Corgi AA34806 RAF Vickers Wellington Mk. II Medium Bomber with Merlin Engines - No. 104 Squadron, RAF Driffield, August 1941 (1:72 Scale)
"Why should we have a navy at all? There are no enemies for it to fight except apparently the Army Air Force."
- General Carl Spaatz, Commander of the US 8th Army Air Force, after WWII
The twin-engine Wellington was the mainstay of Bomber Command until 1942, when the four-engine heavy bombers entered service. The Wellington prototype took to the air for the first time in June 1936 and production models entered service with the Royal Air Force in October 1938. By September 1939 Bomber Command had eight Wellington squadrons, which increased to 21 by the beginning of 1942. It was widely nicknamed the "Wimpey" after the character in the Popeye cartoon strip, J. Wellington Wimpey.
Wellingtons were the first bombers used to attack Germany in September 1939, but like all British bombers of the war they were lightly armed and suffered heavily from attacks by German fighters. In 1940 the Wellington squadrons were switched to night raids. The unique geodetic latticework construction of the Wellington made it particularly robust - able to sustain remarkable amounts of flak damage and yet still keep flying. The last Wellingtons were withdrawn from service over Germany and occupied Europe in 1943 but continued to serve in the Mediterranean theatre and over Burma until the end of the war. The Wellington proved a versatile aircraft and was also employed as a maritime patrol aircraft, a minelayer, and a transport. In all, 11,461 Wellingtons were built during the war, making it the numerous multi-engine aircraft produced by Britain.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a RAF Vickers Wellington Mk. II medium bomber fitted with Merlin engines that was attached to No. 104 Squadron during August 1941.
Wingspan: 14.5 inches
Length: 10.25 inches
Release Date: December 2013
Historical Account: "Geodesic Structure" - The most effective of the British medium to heavy bombers in service at the outbreak of the Second World War, the Vickers Wellington benefited from an innovative construction method. Its Geodesic structure made the aircraft very strong, able to absorb considerable damage and still continue flying.
Due to its mediocre speed and inadequate, though standard for the time, defensive armament, this quality of strength proved to be the Wellingtons best feature. The majority of Wellington variants were fitted with Bristol Hercules or Pegasus radial engines but 400 were powered by the Rolls Royce Merlin inline V12. This engine, made so famous by the Spitfire and Hurricane, afforded the Mk.II a higher top speed, increased service ceiling and a heavier maximum weight.
Various squadrons operated the Wellington Mk.II, including 104 Squadron based first at RAF Driffield and then in Malta and Italy. They operated Wellingtons throughout the war, exchanging their Mk.IIs for Mk.Xs and then Liberators post war.