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About Mfezi

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    Tenax Sniffer (Open a window!)

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    Pretoria, South Africa

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  1. Yes it is working now, and what fantastic photographs those are! Thank you. I'm jealous - wish I could have gone myself.
  2. For some reason, I can't see the pictures. If I right click on the text to view the image, it takes me to a site that says: "Vous ne pouvez pas télécharger cette pièce jointe" (you can not download this attachment). Maybe it is just me or my browser, but perhaps someone else can just confirm whether the pictures are indeed visible? I'd love to see them: I've been to MAKS but never to Kubinka.
  3. Hi Gabor I hear what you are saying and in principle I don't disagree with anything, except for my opinion of what constitutes a mature (once again, not "final") design. Historically, and in all the real-world projects that I have been vaguely involved with (I worked in flight test), there were significant changes going from the last prototype to the first production aircraft (or aircraft store). Changes continue as the aircraft further matures, but if I was a model kit manufacturer, I would have preferred to see that first official production aircraft with my own eyes before finalizing the moulds. It is a simple distinction of where I draw my personal line, and this is to avoid what we have seen historically with model kit manufacturers basing their kits on a prototype and then having difficulty to catch up with operational configurations - the Hasegawa 1/72nd scale F-15E is a good example. If it changes further after the first production run, so be it. In most cases it would be easier to keep up with those changes compared to the case where you started your moulds with a pre-production prototype. I bought the old 1/72nd scale Zvezda T-50 right after it came out. I haven't built it yet, not only because of its known shortcomings, but also because I simply prefer to build an aircraft from an operational squadron rather than a prototype. If I was to replace it with this new 1/72nd scale kit, I would probably wait to see if I can indeed build an operational aircraft from it. As you said initially, this discussion is moot: There is no 1/48th scale Su-57 on Zvezda's near-term horizon. If they eventually decide to do one, the first production aircraft would almost certainly have reached operational squadrons anyway, so one can expect them to incorporate all the latest changes into such a hypothetical kit. From that point of view, and considering that I prefer 1/48th scale, I'm actually quite happy that they are re-doing the 1/72nd scale model first.
  4. I think we all understand that. In fact, until the release of the Yak-130, my expectation was for no 1/48th scale jets from them at all - at least it has now become a possibility since they have released at least one (very good) 1/48th scale kit. That is why I was quite specific by saying that I would prefer to wait until the first production aircraft has rolled off the production line, rather than saying we should wait for a "final version". In fact, I was quite careful to avoid the word "final": being an aerospace engineer, I have often been personally involved in changes to operational aircraft during their lifetime. I have no illusion about the existence of some static final configuration that remains frozen in every detail. Nevertheless, it is quite common to see major changes going from prototype to production aircraft versions, while those changes usually become smaller as the production versions evolve. I prefer that, if it happens that the moulds represent a specific moment in the evolution of an aircraft type, it is representative of a version that ended up in an operational squadron, rather than being representative of an early once-off prototype. But, as I also stated, it is only my personal opinion.
  5. I would also like to see a 1/48th scale version, but in the meantime I'm very impressed by the fact that they have decided to make a better 1/72nd scale kit of a kit they were already producing. I do occasionally build 1/72nd scale models and this particular beauty may be worth that little diversion. Just my personal opinion though: It appears that in the next year or two we will see the first production aircraft roll off the manufacturing line. It is pretty likely that there will be numerous detail differences between those and the prototypes that are currently flying (each of which differs markedly also from the other). So, personally, I would rather wait a few years and see them do a 1/48th scale model of the early production aircraft. Of course, there are a lot of people who specifically like models of prototypes, but personally I would be more interested in building a production aircraft from an operational unit.
  6. You say you already looked on the internet, so it is likely you went through the Walkarounds at scalemodels.ru already. However, just in case you haven't, there may be some useful pictures in these two walkarounds: Tu-95MS aerodrome "Belaya" near Irkutsk, about 66 photographs mostly exterior: http://scalemodels.ru/modules/photo/viewcat_cid_483.html Tu-95MS at Poltava in Ukraine, about 216 photographs interior and exterior: http://scalemodels.ru/modules/photo/viewcat_cid_483.html
  7. In your opinion, which appears quite strongly biased towards Pakistan. I'm pretty sure the Indians see it very differently. I can't speak for others, but I suspect a large portion of the rest of the world sees the whole thing in a much more neutral light like myself, where the real concern is simply seeing two nuclear powers at each other's throats, although we are entertained by the rather comical propaganda about the event coming from both. The only thing that is really confirmed is that Pakistan shot down a MiG-21, which is a highly outdated fighter no matter how many upgrades it gets. It is hardly an indication of the regional balance of power.
  8. Stalal, I think you will notice both me and 11bee stated that India is also lying (I even gave an example), so I'm not sure who you are arguing with. I commented on the picture of the missile parts, which simply does not prove what it claims to prove either.
  9. Agreed, 11bee. I simply responded to what I saw in the picture posted here and what was written beneath it. As I said, I haven't really followed this saga very closely, so I don't know if there was other corroborating information provided along with that picture. I'm just surprised that someone thought that by itself it somehow proves that the MiG in question never got a missile off - due to the missing parts it does in fact appear to suggest the opposite. From where I'm standing it looks like rather inept propaganda, possibly directed at a general public who doesn't have the insight to question it further. From the little I have seen on this topic, and as you pointed out, the Indians appear to have done pretty much the same: for example denying everything until the video of their pilot in Pakistani captivity was released. The "staying humble" and "not drum beating" parts were quite funny though.
  10. OK, I must admit I haven't been following the news around this very closely - there seems to be way too much unverified information floating around, combined with what appears to be propaganda put out by both sides. However, I'm curious: How did the Pakistani's explain the missing warhead of the R-73 on the right? Did it vaporize after the crash? Did someone take it? I can't clearly see up to what point was recovered of the R-77 (second from the right of the picture). However, it appears the warhead section of that R-77 is also missing. I may be wrong - as I said, the perspective makes it a bit tricky on that one. It may just be the rocket section that is missing. Anyway, I'm just curious. Most A-A missiles explode with an outward fragmentation pattern, which sometimes result in the nose sections simply being blown off. Both of those missiles on the right (or at least the parts that were recovered) look suspiciously like they may have been used. Just my two cents - there may be a good explanation for the missing warhead sections.
  11. I must say, from my perspective I'm quite sad. Since I live in South Africa, I do a lot of long-distance business trips. Depending on the airline I fly with, it is usually an A330, A340, A380, B777 or B787. The A380 is operated here by British Airways, Air France, Lufthansa and Emirates, so I see them daily. I'm often forced to fly economy, so I've become quite picky about choosing the more comfortable airlines and aircraft. Among the ones I've listed, my favourite is definitely the A380, followed closely by the B787, then a bit of a gap to the B777 with the rest following quite far behind. The 787 is seldom an option since I believe only Qatar currently operates it here - although I have flown with them quite a few times and also on onward flights across Europe and was generally quite impressed. The reason for my distinct preference for the A380 is that it seems no matter which airline you fly with, the A380 seat pitch and space in general always seems a bit more comfortable than any other aircraft. I'm afraid that, no matter what aircraft is used to replace the A380, I personally will end up in a more cramped position when on those long economy class flights. The A380 is also extremely quiet inside - considerably more so than any of the others that I listed except, perhaps, again for the B787 that seems fairly similar. After a 10 to 12 hour flight, I always feel a little more rested than when I used one of the others. The worst is the A330 and A340 - it may just be an airline thing, but after the typical Johannesburg to Abu Dhabi A330 flight in economy, I usually feel like I need a week to recover. I also certainly will miss watching the A380's coming in to land when I drive to work in the mornings - because of the size they always appear like they are flying just a little too slow - it really is a very impressive sight.
  12. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikoyan_Project_1.44
  13. It looks very good from the review. I think I'm definitely going to pick up at least one!
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