Amodel 1/72 Khai-1 Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||June 2009||Manufacturer||Amodel|
|Kit Number||72174||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Unique aviation subject||Cons|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$13.00|
The Kharkov Khai-1 was an airliner that served in Aeroflot in the early 1930s. Never heard of the Kharkov OKB? There isn't one. This aircraft was a class project designed by the students of the Kharkov Aviation Institute. As with all Soviet aircraft projects, the design bureaus like Mikoyan, Sukhoi, etc., produce the design and the initial prototype, but production is turned over to a dedicated aviation production factory. Such was the case with the Kharkov project.
The class was divided into two groups, group 1 was tasked with designing an airliner that incorporated contemporary engineering features while group 2 was tasked to use conventional engineering features in their design. The two designs were reviewed and group 1's design, the Khai-1, was selected for build-up and flight test (Group 2's design was rumored to be later used as the basis of the T-34 main battle tank). The Khai-1 had such great potential that the aircraft was put into production for Aeroflot service, with 45 examples built. In flight, the Khai-1 was faster than the Air Force's fighters then in service.
Amodel has produced the first kit (that I am aware of) of the Khai-1 airliner in 1/72. The kit is molded in white styrene, and is presented on four parts trees plus one tree of clear parts.
The kit features a four-place passenger cabin with a positionable cabin entry door. The single-seat flight deck is simply appointed since you won't see much through the fixed cockpit transparency.
Assembly of the kit is very straightforward and provides you the option of the early service configuration aircraft with a fixed-pitch propeller or the variable-pitch propeller that were fitted later in the type's service.
The kit also has a nicely done landing gear that reveals the lineage with the same design as Polikarpov's I-16 though beefed up to handle the Khai-1's greater weight.
Markings are provided for one example:
- Khai-1, E, Aeroflot, Soviet Union
This is a nice little kit that will build into a unique subject with a little patience and skill. The AMS modeler will have fun with this project and have a colorful airlifter for the effort.
My sincere thanks to HobbyTerra for this review sample!