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ROD-408 1/48 Gloster Gladiator Mk.l British WW2 Fighter model kit

Roden ROD-408 1/48 Gloster Gladiator Mk.l British WW2 Fighter model kit
Price 101.21
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ROD-408 1/48 Gloster Gladiator Mk.l British WW2 Fighter model kit

Roden 1/48 Gloster Gladiator Mk.l British WW2 Fighter model kit. Pic.1
Roden 1/48 Gloster Gladiator Mk.l British WW2 Fighter model kit. Pic.1

On the early thirties of XX century majority of RAF fighter squadrons were equipped with obsolete Bristol Bulldog and Gloster Gauntlet types. At this moment first designs of monoplane' fighters appeared but all they were unfinished. Gloster's chief designer, HP. Folland conducted a detailed examination of the Gauntlet design for improving of main performances. Gauntlets wings with two-bay units were changed in to the single-bay units with strengthened main spars, landing gear also was redesigned-internally-sprung wheel assemblies mounted on cantilever struts. New plane was equipped with more powerful Bristol Mercury VIS engine, armament increased up to four machine guns (two-in fuselage, two-underthe lower wings).
Prototype of the new fighter with factory designations SS.37 was tested in September 1934 and reached maximum speed 242 mph (389 km/h). Air Ministry issued Specification F. 14/35 and ordered 23 aircrafts which soon received his own name-Gladiator. Mass-productions fighters had more powerful Mercury IX engine, enclosed cockpit, revised tail unit. In total, 231 Gladiator Mk I were delivered to the RAF. In accordance with new Specification F.36/37 Gladiator had been slightly improved: it had 830-hp Mercury VIII Aengine with automatic mixture control, electric starter and a Vokes air filter in the carburetor intake. The Royal Air Force received 252 planes of this type, Gladiator Mk.ll. Mk.ll was closely similar to Mk.l apart three-blade Fairey Reed airscrew, installed on almost Mk.ll (some Mk.ll like Mk.l had two-blade wooden Watts aircrew).
First squadrons received Gladiators on February, 1937 but in mid-1939, just before the outbreak of WWII, only four auxiliary home-based units operated with this type, all others squadrons were re-equipped with modem Hurricane Mk.l and Spitfire Mk.l.
Notwithstanding of all archaically its construction and poor performances like for 1939, Gladiator intensively used in many major battles of early stage of WWII. During Battle of Norway pilots of No.263 Sqn RAF claimed at least 26 German aircrafts, lost only two Gladiators in combats. But most successful using Gladiator had been in North Africa and Mediterranean, where No. 6, 33, 80, 94, 112, 127 Sqns RAF together with No.3 Sqn RAF opposed to the same obsolete Italian Fiat Cr.32 and Cr.42. The most well-known Commonwealth ace, Fit. Lt. M. T. St. J. "Pat" Rattle attained many air victories from it's total 58 score, flying with Gladiator.
After the Soviet invasion to the Finland, the Great Britain delivered many aircraft to Finnish Air Force, including a numerous Gladiators. These fighters together with Swedish volunteers, which flied with its own Gladiators, received many victories in air combats with Soviet AF planes. Gloster Gladiator is widely exported to the many countries - Belgium, China, Egypt, Eire, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden, Iraq, Portugal. Latvian and Lithuanian Gladiators joined to the Soviet Air Force after the annexing of these countries by Soviet Union in 1940 but one year later they got to the Luftwaffe where served as trainers. Some aircrafts from RAF squadrons were delivered to the Free French Air Force in 1942. After the withdrawal from the first line many Gladiators still used like liaison aircrafts or weather reconnaissance until 1944. In total, together with export planes and Sea Gladiators, 746 aircrafts were built.

Span - 9,83m
Length - 8,36m
Wing area - 30,01m2
Take-off weight - 2206kg
Speed max - 414 km/h
Service ceiling - 10210 m
Range - 708 km
Powerplants - 1xBristol Mercury IX (VIII) 830 h.p.
Armament - 4xO,303 (7,7mm) machine guns