Special Hobby has released the first test build images showing their upcoming new tool representation of the Super Mystere SMB.2 French cold war-era fighter bomber in 1/72 scale.

The process first detailed a successful test fit of the moldings and a partial build illustrating the internal components of the fuselage. This was followed by a test build of the full airframe, which depicts an Israeli-modified Sa’ar version incorporating “a US ex-Skyhawk engine with much more rearward protruding jet engine nozzle.”

Given the fact that these testshots are of the first batch, the outcome is not that bad and the model is now being used in the time consuming process of correction report writing for the purpose of debugging the steel moulding tools.

As of this writing, a final release date has not yet been announced, although the company states that “it could be possible for the first examples to reach the market later this year.”

Click below to check out additional images.

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The restoration of F4U-5N Corsair F-AZEG is reportedly nearing completion in France.

The aircraft (B/N 124724) was originally constructed in 1951 and delivered to the US Navy in September of that year. In 1952, the machine was assigned to VC-3 and went on to operate from USS Valley Forge and USS Boxer before returning to the US in 1953.

In 1956 the Corsair was delivered to Honduras and saw action in the “Soccer War” with El Salvador, operating with Fuerza Area Hondurena as FAH 600. After retirement from active service, the aircraft passed through the hands of a number of owners before being acquired by Jean Salis’ Les Casques de Cuir collection based in La Ferté-Alais, France in 1986.

Restoration began in 2008, and the aircraft is expected to return to the air sometime this year.

Click below to check out video of an engine test performed over the weekend.

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Since their first announcement at the E-Day International Scale Kit Exhibition back in October, Eduard has made progress on their upcoming new tool P-51D Mustang model kit in 1/48 scale.

The company recently provided an update stating that project designer Standa Archman has personally examined numerous Mustangs and is focusing on even the slightest details, spending two days working on the rivet lines alone.

A number of new renderings have also been released, additional examples of which can be seen below.

As of this writing, kit contents and availability details have not yet been reported.

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Flight simulation developer Aeroplane Heaven has released the first trailer for their upcoming Avro Lancaster B Mk 1 for FSX, FSX Steam and P3D V3 and V4.

As previously reported, the new Lancaster is touted as incorporating their latest tech and techniques to “bring you what will be your chance to experience just what it was like to fly and crew this legendary machine in the skies of the latest simulators.” Its exterior will reportedly boast “a massive amount of authentic detail” along with many unique animations and a highly detailed virtual cockpit that will include the front turret and bomber’s compartment, engineer and nav station and radio operator’s positions.

The video shows a beta test flight in the aircraft, including startup procedures, gun tests, and a bombing run, while showcasing the model’s many features and exquisite attention to detail. Click below to check it out.

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Over the weekend, Tamiya released a new tool model kit of the Kawasaki Ki-Id Hien “Tony” WW2 Japanese fighter in 1/72 scale.

The kit (60789) is said to accurately depict the type’s elongated nose and slim fuselage, while the complex underbelly air intake slats are “artfully depicted” using a single part. The kit is also touted as offering impressive levels of detail in the cockpit and landing gear bays as well as “a comprehensive set of decals” with three marking options.

A separate decal sheet (12683) has also been released that allows modelers to “recreate with ease the complex mottled camouflage seen on some versions of the aircraft.”

Product Page ($13.10 via Tamiya, AeroScale and Scalemates)

While landing at New Zealand’s Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow on Saturday, Yak-3 ZK-YYY collided with a cherry picker that was parked along the grass runway, causing significant damage to the airframe.

The machine had just completed a performance with a second Yak-3 when the incident occurred, which resulted in the separation of the starboard wing. The cherry picker, which was reportedly intended for use in a later event, was unmanned at the time, and thankfully the Yak’s pilot/owner, Arthur Dovey, emerged from the aircraft unharmed.

The machine was previously sent to Russia and converted from a Yak-11 to a Yak-3. It is said to be “very close” to the type’s original specifications, although the scarcity of the original Klimov V12 powerplant resulted in the use of an Allison V1710.

An evaluation of the aircraft will be needed to determine the full extent of the damage. An inquiry will also reportedly be launched the determine why the cherry picker had been positioned in the area.

Click below to watch video of the incident.

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Sword Models is reportedly working on a new tool example of the TBM-3W “Guppy” in 1/72 scale.

The machine, a conversion of the TBM-3 Avenger, was the first ship based airborne early warning control and relay platform with an APS-20 radar housed in a ventral radome. It appears that the kit will be available in two versions (SW72114 – TBM-3W “Guppy” and SW72115 – TBM-3W “Guppy” l´Aeronavale, Kon.Marine) and will include plastic sprues, waterslide decals and clear parts.

Pricing and a final release date have not yet been announced.

Click below to check out an additional image.

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Fagen Fighters WWII Museum in Granite Falls, Minnesota has reported the acquisition of F6F-5 Hellcat B/N 78645.

The aircraft was built by Grumman and delivered in March 1945, serving with VF-14 aboard USS Casablanca (2 tours), VF-80 at NAS Pensacola, FL and spending time at NART Squantum in Quincy, Massachusetts prior to retirement in August 1949. Following WW2 the aircraft was painted orange and used as a radio controlled drone, but it was eventually restored to its original condition and displayed at Yanks Air Museum in Chino, California.

Fagen Fighters reports that the Hellcat will undergo an extensive IRAN (Inspect Repair and Replace as Necessary) and will hopefully be flying by summer 2019.

(via Fagen Fighters WWII Museum Additional Information via Yanks Air Museum Photo: Alan Wilson via Wikimedia Commons)

Wingsy Kits has posted new in-progress test build images of their upcoming Mitsubishi A5M2b “Claude” (Early Version).

As previously reported, the kit (D5-03) will include plastic and photo-etched parts and decals for four machines (an image of the Decograph decal sheet can be seen below).

The offering appears to be a follow up to Wingsy’s new tool kit representing the late version of the WW2 Japanese carrier-based fighter which was released in 2016. Availability and pricing details for the upcoming early version have not yet been announced.

Click below to check out additional images.

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Fantasy of Flight (FoF) owner Kermit Weeks has released a new two-part series detailing the ongoing work on his Douglas A-26.

The aircraft (S/N 41-39401) reportedly saw wartime service with the 9th Air Force and served with the Van Nuys Air National Guard before beginning civilian use as N3457G / “Whistler’s Mother.” Later acquired by Weeks, the A-26 was damaged during Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and trucked to Chino, California in 1997, where it is now being restored by Carl Scholl and Tony Ritzman of Aero Trader.

The new videos, seen below, were filmed in January, three months after his last Kermie Cam series on the machine. Since then, the team has (among other things) returned the landing gear, wing flaps and flight controls to fully functioning condition and reworked wiring in the cockpit.

The machine will apparently be painted in olive drab and, like FoF’s B-25 and B-17, will feature nose art depicting Weeks’ wife, Teresa.

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