Hafner H.8 Rotachute Mk.IV

Kit:Fly, 1/72nd; completed on 2015-01-09; bought for $23.95 in 2014 at Spare Time Shop (Marlborough, MA).
Aircraft:Prototype "P-5", originally a Mk.III later converted to the Mk.IV configuration, at RAF Ringway in the Summer of 1943, undergoing testing with the Airborne Forces Experimental Establishment (part of RAF No.70 Group).
Hafner Rotachute in 1/72

Hafner Rotachute in 1/72

Hafner Rotachute in 1/72

Hafner Rotachute in 1/72

The Rotachute was a glider autogyro, intended to be used in precision insertion of combat troops. It was successfully tested and flown but not taken into operational service, as troop carrying gliders were selected instead. Raoul Hafner also designed a larger glider autogyro, dubbed "Rotabuggy", which was a standard American Willys Jeep fitted with a rotor and tailplane; it was towed behind a Whitley bomber, but was not considered a success.

Construction Notes

Starting point is the rather pricey kit from Fly. Generally accurate, the kit also comes with photo-etch parts for seat belts, instrument panel, tail fins, etc.

Kit box

Hafner Rotachute model under construction

5 thou sheet covers the rear fuselage opening

Hafner Rotachute model under construction

Plastic rod was used to replace many kit parts

The biggest mistake of the kit is the lack of fabric that covered the tail structure immediately behind the pilot. This was added from 5 thou plastic sheet. Also, many kit parts had to be replaced with scratch-built ones made of styrene rod. The landing gear axle, a straight rod in the kit, was replaced with a correctly bent steel rod.

Since the kit tail structure is, proportionally speaking, much heavier than that of the original aircraft, the kit would not stand correctly (with the tail up). Thus, the aircraft is balanced in the right position by a mechanic figure (from Preiser) attached in the tail.

Hafner Rotachute model under construction

Construction complete

Hafner Rotachute model under construction

Basic painting done

Hafner Rotachute model under construction

Tet-fitting the mechanic figure

Hafner Rotachute model under construction

Ready for decals

The model was airbrushed with Tamiya acrylics. The kit's decals were used, they went on quite well.


The model took 2nd place in the category "Rotary-winged Aircraft" at ValleyCon 2015 (Chicopee, MA) in March 2015, and 3rd place in the same category at DowneastCon 2015 (Saco, ME) in April 2015.

Hafner Rotachute model

ValleyCon 2015

Hafner Rotachute and Messerschmitt Bf 109E models

DowneastCon 2015, with author's Bf 109E-7 which also did well

References Used

  1. Aeroplane Monthly August 1991
  2. Aircraft Illustrated July 1979
  3. Airfix Magazine September 1977

More About the Model

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