcard produced by a local company, was produced for sale at the fair or afterward. This was found in a local antique store.
This is an original display stand hobby shops used to display the store model to promote it in the shops. I found this on ebay two years ago. The plane sits on this cardboard stand. Note the whopping $10 tag.
This is the airplane sitting on the stand. This is how I display the aircraft in my collection.
This is a wonderful airplane and a true piece of pride in my collection. I am thankful I was able to obtain it from my grandfather. These are incredibly rare in good condition. Parts and complete planes are getting tough to find on ebay and other places. This airplane is a great early flight piece and a great Cox model, one of the most accurate they ever produced.
Since I fly radio controlled models on a regular basis and looking at the control setup on this model, I will never try to fly this. Despite the claim in the instructions it is easy to fly, I doubt this would be easy to fly. I think flying it would be touchy and troublesome, plus the value of the model keeps it grounded. I've heard several of people at my flying club claim many of their Cox planes did not fly so well and crashed and were wrecked. This is one plane I think was probably wrecked more than it flew. I'm very thankful Granddad never flew it so I could enjoy it.
This is an original Curtiss Pusher which hangs in the Aviation Pioneers room of the National Air and Space Museum. Although every Pusher was different due to customers wants and Curtiss improving them, you can clearly see the resemblance between the model and aircraft.