Corgi AA39304 RAF Boulton Paul Defiant Mk. I Night Fighter - N1671, RAF Museum Hendon 'The Only Complete Survivor' (1:72 Scale)
"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."
- British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, commenting on the British airmen in the Battle of Britain
The Boulton Paul Defiant was a result of an Air Ministry specification (F.9/35) issued before the onset of WWII. It was a low-wing, cantilever monoplane, two-seat fighter of all-metal construction, with retractable landing gear, looking not unlike the Hurricane. Like the Hurricane, it was powered by a Rolls-Royce Merlin engine. The Defiant was also equipped with an effective four-gun powered turret of their own design which proved its undoing.
The first Defiant prototype flew on August 11th, 1937, with the first production Defiant taking wing on July 30th, 1939. Deliveries to the first operational RAF unit, 264 squadron, began in December of that year. Unfortunately, heavy losses were incurred in the Battle of France due to the fact that the weight of the gun turret deteriorated overall performance. As a result, the RAF used the Defiant as a night fighter for some time before being employed as a target tug.
Shown here is a 1:72 scale replica of a RAF Boulton Paul Defiant Mk. I Night Fighter currently on display at the RAF Museum Hendon. Now in stock!
Wingspan: 6 inches
Length: 5 inches
Release Date: November 2013
Historical Account: "Survivor" - The Boulton Paul Defiant proved to be a blind alley in fighter design. The idea of a turret armed fighter seemed a good one in the pre-war years, the theory being that the aircraft would fly into a bomber stream and wreak havoc on the lightly defended bombers with its turret armament. However, at the outbreak of the war the Defiant proved to be vulnerable to enemy fighters, who quickly learned not to attack the fighter from the rear. So the Defiant was moved to the night fighter role, where it proved to be more suited.
This particular Defiant is the only survivor from the 1,064 produced, it was operated by 307 (Polish) Squadron until late 1942. It then moved to 285 Squadron being used for anti-aircraft co-operation duties before being placed into storage. Here it was saved for display and has been at either RAF Hendon or Cosford since the creation of the RAF Museum. Recently restored by the Medway Air Preservation Society, the Defiant looks resplendent in its matt black night fighter scheme.