Category: USA


Northrop XP-79B

XP-79B is one of the Northrop’s lesser known flying wing designs. Jack Northrop conceived the aircraft in 1942 as a rocket powered fighter, which would destroy enemy aircraft (primarily bombers) by ramming into them. The aircraft featured several advanced solutions – pilot would be flying in prone position to be able to sustain higher G loads, while the airframe would be constructed by welded magnesium instead of usual riveted aluminum, as the volatile rocket fuel would corrode the later too quickly.

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To test the radical design, several full scale glider models were built, which started testing in 1944. As the rocket testing turned out to be unsatisfactory, the aircraft was instead equipped with Westinghouse 19-B turbojets.

The first flight of the XP-79B was also its last. After days of taxi runs at Muroc Dry Lake (today’s Edwards AFB), the aircraft finally took off on 12th September 1945. 15 minutes into flight, the aircraft performed a slow roll, uncontrollably pitched nose down and crashed in vertical spin. Test pilot Harry Crosby attempted to bail out, but was hit by the tail and died on impact. As the result of the crash, the second prototype as well as the project were cancelled.

RS MODELS 1:72 Northrop XP-79B

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RS Models’ XP-79B is a typical short run kit. While not a multimedia kit, some experience is still needed to achieve best result. The surface of the plastic is not smooth – it actually reminds of a very fine sanding paper – some polishing is required before painting. Instructions call out for the Yellow Zinc Chromate as the interior color, but I guess Interior Green is safer bet. Another wrong color call out is for the exterior paint – RS Models suggest you paint the model white. A few available photos show that the surface was darker (compared to the white on the stars&bars), so I used a light grey, similar to the one used on P-80s. Construction is pretty straightforward and probably the most tricky part of assembly is the two-piece canopy. It was a two piece on the real aircraft as well, but the short run nature of the kit and the complex contour make a perfect fit almost impossible. Some blending in with a water soluble putty was required. Unfortunately due to the rather thick plastic and the curve, due to the light refraction, the join line is too pronounced.

Model was finished with Mr.Paint paints and finishes.

 

Bell AH-1G Cobra

AH-1G is considered to be the first operational attack helicopter in the world. Although previous attempts at attack helicopters were made in the past, it was the Vietnam war and the need for escorting the Air Cavalry UH-1 Hueys, that gave birth to AH-1G. Sharing many components with the UH-1C, it started replacing the UH-1B and UH-1C gunships in mid-1967. Between 1967 and 1973, around 1100 AH-1Gs were delivered, serving in close air support, escorting transport helicopters and other roles, including the ‘hunter-killer’ roles in combination with OH-6A scout helicopters.

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Bell AH-1G Cobra
s/n 67-15536
Thor’s Hammer
A-Troop, 7th Squadron, 1st Cavalry
Pilot CW2 Melton Lee Hinton
Tra Vinh, Vietnam, 1971-72

Special Hobby 1:72
SH72076
Brengun Photoetched Set

 

DDG-67 USS Cole

Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyers entered service in 1991. Equipped with impressive sensor suite, the heart of it being Aegis Combat System and the SPY-1D radar system, these destroyers are truly a multi-task ships. They are effective in Anti-aircraft, Anti-submarine, Anti-surface warfare as well as strategic land strike role using the array of Tomahawk cruise missiles. Since 2005, they are the only destroyers in US Navy – there are more than 60 in service and around 40 still waiting to be build.

USS Cole was commissioned as 17th Arleigh Burke destroyer on March 11th, 1996. On October 12th, 2000, while anchored at the port of Aden, Yemen, a group of Al-Qaeda suicide bombers sailed a small boat to the port hull and detonated explosive charges creating a hole 12m wide, killing 17 crew members and injuring 39. The ship was later transferred to the United States aboard a Norwegian heavy cargo ship MV Blue Marlin for repairs and resumed operational duty in April 2002.

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Model: Cyberhobby 1:700

Aftermarket: Flyhawk PE set, 1:700 chain

Base: 24x18cm photo frame, Vallejo clear water effect

Boeing KC-135E Stratotanker, Minicraft, 1:144; OOB

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Full article will be published in one of future Scale Aircraft Modelling magazine issues.

Northrop XB-35

Northrop XB-35, Cyberhobby 1:200

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Together with its older brother, jet powered YB-49 – built a couple of years ago, CLICK for the gallery.

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Model will appear in one of the future Scale Aircraft Modelling magazine issues.

A short clip showing some footage of XB-35 flight testing

Lockheed TR-1A (U-2S) Dragon Lady

Dragon, 1:144

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Model will appear in one of the future Scale Aircraft Modelling magazine issues.

A-10A Thunderbolt II

Revell (Italeri reboxed) 1:72 with Eduard photoetched zoom set, Balkan Models ‘Last Flight over Balkans’ decal sheet, Northstar models LAU-117 with AGM-65 and Mk.82s from Hasegawa weapons set. Check the Work in Progress in the menu above if you are interested in all the work that needed to be done to bring up this model to the 1999 version.

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As you are probably wondering about the green engine nacelle – This model represents a bird, that was used in 1999 Operation Allied Force, over Serbia. The incident happened on May 2nd, 1999 and the pilot that day was Major Paul “Goldie” Haun. He was tasked a FAC-A duty over Eastern Kosovo, which was relatively calm those days, with most of the action going on in Western part of it. Lynx 11 was his callsign that day; joining him as his wingman (Lynx 12) was Captain Andy “Buffy” Gebara, an ex-B-52 pilot. The pair worked some 30miles north over Pristina when he spotted a single 2S1 122mm self-propelled artillery piece near a tree line. As AWACS was closing down the East part of Kosovo due to the lack of SEAD assets, Goldie had just one shot of taking out that target. He got an unsteady lock on the targets and decided to test his luck and launched Maverick which hit the target. Retreating South he spotted two tanks in some valley near Gnjilane town and marked their position and proceeded to tanker for aerial refueling. He managed to get 20 minutes of SEAD support and pushed with the attack… Unfortunately he messed up his initial run and broke off the attack and reengaged but couldn’t get a Maverick lock on the targets, while Mk.82s were not accurate enough for such attack. The decision was made that Buffy should drop two Mk.82s on the target while Goldie will follow with a gun straffe. Buffy saw some good gun hits on the targets but momentarily lost view of Goldie. And that’s when Goldie reported “I’m hit!” MANPAD, probably Strela 2 or Igla, hit Goldie’s right engine and he had to struggle to keep the aircraft as stable as possible. To make things even worse, he was now flying at lower altitude, in the reach of bad guys SAM and AAA systems. They headed towards South, towards Macedonia, towards safety. It was later discovered that even left engine was quite damaged from ingesting bits and pieces of the left one and the missile. He had to maintain 1 degree nose down attitude just to keep the airspeed. Finally he managed to reach Skopje in Macedonia and successfully landed. As for the green nacelle. The below photos show you the damaged bird and the progress during replacement of the engine. My best bet would be, that the replacement arrived from Davis-Monthan AFB, from a Euro-1 painted bird.

If you want to read more about this incident as well as A-10 operations in Allied Force, you can get a free e-book A-10s over Kosovo here: http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a421682.pdf

Below photographs were found on the internet, some appear to be stills from the video.

Northrop YB-49

out of the box build

07s

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Dreammodel photoetch + Twobobs decals

20s

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build out of the box with home made decals

1s

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