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Classic Wings Magazine WWII Naval Aviation Research Pacific Warbird Digest
Final Cut-The Post War B-17 Flying Fortress and Survivors - 5th Edition


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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 1:32 pm 
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Hello to all,
In Casablanca, on the final hangar scene, an unidentified aircraft tail apear for a moment. I didn't find any reference to it in books and the internet. It can be a flat stage prop, or part of a real size object/prop/aircraft fuselage. The hangar stage set was built on purpose for the movie, but several scenes were shot using stage props and scenarios recicled from other movies, and this item could be one of those situations.
However, I could't find a Warner Bro's movie in that timeframe (1938/9 to 1942/3) that justify or use such a prop. For example, "Captains of the Air" does have a Norseman, but it is a floatplane.
I 'm trying to identify what would be the plane that would have this tail section. From my limited research, it appears to fit a Norduyn Norseman tail section, in wheels configuration, due to the fuselage ribs, and rudder shape.
Can anyone clarify this ?

Any thoughts, coments, help are welcome!!!

Many Thanks,
G_Mendes


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File comment: casablanca hangar stage photo with aircraft tail
casablanca hangar.png
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Last edited by G_Mendes on Mon May 21, 2018 5:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 4:33 pm 
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Does look like a Norseman. It seems to have been missed on impdb.org. http://www.impdb.org/index.php?title=Casablanca Perhaps post it on their FB page?


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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 10:15 pm 
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IIRC the production of Casablanca used a lot of models and props and unless there are shots of that tail from plenty of other angles I expect it’s no different.

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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 10:47 pm 
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Remember, there were a number if non-flying mockups in Hollywood during the period. Some were unsuccessful prototypes, others were flights of fancy.

To my eye, the vertical stabilizer looks awfully small compared to the depth of the fuselage, likewise, the horizontal stabilizer looks to have a small span.

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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 9:29 am 
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Many thaks for your coments!
JonhB, I didn´t notice that, well spotted! I was looking mainly to the shape of the fuselage, as it had a somewhat stubby look, and the Norseman was the only one that I could find that "fit the bill".
I know about the use ok prototypes and props, but rarely movie companys loan props to others. In this subject, I learn that Warner reused/used itens and sets from other movies, and from their own prop inventory. In the drawing list of the fillm purpose designed props, this one don't appear. As the hangar scene was made in Warners's stage one, it is most likely a prop fuselage (maybe even only the rear part), or even a flat prop, painted to give a more 3d appearence..., however as it is so close to the camera, if it was a flat element, that should be more noticiable?
The point is, that being a non-flying mockup, made for a Warner movie, it should have appeared shortly before or after in other movie, but I couldn't find reference or clue to it.


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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2018 12:14 am 
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Could it be a Stinson Reliant?


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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2018 4:52 am 
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Funk Model B (?)


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PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2018 2:00 am 
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Mark Sampson wrote:
Could it be a Stinson Reliant?


No

While the Stinson does have a deep rear fuselage, the film aircraft's tail still looks too small for a Stinson (or I'm my opinion, for any successful flyer)...but many 30s aircraft did have small tails, they were usually enlarged before or during production.

Also, look at a Stinson, it's horizontal stabilizer is mounted far lower than this one, the film ship's unit is basically atop the fuselage.
Also, any Reliants after the SR-5 had a fixed strut supporting the underside of the horizontal stabilizer, the film photo shows wires.
Finally, the Stinson' horizontal stabilizer is more rounded, the film photo aircraft (or mock up) looks to be more square....basically a rectangle.

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Last edited by JohnB on Sun May 27, 2018 2:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2018 2:11 am 
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marine air wrote:
Funk Model B (?)


A good guess, but like the Stinson, the horizontal stabilizer is mounted too high...in the film it seems to be mounted on the top longeron.

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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 12:06 am 
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Rearwin Sportster


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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 7:33 am 
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marine air wrote:
Rearwin Sportster


No, but the fin and rudder shape is close.
On a Rearwin, or most other aircraft, note how the leading edge of the horizontal stabilizer is even with the front of the vertical stabilizer.
No so here.

Again we have the horizontal stabilizer mounted too high on the fuselage. The Rearwin had an adjustable stabilizer where the leading edge could be raised or lowered to trim the aircraft. To do that, there was a vertical opening/slot in the fuselage perhaps six inches in length and an inch or two wide. The film aircraft doesn't have that.
In fact, the film aircraft doesn't seem to have any adjustable feature for the horizontal stabilizer it had one, then an argument could be made that the high position of the leading edge of the stabilizer was a feature of how the aircraft was trimmed when the shot was taken.

Finally, the shape of the horizontal stabilizer is different, as most "Cub-type" sightlines are rounded, and again, the film unit looks more square.

Finally, the Rearwin has a flying wire from the fin to the stabilizer, the film aircraft has twin wires on each side.

Can we call it a mock-up, scenic flat, matte effect or model yet? :)

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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 2:57 pm 
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My call would be to declare it a mock up.

Elsewhere on the net there is proof that the 'hangar' shown in the scene is a prop on a sound stage and various comments from movie tech's, among them one comment that it was too small to house a real aeroplane.

If you Google 'Casablanca movie hangar' you can easily find this info.

So Yes I believe its a mockup. Looks good for the era too.

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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 3:37 pm 
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A Taylor-Young Model A "Cub" 40 hp. engine therefore the small tail.


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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 8:10 pm 
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marine air wrote:
A Taylor-Young Model A "Cub" 40 hp. engine therefore the small tail.


No. Not even close.
See my other comments, specifically about the leading edge of the stabilizer
Corresponding with the leading edge of the fin and the depth of the aft fuselage.
Also the twin wires and the rectangular shape of the horizontal stabilizer.
Also the shape of the fin and rudder....that should be the big one. :)

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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 8:07 am 
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I say it's a Norseman. Look at the wire bracing, profile, horizontal location etc... http://www.norsemanfestival.on.ca/wp/wp ... 30x424.jpg

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