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Atlas Editions Jet Age 4675-105
Vickers Valiant Diecast Model
RAF No.49 Sqn, XD818, Christmas Island, Operation Grapple, 1957

1:144 Scale   Length   Width
Vickers Valiant   9"   9.5"

Operation Grapple was the code name given to the British Hydrogen bomb tests carried out over the Pacific Ocean during 1957. Christmas Island was chosen as the operational base with the island of Malden, 400 miles south-east, designated as the target area. No. 49 Sqn, RAF Wittering was selected for the tests and a specially modified Vickers Valiant, XD818, arrived in November 1956. The aircraft had strengthened control surfaces, additional cameras and sensors and metal anti-flash window screens. Piloted by Wg Cdr Kenneth Hubbard, at 09:00 hours on May 15th 1957, Valiant XD818 took off carrying Britain's first thermo-nuclear "H" bomb, code named "Grapple 1". Released at 10:36 hours from an altitude of 45000ft and detonated at 8000ft, the shock wave from the 0.3 megaton device was felt by the crew some 2.5 minutes after the blast. Wg Cdr Hubbard observed the mushroom cloud before landing back on Christmas Island at 11:20 hours. In recognition of their skill and professionalism, the crew of Valiant XD818 each received the Air Force Cross.

Vickers Valiant

Designed for use as a high-level strategic bomber, the Vickers Valiant was first flown on May 18, 1951. This four-jet bomber was used in the RAF's V bomber force, first as a bomber and later as a tanker. A Valiant B.1 was the first RAF aircraft to drop an operational British atomic bomb (a test bomb dropped in October 1956). Valiants were originally used for high-level bombing, but increasing SAM threats forced the V bombers to train for low-level bombing-a role that the Valiant could not adjust to. The aluminum alloy used in its construction caused premature fatigue at low altitudes, and the Valiant fleet was grounded in early 1965.

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Atlas Editions Jet Age

The Atlas Editions "Jet Age" range presents affordable, ready made diecast models of military aircraft in 1:144 and 1:200 scale.

Atlas Editions diecast airplanes feature:

  • Diecast metal and plastic construction.
  • Realistic panel lines, antennas, access panels and surface details.

Copyright 2003-2020 The Flying Mule, Inc.

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