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U-2R / TR-1 Wing Correction


Cutting Edge Modelworks


S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number, Description

CEC48441 U-2R/S/TR-1 Wing Correction Set

Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: TBA
Price: USD$19.99 available online from Meteor Productions website
Review Type: Preview and Detailed Look


Previewed by David W. Aungst

HyperScale is proudly sponsored by Meteor Productions




Cutting Edge is about to release three new update sets for the late generation U-2. I made the masters for all three sets. I'll apologize here up front for my enthusiasm about them. I am overjoyed with the way the resin pieces came out and look forward to using them in my current U-2S model. I'll try to keep the text objective here and let the pictures of the pieces do the talking, but my enthusiasm will likely bubble through.

I am only going to show the pieces at they come out of the set in this review. Expect to see a built-up U-2S in the coming months on HyperScale using all these sets.

This review is on the Wing Correction Set (CEC48441).



An Update Set or a Correction Set?


This set is more than a simple update to the wing. It also corrects some minor size issues with the wing control surfaces.

Before getting started with the creation of the flaps, I wanted to determine the true details of the U-2 wing. Pictures I looked at showed the details between that the flaps and ailerons were not captured quite right on the kit. Further, the ailerons just seemed too big (long in span) compared to the flaps. I decided the only way to be sure of all this was to make a detailed comparison of the kit wing to known sizes on the real aircraft.

On the rear cover of the Minigraph #28 book on the U-2R, there is an engineer's drawing of the U-2R wing with all the design measurements included. This seemed a good place to start for the camparison. I scanned an image of the kit wing into my PC. Then, I scanned an image of this diagram into my PC. Through a little foreplanning and some electronic slight-of-hand, I got the images scaled to the same size and rotated to nearly the same angle, then I super-imposed the diagram over the kit wing. The following image was the result.


Wing Detail Comparison
Wing Detail Comparison Click the Picture to View a Larger Image


Several points are noted with close inspection of this image (click the image to see the working copy I used for my actual analysis). Starting from the wing root and moving outward:

  • The super pods are off by 1/8th inch (a scale six inches). They are a little too close to the fuselage.

  • The span of the outboard wing flaps is not long enough. This makes the break between the flaps and ailerons move inboard 3/16th inch (a scale nine inches).

  • The small non-moving section of the wing between the flap and aileron is not represented in the kit at all. This is the section where the fuel dump pipe is found. Acording to the engineer's diagram, this section is six inches wide. This missing section plus the shortened outboard flaps account for why I thought the ailerons looked to long in span -- they are.

  • The aileron trim tab should not be as large as the kit has it molded. It should be three feet, nine inches in span, offset six inches from the inboard end of the aileron. The kit molds it as five scale feet, flush with the inboard end of the aileron.

  • To make the aircraft easier to handle on the ground, the outboard 70 inches of each wingtip can be folded. The scribed lines for the fold on the kit are a scale foot too far inboard, increasing the size of the folding wingtip.

  • Lastly, the wing cord at the tip is not wide enough. This seems due to the leading edge of the kit having a very slightly larger angle of sweep then it should while the trailing edge is represented pretty close to where it belongs.

Before giving Italeri too much grief over these wing issues, remember that this kit was created in the early 1980s when practically everything about the U-2R was classified. The diagram I am using for my comparison here was not published until many years after the kit was released. That the details are as close as they are is actually a credit to Italeri.

I wanted to create a wing update set to fix most all the inaccuracies noted above -- all but one. The moving of the super pods six scale inches (1/8th inch) outboard was something I figured most modelers would not care about. If I had created the parts with the super pods moved outboard, every modeler using this set would get caught having to make the fix to where the super pod fairings are molded onto the kit wing pieces. Hence, I chose to fix everthing else, but left the super pod locations in place.

Industrious modelers that want absolute accuracy can easilly make some small adjustments to the kit and resin pieces to move the super pods if they like.

Creating the wing flaps was not difficult. They are simple flat slabs with no curves to worry about. I cut 0.015" sheet styrene to the proper sizes, then assembled them with liquid cement. I filled the seams after assembly using super glue. I eyeballed the angle for how far to drop the flaps, then added tabs to the leading edges that would insert into the wings and hold the flaps at the proper angle.

I created the ailerons by starting with the kit pieces that I had cut off my set of U-2 wings. I sanded these smooth and cut them to the correct length. I added some styrene strip to the leading side of the pieces to increase the aileron cord to the proper size. Then, I scribed in the trim tabs and added the trim tab actuators to the lower sides.

I created the spoiler wells using a similar approach to what I did for the wing flaps. The wells are basically long skinny boxes that I built from sheet and strip strene. Once I had the sizes worked out, I added the inide details like the various actuators. The most involving parts to create were the tension springs for the spoiler actuators. They are thin copper wire stolen from a broken electric motor, wrapped around a piece of styrene round stock, then carefully measured and cut to length. All the spoiler actuators have small 0.005" sheet styrene mold relief walls added behind them so the pieces would be cast-able as single pieces.


Completed Wing Spoiler Well
Completed Wing Spoiler Well


The measurements provided on the engineer's drawing of the U-2 wing provided me with the exact sizes for the GPS and System 20 fairings. I created the GPS fairing with some Plastruct 3/16th inch square stock, filling the center hole and filing the proper shape into the ends. The System 20 fairing is Evergreen 3/16th inch tube stock which I again filled the center hole and filed the proper shape into the ends. Both fairings are integrally created with a small (six scale inch) section of the wing that does not move. On this non-moving wing section is found the fuel dump pipe for each wing.


GPS and System 20 Fairings
GPS and System 20 Fairings


The final parts in the set are the scoops. Five cooling scoops are found on the outboard sides of the two super pods (three on the left pod and two on the right pod). Two other scoops of slightly different shape are found, one under each wing. These are the fuel tank pressurization scoops for pressurizing the wing fuel tanks in the event of needing to do an emergency fuel dump.



The Correction Set Described


The set is large and made up of twelve pieces, molded in the medium gray resin that we have come to expect from Cutting Edge. There were no molding imperfections in the test pieces sent to me.


The Full Correction Set
The Full Correction Set


The flaps are broken down into inboard and outboard sections. Recessed lines in the flap panels show the further separation of each panel into two interconnected unit. The flaps are designed with tabs that extend into the assembled wing halves and ensure the angle at which the flaps are hanging.


Wing Flaps
Wing Flaps


Outboard of the flaps on each wing is an antenna fairing. The left side is the GPS antenna. The right side is the System 20 antenna. The pieces have the whole fairing represented, including the extended portions found on the underside of the wings. Itegral with the antenna fairings is the small non-moving portion of the wing trailing edge where the fuel dump masts are located.


GPS and System 20 Antenna Fairings
GPS and System 20 Antenna Fairings
Super Pod Tail Cones
Super Pod Tail Cones


The super pod tail cones are updated to include the aerodynamic fairings that close the gaps between the pods and the wing flaps. They also have the vent hole foud in their tips.

Next is the ailerons. They are molded with a portion of the aileron actuator at their center. The trim tabs are scribed in the correct location with their actuator fairing on the underside. The scribed line near to the outboard end is the break point for the folding wingtip.




The last large pieces in the set are the wing spoilers. This is one of those funky details that I wanted to include in the set, even though it is extremely rare to see the spoilers raised on the ground. Instructions in the set include details for using the set without raising the spoilers.

The two small triangular pieces next to the spoiler panels are facing plates to detail the fuselage side that is exposed when the wing flaps are lowered.


Spoiler Panels and Wells
Spoiler Panels and Wells


Rounding out the set is a series of tiny intake scoops. The group with five scoops (the thinner looking ones) are for the outboard sides of the super pods. Three scoops go on the left super pod; two go on the right super pod. The group with only two scoops are the fuel tank pressurization scoops. These mount under the wing, close to where the pogo legs are attached. Note that the locations of the pogo legs in the kit are incorrect and must be moved outboard almost three scale feet. The update set instructions tell how far to move them.


Fuel Tank Pressurization Scoops
Fuel Tank Pressurization Scoops
Super Pod Scoops
Super Pod Scoops


The following picture highlights the correction aspect of this set. Besides the wing spoilers being enlarged and detailed, the break between the wing flaps and ailerons was moved out. This is most evident by the position of the System 20 fairing. Note also the non-moving portion of the wing just outboard of the System 20 fairing and the corrected size of the aileron trim tab.


Wing Correction Detail
Wing Correction Details





I wrote this review to show a little of what goes into the making of a set of masters for a resin kit update. And, of course, I wrote this to show off the new set. The castings caught every detail of my original masters with great clarity. As the designer of the masters, I do not think it is my place to recommend this set or not. I will let the pictures in this posting speak for themselves and leave any recommendations to a more objective reviewer.

As many people have noted, the list of statistics at the end of each of my project postings makes me a true "bean counter". This posting would not be complete without listing my time spent on the project. For the record, on all three U-2R/S update sets collectively, I spent 86.2 hours (5.9 on research, 80.3 on contruction). Very few models in my built collection have reached this high a number of working hours. Wanting to build more than just one U-2R/S (eventually), the time spent here will save me time in having to scratch-build all these items for each U-2 model that I build.




(Newest to Oldest)

  • U-2R/S Walk Around by David W Aungst
    On-Line HyperScale Reference, 2003

  • U-2: The Second Generation by Chris Pocock
    World Airpower Journal, Volume 28, AirTime Publishing, 1997

  • Dragon Lady by Ted Carlson / Toyokazu Matsuzaki
    Koku-Fan Magazine, Volume 1996-04, Bunrin-Do Company, Limited, 1996

  • Recce Tech by Paul F Crickmore
    Osprey Color Series, Osprey Aerospace Publishing, 1989

  • U-2 Spyplane in Action by Larry Davis
    , Squadron In Action #86, Squadron Publishing, 1988/2002

  • Lockheed U-2R/TR-1 by Jay Miller
    AeroFax MiniGraph #28, AeroFax, Inc., 1988

  • Lockheed U-2 by Jay Miller
    AeroFax AeroGraph #3, AeroFax, Inc., 1983


Cutting Edge Modelworks products are available online from Meteor Productions website

Images and Information Copyright 2003 David W. Aungst
This Page Created on 21 April, 2003
Last updated 14 August, 2003

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