November 1, 2014
Hangar 47 takes a look in the box with previews of Fujimi's OA-4M Skyhawk, the YF2Y-1 Sea Dart by Mach 2, and two by Revell: the Martin P6M Seamaster, and the Martin PBM-5 Mariner...
The OA-4M Skyhawk is one of the lesser known variants of this famous series of naval attack aircraft. Developed from the TA-4F as a fast forward air controller ("Fast FAC") for the Marine Corps and drawing on Marine combat experience in Vietnam, it entered service in the late 1970's. Using state-of-the-art avionics and new navigation and radio technology, the OA-4M provided the Marines with close air support and tactical air control for the next 20 years. Fujimi's kit features engraved panel lines, detailed cockpit and wheel wells, along with center line and underwing drop tanks, as well as twin outboard Zuni rocket pods.
Developed as a supersonic seaplane fighter that would provide escort for the Martin P6M SeaMaster, the Convair YF2Y-1 Sea Dart was a revolutionary design intended to prove that such a fighter was not only technically possible but feasible. With its
retractable twin water skis and supersonic capability, the Sea Dart was a technical marvel of a type the world had never seen. Its only documented supersonic flight ended in tragedy when it broke up and exploded over San Diego Bay in November 1954, killing test pilot Charles Richbourg. Mach 2's Sea Dart features engraved panel lines, a basic cockpit and faithfully recreated skis.
The Martin P6M SeaMaster was a revolutionary swept-wing, jet-powered flying boat designed as a strategic bomber to operate from the world's oceans and give the U.S. Navy a seaborne nuclear strike capability. It was the Navy's answer to the growing dominance of the Air Force in the early Cold War years as the sole service capable of delivering nuclear weapons too large and heavy for the Navy's carrier-borne aircraft to handle. Featuring a fully functional watertight bomb bay that could drop bombs normally, but also rotate to allow re-arming at sea from a dorsal hatch, the SeaMaster was a groundbreaking design requiring a specially built beaching dolly. Overcoming a host of technical difficulties, it was overtaken by the Polaris submarine just as it was poised to enter large scale production. Revell's SeaMaster is a re-issue of its 1956 kit and features raised panel lines and a display stand.
The Martin Mariner was a long range seaplane that served the U.S. Navy as a patrol bomber for 15 years. Entering service in 1940, it played a critical and increasing role in the Battle of the Atlantic, searching for German U-boats to protect Allied convoys, even before the Pearl Harbor attack. Used in ever increasing numbers as World War II progressed, it was nonetheless overshadowed by the more famous Consolidated PBY Catalina, which it eventually replaced, going on to serve past the end of the Korean War. Revell's Mariner features engraved panel lines -- impressive for a kit of 1950's vintage -- raised rivet detail, and a display stand.