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Found 26 results

  1. Hey All, I hope you all enjoyed the build log, and now, the final results... I have tryed for a few days now to load a video to photobucket, but no luck yet. I'll try again, but... Thanks All for looking!!! Richo
  2. I've just learned of this from another modelling forum; NASA is currently uploading hundreds of rare aircraft films to Youtube. More can be found here at the NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center. Mike
  3. Hey All, It's me RichO, I'm getting down here from the sci/fi, real space section, Apollo Crawler at 1/72. This is the first posting of a diorama build I have been considering for some time now. I have decided to start this thread to help fill the void of the crawler build, which is coming to a close. And to get me thinking in the general direction of this build. This is a build that I have been thinking about for a couple of years now. All during the crawler build I have been gathering kits and materials for this dio. At this point I feel I should start this thread with some general info and ideas of what I have in mind. This is a diorama dedicated to the memory of Col. Gordon Cooper. The last American to orbit the earth solo. Gordon Cooper saw some funny things while in orbit that changed his life. I admire him for speaking the truth. You can look it all up if your interested. This is what I hope this build will look like at the end of the process, that will take,... who knows how long. Launch Complex 14 I'll have to crop the tarmac a bit to get the scene into the shape and space that I have for this build. Thanks to Mike and Dave, I have a scene that is all dio and just the rocket will be built in the model section. like most military dio's I have seen,... I will have my background structures, ( the launch tower and the service tower), I will have my ruined street (the tarmac and infield surfaces), I will have all the litter and debris strewn about ( the signs, and lights, and post, and vehicles...) the vehicle will come last...the Atlas Mercury 9-Faith 7. To be built in the space section. These are the kits that I have to work with and to kit bash if I need to...All the kits are Revell, and some are older than my wife...all are originals... I have decided to build this dio onto a pedestal, as apposed to a thinner frame. This dio will be vertical and should have a tallish pedestal for its base. Much like the statue of liberty has a tallish pedestal for its vertical composition. The first step was to figure out some material that would be strong enough to support this whole endeavor, and I wanted something that had an industrial sort of look and feel to it, and something that would not appear out of place in or around the tarmac or the launch area. I needed it to blend in. So as most scratch builders do, I always keep an eye out for stuff and junk to use. one day while I was at the market, I got one of "Those" carts... the floppy wheels, it wont turn, a little bent. And while I was looking at this thing I noticed the texture of the plastic that the cart was made out of. Where I live, when the carts go bad, they go to cart heaven, out behind the building... So I went and pinched one while no one was looking and cut it apart to get the sides of the pedestal material... Then I figured out the general shape of the layout. This is what I came up with... The circle is the rocket on the launch pad, and the masking tape is where vehicles will be placed. You can see the related layout of the rest of the structures. The idea is to get the tarmac up, off the table a couple of inches to help reinforce the vertical. I also have an idea of a sort of 3d effect with some sort of structure under the tarmac base on the inside of the pedestal. not sure just yet but I'll figure something. So that's where I'm at with the base at the moment. I have the general layout, I have the dimensions 16 inches wide x 30 inches long x 4 inches tall, and I have the material to start the build. Be back later when I figure out how to join the corners of the pedestal and what to put inside the base. Thanks All...later
  4. OK, a very late start for this one but I do have an excuse... It was an eBay bargain and I only got it in the post on Monday! I know it's 90% built and in primer but it's so well engineered that I had it together in under half an hour! This is truly an amazing kit! Barely any seams to deal with, it helped that the fuselage is split as upper and lower rather than left and right, and absolutely no need for filler. I had so much fun putting it together I really did forget to take some photos, I promise I'll get some as I paint it.
  5. Launch Tower & Space Shuttle with Booster Rockets Revell 1:144 Following the demise of the Saturn/Apollo programme, which ended with the Apollo/Soyuz Test Program (ASTP) in 1975, NASA moved on to a new era in space flight; that of the Shuttle Programme. The intention was to design, build and launch a manned vehicle that could carry a crew and cargo payload into low earth orbit, deliver its cargo, and then return to earth, land like an aircraft, and be reusable for future launches. The requirements for the Shuttle were to be that, unlike the Saturn/Apollo system which progressively discarded everything on the way to the Moon and return only with the manned crew capsule; the whole transporter vehicle (the Orbiter) would need to launch, deliver, re-enter and land safely back on earth in a controlled fashion. Two solid booster rockets (SRB's) would also be recoverable for refurbishment and re-used which left the external tank (ET) as the only disposable component. Although the Launch Vehicle would be a completely new design, NASA wanted to minimise the work and costs required for the launch pads (LC-39A and LC-39B) at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA. Methods used were to modify the existing Crawler/Transporter (CT) and Mobile Launch Platform (MLP) hardware. The MLP would need the existing single flame trench opening to be filled in and the dismantling of the 36 storey Launch Umbilical Tower (LUT). The Shuttle system, comprising of the Orbiter, two Solid Rocket Boosters (SRB's) and a large External tank (ET) required multiple flame trenches to be cut/built into the refurbished MLP's and the finished design provided for 3 rectangular cut outs to be incorporated for this purpose. The launch pad foundations did not require a great deal of re-work as the existing approachways, flame channels/trenches etc., could be re-used in their present condition; however the supporting structures did require a totally new support system for the Shuttle and was quite different from the Saturn/Apollo technology. In the Apollo era, the manned capsule was sat atop a massive 330ft (100m) Saturn launch vehicle and needed an even taller support tower in the form of the LUT to service it ready for launch. The new Shuttle was only 122ft (37m) but required access to virtually the whole length of the Orbiter and the access to all this had to be in a clinically clean environment. The solution was to have a two part launch tower consisting of a rigid tower; called the Fixed Service Structure - (FSS) which was mainly the vertical tower gantry, and a movable structure; titled the Rotating Service Structure (RSS) which swung around to totally encompass the Shuttle when it arrived at LC-39 from the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB). NASA was also able to recycle the top twelve of the original platform levels from the LUT and this became the new FSS Tower thereby reducing time and costs in some of the design and build of the new launch tower facility. The Kit(s) This is a re-release of the kit which was first seen in the shops in 1986. There are three major components to be found in the box; the tower complex, which comprises the tower (FSS/RSS); the transporters (CT/MLP) and the Shuttle stack (Orbiter, ET & SRB's) and altogether makes quite a complex construction. Let's get some important scaling issues dealt with at the outset. Although the box art description quotes 1:144 scale, only the Shuttle stack is to this scale. The RSS/FSS scales out at 1:168, which is nearer the international 'N scale' and the CT/MLP is a demure 1:200 scale. The aim of this review is to highlight the contents of the box, its component sprues and materials used etc. As this is a re-issue of an almost 30 year old production it is not the intention of this review to go into any long-winded and irrelevant history of how and why these differing scales came to be brought together or used all those years ago. Launch Tower Gantry Complex First thing that we cannot ignore is that it is a big kit, the box it is supplied in measures a massive 30in x 20 x 5in (75 x 51 x 13cm) and contains 27 large sprues. The breakdown is generally 19 sprues for the FSS, RSS, CT and MLP and the remaining 8 are for the Shuttle, ET and SRB's. That's an impressive 292 individual parts, broken down to 194 for the tower complex and 98 for the Shuttle. How the model should look can be seen by the close-up photo details which are posted in the Walkaround Section titled: NASA Kennedy Space Centre Launch Pad 39A. As already mentioned, the tower complex consists of two main components; the FSS and the RSS and these together can be built as a stand-alone model, just as the launch pad has stood for most of it's 33 years - the various shuttles only occupied the pads collectively for a total of approximately 10% of that time. These sprues are quite large and the first section in the instructions refer to the FSS, comprising the tower gantry, platforms and central lift shaft. There are two sets of sprues for the tower gantry below and these provide the four sides plus the base platform and lift machinery house. Another pair of sprues of similar size, as seen below, are those for the internal lift shaft unit. They also have parts for the gantry supports and lighting posts. There are two different sprues containing the platforms, one platform for each level on the FSS; one sprue has six standard platforms whilst the second has six different platforms each depicting various items of equipment in position. The standard shapes are for levels 1, 2, 3, 6, 7 and 9; with the remainder being specific to levels 4, 5, 8, 10, 11 and 12 The gantry supports also have the vertical support arm for the RSS and this is a tubular section where the RSS is attached to the FSS and is the point where it rotates towards the CT, MLP and Shuttle stack in order to protect the shuttle whilst being prepared for launch. There is so much framework, gantry and crane elements that the kit looks just like one big mesh of girders and tubing and this can be seen in the sprue below which holds much of the overhead crane unit and other tower items. The overhead crane is a free-rotating unit and the kit has a spindle to pass through locating holes in the base of the crane and the top of the gantry platform; much like the facility used to connect free-rotating propellers to the fuselage of a model aircraft. Next we come to the sprues for the RSS. This is the large moving element of the Launch Tower which travels on a curved piece of railway track and brings the RSS up to the Orbiter. The main elements for this are the large cylindrical housing unit, the box-like holding frame, and the rotating gantry framework. Shuttle Stack and launch platform The shuttle stack comprises the main re-usable spacecraft, known as the Orbiter; two solid fuel booster rockets (SRB's) and a large external tank (ET), the latter items detach from the orbiter once their fuels are expended with the SRB's returning to earth under controlled methods whilst the ET is destroyed during its re-entry fall to earth. The Shuttle Stack is also from the original 1986 kit offering, although possibly with updated decals, and shows signs of age with flash evident on many of the sprue parts. Four main sprues contain the Orbiter and payload components with a further five having the combined Mobile Launch Platform and Crawler Transport (MLP/CT); SRB's and the ET. All the parts are produced in a glossy white plastic and these appear to show more flash and mould-wear than the Launch Tower components. Each of the first two sprues hold one half of the orbiter fuselage, two pieces to which form the upper and lower planes of the wing, the trap-door type hatches for the payload compartment, and the engine exhaust mounts etc. To assist in the positioning of components and colour schemes, close-in detail photos can be found in the Walkaround section titled Rockwell International Space Shuttle/Orbiter. The next sprue has the Orbiter payload bay base and side frames, the outer hatch deployment covers, and their inner linings. There is also an astronaut with a length of umbilical cabling so that it can be positioned in a space-walk setting. The fourth sprue has the payload assembly which consists of two satellites and their holding components within the payload bay. A choice here can be that they are positioned inside the Orbiter together; or just one, or neither depending on the mission scenario chosen to be built. The remaining kit parts are for the Canada arm and this can be assembled in various positions such as folded, short pickup (V shaped) or fully extended and, possibly even with one of the satellite units attached, ready for deployment. The next sets of sprues hold the external fuel supply units; the ET and SRB's, with their connecting components for attachment to the Orbiter and the MLP/CT for the whole Shuttle stack to sit on. In the top left corner of the sprue below can be seen two items, with two little lugs projecting below them. These are stabilising stands to hold the model of the Orbiter vertical on the MLP base but these items would not be found on the real Shuttle stack or launcher unit. The tractor units, of which there are eight, are the components for the CT and are attached directly underneath the MLP to become a single integral unit in the model. In reality they would be two separate vehicle and launch pad components. Interestingly, the pieces for the Tail Service Masts below appear to be at the correct scale of 1:144 even though they attached to the 1:1200 MLP. Probably as they sit either side of the Shuttle stack and give the setup a better perspective. Decals This kit comes with a comprehensive set of decals, with different sized markings - for Atlantis, Enterprise, Discovery and Endeavour pre-1998 and also for Atlantis, Discovery and Endeavour post-1998. Additional to those, there are various ational and commercial emblems; such as "USA" and "NASA" motif's, again depending on which era of the Shuttle program you may wish to depict. Other decal items consist of colour demarcations for the ET, SRB's, MLP and the gantry. A point to note here is, on a quick check of decal placement, that a few of the decal numbers for some components do not appear to match those on the instruction sheet. I would recommend checking with the instructions, and any available photos, for clarity. Conclusion This is a very large and complex looking kit and should be a great build, especially for those who enjoy detailing the insides of models; such as the insides of tank turrets, ship superstructures or aircraft cockpits etc. The difference here is that the whole thing won't then be lost to the eye, (when normally a fuselage, turret or hull is assembled) when it is all closed everything inside! There is some minor flash present on some of the sprues but nothing of great issue, especially for moulds which are almost 30 years old. One recommendation I would put forward is to pre-paint as much of the inner workings of the launch tower gantry, especially the lift shaft area and the insides of the gantry units as I suspect that it will be quite difficult to get a paintbrush into some of the deeper recesses once the kit is built. I understand that this kit has been on some modeller's waiting lists for a long time; as seen by some on-line sales forums having had the original listed, with some quite elevated prices, over the last decade or so and therefore I suspect that this will be a popular model to get and build. The most popular setting for the completed model would to represent the short period just prior to the launch of a Shuttle, however the Launch Tower itself stood without the shuttle for approx. 90% of it's existence and that is how most people would have seen it for real; therefore I would recommend perhaps to also consider an alternative diorama - of the tower in a stand-alone setting, as the photo at the top of this review depicts. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  6. So... my second entry! The Back-story In 1981 tensions between the East and West became so high that on the 24th October the USSR and its allies moved west into West Germany, Holland and Sweden. This huge and never-ending assault of soviet tanks was met by swift resistance at the borders, much of this resistance was based around aviation, however, the Soviets came prepared and had installed mobile SA-2 SAM missile sites, which, in the first 3 months shot down 37% of all Western aircraft called to combat. The West was starting to lose the war. In 1983 a stalemate emerged at the borders of West-germany, Holland and Sweden. The losses continued to amount until one day an ex WW2 lancaster pilot had an idea, one of the reasons for the the nazis' surrender being the continued bombing of key cities such as Berlin.
  7. After the RB-57F (http://www.mach2.fr/rb57.htm and http://modelingmadness.com/scott/korean/preview/mach2/019preview.htm) Mach 2 (http://www.mach2.fr/avionsg.htm) is to release a 1/72nd General Dynamics WB57F Canberra (NASA) kit - ref.GP.063 Source: http://www.aviationmegastore.com/general-dynamics-wb57f-canberra-nasa-gp063-mach-2-gp063-scale-modelling/product/?shopid=LM545799cb78d2964af7209c241a&action=prodinfo&parent_id=212&art=129300 V.P.
  8. NASA operates two Lockheed ER-2 Earth resources aircraft as flying laboratories in the Airborne Science Program under the Agency's Science Mission Directorate. The aircraft, based at NASA Armstrong's Building 703 in Palmdale, CA, collect information about Earth resources, celestial observations, atmospheric chemistry and dynamics, and oceanic processes. The aircraft also are used for electronic sensor research and development, satellite calibration, and satellite data validation.Info from NASA Pics thanks to DL Munne.
  9. This F-5E was modified by NASA for use in the Shaped Sonic Boom Experiment see:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaped_Sonic_Boom_Demonstration Pics thanks to bootneck
  10. HI, Thought you might like to see this,its NASA,S planned new ride,this is the Orion crew capsule and upper stage,build,with the larger 5 segment boosters. The vehicle is basically a stretched version of the shuttle tank,with 4 main engines.There is also a Block 0 one on paper,but its not certain that it will be built,as the Block 1 being the heavier version,is preferred.First flights are planned for Dec 2017?.. well heres the pics.. original plan to display the upper section as a seperate item,i have not decided which way to display them yet,? in launch configuration, 5 segment boosters upper stage removed upper stage engine with Orion cev with BPC cover and launch escape rocket With the Block 1 cargo vehicle alongside same pics with the ref material and with the cargo version and the future planned heavy payload shroud,not completed yet? and the other two Block 0. 4 segment booster versions started. and the Block 1 again AND FINALLY...my 4 year old came home from school,with this rocket he built for my collection,ive never been so proud.,we have discussed the design qualities,and have planned some intresting versions for this gorgous vehicle? Hope you liked the pics,its a bit pic heavy,sorry...any comments always welcome, cheers Don
  11. NASA Crawler-transporter. Originally developed for carrying the Saturn series of rockets, was later modified to take the Space Shuttle, and further modifications for the next generation of The Space Launch System. These vehicles have an incredible all up weight of 2,721,000 kilograms (5,999,000 lb) and can carry 8,200,000 kg (18,000,000 lb). They have a speed of 1mph when loaded with an mpg of 125 US Gallons to the Mile! Pics thanks to Mike Costello.
  12. NASA Saturn IB Rocket thanks to Mike Costello.
  13. NASA Saturn V Rocket. All pics thanks to Mike Costello. Launch Escape System, primary contractor Lockheed Propulsion Company.
  14. this was quite intresting i thought,for quite a lot of reasons?one being,why does a race send a flying saucer to another planet?coals to newcastle,sort of thing? http://www.techtimes.com/articles/5468/20140412/nasa-readies-low-density-supersonic-decelerator-flying-saucer-for-future-mars-asteroid-missions.htm just joshing.. cheers Don
  15. This is a bit short notice, sorry, but I've just had an email from the Kennedy Space Center advising that the special "Close Up" tours; which goes inside the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB), will end on 23 February. The VAB is being handed back to NASA so that they can start preparations for their next space project which I believe is the Orion/Delta IV Heavy? The other "close up" tour is the visit to the Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) which gets you right up to the launch pad for excellent photo opportunities, will also end sometime soon. Here are some images which I took last year. I would certainly recommend going if the chance is available because we may never get the opportunity again. Mike Inside the VAB LC-39A - especially useful with the Revell Shuttle Launch Tower kit being re-issued in August.
  16. HI, nice to see things are progressing, http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/pdf/638823main_crawler-transporter.pdf cheers Don.............thats another new model to build?
  17. Hey All This is my Revell 747SCA, in the last livery worn by the jumbo. Fun build, very odd one. The kit does show its age abit, but it was stillfun. It is the new release 747sca by revell, 1/144. Heres thew photos :-) Thanks for looking Bradley
  18. The photo below is of a F-4 Phantom but I don't know which version it is. The aircraft was photographed at the Dryden Research Facility alongside the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) in 1977. I see that it has the under-nose protrusion but have seen similar in various versions. Can anyone provide more specific details of this particular aircraft 37424 please? Also, what externally visible (not interested in internal avionics differences etc) differences are there between the F-4B, F-4C, F-4D, F-4E, F-4EJ and F-4F please? I am planning to build a variety of Phantoms in 1:144 scale and (hopefully at that scale) there are not many visible differences between each. Thanks in advance for any helpful information and/or images to support my requests cheers Mike
  19. Hi,tv tonight,on QUEST CHANNEL [38] at 9.00 until 10.00 ,behind the scenes at NASA,about the change from the space shuttle to the constellation programme,should be intresting? cheers Don
  20. Hello everyone, This was my "quick" (read long term) project for the F-15 STGB. Hope you like F-15 B ACTIVE S/MTD (2D Nozzles) Kit : Revell F-15E Strike Eagle Scale : 1:144 Decals : Some kit ones, Dragon F-15/F-5 Aggressor and home made. Paints : Tamiya, Humbrol, and Vallejo Extras : Retrowings F-15E Strike Eagle Cockpit set and F-18 Control surfaces set, Monokio Ladders, cake wires, and lots of plasticard. Build Thread : Clicky Linky Herey Kind Regards Dazz
  21. Hello one and all, This is my first GB, hope I don't cock it up! Anyhow while I wait clarification about "What-ifs", I post what I wanted to do and then what I will be doing if not. First one I wanted to do was a plane I used a lot when I had my old PS2 out. It's from the computer game Ace Combat Zero : The Belkan War (I know the two main aircraft in this game where F-15C's but I am not doing them... yet) its called the F-15 ACTIVE, as far as I am aware there was only one of these aircraft made and is now retired. It was used for lots of experiments and was also the first aircraft that I knew of that had thrust vectoring nozzles both 2D and 3D ones. Well here is the scheme I wanted to do, from the game. I must apologise for the crappy picture, but you get the point. Here is the actual "squadron" I will be doing and the aircraft. I do not own the artwork and I have no idea whom to ask either, but originally it belongs to Namco-Bandai. Not much in the way of stencils there, but I will see what I can source from my spares. Also I think that middle fuel tank should be a gun pod as the gun was removed for the canards. If anyone is looking at the canards and thinking "Hang on... they look familiar!!" It's because they have come from an F-18's horizitonal stabilizers. I had to check that one up on NASA's website, even I didn't believe it! The only thing I am going to have difficulty with is, the squadron badge, triangles/bars and the star. If you are wondering why the markings on this fictitious aircraft/country look like the ones used by America, its because in the game, Osea is based on America. I am planning on making my own decals for this one also. I need to learn a few things for this one before I can decal it. Now if this isn't allowed I will be making the proper version of this plane that NASA flew and will be building this one in the background for fun. I will be using the great Revell 1/144 F-15E Strike Eagle (what the original was made from), and also I will be using the Zactomods upgrade set as well as the Retrowings sets (once they arrive). In a stroke of pure planning greatness (or pure fluke you decide!) I already have the F-18 canards from when I made my F-18D, the Retrowings set for the control surfaces came with spare horizontal stabilizers but I never used them. So I will be using them on here. I will post up the bits as and when they arrive. I am hoping it will be soon. Kind Regards, Dazz
  22. Ok then, in at the deep end. I am going to attempt to build the NASA F-15B #836 from the Dryden Flight Research Center, as it was during 2006’s Gulfstream Aerospace, Quiet Spike research project. Here's a photo of the real thing (hope it's ok to post this picture as believe it or not, I didn't take it). I will be using this 1:48 Hasegawa TF-15 Eagle Bicentennial Bird kit. I’ve not taken sprue shots as I expect that many of you are pretty familiar with Hasegawa’s Eagles. To go with the kit I have ordered a set of NASA decals via eBay but they’ve not arrived yet though. So still crossing my fingers that there’ll be some appropriate sized NASA logos on the sheet when it arrives. I’m in the process of getting hold of some further decals for the ‘836’ on the vertical stabilisers and the Gulfstream logo to go on the spike. And finally on the decal front I’ve just ordered some gold stripe decals by Microscale via Hannants. I’m hoping these will do for the gold edge to the blue sections as I really don’t fancy trying to mask and paint them. Then, arguably the most important feature of this aircraft is the spike and this I have 3D modelled and had printed at work. Just got it this afternoon and I’m quite happy with it but it’s definitely going to take some careful effort to get it nice and smooth. And as for fitting it – shudders! Finally, I will probably get some Aires exhausts (turkey feather type) to replace the kit ones. Not bothering with AM seats as I’ll be going closed canopy. This project is likely a bit much for a novice modeller so I do have plans B, C and D (which used to be plan A) for in the event of this going to pot. (Sorry if I've been a bit wordy)
  23. Kennedy Space Center Launch Pads 39A & 39B along with the Vehicle Assembly Building form the Launch Complex 39 at the Kennedy Space Centre. Pad 39a originally launched Apollo missions and then Shuttle missions, it future now is uncertain. Pics thanks to Mike (Bootneck)
  24. The Vehicle (originally Vertical) Assembly Building, or VAB, at NASA's Kennedy Space Centre. It used to assemble American manned launch vehicles from 1968-2011. At 3,664,883 cubic meters, it is one of the largest buildings in the world by volume. The building is at Launch Complex 39. The VAB is the largest single-story building in the world, and is still the tallest building in the United States outside an urban area. The VAB, which was completed in 1966, was originally built to allow for the vertical assembly of the Saturn V rocket for the Apollo program. It was then used for housing Space Shuttle external fuel tanks and flight hardware, and was where Space Shuttle orbiters were mated with their solid rocket boosters and external fuel tanks. Once assembled, the complete Space Shuttle was moved on the Mobile Launcher Platform and Crawler-Transporter to LC-39 Pad A or B. Pics thanks to Mike (Bootneck)
  25. The motivation for this build was a local model club meeting as the theme was "multi-engine". My primary project wasn't going to be ready in time, so I hatched this crazy idea to do a model in a day. The kit used was a 1994 SSP reissue of the original 1955 issue Revell D-558-2 Skyrocket. This kit was done back in the day when Revell was all over the map on their scales. The model scales out to about 1/65 scale. While not quite 1/72, it would like quite at home next to a couple Matchbox cars I suspect since 1/64 is a common diecast scale. So, work started at about 5 AM on Wednesday morning as I began work by painting a stand for it in Tamiya metallic black (it is an Aurora Moebius stand as the kit didn't come with a stand) and by a little before 6 PM, I was adding the finishing touches by running a fine line black pen into the panel lines to pick them out a bit. I admit the model is not perfect as there are some minor issues in spots. My kit also didn't have the clear window parts, so I had to use some Micro Krystal Klear to make them (and a day later one of the windows is STILL drying). But I like the results in any event. For those of you who aren't familiar with the Douglas Skyrocket, it was a late 1940s US Navy design intended to help break the sound barrier. The D-558-I Skystreak was intended to explore speeds up to Mach 1 while the D-558-II was intended to explore speeds beyond mach 1. The aircraft made use of German swept wing innovations and it was developed as a rival to the US Army Air Force's Bell X-1 (the USAF split off in 1947). Both planes were developed at a time when the aerospace race was between two miltary agencies as opposed to two countries. Defense budgets were very lean back then in the immediate post war years as the prestige of record breaking could help prop up the budget when the time came. Defense budgets didn't begin to climb until after the start of the Korean War and the noticeable cooling off of East West relations which began the cold war. The original design featured a hybrid powerplant as it had a jet engine intended for takeoffs and landings and a rocket engine (of the same design as used on the Bell X-1) for its speed run. Unfortunately, the jet engine was underpowered and combined with the tiny intakes and bent tailpipe in the bottom of the fuselage, the plane was a heavy slug. Lack of decent fuel tankage for the rocket engine meant that the aircraft could barely hit mach 1 on its speed runs. But on the times it did this (especially close to the ground where the air was nice and thick), it was very exciting to watch. The Revell kit represents this configuration. Midway through the program, the decision was made to remove the jet engine from at least one of the three planes built, increase the fuel tankage for the rocket engine and air drop it from a B-29. During several test flights, Douglas test pilot William Bridgeman took the Skyrocket to up to Mach 1.8 before the plane was turned over to NACA for research work. A few years later, NACA test pilot Scott Crossfield became the first man to break Mach 2 in the rocket only powered D-558-2 Skyrocket. The Skyrocket lead to several innovations which found their way into production military aircraft.
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