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T-160 Thunderbird

The T-160 Thunderbird (pictured here with pilot Capt Penny Bowman) was an experimental fighter developed by the Palladite Republic. The Palladites, renowned for their inventive but impractical ideas fitted the fighter with twin Arc guns, each one housed in an electrically insulated nacelle at the front of the plane. Each Arc gun was powered by its own generator capable of creating 12,000,000 volts. Although the gun had a range of well over a mile, the weapons were very difficult to aim and pilots eventually resorted to dive-bombing their targets at high speed and firing their weapons when in close proximity to ensure a hit. When they did hit, the Arc guns would cripple their target's electronics, sometimes electrocute the crew, and occasionally ignite the fuel tanks. The guns would often short circuit so eventually a 12mm machine gun was fitted beneath each Arc gun in case the main weapon failed.

Although feared for their unpredictable nature, Thunderbirds did little to effect the outcome of the war and only 152 were ever made.

 

Building Instructions can be downloaded here

 

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Taken on April 16, 2012