USAF XB-70 Valkyrie Bomber in 1/72 scale

Discussion in 'Members' Club Room' started by Jeff Head, Jan 23, 2018.

  1. Jeff Head
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    This is a write up and album of my 1/72 scale XB-70 Valkyrie model by Italeri.

    This is a LARGE model, representing a large, high mach, high altitude pentration bomber designed by the United States in the late 1950s and early 1960s and the two prototypes which were produced and which won the contest for the advanced technology bomber. The contract was then later canceled before the bomber went into production, but after the first two prototypes were built and flew.

    XB-70-01.jpg

    XB-70-02.jpg

    The North American Aviation XB-70 Valkyrie was the prototype version of the planned B-70 nuclear-armed, deep-penetration strategic bomber for the United States Air Force Strategic Air Command. Designed in the late 1950s by North American Aviation, the six-engined Valkyrie was capable of cruising for thousands of miles at Mach 3+ while flying at over 70,000 feet (21,000 m).

    At these speeds, it was expected that the B-70 would be immune to interceptor aircraft, the only effective weapon against bomber aircraft at the time. The bomber would spend only a few minutes over a particular radar station, flying out of its range before the controllers could position their fighters in a suitable location for an interception. High speed also made the aircraft difficult to see on radar displays and its high-altitude flight could not be matched by any contemporary Soviet fighter.

    With the introduction of the first Soviet surface-to-air missiles in the late 1950s doubt arose in many planners minds regarding the near-invulnerability of the B-70.

    Thios was true particularly when the U-2 was shot down in 1962 by the Soviet Union.

    In response, the United States Air Force (USAF) under the Kennedy administration proposed a low level mission, to avoid radar, but this mission slowed the aircraft down dramatically and made its chances for penetration little better than the B-52 it was mean to replace.

    Despite many voices indicating that at 80,000 feet and Mach 3 the aircraft would remain largely invulnerable, the Kennedy administration canceled the aircraft, even after the contract for the first 65 aircraft had already been completed. North American spent hundreds of millions of dollars developing the aircraft and build the first two prototypes which performed very well...but the cancellation went through nonetheless, and was very damaging to North American as thousands of engineers and workers were laid off.

    The introduction of the Lockheed SR-71 (which was a recon derivative of the YF-12A interceptor, and its use as a National Reconnaissance aircraft through the 1960s, 1970s, 1970s, 1980s and into the 1990s before it was replaced by an even faster and higher flying aircraft, made it clear that a multiple mach aircraft flying at 80,000 feet or higher, remained immune to Soviet and other missiles. No SR-71 was ever "locked onto" or ever shot down through all of those years.

    And the Soviets proved they were willing to shoot the aircraft as stated, when they sho down the U-2 recon aircraft in 1962, which itself was high flying (though not nearly as high as the SR-71) and was also much slower, flying at less than Mach I, where the SR-71 overflew the Soviet Union at Mch 3.3 at 80,000 feet.

    The B-70 was planned to fly in excess of Mach 3 at 80,000 feet. The prototype reached Mach 3.03 at over 70,000 feet before cancellation.

    The aircraft, was designed to carry the same load as a B-532 at Mach 3+ at over 80,000 feet to this dat would be an effective deterrent in the US Military's nuclear triad.

    The XB-70, to this day, is considered one of the mose beautiful, high technology aircraft every built....and remains so to this day.

    The first prototype flew in September of 1964, whereas the first SR-71 flight was in December 1964
    The second XB-70 aircraft experienced a fatal mishap while flying a photo opportunity in June 1966. One of the fighter aircraft got too close to the following air-vortex which flipeed itover into the vertical sabilozrs of the XB-70, destroying the vertical stabilizers and causing the crash.

    The pilot of the F-104 and one of the crewman of the XB-70 were killed. The second crew member of the XB-70 was able to eject and survived the crash.

    The remaining XB-70 went on to be tested by Nasa into early 1969. Its last flight was and retirement was in February 1969.

    The aircraft is now on permanent display as a historic aircraft at Wright Patterson US Air Force historic museum for anyone to see.

    The SR-71 went on to have 32 aircraft built which performed the high level recon of the Soviet Union and other potential US adversaries until 1990.

    Another aircraft, a hyper-velocity aircraft nicknamed the Aurora is supposedly flying those missions now and has been since before 1990.

    Lockheed has also announced an award to design a Mach 6 manned or unmanned SR-72 recon aircraft, the announcement coming in 2015.

    But the XB-70 has passed on into history. it was a stunning and beautiful achievement of American technology and capabilities in the late 1950s and into the 1960s. I would recommend anyone who has the chance to take the opportunity when in Ohio near Dayton, to go to Wright Patterson Aircraft museum and see the XB-70 on display there. I have and it would be very worth your while.
    The model itself is a fine representation of the aircraft.

    It is an older model. I have had it in my "stash" for over 20 years. But it builds out into a very nice model. Care must be taken with the wing and fuselage assembly and with the wing tips which can be shown in either the lowered position for high altitude high mach flight, or in the normal position for take off and landing. I chose the normal position.

    You will need plenty of room to display the model if you should decide to build it.

    The pictures included show the XB-70 first, flying as a prototype, then pictures of the model kit out of the box, then pictures of building the kit.

    Finally there are pictures of the finished kit, and then more pictures of the actual aircraft, including two pictures of the fatal accident in 1966 of the second prototype, and a picture of the remaining aircraft at Wright Patterson Air Force Museum.

    XB-70-03.jpg

    XB-70-04.jpg

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  2. Jeff Head
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    The model out of the box:

    XB-70-05.jpg XB-70-06.jpg XB-70-07.jpg XB-70-08.jpg XB-70-09.jpg
     
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    More photos of the instructions and then starting to build the model:

    XB-70-10.jpg XB-70-11.jpg XB-70-12.jpg XB-70-13.jpg XB-70-14.jpg
     
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    More model building for the next several posts:

    XB-70-15.jpg XB-70-16.jpg XB-70-17.jpg XB-70-18.jpg XB-70-19.jpg
     
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    After adding all of the markings, then the tough up, and the final flat-coat...the completed models over the next several posts:

    XB-70-42.JPG XB-70-43.JPG XB-70-44.JPG XB-70-45.JPG XB-70-46.JPG
     
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