Anigrand #AA2111 1/72 EWR VJ-101C

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Product Code: AA2111


Kit #AA2111. 1/72 scale. This is a highly-detailed resin kit of the EWR VJ 101, Versuchsjäger, complete with decals.

The EWR VJ 101 was an experimental vertical take-off-and-landing (VTOL) tiltjet fighter with a Mach 2 capability. It was developed as a candidate to replace the West German Luftwaffe’s Lockheed F-104G Starfighter. After a five-year test program, this project was canceled in 1968.

German interest in VTOL interceptor and strike fighters stemmed from their proximity to the Warsaw Pact, and their fear that runways would be cratered early in any conflict with the Soviets, leaving their air force grounded. Great Britain and even the US Air Force tested VTOL and Zero-Length Launch systems to address a similar concern. Recognizing this interest, EWR was created by the post-war German aircraft designers Messerschmitt, Heinkel and Bölkow to build the VJ 101 C. Each had been developing their own VTOL designs prior to the merger, and these concepts were blended into the final product. In appearance, their aircraft resembled the Bell XF-109 – both designs had paired engines mounted in rotating pods on the wingtips.

Proof of concept mock-ups were extensively used to test out the concepts behind the VTOL features, and proved the design was feasible. Two prototypes were then produced, the X-1 and the X-2. X-1 began flying in 1963, proving that the plane worked, and that, even without afterburners, it could operate beyond the sound barrier – a first for VTOL aircraft. A faulty autopilot caused the crash of X-1 in 1965, but because the fault lay in the autopilot, not the aircraft, testing continued with X-2, which was equipped with afterburners.

Although it proved successful from a technical standpoint, it was not proceeded with – the Luftwaffe instead purchased the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II, and became one of the first to use the Panavia Tornado.

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