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US Navy North American RA-5C Vigilante Strike Bomber - 150834/604, RVAH-13 "Bats", USS Kitty Hawk (CVN-63), 1966 [Experimental SEA Camouflage Scheme] (1:72 Scale)
US Navy North American RA-5C Vigilante Strike Bomber - 150834/604, RVAH-13 "Bats", USS Kitty Hawk (CVN-63), 1966 [Experimental SEA Camouflage Scheme]

Hobby Master US Navy North American RA-5C Vigilante Strike Bomber - 150834/604, RVAH-13 "Bats", USS Kitty Hawk (CVN-63), 1966 [Experimental SEA Camouflage Scheme]




 
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Product Code: HA4706

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Hobby Master HA4706 US Navy North American RA-5C Vigilante Strike Bomber - 150834/604, RVAH-13 "Bats", USS Kitty Hawk (CVN-63), 1966 [Experimental SEA Camouflage Scheme] (1:72 Scale) "Obsolete weapons do not deter."
- British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher

The North American A-5 Vigilante was a carrier-based supersonic bomber designed and built by North American Aviation for the United States Navy. Its service in the nuclear strike role to replace the Douglas A-3 Skywarrior was very short; however, as the RA-5C, it saw extensive service during the Vietnam War in the tactical strike reconnaissance role. Prior to the unification of the Navy designation sequence with the Air Force sequence in 1962, it was designated the A3J Vigilante.

In 1953, North American Aviation began a private study for a carrier-based, long-range, all-weather strike bomber, capable of delivering nuclear weapons at supersonic speeds. This proposal, the North American General Purpose Attack Weapon (NAGPAW) concept, was accepted by the United States Navy, with some revisions, in 1955. A contract was awarded on August 29th, 1956. Its first flight occurred two years later on August 31st, 1958 in Columbus, Ohio.

At the time of its introduction, the Vigilante was one of the largest and by far the most complex aircraft to operate from a United States Navy aircraft carrier. It had a high-mounted swept wing with a boundary-layer control system (blown flaps) to improve low-speed lift. There were no ailerons. Roll control was provided by spoilers in conjunction with differential deflection of the all-moving tail surfaces. The use of aluminum-lithium alloy for wing skins and titanium for critical structures was also unusual. The A-5 had two widely spaced General Electric J79 turbojet engines (the same as used on the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II fighter), and a single large all-moving vertical stabilizer. Preliminary design studies had employed twin vertical fin/rudders. The wings, vertical stabilizer and the nose radome folded for carrier stowage. The Vigilante had a crew of two seated in tandem, a pilot and a bombardier-navigator (BN) (reconnaissance/attack navigator (RAN) on later reconnaissance versions) in individual ejection seats.

Despite being designated by the US Navy as a "heavy", the A-5 was surprisingly agile for such a large aircraft. Without the drag of bombs or missiles, even escorting fighters found that the clean airframe and powerful engines made the Vigilante very fast at high and low altitudes. However, its high approach speed and high angle of attack in the landing configuration made returning to the aircraft carrier a challenge for inexperienced or unwary pilots.

Given its original design as a carrier-based, supersonic, nuclear heavy attack aircraft, the Vigilante's main armament was carried in a novel "linear bomb bay" between the engines in the rear fuselage, which provided for positive separation of the bomb from the aircraft at supersonic speeds. The single nuclear weapon, commonly the Mk 28 bomb, was attached to two disposable fuel tanks in the cylindrical bay in an assembly known as the "stores train". A set of extendable fins was attached to the aft end of the most rearward fuel tank. These fuel tanks were to be emptied during the flight to the target and then jettisoned with the bomb by an explosive drogue gun. The stores train was propelled rearward at about 50 feet per second (30 knots) relative to the aircraft. It thereafter followed a typical ballistic path.

In practice, the system was not reliable and no live weapons were ever carried in the linear bomb bay. In the RA-5C configuration, the bay was used solely for fuel. On three occasions, the shock of the catapult launch caused the fuel cans to eject onto the deck resulting in one aircraft loss.

Pictured here is a 1:72 scale rendition of a US Navy North American RA-5C Vigilante strike bomber that was attached to RVAH-13 "Bats", then embarked upon the USS Kitty Hawk (CVN-63) during 1966. Sold Out!

Dimensions:
Wingspan: 8-3/4-inches
Length: 12-3/4-inches

Release Date: December 2023

Historical Account: "Bats" - RVAH-13 was a Reconnaissance Attack (Heavy) Squadron of the U.S. Navy. Originally established as Heavy Attack Squadron Thirteen (VAH-13) on January 3rd, 1961, it was redesignated as Reconnaissance Attack (Heavy) Squadron Thirteen (RVAH-13) on November 1st, 1964. The squadron was disestablished on June 30th, 1976.

With the increasing U.S. military involvement in Vietnam after 1964, RVAH-13 was added to the mix of RVAH squadrons participating in combat operations in Southeast Asia. In conducting pre- and post-strike reconnaissance, the RA-5C would incur the highest loss rate of any U.S. Navy combat aircraft during the Vietnam War, and RVAH-13's experience would more than reflect this.

Features
  • Diecast construction
  • Aircraft can be displayed in-flight or in landed position
  • Plexiglass canopy
  • Accurate markings and insignia
  • Comes with display stand

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