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Rotadyne and 3 more recent releases

...from Airfix, for January 2024

Re-introduction with new schemes – NOW AVAILABLE

Four new releases to kick off 2024 from Airfix. Three are re-released items but with new colour and marking schemes. The fourth is perhaps my favourite as it has been out of production for 27 years, the Fairy Rotadyne. Only 1 prototype was built, and it was finally scrapped at White Waltham airfield in Berkshire. It is especially interesting as I am a volunteer at the Museum of Berkshire Aviation, at Woodley, near Reading. We have the smaller prototype still in one piece, a unique exhibit, the Fairy Gyrodyne. A few parts of the scrapped Rotadyne remain on display at the Helicopter Museum at Weston-Super-Mare.

A09182A Gloster Meteor F.8
A08019A Vickers Wellington Mk.IA/C
A06015A North American B-25C/D Mitchell

Vintage Classics
A04002V Fairey Rotodyne

A09182A Gloster Meteor F.8
Ranked at skill level 3, the 1:48 scale A09182A Gloster Meteor F.8 re-introduction includes two new schemes, allowing you to create two striking display teams of the past. This kit consists of 165 parts and measures a total wingspan of 236mm and 287mm in length.
In many respects, the Gloster Meteor could be regarded as Britain's jet powered equivalent of the Spitfire, the first of a new breed of fighter which would go on to patrol Britain's skies for many years following its squadron introduction in July 1944.
The later F.8 variant was arguably the most effective version of the Meteor and for the five years ollowing its introduction, it would form the backbone of the Britain's fighter defence force. With 1,183 aircraft built, the F.8 was both the final single seat fighter variant of the Meteor and the most heavily produced, arguably making this one of the most important British aircraft of the post war era.
Scheme A: Gloster Meteor F.8, Evergreen Display Team, College of Air Warfare, RAF, 1963-64.
Scheme B: Gloster Meteor F.8, The Meteorites Aerobatic Team, RAAF, Williamstown, 1956.

A08019A Vickers Wellington Mk.IA/C
Ranked at skill level 3, the 1:72 scale A08019A Vickers Wellington Mk.IA/C re-introduction includes two new schemes depicting a Mk.IA variant from Royal Air Force Honington in 1939, and scheme B gives you the option to build something extremely different, a Mk.IC from (formerly) 311 Squadron in Luftwaffe markings. This kit consists of 141 parts and measures a total wingspan of 365mm and 272mm in length.
The most capable medium bomber of the day was the twin-engine Vickers Wellington, which first flew in 1936 and entered RAF service with No.99 Squadron at Mildenhall in October 1938. The production aircraft bore little resemblance to the prototype aircraft and compared to contemporary medium bombers already in service, the Wellington appeared to be much more advanced in design and an aircraft feared by any potential enemy. Its sleek monoplane design and heavy defensive armament placed the new Wellington as one of the most advanced and capable medium bombers in the world.
Perhaps the most significant feature of the Wellingtons design was the adoption of a geodetic construction method, which was developed by famous British engineer and inventor Barnes Wallis. Duralumin W-beams were used to form a metal lattice-work construction on to which wooden battens would be screwed, which would then allow the doped fabric outer skin of the aircraft to be attached.
The resultant fuselage was relatively light in weight but possessed great strength and whilst the method of construction posed challenged for companies engaged in manufacturing Wellington bombers, the inherent strength proved crucial when the aircraft was thrust into combat. Capable of withstanding significant battle damage, numerous RAF Wellingtons managed to bring their crews back home, when the other bombers would have failed to do so.
Scheme A: Vickers Wellington Mk.IA, No. 9 Squadron Aircraft, Royal Air Force Honington, Suffolk, England, 18th December 1939.
Scheme B: Vickers Wellington Mk.IC, Luftwaffe, formerly 311 (Czechoslovak) Squadron, 1941.

A06015A North American B-25C/D Mitchell
Ranked at skill level 3, the 1:72 scale A06015A North American B-25C/D Mitchell re-introduction includes two interesting new schemes depicting a USAAF North Africa B-25C Mitchell, and a Soviet B25D, allowing you to create two diverse schemes of the B-25 variant. This kit consists of 166 parts and measures a total wingspan of 286mm and 224mm in length.
An extremely rugged and versatile aircraft, the Mitchell saw service as an anti-submarine patrol aircraft off the coast of Florida and as a strike bomber in the deserts of North Africa, proving successful at both. Some of the later versions of the B-25 became the most heavily armed aircraft of the war, with no less than 18 machine guns and an array of other offensive weaponry. With a solid nose housing 8 heavy guns, these aircraft were lethal gunships, capable of destroying anything in its line of fire.
Scheme A: North American B-25C Mitchell, "0H-7" 41-13207, 445th BS, French Morocco, 1943.
Scheme B: North American B-25D Mitchell, "09" 42-87594, 1st Squadron, Uman Airfield, 1944.

A04002V Fairey Rotodyne
Ranked at skill level 2, the 1:72 scale A04002V Fairey Rotodyne is born once again, after being absent from the Airfix range for 27 years. This kit consists of 115 parts and measures a total rotor span of 381mm and 248mm in length. The moulds for this kit were first created back in 1959, with the expertise of none other than Airfix artist, Roy Cross, creating the box front in 1965. Undoubtedly one of the most spectacular products of the post-war British aviation industry, the distinctive Fairey Rotodyne was a revolutionary large compound gyroplane which held great promise for worldwide inter-city medium air transportation, in addition to possessing numerous military applications during the late 1950s.
The impressive looking Rotodyne featured jet powered main rotor tips which operated during vertical take-off and landing, hovering, and transitioning to forward flight, before a pair of Napier Eland turboprops were engaged for forward flight.
Despite successfully completing over 350 test flights, just a single prototype aircraft would be built, before the withdrawal of government funding tragically consigned the Fairey Rotodyne to the aviation history books.

Thanks to Airfix for the news.


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