Spitfire MkXIV (Anti Diver)

Manufacturer: Corgi       Scale: 1:72       Collection: The Aviation Archive

The introduction of the powerful 2,035hp Griffon engined Spitfire MkXIV saw a performance improvement at all altitudes over the earlier Merlin engined variants. It gave the Spitfire a significant advantage over the German FW190A and it also made it ideal for tackling the menace of the V1 buzz-bomb flying bombs. No.91 Sqn, based at West Malling, achieved the best record against the flying bomb, shooting down 184 with its Mk XIVs. One of the squadrons most successful pilots during the V1 campaign was Flt Lt H.D. Johnny Johnson. In total he claimed 13.5 destroyed with his first (shared) kill being in Spitfire MkXIV RB188 on 23rd June, 1944. He brought down a further four buzz-bombs in the same aircraft which bore the distinctive nose art of a naked lady riding a V1. RB188 later served with 130 and 350 Sqns in Europe and was transferred to Thailand after the war.


Douglas C-47A (Buzz Buggy)

Manufacturer: Corgi       Scale: 1:72       Collection: The Aviation Archive

Douglas C-47A, 'Buzz Buggy', 81st Troop Carrier Squadron, 436th Troop Carrier Group - Based in Membury Mar 1944 to Feb 1945 Developed from the Douglas DC-3 airliner, the C-47 military transport variant served with the USAAF in a variety of roles including the airlifting of supplies and cargo, casualty evacuation, glider towing and perhaps most famously dropping paratroopers into combat zones. The subject of our model, C-47A-65-DL, serial number 42-100558 was built by the Douglas Aircraft Company in Long Beach, California, one of over 10,000 military versions produced by factories in the United States. Based at Membury in Berkshire, England from 1944 and given the nickname and nose art of Buzz Buggy, this C-47 served with the 81st Troop Carrier Squadron, 436th Troop Carrier Group and participated in the airborne assaults on Normandy, southern France Holland and Germany. In 1950 after an illustrious career with the USAAF, Buzz Buggy was transferred to the Uruguayan Air Force before being scrapped following an accident in 1959. Model features a modified cockpit window bar and D-Day markings.


Hawker Typhoon Mk1B (500Lb Bomb)

Manufacturer: Corgi       Scale: 1:72       Collection: The Aviation Archive

Following the success of the Hawker Hurricane as a fighter-bomber, it was logical that its successor the Typhoon should be considered for the same role and the first Typhoon fighter-bomber squadron was formed in late 1942. Armed with 500lb and, later, 1000lb bombs, these aircraft were quickly dubbed bomphoons by the press. As part of 2nd TAF, the all-Canadian 143 Wing played a vital role throughout the Normandy invasion and were at the forefront of hazardous low-level dive-bombing operations with these aircraft. While the rocket-firing Typhoons attacked road convoys and troop concentrations, the bomphoons were usually tasked with targets such as radar installations, strongpoints, road junctions and bridges. The model represents a typical aircraft of 439 Squadron, 143 Wing as it would have appeared during attacks on the Orne River bridges near Caen in July 1944.


Hawker Hurricane Mki R4118 (Battle of Britain 70th Anniversary)

Manufacturer: Corgi       Scale: 1:72       Collection: The Aviation Archive

Hawker Hurricane MkI, R4118, was delivered new to 605 (County of Warwick) Squadron on 17th August 1940. Bob Foster was posted to 605 Sqn during the Battle of Britain, flying Hurricanes throughout with much success. He flew several missions in Hurricane R4118 and it was in this aircraft that he damaged two Ju88s and shared in the destruction of a third. He finished the war with 7 confirmed victories and three probables. R4118 flew a total of 49 combat sorties during the Battle of Britain, with five enemy aircraft destroyed, before itself being shot down and damaged in October 1940. In December 1943 it was sent to India as a training aircraft but remained crated there until 1947 when it was struck off charge. It was then donated to a university for engineering instruction and remained there gradually decaying until, in 2001, it returned to the UK and was restored to full flying condition. As the only Hurricane from the Battle of Britain still flying, R4118 is regarded as the most historic British WWII aircraft to survive in flying condition. In 2005 there was a historic event as Wing Commander Bob Foster DFC and Hurricane R4118 were re-united for the first time in 65 years at the Biggin Hill Airshow in Kent.


Junkers JU88A-4 (Special Duties)

Manufacturer: Corgi       Scale: 1:72       Collection: The Aviation Archive

During early 1942, the Ju88C-6 was introduced onto the Junkers Assembly line. This variant was the fighter version of the A-4 bomber and 257 were produced for the Luftwaffe during the remainder of that year. The C-6 was used in both the night and day fighter roles and served on all fronts with many being issued to bomber units to form special Zerst├?┬Ěrer Squadrons. Here they flew daylight bomber escort and ground attack missions Its nose armament of 3 MG 17 machine guns with 800 to 1000 rounds per gun, one MG151 cannon with 350 rounds, or one MG-FFM cannon with 90-120 rounds soon taught allied pilots that different tactics had to be employed when attacking these heavy fighters. In a bid to trick Soviet fighter pilots into continuing their tried and tested bomber strategy of head on attacks, 4. Zerst├?┬Ěrerstaffel/KG 76 painted false bomber noses on their C-6s during the winter of 1942-43. F1+XM served with this unit from the end of 1942 based at Taganrog, in the Ukraine.


De Havilland Mosquito (487 Squadron)

Manufacturer: Corgi       Scale: 1:72       Collection: The Aviation Archive

RAF Banff was built for Coastal Command in 1942 in order to allow anti-shipping and anti-U boat operations over the north sea and around the coast of Norway. From October 1944 the Banff Strike Wing operated with mainly Mosquitoes. The Strike Wing crews often ran the gauntlet of heavy anti-aircraft fire as they penetrated deep into heavily defended Norwegian Fijords to attack shipping targets at anchor. The Wing achieved outstanding success but at a heavy loss with over 80 crews lost during the last months of the war 143 Sqn arrived at Banff in October 1944 operating Beaufighters but quickly converted to Mosquitoes. The 25lb AP rocket armed Mosquito FB MkVI HR405, NE-A was flown by by Squadron Leader David Pritchard DFC for a photo shoot in February 1945 and is therefore a well photographed aircraft. Its combat history is a little more sketchy but it is known to have been involved in the famous Banff Wing battle with FW190s of JG5 on 23rd March 1945 and it was unquestionably a real Banff veteran, serving with the Strike Wing from September 1944 until the end of the war when it transferred to 14 Squadron.


Boulton Paul Defiant (Battle of Britain 70th Anniversary)

Manufacturer: Corgi       Scale: 1:72       Collection: The Aviation Archive

No. 141 Sqn was originally formed on 1st January 1918 but was disbanded on 1st February 1920. The squadron reformed on 4th October 1939 at RAF Turnhouse and was first equipped with Gloster Gladiators then Bristol Blenheims. These were replaced with Boulton Paul Defiants in April 1940. The first operational patrol was flown on 29th June before moving to RAF West Malling in July. Its first and last daylight encounter with the enemy followed a few days later when 6 out of 9 aircraft were lost over the English Channel. The squadron changed from a day- to night-fighter role, which was far better suited to the Defiant. L7009 (TW-H) was flown by Flt. Lt. D. G. Donald with gunner Plt. Off. A.C. Hamilton. This aircraft was shot down by a Bf 109E of JG51 near Dover on 19th July 1940 and both crew members were killed. It featured a rare (for the RAF) but attractive nose art depicting a rooster with the name 'Cock o the North'.


Bristol Blenheim 1F Nightfighter (29 Sqn, RAF Digby, June 1940)

Manufacturer: Corgi       Scale: 1:72       Collection: The Aviation Archive

Although only entering RAF service in 1937 by the outbreak of WW2 very few Blenheim 1s remained in service with UK-based bomber squadrons, most having been superseded in the bomber role by the much improved MkIV. However the Mk1 continued in service as conversion and crew trainers with OTUs. However of far more significance were around 200 Mk1s that were converted to night fighters carrying the brand new AI (airborne Interception) radar. Similar in overall outline to the standard Mk1 bomber, the night fighter carried an additional under-fuselage pack housing four forward firing 0.303 machine guns. It was such equipped Mk1Fs that scored the first successful AI interception of enemy aircraft on the night of 2-3 July 1940. Blenheim Mk1F, L1327, based at RAF Digby in June 1940, looks remarkably similar to a standard Blenheim bomber apart from the ventral gun pack. It wasnt until December 1940 that the night fighters began to receive an overall black paint finish.


Messerschmitt Me110C (Battle Of Britain Mottled)

Manufacturer: Corgi       Scale: 1:72       Collection: The Aviation Archive

The Messerschmitt Bf110 was a twin engine heavy fighter known to the Luftwaffe as the Zerstorer (Destroyer). It proved devastatingly effective during the early months of WW2, as the Luftwaffe swept through Poland, Norway and France, where its high speed and concentrated firepower made it the ideal support aircraft for bombing raids into enemy territory. However the aircrafts lack of agility in the air was its main weakness and this was exposed during the Battle of Britain when the Zerstorer pilots came up against the well organised Spitfires and Hurricanes of the RAF. They were easy prey for the British fighters and suffered such heavy losses that some Bf110 units were withdrawn from the battle and redeployed as night fighters ├?┬╗ a role which was far better suited to the aircraft. The aircraft modelled is a Bf110C-4 from Zerstorergruppe (ZG) 52 operating from Charleville, France during the height of the Battle of Britain in 1940.


Spitfire PR XIX (BBMF)

Manufacturer: Corgi       Scale: 1:72       Collection: The Aviation Archive

Built in November 1945 as a high altitude photo reconnaissance aircraft with a Griffon 66 engine and pressurised cockpit, PM631 was too late to see operational service in WWII. She was delivered to the RAF in 1946 and issued to 203 Advanced Flying School in May 1949. Modified for meteorological work, she was flown with the Temperature and Humidity Monitoring (THUM) Flight based at Hooton Park and Woodvale. On 11 July 1957, in formation with Spitfires PS853 and PS915, the aircraft was flown to Biggin Hill to form the Historic Aircraft Flight which later developed into the BBMF. PM631 has remained in flying condition with the Flight and is the BBMFs longest serving aircraft, with 2008 having been her 51st year of continuous service. PM631 is painted as an early PR.XIX of 541 Squadron which performed high altitude reconnaissance missions over the European theatre from early 1944 to the end of the war. Appropriately the 541 Squadron motto was Alone Above All. Spitfire PR.XIXs were unarmed but could fly at 370mph at 40,000 feet (with pressurised cockpits) and had a range of 1500 miles, demonstrating the incredible development potential of the original Spitfire design.


Dornier Do-17 (Battle of Britain)

Manufacturer: Corgi       Scale: 1:72       Collection: The Aviation Archive

The prototype Do17 was built in 1934 in response to a Lufthansa requirement for a 6-passenger mailplane. However the design was rejected partly due to the slim fuselage which would later give the aircraft its nickname of The Flying Pencil. However military interest was shown in the design and it was developed as a medium bomber and long range reconnaissance aircraft. In 1937 Do17Es were sent to Spain and saw action in the civil war. Combat experience gained during this conflict shaped the further development of the aircraft and in particular the defensive armament was increased and a new nose added. The new variant was the Do17Z and this aircraft saw considerable action during the Battle of Britain in 1940. This aircraft features temporary white bar identification markings to denote an aircraft of 1 Staffel. Based at Beauvais-Tille in Northern France, the aircraft was used for daylight bombing raids over the British Isles in September 1940.


Focke Wulf FW190 (Oberstleutnant Walter Dahl)

Manufacturer: Corgi       Scale: 1:72       Collection: The Aviation Archive

Walter Dahl joined the German Army in 1935 before transferring to the Luftwaffe to become a fighter pilot. Dahl claimed his first victory on 22nd June 1941 during the German offensive against Russia. After a period with II Gruppe, he joined 4 Staffel, JG3 in December and accompanied the unit when it deployed to the Mediterranean Theatre. Dahl was promoted to Staffelkapitan in April 1942 and in August he returned to the eastern front where he was appointed Geschwaderadjutant JG3. In December he was awarded the German Cross in Gold. On 20th July 1943, Dahl was made Gruppenkommandeur of III./ JG3 and relocated to Munster in Germany to defend against allied bomber raids. Major Dahl was awarded the Knights Cross in March 1944 after recording 67 victories. He became Kommodore of JG z.b.v. before taking command of JG 300 on 27th June. Having been promoted to Oberst, Dahl was awarded the Oak Leaves in February 1945. Walther Dahl ended the war with 128 victories (including a B-17 by ramming!), achieved while flying a number of aircraft including FW190A-8 Blue 13. This model has been modified to include A8 bulged fuselage and wings.


Supermarine Spitfire MkI - K9789 (Squadron Ldr Henry Cozens)

Manufacturer: Corgi       Scale: 1:72       Collection: The Aviation Archive

19 Squadron was the first to receive Spitfires which replaced their open cockpit, fixed undercarriage Gauntlets biplanes. For pilots, the Spitfire was a huge step forward in technology. K9789 was the first and was flown by Squadron Leader Cozens on 11th August 1938. At this time there were no training units or even manuals and pilots were provided with only basic instructions before making their first flights. Orders were received to use K9789 for intensive trials and over 400 hours were flown by squadron pilots in a very short space of time and the findings reported. Various propeller types were used and it was found that the constant speed propeller was the best. As a result, all operational Spitfires were fitted with them before the start of the War. A bulged canopy was also recommended and adopted on future production aircraft along with other suggestions. K9789 survived the war but was scrapped in 1945.