1/72 scale. This is a highly-detailed resin kit of the Mitsubishi ATD-X Shinshin, compete with decals.
At the beginning
of the 21st century, the Japanese Air Self Defense Force began to look at replace
its aging fleet of fighter aircraft. First, it looked into purchasing the F-22 Raptor, but America’s Congress had
banned exporting the Raptor to safeguard the aircraft's technology. This led Japan to develop its own fifth-generation
Ministry of Defense Technical Research and Development Institute (TRDI) – Japan’s
version of DARPA – launched their Advanced
Technology Demonstrator-X (ATD-X) program, and selected Mitsubishi to
develop a research prototype, the Shinshin, using advanced stealth technology.
In 2005, a
mock-up of the ATD-X – superficially looking remarkably like a McDonnell Douglas/Boeing F-15, though
with a faceted, inherently-stealthy airframe – was constructed to study the
radar cross section. In phase two, a
radio-controlled 1/5 scale model made its first flight in 2006. It has been
used to gain data on performance at high angles of attack and to test new
sensory equipment and the plane’s innovative self-repairing flight control systems.
Following these tests, the decision was taken in 2007 to go ahead with the
project. Originally, the ATD-X’s first flight had been scheduled for 2014,
though this now looks optimistic. Actual
flight may occur in 2015 or 2016. Should
this lead to a production aircraft, the Mitsubishi
F-3, production would not begin before 2027.