This executive model represents the WV-2, the Navy version of the EC-121 Warning Star. Based on the Lockheed Super Constellation, these predecessors of the AWACS aircraft of today helped protect Americaâ€™s coasts during the early days of the Cold War. Painstakingly built from Philippine mahogany by skilled craftsmen using a wealth of detail, this 1/72-scale model WV-2 (EC-121M) makes a great gift for any veteran, pilot, aviation enthusiast or history buff.
Based on the Lockheed Super Constellation, WV-2s served from 1956 to 1965 in two "barrier" forces, one off each coast of the North American continent. These barrier forces consisted of five surface picket stations each manned by radar destroyer escorts and an air wing of WV-2s that patrolled the picket lines at 3,000-12,000 foot altitudes in six to 20-hour missions.
The Navy received 142 of the EC-121s produced. While barrier operations off the United States ended in 1965, the Navy continued to operate the aircraft until 1975 in other areas and in other roles, including gathering electronic intelligence and weather reconnaissance.
The WV-2/EC-121 was 116 feet long, with a wingspan of 126 feet. Typical flight crew was six, with 11 to 25 radar operators aboard. With a range of more than 4,000 miles, these aircraft were capable of very long patrols.