Simanaitis Says

On cars, old, new and future; science & technology; vintage airplanes, computer flight simulation of them; Sherlockiana; our English language; travel; and other stuff


IT ALL STARTED with my renewed interest in GMax. I hadn’t fooled with this freeware model-building for several years. In fact, in relearning its subtleties, I found myself researching online tutorials written by EngEd. Er…, that’s me. Before long, I got into multipart narratives, such as today’s Part 1 and tomorrow’s Part 2.

The James Bond of Aeroplanes. After completing a GMax Cody first-to-fly-in-Britain BAA No. 1, I turned my attention to a favorite aircraft of mine, the Westland Lysander. The Lizzie had already made an appearance here at SimanaitisSays back in 2012 as the James Bond of aeroplanes. Its World War II service included clandestine transport for Britain’s Special Operations Executive supporting the French resistance.

My original Lysander was modeled in 2001 with Abacus Air Factory and Air Animator software for Microsoft Flight Simulator 98. I noted at the time that its modeling had maxed out the software’s capabilities.

This time around, for GMax modeling my sources started with a 16-page Aircraft Profile No. 159: The Westland Lysander, an Aeroplane magazine’s December 2001 8-page cover story on the Lysander, and a 2-page article plus cutaway in Classic World War II Aircraft Cutaways.

Inspiration: this image from Classic World War II Aircraft Cutaways.

The Gargoyle Strategy. A detail might not be evident in the finished product, such as a medieval gargoyle perched 200 ft. up, but it’s satisfying to know it has been modeled. And so it became with my GMax modeling of the Lysander.

Also, a Profile Publications photo answered a tantalizing question about this aircraft: What with its extensive greenhouse, how were its parasol wings attached?

Above, the Profile’s photo. Below, the GMax model’s fuselage structure.

The wing spars attach to that triangulated rectangular structure directly above the aircraft’s 95-Imperial-gallon fuel tank.

The more sources, the more GMax modeling. Tomorrow in Part 2, my documentation gets downright serious.

© Dennis Simanaitis,, 2019


  1. Bob Storck
    August 13, 2019

    In a post war movie, the popular Glenn Miller was incorrectly shown boarding a Lysander for his fatal flight to the continent … actually he flew in a Noordyn Norseman.

    However, the reputation rose as the Lysander was a “death plane” and according to WEW Petter, the Westland chief designer, that was a factor in the English government mandating that the company focus solely on helicopters. Westland helos have become the UK standard, especially with their ties to Sikorsky, and Petter became a key part of English Electric post war aircraft.

    • simanaitissays
      August 13, 2019

      Haynes doesn’t mention the Glenn Miller snafu, but does cite the Lysander was challenging to fly. Its control efforts were not harmonized, Haynes says. There were other oddities: Its entire horizontal stabilizer was used for trim (not unlike some modern jets). A wheel to the pilot’s left controlled it. Also, the flaps and leading-edge slots were automatically deployed, not under direct pilot control.
      All the more reason to admire the SOE pilots. And the Lizzie remains one of my favorite aircraft.

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