Sunday, April 29, 2012

1/144 U-2R "Dragon Lady"

1/144 U-2R "Dragon Lady" - Plastic Kit
U-2R is the U-2C-model enlarged and improved with under wing pods and increased fuel capacity; 12 built. Initially designated TR-1A (U-2C Enhanced single-seat model with J75-P-13 engine and modified engine intakes)

- Glider-like U-2R aircraft is fully detailed 
- Slide-molded cockpit canopy 
- Detailed antenna included 
- Cockpit interior details including pilot's seat and instrument panel 
- Realistic rudders reproduced 
- Detailed panel lines on both surfaces of high-aspect-ratio wings 
- Landing gear can be assembled in either taxiing or flying positions 
- Turbojet engine clearly modeled 
- Intricate air-conditioning cooling air outlets molded on fuselage 

Despite its advancing age, the U-2 “Dragon Lady” continues to fly high-altitude all-weather reconnaissance missions for the US Air Force (USAF) even today. In fact, the Pentagon recently announced the aircraft will continue in service until 2023 because it held advantages over new technologies such as the Global Hawk! Built by Lockheed, the U-2 is powered by a single engine, and its high-aspect-ratio wings and light construction resemble that of a glider. While its particular planform is required by the high altitudes at which the aircraft flies, this also makes it very difficult to operate. Indeed, the U-2 has to be flown at near maximum speed to avert stalling. Landing is a particularly hazardous undertaking as it uses bicycle-type landing gear and titanium skids on its wingtips. 

This specific U-2R variant is the subject of Dragons’ newest 1/144 scale plastic kit. It’s exciting as it’s a brand new design made from completely new toolings. The long, slim fuselage and outspread wings are accurately reproduced, and panel lines are finely engraved. Slide molds are used – for example, the cockpit canopy. Items like the turbojet engine are well represented too. When assembling this kit, modelers can elect to show the landing gear in either taxiing or flying position. With a wingspan of more than 210mm in this scale, this is a truly impressive model. This high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft is rarely seen, but modelers can now get their very own plastic U-2R Dragon Lady…from Dragon!



rkmasu said...

I hope they release optional noses, wing pods and C-span versions!

John Haverstock said...

an A model would be a welcome addition too!