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The Balloon Goes Up (1980 - 1989)

The Balloon Goes Up (1980 - 1989)


The Cold War was the continuing state of conflict, tension and competition that existed after World War II between the Soviet Union and its satellites and the powers of the Western world under the leadership of the United States from the mid-1940s to the early 1990s. Throughout this period, the conflict was expressed through military coalitions, espionage, weapons development, invasions, propaganda, and competitive technological development, which included the space race. The conflict included costly defense spending, a massive conventional and nuclear arms race, and numerous proxy wars; the two superpowers never fought one another directly.
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Italian AMX A-11 Ghibli Ground Attack Aircraft - 13 Gruppo CB, 32 Stormo Italian AMX A-11 Ghibli Ground Attack Aircraft - 13 Gruppo CB, 32 Stormo (1:100 Scale)

The AMX International AMX is a ground-attack aircraft for battlefield interdiction, close air support and reconnaissance missions. It was built until 1999 by AMX International, an Italian-Brazilian joint venture.

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Italian Lockheed C-130H Hercules Transport - 50 Gruppo, 46 Aerobrigata Trasporti Italian Lockheed C-130H Hercules Transport - 50 Gruppo, 46 Aerobrigata Trasporti (1:250 Scale)

The Lockheed C-130 Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft designed and built originally by Lockheed, now Lockheed Martin.

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Italian Republic F-84F Thunderstreak Fighter-Bomber - 155 Gruppo CB, 50 Stormo Italian Republic F-84F Thunderstreak Fighter-Bomber - 155 Gruppo CB, 50 Stormo (1:100 Scale)

The Republic F-84F Thunderstreak was an American-built swept-wing turbojet fighter-bomber. While an evolutionary development of the straight-wing F-84 Thunderjet, the F-84F was a new design. The RF-84F Thunderflash was a photo reconnaissance version.

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Italian Macchi DH.100 Vampire Fighter - 6 Gruppo, 6 Stormo Italian Macchi DH.100 Vampire Fighter - 6 Gruppo, 6 Stormo (1:100 Scale)

The de Havilland DH.100 Vampire was a British jet fighter developed and manufactured by de Havilland. Having been developed during the Second World War to harness the newly developed jet engine, the Vampire entered service with the Royal Air Force (RAF) in 1945.

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US Navy Grumman F-14 Tomcat Fleet Defense Fighter VF-31 "Tomcatters" US Navy Grumman F-14 Tomcat Fleet Defense Fighter - VF-31 "Tomcatters" (1:100 Scale)

Built for speed and armed with ultra long-range weapons. It's no wonder that the F-14 Tomcat is the main defender of the US fleet. The Tomcat's AWG-9 radar has the ability to engage as many as six targets at once, which is the same number of targets that can be engaged by three F-18 Hornets. Additionally, it's Phoenix air-to-air missiles can kill hostile bombers 90 miles away -- before they can launch their attacks.

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RAF Hawker Hunter T7 Training Aircraft - No. 237 OCU, RAF Honnington, England, July 1987 RAF Hawker Hunter T7 Training Aircraft - No. 237 OCU, RAF Honnington, England, July 1987 (1:72 Scale)

The Hawker Hunter was a UK jet fighter aircraft of the 1950s and 1960s. The Hunter served for many years with the Royal Air Force and was widely exported, serving with 19 air forces. A total of 1,972 Hunters were produced by Hawker Siddeley and under licence.

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Greek Air Force Lockheed F-104G Starfighter Interceptor - 336 Squadron, Olympus Greek Air Force Lockheed F-104G Starfighter Interceptor - 336 Squadron, "Olympus" (1:72 Scale)

Introduced to the world as "the missile with a man in it," the striking Lockheed F-104 Starfighter promised to be the ultimate interceptor. Small, light in weight and with stunning straight-line performance, the F-104 was never agile enough to become what its designers wanted.

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RAF Harrier GR. Mk. 7 Jump Jet - 20 Squadron Blue Tail, RAF Wildenrath, England RAF Harrier GR. Mk. 7 Jump Jet - 20 Squadron "Blue Tail", RAF Wildenrath, England (1:48 Scale)

The AV-8B Harrier II is a second generation vertical short takeoff and landing (V/STOL) aircraft based on the original British Harrier design of the late 1960's. Combining tactical mobility, responsiveness, reduced operating cost, and basing flexibility -- both afloat and ashore -- V/STOL aircraft are well-suited to the special combat and expeditionary requirements of the US Marine Corps.

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USAF General Dynamics F-16C Fighting Falcon Fighter - 512th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, 86th Tactical Fighter Wing, Ramstein AFB, Germany, 1986 [Low-Vis Scheme] USAF General Dynamics F-16C Fighting Falcon Fighter - 512th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, 86th Tactical Fighter Wing, Ramstein AFB, Germany, 1986 [Low-Vis Scheme] (1:48 Scale)

Even at the ripe old age of 20, the F-16 Falcon remains a fast and potent favorite among fighter pilots, and one of the best fighters in its class. Designed originally as a no-frills, single-engine "hot rod", the addition of improved radar and weaponry have made the Falcon a super, lightweight jet. Used mainly as a bomber, the Fighting Falcon can also turn-and-burn with unbridled fury when provoked.

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Royal Australian Navy McDonnell Douglas A-4G Skyhawk Attack Aircraft - VF-805, HMAS Melbourne, 1982 Royal Australian Navy McDonnell Douglas A-4G Skyhawk Attack Aircraft - VF-805, HMAS Melbourne, 1982 (1:72 Scale)

The A-4 Skyhawk is an attack aircraft originally designed to operate from United States Navy aircraft carriers. Fifty years after the type's first flight, some of the nearly 3,000 Skyhawks produced remain in service with smaller air arms around the world.

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USMC McDonnell Douglas A-4M Skyhawk Attack Aircraft - VMA-311 Tomcats, 1981 [Low-Vis Scheme] USMC McDonnell Douglas A-4M Skyhawk Attack Aircraft - VMA-311 "Tomcats", 1981 [Low-Vis Scheme] (1:72 Scale)

The A-4 Skyhawk is an attack aircraft originally designed to operate from United States Navy aircraft carriers. Fifty years after the type's first flight, some of the nearly 3,000 Skyhawks produced remain in service with smaller air arms around the world.

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USMC Boeing AV-8B+ Harrier II Jump Jet - Commanders Aircraft, VMA-214 Black Sheep, Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona [Low-Vis Scheme] USMC Boeing AV-8B+ Harrier II Jump Jet - Commander's Aircraft, VMA-214 "Black Sheep", Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona [Low-Vis Scheme] (1:72 Scale)

The AV-8B Harrier II is a second generation vertical short takeoff and landing (V/STOL) aircraft based on the original British Harrier design of the late 1960's. Combining tactical mobility, responsiveness, reduced operating cost, and basing flexibility -- both afloat and ashore -- V/STOL aircraft are well-suited to the special combat and expeditionary requirements of the US Marine Corps.

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RAF SEPECAT GR.1 Jaguar Attack Aircraft - XZ108, No.2 Squadron, RAF Laarbruch, Germany, 1987 RAF SEPECAT GR.1 Jaguar Attack Aircraft - XZ108, No.2 Squadron, RAF Laarbruch, Germany, 1987 (1:72 Scale)

The SEPECAT Jaguar is an Anglo-French jet ground attack aircraft still in service with several export customers, notably the Indian Air Force and the Royal Air Force of Oman. It was among the first major Anglo-French military aircraft programs.

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ROCAF Dassault-Breuget Mirage 2000-5F Multi-Role Fighter - 41st Tactical Fighter Squadron, 21st Tactical Fighter Wing, Hsinchu Air Base, Taiwan [Low-Vis Scheme] ROCAF Dassault-Breuget Mirage 2000-5F Multi-Role Fighter - 41st Tactical Fighter Squadron, 21st Tactical Fighter Wing, Hsinchu Air Base, Taiwan [Low-Vis Scheme] (1:72 Scale)

The Mirage 2000 was developed by Dassault-Breuget for the Armee de l'Air as an alternative to the swing-wing Avion de Combat Futur. After the latter was cancelled in 1975 due to its growing cost and complexity, Dassault offered the Mirage 2000 as an alternative.

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USN McDonnell Douglas A-4C Skyhawk Attack Aircraft - VA-144 Roadrunners, USS Kity Hawk [CV-63], 1960s USN McDonnell Douglas A-4C Skyhawk Attack Aircraft - VA-144 "Roadrunners," USS Kitty Hawk [CV-63], 1960s (1:72 Scale)

The A-4 Skyhawk is an attack aircraft originally designed to operate from United States Navy aircraft carriers. Fifty years after the type's first flight, some of the nearly 3,000 Skyhawks produced remain in service with smaller air arms around the world.

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USN McDonnell Douglas A-4C Skyhawk Attack Aircraft - VA-94 "Shrikes," USS Enterprise (CVN-65), 1960s USN McDonnell Douglas A-4C Skyhawk Attack Aircraft - VA-94 "Shrikes," USS Enterprise (CVN-65), 1960s (1:72 Scale)

The A-4 Skyhawk is an attack aircraft originally designed to operate from United States Navy aircraft carriers. Fifty years after the type's first flight, some of the nearly 3,000 Skyhawks produced remain in service with smaller air arms around the world.

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USN McDonnell Douglas A-4F Skyhawk Attack Aircraft - VA-55 "Torpcats", USS Hancock (CV-19), Vietnam, 1972 USN McDonnell Douglas A-4F Skyhawk Attack Aircraft - VA-55 "Torpcats", USS Hancock (CV-19), Vietnam, 1972 (1:72 Scale)

The A-4 Skyhawk is an attack aircraft originally designed to operate from United States Navy aircraft carriers. Fifty years after the type's first flight, some of the nearly 3,000 Skyhawks produced remain in service with smaller air arms around the world.

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USAF Convair F-106A Delta Dart Interceptor - 101st Fighter Interceptor Squadron, 102nd Fighter Interceptor Wing, Massachusetts Air National Guard, April 1982 USAF Convair F-106A Delta Dart Interceptor - 101st Fighter Interceptor Squadron, 102nd Fighter Interceptor Wing, Massachusetts Air National Guard, April 1982 (1:72 Scale)

The Convair F-106 Delta Dart was the primary all-weather interceptor aircraft for the United States Air Force from the 1960s through the 1980s. Designed as the so-called "Ultimate Interceptor", it has proven to be the last dedicated interceptor in USAF service to date. It was gradually retired during the 1980s, with the QF-106 drone conversions of the aircraft being used until 1998.

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USAF Convair F-106A Delta Dart Interceptor - City of Jacksonville Florida Air National Guard, 1976 USAF Convair F-106A Delta Dart Interceptor - "City of Jacksonville" Florida Air National Guard, 1976 (1:72 Scale)

The Convair F-106 Delta Dart was the primary all-weather interceptor aircraft for the United States Air Force from the 1960s through the 1980s. Designed as the so-called "Ultimate Interceptor", it has proven to be the last dedicated interceptor in USAF service to date. It was gradually retired during the 1980s, with the QF-106 drone conversions of the aircraft being used until 1998.

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USAF Convair F-106A Delta Dart Interceptor - 5th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, Spittin Kittens, Minot AFB, North Dakota, 1984 USAF Convair F-106A Delta Dart Interceptor - 5th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, "Spittin' Kittens", Minot AFB, North Dakota, 1984 (1:72 Scale)

The Convair F-106 Delta Dart was the primary all-weather interceptor aircraft for the United States Air Force from the 1960s through the 1980s. Designed as the so-called "Ultimate Interceptor", it has proven to be the last dedicated interceptor in USAF service to date. It was gradually retired during the 1980s, with the QF-106 drone conversions of the aircraft being used until 1998.

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USAF McDonnell RF-4C Phantom II Reconnaissance Aircraft - "Starize", 1st Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, 10th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, Alconbury, 1986 USAF McDonnell RF-4C Phantom II Reconnaissance Aircraft - "Starize", 1st Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, 10th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, Alconbury, 1986 (1:72 Scale)

Known as the "MiG Killer," the F-4 Phantom was an unlikely hero given its unique design. Unlike traditionally smaller and sleeker single-seat fighters, the Phantom broke all the rules. It was huge, had bent wings, and a two-man crew, and was one of the first aircraft to carry missile armament.

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USAF Convair F-106A Delta Dart Interceptor - 186th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, 120th FIG, Montana Air National Guard, 1970s USAF Convair F-106A Delta Dart Interceptor - 186th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, 120th FIG, Montana Air National Guard, 1970s (1:72 Scale)

The Convair F-106 Delta Dart was the primary all-weather interceptor aircraft for the United States Air Force from the 1960s through the 1980s. Designed as the so-called "Ultimate Interceptor", it has proven to be the last dedicated interceptor in USAF service to date. It was gradually retired during the 1980s, with the QF-106 drone conversions of the aircraft being used until 1998.

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USAF McDonnell F-4E Phantom II Fighter-Bomber - 30 Years of Phabulous Phantoms Wing Commanders Aircraft, 110th TFS/131st TFW, Missouri ANG,, c. 1989 USAF McDonnell F-4E Phantom II Fighter-Bomber - "30 Years of Phabulous Phantoms" Wing Commander's Aircraft, 110th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 131st Tactical Fighter Wing, Missouri ANG, c. 1989 (1:72 Scale)

Known as the "MiG Killer," the F-4 Phantom was an unlikely hero given its unique design. Unlike traditionally smaller and sleeker single-seat fighters, the Phantom broke all the rules. It was huge, had bent wings, and a two-man crew, and was one of the first aircraft to carry missile armament.

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USAF Convair F-106A Delta Dart Interceptor - 9th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, Griffiss Air Force Base, New York, 1986 USAF Convair F-106A Delta Dart Interceptor - 9th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, Griffiss Air Force Base, New York, 1986 (1:72 Scale)

The Convair F-106 Delta Dart was the primary all-weather interceptor aircraft for the United States Air Force from the 1960s through the 1980s. Designed as the so-called "Ultimate Interceptor", it has proven to be the last dedicated interceptor in USAF service to date. It was gradually retired during the 1980s, with the QF-106 drone conversions of the aircraft being used until 1998.

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USAF Convair F-106 Delta Dart Interceptor - "The Last," 119th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, 1988 USAF Convair F-106 Delta Dart Interceptor - "The Last," 119th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, 1988 (1:72 Scale)

The Convair F-106 Delta Dart was the primary all-weather interceptor aircraft for the United States Air Force from the 1960s through the 1980s. Designed as the so-called "Ultimate Interceptor", it has proven to be the last dedicated interceptor in USAF service to date. It was gradually retired during the 1980s, with the QF-106 drone conversions of the aircraft being used until 1998.

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USAF Convair F-106A Delta Dart Interceptor - 318th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron "Green Dragons", McChord Air Force Base, 1983 USAF Convair F-106A Delta Dart Interceptor - 318th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron "Green Dragons", McChord Air Force Base, 1983 (1:72 Scale)

The Convair F-106 Delta Dart was the primary all-weather interceptor aircraft for the United States Air Force from the 1960s through the 1980s. Designed as the so-called "Ultimate Interceptor", it has proven to be the last dedicated interceptor in USAF service to date. It was gradually retired during the 1980s, with the QF-106 drone conversions of the aircraft being used until 1998.

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US Navy McDonnell F-4S Phantom II Fighter-Bomber - VF-301 "Devil's Disciples," USS Ranger (CV-61), 1984 US Navy McDonnell F-4S Phantom II Fighter-Bomber - VF-301 "Devil's Disciples," USS Ranger (CV-61), 1984 (1:72 Scale)

Known as the "MiG Killer," the F-4 Phantom was an unlikely hero given its unique design. Unlike traditionally smaller and sleeker single-seat fighters, the Phantom broke all the rules. It was huge, had bent wings, and a two-man crew, and was one of the first aircraft to carry missile armament.

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USAF Convair F-106A Delta Dart Interceptor - Air Defence Weapons Center Tyndall AFB, Florida USAF Convair F-106A Delta Dart Interceptor - Air Defence Weapons Center Tyndall AFB, Florida (1:72 Scale)

The Convair F-106 Delta Dart was the primary all-weather interceptor aircraft for the United States Air Force from the 1960s through the 1980s. Designed as the so-called "Ultimate Interceptor", it has proven to be the last dedicated interceptor in USAF service to date. It was gradually retired during the 1980s, with the QF-106 drone conversions of the aircraft being used until 1998.

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USAF Convair F-106 Delta Dart Interceptor - 125th Fighter Interceptor Group, Florida Air National Guard, December 1983 USAF Convair F-106 Delta Dart Interceptor - 125th Fighter Interceptor Group, Florida Air National Guard, December 1983 (1:72 Scale)

The Convair F-106 Delta Dart was the primary all-weather interceptor aircraft for the United States Air Force from the 1960s through the 1980s. Designed as the so-called "Ultimate Interceptor", it has proven to be the last dedicated interceptor in USAF service to date. It was gradually retired during the 1980s, with the QF-106 drone conversions of the aircraft being used until 1998.

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USAF McDonnell F-4E Phantom II Fighter-Bomber - 32nd Tactical Fighter Squadron "Wolfhounds", Soesterberg AB, The Netherlands, 1989 USAF McDonnell F-4E Phantom II Fighter-Bomber - 32nd Tactical Fighter Squadron "Wolfhounds", Soesterberg AB, The Netherlands, 1989 (1:72 Scale)

Known as the "MiG Killer," the F-4 Phantom was an unlikely hero given its unique design. Unlike traditionally smaller and sleeker single-seat fighters, the Phantom broke all the rules. It was huge, had bent wings, and a two-man crew, and was one of the first aircraft to carry missile armament.

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