Mach 2 1/72 Leduc 021


Mach 2 1/72 Leduc 021




$29.98 MSRP


one option


Scott Van Aken


Very much a short run kit


Of all the Allied powers, France probably expended more effort into unusual aircraft and powerplant types than any of the others. The French seemed to put a lot of work into trying to develop workable ramjet-powered interceptors. It brought about a number of very interesting and unusual aircraft, of which the Leduc series of ramjet aircraft must be near the top of any list. These ramjet aircraft had the pilot in a cockpit that was smack in the center of the intake of the ramjet.

These aircraft were unable to get airborne on their own and so had to be carried piggy-back to an appropriate altitude. Since there were not jet powered aircraft large enough to haul something like this, a four-engine transport was converted with a large brace array, making this very much a 'mistel' configuration. The bottom part of the composite then went into a dive to allow safe separation with the ramjet aircraft and to get enough speed so that the ramjet could start to operate. The Leduc 021 was supposed to have small jet engines on its wingtips to get additional velocity, but to my knowledge, these were not installed.

The 021 led to a longer 022 version and then to other ramjet interceptors, none of which ever reached any serious production prospects. Ramjets are fine for some missiles, but, mainly because for their thirst for fuel, for a manned interceptor they were just another dead end.


Upon opening the rather crude box, one knows that French short run territory has been entered. Engraved detailing that is a bit soft, very large sprue attachment points, thick clear parts, somewhat rough surfaces, thick seams, and some flash are the norm. Instructions are but a single photo-copied sheet that is an exploded view of the kit. No history, no color information.

Now it is true that this is a 1993 kit and Mach 2 has improved slightly in the last ten years. In fact, this is not a kit for beginners and one really needs to have some experience in short run kits before being willing to delve into this one. The cockpit has a tub, seat, Instrument panel and control stick as well as some bracing. There is no photo-etch or resin with this kit and I find that to be a plus as my experience with these items from French companies has not always been positive. Careful study of the diagram will be needed to get all the bits in the right place. Probably the most difficult part of the project will be the clear parts. They are not only very thick, but mine had a few areas with 'blobs' of excess clear plastic on the inside of some pieces. Not exactly easy to remove, I would think. There is one sliver of decal that includes a thin tri-color stripe and the number '02'.


 I can tell that it won't be a simple matter to build this kit. However, it won't be impossible either and it may well result in something that will become more and more pleasing to the eye as time goes on. One thing for sure, it won't be something that one sees all the time!



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