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32608 Corgi   Lancaster B.Mk III - 617 Sqn Dambuster, Guy Gibson VC £ 159.99
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  Corgi Aviation Archive 1/72 scale AA32608: Avro Lancaster B.Mk III ED932, Guy Gibson of 617 (Dambusters) Sqn, Ruhr Valley Dam, Germany, Operation Chastise, May 16th 1943. Complete with battery operated working targetting Spotlights

Length 11.75 inches Wingspan 17 inches

In 1943 the most publicised bombing raid of the entire war took place. Identified as a key target in winning the war, the great dams, which supplied the hydroelectric power to the heart of Germany and based in the Ruhr Valley, were attacked. Having already become a legendary leader within Bomber Command, the expertise of Guy Gibson was once again called upon, this time to form a special squadron, known as the Dambusters, to make the attack. On the night of the 16/17th May 1943,19 modified Lancasters (including Gibson's own, AJ-G) of 617 Squadron took off from Scampton for 'Operation Chastise. Each aircraft carried an 'upkeep' mine (also known as a bouncing bomb) developed by Dr. Barnes Wallis and the raid was deemed a great success. Both the Mohne and Eder Dams were breached. releasing a torrent of water which flooded the whole of the valley, causing great disruption to industry and communications.

The aircraft were adapted Avro Lancaster Mk IIIs, known as B Mark III Special. To reduce weight, much of the armour was removed, as was the mid-upper turret. The substantial bomb and its unusual shape meant that the bomb doors were removed and the bomb itself hung, in part, below the body of the aircraft. It was mounted in two crutches and before dropping, it was spun up to speed by an auxiliary motor. Bombing from 60 ft (18 m) at 240 mph (390 km/h), at a very precise distance from the target, required expert crews, intensive night and low-altitude flight training, and the solutions to two technical problems. The first was to know when the aircraft was the correct distance from the target. The two key dams at Möhne and Eder had a tower at each end. A special aiming device (a device with two prongs making the same angle as the two towers at the correct distance from the dam) showed when to release the bomb. The second problem was to measure the aircraft's altitude (the usual barometric altimeters lacked sufficient accuracy). Two spotlights were mounted, one under the nose and another under the fuselage, such that at the correct height their light beams would converge on the surface of the water.

Designed to meet a specification for a new generation of "worldwide use" medium bombers, the Avro Lancaster was first flown on January 8, 1941. The design of the Lancaster evolved from an unsuccessful two-engine aircraft called the Manchester. The heavier Lancaster had four engines and an extensive bomb bay, with later versions capable of carrying 22,000 lb bombs. Used primarily as a night bomber, the Lancaster was a versatile aircraft that became most famous for its role in the 1943 "Dam Buster" raids on Germany's Ruhr Valley dams. Between 1942 and 1945, Lancasters flew 156,000 sorties, dropping 608,612 tons of bombs on enemy targets.
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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