September 20, 2014 in Aviation
Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful fighters to ever grace a carrier deck and arguably the best fighter produced by Dassault. In 1983, France, Britain, West Germany, Italy and Spain decided to produce an agile multi-role fighter that could out-match the next generation of Soviet fighters ie. Su-27 Flanker and Mig 29 Fulcrum. France, early on in the design phase, wanted to gain design leadership and a major share in production in this joint European venture. However, due to objections from the other European partners, France decided to leave the consortium in 1985. By July 1986 Dassault had produced one technology demonstrator known as Rafale.
Rafale was conceived as a twin-engined single-seater of canard delta configuration. Rafale had to replace the Mirage F1 and Jaguar in the French Air Force as well as the Crusader and Super Etendard in the French Navy. The engines for Rafale had to be improved for naval operations thus giving rise to the SNECMA M88-3 spool augmented turbofan. Max speed is rated at Mach 1.8. Climb rate is 305 m/sec with max operational ceiling at 16 750 m. Armament comprises of one 30mm GIAT 791 cannon. A typical AAM load would comprise two Magic R550’s and 4-6 MICA heat-homing missiles. For the ground-attack role a variety of bombs and laser-guided munitions could be carried. Recently the Rafale M saw combat over Libya.
This is Revell’s Rafale in 1/48 scale. I built her OOB. This kit has very good surface detail and Revell has recently upgraded the kit to include air-to-ground munitions. The kit goes together easily and the colour scheme makes this a less labour intensive build. Be warned, she comes with MANY small stencilling on the decal sheet and that prolonged the build considerably. The model was painted using Model Master enamels coated with Future. Weathering was kept to an absolute minimum.
30 additional images. Click to enlarge