Corgi AA39303 RAF Boulton Paul Mk. 1 Defiant Fighter - EW-K, 307 (Polish) Squadron, RAF Clyst, Honiton, England, 1941 (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.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a RAF Boulton Paul Mk. 1 Defiant fighter that was attached to 307 (Polish) Squadron, then deployed to RAF Clyst, Honiton, England, during 1941.
Wingspan: 6 inches
Length: 5 inches
Release Date: June 2012
Historical Account: "Brethren" - The only Polish Night Fighter Squadron to fly alongside the RAFs own, 307 Squadron was formed on August 24th, 1940, as part of an agreement between the Polish Government in exile and the RAF. Flying from RAF Kirton-In-Lindsey in Lincolnshire, the squadron soon acquitted itself well, flying the Boulton Paul Defiant. Moving to RAF Clyst, Honiton, in 1941, the Squadron succeeded in shooting down a number of enemy bombers, including a brace of Heinkel He111s.
Already outclassed as a day fighter due to its unorthodox turret armament, the Defiant found itself to be a capable night fighter, able to bring its powerful turret armament to bear more easily against lone German bombers operating at night. The Polish were not however that keen on their mounts and when the Squadron exchanged the Defiants for Beaufighters in the autumn of 1941, the squadron personnel were not too sad to see the single engine fighters depart.