|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The Eurofighter Typhoon is a twin-engine, canard-delta wing, multirole fighter. The Typhoon was designed and is manufactured by a consortium of consisting of three companies; EADS, Alenia Aeronautica and BAE Systems, who conduct the majority of affairs dealing with the project through a joint holding company, Eurofighter GmbH, which was formed in 1986. The project is managed by the NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency, which also acts as the prime customer.
Development of the aircraft effectively began in 1983 with the Future European Fighter Aircraft programme, a multinational collaborative effort between Germany, France, UK, Italy and Spain. Due to disagreements over design authority and operational requirements, France left the consortium to independently develop the Dassault Rafale instead. A technology demonstration aircraft, the British Aerospace EAP, first took flight on 6 August 1986; the first prototype of the finalised Eurofighter made its first flight on 27 March 1994. The name of the aircraft, Typhoon, was formally adopted in September 1998; the first production contracts were signed that same year.
Political issues in the partner nations significantly protracted the Typhoon's development; the sudden end of the Cold War reduced European demand for fighter aircraft, and there was debate over the cost and work share of the Eurofighter. The Typhoon was introduced into operational service in 2003. Currently, the type has entered service with the Austrian Air Force, the Italian Air Force, the German Air Force, the Royal Air Force, the Spanish Air Force, and the Royal Saudi Air Force. The Royal Air Force of Oman has also been confirmed as an export customer, bringing the procurement total to 571 aircraft as of 2013.
The Eurofighter Typhoon is a highly agile aircraft, designed to be an effective dogfighter when in combat with other aircraft; later production aircraft have been increasingly more well-equipped to undertake air-to-surface strike missions and to be compatible with an increasing number of different armaments and equipment. The Typhoon saw its combat debut during the 2011 military intervention in Libya with the Royal Air Force and the Italian Air Force, performing reconnaissance and ground strike missions in the theatre. The type has also taken primary responsibility for air defense duties for the majority of customer nations.
According to some sources, this is a new tool kit. Revell released this aircraft back in the late 1980s before the production aircraft was built. It was later reissued with new decals and even some new parts. Italeri also reboxed it. I would think that, knowing all the changes that occur to an aircraft, that this would be a new tooling. For one thing, the molding is quite clean whereas a nearly 30 year old kit would show some wear. Whatever the case may be, the kit comprises some 85 parts and is listed as a level 3 out of 5.
The cockpit is well done for the scale with decals for instruments and side consoles. There is a four piece ejection seat as well. Rudder pedals are molded in place. Once the cockpit is done, it and 20grams of weight are added to the front and the skeleton of a fuselage is cemented shut. There are several fuselage inserts, mainly so that the tooling can be used for both single and two seat versions.
The lower fuselage includes much of the lower wing and Revell has nicely provided us the option of opening holes for the various pylons. The lower intake section fits into the lower wing, the upper intake into the fuselage assemby and the exhaust into the rear before one can attach the wing to the fuselage. Note that the upper wings have not yet been added. This is done in the same step as the fin. In the front, the nose cone and canards are attached.
Turning to the back, Revell offers both open and closed burner cans. The wing tip pylons and the upper fuselage insert are what basically completes the airframe. The next items are the somewhat complex landing gear. Gear doors have actuating arms as well. For those who like their models on stands, a gear up option is provided, though a stand is not included. Another couple of options are refueling probe extended or retracted as well as an up or down speed brake and open or closed canopy.
The rest of the kit are weapons and tanks. The kit provides two fuel tanks. You can either put one on the centerline or two on wing stations. There are also Sidewinders, AMRAAMS and a missile I cannot identify. I also get the feeling that the kit does not provide all of the pylons for the Typhoon. Photos I've seen show four stations per wing and the most you can load out with the kit are three. Keep in mind how you are going to arm your model before drilling holes in the lower wing.
Instructions are quite good offering only Revell paint numbers, which is not a good thing for those of us in the US where these paints are not readily available. A color chart provides generic shade names in a zillion languages. The overall color has to be mixed from light grey and light blue. Upper fuselage spine and upper canards need to be painted black. The rest of the markings are decals. The sheet is quite nicely printed and provides the special JG 71 scheme from July 2016.
This looks like a very nice kit. It has lots of options and looks to be quite well molded. I'm sure some sort of search will come up with a ready to go paint for the overall color, which would be a boon for those of us who don't like mixing paints. The end result should be a very pleasing model. There are aftermarket sheets out there for those who want something a bit different. I would like to think that this kit is the latest and greatest variant, but I don't know enough about the aircraft to tell.
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