Pavla 1/72 Typhoon IB
|REVIEWER:||Carmel J. Attard|
|NOTES:||Short run, with resin detail parts and two types of canopies.|
The Hawker Typhoon was regarded as a massive new fighter, the heaviest and most powerful single seat, single-engined warplane at the time of its design. It was also to be pressed into operational service before it was fully developed and in consequence acquires a worse reputation among its pilots than that of any other fighter preceding it.
Despite many comments, it was to evolve into one of the most formidable weapons during the second world war, a close support fighter that was to turn the scale of many land battles and upset many conceptions of land warfare.
In the first nine months of its service life far more Typhoons were lost through structural or engine trouble than were lost in combat and between July and September 1942 it was estimated that at least one Typhoon failed to return from each sortie owing to one or other of its defects. Trouble experienced in power dives was due to structural failure in the tail assembly, where the component parted company with the rest of the airframe. In fact during the Dieppe operations in August 1942 when first official mention of the Typhoon was made, three fighters bounced a formation of FW190s south of Le Treport, diving out of the sun damaging three of the German fighters but two of the Typhoons did not pull out of their dive owing to structural failure in their tail assemblies.
Despite these inauspicious starts to its service career and the unenviable reputation the Typhoon had gained, operations continued and accident rate declined as engine teething trouble were overcomed, though tail failure took longer to solve.
In November 1942, 609 Squadron led by Wing Commander Roland Beamont was moved to Manston in an attempt to combat the near-daily raids made by FW190 and could rarely be intercepted by Spitfires. Two typhoons enjoyed almost immediate success. The first two Messerschmitt Me 210 fighter-bombers to be destroyed over the British Isles fell to Typhoons. Later on in January 20th 1943, five FW190s were again destroyed by Typhoons.
The Typhoon Mk1B represented by the kit is completed in the markings when flown by Wing Commander Denys E. Gillam, autumn 1942. Denys Gillam obtained his flying licence in 1934 and joined the RAF the following year. In June 1938, Gillam received the AFC for flying food to Rathlin Island in very hazardous conditions in a Westland Wapiti.
During the Battle of Britain he served with No. 616 Squadron very successfully. On September 2nd, 1940 Gillam was shot down by a Bf110 but he was picked up though by Air Sea Rescue Launch off Dunkirk. March 1942 saw him forming the first Typhoon Wing at Duxford and subsequently taking command of 20 Sector 2nd TAF in April 1944. In October 1944 he led an attack on the German Staff Conference at Dordrecht, which killed many of the senior staff of the 15th Army.
Gillam left the RAF late in 1945 but rejoined 616 Squadron as a Flight Lieutenant in the R Auxiliary AF and became Director and Chairman of Homfray Carpets in Halifax and Deputy Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire.
As a Flight
Lieutenant Denys Gillam while serving with 616 Squadron he received the
Distinguished Flying Cross DFC on November 12th
1940. He has been responsible for the destruction of seven enemy aircraft
and probably of four more, and has damaged six. On one occasion during a
combat with a large force of Messerschmitt 110's, he shot one down and his
own aircraft caught fire. He descended by parachute and returned to his
station in time to lead the next patrol.
On another occasion Flight Lieutenant Gillam shot down a Junkers 88 and landed within eleven minutes from the time he took off.
This time in the rank as a Squadron Leader Denys Gillam received his second DFC, which was awarded as a bar for a ribbon on the first DFC on the 21st October 1941. His squadron has carried out 24 sorties against enemy shipping in which 11 ships were destroyed, 5 were left burning and 18 were damaged. Squadron Leader Gillam led the squadron on 10 of these missions and displayed outstanding courage and enthusiasm, taking every opportunity to seek and destroy enemy vessels."
The only construction feature that differed from previous Pavla kit of the Typhoon is that the canopy roof had a top blister and also the cannons were those made of resin and which looked more detailed in shape, as these were not faired with a cylindrical cover.
Carmel J. Attard
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