Payen-Melot Pa-22/1R, Zane R. Nobbs, 1/72 Resin Unicraft Model

 

The aircraft is based on is the 1935 airframe built by Nicolas Roland Payen. M. Payen was an early advocate of delta wing design with large canards at the front to give enough lift for the engines of the day. His designs included many varied types of aircraft based on a similar layout. The Pa-22 was originally intended for the Melot Steam-Oil Jet, an early type of ramjet. Henri F. Melot began experimenting with ram jet technology in the 1930s. By 1935 he had envisioned a self-propelled ramjet based on a mixture of oil and water. The oil was ignited in a boiler inside the aircraft to heat the water which was then forced through tubes into a bulb at the front of the engine. The heat from the steam compressed the air coming into the round air scoops. Within the bulb the oil and air mixed to form a small explosion. This set off a series of explosions as each airscoop took in more air. This series built up into a continuous stream with an outlet underneath the aircraft for propulsion. This was the Melot 1R engine. Monsieurs Payen and Melot formed an alliance to build an experimental aircraft for the upcoming \"Coupe Deutsch de la Meurthe\" air race of 1939 held in Entampes, France annually until cancelled due to the outbreak of the Second World War. The engine proved so heavy that a fourth wheel was included under the front in case the aircraft bounced when landing (similar to the Heinkel He-176). In the end all was for naught as engine development took longer than expected. M. Payen then modified the airframe and re-engined it with a Regnier R6 piston engine. This too was in vain as the war started and the Luftwaffe seized the aircraft, which was later destroyed completely in an Allied bombing raid. There was also a military version planned, the Pa-112, that was not built. -┬ęZane R Nobbs 2011

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