The photos are very large, so more will be added later
Any question or comments you can contact me at: Jacubmaur@gmail.com
About this creation
The REAL American La France Aero Chief was introduced in 1962 and continued in production until 1974. In total, 171 Aero Chief platforms were built. It was offered in three sizes: 70', 80', and 90'. Most Aero Chiefs were built on the custom American La France chassis, but were several built on various commercial chassis. Many of them had pumps, water tanks and even more had tandem rear axles. These trucks carried a varied number of ladders of different lengths. In a few earlier versions of these trucks, the boom was removed and a telescopic ladder was installed after cracks were found in the boom. Many other changes were made to this truck as it was developed over the years. Some of the earlier trucks had windshields that hydraulically opened so the boom could be lowered onto the cab dash to allow it to pass under low fire hall door ways or bridges.
This is a Lego mini land 1/20 scale 1968 ALF 900 Series Aero Chief 90. It has a fully working 90 foot boom that turns on its base. There are a number of compartments and four fold down outriggers with small hydraulic rams. These four outriggers can hold the weight of the truck and boom as it is turned to aim the nozzle in the basket or to reach closer to a building. Some of the details included are: lights, hose real and nozzle, extra large smoke ejector fan, many ladders, pump gages and controls, hose ports in different sizes, boom controls, basket mounted water cannon, two large boom hydraulic rams and fire extinguishers. The front of the cab is much like that built for my mini land scale American La France Lego 100 foot Tiller ladder truck. There is a working piston engine and its connected to the duel axles with a long drive shaft. The small doors on the side of the cab open to allow air to flow to the mid engine. There is seating for 5 fire fighters, three forward facing in the cab, two facing the rear. It has front steering that actually works by turning the steering wheel. This truck also has the famous American La France bell mounted on the passenger side bumper.
While building this model, a few significant changes had to be made in the boom due to weight. The boom is long and very heavy. A lot of plate was used to add more strength and detail. It had to be re-enforced a number of times to keep the boom from coming apart in different places at different angles. With some of the re-enforcing now done, it was not possible to make some of the detail at the middle hinge joint. It still works much like the real model. The boom base was under incredible strain when the boom is up. It does not like being in a low angle as there is a lot of strain on the base at the boom hinge. The turning knob was made into part of the detail and is one of the rear draft line connections. The basket is self levelling and has a 4 inch water way to the basket.
I must thank Dave for all his input, many emails and drawings. Take a look at the real Aero Chief truck by looking at his incredible web site www.aerochief.com
Length: 106 rows or 33 inches long
Truck length: 80 rows or 25.25 inches
Width: 16 rows
Outrigger width: 30 rows
Height: 19 rows
MAX Boom at full height: 4 foot 4 inches
This truck took a long time just to get info about it and drawings. Building took a few weeks, waiting for parts and redesigning to make it actually work. With this scale its actually fairly easy to build in once a plan is made.