Swooping into the Golden Wings series of 1/72 scale kits is a brand new item from Cyber-Hobby. The aircraft in question is the Aichi D3A, a Japanese dive-bomber. Known to the Allies as “Val”, a total of 1,486 of these carrier-borne aircraft were produced, most of which were the later D3A2 version that appeared in June 1942. As the primary dive-bomber in Japanese service, “Val” was used to great effect by the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN). Beginning with Pearl Harbor, the D3A1 took a heavy toll on Allied shipping. Indeed, the Type 99 aircraft sank more ships than any other Axis aircraft. Among its victims were carriers like HMS Hermes, USS Yorktown, USS Lexington, USS Hornet, USS Ommaney Bay and USS Bismarck Sea. The first Type 99s were ordered in December 1939 and they could typically carry one 250kg bomb under the fuselage and two 60kg bombs on outboard wing racks.
Cyber-Hobby has done a sterling job on this 1/72 dive-bomber kit. It comes from all-new toolings that were created using highly advanced CAD techniques. The result is an amazingly detailed aircraft, with the engine and cockpit both being fully represented. With its primary role as a dive-bomber, the model sensibly comes with a payload of a 250kg bomb. And as a carrier-borne aircraft, its 14.37m-wide wings could be folded up to save space. This feature too is carried over into the model; builders can select whether they want the plane to have folded or extended wings. This Aicha Type 99 model will make a big impact on WWII aircraft modelers!