"Fast jets get all the glory, but when it came to a dedicated ground attack plane, G.I.Joe went with a propeller powered subsonic design. The Mudfighter II features a contra rotating pusher prop that generates far less heat than a jet engine would, making it harder to shoot down with heat seeking missiles, and allows the airplane to conserve its fuel and "loiter" over the battlefield for an extended period of time. As its name suggests, the Mudfighter typically does its fighting at very low levels, ideal for accurate close air support, and offering air defenses on the ground the narrowest opportunity to shoot it down.
The Mudfighter II carries air to air missiles for self defense against other aircraft and a pair of multi-purpose cannon. But it packs most of its punch in the ordnance it carries beneath its wings and internally in its weapons bay. While it can carry a variety of guided bombs and missiles, its most common load out is 16 conventional bombs, representing a brutally simple approach to devastating ground targets."
It is always a thrill to build a MOC of one of my favorite childhood toys or of a toy I really wanted as a kid, but never had. But there's also something very satisfying in spending time working on a toy that I never really liked to begin with, and try to improve upon it to suit my vision of what it could have been, while still keeping enough of the original so as to be recognizable. The Mudfighter belongs to this latter category - when I first saw it I thought it was the ugliest thing ever. And not in a cool "A-10 ugly" sort of way, but just an awkward looking undersized airplane with no retractable landing gear, and that armored (but glassless) canopy:
The ungainly-looking Mudfighter was never one of the Joes' most iconic planes, but it was their counterpart to the Rattler which I built last, and for some reason, this strange green ground attacker called to me. Perhaps because I've been thinking about prop-driven ground attack planes for a years now but never built one (unless you count my pocket-sized tilt-rotor FANG II).
My Mudfighter II is much much larger than the original, perhaps a little bigger than I planned at first, and the most obvious of the additions I've added is the twin boom tail. Other upgrades include retractable landing gear and a contra-rotating propeller in the back.
For the pusher prop, I used the design developed by Stephen Pakbaz.
I planned initially to motorize this, but wasn't able to do it without making the plane even bigger than it was already. Without a motor and battery box inside, I decided to give it an internal bomb bay, so it can still carry it's original warload of 16 bombs, but unlike the original, it carries half of these internally.
I had several other ideas for the Mudfighter II that didn't end up getting used, such as canards in the front and a second crewman with a side mounted weapon.