Aircraft

Reviews of products for scale aircraft models.

Metal Landing Gear for Academy 1/72 F-15E

Published: December 11th, 2017     
Metal Landing Gear for Academy 1/72 F-15E
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1:72
Company: Scale Aircraft Conversions (SAC)

We at IPMS continue to thank Ross and his Team at SAC for supporting the IPMS USA reviewer corps with what has turned into a monthly release schedule with extremely useful and well-thought out landing gear additions for the modeling crowd out here in the modeling world. What started out as an "I don't know if they will sell" idea a few years ago has flourished into a busy worldwide trade for modelers seeking just a bit more out of their model accessories...

This review is for the SAC landing gear released for the relatively new 1/72 F-15E from Academy. This kit is a jewel; there are two areas needing true replacements for a contest level model, that being the "featherless" open afterburner nozzles, which are supplied simplified, and the rather thick one-piece canopy over the extremely well-detailed cockpit. Those issues are for others to address... SAC provided us three metal parts to replace the kit-supplied plastic gear.

USAF B-47 "306th BW(M)"

Published: December 10th, 2017     
USAF B-47 "306th BW(M)"
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall, IPMS# 2209
Scale: 1/144
Company: Academy

History

The B-47 was the first swept-wing jet bomber in the US Air Force's inventory, serving the USAF from 1951 to 1969. The US Navy flew some EB-47Es until 1977. Development began in 1943, and the design changed several times until Boeing came up with a 6-jet aircraft with the engines in pods under the wings. Because of the size of the engine pods, the main landing gear was set up as a "bicycle", with 2 main gear under the fuselage, and smaller outriggers under the engine pods. With this setup, the B-47 could not rotate the nose on takeoff. The main gear was set so the aircraft sat at optimum takeoff angle at all times. The B-47 was subsonic, but extremely fast for a 1950s, setting a number of time and distance records, with speeds around 600 miles per hour.

Another personal note: When I was about 10 years old, my Uncle Leroy took me and my father to Lincoln AFB in Lincoln Nebraska. This was also part of the civilian airport, and we got to watch a B-47 do touch and goes from the top of the terminal building. I was impressed.

Legends of Warfare Aviation: Grumman F4F Wildcat

Published: December 10th, 2017     
Legends of Warfare Aviation: Grumman F4F Wildcat
Author: David Doyle
Reviewed by: Hub Plott, IPMS# 31328
Company: David Doyle Books

This is a new series for me at least. This is a nice hardback book that covers the Grumman F4F Wildcat and the FM series of Wildcats built by Eastern Aircraft Division of General Motors during WWII. The Wildcat continued in production and to fight throughout the war even as newer and better aircraft became available.

The book has 12 chapters each covering the different variants. The layout is the first chapter on the XF4F-2, followed by chapters each on the following: XF4f-3 and F4F-3, the F4F-3 in detail, XF4F-5, XF4F-6/F4F-3A, F4F-3S, XF4F-4, F4F-4, F4F-7, XF4F-8, FM-1, FM-2 and Wildcat in combat.

The book uses many wartime photos mixed in with color photos of museum and restored warbirds to tell the story. The book has wonderful detail shots of each variant, quite a few I have not seen before. The number and breadth of photographs alone make this a worth addition to any modeler or aviation buff's library! The writing is informative and like Joe Friday of Dragnet fame is full of "Just the facts"! The Wildcat fought from beginning to end in WWII and was the mount of several aces, this book is a worthy teller of the airplane's story. Enjoy!

Bell X-2

Published: December 9th, 2017     
Bell X-2
Author: Peter E. Davies
Reviewed by: Frank Landrus, IPMS# 35035
Company: Osprey Publishing

This is the third book in this new Osprey series authored by Peter E. Davies. The previous tomes include the Bell X-1 (1), North American X-15 (3), and the future book on the North American XB-170 Valkyrie (7). Peter lives in Bristol, U.K. and as authored or co-authored at least nineteen book on modern American combat aircraft, many with Osprey Publishing. He was published by the Naval Institute Press in 1997 with his hardcover book, The Harrier Story, co-authored with Anthony M. Thornborough. His Schiffer Military History hard cover on the Gray Ghosts, U.S. Navy and Marine Corps F-4 Phantoms published in 2000 is considered a must have. Peter published a hardcover book with Crowood Press, North American F-100 Suber Sabre, in 2003. He has also covered many aircraft in Osprey's Combat Aircraft series, Osprey's Air Vanguard series, and Osprey's Duel series.

Kawanishi N1K2-J SHINDENKAI (George) '301st Fighter Squadron'

Published: December 6th, 2017     
Kawanishi N1K2-J SHINDENKAI (George) '301st Fighter Squadron'
Reviewed by: Keith Gervasi, IPMS# 44177