Hasegawa 1/200 KC-46A Pegasus Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||August 2016||Manufacturer||Hasegawa|
|Kit Number||10817||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Easy build, first plastic kit of this subject||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$36.99|
At the beginning of the 21st Century, the US Air Force released a long awaited requirement to replace the aging KC-135 tanker. The KC-135 was based on the 367-80 (Dash 80) jet airliner prototype to provide an all-jet air refueling solution to a growing fleet of pure jet fighters and bombers. While Boeing was scaling up the Dash 80 into the first Model 707 airliners, they chose a smaller airframe as the solution for the KC-135 mission. While never officially designated as the Model 717, the KC-135 was similar in size to the Model 720 which was also a scaled-down 707 for the commercial market. The KC-135 entered production in the mid-1950s and the last production tanker came off the line in 1965. Where the KC-135 was a specially-designed tanker solution, this time the Air Force wanted a tanker based upon a commercial airframe and the 767 was selected.
The Air Force awarded a contract to Boeing in 2002 for the tanker but this soon ran afoul of politics and the contract was scuttled, opened for competition which brought the Airbus A330 as an alternative which won that competition. Once again politics scuttled that award and Boeing won the third (and final) attempt. In the meantime, Boeing had already pushed forward on the KC-767 concept and sold the first four tankers to the Italian Air Force. Japan followed with four tankers for the JASDF while the Airbus A330 tanker was adopted by other air arms. Columbia acquired their own tanker from a 767 converted by IAI.
After a lengthy development period, the KC-46A has completed flight testing and has been approved for production. The KC-46A differs from other 767-based tankers in that it has the Sargent Fletcher hose and drogue pods on the outer wings for Navy and allied aircraft while using a familiar air refueling boom for USAF aircraft. Instead of the high-speed boom used by the KC-135 fleet and fitted to some KC-767 aircraft, the KC-46A uses a boom similar to the KC-10 Extender which has better lower-speed performance for A-10s and C-130s while still able to effectively refuel high-performance aircraft.
Here is Hasegawa's 1/200 Boeing KC-46A Pegasus kit which captures the unique features of the long-awaited KC-135 replacement. The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on six parts trees plus one small tree of clear parts and one tree of smoky clear parts (display stand). The kit offers the following features and options:
- Simple construction
- Cockpit bulkhead serves as mount for heavy screws used for ballast
- Landing gear is posed extended only
- Sargent Fletcher refueling drogue pods
- High speed refueling boom
- Optional display stand
Markings are provided for two examples:
- KC-46A (767-2LKC), N461FT, Flight Test Airframe
- KC-46A (767-2LK(ER), N462KC, Flight Test Airframe
The decal sheet has a nice set of maintenance stencils for the airframe as well as the distinctive markings for each of the subjects above.
Overall, this really is a nice kit which provides some well-thought-out options. Have some fun and give this release a turn on your bench!
My sincere thanks to Hasegawa USA for this review sample!