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+++ DISCLAIMER +++

Nothing you see here is real, even though the conversion or the presented background story might be based on historical facts. BEWARE!

  

Some background:

Immediately after the 1989 Velvet Revolution, the Czech president Václav Havel declared a de-mobilization of the Czech defense industry. Nevertheless, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Czech company Aero Vodochody continued developing the basic L-39 Albatros design with a view toward greater export. The resulting L-39MS, later re-designed as L-59 Super Albatros, featured a more powerful turbofan engine, advanced avionics, and has been bought in quantity by Egypt and Tunisia. In 1993, a group of Czech military experts launched a project of production of a modern domestic fighter to replace the obsolete Soviet aircraft. Since the proposed Aero L-X supersonic fighter development proved to be financially demanding (up to US$2 billion), the less costly L-159 subsonic attack aircraft was approved for procurement instead.

 

Conducted between the years 1994 and 1997, the technical development of L-159 ALCA (Advanced Light Combat Aircraft) in Aero Vodochody consisted primarily of building one L-159 two-seat prototype based on the L-59 airframe, utilizing western engine, avionics and weapon systems, with Rockwell Collins (eventually Boeing) as the avionics integrator.

 

The L-159 ALCA was designed for the principal role of light combat aircraft (single-seat L-159A variant) or light attack jet and advanced/lead-in fighter trainer (two-seat L-159B and T variants). The design of the L-159 was derived from the L-39/59 in terms of aerodynamic configuration, but a number of changes were made to improve its combat capabilities. These included strengthening of the airframe, reinforcing of the cockpit with composite and ceramic ballistic armor and enlargement of the aircraft's nose to accommodate a radar. Compared to the L-59, number of underwing pylons was increased from four to six, and a new hardpoint under the fuselage was added instead of a fixed GSh-23L cannon in an external fairing. The aircraft was capable of carrying external loads up to 2,340 kg, ranging from unguided bombs and rocket pods to air-to-ground and air-to-air guided missiles or special devices to conduct aerial reconnaissance or electronic warfare. Guided precision ordnance like laser-guided glide bombs could be carried, too, thanks to the aircraft’s ability to carry respective targeting equipment, for example the AN/AAQ-28(V) LITENING pod.

 

The L-159 was powered by the non-afterburning Honeywell/ITEC F124-GA-100 turbofan engine with a maximum thrust of 28 kN. Almost 2,000 litres of fuel was stored in eight internal tanks (six in the fuselage, two at the wingtips) with up to four external drop tanks (two 500 L and two 350 L tanks) carried under the inner wings.

The lightly armored cockpit was equipped with a VS-2B ejection seat, capable of catapulting the pilot at a zero flight level and at zero speed. The aircraft's avionics based on the MIL-STD-1553 databus include a Selex Navigation and Attack Suite, Ring Laser Gyro based Inertial Navigation System (INS) and Global Positioning System (GPS). Flight data was displayed both at the FV-3000 head-up display (HUD) and on two multi-function displays (MFD). Communications were provided by a pair of Collins ARC-182 transceivers. Self-protection of the L-159 was ensured by a Sky Guardian 200 radar warning receiver (RWR) and Vinten Vicon 78 Series 455 chaff and flare dispensers. L-159A and T2 variants were equipped with the lightweight Italian FIAR Grifo L multi-mode Doppler radar for all-weather, day and night operations.

The maiden flight of the first L-159 prototype occurred on 2 August 1997 with a two-seat version. On 18 August 1998, the single-seat L-159A prototype first flew; it was completed to Czech customer specifications. 10 April 2000 marked the first delivery of L-159A to the Czech Air Force and the type was marketed for export.

 

One of the type’s foreign operators became the young Republic of Catalonia, which had declared independence from Spain in 2017. The Catalan independence movement already began in 1922, when Francesc Macià founded the political party Estat Català (Catalan State), but the modern independence movement began and gained serious momentum in 2010, when the Constitutional Court of Spain ruled that some of the articles of the 2006 Statute of Autonomy - which had been agreed with the Spanish government and passed by a referendum in Catalonia - were unconstitutional, and others were to be interpreted restrictively. Popular protest against this decision quickly turned into demands for independence. Starting with the town of Arenys de Munt, over 550 municipalities in Catalonia held symbolic referendums on independence between 2009 and 2011. All of the towns returned a high "yes" vote, with a turnout of around 30% of those eligible to vote. A 2010 protest demonstration against the court's decision, organized by the cultural organization Òmnium Cultural, was attended by over a million people. The popular movement fed upwards to the politicians; a second mass protest on 11 September 2012 (the National Day of Catalonia) explicitly called on the Catalan government to begin the process towards independence. Catalan president Artur Mas called a snap general election, which resulted in a pro-independence majority for the first time in the region's history. The new parliament adopted the Catalan Sovereignty Declaration in early 2013, asserting that the Catalan people had the right to decide their own political future.

 

After three more troublesome years and constant strife for independence from Spain, the Catalonian president Carles Puigdemont eventually announced a binding referendum on the topic. Although deemed illegal by the Spanish government and the Constitutional Court, the referendum was held on 1 October 2017. In a vote where the anti-independence parties called for non-participation, results showed a 90% vote in favor of independence, with a turnout of 43%. Based on this result, on 27 October 2017 the Parliament of Catalonia approved a resolution unilaterally creating an independent Republic.

 

This event was also the rather sudden birth of the Catalonian armed forces. Esp. the nascent air force, called Guàrdies Aèries de la República Catalana (GARC, Republic of Catalonia Air Guard), faced serious trouble, since Spain refused any assistance. Furthermore, there were no former Spanish military air bases in the region that could be taken, and any equipment and infrastructure had to be procured from scratch and on short notice.

 

In the wake of this hasted start, the L-159s became part of the GARC’s initial mixed bag of flying low-budget equipment. They were 2nd hand machines, bought from EADS-CASA of Spain and mothballed since 2012 after a barter deal with the Czech Republic: In 2009, EADS had exchanged with the CzAF four CASA C-295 transporters for three L-159As, two L-159T1s and 130 million Euros. These aircraft were still in EADS inventory in late 2017, even though grounded and taken out of service since 2012, because the operations of this small fleet as chasing aircraft were expensive and no buyer could be found in the meantime.

 

However, in 2018 the company sold them, under indirect pressure from NATO, to the Catalonian government at a “symbolic”, yet unspecified, price. This small fleet was soon augmented by five more L-159As and ten L-159T1s which were directly procured from the Czech Republic in 2019. These aircraft formed the initial, small backbone of the young country’s air defense, armed with AIM-9 Sidewinders (AIM-120 AMRAAM was possible, to, but not procured due to severe budget restraints) and Mauser BK-27 cannon in conformal pods. Since no military airfields with a suitable infrastructure for jet aircraft were available for the GARC at the time of their purchase and introduction, the L-159s were initially based at two public regional airports: at Reus, in the proximity of Tarragona at the Mediterranean coast, and at Girona in the country’s north, where airfield sections were separated of the military operations.

  

General characteristics:

Crew: one

Length: 12.72 m (41 ft 8¾ in)

Wingspan: 9.54 m (31 ft 3½ in)

Height: 4.87 m (16 ft)

Wing area: 18.80 m² (202.4 ft²)

Airfoil: NACA 64A-012

Aspect ratio: 4.8:1

Empty weight: 4,350 kg (9,590 lb)

Max. takeoff weight: 8,000 kg (17,637 lb)

 

Powerplant:

1× Honeywell F124-GA-100 turbofan, delivering 28.2 kN (6,330 lbf) thrust

 

Performance:

Never exceed speed: 960 km/h (518 knots, 596 mph)

Maximum speed: 936 km/h (505 knots, 581 mph) at sea level, clean

Stall speed: 185 km/h (100 knots, 115 mph)

Range: 1,570 km (848 nmi, 975 mi) max internal fuel

Combat radius: 565 km (305 nmi, 351 mi) lo-lo-lo, with a gun pod, 2× Mark 82 bombs, 2× AIM-9

Sidewinder and 2× 500 L drop tanks

Service ceiling: 13,200 m (43,300 ft)

Rate of climb: 62 m/s (12,220 ft/min)

 

Armament:

7Í hardpoints in total, 3 under each wing (outer pylons only for AAMs) and 1 under the fuselage,

holding up to 2,340 kg (5,159 lb) of ordnance

  

The kit and its assembly:

This model was spawned by a grain of truth: as mentioned in the background, EADS Spain had actually bought a few L-159s in 2009 from the CzAF in exchange for transporters, and together with the ongoing plans of an independent Catalonia I merged both into this ALCA single seater for the fictional Republic of Catalonia Air Guard.

 

The kit is the relatively new KP L-159. This is basically a nice model, but the kit has some severe flaws (see below). The model was basically built OOB, I just added AIM-9L Sidewinders and their respective launch rails as external ordnance on the outermost underwing hardpoints. Since I did not find the standard gun pod (a ZVI PL-20 Plamen pod with 2×20 mm guns) suitable, I decided to give the GARC aircraft a heavier, Western weapon in the form of a Mauser BK-27 (the same weapon used onboard of the Panavia Tornado or the Saab Gripen) in a conformal cannon pod under the fuselage. This piece was taken and adapted from a Heller Alpha Jet. Its shape perfectly fitted between the two ventral air brakes.

 

Concerning the kit itself, the build turned out to be a medium nightmare. The kit looked promising in the box, with fine engravings, but nothing fits well. There are no locator pins, you have (massive) ejection marks almost everywhere, and the parts’ attachment points to the sprues protrude into the parts themselves, so there’s a lot to clean up. At least there are no sinkholes.

Upon assembly, the cockpit tub – nicely detailed – would not fit into the fuselage at all and ended up in an oblique position (hidden through a pilot figure from the scrap box and a re-mounted avionics fairing in the rear cockpit). The air intakes left me guessing, too: while the edges are crisp and thin, the overall fit with the fuselage and the orientation of the parts had to be guesstimated, plus a mediocre fit, too. The instructions are not very helpful, either. I am quite disappointed and tried to make the best of the situation.

  

Painting and markings:

Much more thought was put into the model’s looks. What camouflage should such an aircraft carry? And I had to invent roundels/markings for a Catalonian air force aircraft, too.

 

Since the Catalonian L-159s were multi-purpose aircraft, yet primarily tasked with air space defense, I opted for an subdued air superiority scheme instead of a tactical low-level camouflage. Furthermore, the camouflage was supposed to be suited for a mountainous landscape (Pyrenees), relatively flat and dry land and also to open sea. This was a good opportunity to give a model the Greek “Ghost” scheme: a three-tone wraparound scheme consisting of FS 36307 (Light Sea Grey), 36251 (Aggressor Grey) and 35237 (Medium Grey, but actually a rather greyish blue). The pattern was adapted from Hellenic F-16s. I think it’s a good compromise, and it suits the ALCA well.

 

The national markings caused more headaches. I was looking for something that would not look like the Spanish roundel, but still reflect the Catalonian indpendence flag and – most important – I wanted to be able to create it from stock material (not printing them at home), with the option to replicate it on potential future builds.

In the end and after long safaris through my spare decal repository, I came up with a round marking. It consists of an Ukrainian roundel with a relatively thin outer yellow ring (from a Begemot MiG-29 sheet), placed on top of a Hinomaru, so that a thin, red outer ring was added. Onto the central, blue disc a white star (from a TL Modellbau sheet with US Army markings) was added. I think that this looks original enough?

There was a problem, though… In my first attempt to apply this construction, the roundels turned out to be VERY large overall. While the design itself looked O.K. (despite reminding of Captain America somehow), this looked ridiculous, esp. on an aircraft with a wraparound low-viz paint scheme. I was not satisfied, so I heavy-heartedly ripped the decals off again (using adhesive tape, works like a charm) and tried it again, in a smaller version.

Hinomaru became the basis once more, even though smaller, and then die-punched discs in yellow and blue (from generic decal sheet) were added, and finally small white stars again, one size smaller than during the first attempt. While this is still colorful and stands out from the grey background, the second attempt looked much more balanced now, and I stuck with it.

 

In order to add more flavor, I added Catalonian fin flashes and squadron emblems on the nose, depicting the “burro”, the Catalonian donkey which has become a kind of unofficial regional symbol as a kind of anti-mascot to the Spanish bull. These markings/decals were printed at home on white sheet.

 

The tactical codes were based on the Spanish system. The Spanish Air Force has its own alphanumeric system for identifying aircraft: This forms a prefix to the airframe serial number, usually marked on the tail. C means cazabombardero (fighter bomber); A, ataque (attack); P, patrulla (patrol); T, transporte (transport); E, enseñanza (training); D, search and rescue; H, helicopter; K, tanker; V, Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL); and U, utility. An example would be that the F-18 with "C.15-08" on the tail is the fifteenth type of fighter that arrived in the Spanish Air Force (the Eurofighter is the C.16) and is the eighth example of this type to enter the SAF. On the nose or fuselage, the aircraft has a numeral specific to the unit in which it is based.

 

Variants of planes in service, for example two-seater versions or tanker versions of transports planes, add another letter to differentiate their function, and have their own sequence of serial numbers separate from the primary versions. Example: "CE.15-02" will be the second F-18 two-seater (Fighter Trainer) delivered to the SAF. In addition, the aircraft used by the Spanish Air Force usually carry a code consisting of one or two digits followed by a dash and two numbers, painted on the nose or fuselage. The first number corresponds to the unit to which they belong, and the second the order in which they entered service. Example: the fourth F-18 arriving at Ala 12 will have on the nose the code "12-04". Those codes do change when the aircraft is re-allocated to a different unit. Quite complicated…

 

This led to the tactical code “2-03”, for the 3rd aircraft allocated to the 2nd fighter squadron, and “C.1-03” as individual registration as the 3rd aircraft of the 1st fighter type in Catalonian service. All codes were puzzled together with single black letters and numbers from TL Modellbau in 3 and 5mm size.

 

Finally, the kit was sealed with matt acrylic varnish.

Title: Armstrong Nurseries

Identifier: armstrongnurseri1950arms

Year: 1950 (1950s)

Authors: Armstrong Nurseries (Ontario, Calif. ); Henry G. Gilbert Nursery and Seed Trade Catalog Collection

Subjects: Nurseries (Horticulture) California Catalogs; Nursery stock California Catalogs; Fruit trees California Catalogs; Ornamental trees California Catalogs; Shrubs California Catalogs; Flowers California Catalogs; Plants, Ornamental California Catalogs

Publisher: Ontario, Calif. : Armstrong Nurseries

Contributing Library: U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Library

Digitizing Sponsor: U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Library

  

View Book Page: Book Viewer

About This Book: Catalog Entry

View All Images: All Images From Book

 

Click here to view book online to see this illustration in context in a browseable online version of this book.

  

Text Appearing Before Image:

 

Text Appearing After Image:

Evergreen Shrubs Itec ificifolia Holly-Leaf Sweetspire. The big-toothed polished, dark green leaves look more like Holly than even Holly itself. You will never find anything better than its foliage to use for your Christmas decorations. Holly-Leaf Sweetspire is one of the most magnificent foliage plants for any California garden. Grows tall and slender. Plant in sun or part shade along the coast, but only part shade inland. 8 ft. 15°. 5885-Gal. tins, $1.00. 5886-5-gal. tins, $3.5o! Lantana These brilliant, colorful shrubs have done much to brighten Southern California. They are attractively foliaged, grow rapidly, and will probably be in continuous bloom from the day you plant them. Dwarf varieties 1 to 3 ft. Tall varieties 5 to 6 ft. 22°. All varieties in gal. tins, 80c each. Orange-Red. Dwarf. 3400. Light Pink. Tall. 3415. Pure White. Semi-dwarf. 3405. Orange-Red. Tall. 3420. Clear Yellow. Dwarf. 3410. Lantana sellowiana. Trailing Lantana. A common sight in Southern California, much used to cover sunny banks or walls. A mass of lavender flowers during almost the whole year. 3425—Gal. tins, 80c. 3427—Flats of 100 plants, $6.00. Brilliant berties cf Burford Hclly Ilex altaclarensis wilsoni Broad-Leaved Holly. The glossy typically holly leaves of this type are the biggest of any variety in our collection. It makes a compact, magnificent shrub and the beautiful, big red berries are on a par with the handsome foliage. Shade or part shade in Southern Cali- fornia, sun in the North. 5 to 8 ft. 5". 5860-Gal. tins, $1.75. 5861-5-gal. tins, $5.00. Ilex aquifoliuim Fertile Fertile English Holly. Many English Hollies grown from seed do not produce berries. These special grafted plants are of a type which bear heavy crops of laige red berries every year. In Southern California English Holly should be planted in shade or semi-shade. In other areas where winter temperatures are low enough so that English Holly does well, it can be planted in full sun. Always needs plenty of moisture. 5°. 5865-Gal. tins, $1.75. 5866-5-gal. tins, $5.00. Ilex oquifoiium Silver Queen Silver-Edged English Holly. These are grafted plants which are sim- ilar to English Hollv, but the foliage is variegated with silver and light green. 5°. 5870-Gal. tins, $2.50. Ilex cornuta Burford Burford Hollv. The finest Hollv for Southern California because the foliage is large and glossy, deep green in color. The plants bear plenty of big, bright red berries like those illustrated above. It will make a big shrub in time, but not for many years will it reach ultimate height. Will grow well in eithev sun or shade. 6 to 10 ft. 10°. 5875-Gal. tins, $1.75. 5876-5-gal. tins, $5.00. 6955-Balled, 2 to 3 ft., $7.50. Ilex cornuta Fertile Fertile Chinese Holly. This is one of the best Hollies for California because it is more adapted to warmer climates than the English Hollv. You can grow it right out in the sun in most parts of the State. The magnificent big dark green spiny leaves make one of the most beautiful plants that can be grown. These are cutting grown from a special heavy berry-pioducing tvpe. 5880-Gal. tins, $1.75. 5881-5-gal. tins, $5.00. 6960-Bailed, 2 to 3 ft., $7.50. 6961-Balled, 3 to 4 ft., $10.00. Jasminum sambac Maid of Orleans Closely related to the jasmine below, since they are both forms of the Arabian Jasmine. This one grows much faster than Grand Duke and makes a bushy, upright plant, carrying in the late summer and fall dozens of the little, creamy white, double flowers 1 to 1% inches across. The flowers are heavy with sweet, rich jasmine fragrance. Carries many more flowers than the Grand Duke Jasmine, although they are smaller. Plant in part shade. 3 to 6 ft. 24°. 3390-Gal. tins, $1.50. Jasminum sambac Grand Duke A rare and beautiful, semi-reclining shrub with double 3-inch flow- ers of pure white. It has a powerful and refreshing sweet perfume. Quite hardy, but prefers some shade and blooms almost the year around. The flowers look like perfect many-petaled gardenias and exceed gardenias in the intensity of their sweet perfume. Part shade. 2 to 5 ft. 22°. 3380-Gal. tins, $1.75. 3381-5-gal. tins, $5.00. [52] Lavandula officinalis Old-Fashioned Lavender, i neat, rounded clump of silvery gray foliage. The tall rosy purplish flower spikes are exceedingly fragrant when rubbed. 2 to 2V2 ft. 5°. 5965—Gal. tins, 80c. 6995-Balled, 12 to 18 in., $2.50. 6997-Balled, 2 to 3 ft., $4.50. Leptospermum laevigatum Australian Tea Tree. A large spreading shrub, handsome because of the gray-green foliage and quantities of little white flowers. Give it plenty of room, good drainage and little water. Full sun. 8 to 10 ft. 15°. 5370-Gal. tins, 90c. 5971-5-gal. tins, $3.25. Leptospermum Rose Double Dwarf Rose-Flowered Tea Tree. Here is one of the most beautiful little flowering shrubs ever offered for California gardens. It grows fairly erect but not too large and has soft, fine-cut evergreen foliage. In March and April it produces many little double pink blooms which look like Cecile Brunner Roses. Very unusual when cut for bowl arrangements. Grows easily anywhere, preferring dry soil and full sun. 4 to 6 ft. 15°. 5985-Gal. tins, $1.00. 5986-5-gal. tins, $3.50. Leptospermum Sanders Pink Sparkler. One little spray will make you want it for cut flow- ers. Actually you will get a 6-foot plant, with long, slender arching branches covered with feathery, light green foliage. In the spring each branch is lined with lovely little %-inch lilac-pink flowers, shaded crimson. Illustrated, page 53. 6 ft. 15°. 5990-Gal. tins, $1.25. 5991-5-gal. tins, $4.00. Mahonia aquifolium

  

Note About Images

Please note that these images are extracted from scanned page images that may have been digitally enhanced for readability - coloration and appearance of these illustrations may not perfectly resemble the original work.

Institucion Teresiana De Education y Cultura, Inc. (ITEC)

Institucion Teresiana De Education y Cultura, Inc. (ITEC)

The Isuzu D-Max is a pickup truck manufactured since 2002 by Isuzu Motors. It shares the same platform with several General Motors (GM) mid-size trucks in the United States such as the Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon and Isuzu i-Series. The Chevrolet Colorado name is also applied to a rebadged version of the D-Max in the Middle East and Thailand, although not identical to the American version. The original D-Max is sold alongside the Chevrolet Colorado in the Thai market where they are both built.

+++ DISCLAIMER +++

Nothing you see here is real, even though the conversion or the presented background story might be based on historical facts. BEWARE!

  

Some background:

Immediately after the 1989 Velvet Revolution, the Czech president Václav Havel declared a de-mobilization of the Czech defense industry. Nevertheless, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Czech company Aero Vodochody continued developing the basic L-39 Albatros design with a view toward greater export. The resulting L-39MS, later re-designed as L-59 Super Albatros, featured a more powerful turbofan engine, advanced avionics, and has been bought in quantity by Egypt and Tunisia. In 1993, a group of Czech military experts launched a project of production of a modern domestic fighter to replace the obsolete Soviet aircraft. Since the proposed Aero L-X supersonic fighter development proved to be financially demanding (up to US$2 billion), the less costly L-159 subsonic attack aircraft was approved for procurement instead.

 

Conducted between the years 1994 and 1997, the technical development of L-159 ALCA (Advanced Light Combat Aircraft) in Aero Vodochody consisted primarily of building one L-159 two-seat prototype based on the L-59 airframe, utilizing western engine, avionics and weapon systems, with Rockwell Collins (eventually Boeing) as the avionics integrator.

 

The L-159 ALCA was designed for the principal role of light combat aircraft (single-seat L-159A variant) or light attack jet and advanced/lead-in fighter trainer (two-seat L-159B and T variants). The design of the L-159 was derived from the L-39/59 in terms of aerodynamic configuration, but a number of changes were made to improve its combat capabilities. These included strengthening of the airframe, reinforcing of the cockpit with composite and ceramic ballistic armor and enlargement of the aircraft's nose to accommodate a radar. Compared to the L-59, number of underwing pylons was increased from four to six, and a new hardpoint under the fuselage was added instead of a fixed GSh-23L cannon in an external fairing. The aircraft was capable of carrying external loads up to 2,340 kg, ranging from unguided bombs and rocket pods to air-to-ground and air-to-air guided missiles or special devices to conduct aerial reconnaissance or electronic warfare. Guided precision ordnance like laser-guided glide bombs could be carried, too, thanks to the aircraft’s ability to carry respective targeting equipment, for example the AN/AAQ-28(V) LITENING pod.

 

The L-159 was powered by the non-afterburning Honeywell/ITEC F124-GA-100 turbofan engine with a maximum thrust of 28 kN. Almost 2,000 litres of fuel was stored in eight internal tanks (six in the fuselage, two at the wingtips) with up to four external drop tanks (two 500 L and two 350 L tanks) carried under the inner wings.

The lightly armored cockpit was equipped with a VS-2B ejection seat, capable of catapulting the pilot at a zero flight level and at zero speed. The aircraft's avionics based on the MIL-STD-1553 databus include a Selex Navigation and Attack Suite, Ring Laser Gyro based Inertial Navigation System (INS) and Global Positioning System (GPS). Flight data was displayed both at the FV-3000 head-up display (HUD) and on two multi-function displays (MFD). Communications were provided by a pair of Collins ARC-182 transceivers. Self-protection of the L-159 was ensured by a Sky Guardian 200 radar warning receiver (RWR) and Vinten Vicon 78 Series 455 chaff and flare dispensers. L-159A and T2 variants were equipped with the lightweight Italian FIAR Grifo L multi-mode Doppler radar for all-weather, day and night operations.

The maiden flight of the first L-159 prototype occurred on 2 August 1997 with a two-seat version. On 18 August 1998, the single-seat L-159A prototype first flew; it was completed to Czech customer specifications. 10 April 2000 marked the first delivery of L-159A to the Czech Air Force and the type was marketed for export.

 

One of the type’s foreign operators became the young Republic of Catalonia, which had declared independence from Spain in 2017. The Catalan independence movement already began in 1922, when Francesc Macià founded the political party Estat Català (Catalan State), but the modern independence movement began and gained serious momentum in 2010, when the Constitutional Court of Spain ruled that some of the articles of the 2006 Statute of Autonomy - which had been agreed with the Spanish government and passed by a referendum in Catalonia - were unconstitutional, and others were to be interpreted restrictively. Popular protest against this decision quickly turned into demands for independence. Starting with the town of Arenys de Munt, over 550 municipalities in Catalonia held symbolic referendums on independence between 2009 and 2011. All of the towns returned a high "yes" vote, with a turnout of around 30% of those eligible to vote. A 2010 protest demonstration against the court's decision, organized by the cultural organization Òmnium Cultural, was attended by over a million people. The popular movement fed upwards to the politicians; a second mass protest on 11 September 2012 (the National Day of Catalonia) explicitly called on the Catalan government to begin the process towards independence. Catalan president Artur Mas called a snap general election, which resulted in a pro-independence majority for the first time in the region's history. The new parliament adopted the Catalan Sovereignty Declaration in early 2013, asserting that the Catalan people had the right to decide their own political future.

 

After three more troublesome years and constant strife for independence from Spain, the Catalonian president Carles Puigdemont eventually announced a binding referendum on the topic. Although deemed illegal by the Spanish government and the Constitutional Court, the referendum was held on 1 October 2017. In a vote where the anti-independence parties called for non-participation, results showed a 90% vote in favor of independence, with a turnout of 43%. Based on this result, on 27 October 2017 the Parliament of Catalonia approved a resolution unilaterally creating an independent Republic.

 

This event was also the rather sudden birth of the Catalonian armed forces. Esp. the nascent air force, called Guàrdies Aèries de la República Catalana (GARC, Republic of Catalonia Air Guard), faced serious trouble, since Spain refused any assistance. Furthermore, there were no former Spanish military air bases in the region that could be taken, and any equipment and infrastructure had to be procured from scratch and on short notice.

 

In the wake of this hasted start, the L-159s became part of the GARC’s initial mixed bag of flying low-budget equipment. They were 2nd hand machines, bought from EADS-CASA of Spain and mothballed since 2012 after a barter deal with the Czech Republic: In 2009, EADS had exchanged with the CzAF four CASA C-295 transporters for three L-159As, two L-159T1s and 130 million Euros. These aircraft were still in EADS inventory in late 2017, even though grounded and taken out of service since 2012, because the operations of this small fleet as chasing aircraft were expensive and no buyer could be found in the meantime.

 

However, in 2018 the company sold them, under indirect pressure from NATO, to the Catalonian government at a “symbolic”, yet unspecified, price. This small fleet was soon augmented by five more L-159As and ten L-159T1s which were directly procured from the Czech Republic in 2019. These aircraft formed the initial, small backbone of the young country’s air defense, armed with AIM-9 Sidewinders (AIM-120 AMRAAM was possible, to, but not procured due to severe budget restraints) and Mauser BK-27 cannon in conformal pods. Since no military airfields with a suitable infrastructure for jet aircraft were available for the GARC at the time of their purchase and introduction, the L-159s were initially based at two public regional airports: at Reus, in the proximity of Tarragona at the Mediterranean coast, and at Girona in the country’s north, where airfield sections were separated of the military operations.

  

General characteristics:

Crew: one

Length: 12.72 m (41 ft 8¾ in)

Wingspan: 9.54 m (31 ft 3½ in)

Height: 4.87 m (16 ft)

Wing area: 18.80 m² (202.4 ft²)

Airfoil: NACA 64A-012

Aspect ratio: 4.8:1

Empty weight: 4,350 kg (9,590 lb)

Max. takeoff weight: 8,000 kg (17,637 lb)

 

Powerplant:

1× Honeywell F124-GA-100 turbofan, delivering 28.2 kN (6,330 lbf) thrust

 

Performance:

Never exceed speed: 960 km/h (518 knots, 596 mph)

Maximum speed: 936 km/h (505 knots, 581 mph) at sea level, clean

Stall speed: 185 km/h (100 knots, 115 mph)

Range: 1,570 km (848 nmi, 975 mi) max internal fuel

Combat radius: 565 km (305 nmi, 351 mi) lo-lo-lo, with a gun pod, 2× Mark 82 bombs, 2× AIM-9

Sidewinder and 2× 500 L drop tanks

Service ceiling: 13,200 m (43,300 ft)

Rate of climb: 62 m/s (12,220 ft/min)

 

Armament:

7Í hardpoints in total, 3 under each wing (outer pylons only for AAMs) and 1 under the fuselage,

holding up to 2,340 kg (5,159 lb) of ordnance

  

The kit and its assembly:

This model was spawned by a grain of truth: as mentioned in the background, EADS Spain had actually bought a few L-159s in 2009 from the CzAF in exchange for transporters, and together with the ongoing plans of an independent Catalonia I merged both into this ALCA single seater for the fictional Republic of Catalonia Air Guard.

 

The kit is the relatively new KP L-159. This is basically a nice model, but the kit has some severe flaws (see below). The model was basically built OOB, I just added AIM-9L Sidewinders and their respective launch rails as external ordnance on the outermost underwing hardpoints. Since I did not find the standard gun pod (a ZVI PL-20 Plamen pod with 2×20 mm guns) suitable, I decided to give the GARC aircraft a heavier, Western weapon in the form of a Mauser BK-27 (the same weapon used onboard of the Panavia Tornado or the Saab Gripen) in a conformal cannon pod under the fuselage. This piece was taken and adapted from a Heller Alpha Jet. Its shape perfectly fitted between the two ventral air brakes.

 

Concerning the kit itself, the build turned out to be a medium nightmare. The kit looked promising in the box, with fine engravings, but nothing fits well. There are no locator pins, you have (massive) ejection marks almost everywhere, and the parts’ attachment points to the sprues protrude into the parts themselves, so there’s a lot to clean up. At least there are no sinkholes.

Upon assembly, the cockpit tub – nicely detailed – would not fit into the fuselage at all and ended up in an oblique position (hidden through a pilot figure from the scrap box and a re-mounted avionics fairing in the rear cockpit). The air intakes left me guessing, too: while the edges are crisp and thin, the overall fit with the fuselage and the orientation of the parts had to be guesstimated, plus a mediocre fit, too. The instructions are not very helpful, either. I am quite disappointed and tried to make the best of the situation.

  

Painting and markings:

Much more thought was put into the model’s looks. What camouflage should such an aircraft carry? And I had to invent roundels/markings for a Catalonian air force aircraft, too.

 

Since the Catalonian L-159s were multi-purpose aircraft, yet primarily tasked with air space defense, I opted for an subdued air superiority scheme instead of a tactical low-level camouflage. Furthermore, the camouflage was supposed to be suited for a mountainous landscape (Pyrenees), relatively flat and dry land and also to open sea. This was a good opportunity to give a model the Greek “Ghost” scheme: a three-tone wraparound scheme consisting of FS 36307 (Light Sea Grey), 36251 (Aggressor Grey) and 35237 (Medium Grey, but actually a rather greyish blue). The pattern was adapted from Hellenic F-16s. I think it’s a good compromise, and it suits the ALCA well.

 

The national markings caused more headaches. I was looking for something that would not look like the Spanish roundel, but still reflect the Catalonian indpendence flag and – most important – I wanted to be able to create it from stock material (not printing them at home), with the option to replicate it on potential future builds.

In the end and after long safaris through my spare decal repository, I came up with a round marking. It consists of an Ukrainian roundel with a relatively thin outer yellow ring (from a Begemot MiG-29 sheet), placed on top of a Hinomaru, so that a thin, red outer ring was added. Onto the central, blue disc a white star (from a TL Modellbau sheet with US Army markings) was added. I think that this looks original enough?

There was a problem, though… In my first attempt to apply this construction, the roundels turned out to be VERY large overall. While the design itself looked O.K. (despite reminding of Captain America somehow), this looked ridiculous, esp. on an aircraft with a wraparound low-viz paint scheme. I was not satisfied, so I heavy-heartedly ripped the decals off again (using adhesive tape, works like a charm) and tried it again, in a smaller version.

Hinomaru became the basis once more, even though smaller, and then die-punched discs in yellow and blue (from generic decal sheet) were added, and finally small white stars again, one size smaller than during the first attempt. While this is still colorful and stands out from the grey background, the second attempt looked much more balanced now, and I stuck with it.

 

In order to add more flavor, I added Catalonian fin flashes and squadron emblems on the nose, depicting the “burro”, the Catalonian donkey which has become a kind of unofficial regional symbol as a kind of anti-mascot to the Spanish bull. These markings/decals were printed at home on white sheet.

 

The tactical codes were based on the Spanish system. The Spanish Air Force has its own alphanumeric system for identifying aircraft: This forms a prefix to the airframe serial number, usually marked on the tail. C means cazabombardero (fighter bomber); A, ataque (attack); P, patrulla (patrol); T, transporte (transport); E, enseñanza (training); D, search and rescue; H, helicopter; K, tanker; V, Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL); and U, utility. An example would be that the F-18 with "C.15-08" on the tail is the fifteenth type of fighter that arrived in the Spanish Air Force (the Eurofighter is the C.16) and is the eighth example of this type to enter the SAF. On the nose or fuselage, the aircraft has a numeral specific to the unit in which it is based.

 

Variants of planes in service, for example two-seater versions or tanker versions of transports planes, add another letter to differentiate their function, and have their own sequence of serial numbers separate from the primary versions. Example: "CE.15-02" will be the second F-18 two-seater (Fighter Trainer) delivered to the SAF. In addition, the aircraft used by the Spanish Air Force usually carry a code consisting of one or two digits followed by a dash and two numbers, painted on the nose or fuselage. The first number corresponds to the unit to which they belong, and the second the order in which they entered service. Example: the fourth F-18 arriving at Ala 12 will have on the nose the code "12-04". Those codes do change when the aircraft is re-allocated to a different unit. Quite complicated…

 

This led to the tactical code “2-03”, for the 3rd aircraft allocated to the 2nd fighter squadron, and “C.1-03” as individual registration as the 3rd aircraft of the 1st fighter type in Catalonian service. All codes were puzzled together with single black letters and numbers from TL Modellbau in 3 and 5mm size.

 

Finally, the kit was sealed with matt acrylic varnish.

+++ DISCLAIMER +++

Nothing you see here is real, even though the conversion or the presented background story might be based on historical facts. BEWARE!

  

Some background:

Immediately after the 1989 Velvet Revolution, the Czech president Václav Havel declared a de-mobilization of the Czech defense industry. Nevertheless, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Czech company Aero Vodochody continued developing the basic L-39 Albatros design with a view toward greater export. The resulting L-39MS, later re-designed as L-59 Super Albatros, featured a more powerful turbofan engine, advanced avionics, and has been bought in quantity by Egypt and Tunisia. In 1993, a group of Czech military experts launched a project of production of a modern domestic fighter to replace the obsolete Soviet aircraft. Since the proposed Aero L-X supersonic fighter development proved to be financially demanding (up to US$2 billion), the less costly L-159 subsonic attack aircraft was approved for procurement instead.

 

Conducted between the years 1994 and 1997, the technical development of L-159 ALCA (Advanced Light Combat Aircraft) in Aero Vodochody consisted primarily of building one L-159 two-seat prototype based on the L-59 airframe, utilizing western engine, avionics and weapon systems, with Rockwell Collins (eventually Boeing) as the avionics integrator.

 

The L-159 ALCA was designed for the principal role of light combat aircraft (single-seat L-159A variant) or light attack jet and advanced/lead-in fighter trainer (two-seat L-159B and T variants). The design of the L-159 was derived from the L-39/59 in terms of aerodynamic configuration, but a number of changes were made to improve its combat capabilities. These included strengthening of the airframe, reinforcing of the cockpit with composite and ceramic ballistic armor and enlargement of the aircraft's nose to accommodate a radar. Compared to the L-59, number of underwing pylons was increased from four to six, and a new hardpoint under the fuselage was added instead of a fixed GSh-23L cannon in an external fairing. The aircraft was capable of carrying external loads up to 2,340 kg, ranging from unguided bombs and rocket pods to air-to-ground and air-to-air guided missiles or special devices to conduct aerial reconnaissance or electronic warfare. Guided precision ordnance like laser-guided glide bombs could be carried, too, thanks to the aircraft’s ability to carry respective targeting equipment, for example the AN/AAQ-28(V) LITENING pod.

 

The L-159 was powered by the non-afterburning Honeywell/ITEC F124-GA-100 turbofan engine with a maximum thrust of 28 kN. Almost 2,000 litres of fuel was stored in eight internal tanks (six in the fuselage, two at the wingtips) with up to four external drop tanks (two 500 L and two 350 L tanks) carried under the inner wings.

The lightly armored cockpit was equipped with a VS-2B ejection seat, capable of catapulting the pilot at a zero flight level and at zero speed. The aircraft's avionics based on the MIL-STD-1553 databus include a Selex Navigation and Attack Suite, Ring Laser Gyro based Inertial Navigation System (INS) and Global Positioning System (GPS). Flight data was displayed both at the FV-3000 head-up display (HUD) and on two multi-function displays (MFD). Communications were provided by a pair of Collins ARC-182 transceivers. Self-protection of the L-159 was ensured by a Sky Guardian 200 radar warning receiver (RWR) and Vinten Vicon 78 Series 455 chaff and flare dispensers. L-159A and T2 variants were equipped with the lightweight Italian FIAR Grifo L multi-mode Doppler radar for all-weather, day and night operations.

The maiden flight of the first L-159 prototype occurred on 2 August 1997 with a two-seat version. On 18 August 1998, the single-seat L-159A prototype first flew; it was completed to Czech customer specifications. 10 April 2000 marked the first delivery of L-159A to the Czech Air Force and the type was marketed for export.

 

One of the type’s foreign operators became the young Republic of Catalonia, which had declared independence from Spain in 2017. The Catalan independence movement already began in 1922, when Francesc Macià founded the political party Estat Català (Catalan State), but the modern independence movement began and gained serious momentum in 2010, when the Constitutional Court of Spain ruled that some of the articles of the 2006 Statute of Autonomy - which had been agreed with the Spanish government and passed by a referendum in Catalonia - were unconstitutional, and others were to be interpreted restrictively. Popular protest against this decision quickly turned into demands for independence. Starting with the town of Arenys de Munt, over 550 municipalities in Catalonia held symbolic referendums on independence between 2009 and 2011. All of the towns returned a high "yes" vote, with a turnout of around 30% of those eligible to vote. A 2010 protest demonstration against the court's decision, organized by the cultural organization Òmnium Cultural, was attended by over a million people. The popular movement fed upwards to the politicians; a second mass protest on 11 September 2012 (the National Day of Catalonia) explicitly called on the Catalan government to begin the process towards independence. Catalan president Artur Mas called a snap general election, which resulted in a pro-independence majority for the first time in the region's history. The new parliament adopted the Catalan Sovereignty Declaration in early 2013, asserting that the Catalan people had the right to decide their own political future.

 

After three more troublesome years and constant strife for independence from Spain, the Catalonian president Carles Puigdemont eventually announced a binding referendum on the topic. Although deemed illegal by the Spanish government and the Constitutional Court, the referendum was held on 1 October 2017. In a vote where the anti-independence parties called for non-participation, results showed a 90% vote in favor of independence, with a turnout of 43%. Based on this result, on 27 October 2017 the Parliament of Catalonia approved a resolution unilaterally creating an independent Republic.

 

This event was also the rather sudden birth of the Catalonian armed forces. Esp. the nascent air force, called Guàrdies Aèries de la República Catalana (GARC, Republic of Catalonia Air Guard), faced serious trouble, since Spain refused any assistance. Furthermore, there were no former Spanish military air bases in the region that could be taken, and any equipment and infrastructure had to be procured from scratch and on short notice.

 

In the wake of this hasted start, the L-159s became part of the GARC’s initial mixed bag of flying low-budget equipment. They were 2nd hand machines, bought from EADS-CASA of Spain and mothballed since 2012 after a barter deal with the Czech Republic: In 2009, EADS had exchanged with the CzAF four CASA C-295 transporters for three L-159As, two L-159T1s and 130 million Euros. These aircraft were still in EADS inventory in late 2017, even though grounded and taken out of service since 2012, because the operations of this small fleet as chasing aircraft were expensive and no buyer could be found in the meantime.

 

However, in 2018 the company sold them, under indirect pressure from NATO, to the Catalonian government at a “symbolic”, yet unspecified, price. This small fleet was soon augmented by five more L-159As and ten L-159T1s which were directly procured from the Czech Republic in 2019. These aircraft formed the initial, small backbone of the young country’s air defense, armed with AIM-9 Sidewinders (AIM-120 AMRAAM was possible, to, but not procured due to severe budget restraints) and Mauser BK-27 cannon in conformal pods. Since no military airfields with a suitable infrastructure for jet aircraft were available for the GARC at the time of their purchase and introduction, the L-159s were initially based at two public regional airports: at Reus, in the proximity of Tarragona at the Mediterranean coast, and at Girona in the country’s north, where airfield sections were separated of the military operations.

  

General characteristics:

Crew: one

Length: 12.72 m (41 ft 8¾ in)

Wingspan: 9.54 m (31 ft 3½ in)

Height: 4.87 m (16 ft)

Wing area: 18.80 m² (202.4 ft²)

Airfoil: NACA 64A-012

Aspect ratio: 4.8:1

Empty weight: 4,350 kg (9,590 lb)

Max. takeoff weight: 8,000 kg (17,637 lb)

 

Powerplant:

1× Honeywell F124-GA-100 turbofan, delivering 28.2 kN (6,330 lbf) thrust

 

Performance:

Never exceed speed: 960 km/h (518 knots, 596 mph)

Maximum speed: 936 km/h (505 knots, 581 mph) at sea level, clean

Stall speed: 185 km/h (100 knots, 115 mph)

Range: 1,570 km (848 nmi, 975 mi) max internal fuel

Combat radius: 565 km (305 nmi, 351 mi) lo-lo-lo, with a gun pod, 2× Mark 82 bombs, 2× AIM-9

Sidewinder and 2× 500 L drop tanks

Service ceiling: 13,200 m (43,300 ft)

Rate of climb: 62 m/s (12,220 ft/min)

 

Armament:

7Í hardpoints in total, 3 under each wing (outer pylons only for AAMs) and 1 under the fuselage,

holding up to 2,340 kg (5,159 lb) of ordnance

  

The kit and its assembly:

This model was spawned by a grain of truth: as mentioned in the background, EADS Spain had actually bought a few L-159s in 2009 from the CzAF in exchange for transporters, and together with the ongoing plans of an independent Catalonia I merged both into this ALCA single seater for the fictional Republic of Catalonia Air Guard.

 

The kit is the relatively new KP L-159. This is basically a nice model, but the kit has some severe flaws (see below). The model was basically built OOB, I just added AIM-9L Sidewinders and their respective launch rails as external ordnance on the outermost underwing hardpoints. Since I did not find the standard gun pod (a ZVI PL-20 Plamen pod with 2×20 mm guns) suitable, I decided to give the GARC aircraft a heavier, Western weapon in the form of a Mauser BK-27 (the same weapon used onboard of the Panavia Tornado or the Saab Gripen) in a conformal cannon pod under the fuselage. This piece was taken and adapted from a Heller Alpha Jet. Its shape perfectly fitted between the two ventral air brakes.

 

Concerning the kit itself, the build turned out to be a medium nightmare. The kit looked promising in the box, with fine engravings, but nothing fits well. There are no locator pins, you have (massive) ejection marks almost everywhere, and the parts’ attachment points to the sprues protrude into the parts themselves, so there’s a lot to clean up. At least there are no sinkholes.

Upon assembly, the cockpit tub – nicely detailed – would not fit into the fuselage at all and ended up in an oblique position (hidden through a pilot figure from the scrap box and a re-mounted avionics fairing in the rear cockpit). The air intakes left me guessing, too: while the edges are crisp and thin, the overall fit with the fuselage and the orientation of the parts had to be guesstimated, plus a mediocre fit, too. The instructions are not very helpful, either. I am quite disappointed and tried to make the best of the situation.

  

Painting and markings:

Much more thought was put into the model’s looks. What camouflage should such an aircraft carry? And I had to invent roundels/markings for a Catalonian air force aircraft, too.

 

Since the Catalonian L-159s were multi-purpose aircraft, yet primarily tasked with air space defense, I opted for an subdued air superiority scheme instead of a tactical low-level camouflage. Furthermore, the camouflage was supposed to be suited for a mountainous landscape (Pyrenees), relatively flat and dry land and also to open sea. This was a good opportunity to give a model the Greek “Ghost” scheme: a three-tone wraparound scheme consisting of FS 36307 (Light Sea Grey), 36251 (Aggressor Grey) and 35237 (Medium Grey, but actually a rather greyish blue). The pattern was adapted from Hellenic F-16s. I think it’s a good compromise, and it suits the ALCA well.

 

The national markings caused more headaches. I was looking for something that would not look like the Spanish roundel, but still reflect the Catalonian indpendence flag and – most important – I wanted to be able to create it from stock material (not printing them at home), with the option to replicate it on potential future builds.

In the end and after long safaris through my spare decal repository, I came up with a round marking. It consists of an Ukrainian roundel with a relatively thin outer yellow ring (from a Begemot MiG-29 sheet), placed on top of a Hinomaru, so that a thin, red outer ring was added. Onto the central, blue disc a white star (from a TL Modellbau sheet with US Army markings) was added. I think that this looks original enough?

There was a problem, though… In my first attempt to apply this construction, the roundels turned out to be VERY large overall. While the design itself looked O.K. (despite reminding of Captain America somehow), this looked ridiculous, esp. on an aircraft with a wraparound low-viz paint scheme. I was not satisfied, so I heavy-heartedly ripped the decals off again (using adhesive tape, works like a charm) and tried it again, in a smaller version.

Hinomaru became the basis once more, even though smaller, and then die-punched discs in yellow and blue (from generic decal sheet) were added, and finally small white stars again, one size smaller than during the first attempt. While this is still colorful and stands out from the grey background, the second attempt looked much more balanced now, and I stuck with it.

 

In order to add more flavor, I added Catalonian fin flashes and squadron emblems on the nose, depicting the “burro”, the Catalonian donkey which has become a kind of unofficial regional symbol as a kind of anti-mascot to the Spanish bull. These markings/decals were printed at home on white sheet.

 

The tactical codes were based on the Spanish system. The Spanish Air Force has its own alphanumeric system for identifying aircraft: This forms a prefix to the airframe serial number, usually marked on the tail. C means cazabombardero (fighter bomber); A, ataque (attack); P, patrulla (patrol); T, transporte (transport); E, enseñanza (training); D, search and rescue; H, helicopter; K, tanker; V, Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL); and U, utility. An example would be that the F-18 with "C.15-08" on the tail is the fifteenth type of fighter that arrived in the Spanish Air Force (the Eurofighter is the C.16) and is the eighth example of this type to enter the SAF. On the nose or fuselage, the aircraft has a numeral specific to the unit in which it is based.

 

Variants of planes in service, for example two-seater versions or tanker versions of transports planes, add another letter to differentiate their function, and have their own sequence of serial numbers separate from the primary versions. Example: "CE.15-02" will be the second F-18 two-seater (Fighter Trainer) delivered to the SAF. In addition, the aircraft used by the Spanish Air Force usually carry a code consisting of one or two digits followed by a dash and two numbers, painted on the nose or fuselage. The first number corresponds to the unit to which they belong, and the second the order in which they entered service. Example: the fourth F-18 arriving at Ala 12 will have on the nose the code "12-04". Those codes do change when the aircraft is re-allocated to a different unit. Quite complicated…

 

This led to the tactical code “2-03”, for the 3rd aircraft allocated to the 2nd fighter squadron, and “C.1-03” as individual registration as the 3rd aircraft of the 1st fighter type in Catalonian service. All codes were puzzled together with single black letters and numbers from TL Modellbau in 3 and 5mm size.

 

Finally, the kit was sealed with matt acrylic varnish.

+++ DISCLAIMER +++

Nothing you see here is real, even though the conversion or the presented background story might be based on historical facts. BEWARE!

  

Some background:

Immediately after the 1989 Velvet Revolution, the Czech president Václav Havel declared a de-mobilization of the Czech defense industry. Nevertheless, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Czech company Aero Vodochody continued developing the basic L-39 Albatros design with a view toward greater export. The resulting L-39MS, later re-designed as L-59 Super Albatros, featured a more powerful turbofan engine, advanced avionics, and has been bought in quantity by Egypt and Tunisia. In 1993, a group of Czech military experts launched a project of production of a modern domestic fighter to replace the obsolete Soviet aircraft. Since the proposed Aero L-X supersonic fighter development proved to be financially demanding (up to US$2 billion), the less costly L-159 subsonic attack aircraft was approved for procurement instead.

 

Conducted between the years 1994 and 1997, the technical development of L-159 ALCA (Advanced Light Combat Aircraft) in Aero Vodochody consisted primarily of building one L-159 two-seat prototype based on the L-59 airframe, utilizing western engine, avionics and weapon systems, with Rockwell Collins (eventually Boeing) as the avionics integrator.

 

The L-159 ALCA was designed for the principal role of light combat aircraft (single-seat L-159A variant) or light attack jet and advanced/lead-in fighter trainer (two-seat L-159B and T variants). The design of the L-159 was derived from the L-39/59 in terms of aerodynamic configuration, but a number of changes were made to improve its combat capabilities. These included strengthening of the airframe, reinforcing of the cockpit with composite and ceramic ballistic armor and enlargement of the aircraft's nose to accommodate a radar. Compared to the L-59, number of underwing pylons was increased from four to six, and a new hardpoint under the fuselage was added instead of a fixed GSh-23L cannon in an external fairing. The aircraft was capable of carrying external loads up to 2,340 kg, ranging from unguided bombs and rocket pods to air-to-ground and air-to-air guided missiles or special devices to conduct aerial reconnaissance or electronic warfare. Guided precision ordnance like laser-guided glide bombs could be carried, too, thanks to the aircraft’s ability to carry respective targeting equipment, for example the AN/AAQ-28(V) LITENING pod.

 

The L-159 was powered by the non-afterburning Honeywell/ITEC F124-GA-100 turbofan engine with a maximum thrust of 28 kN. Almost 2,000 litres of fuel was stored in eight internal tanks (six in the fuselage, two at the wingtips) with up to four external drop tanks (two 500 L and two 350 L tanks) carried under the inner wings.

The lightly armored cockpit was equipped with a VS-2B ejection seat, capable of catapulting the pilot at a zero flight level and at zero speed. The aircraft's avionics based on the MIL-STD-1553 databus include a Selex Navigation and Attack Suite, Ring Laser Gyro based Inertial Navigation System (INS) and Global Positioning System (GPS). Flight data was displayed both at the FV-3000 head-up display (HUD) and on two multi-function displays (MFD). Communications were provided by a pair of Collins ARC-182 transceivers. Self-protection of the L-159 was ensured by a Sky Guardian 200 radar warning receiver (RWR) and Vinten Vicon 78 Series 455 chaff and flare dispensers. L-159A and T2 variants were equipped with the lightweight Italian FIAR Grifo L multi-mode Doppler radar for all-weather, day and night operations.

The maiden flight of the first L-159 prototype occurred on 2 August 1997 with a two-seat version. On 18 August 1998, the single-seat L-159A prototype first flew; it was completed to Czech customer specifications. 10 April 2000 marked the first delivery of L-159A to the Czech Air Force and the type was marketed for export.

 

One of the type’s foreign operators became the young Republic of Catalonia, which had declared independence from Spain in 2017. The Catalan independence movement already began in 1922, when Francesc Macià founded the political party Estat Català (Catalan State), but the modern independence movement began and gained serious momentum in 2010, when the Constitutional Court of Spain ruled that some of the articles of the 2006 Statute of Autonomy - which had been agreed with the Spanish government and passed by a referendum in Catalonia - were unconstitutional, and others were to be interpreted restrictively. Popular protest against this decision quickly turned into demands for independence. Starting with the town of Arenys de Munt, over 550 municipalities in Catalonia held symbolic referendums on independence between 2009 and 2011. All of the towns returned a high "yes" vote, with a turnout of around 30% of those eligible to vote. A 2010 protest demonstration against the court's decision, organized by the cultural organization Òmnium Cultural, was attended by over a million people. The popular movement fed upwards to the politicians; a second mass protest on 11 September 2012 (the National Day of Catalonia) explicitly called on the Catalan government to begin the process towards independence. Catalan president Artur Mas called a snap general election, which resulted in a pro-independence majority for the first time in the region's history. The new parliament adopted the Catalan Sovereignty Declaration in early 2013, asserting that the Catalan people had the right to decide their own political future.

 

After three more troublesome years and constant strife for independence from Spain, the Catalonian president Carles Puigdemont eventually announced a binding referendum on the topic. Although deemed illegal by the Spanish government and the Constitutional Court, the referendum was held on 1 October 2017. In a vote where the anti-independence parties called for non-participation, results showed a 90% vote in favor of independence, with a turnout of 43%. Based on this result, on 27 October 2017 the Parliament of Catalonia approved a resolution unilaterally creating an independent Republic.

 

This event was also the rather sudden birth of the Catalonian armed forces. Esp. the nascent air force, called Guàrdies Aèries de la República Catalana (GARC, Republic of Catalonia Air Guard), faced serious trouble, since Spain refused any assistance. Furthermore, there were no former Spanish military air bases in the region that could be taken, and any equipment and infrastructure had to be procured from scratch and on short notice.

 

In the wake of this hasted start, the L-159s became part of the GARC’s initial mixed bag of flying low-budget equipment. They were 2nd hand machines, bought from EADS-CASA of Spain and mothballed since 2012 after a barter deal with the Czech Republic: In 2009, EADS had exchanged with the CzAF four CASA C-295 transporters for three L-159As, two L-159T1s and 130 million Euros. These aircraft were still in EADS inventory in late 2017, even though grounded and taken out of service since 2012, because the operations of this small fleet as chasing aircraft were expensive and no buyer could be found in the meantime.

 

However, in 2018 the company sold them, under indirect pressure from NATO, to the Catalonian government at a “symbolic”, yet unspecified, price. This small fleet was soon augmented by five more L-159As and ten L-159T1s which were directly procured from the Czech Republic in 2019. These aircraft formed the initial, small backbone of the young country’s air defense, armed with AIM-9 Sidewinders (AIM-120 AMRAAM was possible, to, but not procured due to severe budget restraints) and Mauser BK-27 cannon in conformal pods. Since no military airfields with a suitable infrastructure for jet aircraft were available for the GARC at the time of their purchase and introduction, the L-159s were initially based at two public regional airports: at Reus, in the proximity of Tarragona at the Mediterranean coast, and at Girona in the country’s north, where airfield sections were separated of the military operations.

  

General characteristics:

Crew: one

Length: 12.72 m (41 ft 8¾ in)

Wingspan: 9.54 m (31 ft 3½ in)

Height: 4.87 m (16 ft)

Wing area: 18.80 m² (202.4 ft²)

Airfoil: NACA 64A-012

Aspect ratio: 4.8:1

Empty weight: 4,350 kg (9,590 lb)

Max. takeoff weight: 8,000 kg (17,637 lb)

 

Powerplant:

1× Honeywell F124-GA-100 turbofan, delivering 28.2 kN (6,330 lbf) thrust

 

Performance:

Never exceed speed: 960 km/h (518 knots, 596 mph)

Maximum speed: 936 km/h (505 knots, 581 mph) at sea level, clean

Stall speed: 185 km/h (100 knots, 115 mph)

Range: 1,570 km (848 nmi, 975 mi) max internal fuel

Combat radius: 565 km (305 nmi, 351 mi) lo-lo-lo, with a gun pod, 2× Mark 82 bombs, 2× AIM-9

Sidewinder and 2× 500 L drop tanks

Service ceiling: 13,200 m (43,300 ft)

Rate of climb: 62 m/s (12,220 ft/min)

 

Armament:

7Í hardpoints in total, 3 under each wing (outer pylons only for AAMs) and 1 under the fuselage,

holding up to 2,340 kg (5,159 lb) of ordnance

  

The kit and its assembly:

This model was spawned by a grain of truth: as mentioned in the background, EADS Spain had actually bought a few L-159s in 2009 from the CzAF in exchange for transporters, and together with the ongoing plans of an independent Catalonia I merged both into this ALCA single seater for the fictional Republic of Catalonia Air Guard.

 

The kit is the relatively new KP L-159. This is basically a nice model, but the kit has some severe flaws (see below). The model was basically built OOB, I just added AIM-9L Sidewinders and their respective launch rails as external ordnance on the outermost underwing hardpoints. Since I did not find the standard gun pod (a ZVI PL-20 Plamen pod with 2×20 mm guns) suitable, I decided to give the GARC aircraft a heavier, Western weapon in the form of a Mauser BK-27 (the same weapon used onboard of the Panavia Tornado or the Saab Gripen) in a conformal cannon pod under the fuselage. This piece was taken and adapted from a Heller Alpha Jet. Its shape perfectly fitted between the two ventral air brakes.

 

Concerning the kit itself, the build turned out to be a medium nightmare. The kit looked promising in the box, with fine engravings, but nothing fits well. There are no locator pins, you have (massive) ejection marks almost everywhere, and the parts’ attachment points to the sprues protrude into the parts themselves, so there’s a lot to clean up. At least there are no sinkholes.

Upon assembly, the cockpit tub – nicely detailed – would not fit into the fuselage at all and ended up in an oblique position (hidden through a pilot figure from the scrap box and a re-mounted avionics fairing in the rear cockpit). The air intakes left me guessing, too: while the edges are crisp and thin, the overall fit with the fuselage and the orientation of the parts had to be guesstimated, plus a mediocre fit, too. The instructions are not very helpful, either. I am quite disappointed and tried to make the best of the situation.

  

Painting and markings:

Much more thought was put into the model’s looks. What camouflage should such an aircraft carry? And I had to invent roundels/markings for a Catalonian air force aircraft, too.

 

Since the Catalonian L-159s were multi-purpose aircraft, yet primarily tasked with air space defense, I opted for an subdued air superiority scheme instead of a tactical low-level camouflage. Furthermore, the camouflage was supposed to be suited for a mountainous landscape (Pyrenees), relatively flat and dry land and also to open sea. This was a good opportunity to give a model the Greek “Ghost” scheme: a three-tone wraparound scheme consisting of FS 36307 (Light Sea Grey), 36251 (Aggressor Grey) and 35237 (Medium Grey, but actually a rather greyish blue). The pattern was adapted from Hellenic F-16s. I think it’s a good compromise, and it suits the ALCA well.

 

The national markings caused more headaches. I was looking for something that would not look like the Spanish roundel, but still reflect the Catalonian indpendence flag and – most important – I wanted to be able to create it from stock material (not printing them at home), with the option to replicate it on potential future builds.

In the end and after long safaris through my spare decal repository, I came up with a round marking. It consists of an Ukrainian roundel with a relatively thin outer yellow ring (from a Begemot MiG-29 sheet), placed on top of a Hinomaru, so that a thin, red outer ring was added. Onto the central, blue disc a white star (from a TL Modellbau sheet with US Army markings) was added. I think that this looks original enough?

There was a problem, though… In my first attempt to apply this construction, the roundels turned out to be VERY large overall. While the design itself looked O.K. (despite reminding of Captain America somehow), this looked ridiculous, esp. on an aircraft with a wraparound low-viz paint scheme. I was not satisfied, so I heavy-heartedly ripped the decals off again (using adhesive tape, works like a charm) and tried it again, in a smaller version.

Hinomaru became the basis once more, even though smaller, and then die-punched discs in yellow and blue (from generic decal sheet) were added, and finally small white stars again, one size smaller than during the first attempt. While this is still colorful and stands out from the grey background, the second attempt looked much more balanced now, and I stuck with it.

 

In order to add more flavor, I added Catalonian fin flashes and squadron emblems on the nose, depicting the “burro”, the Catalonian donkey which has become a kind of unofficial regional symbol as a kind of anti-mascot to the Spanish bull. These markings/decals were printed at home on white sheet.

 

The tactical codes were based on the Spanish system. The Spanish Air Force has its own alphanumeric system for identifying aircraft: This forms a prefix to the airframe serial number, usually marked on the tail. C means cazabombardero (fighter bomber); A, ataque (attack); P, patrulla (patrol); T, transporte (transport); E, enseñanza (training); D, search and rescue; H, helicopter; K, tanker; V, Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL); and U, utility. An example would be that the F-18 with "C.15-08" on the tail is the fifteenth type of fighter that arrived in the Spanish Air Force (the Eurofighter is the C.16) and is the eighth example of this type to enter the SAF. On the nose or fuselage, the aircraft has a numeral specific to the unit in which it is based.

 

Variants of planes in service, for example two-seater versions or tanker versions of transports planes, add another letter to differentiate their function, and have their own sequence of serial numbers separate from the primary versions. Example: "CE.15-02" will be the second F-18 two-seater (Fighter Trainer) delivered to the SAF. In addition, the aircraft used by the Spanish Air Force usually carry a code consisting of one or two digits followed by a dash and two numbers, painted on the nose or fuselage. The first number corresponds to the unit to which they belong, and the second the order in which they entered service. Example: the fourth F-18 arriving at Ala 12 will have on the nose the code "12-04". Those codes do change when the aircraft is re-allocated to a different unit. Quite complicated…

 

This led to the tactical code “2-03”, for the 3rd aircraft allocated to the 2nd fighter squadron, and “C.1-03” as individual registration as the 3rd aircraft of the 1st fighter type in Catalonian service. All codes were puzzled together with single black letters and numbers from TL Modellbau in 3 and 5mm size.

 

Finally, the kit was sealed with matt acrylic varnish.

+++ DISCLAIMER +++

Nothing you see here is real, even though the conversion or the presented background story might be based on historical facts. BEWARE!

  

Some background:

Immediately after the 1989 Velvet Revolution, the Czech president Václav Havel declared a de-mobilization of the Czech defense industry. Nevertheless, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Czech company Aero Vodochody continued developing the basic L-39 Albatros design with a view toward greater export. The resulting L-39MS, later re-designed as L-59 Super Albatros, featured a more powerful turbofan engine, advanced avionics, and has been bought in quantity by Egypt and Tunisia. In 1993, a group of Czech military experts launched a project of production of a modern domestic fighter to replace the obsolete Soviet aircraft. Since the proposed Aero L-X supersonic fighter development proved to be financially demanding (up to US$2 billion), the less costly L-159 subsonic attack aircraft was approved for procurement instead.

 

Conducted between the years 1994 and 1997, the technical development of L-159 ALCA (Advanced Light Combat Aircraft) in Aero Vodochody consisted primarily of building one L-159 two-seat prototype based on the L-59 airframe, utilizing western engine, avionics and weapon systems, with Rockwell Collins (eventually Boeing) as the avionics integrator.

 

The L-159 ALCA was designed for the principal role of light combat aircraft (single-seat L-159A variant) or light attack jet and advanced/lead-in fighter trainer (two-seat L-159B and T variants). The design of the L-159 was derived from the L-39/59 in terms of aerodynamic configuration, but a number of changes were made to improve its combat capabilities. These included strengthening of the airframe, reinforcing of the cockpit with composite and ceramic ballistic armor and enlargement of the aircraft's nose to accommodate a radar. Compared to the L-59, number of underwing pylons was increased from four to six, and a new hardpoint under the fuselage was added instead of a fixed GSh-23L cannon in an external fairing. The aircraft was capable of carrying external loads up to 2,340 kg, ranging from unguided bombs and rocket pods to air-to-ground and air-to-air guided missiles or special devices to conduct aerial reconnaissance or electronic warfare. Guided precision ordnance like laser-guided glide bombs could be carried, too, thanks to the aircraft’s ability to carry respective targeting equipment, for example the AN/AAQ-28(V) LITENING pod.

 

The L-159 was powered by the non-afterburning Honeywell/ITEC F124-GA-100 turbofan engine with a maximum thrust of 28 kN. Almost 2,000 litres of fuel was stored in eight internal tanks (six in the fuselage, two at the wingtips) with up to four external drop tanks (two 500 L and two 350 L tanks) carried under the inner wings.

The lightly armored cockpit was equipped with a VS-2B ejection seat, capable of catapulting the pilot at a zero flight level and at zero speed. The aircraft's avionics based on the MIL-STD-1553 databus include a Selex Navigation and Attack Suite, Ring Laser Gyro based Inertial Navigation System (INS) and Global Positioning System (GPS). Flight data was displayed both at the FV-3000 head-up display (HUD) and on two multi-function displays (MFD). Communications were provided by a pair of Collins ARC-182 transceivers. Self-protection of the L-159 was ensured by a Sky Guardian 200 radar warning receiver (RWR) and Vinten Vicon 78 Series 455 chaff and flare dispensers. L-159A and T2 variants were equipped with the lightweight Italian FIAR Grifo L multi-mode Doppler radar for all-weather, day and night operations.

The maiden flight of the first L-159 prototype occurred on 2 August 1997 with a two-seat version. On 18 August 1998, the single-seat L-159A prototype first flew; it was completed to Czech customer specifications. 10 April 2000 marked the first delivery of L-159A to the Czech Air Force and the type was marketed for export.

 

One of the type’s foreign operators became the young Republic of Catalonia, which had declared independence from Spain in 2017. The Catalan independence movement already began in 1922, when Francesc Macià founded the political party Estat Català (Catalan State), but the modern independence movement began and gained serious momentum in 2010, when the Constitutional Court of Spain ruled that some of the articles of the 2006 Statute of Autonomy - which had been agreed with the Spanish government and passed by a referendum in Catalonia - were unconstitutional, and others were to be interpreted restrictively. Popular protest against this decision quickly turned into demands for independence. Starting with the town of Arenys de Munt, over 550 municipalities in Catalonia held symbolic referendums on independence between 2009 and 2011. All of the towns returned a high "yes" vote, with a turnout of around 30% of those eligible to vote. A 2010 protest demonstration against the court's decision, organized by the cultural organization Òmnium Cultural, was attended by over a million people. The popular movement fed upwards to the politicians; a second mass protest on 11 September 2012 (the National Day of Catalonia) explicitly called on the Catalan government to begin the process towards independence. Catalan president Artur Mas called a snap general election, which resulted in a pro-independence majority for the first time in the region's history. The new parliament adopted the Catalan Sovereignty Declaration in early 2013, asserting that the Catalan people had the right to decide their own political future.

 

After three more troublesome years and constant strife for independence from Spain, the Catalonian president Carles Puigdemont eventually announced a binding referendum on the topic. Although deemed illegal by the Spanish government and the Constitutional Court, the referendum was held on 1 October 2017. In a vote where the anti-independence parties called for non-participation, results showed a 90% vote in favor of independence, with a turnout of 43%. Based on this result, on 27 October 2017 the Parliament of Catalonia approved a resolution unilaterally creating an independent Republic.

 

This event was also the rather sudden birth of the Catalonian armed forces. Esp. the nascent air force, called Guàrdies Aèries de la República Catalana (GARC, Republic of Catalonia Air Guard), faced serious trouble, since Spain refused any assistance. Furthermore, there were no former Spanish military air bases in the region that could be taken, and any equipment and infrastructure had to be procured from scratch and on short notice.

 

In the wake of this hasted start, the L-159s became part of the GARC’s initial mixed bag of flying low-budget equipment. They were 2nd hand machines, bought from EADS-CASA of Spain and mothballed since 2012 after a barter deal with the Czech Republic: In 2009, EADS had exchanged with the CzAF four CASA C-295 transporters for three L-159As, two L-159T1s and 130 million Euros. These aircraft were still in EADS inventory in late 2017, even though grounded and taken out of service since 2012, because the operations of this small fleet as chasing aircraft were expensive and no buyer could be found in the meantime.

 

However, in 2018 the company sold them, under indirect pressure from NATO, to the Catalonian government at a “symbolic”, yet unspecified, price. This small fleet was soon augmented by five more L-159As and ten L-159T1s which were directly procured from the Czech Republic in 2019. These aircraft formed the initial, small backbone of the young country’s air defense, armed with AIM-9 Sidewinders (AIM-120 AMRAAM was possible, to, but not procured due to severe budget restraints) and Mauser BK-27 cannon in conformal pods. Since no military airfields with a suitable infrastructure for jet aircraft were available for the GARC at the time of their purchase and introduction, the L-159s were initially based at two public regional airports: at Reus, in the proximity of Tarragona at the Mediterranean coast, and at Girona in the country’s north, where airfield sections were separated of the military operations.

  

General characteristics:

Crew: one

Length: 12.72 m (41 ft 8¾ in)

Wingspan: 9.54 m (31 ft 3½ in)

Height: 4.87 m (16 ft)

Wing area: 18.80 m² (202.4 ft²)

Airfoil: NACA 64A-012

Aspect ratio: 4.8:1

Empty weight: 4,350 kg (9,590 lb)

Max. takeoff weight: 8,000 kg (17,637 lb)

 

Powerplant:

1× Honeywell F124-GA-100 turbofan, delivering 28.2 kN (6,330 lbf) thrust

 

Performance:

Never exceed speed: 960 km/h (518 knots, 596 mph)

Maximum speed: 936 km/h (505 knots, 581 mph) at sea level, clean

Stall speed: 185 km/h (100 knots, 115 mph)

Range: 1,570 km (848 nmi, 975 mi) max internal fuel

Combat radius: 565 km (305 nmi, 351 mi) lo-lo-lo, with a gun pod, 2× Mark 82 bombs, 2× AIM-9

Sidewinder and 2× 500 L drop tanks

Service ceiling: 13,200 m (43,300 ft)

Rate of climb: 62 m/s (12,220 ft/min)

 

Armament:

7Í hardpoints in total, 3 under each wing (outer pylons only for AAMs) and 1 under the fuselage,

holding up to 2,340 kg (5,159 lb) of ordnance

  

The kit and its assembly:

This model was spawned by a grain of truth: as mentioned in the background, EADS Spain had actually bought a few L-159s in 2009 from the CzAF in exchange for transporters, and together with the ongoing plans of an independent Catalonia I merged both into this ALCA single seater for the fictional Republic of Catalonia Air Guard.

 

The kit is the relatively new KP L-159. This is basically a nice model, but the kit has some severe flaws (see below). The model was basically built OOB, I just added AIM-9L Sidewinders and their respective launch rails as external ordnance on the outermost underwing hardpoints. Since I did not find the standard gun pod (a ZVI PL-20 Plamen pod with 2×20 mm guns) suitable, I decided to give the GARC aircraft a heavier, Western weapon in the form of a Mauser BK-27 (the same weapon used onboard of the Panavia Tornado or the Saab Gripen) in a conformal cannon pod under the fuselage. This piece was taken and adapted from a Heller Alpha Jet. Its shape perfectly fitted between the two ventral air brakes.

 

Concerning the kit itself, the build turned out to be a medium nightmare. The kit looked promising in the box, with fine engravings, but nothing fits well. There are no locator pins, you have (massive) ejection marks almost everywhere, and the parts’ attachment points to the sprues protrude into the parts themselves, so there’s a lot to clean up. At least there are no sinkholes.

Upon assembly, the cockpit tub – nicely detailed – would not fit into the fuselage at all and ended up in an oblique position (hidden through a pilot figure from the scrap box and a re-mounted avionics fairing in the rear cockpit). The air intakes left me guessing, too: while the edges are crisp and thin, the overall fit with the fuselage and the orientation of the parts had to be guesstimated, plus a mediocre fit, too. The instructions are not very helpful, either. I am quite disappointed and tried to make the best of the situation.

  

Painting and markings:

Much more thought was put into the model’s looks. What camouflage should such an aircraft carry? And I had to invent roundels/markings for a Catalonian air force aircraft, too.

 

Since the Catalonian L-159s were multi-purpose aircraft, yet primarily tasked with air space defense, I opted for an subdued air superiority scheme instead of a tactical low-level camouflage. Furthermore, the camouflage was supposed to be suited for a mountainous landscape (Pyrenees), relatively flat and dry land and also to open sea. This was a good opportunity to give a model the Greek “Ghost” scheme: a three-tone wraparound scheme consisting of FS 36307 (Light Sea Grey), 36251 (Aggressor Grey) and 35237 (Medium Grey, but actually a rather greyish blue). The pattern was adapted from Hellenic F-16s. I think it’s a good compromise, and it suits the ALCA well.

 

The national markings caused more headaches. I was looking for something that would not look like the Spanish roundel, but still reflect the Catalonian indpendence flag and – most important – I wanted to be able to create it from stock material (not printing them at home), with the option to replicate it on potential future builds.

In the end and after long safaris through my spare decal repository, I came up with a round marking. It consists of an Ukrainian roundel with a relatively thin outer yellow ring (from a Begemot MiG-29 sheet), placed on top of a Hinomaru, so that a thin, red outer ring was added. Onto the central, blue disc a white star (from a TL Modellbau sheet with US Army markings) was added. I think that this looks original enough?

There was a problem, though… In my first attempt to apply this construction, the roundels turned out to be VERY large overall. While the design itself looked O.K. (despite reminding of Captain America somehow), this looked ridiculous, esp. on an aircraft with a wraparound low-viz paint scheme. I was not satisfied, so I heavy-heartedly ripped the decals off again (using adhesive tape, works like a charm) and tried it again, in a smaller version.

Hinomaru became the basis once more, even though smaller, and then die-punched discs in yellow and blue (from generic decal sheet) were added, and finally small white stars again, one size smaller than during the first attempt. While this is still colorful and stands out from the grey background, the second attempt looked much more balanced now, and I stuck with it.

 

In order to add more flavor, I added Catalonian fin flashes and squadron emblems on the nose, depicting the “burro”, the Catalonian donkey which has become a kind of unofficial regional symbol as a kind of anti-mascot to the Spanish bull. These markings/decals were printed at home on white sheet.

 

The tactical codes were based on the Spanish system. The Spanish Air Force has its own alphanumeric system for identifying aircraft: This forms a prefix to the airframe serial number, usually marked on the tail. C means cazabombardero (fighter bomber); A, ataque (attack); P, patrulla (patrol); T, transporte (transport); E, enseñanza (training); D, search and rescue; H, helicopter; K, tanker; V, Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL); and U, utility. An example would be that the F-18 with "C.15-08" on the tail is the fifteenth type of fighter that arrived in the Spanish Air Force (the Eurofighter is the C.16) and is the eighth example of this type to enter the SAF. On the nose or fuselage, the aircraft has a numeral specific to the unit in which it is based.

 

Variants of planes in service, for example two-seater versions or tanker versions of transports planes, add another letter to differentiate their function, and have their own sequence of serial numbers separate from the primary versions. Example: "CE.15-02" will be the second F-18 two-seater (Fighter Trainer) delivered to the SAF. In addition, the aircraft used by the Spanish Air Force usually carry a code consisting of one or two digits followed by a dash and two numbers, painted on the nose or fuselage. The first number corresponds to the unit to which they belong, and the second the order in which they entered service. Example: the fourth F-18 arriving at Ala 12 will have on the nose the code "12-04". Those codes do change when the aircraft is re-allocated to a different unit. Quite complicated…

 

This led to the tactical code “2-03”, for the 3rd aircraft allocated to the 2nd fighter squadron, and “C.1-03” as individual registration as the 3rd aircraft of the 1st fighter type in Catalonian service. All codes were puzzled together with single black letters and numbers from TL Modellbau in 3 and 5mm size.

 

Finally, the kit was sealed with matt acrylic varnish.

+++ DISCLAIMER +++

Nothing you see here is real, even though the conversion or the presented background story might be based on historical facts. BEWARE!

  

Some background:

Immediately after the 1989 Velvet Revolution, the Czech president Václav Havel declared a de-mobilization of the Czech defense industry. Nevertheless, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Czech company Aero Vodochody continued developing the basic L-39 Albatros design with a view toward greater export. The resulting L-39MS, later re-designed as L-59 Super Albatros, featured a more powerful turbofan engine, advanced avionics, and has been bought in quantity by Egypt and Tunisia. In 1993, a group of Czech military experts launched a project of production of a modern domestic fighter to replace the obsolete Soviet aircraft. Since the proposed Aero L-X supersonic fighter development proved to be financially demanding (up to US$2 billion), the less costly L-159 subsonic attack aircraft was approved for procurement instead.

 

Conducted between the years 1994 and 1997, the technical development of L-159 ALCA (Advanced Light Combat Aircraft) in Aero Vodochody consisted primarily of building one L-159 two-seat prototype based on the L-59 airframe, utilizing western engine, avionics and weapon systems, with Rockwell Collins (eventually Boeing) as the avionics integrator.

 

The L-159 ALCA was designed for the principal role of light combat aircraft (single-seat L-159A variant) or light attack jet and advanced/lead-in fighter trainer (two-seat L-159B and T variants). The design of the L-159 was derived from the L-39/59 in terms of aerodynamic configuration, but a number of changes were made to improve its combat capabilities. These included strengthening of the airframe, reinforcing of the cockpit with composite and ceramic ballistic armor and enlargement of the aircraft's nose to accommodate a radar. Compared to the L-59, number of underwing pylons was increased from four to six, and a new hardpoint under the fuselage was added instead of a fixed GSh-23L cannon in an external fairing. The aircraft was capable of carrying external loads up to 2,340 kg, ranging from unguided bombs and rocket pods to air-to-ground and air-to-air guided missiles or special devices to conduct aerial reconnaissance or electronic warfare. Guided precision ordnance like laser-guided glide bombs could be carried, too, thanks to the aircraft’s ability to carry respective targeting equipment, for example the AN/AAQ-28(V) LITENING pod.

 

The L-159 was powered by the non-afterburning Honeywell/ITEC F124-GA-100 turbofan engine with a maximum thrust of 28 kN. Almost 2,000 litres of fuel was stored in eight internal tanks (six in the fuselage, two at the wingtips) with up to four external drop tanks (two 500 L and two 350 L tanks) carried under the inner wings.

The lightly armored cockpit was equipped with a VS-2B ejection seat, capable of catapulting the pilot at a zero flight level and at zero speed. The aircraft's avionics based on the MIL-STD-1553 databus include a Selex Navigation and Attack Suite, Ring Laser Gyro based Inertial Navigation System (INS) and Global Positioning System (GPS). Flight data was displayed both at the FV-3000 head-up display (HUD) and on two multi-function displays (MFD). Communications were provided by a pair of Collins ARC-182 transceivers. Self-protection of the L-159 was ensured by a Sky Guardian 200 radar warning receiver (RWR) and Vinten Vicon 78 Series 455 chaff and flare dispensers. L-159A and T2 variants were equipped with the lightweight Italian FIAR Grifo L multi-mode Doppler radar for all-weather, day and night operations.

The maiden flight of the first L-159 prototype occurred on 2 August 1997 with a two-seat version. On 18 August 1998, the single-seat L-159A prototype first flew; it was completed to Czech customer specifications. 10 April 2000 marked the first delivery of L-159A to the Czech Air Force and the type was marketed for export.

 

One of the type’s foreign operators became the young Republic of Catalonia, which had declared independence from Spain in 2017. The Catalan independence movement already began in 1922, when Francesc Macià founded the political party Estat Català (Catalan State), but the modern independence movement began and gained serious momentum in 2010, when the Constitutional Court of Spain ruled that some of the articles of the 2006 Statute of Autonomy - which had been agreed with the Spanish government and passed by a referendum in Catalonia - were unconstitutional, and others were to be interpreted restrictively. Popular protest against this decision quickly turned into demands for independence. Starting with the town of Arenys de Munt, over 550 municipalities in Catalonia held symbolic referendums on independence between 2009 and 2011. All of the towns returned a high "yes" vote, with a turnout of around 30% of those eligible to vote. A 2010 protest demonstration against the court's decision, organized by the cultural organization Òmnium Cultural, was attended by over a million people. The popular movement fed upwards to the politicians; a second mass protest on 11 September 2012 (the National Day of Catalonia) explicitly called on the Catalan government to begin the process towards independence. Catalan president Artur Mas called a snap general election, which resulted in a pro-independence majority for the first time in the region's history. The new parliament adopted the Catalan Sovereignty Declaration in early 2013, asserting that the Catalan people had the right to decide their own political future.

 

After three more troublesome years and constant strife for independence from Spain, the Catalonian president Carles Puigdemont eventually announced a binding referendum on the topic. Although deemed illegal by the Spanish government and the Constitutional Court, the referendum was held on 1 October 2017. In a vote where the anti-independence parties called for non-participation, results showed a 90% vote in favor of independence, with a turnout of 43%. Based on this result, on 27 October 2017 the Parliament of Catalonia approved a resolution unilaterally creating an independent Republic.

 

This event was also the rather sudden birth of the Catalonian armed forces. Esp. the nascent air force, called Guàrdies Aèries de la República Catalana (GARC, Republic of Catalonia Air Guard), faced serious trouble, since Spain refused any assistance. Furthermore, there were no former Spanish military air bases in the region that could be taken, and any equipment and infrastructure had to be procured from scratch and on short notice.

 

In the wake of this hasted start, the L-159s became part of the GARC’s initial mixed bag of flying low-budget equipment. They were 2nd hand machines, bought from EADS-CASA of Spain and mothballed since 2012 after a barter deal with the Czech Republic: In 2009, EADS had exchanged with the CzAF four CASA C-295 transporters for three L-159As, two L-159T1s and 130 million Euros. These aircraft were still in EADS inventory in late 2017, even though grounded and taken out of service since 2012, because the operations of this small fleet as chasing aircraft were expensive and no buyer could be found in the meantime.

 

However, in 2018 the company sold them, under indirect pressure from NATO, to the Catalonian government at a “symbolic”, yet unspecified, price. This small fleet was soon augmented by five more L-159As and ten L-159T1s which were directly procured from the Czech Republic in 2019. These aircraft formed the initial, small backbone of the young country’s air defense, armed with AIM-9 Sidewinders (AIM-120 AMRAAM was possible, to, but not procured due to severe budget restraints) and Mauser BK-27 cannon in conformal pods. Since no military airfields with a suitable infrastructure for jet aircraft were available for the GARC at the time of their purchase and introduction, the L-159s were initially based at two public regional airports: at Reus, in the proximity of Tarragona at the Mediterranean coast, and at Girona in the country’s north, where airfield sections were separated of the military operations.

  

General characteristics:

Crew: one

Length: 12.72 m (41 ft 8¾ in)

Wingspan: 9.54 m (31 ft 3½ in)

Height: 4.87 m (16 ft)

Wing area: 18.80 m² (202.4 ft²)

Airfoil: NACA 64A-012

Aspect ratio: 4.8:1

Empty weight: 4,350 kg (9,590 lb)

Max. takeoff weight: 8,000 kg (17,637 lb)

 

Powerplant:

1× Honeywell F124-GA-100 turbofan, delivering 28.2 kN (6,330 lbf) thrust

 

Performance:

Never exceed speed: 960 km/h (518 knots, 596 mph)

Maximum speed: 936 km/h (505 knots, 581 mph) at sea level, clean

Stall speed: 185 km/h (100 knots, 115 mph)

Range: 1,570 km (848 nmi, 975 mi) max internal fuel

Combat radius: 565 km (305 nmi, 351 mi) lo-lo-lo, with a gun pod, 2× Mark 82 bombs, 2× AIM-9

Sidewinder and 2× 500 L drop tanks

Service ceiling: 13,200 m (43,300 ft)

Rate of climb: 62 m/s (12,220 ft/min)

 

Armament:

7Í hardpoints in total, 3 under each wing (outer pylons only for AAMs) and 1 under the fuselage,

holding up to 2,340 kg (5,159 lb) of ordnance

  

The kit and its assembly:

This model was spawned by a grain of truth: as mentioned in the background, EADS Spain had actually bought a few L-159s in 2009 from the CzAF in exchange for transporters, and together with the ongoing plans of an independent Catalonia I merged both into this ALCA single seater for the fictional Republic of Catalonia Air Guard.

 

The kit is the relatively new KP L-159. This is basically a nice model, but the kit has some severe flaws (see below). The model was basically built OOB, I just added AIM-9L Sidewinders and their respective launch rails as external ordnance on the outermost underwing hardpoints. Since I did not find the standard gun pod (a ZVI PL-20 Plamen pod with 2×20 mm guns) suitable, I decided to give the GARC aircraft a heavier, Western weapon in the form of a Mauser BK-27 (the same weapon used onboard of the Panavia Tornado or the Saab Gripen) in a conformal cannon pod under the fuselage. This piece was taken and adapted from a Heller Alpha Jet. Its shape perfectly fitted between the two ventral air brakes.

 

Concerning the kit itself, the build turned out to be a medium nightmare. The kit looked promising in the box, with fine engravings, but nothing fits well. There are no locator pins, you have (massive) ejection marks almost everywhere, and the parts’ attachment points to the sprues protrude into the parts themselves, so there’s a lot to clean up. At least there are no sinkholes.

Upon assembly, the cockpit tub – nicely detailed – would not fit into the fuselage at all and ended up in an oblique position (hidden through a pilot figure from the scrap box and a re-mounted avionics fairing in the rear cockpit). The air intakes left me guessing, too: while the edges are crisp and thin, the overall fit with the fuselage and the orientation of the parts had to be guesstimated, plus a mediocre fit, too. The instructions are not very helpful, either. I am quite disappointed and tried to make the best of the situation.

  

Painting and markings:

Much more thought was put into the model’s looks. What camouflage should such an aircraft carry? And I had to invent roundels/markings for a Catalonian air force aircraft, too.

 

Since the Catalonian L-159s were multi-purpose aircraft, yet primarily tasked with air space defense, I opted for an subdued air superiority scheme instead of a tactical low-level camouflage. Furthermore, the camouflage was supposed to be suited for a mountainous landscape (Pyrenees), relatively flat and dry land and also to open sea. This was a good opportunity to give a model the Greek “Ghost” scheme: a three-tone wraparound scheme consisting of FS 36307 (Light Sea Grey), 36251 (Aggressor Grey) and 35237 (Medium Grey, but actually a rather greyish blue). The pattern was adapted from Hellenic F-16s. I think it’s a good compromise, and it suits the ALCA well.

 

The national markings caused more headaches. I was looking for something that would not look like the Spanish roundel, but still reflect the Catalonian indpendence flag and – most important – I wanted to be able to create it from stock material (not printing them at home), with the option to replicate it on potential future builds.

In the end and after long safaris through my spare decal repository, I came up with a round marking. It consists of an Ukrainian roundel with a relatively thin outer yellow ring (from a Begemot MiG-29 sheet), placed on top of a Hinomaru, so that a thin, red outer ring was added. Onto the central, blue disc a white star (from a TL Modellbau sheet with US Army markings) was added. I think that this looks original enough?

There was a problem, though… In my first attempt to apply this construction, the roundels turned out to be VERY large overall. While the design itself looked O.K. (despite reminding of Captain America somehow), this looked ridiculous, esp. on an aircraft with a wraparound low-viz paint scheme. I was not satisfied, so I heavy-heartedly ripped the decals off again (using adhesive tape, works like a charm) and tried it again, in a smaller version.

Hinomaru became the basis once more, even though smaller, and then die-punched discs in yellow and blue (from generic decal sheet) were added, and finally small white stars again, one size smaller than during the first attempt. While this is still colorful and stands out from the grey background, the second attempt looked much more balanced now, and I stuck with it.

 

In order to add more flavor, I added Catalonian fin flashes and squadron emblems on the nose, depicting the “burro”, the Catalonian donkey which has become a kind of unofficial regional symbol as a kind of anti-mascot to the Spanish bull. These markings/decals were printed at home on white sheet.

 

The tactical codes were based on the Spanish system. The Spanish Air Force has its own alphanumeric system for identifying aircraft: This forms a prefix to the airframe serial number, usually marked on the tail. C means cazabombardero (fighter bomber); A, ataque (attack); P, patrulla (patrol); T, transporte (transport); E, enseñanza (training); D, search and rescue; H, helicopter; K, tanker; V, Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL); and U, utility. An example would be that the F-18 with "C.15-08" on the tail is the fifteenth type of fighter that arrived in the Spanish Air Force (the Eurofighter is the C.16) and is the eighth example of this type to enter the SAF. On the nose or fuselage, the aircraft has a numeral specific to the unit in which it is based.

 

Variants of planes in service, for example two-seater versions or tanker versions of transports planes, add another letter to differentiate their function, and have their own sequence of serial numbers separate from the primary versions. Example: "CE.15-02" will be the second F-18 two-seater (Fighter Trainer) delivered to the SAF. In addition, the aircraft used by the Spanish Air Force usually carry a code consisting of one or two digits followed by a dash and two numbers, painted on the nose or fuselage. The first number corresponds to the unit to which they belong, and the second the order in which they entered service. Example: the fourth F-18 arriving at Ala 12 will have on the nose the code "12-04". Those codes do change when the aircraft is re-allocated to a different unit. Quite complicated…

 

This led to the tactical code “2-03”, for the 3rd aircraft allocated to the 2nd fighter squadron, and “C.1-03” as individual registration as the 3rd aircraft of the 1st fighter type in Catalonian service. All codes were puzzled together with single black letters and numbers from TL Modellbau in 3 and 5mm size.

 

Finally, the kit was sealed with matt acrylic varnish.

Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Lindiwe Sisulu and Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Mr Dmitry Kobylkin at the 15th Session of the annual South Africa-Russia Intergovernmental Committee on Trade and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) in Moscow, Russia. [Photo: DIRCO]

Title: Encyclopédie d'histoire naturelle; ou, Traité complet de cette science d'après les travaux des naturalistes les plus éminents de tous les pays et de toutes les époques: Buffon, Daubenton, Lacépède, G. Cuvier, F. Cuvier, Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, Latreille, De Jussieu, Brongniart, etc. etc

Identifier: encyclopdiedhi06chen

Year: [1850?-1861?] ([180s)

Authors: Chenu, Jean Charles, 1808-1879; Desmarest, E. (Eugène), 1816-1890

Subjects: Natural history

Publisher: Paris : Marescq et compagnie . .. [et] Gustave Havard . ..

Contributing Library: MBLWHOI Library

Digitizing Sponsor: MBLWHOI Library

  

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Text Appearing Before Image:

352 HISTOIRE NATURELLK. qties. m mic vitujinbic de pelitei! (lenticules; narines rondes, Irl's-rnpprorhécs l'une de l'autre, silures vers l'extrémité de la mandibule supérieure du bec corné; pas d'oreille externe; yeux petits, latéraux; lanijue cjrande, larijc. molle, charnue dans toute son étendue, c/urnic sur ses bords de papilles assez fortes, cornées, noirâtres, luisantes; des abajoues. l'attes Ircs-coiirles, Irès-éloifpiées entre elles, dirir/ées plutôt latéralement qu'en dessous, toutes terminées par cinq doigts; doiçjts des pattes de devant minces, presque éijanx, écartés, munis d'on- gles étroits, aplatis, s'appuyanl sur une large membrane qui les dépasse, et qtii n'est autre que la peau de la paume de la main, irès-dilalée et irrégutière dans ses bords; doigts des pieds de derrière réunis jusqu'aux ongles, et uijunt tous la même direction. Un fort ergot pointu, creux el communiquant avec une vésicule a venin, situé au côté interne et postérieur du métatarse des mâles. Queue assez, courte, aussi large que le corps à sa buse, déprimée, de forme ovale, velue. Poils soyeux sur tout le corps, h l'exception du bec et des membranes des pattes de devant.

 

Text Appearing After Image:

Fig. 75. â Tèle île rOrnilliorliynque. Comme nous l'avons dil dans nos généralités sur les Monolrémes, le genre Ornitlinifiuique a été créé, en 1800, par Blumenhach; ce nom, l'un des plus heureusi'nienl irouvés puisqu'il lappelle un (les meilleurs caractères de l'espèce quNi comprend, a cependant été changé par (piehjues zoolo- gistes : c'est ainsi qu'A peu près à la même époque que Bhimenbach, Sliaw iNaturul Miscellanea] lui donnait le nomde P/«fj//)(/.s'(,t/-/7-j,-, lai-ge; «j:. pied), et que Wiedmaiin tZoological .Archives, t. I) l'indiqua sons celui de Dermipus {-h-MD., peau; r.ou;, pied); mais celui lïOruithorhyurhus a généra- lement prévalu. Le corps de ces animaux est déprimé, et la lête ainsi que la queue le sont comparativement beau- coup plus; la lête, le corps el la queue sont entièrement coilverts de poils, quoique cependant le dessus de la queue est habituellement dénudé dans une étendue qui varie selon l'âge des individus; les mâchoires représentent assez bien le Itec d'un Cygne ou d'un Canard : elles sont enveloppées d'une membrane cornée ; la supérieure est d'une couleur noir gris.'ttre, sale et pâle, couvert d'une grande quantijé de petits points, et l'inférieure" est blanche, et variée d'autres teintes dans les adul- tes. : toutes deux à l'intérieur sont de couleur de chair; les yeux sont très petits, brillants, d'un brun clair; l'orilice extérieur de l'oreille se voit facilement dans les sujets vivants, mais il n'y a pas de couiiue externe, et l'animal peut ù volonté l'ouvrir ou la fermer; les pieds sont courts, écartés, diri- ges latéralement, et garnis en dessous de palmalures qui dépas.sènt les doigts et même les ongles, quoique ceux-ci soient irèspuissants : les antérieurs sont plus forts que les postérieurs, el de même qu'eux ils ont cinq doigts; mais ceux-ci présentent de plus un ergot acéré, percé d'un trou, et cor- re!;]ioiidanlpar un canal à uneglantle placée entre les muscles de la cuisse. Les Ornilliorliyuqiies n'ont pas de véiitables dents, seulement leurs os maxillaires supportent des espèces de tubercules déprimés et de nature libro-cornée qui tiennent la place des dents : il y en a deux de chaque côté et à chaque mâchoire. Les os du squelette, sur lesquels nous ne pouvons dire que quelques mots, ont été étudiés par Kverard Home, Meckel, Tiedmann, Et. Geoffroy Satnt-1'i- laire, G. Cuvier, De P.lainville, Garus, Oken, Rudolphi, Knox, Vander llÅven, etc., et tous ces ana- tomistes ne sont pas d'accord sur leur signilication. Les vertèbres céphaliques forment une tête assez allongée; les os maxillaires supérieurs et incisifs sont Irès-protongés en avant et aplatis pour soutenir le bec corné, les derniers divergents et laissant un grand intervalle entre eux; les orbites sont petites

  

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This statue stands outside the ITEC (Innovation Technology Exploration Center) being constructed in Big Oak Park in Smyrna, Delaware.

This statue stands outside the ITEC (Innovation Technology Exploration Center) being constructed in Big Oak Park in Smyrna, Delaware.

I am not exactly here, not exactly there. Perhpaps I will never catch you up :(

FF Novitec today in Paris ! Shangri-là, Place de l'Alma, the 1st of June. Spring 2013, in Paris

The Aero L-159 ALCA is a light subsonic attack jet and advanced trainer developed in the single-seat L-159A and two-seat L-159B versions respectively, produced in the Czech Republic by Aero Vodochody. In 2003, the Czech Air Force elected to reduce its own fleet of 72 L-159A aircraft to 24 and has re-sold most of the redundant aircraft to both military and civilian operators, namely the Iraqi Air Force and Draken International.

 

The L-159 has seen active combat use by the Iraqi Air Force against ISIS. In Draken’s service, the L-159 (colloquially known as "Honey Badger") has been employed as an aggressor aircraft. Since 2007, six L-159A aircraft have been rebuilt into T1 trainer derivatives. In 2017, Aero Vodochody unveiled a newly built L-159T1 for the Iraqi Air Force while the Czech Air Force is set to acquire L-159T2 (L-159T1+) two-seaters.

 

he L-159 ALCA is designed for the principal role of light combat aircraft (single-seat L-159A variant) or light attack jet and advanced/lead-in fighter trainer (two-seat L-159B and T variants). Design of the L-159 was derived from the L-39/59 in terms of aerodynamic configuration but a number of changes were made to improve its combat capabilities. These include strengthening of the airframe, reinforcing of the cockpit with composite and ceramic ballistic armour and enlargement of the aircraft's nose to accommodate the radar. Compared to the L-59, number of underwing pylons was increased from four to six and a new hardpoint under the fuselage was added instead of GSh-23L cannon.

 

The aircraft is powered by the non-afterburning Honeywell/ITEC F124-GA-100 turbofan engine with a maximum thrust of 28 kN. Almost 2,000 litres of fuel is stored in eight internal tanks (six in the fuselage, two at the wingtips) with up to four external drop tanks (two 500 L and two 350 L tanks) carried under the wings. The lightly armoured cockpit is equipped with a VS-2B ejection seat capable of catapulting the pilot at a zero flight level and zero speed. The aircraft’s avionics based on the MIL-STD-1553 databus include Selex Navigation and Attack Suite, Ring Laser Gyro based Inertial Navigation System (INS) and Global Positioning System (GPS). Flight data are displayed both at the FV-3000 head-up display (HUD) and two multi-function displays (MFD).

 

Communications are provided by a pair of Collins ARC-182 transceivers. Self-protection of the L-159 is ensured by the Sky Guardian 200 radar warning receiver (RWR) and the Vinten Vicon 78 Series 455 chaff and flare dispenser. L-159A and T2 variants are equipped with the Italian FIAR Grifo L multi-mode Doppler radar for all-weather, day and night operations. All variants of L-159 are equipped with a total of seven hardpoints (one under-fuselage and six under-wing mountings), capable of carrying external loads up to 2,340 kg. The aircraft can be equipped with a variety of weapons ranging from unguided bombs and rocket pods to air-to-ground and air-to-air guided missiles or with special devices to conduct aerial reconnaissance or electronic warfare. For example, it is capable of carrying advanced targeting pods including the AN/AAQ-28(V) LITENING.

Back in April 1987 I went on a bus hunting adventure which included a visit to Grimsby where I photographed former Grimsby Cleethorpes Transport Daimler Fleetline / Roe H45/29D 98 BJV98L in its new role as a non-psv bus with ITEC Computer Services of Grimsby. The bus was stabled at the GCT depot.

Defence Security and Equipment International (DSEI) is a defence and security equipment exhibition held every two years in London Docklands, which draws thousands of visitors, both trade and military. It is an important event in the international military and national security equipment sales calendar and is organised in association with UK Trade & Investment's Defence & Security Organisation (UKTI DSO). It is the world’s largest fully integrated international defence exhibition featuring land, sea and air products and technologies

 

Death in London

War is Business

Hunted!

Where Our Taxes Go !

US and His Allies

Peace Offering

Terrorism modern way of US warfare

 

D S E I

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DSEi

 

Campaign Against Arms Trade

 

DoD Contracts Bot

 

War is Business

Where Our Taxes Go !

US and His Allies

Robot War Machines

Let's STOP Anti-Personnel Mines forever

Hunted!

Jesus Rifles !

Obama Soldier

Obama: "WE CAN . . . . "

Child Soldier

Butcher of Gaza

Für Das Kind - Displaced

Victoria's Secret

11500 Midlothian Turnpike, Chesterfield Towne Center, Richmond, VA

 

This location opened in February 2019 and was previously located here.

 

2002 tenants- Structure, Bostonian, Coconut Jewelry

 

2013 tenants- Count's Hallmark (opened in fall 2007, originally located here), Prince Jewelers

 

2017 tenants- iTec (relocated here), Prince Jewelers (relocated here)

Victoria's Secret

11500 Midlothian Turnpike, Chesterfield Towne Center, Richmond, VA

 

This location opened in February 2019 and was previously located here.

 

2002 tenants- Structure, Bostonian, Coconut Jewelry

 

2013 tenants- Count's Hallmark (opened in fall 2007, originally located here), Prince Jewelers

 

2017 tenants- iTec (relocated here), Prince Jewelers (relocated here)

el metro

delhi, india / septiembre, 2010.

www.nicolasvanh.com

pedaleando la cabeza

© nicolas felipe van hemelryck 2010.

amber fort, otro laberinto de sorpresas.

jaipur, india / septiembre, 2010.

www.nicolasvanh.com / pedaleando la cabeza

© nicolas felipe van hemelryck 2010.

All it says on the back of this picture from February, 1991 is ITec presentation. At the far right is Alistair Thomson, manager of Arbroath ITec in Dens Road, a training facility. (Photograph - Colin Wight)

Defence Security and Equipment International (DSEI) is a defence and security equipment exhibition held every two years in London Docklands, which draws thousands of visitors, both trade and military. It is an important event in the international military and national security equipment sales calendar and is organised in association with UK Trade & Investment's Defence & Security Organisation (UKTI DSO). It is the world’s largest fully integrated international defence exhibition featuring land, sea and air products and technologies

 

Death in London

War is Business

Hunted!

Where Our Taxes Go !

US and His Allies

Peace Offering

Terrorism modern way of US warfare

 

D S E I

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DSEi

 

Campaign Against Arms Trade

 

DoD Contracts Bot

 

War is Business

Where Our Taxes Go !

US and His Allies

Robot War Machines

Let's STOP Anti-Personnel Mines forever

Hunted!

Jesus Rifles !

Obama Soldier

Obama: "WE CAN . . . . "

Child Soldier

Butcher of Gaza

Für Das Kind - Displaced

In March, 1993 Alistair Thomson of Arbroath ITec spoke to a group of Arbroath Academy pupils in Mr Sandy Burgess's modern studies class about the benefits of training in the job market. (Photograph - Colin Wight)

Angus ITec staff in December, 1991, from left, back - Peter Christie, Neil Moffat, Bill Graham and Marie McBride: front - Dawn Thomas, Alistair Thomson, manager; and Fiona Ainley. (Photograph - Colin Wight)

International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane with the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment for the Russian Federation Mr Sergey Donskoy co-chair the12th Session of the Joint Intergovernmental Committee on Trade and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) between South Africa and the Russian Federation in Pretoria. (Photo: DIRCO)

International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane with the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment for the Russian Federation Mr Sergey Donskoy co-chair the12th Session of the Joint Intergovernmental Committee on Trade and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) between South Africa and the Russian Federation in Pretoria. (Photo: DIRCO)

Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Nkoana-Mashabane and Russian Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Sergey Donskoy co-chair the 14th Session of the Joint Intergovernmental Committee on Trade and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) between South Africa and the Russian Federation, on 18 November 2016 in Pretoria. (Photo: DIRCO)

Moteur Honeywell/ITEC F124-GA-200

Nombre 2

Type turbofans

Puissance unitaire 2850 kgp

The picture at ITeC, Dens Road, was taken in October, 1986, amd shows David Smith and Paul Kelly at the computers. Looking on were Alistair Thomson, manager; and Sergeant Wares, although there is no indication why he is present. Apologies for water damage to the print. (Photograph - Colin Wight)

iTec

Sunglass Hut

11500 Midlothian Turnpike, Chesterfield Towne Center, Richmond, VA

 

iTech was originally located here; it was previously a Cinnabon. It became Cinnamonster in the mid 2000s (which relocated here) and Best Buy Mobile in September 2012.

Institucion Teresiana De Education y Cultura, Inc. (ITEC)

Exemplar Employer Award. Recognising diversity & equality in business, and a commitment to diverse and inclusive practices within the workplace.

 

L/R: Swansea ITeC — Pisys.NET — Wolfestone — Marine Power Systems — HOS Hire.

 

Exemplar Employers. Demonstrating commitment to diverse and inclusive practices within the workplace.

 

Chwarae Teg News:- www.cteg.org.uk/new-exemplar-employers/

 

Using the photo...

 

Note: photographs made available under the Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0).

 

creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/

 

If using for the web, please also link to this original photo.

 

Queries, email:- post [at@] chwaraeteg.com.

Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane holds bilateral talks with the Intergovernmental Committee on Trade and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Co-Chair Russian Federation Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Sergey Donskoy. (Photo: GCIS)

The ITec training building in Dens Road, Arbroath was officially opened in June, 1986 by Provost Andrew Welsh. Across the doorway from him was Alistair Thomson, ITec manager. (Photograph - Colin Wight)

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