Lockheed X-44A "Manta" Stealth Fighter Concept (1999)
About the Design
In an attempt to improve "stealth" technology, many aircraft designers and engineers have tinkered with the idea of eliminating tail and rudder surfaces altogether and instead using "thrust vectors" -- tiny onboard jets -- to provide yaw, pitch and roll control. In 1999, the U.S. Air Force began development of the X-44 MANTA (Multi-Axis, No-Tail Aircraft) based on the YF-22 Raptor as an experimental test bed for this research. Although initially scheduled to fly in 2007, the MANTA project has allegedly been scrubbed due to lack of funding.
About the Kit
This 1/72 scale resin kit was released by Sharkit of France in 2003. Although it comes with numerous resin parts and a vacuform canopy, Sharkit recommends cannibalizing an actual F-22 model (Testors or Italeri) for most of the add-on detail and cockpit details.
This model was built from an original issue.