Aviation 72 excellent 1/72 scale model of the Fairey Gannet AS4 XA420/333 of 824 NAS HMS Albion 1957. The model epitomises the Gannets rather unusual shape, with superb panel detailing and armament. An absolute “must have” for any collection! Limited edition of only 360 pieces. Quite a large aircraft, this is accurately reflected by the size of the model: Length 7.25″ Wingspan 9″.
The Gannet was designed for carrier borne anti-submarine and airborne early warning duties. First flown on September 19, 1949, this mid-wing monoplane with tricycle undercarriage had a Bristol Mamba double turboprop engine with two contra-rotating propellers and was crewed by a pilot and two aerial observers. On June 19, 1950 it became the first turboprop aircraft to make a carrier deck landing when pilot G. Callingham touched down on the HMS Illustrious. In 1958 the Gannet underwent a major structural redesign, which included the addition of a large radome beneath the fuselage. This Airborne Early Warning variant carried AN/APS-20F radar and required two additional crew members.
By mid 1960 the anti-submarine-tasked Gannets were all replaced by the Westland Whirlwind in RN service, but some AS.4s survived to carry out other duties, with considerable modifications and additions to the aircraft’s electronics suite, giving them the capability to gather signals intelligence and perform a certain amount of communications and radar jamming – primarily to train RN personnel in how to deal with electronic warfare. These aircraft were generally shore-based, and rarely went to sea. Initially retaining their AS.1 or AS.4 designations, they were later designated AS.6s, and commonly referred to as the ECM.6.