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AMX International jet

12 Jun

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Andy Evans briefly describes the development of the multi-national AMX advanced attack/reconnaissance, aircraft with detailed photographs of an AMI-operated example. In service, the Brazilian air force refers to its single-seat AMX warplanes as A-1 machines, while the two-seaters, as illustrated, are A-1 В aircraft. (EMBRAER via Paul E Eden)

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The AMX has now matured into a highly effective attack aircraft for battlefield interdiction, close air support and reconnaissance missions. The aircraft is capable of operating at high subsonic speed and low altitude, by day or night and, if necessary, from bases with poorly finished or damaged runways. Design features include HOTAS, Litton Italia INS, head-up and head-down digital data displays, digital databus, active and passive ECM, a Martin Baker Mk 10L ejection seat, internal cannon and provision for inflight refuelling.

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Fifty-one two-seat AMX-Ts were procured by Italy to replace the Rat G.91Ts of the AMI’S 201/204 Gruppo with the advanced training wing at Amendola, later re-designated as 32 Stormo in September 1992. Retaining the same dimensions and full combat capabilities of the single-seater, the trainer version displaces one of the fuel tanks behind the cockpit with a second Martin Baker Mk 10L ejection seat. The first of three AMX-T prototypes (MM55024) flew in Italy on 14 March 1990, with Brazil flying its first two-seater, TA-1 (5650) on 14 August 1991. Radar-equipped versions of the AMX have also been proposed in Brazil and Italy for enhanced all-weather, ECR and maritime attack roles. 

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SMA/Tecnasa’s SCP-01 Scipio radar installation has been favoured for Brazilian AMXs, while FlAR’s Grifo-F has been proposed to replace the standard Elta/FIAR range-only  radar in some Italian aircraft. Trials have also been completed in Italy with a version with Aerospatiale’s AM39 Exocet radar-guided anti-ship missile. In the reconnaissance role the AMX can either carry external recce pods, or can be equipped with any one of three pallets developed by Aeroelectronica for internal mounting in the forward fuselage.
The first operational Squadron to receive the AMX was the AMI
‘S 103 Gruppo of 51 Stormo at Treviso-lstrana in north eastern Italy in 1989. It was followed by 132 Gruppo/3 Stormo at Villafranca and 14 Gruppo/2 Stormo also based at Istana. In Brazil, the 1st Squadron of the 16th Aviation Group, 1/16 GAv, flies the AMX (locally designated as the A-1) attack aircraft from Santa Cruz, Rio de Janeiro, with the first operational example having been delivered on 17 October 1989.
Italy has upgraded its AMXs to carry 1,000-lb GBU-16 Paveway II laser-guided bombs and their associated designator pods. Initial operational capability for the AMX/GBU-16 was achieved in 1996, allowing delivery of the weapons against targets that were designated by the CDLP pods carried by AMI Tornados. The AMX received its own CDLP designator pods during early 1998. Italian AMXs have operated in support of United Nations and NATO operations over the Balkans.

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In Brazil, plans for a radical AMX upgraded have been abandoned on cost grounds, but EMBRAER has achieved limited export success, initially with a 1998 order for eight aircraft based on AMX-T for the Venezuelan air force. These machines, initially designated AMX-ATA, may well have been completed with Elbit avionics and replaced T-2A Buckeyes in service. A later Venezuelan order for 12 more AMX-T aircraft will see the type replacing T-2Ds from 2005.

AMX International plane

1. The nose code and the cat-and-mouse intake badge identify this aircraft as belonging to 103 Gruppo/51 Stormo at Istrana. Previously equipped with the G.91R, the unit had been based at Treviso. All operational AMX aircraft wear an overall medium grey colour scheme, with reduced-size roundels and lo-vis codes and squadron markings.

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2. Wing-tip rails carry the AIM-9L version of the ubiquitous Sidewinder AAM in Italian service, and the indigenous MAA-1 Piranha in Brazilian service.

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3. The main landing gear is built by Messier-Hispano-Bugatti and is hydraulically retracted into the sides of the lower fuselage beneath the air intakes.
4. Internal armament consists of a single 20-mm, six-barrelled M61A1 Vulcan cannon with 350 rounds in the Italian AMXs and twin 30-mm DEFA cannon in the Brazilian aircraft.
5. A pilot exits his aircraft. Note the integral steps, the open access panel and the coaming behind the ejection seat that is normally covered by the canopy. Also of interest are the ‘bomb silhouettes’ just below the windshield.
6. The tailfin, showing squadron markings and the forward – and rearward-looking tip-mounted RWR antennae. Note also the runway arrester hook and tailplane incidence markers.

7. The rear fuselage, showing the arrester hook, the aircraft serial number hidden by the tailplane, and one of the chaff/flare units.
8. Looking forward into the cockpits of an AMX-T.
9. The extended wing flaps are shown here in detail. Also of interest are the two antennae on the spine.

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Brazil has yet to complete its order for 79 AMXs and 15 AMX-Ts (as here), while Italy has received its full total of 110 single seaters and 26 trainers. (EMBRAER via Paul E Eden)
10. The forward fuselage is shown in detail as the pilot shuts down the aircraft and the ground crew prepare to ‘turn’ the jet. Of note is the corrugated material behind the ejection seat and the ‘cover’ that it is designed to allow for a second seat in the AMX-T.
11. The mechanism of the sideways-hinging canopy is shown here, along with the root of the IFR probe, complete with red positioning light.
12. This AMX was photographed just after it had taxied in. Note the wheel chocks and the open chaff/flare dispenser bays. Also of interest are the four-finned wing tanks.

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Your chance to write to SAM with topics of interest to Scale Aircraft Modellers

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Pointed-nose Jaguars

Dear Neil, With reference to Part One of David James’ ‘Aircraft in Profile’ on the Sepecat Jaguar in the May 2003 issue of SAM.
One point not mentioned in the otherwise excellent article is that initial deliveries of the Jaguar GR. l to the Jaguar Conversion Team, (later No 226 Operational Conversion Unit), and to No 54 Sqn., both based at RAF Lossiemouth, were without the now familiar ‘chisel nose’ housing the LRMTS.
As well as having ‘pointed noses’, a few of the initial delivery Jaguar GR. ls were also without the fin mounted RWR fairings. To illustrate my point I have included two photographs taken by myself of such aircraft.
XX721 of No 54 Sqn was photographed at RAF Wittering on 18 June 1974 in full 54 Sqn markings but without the LRMTS ‘chisel nose’.
XX111/01 of No 226 OCU was photographed at the I AT ’76 Greenham Common, following its display on 30 July 1976 a full three years after being the first Jaguar to enter service at RAF Lossiemouth on 30 May 1973. Despite having neither LRMTS nor RWR, XX111 had, by the time that the photograph was taken, acquired a full wrap-around camouflage scheme.

More on Hunter colours!

Dear Neil,
I thoroughly enjoyed the article in the December 2002 issue (Vol 24/10) on the camouflage and markings for the Hunter Mks 1 – 5. On the question of whether any 2 TAF Hunter Mk 4s were painted with PR Blue undersides, whilst on an exercise in Germany, I definitely saw two Hunter 4s from No 112 Sqn with PR Blue under surfaces. I did take a few b&w photos of these aircraft but unfortunately I have mislaid/lost them over the years –
but they were definitely PR Blue!
I was also in Cyprus at the time of ‘Operation Musketeer’ and I well remember seeing No 34 Sqn’s Hunter 5s. Most of the aircraft had black and yellow stripes applied in a temporary emulsion paint but some did have a creamy colour instead of yellow as suggested in Paul Lucas’ article.
I served as an Armourer with No 233 OCU at RAF Pembrey and with No 92 Sqn at Middleton St George. No 233 OCU had Hunter Is which were in a very glossy finish. No 92 had Hunter Mk 6s which were also in a very glossy finish. When I was at RAF Pembrey, we had a few Vampire FB 5s and Meteor F 8s, seconded from 2 TAF, and most of these also had PR Blue under surfaces.
I hope I have been of some help, but as I have stated, I definitely saw 112 Sqn Hunters with PR Blue undersides.

С Pritchard Llanelli West Wales

Can any reader give me any information on colour schemes, units and/or individual aircraft, codes and bases of any Ju 88A-6 aircraft – the ones converted from Ju 88A-5 airframes with the huge balloon cutting, V-shaped girder framework, running from wing tip to wing tip and across the nose.
I am desperate to build a model of this sub-type but need more information. Please write direct to me at;

Peter Elliott, 385 Merville Garden Village, Newtownabbey,
County Antrim, ВТ 37 9TU Northern Ireland
Wildcat Tails

Dear Neil,
Concerning the recent debate on the subject of the tall-tailed Wildcats.
Please find enclosed drawings, with dimensions from the Erection and Maintenance manuals for F4F-3 and the FM-2. These are official Grumman drawings and so can be expected to be accurate. I will let your readers decipher the actual numbers – there are a lot of fractions and I very much dislike using them, (millimetres are so much less messy!).
As best I can figure it, the tall tail of the FM-2/Wildcat VI is just under 11 inches taller than the earlier F4F-3/4 Wildcats.

Bill Hardman Florida USA

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Noorduyn Notes

I read with great interest Vic Scheuermann article on the Noorduyn Norseman in SAM 25/2. The Matchbox model is of good quality, but I was still impressed by the details Vic has added to this kit. However, one thing I think is missing in the article is a description of which variant the model depicts and a description of the differences between the two major variants, the Mk IV and the Mk VI.
Having done some comprehensive studies on this aircraft type myself, as research for a forthcoming book, I have become aware of the differences between the variants – comparable in fact to those between the Spitfire Mk V and Mk IX. The Matchbox kit, (and the identical up-scaled ModelCraft kit), represents a hybrid between the two variants, thus to build an accurate model some plastic surgery must be done, regardless of which variant one chooses to build.
The first major type was the Mk IV, operated by the RCAF, of which 79 were built. The type was modified to meet USAAF requirements as the C-64. This variant was designated Mk VI by Noorduyn and 749 were built. The Mk V was a post-war civilised version of the Mk VI, but only a few were built due to the large number of surplus military aircraft that became readily available.
The biggest difference between the types, although hard

More Kingfisher corrections

Dear Neil,
I was pleased to see the RAAF Kingfisher featured in
SAM Vol 24/7. Ian К Baker and I studied the Vought Kingfisher extensively in preparing our booklet ‘Kingfisher Collection’, mentioned by another friend from Oz, Ley Reynolds, in his follow-up in SAM 24/10. I’d like to add a few more observations.
Some of the colour information in your article disagrees with our research and conclusions we have drawn. The biggest difference is in the delivery scheme of the twenty-four Dutch VS-310 Kingfishers, long assumed to be US Navy Blue Gray over Light Gray, which was specified for USN seaplanes from the end of February 1941. My friend Jim Maas, a noted authority on aviation in the Netherlands East Indies, finally turned up a photo of two Dutch Kingfishers, disassembled, wrapped and bound on pallets for shipment to the NEI. The aircraft are an overall light colour, presumed to be Light Gray, which correlates with the scheme for Dutch seaplanes in the Pacific at the time. Orange triangle national markings are visible on the fuselage, so we can assume this is the final scheme, not primer. This new information overturns previous research and theories, and it means that all operational RAAF Kingfishers were repainted, so the service delay of the Point Cook floatplanes must have been for other reasons.
This brings us to the colour scheme of A48-4 of 3 OTU, which cannot have been painted with USN Blue Gray uppers. Ian and I both feel it wears RAAF colours of Extra Dark Sea Gray and Dark Slate Grey on its upper surfaces with Sky Grey or Sky Blue undersides. Although the dark colours are difficult to discern in photos, careful examination of the one on p434 of
SAM 24/7 offers some indication of the two-tone scheme. The lanolin coating mentioned by Ley Reynolds is strikingly obvious on the lower two-thirds of the main float and the sheen it imparts can be seen on the wingtip float also.
A48-13 went to Antarctica in 1948 wearing red centre roundels. These had been added to the older markings in early December 1947, making this Kingfisher probably the first RAAF aircraft to sport the newly-restored red centre insignia, albeit in incorrect proportions.

Bill Devins IPMS/USA Seaplane SIG Lancaster PA USA to see, is the fuselage size. The Mk IV has a slim fuselage, which was widened by ten inches for the Mk VI. The Mk VI fuselage is also three inches deeper. More visible differences are the stub wings and the main undercarriage legs. The Mk IV has greater chord stub wings, and it has a bare wheel leg, whilst the Mk VI has narrower stub wings and a fairing around the wheel leg. Other noteworthy differences are the air inlet and outlets on the starboard side behind the engine cowling. Further differences that separate these variants is the placement of the navigation lights and the rudder trim tab design. For floatplanes the two variants have different types of floats and the float strut arrangements are different. There are also several variations that are independent of Mark number, but are merely a consequence of the operating conditions.
The Matchbox kit has the slim fuselage of the Mk IV, whilst the rest of the aircraft is like the Mk VI. The wheel and ski undercarriage is as for the Mk VI, but the float struts are for the Mk IV. The floats themselves are not very good for either type!

Walther Dahl’s Focke Wulf

Dear Neil,
Whilst I was very impressed with Jamie Leggo’s modelling ability in his Fw 190 article, ‘
Walter Dahl’s Sturmbocke’ in the March 2003 issue, (Vol 25/1), can I offer a correction to the actual identity of the pilot of ‘black 13’? He appears not to have read my Sturmgruppen feature that appeared in the March 2001 issue, (Vol 23/1), as part of his research.
One of the captions to the accompanying photos of Jamie’s superb model offers, “…possibly finished in the markings of Major Walther Dahl”. Well I am afraid it was
definitely not Walther Dahl’s aircraft! Dahl was the Kommodore of JG 300.
‘Black 13’, which Jamie modelled, was an aircraft on strength of IV./JG 3, a
Sturmgruppe that was operationally subordinated to Dahl’s Geschwader during the early summer of 1944 and with whom it briefly shared a base, (Ansbach), with Dahl’s Stabsschwarm – and hence the confusion that has arisen over the years regarding this aircraft.
My own research, (as stated in my March 2001 ‘Aircraft in Detail’ feature on
Sturmjager operations in 1944), suggests that ‘black 13’ was in fact assigned to the Staffelkapitan of ll./JG 3, a Hptm Werner Gerth and being an 11 Staffel aircraft it would mean that the spinner and Adlerflugel (Eagle wing) exhaust trim would have been white not yellow! Note here that TriMaster also suggested a totally fictitious red-cowled scheme in their decal options which thankfully Jamie didn’t fall for  the Mk 108 30mm cannon. It did not. Jamie also refers to the R8 Rustsatz as chiefly concerning.

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 The R8 variant primarily involved the fitting of upper cowl fairings and the deletion of the MG 131/13 machine guns. The outer wing cannon was part of the R2 modification. Incidentally, the word Stumbocke is a plural form of the word Sturmbock.
Finally, still keeping with Fw 190s and specifically Albert Tureczek’s ‘Wilde Sau Nachtjager’ article in the April 2003 issue (Vol 25/2), please find attached a photo from my collection of a close-up of an Eberskopf boar’s head emblem on the cowling of an NGr 10 Fw 190 which may be of interest to readers

Neil Page, Folkestone Kent

IPMS(UK) held its AGM and the Committee experienced a limited change of personnel. One of these changes was my taking over the position of Liaison Officer. Another change of staff, was that of Membership Secretary. Ian Crawford has at last escaped off the Committee and has been replaced by Alan Carr. If you need to contact him, his address is 5 Roslyn Gardens, Gidea Park, Romford, Essex RM2 5RH, United Kingdom. He is also contactable by e-mail: Membership@ipms-uk. co. uk

IPMS(UK) Liaison Officer. A grand title, but what does it mean? I now have the wonderful task of keeping all the Branches and Special Interest Groups in contact with the Committee. This also covers answering letters from the public and writing this column in SAM, which was so ably re-started in Vol 25/1 by Andy Scott. My thanks to Andy for this; I hope I can keep up the good work!
It is unfortunate that we had a number of
gremlins sneak into the SIG Leaders’ list we published in Vol 25/2. No sooner had that issue ‘hit the streets’ than we were informed by several IPMS Members that it had one or two errors in it, so apologies to those SIG Leaders who had incorrect details published, we hope to correct this in a future issue. This may sound strange not having a correct list to publish, but contact names and addresses do change. For some reason an out-of-date contact list was still in circulation, and unfortunately we did not get to hear of it until too late.
The list of Branches/Branch Secretaries will follow in a later issue, after we have made very sure there are no incorrect addresses in it! However I can virtually guarantee that the day after it’s published, we will get a notification of a change of contact name for one of the Branches……
So please read the lists published with the following proviso,
‘Correct at date of publication’. If you have tried to contact an address and got no luck, please write to me at the address below, or e-mail me at: liaison@ipms-uk. co. uk and I will get the right one to you.
Tempest Fugit
While it is unfortunate just how quickly things get out of date, it is sometimes harder to believe just how long things have been around. It’s only when you look at the dates of published books or magazines in your collection that you really believe things have been going for as long as they have.
This may seem like a strange comment, but in 1978 when this illustrious magazine was first published, I was a mere 20 year old but had been dabbling in model making since the late 1960s. I really started to build kits
properly in the mid 1970s, after leaving school and starting work, and was getting interested in US Naval Aviation. I read over and over again, the Aircraft in Detail article on the F-14 Tomcat in that first issue of ‘SAM’, looking at the detail and colour schemes. I did not know about IPMS at that time – I was a happy modeller, making my kits in blissful isolation.
In fact I did not hear about the IPMS until 1982, when my local IPMS Branch was being advertised on a local radio station. So, off I went to the meeting place, a room above a pub on the outskirts of Bristol. The only problem was, although I had the correct pub name, I was just at the wrong pub! But with a few helpful directions from the Landlord I eventually made it to the right place, and so began my introduction to the IPMS.
By then, IPMS had been going for some nineteen years since its creation back in 1963, and had some thirty or so Branches. Having never previously attended a UK National Championships, I had not really met that many other IPMS members from other Branches, nor any of the members of the hallowed and immortal IPMS(UK) Committee whose names were to be revered. It was at this and other shows that I met those mythical names that I had read in
‘SAM’ and often wondered what they looked like. To my surprise they looked just like me – ordinary guys with an interest in model making!
Like Andy Scott, I too became a SIG Leader. My interest in Naval Aviation, and in Aircraft

This month, IPMS(UK) Liaison Officer, Paul Smith, explains how he first came in to contact with the IPMS and eventually ended up on the IPMS(UK) Committee….

Adrian Warburton’s Maryland

Dear Neil

The day the June issue of ‘SAM’ was published with the letter from Ian Coleman on Adrian Warburton’s Maryland, which was itself a response to something I had put in the ‘In Tray’, I was given these two photos of ‘his’ AR733 in a rather sorry state on Hal Far after some Bf 109s had tried to shred its tail. The photos came from Jack Vowles, who was Warburton’s Right Engineer, via Tim Callaway, who is responsible for the implementation of the RAF website. With them came the information that this particular Maryland was covered with a coat of clear lacquer and then polished; this, together with some very fine adjustment to the electrically variable pitch of the propellers, gave this aircraft a 15 mph advantage over other Marylands in the cruise, and no less than 32 mph extra when ‘flat out’. The smaller photo of the tail unit would seem to show that it had been patched and repainted before. Information on the commemoration that followed the recent discovery of the Lockheed Lightning F-5 in which Warburton lost his life can be found on www. raf. mod. uk/, which has further photos and direct testimony from Jack Vowles.

Bomber foto

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He was described as the most valuable pilot in the RAF during the Second World War, one of the most decorated British servicemen of all time. Yesterday, 59 years after his disappearance during a reconnaissance flight over southern Germany, Adrian Warburton was finally accorded the funeral he deserved. During a brief ceremony conducted in driving rain and hail in the shadow of the Bavarian Alps, the remains of the man once compared to T E Lawrence for his daring, were interred beside those of Commonwealth airmen laid in their graves decades before. A piper’s lament played as members of the Queen’s Colour Squadron of the RAF lowered his coffin into the ground at the British Military Cemetery at Durnbach, 20 miles south of Munich. The body of Warburton, whose exploits have been immortalised in books and film, had lain undiscovered in a German field since the day in April 1944 when the luck that had carried him through more than 400 missions ran out.

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He was 26, a Wing Commander and the holder of the DSO and bar and DFC and two bars. Serving on attachment to an American squadrdn, he should not have been flying at the time of his death, having been grounded following a road accident. It was only last September that his remains were recovered after an investigation by aviation historians from Britain, Germany and America. The discovery of the crash site, 30 miles north of Munich, ended the mystery of his fate.
That mystery had endured since 12 April 1944, when he took off from a base in Britain in a Lockheed Lightning F-5 reconnaissance aircraft of the US Eighth Air Force. Research suggested that he was shot down at low level by a German anti-aircraft battery.
The life that ended that day was as remarkable as it was brief. Born in Middlesbrough, the son of a Naval Officer, Adrian Warburton attended St Edward’s School in Oxford, where Guy Gibson and Douglas Bader were also educated. He was commissioned into the RAF in 1939, initially showing little promise as a pilot, and posted to Malta the following year. It was there that he recorded his greatest exploits, flying Martin Maryland reconnaissance aircraft. The highlight came in November 1940 when he and his two crewmen carried out a near suicidal low-level sweep over the main Italian naval base at Taranto in preparation for a torpedo attack by Swordfish aircraft based on the carrier
HMS Illustrious.
Warburton insisted on repeated passes at about 50 feet, so low that the Italians were unable to train their guns. Proof of the risk he had taken was provided by part of a radio aerial from an Italian ship found lodged in the Maryland’s tail wheel! The information he gathered ensured the success of the attack, which crippled a large part of Mussolini’s fleet.
The burial was preceded by a church service attended by British, American and German officers. One of those present was Jack Vowles, a wartime NCO who serviced Warburton’s aircraft in Malta. The two men became friends.
Mr Vowles, 81, said, “Warby was never a swaggerer. There was some jealousy about his awards, but he never cared about medals. He was driven by an absolute determination to get the job done. If he did a job badly – and that was extremely rare – he would refuel and go back straight away to do it again.”
Adrian Warburton was credited with seven enemy aircraft shot down, one Probable, six Damaged and three destroyed on the ground, not bad for a Recce pilot! Furthemore most of his claims came whilst flying a Maryland!


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