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Eurofighter Typhoon (Revell)

built by Christian Jakl (1:48)

Eurofighter Typhoon
The Eurofighter program was started in 1984. The UK, Germany, Italy and Spain planned to build a fighter that was light years ahead of its competition. It did happen. Completely new construction techniques were used that had never been used in other aircraft before. Carbon fiber as well as new light weight metal alloys was used to allow for a lightweight but sturdy aircraft.

The most important technical advance however is a flight control system that has four backup systems. The aircraft literally flies itself and makes it possible for the pilot to carry out very difficult flight maneuvers. One drawback: if the system fails the aircraft goes down. Advantage: the pilot does not have to concentrate on flying the aircraft but instead concentrates on being a fighter pilot. With a helmet that has a digital built in display that focuses on the pilots eyes he is verbally able to lock in multiple targets at the same time. The cockpit has very little in common with fighters as we know them. The Eurofighter has a very small radar signature and some stealth technology.

The kit

Revell does an excellent job with this Typhoon kit. The kit is almost perfect, easy to build and has a lot of detail. The decal sheet makes it possible to build seven different aircraft for the following countries: UK, Germany, Italy, Austria and Spain. There are also many stencils for the different weapons systems and aux.. fuel tanks. Everything fits perfectly, making putty unnecessary. Judging how the kit is designed a two seat version is on the horizon.

It was not important for me to use the color instructions or which weapons system to fit since the original is still under construction. I also lacked photographs of the final product. As a result my version of the Austrian Eurofighter is not perfect. I used Eduard (49367) photo etch to improve the cockpit. One problem occurred when I used Revell’s glue to attach the landing gear and found that a chemical reaction softened the wing. It was hard to correct this. Next time I shall always use super glue ...

Eurofighter Typhoon (Revell, 1:48)

  Model built by Christian Jakl, photos taken by Wolfram Bradac  
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Political embarrassment!

Austria is obligated by its constitution to defend itself. That also applies to defending and controlling its own airspace. Between 2003 and 2006 over 300 airspace violations were registered. During 1985 the supersonic fighter Saab 35 OE Draken was acquired for a good price. The Draken was supposed to be replaced during the mid-nineties but they flew until 2006. Since then the Draken has been grounded no political party wanted to commit to a successor for the obsolete fighter.   For political reasons, none of the parties wanted to spend tax payer’s money on war toys (very unpopular in Austria). That is why it took so long to find a replacement.

In 2002 the government decided to order and buy 24 Eurofighters. There were immediate questions about why so many and why the most expensive fighter on the market. Four other types had been under consideration: The FA-18 EF Super Hornet, the F-16 Block, the French Mirage 2000-5 and the Swedish Saab JAS 39 Gripen. The former administration defended their decision with a contract that included fixed reciprocal deals that covered some of the expense of the fighter and guaranteed the domestic industry money and jobs. The exact nature of the reciprocal deals remained a secret and was not publicized.  Since there were no written records, the opposition accused the arrangement as a waste of tax payer’s money. Immediately the Austrian Media got a hold of it and what followed was embarrassing and could be followed around the world. The discussion has not ended to this day and every party is trying make political capital of it. It was also embarrassing that when the first fighter landed on Austrian soil that license for the GPS system had not been bought. Lacking was also a meaningful debate about the necessity for this expensive weapons system. Did Austrian political leaders fail? (Editor's note: what a question!)

Without a doubt the Eurofighter is the best and most modern weapons system since the founding of the Republic to protect our country but can it save us from our own politician’s ego.

The costs for Austria

AThe initial outlay for 18 Eurofighters (the quantity was reduced) was 1.959 billion Euros. Over the possible additional cost overruns of 460 million Euros a debate is ongoing, because officially they were never mentioned. Since the aircraft are currently being produced and the Saab Draken has already been retired, Swiss F-5’s are being leased with an additional cost of 75 million Euros. (All data from daily newspapers and the Internet).
  Eurofighter- more info about the Austrian types:     
  meet the modeler      

Christian Jakl

  I was born in Vienna in 1971 and now I live in the middle of the mountains in the Tyrol district. I am in marketing and my specialty is graphic design and layout. Ships, planes and automobiles is how it started and now I have taken up aircraft models only. I concentrate on the German and Soviet air force. My favorite mode of display are dioramas in 1/48 scale. Here I can let my imagination run wild and can produce many of parts. Experimentation and the use of new techniques are foremost on my mind. I also combine stock kits with other add onís and try out new tools. There is always a lot to learn.

It is not all that important to me if a detail is no exactly in the right spot; the final product has to look right. If somebody stands in front of my model and is enthused then I did my job right. The only problem I have is the time factor and in this I probably not alone. I wish everybody a lot of fun with this page and hope that critiques and comments are forthcoming.
  Christian Jakl  
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This page:  GALLERY: Eurofighter Typhoon, Revell (1:48)
was last modified on: Feb 22, 2009
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Translation into English by Werner Stocker (Ft. Myers, FL USA).
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