This article follows on from the previous article about the well known jet trainers of Europe – if you haven’t read it click here to go to the article.
Among the major jet trainers in Europe, several innovators developed other jet trainers – either to compete on the international market or to satisfy demand within their own
countries. Some times, it was simply developing existing designs for a companies own needs. Some of the aircraft were successful, some saw little service, and some were simply overshadowed by their larger brethren.
Fokker S-14 Machtrainer
Fokker had a long history in aviation. Unsurprisingly it was one of the first to think of and develop a dedicated platform for a jet trainer. The Fokker S-14 Machtrainer (to give it it’s full title) started it’s research and development life in the late 1940s and did live to be one of the first jet trainers in the world. The aircraft was of rather conventional design and had it’s first flight in 1951.
It was expected that it would serve with several airforces. Of course, the Royal Netherlands Airforce utilised the aircraft. However, it was expected that Brazil would place and order for 50 aircraft. This, perhaps sadly, dropped due to a change in political climate and left the aircraft without any overseas orders – and only 21 aircraft built.
This is perhaps why – despite being a massive step forward in aviation in Europe – it is often overlooked or forgotten; maybe this is why only one kit exists of this early stage jet trainer.
The kit in question is from Czech Master Resin. It retails for around €25-40 depending on
where you can get it from. The kit itself, as the manufacturer is known for, is resin. This does mean it is not recommended for beginner modellers but worth adding to the stash for later if you’re particularly infatuated with the aircraft. It is a reasonably accurate kit -bar the wheels being slightly disproportioned and the tail/fuselage blend being a little too severe. These are minor issues that can easily be resolved with some modelling putty and sanding, and the infamous spares box.
Morane-Saulnier MS 760
This aircraft is a development of an aircraft that lost in the jet trainer competition against the Fouga Magister. This aircraft is larger, and was less trainer focused than it’s predecessor but was used as a jet trainer, though in a far more limited capacity – often being used for liaison and photographic purposes as well (and Brazil also already had the Fouga Magister).
Only one model kit exists by Aero File in 1/72. It sells for around €16-20 and is of fairly good quality. The detail is quite good and features decals to build 3 aircraft (and the slightly different parts between the French/Argentinian and Brazilian versions).
Spain had an industry that built aircraft throughout the 1940s – often licensed built aircraft or modified existing aircraft (like their variation of the Fokker DXXI). In the 1950s the realisation that a jet trainer was needed was undertaken by Hispano – with the assistance of W Messerschmitt. The aircraft was a pretty conventional design but was also capable of light attack.
It first flew in 1955 but didn’t enter service until 1962. The trainer and light attack versions totalled 212 (with 90 licence built). The light attack variant was labelled the HA-220. The aircraft was exported to Egypt and remained in service with Spain as a single seat variant until 1981.
Only 2 kits exist of the Hispano jet trainer (a Special Hobby exists for the Ha-220 strike version). Firstly is the MPM injection kit. This is a relatively well made kit – with acceptable detailing. It is a limited run kit (so be warned for normal Q.A variances) but is pretty easy to come by at around €20-25.
The resin kit has been under a vast amount of names. Some include the wings and the fuselage as a single piece, some appear to have these as separate parts. Either way these aren’t as common as the MPM kit and feature a vacufrom canopy. They’re also not as easy to find and tend to sell for about €15 anyway. Personally, I’d spend the extra and get the MPM kit.
PZL TS-11 Iskra
Poland’s air industry had a lot of icons – such as the PZL P.11C. Even today it continues to develop existing aircraft and helicopters with relative success. In the cold war, however, the Soviet Union wanted a single jet trainer across the Soviet states. Two main competitors existed; the L-29 – covered in our previous article – would eventually win against the PZL TS-11 Iskra.
The TS-11 Iskra, however, achieved success in it’s home nation. Although not as widely
produced it was prominently used by Bialo-Czerwone Iskry and continues to be a trainer within the Polish Airforce (with replacement starting in late 2016). The aircraft was also exported to India and was in service for nearly three decades, being retired at the end of 2004.
Kits for this aircraft are quite easy to locate. Plastyk/Mastercraft have a number of different variants – but they’re essentially all birthed from the same basic mould. They aren’t the most detailed and do require some scratch building and filler to get a competition level kit. It does, however, make an excellent ‘training’ model as it’s inexpensive – at €5-10 a piece. Variants for the naval, trainer, and Indian aircraft exist. There is also an Iskry Team variant but it contains almost standard decals and after-market decals and masking tape are required.
Arama Models – a new start up in modelling – has released a kit recently too. Currently in deluxe double kit only, but modern and relatively well detailed. It features photo-etch metal parts and lots of decal options available – but Iskra team would still require masking tape and patience as no decals are present. At the moment it costs around €40-45 for the deluxe double kit but a single kit and ‘basic’ (no photo-etch parts) will be released ‘soon’ for lower respective prices. I’d highly recommend this kit if you’re a TS-11 fanatic or have a higher budget for your model kits.
Sweden has a famous history of indigenous aircraft that really found it’s footing in the
1940s. The nation had not produced it’s own dedicated trainer, however, and was relying on the Vampire until the development of the Saab 105 – which first flew in 1963. Although this is later than most of the other aircraft in this list it was their first ‘modern’ trainer that replaced jet aircraft like the Vampire and I felt that it’s somewhere between first and second generation trainers. It entered service a few years later in 1967.
It featured a higher tail configuration, with a side-by-side cockpit. The cockpit could also be converted to a 4 seat VIP transport at minimal effort, showing the ingenuity of SAAB for this aircraft.
The aircraft was widely used in Sweden, and was also exported to Austria as well. It was also proposed and pitched to Finland and Switzerland, but neither nation chose the type for service. In Swedish service and Austrian service it was used by national aerobatic teams. Currently the Saab 105 is still used quite often as a solo display by the Austrian Airforce.
Only one kit exists for the Saab 105. It is a Marivox kit, and has a reputation for
needing patience. Luckily Marivox do also have a reputation for giving a fair amount of detail in their kits, and the options for Swedish, Team 60, and Austrian service are present. After-market decals also exist – my personal favourite being the striking Austrian 40 Jahre scheme used in 2014.
Next we’ll look at the aircraft that came to replace or complement these trainers – in Europe’s modern trainers!