Last updated: Landing GEar, Missiles, Decals, Completing the model - May 11, 2015
The Chinese are testing their six prototype J-20 aircraft, and the Russians are testing their five PAKFA aircraft. It is expected that those two aircraft will be the 3rd and 4th operational 5th generation stealth aircraft.
The Chinese are testing their six prototype was desinged in the early 1970s and entered service in 1978 with US Airf Force. It is the most widely produced and exported modern western fighter in the world, with over 5,000 aircraft delivered
So, in 2016 the F-35 will come on line in initiaal operational capabilites and in 2017-2019 the J-20 and PAKFA will most likely attatin initial operating capability. the F-22 Raptor has been operational since 2005, over ten years ahead of the rest.
The F-22 came about as a result of the US Air Force Advanced Tactrical Aircraft program that started in 1981 to prepare for the ultimate replacement of the F-15 Eagle and F0-16 Falcomn aircraft. The program was directed specifically at taking advantage of the new technologies in fighter design which were just on the horizon in that time frame. This included composite materials, lightweight alloys, advanced flight-control systems, more powerful propulsion systems, and stealth technology.
A request for proposals (RFP) was issued in July 1986 seeking companies to submit prop[osals that would lead to the building of two prototype aoircraft per company to conduct a fly off to determine the winner. Two contractor teams, Lockheed/Boeing/General Dynamics and Northrop/McDonnell Douglas, were selected on 31 October 1986 to undertake the 50-month demonstration phase, culminating in the flight test of the two technology demonstrator prototypes, which were designated the YF-22 and the YF-23.
Each team produced two prototype aircraft, one for each of two different engine options. These airfcraft made numerous flights and were subjected to multiple tests. After all of the flight tests and all validations of the prototypes, the Secretary of the US Air Force announced on April 23, 1991 that the YF-22 had won the ATF competition.
Although the The YF-23 design was considered stealthier and faster, the YF-22 demonstrated higher maneuverability. At the time, it was also speculated that the YF-22 was also more readily adaptable to the U.S. Navy's Navalized Advanced Tactical Fighter (NATF) program. However, by 1992, the Navy abandoned their NATF program.
The US Air Force originally ordered 750 aircraft at a cost of $26.2 billion, with production beginning in 1994. However, the 1990 Major Aircraft Review led by Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney reduced this to 648 aircraft beginning in 1996. By 1997, the number was cut the total to 339. By 2003, the procurement was listed to 277 F-22s. Then in 2004, the Department of Defense (DoD) finally reduced the number to 183 operational aircraft, despite the USAF's insistance that at least 339 would be required.
This major reduction in numbers drove the overall cost of the aircraft very high. Ultimately, each aircraft was estimated to cost in exccess of $300 million dollars. Originally, the aircraft were intended to cost less than $100 million.
Once the award was announed in 1991, the Lockheed team moved forward. Flight testing of the first actual F-22 began in 1997 with Raptor 4001, which was the first EMD jet. Eight more F-22s were built to go through the EMD and flight test program, which was rigorous. In 2000 Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (AFB) began survivability testing, including live fire testing and battle damage repair training for the Air Force.
Finally, The first production F-22 was delivered to Nellis AFB, Nevada, in January 2003, twelve years after the award being granted.
In December 2005, the F-22 acheived initial operating capability. During Exercise Northern Edge in Alaska in June 2006, in simulated combat exercises twelve F-22s of the 94th FS downed one hundred and eight US Air Force adversaries with no losses. Overall, in Joint e4xercises that year, Raptor-led Blue Forces amassed 241 kills against two losses in air-to-air combat...and the two losseswere not F-22s.
The next year, during Red Flag exercises in February 2007, fourteen F-22s of the 94th FS supported Blue Force strikes and undertook close air support sorties. Against superior numbers of Red Force Aggressor F-15s and F-16s, F-22s maintained total air dominance throughout the exercises.
Since attaining operational capability, the F-22 has been deployed in the United States for air defence. It was not until 2009 that the aircraft had its first international deployment at Al Dhafra Air Base in the UAE . In April 2012, F-22s have been rotating into Al Dhafra Air Base, less than 200 miles from Iran; the Iranian defense minister referred to the deployment as a security threat. In March 2013 the USAF announced that an F-22 had confronted and chased off an Iranian F-4 Phantom II that approached within 16 miles of an MQ-1 Predator flying off the Iranian coastline.
In June 2014, F-22s from the 199th Fighter Squadron of the Hawaii Air National Guard were deployed to Malaysia to participate in the Cope Taufan 2014 exercise conducted by the USAF Pacific Air Forces and Royal Malaysian Air Force.
On 22 September 2014, F-22s performed their first combat sorties during the American-led intervention against ISIS and Al Queda in Syria, Aircraft dropped 1,000-pound GPS-guided bombs on Islamic State targets. Combat operations in Syria continue at this date.
Aircraft General characteristics:
Length: 62 ft 1 in (18.92 m)
It has more features and options.
For example, the Fujimi kit allows the Jet Engines to be removed from the kit and placed on an external maintenance cart. The Fujimi kit as movable Thrust vectoring veins, movable aerilons, and contains the best detail for the weapons bays and landing gear bays. In addition, the weapons loadout includes a full compliment of air to air and air to ground weapons. it also has either a clear or smoked canopy for the aircraft.
Outside of all of that, Fujimi makes very good model kits. They have little or no falsh. They produce high detail injected plastic parts.
This kit has the major fuselage in two pieces, an upper and lower. It comes with six frets/sprues of plastic parts, all modeled in grey. It also has the clear and smoked canpoy parts.
All bays and landing gear can be depitced in either the lowered or raised position.
I intend to show the gear down, the main weapons bay open, and one of the side weapons bay open showing the Sidewinder missile.
I will build it to be able to remove one of the engines to place on the cart.
The decals look very fgood...with a lot of all sorts of detail for the various panels around the aircraft.
The instructions and paint guide are all in Japanese, but they appear intuitive, even if they are somewhat sparse.
Here's how the aircraft looked out of the box:
The Build Weapons Bay, Cockpit, Intakes, stabilizers, Engines - May 6, 2015
I started off by assembling the three weapons bays and painting them. There is thje main bay beneath the aircraft, and then two side bays, one on each side.
I then built the cockpit of the aircraft. The kit provides a good cockpit with a really decent 1/72 scale ejection seat. Amnd the interior detail of the cockpit is good. This kit has a fairly extensive assembly for the cockpit which I painted first and then assembled.
Then it was time to build the air inteakces for the aoircraft. These are very fuinely modeled in this kit and provides a full path back into the aircraft so that when looking in detail into the intakes you see a good representation on how the air flows into the engines.
At this point I place the engine support bracket into the fuselage, and then bgan building the various aerilons and stabilizers. These parts are all separate, with the main aerilons being movable on the aoircraft.
Finally, the engine assembly was fairly extensive. Theengines have a lot of detail becasue they are meant to be able to be removed from the aircraft and shown in the maintenance cart. This level of detail extends to having the variable thrust veins being movable, which is a very nice feature. They can be moved while in the aircraft, and also moved while outside of the aircraft.
The model has the support bracket mentioned earlier, that hold the engines in noicely when they are in the aircraft.
The Build: Fuel tanks, Fuselage, Camoflage, Edges - May 8, 2015
This session began with the assembly and painting of the two feul tanks. The F-22 uses these to get to an area of patrol or angagement and then drops them when the time comes for full stealth.
I then gpainted both sides of the fuselage in the base color. The kit calls for 50% Barley Grey and 50% Duck Egg Blue. I did this...and it ended up producing a little bluer hue than I believe is appropriate...though at some angles (like in the 2nd actual pictutre of the F-22 above, you can see it.
I then carefully placed the engines, the horizontal stabilizors, and the trailing edge control surfaces into their position in the lower half of the fuselage, and then glued the top half down on it so that the approriate surfaces could all move as desinged.
Once this was done, and dry, it was time to paint the darker camo pattern on the upper fuselage. This was 60% Dark Gull gray and 40% steel. I then painted the nose cone and edges of the aircraft approrpiately. The mix called for ended up very close to light ghost gray, so I just used Light Ghost Gray.
As you can see in the last two photos, I also placed the canopy on the aircraft.
The aircraft is looking pretty good. In my next session I will fgocus on the landing gear and getting the weapons and the doors onto the weapons bays.
The Build: Landing Gear, Missiles, Decals, Completing the model - May 11, 2015
I began this session by painting the various parts for the landing gear and then assembling them. Once they had dried, I placed them, along with the various doors for the landing gear, on the model. I then got all of the missiles (three AIM-120 AMRAAMs for each side of the main bay, and one AIM-9X Sidewinder for the one side bay that I am going to show open) and painted them and then added the decals for them.
Once this was completed, I assembled and painted the various doors for the weapon's bays and added them and the missiles to the aircraft. After doing so, and letting that dry, I then added the decals for the aircraft.
There were quite a few. Altogether, I added over 75 decals to this aircraft. The low visibility decals are not easy to see in some places, but they all went on very well.
Once this was done, the model was completed and only in need of some touch up paint and the final two coats of dull coat. I decided to wait until later tpo build the engine carriage. The horizontal stabilizors and the nozzels for the variable thrust exhaust all work fine.
Here are the final stndard pictures:
...and a few more with details:
And that completes the Fujimi 1/72 scale model of the US Air Force F-22A Raptor, 5th generation stealth fighter.
The completion of the PLAN Carrier group was centered on the already completed Trumpeter's 1/350 scale PLA Navy's Aircraft Carrier CV-16, Liaoning, (in addition to the other escorts already completed) included Mini Hobby's PLAN Guangzhou, DDG-168. I recently pre-ordered a 1/350 scale model of the PLAN Type 071 LPD, Yuzhao Class, announced by Trumpeter and due out in October, 2013. I will end up adding two of those, probably LPD-998 Yuzhao and LPD-999, Jinggangshan, add the PLAN- DDG-139, Ningbo, and the PLAN DDG-115, Shenyang, along with the PLAN Weifang, FFG-550 and thus build a PLAN ARG.
The completion of the US Carrier Strike group was centered on the completed Tamyia's 1/350 scale USS Enterprise, CVN-65, (in addition to the other escorts already completed) included Trumpeter's, USS Freedom, LCS-1, Dragon's USS Preble, DDG-88 and Hobby Boss's USS Texas, SSN-775. When a 1/350 scale USS Enterprise, CVN-80 (or any Gerald R. Ford Class) is released from Trumpeter, Tamiya, Dragon, or whomever else, I will add it to this group along with another AEGIS Cruiser. Whichever Ford Class coms out in 1/350 scale, I will build it as the USS Enterprise, CVN-80.
The completion of the US ARG was centered on the Gallery's 1/350 scale USS Iwo Jima LHD-7, it also included the 1980s refit of the World War II Iowa class battleship, Tamiya's 1/350 scale, USS New Jersey, BB-62, also, Gallery's 1/350 scale USS New York, LPD-21, Cyber Hobby's USS Independence, LCS-2, Bronco Model's 1/350 scale USS Coronado, LCS-4, a Flight IIA US AEGIS class destroyer based on Trumpeter's 1/350 scale USS Lassen, DDG-82, and a Ticonderoga AEGIS cruiser...all of these models which I already own.
The completion of the UK Group featured the Airfix 1/350 scale HMS Illustrious, R06 as its center piece until a 1/350 scale Queen Elizabeth carrier is released. When that happens, I will add that carrier to the group as its centerpiece. The Royal Navy CSG will also include two Airfix 1/350 scale Daring Class DDGs (one of which is already completed), two Trumpeter 1/350 scale Type 23 HMS Duke class Frigates, and the Hobby Boss 1/350 scale HMS Astute SSN. One day, when a 1/350 scale HMS Ocean LPD comes out, I will use it to start building a Royal Navy ARG.
The completion of the French CSG is centered on Heller's 1/400 scale Charles De Gaulle, R91, the 1/400 scale Heller French De Grasse, D612 DDG, which is an ASW DDG, the French Aconit D612 FFG and Gueprattet F714 FFGs, both of which are Lafayette class frigates. These four vessels round out my French CSG. As soon as a French Robin class nuclear sub, like the French Pearle S606 SSN is released in 1/350 or 1/400 scale, I will add that to the group. Also as soon as the Forbin D620, Horizon class anti-air DDG is released in 1/350 or 1/400 scale, I will purchase two of them and replace the De Grasse with them.
The completion of the Japanese JMSDF group was centered on Fujimi's very finely detailed, 1/350 scale Hyuga, DDH-181. It is escorted by Trumpeter's 1/350 scale DDG-177, Atago, an AEGIS class DDG and the JMSDF, DDG-174, Kongo class, Trumpeter’s 1/350 scale DDG-111 a Takinami Class DDG, and by the 1/350 scale SS-503 Hakuryu, one of Japans new, very modern and capable AIP Diesel Electric submarines. As soon as a DDG-115 Akizuki in 1/350 scale is released, I will add it to this group. When a 1/350 scale JS Ixomuo is relased, I will readd it to the group. The Izumo callss is a larger, more capable VTOL carrier that Japanese is building to compliment the Hyugas. The Izumo is also more capable of embarking F-35B strike fighters if ever necessary.
The completion of the Russian CSG is centered on Trumpeter's Kuznetsov aircraft carrier, the Russian Kirov Class nuclear battle cruiser (CGN), the Petr Velikiy by Trumpeter, the Russian Slava Class cruiser, Varyag by Trumpeter, the Trumpeter 1/350 scale Udaloy II DDG, Charabanenko, a Hobby Boss's Akula II class SSN, and the new Yasen class Russian SSN, all in 1/350 scale.
I completed Heller's 1/400 scale Foch, the Clemenceau Class carrier that was sold to the Brazilians in 2000 and in 2002 was refitted and became the < ahref="http://www.jeffhead.com/modelbuilds/bra-a12.htm">Brazilian CV, Sao Paulo, CATOBAT carrier. This is the start of a Brazilian group, though the Type 22 DDGs and other FFGs the Brazilians use are not available at present.
Then, again, once the models are available, I'd like to build an Italian Carrier Strike Group centered on the Cavour and their Horizon DDGs, a Spanish Carrier Strike Group centered on the Juan Carlos and their F-100 AEGIS FFGs, an Australian Strike Group centered on the new Canberra Class LPD and the Hobart class AEGIS DDGs, and an Indian Carrier Strike Group centered on either the Vikramaditya or their new ADS Carrier, the Vikrant, and their Kolkata class DDGs and Shivlak class FFGs would also be nice.
Years more worth of work!
You can see all of these actual carriers, read their histories and specifications at my site:
...and most of their surface escorts at:
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Dragon's Fury - World War Against America and the West: Following great success in the War on Terror, politicians and analysts alike thought that future global conflict was impossible...but they were wrong. Journey into a possible future where Islamic terrorists sharpen their horrific skills & ally with Red China. In such a future, can the U.S. & western civilization survive?
The Stand at Klamatjh Falls: How rural western farmers and their supporters stood up to entrenched environmentalism, activist judges, and agencies of the Federal gGovernment in southwestern Oregon...and prevailed.
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