Fighter pilots. Adrenaline junkies who live life on the edge, where gravity is so banal they have to multiply it by a factor of nine just to stay awake. You’d imagine then, that when they’re not piloting a 2,000mph missile upside-down they’re driving something pretty spectacular. An AMG-Mercedes, perhaps a Dodge Hellcat, or a hot rod with an engine measured in cubic feet.
Not according to previous bloggee Ralph Savelsberg though, as the Royal Netherlands Air Force pilots of this glorious F-16AM Viper drive… a Renault Trafic van. Um, OK.
It is a beautifully built Renault Trafic van, but it is, nevertheless, still a Renault Trafic van. There’s more to see of the Renault, and the considerably more interesting F-16 Viper fighter jet that accompanies it, at Ralph’s photostream. Take the Highway to the Dreary Zone* via the link above.
America has mixed form when it comes to supercars. The excellent Ford GT is at one end, the Corvette is in the middle, being now pretty good but mostly fairly hopeless, and the Dodge Viper… yeh, that’s still crap.
But that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t want a go in one. Especially this variant, the mad ACR edition. With the Viper’s V10 engine tweaked to 645bhp, carbon ceramic brakes, and a seriously extreme aero package the ACR was… well, still nowhere near as good as anything from Europe or Japan.
That didn’t stop it heading to the Nurburgring with aim of claiming the road legal lap record though. Three attempts ended with a wrecked ACR and no record, but it was the fastest road-legal-American-rear-drive-manual-transmission-car to lap the Nurburgring. Possibly because it was the only one to do it.
No matter, because this fully remote controlled Technic Dodge Viper ACR designed by previous bloggee Lachlan Cameron (aka Lox Lego) and photographed by Jeff McClain is every bit as good as the real car isn’t. Alongside the remote control drive and steering are working suspension, LED lights, a V10 engine underneath a flipping clamshell hood, and opening doors and tailgate.
There’s more to see of Lachlan’s amazing ACR at his Flickr photostream – click the link above to attempt the lap record…
The art of Air Combat Manoeuvring (ACM) came to the attention of the general public with Tony Scott’s 1986 film, Top Gun. Whilst this concentrated on the US Navy’s school the US Marine Corps and Air Force have similar units. With the advent of high-tech missiles, guns and dog-fighting were deemed to be obsolete. Pilots would be able to destroy their enemies using radar, way before they were close enough to see them.
Vietnam was to become the testing ground for the technology. However, the Rules of Engagement often dictated that the identity of opponents had to be visually confirmed first. This could lead the heavy American aircraft (often with no guns) into tight, close-in, turning fights with lighter, cannon armed MiGs. Analysis showed that US airmen needed new aircraft, leading to the F-15 & F-16 programmes and new skills, which lead to the creation of the USAF’s Aggressor squadrons. These squadrons flew lightweight aircraft, often of types not used by the US, which could simulate the tactics and manoeuvres used by enemies.
Evan M‘s excellent F-16C comes from the 16th Weapons Squadron, based at Nellis AFB. The model does a very good job of capturing the smooth curves of the F-16’s blended fuselage and wing in angular Lego. The tan & brown colours from Lego also represent one of the various colours scheme used by the squadron. Click here to see more images and click here to take the Highway to the Danger Zone.
We have a bit of a soft spot for the Dodge Viper here at TLCB. Yes, it’s a poorly built, pointlessly-engined, wayward-handling super ‘sports car’ from the country that doesn’t know what a corner is, but – well – it just looks so cool! This top-notch recreation of the SRT10 ACR Viper, a special edition that aimed to sort out the car’s cornering deficiencies, is the work of previous bloggee Alexander Paschoaletto, and it looks easily as cool as the real thing. See more at Alexander’s Flickr photostream by clicking here.
Neither Brains nor Lady Penelope but the United States’ Airforce aerobatic display team feature in this model from Jme Wheeler. Whilst other militaries use lightweight trainer aircraft to equip their teams, the USAF and the US Navy have traditionally used front-line fighters. At one point, both teams displayed using the large, heavy McDonnel Douglas Phantom II, a machine not exactly noted for its manoeuvrability.
This model is neatly chibi version of the current mount of the Thunderbirds: the Lockheed-Martin F-16. Jme Wheeler has captured the shape of the Viper in compact form, including its chines. He’s made a good choice in the big, bubble canopy that has allowed him to squeeze a minifigure into the cockpit too. It’s all topped off with a suitably abbreviated version of the Thunderbirds’ distinctive markings. Sadly, a group of Elves has got hold of the model and are busily trying to fly it across the TLCB offices by launching it from a high shelf. To get a view of the ‘plane when it was still in one piece, click this link to Flickr, where you can see more of Jme Wheeler’s Lego cars and ‘planes.
It’s been an uneventful few days here at TLCB Towers, as not a single Elf has returned with anything of note. Out of patience, we summoned Mr. Airhorn and chased any remaining Elves out of the office. When they’re hungry enough (which won’t take long) we’ll have some more models to blog…
From left to right; Previous bloggee Alexander Paschoaletto‘s tidy Model Team Koenigsegg CCX, previous bloggee Rage Hobbit‘s remote control Technic Lotus Elise S, and newcomer Ben Smith‘s lovely Model Team Dodge Viper GTS.
You can see more of each of today’s submitted creations via the hyperlinks in the text above, and if you’d like to suggest a creation too you can do so via the Feedback page found in the main menu.
This very purple viper spaceship is the work of the rather talented tardisblue. Side-note; Punk appears to make a resurgence at some point in the future, judging by the follicly-endowed pilot. Check out the full photo gallery on Flickr.