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I've discovered an interesting WWI era model of an aircraft and I am trying to find out what could it be. It is 29" long and it looks like not a hobby model, but an inventor's prototype. I love the idea of the extra fuel tank above the cockpit. It connects with a bigger fuel tank near the engine. Any ideas?

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to the site. Personally, I am not sure that above the cockpit there is a fuel tank, looks like an attachment for the top wing $\endgroup$
    – Federico
    Commented Dec 18, 2019 at 8:51
  • $\begingroup$ The unusual shape is similar to a Curtiss Carrier Pigeon. $\endgroup$
    – Party Ark
    Commented Dec 18, 2019 at 14:13
  • $\begingroup$ Hi Federico! There is a fuel tank at the very top. A small pipe is going down connecting it with a bigger size tank near the engine. I will try to upload more photos. $\endgroup$
    – Romak
    Commented Dec 18, 2019 at 15:46
  • $\begingroup$ OK, uploaded! It is definitely an extra fuel tank. $\endgroup$
    – Romak
    Commented Dec 18, 2019 at 16:03
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, the shape is similar to Pigeon! I believe it just does not look like just a mail carrier. I can see the round-shaped aim near the cockpit, which means the plane was likely designed for a battle. $\endgroup$
    – Romak
    Commented Dec 18, 2019 at 16:08

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Beautiful find..., an original scale model from the 20s. At first glance, the rudder is a typical "Sturtevant" design..., but the rest of the fuselage appears to be from another aircraft, or a type of Sturtevant that I am not familiar with. It could also be a free work, a personal design by the modeler... It looks like an old rudder concept for a "modern" fuselage design.

Sturtevant S-4

Sturtevant S-2

Sturtevant S-4

Sturtevant S-2

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Some details suggest that the builder wasn't trying to faithfully model a particular airplane, working from detailed diagrams and photographs as one does nowadays a hundred years later, but was instead incorporating elements from various airplanes from personal memory.

  • peculiar arrangement of ribs in the fin/rudder

  • conical top and bottom panels of cowling, easily soldered from flat metal sheet but rare on manufactured airplanes

  • too-deep fuselage: the position of the exhaust stacks and prop shaft makes one wonder what would have to be down in the belly.

A few more detailed photos (does the right side also have exhaust stacks?) would help to resolve this.

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