Caracal Models CD 48048: YF-23

Units: See review


$14.99 which includes US shipping


Scott Van Aken

Over 30 years ago, the USAF realized it would need a stealthy aircraft to compete in a war with the Soviet Union. Air defense and air intercept radars were such that only by being nearly electronically invisible, would modern aircraft have a chance in a hostile environment. So a tender was placed and two designs were chosen. One was from Lockheed/Martin for the YF-22 and the other was to Northrop for the YF-23. Both companys had been working on stealthy aircraft; Lockheed with the F-117 and Northrop on the B-2. Both of these planes had been developed in great secrecy and both of them proved to be capable of fulfilling their mission. Both were also bombers. However, when the fighter competition started, neither aircraft was publicly known.

Both planes were built to similar specifications and both companies had to provide prototypes with two different engines as the power plants were also being tested at the time. The eventual winner was, of course, the YF-22, which, like most prototypes, differed when compared to the eventual production aircraft. Many thought that the YF-22 was the better plane and that the choice of the YF-23 was politically motivated. I would not be surprised, but that is not at all uncommon where the second best is picked because of politics.

Anyway, this sheet from Caracal Models provides all the markings that have ever been carried on the two YF-23 aircraft. This sheet is designed for the new Hobby Boss kit, which tells me that Hobby Boss' decals must not be the most accurate around. You can do both of the prototypes with this sheet which is a nice touch for those who want to build two models. It is superbly printed by Cartograf and the full color instructions tell you not only what goes where (there are a lot of data markings), but also what time periods some of the markings represent. BTW, if you are wondering what the large wedge looking bits are, those fit in the upper intake. I have also darkened the sheet image so you can see the white bits more easily.

A great sheet for this new kit and one you should seriously consider to build an accurate model.

 December 2013

Thanks to for the review sheet. Get yours today from this link or have your local shop order it for you.

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