Supermarine Spitfire Mk V111 – Robert Gibbes, 80 Wing, RAAF
Spitfire Mk F V111 – Robert Gibbes, 80 Wing, RAAF (2,610)
2 in stock
2 in stock
Corgi Aviation Archive 1/72 scale AA31917: Supermarine Spitfire Mk V111 A58-497 VR-G of 80 Wing, RAAF based at Sattler Field, Northern Territory, Australia in 1944, as flown by their Deputy Leader Wg Cdr Robert Gibbes. Complete with green and brown camouflage with distinctive sharks mouth livery. Limited edition of 2,610 pieces.
Length 5 inches Wingspan 6.25 inches
Robert Henry Maxwell Gibbes, DSO, DFC & Bar, OAM (6 May 1916 – 11 April 2007) was an Australian fighter ace of World War II, and the longest-serving wartime commanding officer of No. 3 Squadron RAAF. He was officially credited with 10¼ aerial victories, although his score is often reported as 12, including two shared; Gibbes was also credited with five aircraft probably destroyed, and a further 16 damaged. He commanded No. 3 Squadron in North Africa from February 1942 to April 1943, apart from a brief period when he was wounded.
Squadron Leader Gibbes returned to Australia in 1944 and flew Spitfire Mk VIIIs in the southwest Pacific until the end of the war. Serving as Deputy Wing Leader to Clive Caldwell, Robert Gibbes achieved no victories in this Mk VIII due to the dearth of enemy activity in the area. After flying for various private concerns after the war, he established Gibbes Sepik Airways in January 1948 and began operations out of New Guinea with surplus war aircraft. For the next 10 years, his airline played an important role in the exploration and development of the Sepik River and central highlands of this area.
The Supermarine Spitfire is a British single-seat fighter aircraft that was used by the Royal Air Force and many other Allied countries throughout the Second World War. The Spitfire continued to be used as a front line fighter and in secondary roles into the 1950s. It was produced in greater numbers than any other British aircraft and was the only British fighter in production throughout the war.
The Spitfire was designed as a short-range, high-performance interceptor aircraft by R. J. Mitchell, chief designer at Supermarine Aviation Works (since 1928 a subsidiary of Vickers-Armstrong). Mitchell continued to refine the design until his death from cancer in 1937, whereupon his colleague Joseph Smith became chief designer. The Spitfire’s elliptical wing had a thin cross-section, allowing a higher top speed than several contemporary fighters, including the Hawker Hurricane. Speed was seen as essential to carry out the mission of home defence against enemy bombers.
During the Battle of Britain, the Spitfire was perceived by the public as the RAF fighter of the battle, whereas in fact, the more numerous Hurricane actually shouldered a greater proportion of the burden against the Luftwaffe. The Spitfire units did, however, have a lower attrition rate and a higher victory to loss ratio than those flying Hurricanes.
After the Battle of Britain, the Spitfire became the backbone of RAF Fighter Command, and saw action in the European, Mediterranean, Pacific and the South-East Asian theatres. Much loved by its pilots, the Spitfire served in several roles, including interceptor, photo-reconnaissance, fighter-bomber, carrier-based fighter, and trainer. It was built in many variants, using several wing configurations. Although the original airframe was designed to be powered by a Rolls-Royce Merlin engine producing 1,030 hp, it was adaptable enough to use increasingly more powerful Merlin and the later Rolls-Royce Griffon engines; the latter was eventually able to produce 2,035 hp