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The Beverley has landed! The new set is finally available in our store. It is accompanied by the mixed-media La-5 update set (PE+decals with stencils) and by the generic FuG 220 antennaes serving various late WW2 Luftwaffe planes. A few pics: All the best, Marek
Blackburn Beverley C.1 Mikr Mir 1:144 Designed and built by General Aircraft as the GAL.60 Universal Freighter, the first aircraft was built, then dismantled at the Feltham, Middlesex factory and transported to Brough in Yorkshire to have its maiden flight on 20 June 1950. This was followed by a second, the GAL.65, which was modified from the original. Clamshell doors replaced a combination of a door and ramp, and the tailplane boom received seating for 36 passengers. The Bristol Hercules engines became Bristol Centaurus with reverse-pitch propellers, a feature that gave it a short landing length and the ability to reverse under its own power. The takeoff run at full load was given as 790 yards, the landing run at full load, 310 yards. The RAF placed an order in 1952 as the Beverley C.1 (Beverley, Cargo Mark 1). All 49 Beverley aircraft would be built at Brough, with the last one being manufactured in 1958, and final retirement from RAF service was in 1967. The aircraft was a high-wing cantilever monoplane with a fixed undercarriage. The large fuselage had a tail boom fitted with a tailplane with twin fins. The tail boom allowed access to the rear of the fuselage through removable clamshell doors. A 36 ft (11 m) main fuselage space was supplemented by passenger accommodation in the tail boom. The main cargo hold could accommodate 94 troops, with another 36 in the tail boom. In operation, it was regarded as "ungainly but highly effective" and was described by Air Chief Marshal Sir Robert Freer as "like something out of the Ark, but it was a superb supply dropper”. A device called an Elephant's Foot could be fitted under the centre of the fuselage just forward of the clamshell doors when it was in use. The foot was held in place by pins inserted through a triangular arrangement of attachment points on the fuselage and was fitted during loading to prevent the Beverley from tipping over when heavy items were loaded into the freight bay. The aircraft was designed for carrying large bulk loads and landing on rough or imperfect runways, or mere dirt strips. It could trace its design back to the GAL49 Hamilcar glider of the Second World War. When it entered service it was the largest aircraft in the Royal Air Force (RAF). It had a large interior cargo area split into two levels which amounted to around 6,003 ft³ (170 m³) of space. Paratroopers in the upper passenger area jumped through a hatch in the base of the boom just in front of the leading edge of the tailplane. Paratroopers in the main body exited through side doors. The Beverley was equipped with toilets, which were situated in the tail beyond the paratrooper hatch located on the floor of the tail boom. One fatality was caused by a serviceman who fell twenty feet to the ground when exiting the toilet, unaware that the paratrooper hatch had been opened. Modifications were made to prevent the toilet doors from being opened when the paratroops hatch was open. The Model This is the first injection moulded kit of the Blackburn Beverley, the other releases being either resin or vacform. As such it is very welcome, as whilst the aircraft wasn’t built in any great numbers, it was an important type for the RAF in the tactical transport role. The kit comes in the standard style of box that Mikr Mir use, inside of which there are seven sprues of light grey styrene, one of clear styrene, a small sheet of etched brass and quite a large decal sheet. Whilst there is quite a bit of flash around the sprues, there isn’t that much on the parts themselves, but this is expected due to the short run nature of the moulds. The parts themselves appear to have been moulded very well with no sign of other defects such as sink marks or short shoot parts and the detail is really rather nice at this scale. Construction begins with the cockpit, naturally, and the fitting of the centre console to the cockpit floor, followed by the instrument panel, two seats, the control yokes, and the rear bulkhead. The cockpit assembly is then glued into one half of the fuselage, whilst to air intakes are assembled and put to one side to dry. The cargo floor is then glued into the same half of fuselage, and the two rear doors fitted with PE parachute door cards, on the inner skins. If you wish, the two clamshell doors can be left off and two deflectors fitted in their place, for use in parachute drops. Each engine nacelle is made up from two halves, as are the cowlings, with the engine face fitted between the halves the air intakes are fitted and the propellers, each of three parts glued to the crankcase cover. The upper and lower wing panels are glued together and the engine/nacelle assemblies attached. The wings are then fitted to the fuselage, as is the tail boom lower panel, which incorporates detail within the clam shell door area. The tail assembly is then built up from a single upper section, two lower sections and two, two part vertical tails. The completed assembly is then glued into position. The main undercarriage is assembled with the main faired oleo fitted, to which the horizontal support is attached, with four single piece wheels. The nose wheel is a simple oleo to which two wheels are attached. The clear parts that make up the cockpit canopy and navigators window are now fitted, as are the large air intakes on the fuselage roof and under the tailplane, as well as several aerials and the sighting blister. More aerials are added, this time made of PE, and the instructions show their positioning very clearly. The main and nose undercarriage units are glued into position ensuring that all wheels are touching the ground, and to finish the build off the PE paracord deflector rails are attached to the rear fuselage. Decals The main decal sheet includes all the standard markings required for one aircraft, but individual serials etc for four aircraft. The decals are nicely printed with thin carrier film, good density and opaqueness. There is a smaller secondary sheet which I cannot find a use of as they're not mentioned in the instructions. The aircraft included are:- Blackburn Beverley C.1 of No.47 Sqn, 1962 Blackburn Beverley C.1 of No.30 Sqn, 1967 Blackburn Beverley C.1 of No.84 Sqn , Yemen, June 1967 Blackburn Beverley C.1 of the Royal Aircraft Establishment 1973 Conclusion There’s something about the Beverley that is uniquely British, and it’s always been a plane that I have been keen on, ever since I saw the one that used to be outside the RAF Museum at Hendon. It’s great to have one in injected moulded plastic, and even in this small scale it will look very nice amongst the model collection. Now, who’s going to do one in 1:72 injection moulded? Review sample courtesy of
Blackburn B-101 Beverley, pics thanks to Steve (Britjet) XH124 was on display at the RAF Museum London, Hendon, was scrapped in 1989. XB259 Was at now closed, Museum of Army Transport that was in Beverley, Yorks. Now on display at Fort Paull, Hull, in England.