New 2018 Corgi Aviation Archive Catalogue out now !
The 1st half 2018 Corgi Aviation Archive catalogue is now out and has been well received judging by the pre-orders already placed. Thank you very much for your support. I have listed all the new models below to view, together with the editorial from Corgi’s catalogue. Please take a look and if you wish to place an order, simply click on any of the photos / links below and it will take you straight through to the model of your choice. Alternatively you can CLICK HERE to see them all.
Please remember, if you order through your credit or debit card Flying Tigers will not charge your credit card / debit card until your model has arrived with us and is available to dispatch. In addition there is NO DEPOSIT necessary to pre-order your models through Flying Tigers ! We also offer a consolidation service , where we combine your orders at your request in order to save postage costs.
Catalinas were the most extensively used anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft in both the Atlantic and Pacific Theaters of World War II, and were also used in the Indian Ocean, flying from the Seychelles and from Ceylon. Their duties included escorting convoys to Murmansk. By 1943, U-boats were well-armed with anti-aircraft guns and two Victoria Crosses were won by Catalina pilots pressing home their attacks on U-boats in the face of heavy fire: Flying Officer John Cruickshank of the RAF, in 1944, for sinking U-347 (although the submarine is now known to have been U-361 and in the same year Flight Lieutenant David Hornell of the Royal Canadian Air Force (posthumously) against U-1225. Catalinas destroyed 40 U-boats, but not without losses of their own.
The SEPECAT Jaguar is a British-French jet attack aircraft originally used by the British Royal Air Force and the French Air Force in the close air support and nuclear strike role. It is still in service with the Indian Air Force.
Originally conceived in the 1960s as a jet trainer with a light ground attack capability, the requirement for the aircraft soon changed to include supersonic performance, reconnaissance and tactical nuclear strike roles. A carrier-based variant was also planned for French service, but this was cancelled in favour of the cheaper Dassault Super Étendard. The airframes were manufactured by SEPECAT (Société Européenne de Production de l’avion Ecole de Combat et d’Appui Tactique), a joint venture between Breguet and the British Aircraft Corporation, one of the first major joint-Anglo-French military aircraft programs.
The Jaguar was exported to India, Oman, Ecuador and Nigeria. With various air forces, the Jaguar was used in numerous conflicts and military operations in Mauritania, Chad, Iraq, Bosnia, and Pakistan, as well as providing a ready nuclear delivery platform for Britain, France, and India throughout the latter half of the Cold War and beyond. In the Gulf War, the Jaguar was praised for its reliability and was a valuable coalition resource. The aircraft served with the French Air Force as the main strike/attack aircraft until 1st July 2005, and with the Royal Air Force until the end of April 2007. It was replaced by the Panavia Tornado and the Eurofighter Typhoon in the RAF and the Dassault Rafale in the French Air Force.
For the RAF student pilot hoping to eventually fly the capable Eurofighter Typhoon, he or she will first have to successfully negotiate training in such aircraft as the Grob Tutor, Shorts Tucano and BAe Hawk before arriving at either RAF Coningsby or Lossiemouth to realise their dream. The final stage of this training could be a seat in a Typhoon T.3, which is the latest twin-seat pilot conversion training aircraft for the RAF’s Eurofighter Typhoon force and one of the most advanced aircraft in the world.
Whilst this aircraft is specifically designed to allow student pilots to gain experience in flying the RAF’s premier air defence fighter aircraft, it retains full combat capability and in times of conflict will join the rest of the Typhoon force in defending Britain’s airspace. As the Typhoon platform continues to develop into an effective multi-role aircraft, the T.3 will be training future RAF Typhoon pilots for many years to come.
As one of the world’s most capable low-level strike aircraft, able to operate at day or night and in all weather conditions, it is sobering to think that the RAF began operating the Panavia Tornado over 35 years ago and it is now very much in the twilight of its service career. Seeing plenty of action during this time, the Tornado has been at the forefront of the RAFs offensive capability, with successive upgrades and improvements allowing the aircraft to deliver the latest precision munitions effectively and gather vital battlefield reconnaissance information.
During Operation Ellamy in 2011, Tornados operating from RAF Marham and a forward operating base at Gioia del Colle in Southern Italy were involved in combat missions over Libya, imposing a no-fly zone during the Libyan Civil war and protecting the civilian population from possible attack. Equipped with Sky Shadow ECM pods to help the aircraft evade enemy interception over the combat zone and the devastatingly effective Storm Shadow air launched cruise missile, RAF Tornados destroyed numerous armoured vehicles and artillery pieces, ensuring the success of the operation.
As one of the world’s most impressive heavy lift helicopters, the mighty Chinook has become one of the most important aircraft of the modern era and is never too far away from the action, delivering troops and supplies or providing casualty evacuation support. As the largest Chinook operator outside the US, the home of Britain’s Chinook force is RAF Odiham in Hampshire but as their aircraft are always in high demand, many of the based Chinooks can be deployed on operations at any time.
RAF No.27 Squadron have been associated with the Chinook since 1993, but the unit can trace their history back to 1915 and the first aircraft they operated, the Martinsyde G.100 ‘Elephant’. This rather large and cumbersome aircraft was used by the squadron for bombing and reconnaissance operations during the Great War, with an elephant also being used as the centrepiece of the No. 27 Squadron badge. To mark the centenary commemorations of the squadron, Chinook HC.4 ZA683 was given a special paint scheme, which featured an elephants head on the tail rotor housing and a profile of the Martinsyde G.100 in a commemorative badge on the fuselage. This was certainly one of the most dramatic centenary schemes applied to an RAF aircraft to date.
As 2018 marks the Centenary of the Royal Air Force, we can expect to see many RAF Squadrons commemorating the occasion by presenting one of their aircraft in attractive special markings. This is always popular with aircrew and enthusiasts alike and over the years has resulted in some memorable and extremely photogenic aircraft in the skies of Britain. As one of the oldest Squadrons in the RAF, No.100 Squadron are rightly proud of their heritage and to mark the occasion of their 95th Anniversary in 2012, they presented one of their BAe Hawk T.1 aircraft in a striking Bomber Command scheme.
Avro Lancaster EE139 ‘Phantom of the Ruhr’ represented the Squadron for the first 29 of its operational missions, before going on to amass an impressive tally of 121 total missions during WWII and was used as the inspiration for this Hawk scheme. Applied to the Commanding Officer’s aircraft, Hawk XX246 instantly became one of the most popular aircraft in the Royal Air Force and a fitting tribute to both the history of 100 Squadron and the men and women who have served over the years.
As one of the great aircraft of the Second World War, the De Havilland Mosquito can claim to be the world’s first truly effective multi-role aircraft, possessing great speed and being equally adept at performing missions as either a fighter or a bomber. When entering full production, the Mosquito was the fastest aircraft in the world and a closely guarded RAF secret – pilots operating the first Mosquito raids over occupied territory were instructed to burn their aircraft if crash landing safely, to avoid the Mosquito falling into German hands.
Constructed almost entirely of wooden laminate, the aircraft soon came to the attention of the British public, who referred to the Mosquito as the ‘Wooden Wonder’, a bomber that was able to out-run the Luftwaffe. From a German perspective, the Mosquito was arguably the British aircraft they coveted the most and despite attempts to produce their own equivalent, they could never match the impressive performance of the RAF Mosquito.
The aircrew of Bomber Command made a significant contribution to the war effort in WWII and were to pay a heavy price for their devotion to duty. Arguably the aircraft that best illustrates their contribution and the men who sadly paid the ultimate price is Avro Lancaster ED888 PM-M2 ‘Mike Squared’. This magnificent aircraft completed an astonishing 140 bombing missions – the most flown by any Lancaster in WWII. Known as ‘The Mother of Them All’, this Lancaster managed to survive the war, shooting down two Luftwaffe fighters in the process. Avro Lancaster ED888 was the most prolific of the ‘Ton-up’ Lancasters and is a fitting way to mark the 75th anniversary of the first flight of Avro’s most famous bomber.
The famous Avro Lancaster four engine heavy bomber was Britain’s most successful bomber of WWII, but it had to endure something of a troubled start. Its twin-engined predecessor, the Manchester, was ultimately classed as a failure, but included many of the design features that went on to make the Lancaster such a resounding success. With a huge, unobstructed bomb bay, the Lancaster could carry a massive bomb load and was capable of delivering the largest individual bombs used by the RAF in WWII. Powered by four Rolls-Royce Merlin engines, the first Lancasters were delivered to RAF No.44 (Rhodesia) Squadron at Waddington, on Christmas Eve, 1941.
It is difficult to imagine how the young men of Fighter Command managed to cope with the rigors of aerial combat during the Battle of Britain. Facing overwhelming odds and with the fate of the nation squarely in their hands, they were forced to fight for their lives on almost a daily basis and for Britain to survive, they would have to shoot down enemy aircraft at a rate of almost 4 to 1. Their bravery and determination is now the stuff of legend and the many stories of heroism and almost unbelievable devotion to duty they displayed, continue to inspire many people to this day.
One such incident occurred on 7th October 1940, when Pilot Officer Ken Mackenzie was chasing a damaged Messerschmitt Bf 109 over the south coast. Having used up all his ammunition, he was determined not to let the Luftwaffe fighter limp back to France, only to threaten his RAF comrades another day. Manoeuvring his Hurricane close to the low flying 109, he used his wing tip to sever the port stabilizer of the Messerschmitt, sending it spinning into the sea and taking the outer section of his own wing with it. He was then set upon by two more 109s and sustaining damage to his Hurricane, just managed to avoid cliffs near Folkestone and belly land his fighter in the first field he saw. The 24 year old Mackenzie quickly returned to action and claimed at least seven enemy aircraft destroyed during the Battle of Britain.
One of the most fascinating aspects of aerial conflict during the Second World War was the subject of ‘Presentation Spitfires’. Although other aircraft were certainly procured in this manner, the Spitfire was seen as being the fighter of the moment and the one which would bring the Commonwealth deliverance against their enemies. Desperate to do their bit and support the war effort, communities throughout Britain and the entire Commonwealth put aside the hardships of their wartime existence and enthusiastically gave what they could to their local Spitfire fund.
Taking great pride in the knowledge that their community could finance and put their name to a new Spitfire that could represent them in the battles raging in the skies above Europe, these aircraft helped to galvanise the nation in our time of greatest need. The aircraft themselves were simply taken from the current production lines, but were allowed to bear the names of the individuals, companies and communities who had bought them, whilst being careful not to compromise the standard camouflage scheme.
Representing something of a golden era for British aviation, the 1930s saw a rapid expansion of the Royal Air Force and the service introduction of several aircraft types that could claim to be the ultimate biplane fighter. At the head of this group, the beautiful Hawker Fury came at the end of a long line of successful Hawker biplane designs and when it entered RAF service with No.43 Squadron in the summer of 1931, it became the fastest fighter aircraft in their history.
Viewed as a thoroughbred fighter, only the best pilots of the RAF’s elite squadrons were selected to fly the capable Hawker Fury, which was seen to represent the effectiveness and professionalism of the modern Royal Air Force. No.1 Squadron began receiving their Hawker Furys in February 1932 and this early example is presented with the larger pre-1934 roundels and rudder stripes, as well as having the individual flight’s colours painted on the top fuselage decking. As the ‘C’ Flight Commander’s aircraft, it also carries the flight’s yellow colour on the fin, spinner and wheel covers giving this handsome aircraft an even more striking appearance.
As one of the classic fighter aircraft of the First World War, the fast and agile SE5a helped the Allied air forces wrestle control of the air over the Western Front from the Luftstreitkrafte in 1917 and in conjunction with the Sopwith Camel, ensured they maintained air superiority for the remainder of the war. A product of the Royal Aircraft Factory at Farnborough, early SE5 fighters were blighted by persistent engine problems, which resulted in their squadron introduction being rather slow and it would consequently be well into 1918 before large numbers could be committed to combat.
The particular aircraft featured here claimed one of the final aerial victories of the war, when it shot down a German Fokker DVII fighter just one day before the armistice came into effect. It must also be considered one of the most historic aircraft in the history of the Royal Air Force, as it continues to fly in the colours it wore during that final combat to this day, as part of the famous Shuttleworth Collection at Old Warden airfield.
As the air war above the trenches of the Western Front became almost as bloody as the carnage taking place on the ground, Allied and German air forces vied to gain supremacy of the skies. Just as one side introduced an aircraft that proved superior to those used by their adversaries, its dominance would be short lived, as new aircraft would quickly be introduced to counter it. The Sopwith Triplane provided British airmen with a fast and agile fighter aircraft that gave them a slight advantage for a period, but seemed to hold a particular fascination for the Germans, who immediately instructed their aircraft manufacturers to develop their own triplane designs.
Amongst the designs which progressed to production, the Fokker DR.1 series of fighters were arguably amongst the most famous of the entire war and were the chosen mount of many of the Luftstreitkrafte’s most accomplished aces. Possessing an impressive rate of climb and superb dogfighting manoeuvrability, the Fokker Dreidecker was an exceptional fighting machine at lower altitudes, but for an aircraft that enjoyed such widespread notoriety, comparatively few actually saw service over the Western Front.
The Messerschmitt Bf 109 series of fighters were produced in greater numbers than any other fighter aircraft in history and saw service throughout the entire Second World War. The final K-4 version was the fastest of the Daimler Benz powered 109s, capable of speeds in excess of 440mph, compared to the 330mph of the Battle of Britain era ‘Emil’. Constantly developed and upgraded, the sleek and cultured late war machines bore little resemblance to the angular fighters that swept across Europe in the early months of WWII, despite the basic airframe remaining almost identical.
Contrary to common misconception, the Messerschmitt remained an extremely competent fighter aircraft throughout WWII and in the hands of an experienced pilot was more than capable of challenging the very latest Allied designs. Unfortunately, by the later stages of WWII, the Luftwaffe was simply unable to call on the services of experienced fighter pilots and was running out of new aircraft, spares and fuel. Despite this, history will note that some of the world’s most successful air aces used the Bf 109 to gain many of their victories.
As the savage aerial fighting above the evacuation beaches of Dunkirk was taking a heavy toll on both sides, the airmen of Britain and Germany knew this was just a pre-curser of a more significant battle to come. Having lost valuable fighters during the Battle of France and Operation Dynamo, the RAF knew that they were facing a battle-hardened enemy, equipped with the most feared fighter aircraft in the world, the agile and heavily armed Messerschmitt Bf 109, which had ruthlessly cleared European skies of all opposition air forces sent against it.
Supremely confident and possessing much greater numbers, the fighter pilots of the Luftwaffe would be at a disadvantage for the first time, fighting against an organised RAF, equipped with excellent fighters of their own and having extremely well trained pilots. The Germans would also be fighting over enemy territory with the English Channel acting as a physical and psychological barrier during combat – if they were shot down, or suffered mechanical difficulties, their chances of getting back to France were now looking much less likely. Despite these new challenges, swarms of Messerschmitts crossed the Channel, determined to break the resolve of the Royal Air Force.
Focke Wulf Fw190A-8/R2 ‘Black 8’ Unteroffizier Willi Maximowitz, II Staffel (Sturm) IV/JG.3, Dreux Airfield, France, June 1944
Having survived the Luftwaffe onslaught during the Battle of Britain, the RAF had replenished their fighter numbers, which included the latest versions of the Supermarine Spitfire, to a point where they began mounting offensive sweeps over Northern Europe. As these became more successful, the arrival of a new German fighter caused serious concern amongst RAF commanders, as increasing numbers of their fighters were falling to the guns of this fearsome new opponent. If the Messerschmitt Bf 109 was considered a thoroughbred fighter, the new Focke Wulf Fw190 was much more of a workhorse aircraft, likened by some pilots as being ‘industrial’ in its construction and operation.
It was a fast, manoeuvrable and heavily armed fighter, designed from the outset to be rugged in the field and relatively easy to fly and at lower altitudes, it proved to be almost invincible in the hands of a capable pilot. The Focke Wulf quickly earned a fearsome reputation for its ruthless effectiveness in combat and was given the nickname ‘Wurger’, which translates to Shrike, or Butcher Bird, a carnivorous bird with something of a murderous reputation. The Focke Wulf Fw190 would go on to see extensive service throughout the remainder of WWII, with over 20,000 aircraft being produced during this time – it is without doubt one of the greatest fighter aircraft to ever take to the skies.
There are few aircraft in the history of aviation that can boast the importance and reputation enjoyed by that of the Douglas DC-3/C-47™ series. This revolutionary aircraft was responsible for establishing comfortable and reliable passenger air travel throughout America in the 1930s, as well as attracting significant interest from the US Army. As America watched Europe and the Far East plunged into conflict, they needed an effective aircraft to potentially transport troops into combat areas and resupply their forces wherever they may be operating and a military version of the rugged and reliable DC-3 was the ideal solution.
The Douglas C-47 Skytrain™ proved to be one of the most significant aircraft of the Second World War, keeping Allied forces on the move and the enemy on the back foot. In the years following the end of WWII, war weary C-47s were called upon once more, this time in a historic attempt to keep the city of Berlin supplied by air, following the imposition of a Soviet blockade. The ‘Fassberg Flyer’ was one of the aircraft involved in this operation, flying coal into the former Luftwaffe airfield at Fassberg. The Berlin Airlift is considered as one of the most significant events in the history of aviation.
The pace of fixed wing aviation development throughout the Second World War was quite simply breath-taking and clearly illustrated the importance aeroplanes would have during this and any future conflict, but as these aircraft became faster and larger, a new type of aircraft was also beginning to finally show its true potential. The US Sikorski R-4 was the world’s first massed produced helicopter and the only Allied aircraft of its kind to see service during WWII – it also proved how flexible the helicopter was in a number of applications.
The race was now on to develop a larger design which possessed the power and range to deliver both troops and supplies, with the 1949 Sikorski H-19 Chickasaw proving to be the breakthrough design the helicopter world had been looking for. Stable and powerful, this significant aircraft became the US Army’s first true transport helicopter and the envy of the aviation world, with Britain being a particularly keen admirer. Having evaluated a number of aircraft, a licence agreement was duly signed to allow Westland Aircraft to produce the helicopter for the British military – known as the Whirlwind, the first British build prototype flew in August 1953.
Hobbymaster New Tooling and Model Announcements !
Hobbymaster have just announced the latest models available to pre-order now. This includes a BRAND NEW TOOLING of the Su-25 SM “Frogfoot” which can now be pre-ordetred from Flying Tigers. Simply click on the image of your choice below to go straight to the modelof your choice or CLICK HERE to see them all.
Hobbymaster Updated Photo Gallery
I have updated the complete photo galleries for all the models below. Please click on any of the photos below to go straight to the model of your choice.
That is all for this week. Thank you for taking time to read this week’s Newsletter.
By the way, I have COMPLETELY lost my voice, I can only now whisper.
I cannot talk on the phone and according to the doctor it might take a couple of weeks to come back.
Jo is with me in the office Monday to Friday, so she can take your orders as normal if you wish to order by phone. Alternatively you can leave a message on the answer machine and your order / pre-orders will be dealt with.