Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Japan Tin-litho Boeing C-135 Stratolifter - Maybe

You may have noticed the problems with the blogs masthead have been resolved - thank goodness! Okay, so now on to life as usual.

Today's featured airplane is a nice little tin-litho jet made in Japan by an unknown manufacturer although the construction method bears resemblance to a Boeing 727 by 'TT' in my collection. It measures 10 ½” (26.7cm) L x 11” (27.9cm) wingspan x 3” (7.6cm) H. My example is a bit scruffy with rub marks, a rusty vertical stabilizer, and an engine very close to falling off, but I still like it and am glad to have it in the collection.

I stated a week or so ago that every attempt would be made to identify the toy planes with their real life counterparts and I believe we've got a decent match for this airplane. It looks very close to the C-135 Stratolifter which was derived from the Boeing 707, built from 1954 to 1979, and was developed as Boeing's first jetliner. It's often credited with ushering in the Jet Age of airliner service. There were several military variants; the Stratolifter cargo version, the Stratoliner VIP transport, the KC-135 Stratotanker re-fueling aircraft, and the E-3 Sentry airborne reconnaissance aircraft. Now I know the nose of our toy isn't quite right but I attribute that to the method of manufacture. The rest of the plane's profile matches quite well with the prototype and so I'm satisfied with the call. Enjoy!

*************************************UPDATE:  Sep 11, 2013 **********************************
Paul Vreede, one of our Belgium readers, thinks this may not be a Boeing 707/C-135 after all. Let's see his reasoning "Morning Ed,

glad to see normality has found its way back on your blog!
Nice piece on a very nice little plane, but if somebody asked me I'd say it's based on a DC-8 instead of a 707. Reason being the leading edge to the tailplane (the DC-8 tail curves forward at the base whereas the 707 tail is straight) and the engine mounts going over the wings which is also featured in the (early) DC-8 design. Both details are wildly exagerated in the toy design, but that's what made me have a look.
See what you think?"

Hmmmmm, I think Paul may be on to something. Who knows what the toy makers were thinking when they designed it? Was it based on an actual aircraft or just a generic airliner design? The engine mounts going over the wings is the detail which makes me think it could be a DC-8 as well. Paul is right in that there were no military variants but as I've said before, toy makers do whatever they want anyway playing fast and loose with details and colors so it's no stretch that they would clothe a civilian DC-8 in military garb. Okay, there you have it. Make your own determination as to what it could be, but one thing is sure - it's a neat toy from days gone by!