Platz 1/72 X-47B w/GBU-27 Kit First Look
|Date of Review||Match 2014||Manufacturer||Platz|
|Kit Number||AC-12||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Easy build, nice details||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (Yen)||¥2940|
The X-47B is a development of the DARPA Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV) program that has seen a number of name changes over the last several years. DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, jump-starts a number of advanced technology programs to get them into the warfighter's hands much sooner than traditional research. In this case, DARPA wanted to develop a stealthy strike Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) to support the future combat needs of the US Air Force and Navy under the banner of the Joint Unmanned Combat Aerial System (J-UCAS) program.
When the Air Force dropped out of the program, the Navy continued with the program and the X-47B has met or exceeded everyone's expectations. The aircraft successfully completed the first carrier integration tests with multiple approaches, wave-offs, touch and gos, arrested landings, catapult launches, and marshalling on and below decks.
The X-47B is a powered by a Pratt and Whitney F100-220 engine (same as the F-16 but without the afterburner) and was first flown in 2011. Flight testing started at Edwards AFB in early 2011 and transitioned to Patuxent River NAS in early 2012. Developed by Northrop-Grumman, the X-47B has two internal weapons bays capable of lofting up to two Mk.84-class (2000lb) bombs, one in each bay.
Platz first released this kit a few years ago (look here) and have reissued this gem with a new tree of parts. Molded in light gray styrene, the kit is presented on three parts trees. The kit has some nice features and options:
- Nice representation of the stealthy air intake
- Positionable weapons bay doors
- Two GBU-31 2000lb JDAMS
- Two GBU-27 2000lb Paveway III
- Positionable landing gear
- Nose gear has catapult launch bar
- Positionable spoilers/speed brakes
- Outer wing panels can be folded or extended
The kit provides markings for two aircraft:
- X-47B, 168063, AV-1, CVW-9, NG/501
- X-47B, 168064, AV-2, CVW-9, NG/502
The kit provides markings for two notional aircraft:
- MQ-47C, 169637, VUAQ-10, CVW-8, AJ/801, USS Ronald Reagan
- MQ-47C, 169838, VUAQ-12, CVW-14, NK/902, USS George HW Bush
The CVW-9 markings are carried on AV-1 and AV-2 (lots of photos online) and Platz added alternative markings for CVW-5 and VX-9.
This is still a nice kit and builds into a great model. For a look at this kit built-up, look here. This release with the additional weapons provides some interesting options for another project.
My sincere thanks to Platz Hobby for this review sample!