Hobby Master 1/72 Air Power Series
McDonnell Douglas CF-18B (CF-188B)
Canadian Armed Forces, Aerospace Engineering and Test Establishment "AETE"
CFB Cold Lake, Alberta
April 2015 Release
Production Limited 700 Units
The Aerospace Engineering Test Establishment (AETE) is the flight test agency for the Royal Canadian Air Force.
Similar to the U.S. Navy's VX-4 Air Test and Evaluation Squadron or the RAF's A&AEE (Aircraft and Armament Evaluation Establishment) at Boscombe Down.
AETE provides engineering evaluations of the airworthiness and operational effectiveness of the RCAF's Aerospace Systems.
AETE’s instrumented test CF-18 aircraft (188907) received a very classy red white and black paint scheme around 2003. Previously all AETE aircraft were painted in standard operational schemes and were only identified by a distinctive Red “X” painted on the tail. Of note is that the new scheme still incorporates the Red "X" on the tail and on top of the wings.
Below: #907’s Previous Operational Scheme with the distinctive Red “X” on the tail.
Below: The Gorgeous new paint scheme on the cover of Air Forces Magazine.
This model is the fourth CF-18 model by Hobby Master and I have to say it is absolutely Stunning!
All errors were caught at the artwork and pre production stages and I have to say that I am extremely pleased with the result.
The details are amazing. Even the red trim around the inner edges of the gear doors has been provided.
As far as external ordnance is concerned - the model was originally going to be released totally clean. After viewing a considerable number of photos I suggested that the specially painted centre external fuel tank and Sidewinders be added. Later the external pylons were added as well. The pylons come unattached so you can display with 2, 4, or none at all if your prefer. On a side note, I have only seen a single photograph with a couple of standard issue grey underwing fuel tanks attached to the inboard pylons - but thought that would detract from the scheme.
I have to say that this model is now the favourite of my collection. Definitely nice to have some colour to make the display a bit more interesting given all the flat Grey and Camouflaged military models on the same shelf.
Only 700 have been manufactured - so don't hesitate to add this one to your RCAF or Air Test Theme collections.