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Corgi aviation archive model details

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39404 Corgi   Valiant B (PR) Mk1 - 543 Sqn, RAF (1,000 ONLY) £ 59.99
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  AA39404 is this exellent 1/144 scale diecast model of Vickers Valiant B(PR) MK.1 WZ3199 of 543 Sqn, RAF Wyton, Cambs in Jan 1957. Limited edition of only 1,000 pieces.

Delivered to 543 Squadron in October 1956, WZ399 had a short life with the squadron. Deployed on exercise `Snowdrop' in January of 1957, it was then that the aircraft received its distinctive red tail and wingtip markings, applied for operating over the Arctic Circle. The Valiants were based at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, where, in November 1961, the aircraft suffered technical problems during take-off. The take-off was aborted and the aircraft overshot the end of the runway, went down a steep slope and crossed a road only coming to a halt when it hit a railway embankment. The aircraft was totally destroyed by fire, the crew only surviving because the forward fuselage was separated from the rest of the wreckage. WZ399 was a PR variant of the Valiant, fitted with a number of powerful cameras in its bomb bay giving it a useful photo reconnaissance capability. However, the advent of powerful surface to air missiles made this role more and more hazardous, eventually causing the Valiant to be phased out in favour of the higher flying Canberra.

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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