19 September 2019
Corgi F-5E-2 Lightning 43-28619 ‘Rita/Ruth’, USAAF 27th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, 7th Photographic Group, Mount Farm Airfield, August 1944
Price: £49.99 each
Ref no: AA36614
One of the most crucial elements of the D-Day air campaign was the gathering of detailed reconnaissance photographs of the entire intended invasion area, which included the assessment of previous bombing raid effectiveness and the identification of future targets. In lessons learnt during the disastrous Dieppe raid of 1942, military planners knew they had to have the very latest intelligence information in order to prepare for invasion, disrupting enemy communications and destroying defensive strongholds overlooking the invasion beaches. One of the most effective aircraft in securing this information was the Lockheed F-5E-2 Lightning, the photographic reconnaissance version of the distinctive twin boom P-38J variant. Undergoing modification at squadron level, these aircraft featured enlarged camera windows for more effective information gathering, with this bigger window featuring a teardrop fairing to minimise the impact of additional drag. Lightning 43-28619 was unusual in that it made a feature of this enlarged eye in the sky by the artistic addition of sharks teeth, with the camera windows serving as menacing eyes for the flying beast.
Already selling fast through Corgi's website, this is a truly wonderful model with the company's usual excellent attention to detail evident throughout.
Complete with display stand, the model comes with optional parts to display as 'wheels up' or with undercarriage deployed. The props spin and the D-Day stripes are very nicely finished, as are the rest of the markings. There is an excellent level of detail to the cockpit too.
This all comes at an excellent price, so don't blink or you'll miss this beauty.