Russian Strategic Reconnaissance Plane
in 1/72nd scale by KORA
kit review and photography
by Steve Jantscher
The NM-1 was the single prototype of the RSR (Strategic Reconnaissance Jet) program which was to make a mach 2.8, 100,000 foot cruising altitude reconnaissance platform. The RSR program design responsibility was given to Pavel V. Tsybinat at the LII research institute. The NM-1 was born as a result of the need to first test the technologies and design attributes of the RSR jet in a more affordable size and with less ambitious technology. As such, it still was beyond the technology that the Soviets were able to develop or steal from the West at the time. Both engine design and material technology were insufficient to proceed past this RSR testbed technology demonstrator (as we'd call it today). The NM-1 eventually flew in 1959-60, powered by two AM-5 engines. With a maximum speed at low level of just over 370 mph, the NM-1 was not a barn burner by any means. In fact, the aircraft must be considered a failure as the longest flight amounted to 15 minutes, and the program ended before full flight envelope information could be gathered.
This is the second KORA model I've had a chance to review and study up close, and I have to hand it to this new Czech company, they are on the right track. The castings are superb and finely detailed. No casting imperfections such a bubbles or warpage were noted. The decals look to be very thin and on par with modern after market suppliers. They are printed by Tally Ho, and over a white painted body and natural metal wings, will be sufficiently opaque. Some of the parts breakdown seems strange, but if that is what is required to maintain the high quality of the castings, I'll voice no complaint! While the instructions are sufficient to build the kit, one would have liked some history with the kit. There was none. However, that is a rather small nit to pick, and this is an excellent kit that will be a great addition to builders of this scale or those who collect one off and experimental aircraft themed collections.
This is a real nice kit of a strange and special aircraft.
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