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Digital Subscriptions > Scale Aircraft Modelling > December 2017 > Baby Boom Time

Baby Boom Time

Mark I Vampires in 1/144

Vampire FB.5/FB.52 (2 in 1) in

Commonwealth Service

Kit No: 14468

Scale: 1/144

Type: Injection Moulded Plastic

Manufacturer: Mark I Models

The closing months of World War II are often portrayed as the not-quite-in-time moment for German wonder aircraft, epitomised by just-about-operational jet aircraft like the Me262, Heinkel 162, Arado Ar234 and so on. Less well known is the degree to which the UK had developed equivalent jets, and how close these were to large scale deployment. The only British jet fighter to see actual service was the Gloster Meteor, a handful being deployed to Belgium in June 1945, but following close behind was the De Havilland Vampire, intended to be a cheaper, more agile alternative. The Vampire (née Spider Crab - argh!) was designed against Specification E.6/41 and used the DH Goblin turbojet engine, a twin boom arrangement being chosen since it offered short intake and exhaust lengths, vital for the low thrust typically available. The Spider Crab’s (LZ548) first flight was on 20th September 1943 and was sufficiently successful that an order for 120 airframes was placed on 13th May 1943. Unfortunately De Havilland’s other commitments, meant that it missed the end of the war, and its first squadron deployment came in April 1946 with 247 (British China) Squadron. Evolution of the type’s role led to the development of the FB.5, intended as a groundattack replacement for the Tempest, which required strengthening of the wings, a reduction in span and a more powerful engine. The Vampire was exported widely in all its various marks, so there’s no shortage of interesting schemes.

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About Scale Aircraft Modelling

THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO In for review is the soon to be released Kinetic two seat Harrier. We have beer provided with an unboxed production sample in advance of its official appearance, so a massive thanks to Kinetic for providing the kit. Bear in mind that the kit has not hit the shelves of your favourite retailer so the usual caveat applies in regards to things changing before release. As far as Harriers go this is the first 1/48 mainstream injected moulded two seater of the famous jump jet, so an important release to say the least.