In-Box Review
K.u.K. pilot & Admin officer
Pilot and Officer of the Austro-Hungarian Air Service
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by: Stephen T. Lawson [ JACKFLASH ]

The Imperial and Royal Aviation Troops (Kaiserliche und Königliche Luftfahrtruppen or K.u.K. Luftfahrtruppen) was the air force of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire until the empire's demise in 1918. It saw combat on both the Eastern Front and Italian Front during World War I. Despite being much smaller and in some cases less technologically advanced than the German or British air forces, it performed with tenacity and bravery during the war.

Austro-Hungarian pilots and aircrew originally faced off against the air forces of Romania and Russia, while also fielding air units in Serbia, Albania, and Montenegro. Italy's entry into the war on 15 May 1915 opened another front and brought the Empire's greatest opponent into the air war.

During 1917, Austria-Hungary pushed its number of flying training schools to 14, with 1,134 trainees. The expansion program was stretched to 68 squadrons, and the Air Service managed to activate the 31 units needed. Nevertheless, the Luftfahrtruppen began to lose its Italian campaign as Italian superior numbers began to tell. By 19 June 1917, the situation had deteriorated to the point where an Italian attack force of 61 bombers and 84 escorting planes was opposed by an Austro-Hungarian defense of only 3 fighters and 23 two-seaters. Within two months, the Luftfahrtruppen found itself facing over 200 enemy aircraft every day. Some of the disparity can be explained by the importation of four squadrons of the Royal Flying Corps to augment the Italian fighter force in the wake of the Battle of Caporetto. Then, when winter came on, shortages of coal and other crucial supplies further hampered production for the Empire's Air Service.

Austro-Hungarian plans for 1918 called for ramping up its aerial force to 100 squadrons containing 1,000 pilots. Production climbed to 2,378 aircraft for the year. However, withdrawal of German air units to fight in France worsened the Austro-Hungarian's shortage of aircraft. By June 1918, the Luftfahrtruppen's strength peaked at 77 Fliks; only 16 were fighter squadrons. By 26 October, a fighter mass of some 400 Italian, British, and French airplanes attacked in the air even as Italian ground forces pushed for victory. The attrited Austro-Hungarians could only launch 29 airplanes in opposition.[18] The local armistice on 3 November 1918 was the effective end of the Luftfahrtruppen, as its parent nation passed into history. (Text via Wikipedia has been edited and modified).

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Kit Contents
The box comes with 2 uniformed K.u.K figures (one admin officer & one pilot) and they have separate arms. In most photo images these aviators wore heavy (leather outer / wool inner) winter coats and sometimes pants. Leggings were heavy fabric wraps that tucked inside the low quarter shoes and wrapped around the lower leg upto below the area just below the knees. The officer is wearing a great coat utility belt with a dress hat.

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Highs: Unusual subect matter, good proportions some good details.
Lows: Minute resin bubbles and voids need attention and primed before painting.
Verdict: Easy of assembly, good details and casual human like stances.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:48
  Mfg. ID: #WMM48002
  Suggested Retail: $15.47
  Related Link: webpage
  PUBLISHED: Jul 05, 2013

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About Stephen T. Lawson (JackFlash)

I was building Off topic jet age kits at the age of 7. I remember building my first WWI kit way back in 1964-5 at the age of 8-9. Hundreds of 1/72 scale Revell and Airfix kits later my eyes started to change and I wanted to do more detail. With the advent of DML / Dragon and Eduard I sold off my ...

Copyright ©2021 text by Stephen T. Lawson [ JACKFLASH ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


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