Kawasaki T-4

Kawasaki T-4 J.A.S.D.F. by Hasegawa
1/72 scale
Cost: $12.00

Decals: Markings for 22 aircraft of various training air wings of the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force
Comments: Engraved panel lines, flush rivets, two-piece canopy, external stores limited to drop tanks

History
The prototype XT-4 took its maiden flight on July 29, 1985.  The Kawasaki T-4 is a secondary jet trainer aircraft of the Japanese Air Self Defense Force (JASDF), developed to replace the Lockheed T-33 and Fuji T-1 trainers.  Flown since the foundation of the JASDF, the T-33A aircraft were worn out by the early 1980's.  To update its jet trainer force, the JASDF opted for a high-performance aircraft with up-to-date equipment developed by domestic manufacturers.  The JASDF contracted with Kawasaki Heavy Industry as the main contractor, but the aircraft has been a joint venture in which Mitsubishi and Fuji have collaborated as subcontractors.  The roll-out of the T-4 came on April 17, 1985, and the first flight on July 29 of the same year. 


Built with new composite materials, the T-4 can train pilots for the F-15J and F-2 fighters, using the latest in Digital Base, Ring Laser Gyro AHRS and On-Board Oxygen Generating System (OBOGS) technologies.  Head-Up Display (HUD), a standard device employed by many aircraft currently in service, is also a standard feature of the T-4's cockpit.



The T-4's array of electronic equipment helps make training smoother.  For the powerplant, it has twin F3-3C's developed by Ishikawajima Harima Heavy Industry (IHI).  These engines give the T-4 fine performance even exceeding the F-15J in some flight ranges.  After delivery to two squadrons at Hamamatsu Air Base, a main training site, T-4's have been assigned to each Air Wing for liaison duties to replace the T-33A.  The Blue Impulse aerobatic team replaced the T-2 jet trainers with T-4's in 1996,  and many front-line squadrons employ the T-4 as
liaison aircraft, or aquadron "hacks."  Similar in configuration to the French-German Alpha Jet, the T-4 has superior thrust (7,320 lbs. to the Alpha's 5,960 lbs.) but a slower rate of climb (10,000 feet per minute to the Alpha's 12,000 feet per minute). 


Specifications
Crew: 2
Wingspan: 9.5 meters
Length: 13 meters
Height: 4.8 meters
Gross weight: 5,640 kg
Powerplant: F3-IHI-30
Thrust: 1.870 kg x 2
Range: 800 miles
Maximum speed: 560 kt (in level flight at sea level)
Fixed armament: None


The Kit
The T-4 is injection molded in grey plastic and consists of 64 parts with exceptional detail in its engraved panel lines and flush rivets, and there is a two-piece canopy.  As a trainer it has a tandem cockpit which features individually mounted seats and control sticks, but has decals for the main and side instrument panels in both cockpits.  As this is a trainer, the only external stores are two drop tanks mounted
on underwing hard points for which holes must be drilled in the parts for the lower wings.  The landing gear are fairly well detailed with a small amount of molded detail on the interior of the landing gear doors, and the kit's only raised rivets appear inside the wheel wells within the center section of the underside of the fuselage.  Decals are provided for no fewer than 22 individual training air wings of the Japan Air Self Defense Force. 


References
Kit instructions;
Aviation Fact File: Modern Military Aircraft, edited by Jim Winchester; Thunder Bay Press, San Diego, California, 2004
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