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Corgi aviation archive model details

 
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39401 Corgi   Valiant B1 - 49 Sqn RAF, Op Grapple, White (2,000 ONLY) £ 0.00
      Out of stock
     
  Superb new Corgi casting in 1/144 scale of Vickers Valiant B Mk1 XD818 during Operation Grapple on Christmas Island in 1957. XD818 is the sole surviving example of the Valiant, preserved at Cosford. LIMITED TO ONLY 2,000 PIECES and now a total sellout everywhere.

Operation Grapple was the code name given to the British Hydrogen bomb tests carried out over the Pacific Ocean during 1957. Christmas Island was chosen as the operational base with the island of Malden, 400 miles south-east, designated as the target area. No. 49 Sqn, RAF Wittering was selected for the tests and specially modified Vickers Valiant B1 XD818 arrived in November 1956.
The aircraft had strengthened control surfaces, additional cameras and sensors and metal anti-flash window screens. Piloted by Wg Cdr Kenneth Hubbard, at 09:00 hours on May 15th 1957, Valiant XD818 took off carrying Britain’s first thermo-nuclear ‘H’ bomb, code named ‘Grapple 1’. Released at 10:36 hours from an altitude of 45000ft and detonated at 8000ft, the shock wave from the 0.3 megaton device was felt by the crew some 2.5 minutes after the blast. Wg Cdr Hubbard observed the mushroom cloud before landing back on Christmas Island at 11:20 hours. In recognition of their skill and professionalism, the crew of Valiant XD818 each received the Air Force Cross.

The Vickers-Armstrongs Valiant was a British four-jet bomber, once part of the Royal Air Force's V bomber nuclear force in the 1950s and 1960s. The Valiant was the first of the V bombers to become operational, and was followed by the Handley Page Victor and the Avro Vulcan; however it was noticably less advanced than its counterparts. Several Valiants were soon converted to perform various support roles, such as aerial refuelling tankers and reconnaissance aircraft.

The Valiant was originally intended for operations as high-level strategic bomber; advances in anti-aircraft technologies meant that a low-level mission profile was assumed. However, continous low-level flight led to a number of serious problems as the Valiant's wing spar attachment castings showed premature fatiguing and inter-crystalline corrosion traced to the use of an inappropriate type of aluminium alloy. Rather than proceeding with an expensive rebuilding program, the Valiant was formally retired in 1965. Its duties were continued by the other V-bombers which remained in service until the 1980s.
 
 
Picture of model:-
 

Corgi aviation archive general information

(note not all this information will apply to the above model)
 

The Corgi Aviation Archive features a vast selection of diecast model airplanes in 1:144, 1:72, 1:48 and 1:32 scales and has become the standard by which all other ranges are judged. Each Corgi model is based on a specific aircraft from an important historical or modern era of flight, and has been authentically detailed from original documents and archival material. Subject aircraft in the Aviation Archive appeal to all aviation enthusiasts and every diecast model airplane includes such features as:

  • Realistic panel lines, antennas, access panels and surface details.
  • Pad printed markings and placards that won't fade or peel like decals.
  • Interchangeable landing gear with rotating wheels.
  • Poseable presention stand to display the aircraft "in flight".
  • Many limited editions with numbered certificate of authenticity.
  • Detailed pilots and crew members (1:72/1:32).
  • Authentic detachable ordnance loads complete with placards (1:72/1:32).
  • Selected interchangeable features such as airbrakes, opened canopies and access panels (1:72/1:32).
  • Selected moving parts such as gun turrets, control surfaces and swing-wings (1:72/1:32).
 
 
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