Zvezda 1/144 Scale Russian Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW) Aircraft A-50 "Mainstay"

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Special mission aircraft are generally based upon a solid, reliable airframe. For the United States, the Boeing 707 and its smaller derivative that made up the C-135 series served as that airframe. In the days of the Soviet Union, none of the airliner airframes could fill that role, but the Ilyushin Il-76 Candid filled that void. Similar in layout to the C-141A Starlifter, the Il-76 had the internal volume, load capacity, and power generation capabilities to perform a variety of missions including that of the Airborne Warning and Control (AWACS) mission. Modified by the Beriev OKB, the Il-76 was transformed into the A-50 Mainstay which entered service in 1984 to replace the Tu-126 Moss (which uses the Tu-114 airliner airframe developed from the Tu-95 Bear bomber), and remains in service today. With the release of Zvezda's definitive Il-76MD in 1/144 earlier this year, it should be no surprise that they would follow that up with the A-50. Trumpeter released their own A-50 in this scale over 16 years ago, but like their Il-76, it could have been better. Zvezda delivers with this release and let's take a closer look. The kit is molded in gray styrene and presented on ten parts trees (duplicate trees not shown) plus two parts for an optional in-flight display stand, and one tree of clear parts. Among the features and options in this kit: Nicely detailed flight deck. Upper wing half is molded as one part with wing anhedral molded into the part. Positionable flaps and slats Positionable landing gear. Optional in-flight display stand. Markings are included for two examples: A-50 Mainstay, Bort 30, Russian Air Force and A-50 Mainstay, RF-50601/Bort 50, Russian Air Force

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Model Kits