Current and Finished Projects > Stories

Crouching Twotter/Hidden Dragon


Silver Fox:
The exploits of Canada's Malignant Mustelids spread around the aviation community, in the military sector most often by classified briefing papers. One such briefing paper landed on the desk of JASDF General Toshiro Mifune. Head of the Transport/Search and Rescue Wing located in the Fuchu suburb of Tokyo, he was amazed at what the Canadians had accomplished in such a short period of time. The JASDF didn't operate the Guardian, but it was worth looking at in more detail.

Leaving his office, he made his way down to the Flight Planning section where he could examine just how useful the technique might be. Using the powerful geographical database of the flight planning computer he first ran the same parameters the Canadians had faced. The result was disappointing, there were many places the Guardians could reach, but virtually all of them could also be reached by his CH-47 Chinooks. He was about to head back to his office when inspiration struck; 'Hmm,' he mused ' what if we could shorten the tail to just above the clearance required by the props?'

Re-running the search he was stunned, 173 locations! 59 virtually inaccessible by other aviation assets, and one that stood out above all others. The country home of the country's Prime Minister lay less than a kilometer from one of the flashing icons on the computer. Saving the file, he shut down the computer and returned to his office. There he started a new project file, but it needed a name. A movie buff like his parents, but with vastly different tastes, he settled on a suitable candidate after only a little thought. JASDF Project Hidden Dragon was officially launched with a few keystrokes.

Approval from the Diet was received with little trouble, to be expected when the sitting Prime Minister was a staunch supporter. Negotiations with Viking Air were somewhat more complex, Viking was perfectly willing to allow Kawasaki Air Industries to license produce the Guardian, but design authority was to remain with Viking, Eventually though, a deal was worked out and Viking began work on the prototype.

8 months later the prototype flew with JASDF, RCAF amd RCN officers in attendance. The new Guardian flew flawlessly, recieving rave reviews from the test pilot. The new Guardian looked nothing like its forebears. The sensor turret, retractable gear and strutless wing had been seen on the -500, but the aft was all new. The aft end was now flattened and further upswept. It flared out to a broad horizontal tail supporting two short vertical stabilizers per side, a fifth vertical tail rose from the center of the fuselage.

Inspecting the aircraft after the flight, General Mifune came to the port side near the cockpit. There, in neat Japanese and English was printed the name 'Kitsune'. The Viking representative explained; 'Sir, we are aware of the tragic circumstance surrounding the two species of Otter in Japan. We felt the symbolism unfortunate. In light of this we have christened the new type with a more auspicious name.'

General Mifune bowed deeply 'Arigato Gentlemen, Domo Arigato!'

Very nice adaptation of my suggestion.  'Twill be interesting to see them in SAR markings similar to those on the MU-2S.

I like it! And immediately started on a sideview. In the midst of a howling wind storm. Then the power went out for five hours. Was the Japan Current trying to give me a hint?

More to the point, had I saved my work? Had I, hell! Saving is for wimps! Very efficient, time-wise wimps ... ;P

So, today, start again from scratch. Experiment with obsessive saving of image. Click, click, save ... click, click, save ...

Anyhoo, her she is. Note that VHKI-6 may have been named Kitsune but that didn't stop the crews from adopting Kawauso-kun as their mascot. After all, the Guardian is an otter with magical powers!

Evan: I considered the bold MU-2S SAR markings but, in the end, thought that the U-25A scheme would be better suited should the Kitsune ever be called upon to do anything more aggressive than SAR.

Silver Fox:
That is so cool! I thought it might be short of vertical stabilizer area, but I guess not. :)
It looks fantastic!


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