1/144 Messerschmitt Me-323 D-1 "Gigant" by Pit-Road
Pit Road are bringing out an unusual kit, usually the realm of Anigrand (see their Me-321 http://www.anigrand.com/AA4077_Me-321.htm), and of course Matsuo Kasten did the version of this Me-323 (https://kampfgruppe144.blogspot.co.uk/2009/10/1144-me-323-gigant-matsuo-kasten.html).
It will be interesting to see if there is a link up with Great Wall Hobby (GWH) as was the case with the V-bomber Series Releases?
The specification called for the glider to be capable of carrying either an 88 mm gun plus its tractor, or a medium tank. The codename Projekt Warschau ("Project Warsaw") was used, with Junkers being given the codename Warschau-Ost and Messerschmitt Warschau-Süd.
The Me 263 had a framework of steel tubing provided by the Mannesmann company, with wooden spars and a covering of doped fabric. This allowed for quick construction and easy repair when needed and also saved weight. The Me 263 was redesignated the Me 321 and was nicknamed Gigant ("Giant") due to its huge size.
Its nose stood over 6 m (20 ft) high, and was made up of two clamshell doors. The doors could only be opened from the inside, when ramps would be used to allow vehicles to drive in or out. Compared to the Ju 52, the Me 321 offered a load area six times larger, at around 100 m2 (1,100 sq ft), and could accommodate a gross cargo weighing up to 23 t (23 long tons). The cargo space had been designed to replicate the load space of a standard German railway flatcar, allowing any cargo that could travel by rail to fit into an Me 321. Alternatively, if used as a passenger transport, 120-130 fully equipped troops could be accommodated.
The Me 321 was fitted with a jettisonable undercarriage comprising two Bf 109 tailwheels at the front and two Junkers Ju 90 main wheels at the rear and was intended to land on four extendable skids.
The first flight of the prototype Me 321 V1 took place on 25 February 1941, towed into the air by a Ju 90. It was piloted by Messerschmitt test pilot Karl Baur, and carried 3 tonnes (3 tons) of ballast. Baur reported that the controls were heavy and responses sluggish and it was decided to enlarge the cockpit to accommodate a co-pilot and radio operator and dual controls were fitted. Electric servo motors were also fitted to assist in moving the huge trailing edge flaps and further tests caused a braking parachute to also be added.