Corgi Aviation Archive Collector Series AA36614
Lockheed F-5E Lightning Diecast Model
USAAF 7th PRG, 27th PRS, #43-28619 Rita/Ruth, Mount Farm Airfield, August 1944
|1:72 Scale|| ||Length|| ||Width|
|Lockheed F-5E Lightning|| ||6.25"|| ||8.75"|
One of the most crucial elements of the D-Day air campaign was the gathering of detailed reconnaissance photographs of the entire intended invasion area, which included the assessment of previous bombing raid effectiveness and the identification of future targets. In lessons learned during the disastrous Dieppe raid of 1942, military planners knew they had to have the very latest intelligence information in order to prepare for invasion, disrupting enemy communications and destroying defensive strongholds overlooking the invasion beaches. One of the most effective aircraft in securing this information was the Lockheed F-5E-2 Lightning, the photographic reconnaissance version of the distinctive twin boom P-38J variant. Undergoing modification at squadron level, these aircraft featured enlarged camera windows for more effective information gathering, with this bigger window featuring a teardrop fairing to minimise the impact of addition drag. Lightning 43-28619 was unusual in that it made a feature of this enlarged eye in the sky by the artistic addition of sharks teeth, with the camera windows serving as eyes for the flying beast. Wearing its overall PRU blue colour scheme, nose artwork and D-Day identification markings, this must have been one of the most distinctive aircraft in the skies above the Normandy beaches, even though its mission profile was for the Lightning to remain undetected. On 26th November 1944, this aircraft was intercepted and shot down by a Messerschmitt Me 262 jet fighter flown by Luftwaffe ace Hermann Buchner, with its unfortunate pilot becoming a prisoner of war.
Designed to meet a USAAC requirement for a high-performance fighter, the P-38 Lightning was first flown on January 27th, 1939. The easily recognizable P-38 had twin-booms, twin turbo-supercharged engines, a central pod for the pilot, contra-rotating propellers and tricycle landing gear. Its roles included dive bombing, level bombing, ground strafing and photo reconnaissance. When equipped with drop tanks it was also flown as a long-range escort fighter. The Lightning's armament was clustered in the nose of the plane, which gave the pilot a direct line of site to the target and also gave the weapons a "buzz saw" effect that was useful for strafing.
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Corgi's 1:72 scale P-38s have separately applied turbocharger detail and accurate twin engine radiator scoops mounted on the booms. The large canopy provides a clear view of the pilot figure and radio equipment located in the rear bay. Most releases include landing gear complete with tires that have a textured tread pattern, and gear doors that are easy to install for ground display. Some of the most remarkable releases in this series are fighter bombers with four machine gun barrels surrounding a center-mounted 20mm cannon barrel.
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The Corgi "Aviation Archive" range presents highly-detailed, ready-made diecast models of military and civilian aircraft. The vast Aviation Archive range has become the standard by which all other diecast airplane 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 library material. Famous airplanes and aviators from both military and commercial airline aviation are all honored.
Corgi "Aviation Archive" diecast airplanes feature:
- Diecast metal construction with some plastic components.
- Realistic panel lines, antennas, access panels and surface details.
- Pad printed markings and placards that won't fade or peel like decals.
- Interchangeable extended/retracted landing gear with rotating wheels.
- Poseable presention stand to display the aircraft "in flight".
- Many limited editions with numbered certificate of authenticity.
- Detailed, hand-painted pilot and crew member figures.
- Authentic detachable ordnance loads complete with placards.
- Selected interchangeable features such as speed-brakes, opened canopies and access panels.
- Selected moving parts such as gun turrets, control surfaces and swing-wings.
© Copyright 2003-2020 The Flying Mule, Inc.