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AV-8B Canopy Det. Cord

Orion Models 1/48 AV-8B Canopy Det. Cord First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review December 2005 Manufacturer Orion Models
Subject AV-8B Canopy Det. Cord Scale 1/48
Kit Number OMV48003 Media Vinyl
Pros Adds important visual detail to Hasegawa (or Monogram) canopy Cons
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) Out of Production

First Look

When a pilot must eject from a crippled aircraft, the standard sequence when the ejection seat handles are pulled is for the canopy to automatically jettison and a fraction of a second later, the rocket motor under the seat initiates. The simple airflow will carry the canopy clear of the aircraft.

AV-8B Canopy Det. Cord

In the case of the AV-8B, this sequence is fine when the aircraft is flying at cruise speeds, but in the hover, there is no wind to carry the canopy out of the way. Worse still, in the hover, you're close to the ground and the aircraft is within a few seconds from impact should something go wrong (like an engine failure). There is no time for anything but one pull on the handles to get out.

To get the pilot out of the aircraft, an explosive chord is integrated into the canopy that, when activated, will blow a hole in the clear material large enough for the seat and pilot to pass through without shredding the pilots body in the process.

When the Hasegawa AV-8B kit was released (and the Monogram kit before it), the canopy didn't have a visible representation of the detonation chord. Orion Models to the rescue.

They've developed a simple vinyl transfer that will adhere to the inside of the canopy. Each set has two chords provided, and for the more adventurous, the remaining silhouette from the carrier can even be used as a paint mask if you'd like to paint your chord onto the canopy. In the case of the vinyl chord, once this is safely in place and rubbed down firmly to the surface, a quick dip of the finished canopy in Future will seal the vinyl chord in place.

This is a nicely done enhancement for the Hasegawa kit! My sincere thanks to Orion Models for this review sample!