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  1. I was born in February 1954, 11 days before the first Swift F.1 entered service with 56 Sqn. Much has been written about the Swift, a lot of it not terribly complimentary and it did have a number of flaws that made it unsuitable as an interceptor. The F.1 lacked manoeuvrability at the altitudes it was expected to fight at. Handling was made even worse by the insistence by the RAF on a four gun armament in the F.2. Low speed handling when landing was poor and there were issues around its ease of maintenance. The F.2 entered service in August 1954 and that is what i am intending to build. The F.1 and 2 were withdrawn in March 1955 and any effort to turn the Swift into a useable fighter were abandoned, despite the appearance of the F.4 that addressed a lot of the shortcomings of the Swift. However, all was not lost as the Swifts low level performance was good and it was solidly built. This made it a suitable replacement for the Meteor FR9 in the fighter reconnaissance role which it fulfilled with 2 and 79 Sqns in RAF Germany as the FR5, the subject of the RAF 1/72nd scale kit I built an F.2 about 32 years ago by carving up the Pegasus 1/72nd FR5 kit (the plastic was that thick!), but the model was damaged beyond repair in a house move and so the arrival of the Airfix kit and the Freightdog conversion set enabled me to think about building another one. This Group Build has spurred me to take the kits out of the stash and get them built. The two reference books shown give, in my opinion, a fairly balanced view of the life and times of the Swift and I am eager to start.
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