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general melchett

Anigrand Rockwell FV-12E VTOL carrier-based fighter

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Hi all, I managed to get this one finished within the last month to add to my growing collection of 1/72nd scale VTOL/STOL jet projects and which will hopefully feature in an upcoming book article about such projects that's underway at the moment. Apols in advance for all the text but the system the aircraft used needs a bit of explaining...

This is my take on the amazing Rockwell XFV-12A VTOL fighter of the mid seventies which never made it beyond the prototype stage, not really surprising when you consider the technological hurdles that the company faced in designing the project. The aircraft was designed as a supersonic fighter/attack machine using a "Thrust Augmenter Wing" concept. The design used a modified 30,000 lb thrust (in afterburner) Pratt & Whitney F401 engine. For vertical lift, a diverter valve in the engine exhaust system blocked the nozzle and directed the gases through ducts to ejector nozzles in the wings and canards for vertical lift. The thrust of the spanwise ejectors could be modulated by varying the diffuser angle: pitch and roll were controlled by differential variation of the four ejectors from fore to aft and left to right; yaw was controlled by differential ejector vectoring. An auxiliary engine inlet for use in vertical flight was located immediately behind the cockpit. If certain parts look familiar then that's probably because the prototype aircraft used the forward fuselage and nose gear of an A-4 and a resized centre section and intakes of an F-4 to save money, (the main gears came from a T-2 Buckeye). Unfortunately the system was flawed as the engine could only lift 75% of the weight of the aircraft in which it was mounted and even though an extensive upgrade program was considered to improve the power/weight ratio the costs were spiralling out of control until it became one of the most expensive aviation projects the US had ever undertaken. It did make a couple of tethered hovering flights using the old NASA LEM test facility which only went to validate the inherent problems with the thrust weight ratio. Needless to say the whole thing was wound up in 1978 and in retrospect should never have been given the green light...another costly 'dead end' sadly. Had it worked it would have been an amazing aircraft..it's top speed was cited to be 1595 mph...no slouch and very agile.

I've portayed it as an operational F(V)-12E of VF-191(Satans Kittens) aboard USS Oriskany for work up early 1975, (had the program gone through on time as sadly the Oriskany was decomissioned in late 1976), armed with two AIM-7's and four AIM-9G's. The Sidewinders and Sparrows are mounted in the proposed positions as stated in the Rockwell brochure, the long range tanks are from an Emhar Demon. There were several different proposals including a twin engine version and one tailored to the USMC for close support.

This model took a lot of work to be honest as all the individual control surfaces had to be cut out and then their relative positions worked out as Anigrand provide everything in flight position as a simple kit. Same goes for the wepons loadout. The dustbin lid in the exhaust is actually the sealing nozzle to prevent hot gas leaving the exhaust when diverted to the thrust augmentors in the wings, (ala Saab Viggen thrust reverser), and was closed when the slats and flaps were in the VTOL mode..

The main gear has been replaced as it was too short and over simplified and a new cockpit was used from an A-4 kit. The resin had a lot of air bubbles and bits missing as usual and a rather pebbly soapy surface texture which was a right pain to get right, but I'll be building a lot more Anigrands in the future, love 'em.

Finished using Gunze and model master paints, Flory light dirt washes, Alclad metallics, pastel and oil washes and decals from the spares box.

Although a footnote in aviation history it's still an interesting aircraft/concept and a good all round fun build.................Can I can come off the meds now nursey ! :hobbyhorse:

Cheers all,

Melchie

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Impressive model of an interesting and singularly ungainly looking contraption!

Kind regards,

Joachim

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That's a different looking beast!

Lovely model!

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I went for an interview with Hawkers at Kingston a long time ago and there was some discussion about this a/c (can't remember why but I think that it was still in the construction phase) but the chap interviewing me remarked that it wouldn't work - but they wouldn't find that out for another couple of years!

Nice work but I would rather you stuck to 'the way it was'. It had quite a nice paint job.

John

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That's a very good-looking model of a strange-looking bird.

(Edited - spelling. There's a 'k' in 'looking'!)

Edited by Beard

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very nice work, and great subject looks fantastic , do like some of the anigrand stuff , great paint and finish, nice job

Edited by batcode

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Beautiful model. A few of these show up in RAF service in the novel Chieftains.

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WOW well that sure is an unusual bird. But a very nice one too. Never seen one before and Bet I don't see one again. I love obscure stuff like this.

Very nicely done General sir !

Love the photos very classy .

;)

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Thanks fellas glad it tickles a few fancies,

John, ah foresight eh !, it all looked highly improbable on paper to the Navy too and why they didn't go for the Convair 200 is beyond me, OK safer bet but at least it might have worked ! Apparently the FVX-12A was last in the list of three proposals, the first being the Convair 200, then the McAir AV-16 and lastly the FVX-12A, but after a fair bit of manoeuvring from the powers that be in this case one Adm. Davies who took the charts from the NAVAIR presentation then modified and cherry picked the data for his FV-12 sales pitch to Assistant Secretary of the Navy Frosch, who gave the green light. Soon there after NAVAIR's reservations about the design reached Assistant Secretary Frosch, and he blew a gasket. Frosch called in representatives from NAVMAT, CNO, CNM and NAVAIR to talk the project over, stating he never wanted any project to be pitched to him again without both sides of the story being told !!.

As for the scheme, I'm not really into prototypical liveries I prefer to see them as the fighting units they were supposed to be, it was a fairly natty scheme but didn't do anything for me I'm afraid,

A few of these show up in RAF service in the novel Chieftains.

Interesting I'll have to have a look, cheers,

Thanks Rob, 'thought it would be right up your alley', (Melchett quote), like Margaret Thatcher it's a strange old bird with a pointy nose, short legs and a system that was based on the use of a lot of hot air .... but ultimately packed a lethal punch..

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Thanks fellas glad it tickles a few fancies,

John, ah foresight eh !, it all looked highly improbable on paper to the Navy too and why they didn't go for the Convair 200 is beyond me, OK safer bet but at least it might have worked ! Apparently the FVX-12A was last in the list of three proposals, the first being the Convair 200, then the McAir AV-16 and lastly the FVX-12A, but after a fair bit of manoeuvring from the powers that be in this case one Adm. Davies who took the charts from the NAVAIR presentation then modified and cherry picked the data for his FV-12 sales pitch to Assistant Secretary of the Navy Frosch, who gave the green light. Soon there after NAVAIR's reservations about the design reached Assistant Secretary Frosch, and he blew a gasket. Frosch called in representatives from NAVMAT, CNO, CNM and NAVAIR to talk the project over, stating he never wanted any project to be pitched to him again without both sides of the story being told !!.

As for the scheme, I'm not really into prototypical liveries I prefer to see them as the fighting units they were supposed to be, it was a fairly natty scheme but didn't do anything for me I'm afraid,

Interesting I'll have to have a look, cheers,

Thanks Rob, 'thought it would be right up your alley', (Melchett quote), like Margaret Thatcher it's a strange old bird with a pointy nose, short legs and a system that was based on the use of a lot of hot air .... but ultimately packed a lethal punch..

HAHAHA. Yes indeed General... Your trundling dangerously close to the front line there mate !

It reminds me of Thunderbirds, stingray et al, Captain scarlet etc etc... ;)

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Interesting looking plane, excellently made and finished!!! Lovely photography too!

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Wow! Excellent model - great work on placing all the control surfaces in 'VTOL' positions - must have been an amazing amount of work.

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Thanks again chaps, as ever your comments are very much appreciated.

Cookenbacher, must admit it did try my patience a tad, poor dog took most of the heavy flak but he pulled through like the trooper he is. The main problem was that after separating every control surface section most were badly warped and needed straightening with hot water then add to that all those pesky air holes and the pebbly finish and you have a recipe for frustration. The fun bit was gluing it all together, I'm not a huge fan of CA'ing everything resin together especially when trying to add pre painted parts as any excess can leave a glossy film all but impossible to remove so I prefer to use Gator glue, great stuff that dries reasonably quickly, is easily cleaned up and forms a really strong bond. The problem was holding everything in the right position while it set...!! A good set of biceps and steely determination really help...anyone know where I can get some !!!

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Thanks again chaps, as ever your comments are very much appreciated.

Cookenbacher, must admit it did try my patience a tad, poor dog took most of the heavy flak but he pulled through like the trooper he is. The main problem was that after separating every control surface section most were badly warped and needed straightening with hot water then add to that all those pesky air holes and the pebbly finish and you have a recipe for frustration. The fun bit was gluing it all together, I'm not a huge fan of CA'ing everything resin together especially when trying to add pre painted parts as any excess can leave a glossy film all but impossible to remove so I prefer to use Gator glue, great stuff that dries reasonably quickly, is easily cleaned up and forms a really strong bond. The problem was holding everything in the right position while it set...!! A good set of biceps and steely determination really help...anyone know where I can get some !!!

And I thought I had it bad on my build. I looked at this and thought for a second... How would I go about that.... I soon decided to stop thinking it seemed like too much. I am amazed at what you have achieved here. You must have some patience...

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You do great work with these Anigrand kits Melchie :thumbsup:

I have attempted their Mirage 4000 converting it to a 2 seater. Not that happy with the result and may rework it in the future. I need to take a leaf out of your book when attempting these kits. I also have the F-108 and A-12 kits to have a go at one day.

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That's a great build and finish of an interesting subject. Liked the BW pics too.

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Thanks again fellas,

Rob, patience.......... hmmm, it's more stubbornness really..this piece of resin will not defeat me !

Ray you really ought to have another go at that Mirage, sounds like a great project. I haven't got that particular kit but always liked the idea of a two seater. Anything you want to know about these kits just ask away. I've also got the F-108, in fact it's one of those on the workbench...though I have no idea when it'll be done. I'm after the German VAK-191B and EWR VJ-101C as well, more weird and wonderful VTOL projects to get stuck into..

Thanks Jer, glad you like it....

M

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Very nicely done General, and great colour scheme from the era.

I remember this machine from my earlyish 70s Observers book of Aircraft.

This was the time when the Phantom reigned supreme, and was just being challenged by

the Tomcat and Eagle. The F16 & F17 were still mock ups. F18 and Stealth just didn't exist.

Then there was this strange Rockwell beast, promising Mach 2 performance with VSTOL.

Never could see exactly how it would do that.

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Thanks TPS, yep exciting times when just about anything seemed possible aviation wise, (with the possible exception of Mach 2 VSTOL flight), I also used to paw through the Observer and William Green books as a nipper marvelling at the latest techno marvels. Amazing that a concept that was seriously in doubt before it even left the drawing board was allowed to get as far as it did, especially when you consider that it's main rival the Convair 200 basically used a similar system to the F-35 and Soviet Yak-141, a far safer bet !

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Very cool build, looks like something from Thunderbirds!

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That is amazing! You do not stop to surprise us! Well done, as usual! That is sort of Hurrier grandfather's cousin;-

Best regards! Egor.

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