Another jewel found in the
AAHS Journal (Spring 1968), the Gresci (or Greschi, or perhaps even Grescci)
helicopter imposes its towering beauty upon the modeling unwashed masses.
Only two photos can be found in the Journal, of the often-seen
blurry/grainy quality, but hey, better than nothing. I found nada on other
sources on this very obscure subject, including the ever-providing Internet.
Mr Gresci, as stated in the Journal, also designed the 50 hp rotary
engine that was supposed to propel the artifact, but apparently choked and died
in the valiant attempt of performing its duty.
Now, you will see rotor blades, wings, sponson-like elements, a kiosk…
You may see Frankenstein. I see Sheer Beauty.
images below to see larger images
statements that affirm that the Kiosk was used to sell ice-cream, or that
the whole concoction was indeed a “Calesita” (Merry-go-round) must be
It is not obvious in the photos how would you access the apparatus,
but I think that you just simply put it on, like a hat. Or perhaps you
used the oval windows. Or perhaps the door was in the other side of the
photo. I turned around the photo but I found only white paper there.
The interior is also a mystery. Only the rotor/engine shaft seems
to continue through the kiosk-like structure. And mysterious will it
remain, since I painted it a dark color. It is surely certain that some
Yerba Mate was wisely allotted, though.
The whole thing was covered in what looks like a silver-doped
canvas, and the Argentinean cockade can be found underneath at least one
of the rotor blades.
Nihil novum sub sole. Almost. The usual styrene sheet engraved and
folded to create the flying surfaces, a scratch engine which cylinders
were made scoring a rod on the Dremmel, carved bamboo sponsons and metal
bits. The Kiosk, though, was made with styrene sheet, but then an aluminum
tube was inserted vertically and a canopy-like structure was build with
wire –see images-. Then the gaps were filled with “window maker” and
later given an additional coat of white glue. That created a realist
scalloping without the need of using even more cruel construction methods.
The rotor hub was made with a square-section aluminum rod, with and
inserted round tubular section. Then tiny holes were drilled through in
order to insert the blade axles.
I am proud to say that I drilled my thumb only once.
Yet another wonder is brought to the light from the most
inaccessible and obscure crags of aviation history.
May all of them shine under the bright sun of recognition.
And now as a bonus track, a brief biography:
The great Greek philosopher, modeler and olive pitter
Styrenides (V century B.S.) in the eleven volumes of his “Brief Comments
on How to Better Understand Why the Cutter Fell Exactly on Your Foot With
its Pointy End Down” describes, in parables, the fascinating world of
Styrenides even includes
some paragraphs dictated by his wife, Methyl Ethyl Ketone –presumably
under the threat of the imminent fall of a kitchen rolling pin- about the
delights and secret pleasures of finding very small parts that (as it is
explained in the Theory of the Membranes) are snatched into parallel
Fame nevertheless systematically eluded
Styrenides. The cause may be found in the fact that his scale model
airplanes were made before the airplane itself was invented. Or perhaps
one could argue that Styrenides had to carve his vast literary production
in stone, mainly in the frontispieces of public buildings, for which he
was accused of engraving graffiti.
Styrenides was eventually ostracized to
, which was indeed a very harsh punishment; but since
at that time neither existed nor could be reached, he managed to stay home.
At the end of his hard-working life he repudiated
model-making and took on politics, becoming instantly rich and famous and
appearing at guest-shows in a number of amphitheaters.
images below to see larger images