Beast Era Optimus

Some cool titanium machining images:

Beast Era Optimus

Image by Clement Soh
Beast Wars Era Optimus Primals / Leaders

Lockheed A-11 midsection- bare titanium skin, heat-rejecting tires, D-21 drone

Image by wbaiv
101-0147_IMG

Monogram 1/400 Boeing 2707-200 SST

Image by wbaiv
The other side of this one…. its a sllightly different configuration of 2707-200 but generally very similar to the Revell double kit that came with one in landing/takeoff configuration (like this. wings forward, AND nose drooped) and the other in high speed cruise configuration- wings swept, nose up. 1/200 and quick big, this "little" kit is no small potatoes. With the Concorde settled into the Mach 2, dumb-old-aluminum 100+ passenger niche, the airliner makers, airlines, FAA and Congress whipped themselves into a fizz with a titanium airframe, 250+ passengers, Mach 3 or better.
The variable geometry "Swing wing" was meant to provide maximum lift at low speeds and minimum drag at high speeds… In the end, the US fielded two VG airplanes, the F-111 and the F-14, the Soviets built three, the Su-17/22 ("FLANKER"?), an evolution of the Su-11, the MiG-23/27 "FLOGGER" family and the Su-24 "FENCER". Panavia’s Tornado 200 multirole aircraft for UK, Germany, Italy and (later) Saudi Arabia rounds out the collection.
The weight penalty for swing wings was larger than hoped, and particularly for a commercial airliner. When the airframe detailed design and the GE engine detailed design were done, Boeing had an airplane that could hold the target number of passengers, and could fly the Atlantic- New York to Paris, as required, but not do both at the same time. The transatlantic flight only worked with no passengers or luggage….
If you don’t believe my "treehugger" opinion, check out any competent history of Boeing, say Legend and Legacy. At the end of the day, the 2707-300 had a similar fuselage with a fixed wing, just like the Lockheed bid that was rejected for being not high tech enough.

Ok, but I still think the 2707-200 was a beautiful airplane. To be a successful SST, it would have had to be scaled down- same engines with smaller passenger volume, larger fuel volume and possibly greater wing area. I’m pretty fond of the F-14, MiG-23/27, F-111 and Tornado, but we’re unlikely to see another plane along these lines built.
DSC_0048

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