Platz 1/72 X-47B UCAS USN Kit First Look
|Date of Review||July 2012||Manufacturer||Platz|
|Subject||X-47B UCAS USN||Scale||1/72|
|Kit Number||AC-7||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Easy build, nice details||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$50.95|
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 is scheduled to perform the first flight tests aboard an aircraft carrier in 2013.
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.
Here was a pleasant surprise from Platz, a nice-looking kit of the X-47B in 1/72 scale. Carrying on from the previous UAV releases of the Predator, Reaper, and Global Hawk variants, this kit is the first of the subject in any scale to date.
Molded in light gray styrene, the kit is presented on two 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 are provided for internal stores
- 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 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 a really nice looking kit and it captures the visible details of the X-47B airframe. It is nice to see kits of the latest aircraft coming onto store shelves whether they're manned or unmanned aircraft. Kudos to Platz for producing this kit!
For a look at this kit built-up, look here.
My sincere thanks to Platz Hobby and DML for this review sample!