A few years ago, Air Force 1 released a squadron’s worth of 1:72 scale F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, eventually selling out of both the “B” and “C” variants thus leaving collectors high and dry. Happily, the Company has revisited the F-35 hangar, producing another B and now a second C version, sporting new squadron markings and, if you can believe it, the correct helmets for the pilot figures. Will wonders never cease.
F-35 Joint Strike Fighter
If you’re a fan of either the Hobby Master or Air Force 1 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, then you may want to sit up and take notice of the following announcement. Yesterday, we learned that our distributor has dropped the minimum advertised price for the entire Hobby Master and Air Force 1 1:72 scale F-35 catalog to just $49.99 apiece, which, in some instances, equates to an almost 50% price drop from a high of almost $85. No reason was give for the huge price decrease ahead of the holiday season, so we assume they are just looking to move inventory and provide great value to the aviation collecting community. We’ve lowered our prices accordingly, and will bring in extra inventory to cover any orders that exceed our current stock level.
According to an F-35 test pilot, the F-35 isn’t a capable dogfighter, unable to turn or climb quick enough to keep up with a fictitious adversary. The single engine, fifth generation joint strike fighter is currently being deployed across several services, including the Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy, replacing a number of aging weapons platforms.
“The F-35 was at a distinct energy disadvantage,” the unnamed pilot wrote in a scathing five-page brief that War Is Boring has obtained. The brief is unclassified but is labeled “for official use only.”
The test pilot’s report is the latest evidence of fundamental problems with the design of the F-35 — which, at a total program cost of more than a trillion dollars, is history’s most expensive weapon.
The U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps — not to mention the air forces and navies of more than a dozen U.S. allies — are counting on the Lockheed Martin-made JSF to replace many if not most of their current fighter jets.
The Pentagon counters that the F-35 wasn’t designed for close-in knife fights that form the essence of a one-on-one dogfight. They claim that because of its advance avionics, stealth, and other characteristics, the plane was actually designed for stand-off combat, in which the aircraft would take out a target from a distance of several miles. Frankly, this was the same logic that was put forward when the F-4 Phantom II was introduced in the Vietnam Conflict, as many argued that the days of the dogfight was over in favor of advanced missile technology. The result proved so disastrous that the F-4 eventually had to be configured to carry a gun pod below the fuselage so it could deal with enemy aircraft should its missiles fail, which oftentimes proved the case.
While some model makers seem to be content to scale down their range, Air Force 1 seems to be hitting the gym and pumping up. A few months back, they released a bevy of 1:72 scale J-35 Joint Strike Fighters, one for each of the three different variants being produced for the military. Now, they’re infusing some steroids into their air frame, making the same aircraft in a much larger 1:48 scale. Amazingly, the first replica is expected momentarily, and is based upon the US Air Force’s “A” variant (#AF100031). Priced at just $109.99, and bearing all of the hallmark detail you’ve come to expect from Air Force 1, we know this replica will surely become a hit with collectors big and small.