August 11, 2016
Hangar 47 takes a look in the box with previews of the recently released AMX A-1A by HobbyBoss, Airfix' new Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2c, the CT-4A Airtrainer by Tasman Models, and the Douglas D-558-1 Skystreak by Special Hobby...
The AMX A-1A was a joint venture between Italy and Brazil for a light fighter-bomber/advanced military trainer, able to compete in the export market against trainers such as the Czech L-39 Albatross, BAE’s Hawk, and the Franco-German Alpha Jet. Designed primarily for ground attack in visual and marginal weather conditions, the A-1 entered service with Italy in 1998 and Brazil in 1999. Since then, both air forces have upgraded the type's avionics, navigation systems, radar and weapons, assuring it a continuing role in both fleets well into the 21st Century. Hobby Boss' A-1A features engraved panel lines, detailed cockpit and landing gear, and a full complement of air-to-air and air-to-ground ordnance.
The Bleriot Experimental 2c began life as an artillery spotter, initially entering service with the British Royal Flying Corps in 1913 as an unarmed reconnaissance platform. They were among the first British aircraft sent to France after the outbreak of World War I. Stable and slow, they began to suffer heavy losses by 1915 as the tempo of air combat picked up. B.E.2c aircrew loss rates became so high that a Member of Parliament publicly criticized both the plane and its manufacturer in the House of Commons. Withdrawn from front-line service, they were for a time effective nightfighters when used to intercept Zeppelin raids, and were also deployed to spot German submarines. Airfix' B.E.2c features completely new tooling, complete engine, and a detailed rigging diagram.
The CT-4A Airtrainer first flew in February 1972 and was selected as the new trainer for the Royal Australian Air Force later that same year. Evolved from a design initially developed in New Zealand by AESL, a firm that fell under the control of an Australian competitor, the Airtrainer had a larger engine and wing than its Victa Airtourer and Aircruiser predecessors, and a bubble canopy. The CT-4A became the primary trainer for not only the Royal Australian Air Force and Navy, but also the air forces of New Zealand and Thailand. Tasman Models' kit is of short-run injection molded resin, bears engraved panel lines and features white metal landing gear and airscrew.
The Douglas D-558-1 Skystreak was an early transonic jet-powered research aircraft used to probe the sound barrier, starting in the late 1940's. First flown on April 14, 1947, it was a contemporary of more famous aircraft like the Bell X-1, Northrop X-4, and Bell X-5. During the course of its 7-year flight test program, it set two world speed records. One of the first aircraft to employ a "flying tail" or horizontal stabilizer to improve control at speeds of Mach 0.8 and above, the Skystreak contributed to the success of jet fighters of the period, notably the F-86 Sabre. Special Hobby's D-558-1 Skystreak features engraved panel lines, photo-etch details, resin wheels and cockpit and a choice of canopies.