by: HG Barnes [ ]
The SubjectThe Ryan Firebee is a series of target drones developed by the Ryan Aeronautical Company beginning in 1951. It was one of the first jet-propelled drones, and remains one of the most widely used target drones ever built.
With the arrival of jets in operation, the US Air Force expressed interest in jet drones, and in 1948 signed a contract with Ryan to develop and manufacture such aircraft. The first flight took place in 1951. The aircraft was named Firebee and could be launched from an aircraft or from a base using the auxiliary rocket engine RATO. The Firebee was ordered into series production for the USAF as a Q-2A powered by a J69-T-19B and the US NAVY with KDA-1, which differed mainly by gradually increasing the power of the engine. The US Army also received a version of KDA-1 marked as XM21, which differed only in minor details.
The ProductPlus Model have again come up with a very interesting and certainly different subject for their recent offering to modelers. With great box art to grab your attention you find out that there are four possible versions inside.
The content includes three plastic sprues, a small PE fret, decals and color instructions. The plastic gives you two Firebee models and racks for the B-26 Invader, P2V Neptune and C-130 Hercules. A small PE fret make up the horizontal stabilizer fins and a nicely printed decal sheet make up the four markings. The instructions are in color and while this is a very simple model to build it's a nice touch. The color call-outs are for the U.S. Army, Air Force and two for the Navy.
The fit is pretty good and should only take a few days or less with minimal effort.
The ConclusionBoy oh boy... if you're looking for something that will snag a whole lot of eyes at a show or on the shelf then look no further to what Plus Model have produced! It's ugly as sin, cool as all get-out and will have people make that look of "what the ..." as their heads tilt to one side. Personally, I have a P2V Neptune under construction and this will definitely be going on. It would be worth it to buy an A/B-26 Invader or a C-130 Hercules just to bolt these on. From a modeling for fun standpoint, what's not to love about a quick, interesting and colorful build.
Our thanks go out to the good people at Plus Model for sending this sample for review and to YOU our loyal readers for taking the time.
When shopping for this or any Plus Model merchandise let them know you read an article on KitMaker Network AeroScale. Also, please consider subscribing to the network, it helps keep the lights on and the servers humming. Be safe everyone.