Corgi AA39404 RAF Vickers Valiant B(PR)Mk.1 Strategic Bomber - WZ399. 543 Squadron, RAF Wyton, Cambridgeshire, January 1957 (1:144 Scale)
"In the future, war will be waged essentially against the unarmed populations of the cities and great industrial centers."
- Italian General Giulio Douhet
The Vickers-Armstrongs Valiant was a British four-jet bomber, once part of the Royal Air Force's V bomber nuclear force in the 1950s and 1960s. The Valiant was originally developed for use as high-level strategic bomber, but its role, like other V bombers, was changed to low-level attacks.
Low-level flying brought a number of serious problems as the Valiant's wing spar attachment castings showed premature fatiguing and inter-crystalline corrosion traced to the use of an inappropriate type of aluminium alloy. The Valiant had been the first of the V bombers to become operational, and its role was already shifting to that of a tanker. Rather than repair or rebuild the fleet, the Valiant was grounded and the Handley Page Victor took over the tanker role.
Pictured here is a RAF Vickers Valiant B(PR)Mk.1 Strategic Bomber that was attached to 543 Squadron, then deployed to RAF Wyton, Cambridgeshire, during January 1957. Now in stock!
Wingspan: 11 inches
Length: 11.25 inches
Release Date: September 2013
Historical Account: "Arctic Operations" - Delivered to 543 Squadron in October 1956, WZ399 had a short life with the squadron. Deployed on exercise 'Snowdrop' in January of 1957, it was then that the aircraft received its distinctive red tail and wingtip markings, applied for operating over the Arctic Circle.
The Valiants were based at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, where, in November 1961, the aircraft suffered technical problems during take-off. The take-off was aborted and the aircraft overshot the end of the runway, went down a steep slope and crossed a road only coming to a halt when it hit a railway embankment. The aircraft was totally destroyed by fire, the crew only surviving because the forward fuselage was separated from the rest of the wreckage.
WZ399 was a PR variant of the Valiant, fitted with a number of powerful cameras in its bomb bay giving it a useful photo reconnaissance capability. However, the advent of powerful surface to air missiles made this role more and more hazardous, eventually causing the Valiant to be phased out in favour of the higher flying Canberra.