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  1. RAAF ARDU C-47 Dakota Project INGARA 1:72 Red Roo Models What must be the longest serving transport in the history of the Royal Australian Air Force must be the venerable Douglas C-47. Even after its successors in the form of the Caribou & Hercules were on the scene the C-47 continued to serve with the RAAF's Aircraft Research & Development Unit (ARDU) based at Edinburgh in South Australia. It was finally retired in 1994. The last job of this venerable aircraft was to take part in project INGARA. Ingara is an aboriginal word which mean "long way" Between 1992 and 1994 C-47 A65-86 was modified with a radome under the rear fuselage which housed a synthetic sideways looking radar which had been developed they the Defence Science & Technology Organisation. The project was undertaken to test the design of a radar system capable of producing high resolution ground mapping at long stand off ranges, including target detection of trucks and tanks. 75 hours were flown between 1992 & 1994. Following retirement in 1994 A65-86 is now at the Royal Australian Navy Fleet Air Arm museum at Nowra. The INGARA project did not end with the C-47, the radar was later integrated into a Beach 350 King Air aircraft to test and validate broad area airborne surveillance concepts, as part of Joint Project 129 - airborne surveillance for land operations. The experience of the Ingara team was critical in convincing the US to undertake the Global Hawk project with Australia. Scientists and engineers from what was then DSTO (now DST Group) played an integral part in adding maritime surveillance and dynamic control capability to the Global Hawk system and systematically tested the deployed system against various ISR scenarios. The system was proven in the Gulf War where tactical intelligence was collected at night and through thick oil smoke. The system is now part of the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Test Bed to assess and evaluate multi-sensor ISR issues, and is the only system of its kind in Australia that can collect fully polarimetric radar data. The Conversion This conversion from Red Roo contains the parts and decals to make A65-86 as she was when fitted with the INGARA radome. The parts are the main radome, blanking astrodome mount, VHF antenna, Blade antenna, two etched transponder aerials and a mounting plate for the radome. The instructions are clear about where to fit the parts, the colour scheme and decal placement. The decal sheet designed by Hawkeye models provides all the markings needed including the Blue cheat line. They are in register, well printed and look colour dense. Conclusion This set enables a late use C-47 to built which had an interesting and important job with the RAAF's Aircraft Research & Development Unit. Red Roo continue to bring us interesting conversions with an Australian slant. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
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