1:72 Scale Diecast Metal - Northrop F-5A Freedom Fighter USAF – Length: 8.5" Wingspan: 4.5”
This F-5 model is a single seat version, the cockpit is permanently closed and there are no pilot/crew figures. The landing gear is optional, one can attach the landing gear or cover the wheel wells. There is a basic plastic stand included.
For this model the landing gear is quite fragile. The pieces are very long and thin and so bending them out of share of breaking them could be easy if not carefully handled. I would think twice of displaying this model resting on its landing gear. A safer bet would be to use the display stand. The model includes to "extension pegs" that allow the model to be attached to the display even when the landing gear us attached (see photos). The fuselage is made of metal and the wings and other details are made of plastic.
Some weapons are already attached to the wings, they include a pair of wing tip missiles and two pairs of conventional bombs.
The maker of the model, DeAgostini, really did a good job with the model, the panel lines and details are very crisp and one can see the little dots that represent the rivets holding down the panels.
The packaging is quite basic, the model comes packed between two transparent plastic clam shells and these are attach to a cardboard background. The clam shells are quite strong and keep the model safe for shipping.
This is really a "no-play" model or a "display-only" model. It is mostly metal and very heavy. It also has a number of antennas which look great but are very fragile. If you have small kids that like to play with your models, save yourself some frustration (and money) and wait till later to get a model like this one. The box is labeled as not suitable for children under 14.
The package measures 8" x 8" x 4"
The Northrop F-5A/B Freedom Fighter and the F-5E/F Tiger II are part of a family ofsupersonic Light fighter, initially designed in the late 1950s by Northrop Corporation. Being smaller and simpler than contemporaries such as the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II, the F-5 cost less to both procure and operate, making it a popular export aircraft. The F-5 started life as a privately funded light fighter program by Northrop in the 1950s. The design team wrapped a small, highly aerodynamic fighter around two compact and high-thrust General Electric J85 engines, focusing on performance and low cost of maintenance. Though primarily designed for the day air superiority role, the aircraft is also a capable ground-attack platform. The F-5A entered service in the early 1960s. During the Cold War, over 800 were produced through 1972 for U.S. allies. Though the USAF had no acknowledged need for a light fighter, it did procure roughly 1,200 Northrop T-38 Talon trainer aircraft, which were directly based on the F-5A.
After winning the International Fighter Aircraft competition in 1970, a program aimed at providing effective low-cost fighters to American allies, Northrop introduced the second-generation F-5E Tiger II in 1972. This upgrade included more powerful engines, higher fuel capacity, greater wing area and improved leading edge extensions for a better turn rate, optional air-to-air refueling, and improved avionics including air-to-air radar. Primarily used by American allies, it was also used in US training exercises. A total of 1,400 Tiger IIs were built before production ended in 1987. More than 3,800 F-5 and T-38 aircraft were produced in Hawthorne, California.
The F-5 was also developed into a dedicated reconnaissance version, the RF-5 Tigereye. The F-5 also served as a starting point for a series of design studies which resulted in theNorthrop YF-17 and the F/A-18 navalized fighter aircraft. The Northrop F-20 Tigershark was an advanced variant to succeed the F-5E which was ultimately canceled when export customers did not emerge. The F-5N/F variants are in service with the United States Navy andUnited States Marine Corps as an adversary trainer. Approximately 500 aircraft are still in service as of 2014.[N 1]