SNECMA C.450 Coleoptere (1959)
About the Design
The C.450 Coléoptère was France's attempt to build a tail-sitting VTOL fighter in the same vein as America's experimental Lockheed XFV-1 "Salmon," Convair XFY-1 Pogo, and Ryan X-13 Vertijet. The Coléoptère was distinguished by its annular wing; that is, the wing was shaped like a hollow cylinder, which made the plane look like a flying beer keg. The Coléoptère was only test-flown a few times in 1959. During one of these tests, in an attempt to transition from horizontal to vertical flight, it crashed and was destroyed, killing its pilot.
About the Kit
Released in the early 1960s and again in 1965 by France's Heller company, this is the only near-1/48 scale model of this airplane ever produced. In the 1990's Mach 2 (also French) released a 1/72-scale version complete with transport trailer.
This model is from Heller's second release.