Academy 1/72 AH-64D Block II (Late) Longbow Apache Kit First Look
|Date of Review||September 2017||Manufacturer||Academy|
|Subject||AH-64D Block II (Late) Longbow Apache||Scale||1/72|
|Kit Number||12551||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Easy construction, nice detailing||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$33.00|
The US Army initiated the Advanced Attack Helicopter program in 1972 after cancellation of the previous replacement for AH-1 Cobra, the Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne. The Hughes YAH-64 was selected for production out of that competition and the Apache has served since 1986. In order to increase the Apache's lethality and survivability, an upgrade program was developed to integrate the APG-78 Longbow millimeter-wave radar on the aircraft to allow the Apache to engage multiple targets with the radar-guided Hellfire missile without breaking cover.
Despite its advanced capabilities, the Longbow Apache was not able to employ its lethality until it could be equipped with the combat identification system that would prevent it from inadvertently engaging friendly forces. With the introduction of the Block II upgrades, the AH-64D was equipped with the needed tools for integrated battlefield operations. The later Block II airframes saw the introduction of the upward deflecting exhaust ducts for better IR suppression. These upward deflecting exhaust ducts have been refitted to other Apache variants as well.
Following on Academy's previous Longbow Apache Block II (early) release, this kit adds the revised exhaust ducts.
The kit is molded in light gray styrene presented on three parts trees plus a small tree of clear parts. Among the features and options:
- Nice cockpits
- Multi-Function Displays (MFD) in front and rear cockpits
- Assymetrical extended forward avionics bays (EFAB)
- One-piece main rotor w/blades
- 8 x AGM-114 Hellfires on two quad-rail launchers
- 2 x Hydra 70 rocket pods
- Revised exhaust ducts
The kit provides markings for the following aircraft:
- AH-64D, 05-7011, 1st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Camp Spelcher, Tikrit, Iraq, 2010
- AH-64D, 02-5303, 4th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Cavalry, Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Taji, Iraq, 2009
- AH-64D, 07-7021, 4th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, Camp Casey, South Korea, 2014
- AH-64D, 08-5566, 4th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, Camp Casey, South Korea, 2014
If you're modeling an AH-64D as part of OEF or as part of the peace-keeping forces in OIF, check your references as many of these Apaches did not have their Longbow radomes installed once the armor threat was gone.
This is another nice release from Academy to enhance your scale flightline.
My sincere thanks to MRC for this sample!