Italeri 1/72 RAH-66 Comanche
The RAH-66 Comanche was supposed to be the stealth scout helicopter of the 21st century to replace the OH-6 and OH-58 scout helicopters then (and still) in use. It came from the Light Helicopter EXperimental competition (LHX) that Boeing and Sikorsky won in 1991.
The programís timing was not great as it began during the end of the Cold War where its primary mission (attacking Soviet armor) didnít really exist anymore. It was slowly strangled by increasing mission creep, wildly changing operational parameters, high expectations due to over-optimistic projections and the ever popular skyrocketing cost. The Government Accountability Office warned in 2000 that the Comanche could consume 2/3 of the Armyís aviation budget by 2008.
Reality struck in 2004 when the Army finally cancelled the program after two prototypes were built and flown. It was pretty fast for a helicopter with a top speed around 320 km/hr but that was without the addition of weapons and sensors. A fun series of video games were based on this seemingly indestructible (to weapons not accountants) helicopter.
It comes in the typical flimsy Italeri box that opens at both ends. The kit consists of two not bagged olive drab sprues of 75 different parts and one clear sprue in a separate bag for the canopy. The parts are relatively free of flash and imperfections such as sink and ejection pin marks. However, the panel lines are really over done and too deep for 1/72 or 1/48 scale and the interior/weapons detail is rather soft (but not horrible considering the price.) The canopy is fairly clear and the decals sheet for the two prototypes looks okay for the scale.
The instruction booklet is multilingual with easy to follow detailed diagrams.
It is a fairly simple straight forward kit of a failed helicopter that promised and cost too much. There are no direct aftermarket options for those like me who find the details a bit too simple for their liking so if you want to add more detail then you will have to improvise.
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