Vintage Wooden Aircraft


Bristol Blenheim Mk.I – c.1937 SKYBIRDS pre-war model – wooden with metal parts -1/72 scale

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A pre-war (c.1937) original wooden / metal Skybirds model of the Bristol Blenheim Mk.I

At 1/72 scale, airframe is solid wooden, with clear perspex transparencies, metal undercarriage etc. in the usual Skybirds fashion.....this Blenheim has a wingspan of around 10 inches (25.5 cms) and is in generally complete and above average condition for a model of 80+ years old !

The Bristol Blenheim was designed and built by the Bristol Aeroplane Company, used extensively in the first two years and in some cases throughout the Second World War. The aircraft was developed as the Type 142, a civil airliner, in response to a challenge to produce the fastest commercial aircraft in Europe. The Type 142 first flew in April 1935, and the Air Ministry, impressed by its performance, ordered a modified design as the Type 142M for the RAF as a bomber. Deliveries of the newly named Blenheim to RAF squadrons commenced on 10 March 1937.

When the Second World War broke out, the Blenheim Mk I equipped a total of 2 home-based squadrons as well as 11 overseas squadrons in locations such as Egypt, Aden, Iraq, India and Singapore. Further RAF squadrons had also received, or were in the process of converting to, the more capable Blenheim Mk IV; a total of 168 Blenheim Mk IV aircraft had entered RAF operational strength by the outbreak of war.

Thanks to the hard work and dedication of John Romain and all at the Aircraft Restoration Company at Duxford, the World now has a flying example of this legendary aircraft.

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LVG C.V – Very rare c.1934 SKYBIRDS pre-war model – wooden with metal parts -1/72 scale

A pre-war (c.1934) original wooden/metal Skybirds model of the LVG C.V of WW1.

At 1/72 scale, airframe is solid wooden, with metal undercarriage etc. in the usual Skybirds fashion.....this LVG has a wingspan of around 7 inches (17.5 cms) and is in complete condition, not bad for an 80 years old model.

The LVG C.V was a reconnaissance aircraft produced in large numbers in Germany during World War I.

The C.V was a general purpose 2 seat reconnaissance aircraft built by Luft Verkehrs Gesellschaft (LVG) It entered service in 1917, ultimately being produced and fielded in large numbers across the Western Front, Although classified as a reconnaissance Aircraft, the C.V combination of 2 crew, offensive/defensive armament and excellent performance allowed it to evolve into quite a lethal fighter platform.

Following the war, some C.Vs were used as civil transports, while some 150 machines captured by Polish forces were put to use by the Polish army.

Other post-war users included Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia; together operating about 30 aircraft.

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Hawker Tempest – Rare WW2 SKYBIRDS model – wooden with metal parts -1/72 scale

A WW2 original wooden/metal Skybirds model of the Hawker Tempest.

At 1/72 scale, airframe is solid wooden, with metal undercarriage etc. in the usual Skybirds fashion.....the Tempest has a wingspan of around 7 inches (18cms) and is in complete condition.


The Tempest (originally known as the Typhoon II ) was an improved derivative of the Hawker Typhoon, intended to address the Typhoon's unexpected fall-off of performance at high altitude by replacing its wing with a thinner laminar flow design. Having diverged considerably from the Typhoon, it was chosen to rename the aircraft “Tempest”

The Tempest emerged as one of the most powerful fighters of World War II and was the fastest single-engine propeller-driven aircraft of the war at low altitude.


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Airspeed AS 5 Courier – Rare c.1935 SKYBIRDS pre-war model – wooden with metal parts -1/72 scale



RESERVED - ALAN 

A pre-war (c.1935) original wooden/metal Skybirds model of the Airspeed Courier.

At 1/72 scale, airframe is solid wooden, with metal undercarriage etc. in the usual Skybirds fashion.....the Courier has a wingspan of around 7.5 inches (19cms) and is in complete condition, not bad for an 80 years old model !


The Airspeed AS.5 Courier was a British six-seat single-engined light aircraft that saw some use as an airliner. Production aircraft were built by Airspeed Limited at Portsmouth.

A production run of 15 Couriers followed during 1933/34, being used for air-racing (one finished sixth in the MacRobertson Air Race to Australia in 1934), and as a light airliner and for air taxi work.

Famous Author Neville Shute wrote in “Slide Rule” that six Couriers came back to the company when their operating company suspended operations, but shortly after that the Spanish Civil War broke out and the machines all sold immediately to various intermediaries for better than the original prices, and all went by devious routes to Spain.

In 1936 a gun-running organization, Union Founders' Trust, bought five Couriers with the intention of selling them for use by the Republicans, however, protests from the non-interference lobby in England stopped delivery. Two Republican sympathisers on the Airspeed staff made an abortive attempt to steal  G-ACVE. One of them, Arthur Gargett, died when it crashed after taking off at Portsmouth on 20 August 1936; the other, Joseph Smith, was sentenced to four months in prison.

At 1/72 scale, this wood and metal Courier has a wingspan of around 7.5 inches (19cms)


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Gloster Gauntlet – Rare c.1934 SKYBIRDS pre-war model – wooden with metal parts -1/72 scale

A pre-war (c.1934) original wooden/metal Skybirds model of the Gloster Gauntlet.

At 1/72 scale, airframe is solid wooden, with metal undercarriage etc. in the usual Skybirds fashion.....the Gauntlet has a wingspan of around 5 inches (13cms) and is in complete condition.

The Gloster Gauntlet was a British single-seat biplane fighter of the RAF, designed and built by Gloster Aircraft in the 1930s. It was the last RAF fighter to have an open cockpit and the penultimate biplane fighter in service.

The Gauntlet first entered service with 19 Sqn at RAF Duxford in May 1935. It proved successful and popular in operational service, being 56 mph (90 km/h) faster than the aircraft it replaced, the Bristol Bulldog, to form the main part of the RAF's fighter strength. The Gauntlet was the fastest aircraft in the RAF from 1935 to 1937.

A flight of Gauntlets remained in service with No.3 Squadron RAF Middle East when Italy declared war in 1940. These were briefly used for ground-attack operations against the Italians before being retired from operations owing to maintenance problems.Gauntlets continued in use for meteorological flights until 1943.

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Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2c – Rare c.1934 SKYBIRDS pre-war model – wooden with metal parts -1/72 scale


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A pre-war (c.1934) original wooden/metal Skybirds model of the B.E.2c.

At 1/72 scale, airframe is solid wooden, with metal undercarriage etc. in the usual Skybirds fashion.....this B.E.2 has a wingspan of around 6 inches (15.5 cms) and is in complete condition.

Not bad for an 80 years old model !

The Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2 was a British single-engine tractor two-seat biplane designed and developed at the Royal Aircraft Factory. Most production aircraft were constructed under contract by various private companies, both established aircraft manufacturers and firms that had not previously built aircraft.

While the majority of operational B.E.2s served on the Western Front, the type also saw limited use in other overseas theatres. At least one pair of B.E.2s were among the aircraft dispatched with No.3 Squadron for use in the Gallipoli Campaign.

As early as 1914, some B.E.2as went to Australia, where they served as trainer aircraft for the nascent Australian Flying Corps at Point Cook, Victoria. In a similar fashion, the type also was adopted at the Indian Flying School at Sitapur.

A B.E.2e was used to conduct the first flight across Australia, flying from Melbourne to Port Darwin. It was piloted by Captain H.N.Wrigley, accompanied by Sergeant A.W.Murphy. The 2,500 mi (4,000 km) journey, made between 16 November and 12 December 1919, involved a combined 46 hours of flying time.

Another B.E.2e was one of the first two aircraft (the other was an Avro 504K) owned by the new Australian airline Qantas when it was founded in Queensland in 1920–1921.

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Sopwith Camel – Rare c.1934 SKYBIRDS pre-war model – wooden with metal parts -1/72 scale

A pre-war (c.1935) original wooden / metal Skybirds model of the Sopwith Camel.

The airframe is solid wooden, with metal undercarriage etc. in the usual Skybirds fashion.....and at 1:72 scale, this Camel has a wingspan of around 4.5 inches (12cms) and is in complete condition, not bad for an 80 + years old model !


The Sopwith Camel was a British First World War single-seat biplane fighter aircraft introduced on the Western Front in 1917. It was developed by the Sopwith Aviation Company as a successor to the earlier Sopwith Pup and became one of the best known fighter aircraft of the war.

Though proving difficult to handle, it provided for a high level of manoeuvrability to an experienced pilot, an attribute which was highly valued in the type's principal use as a fighter aircraft. In total, Camel pilots have been credited with the shooting down of 1,294 enemy aircraft, more than any other Allied fighter of the conflict. Towards the end of the First World War, the type had also seen use as a ground-attack aircraft, partially due to it having become increasingly outclassed as the capabilities of fighter aircraft on both sides were rapidly advancing at that time.

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Percival Gull – Charles Kingsford Smith 1934 G-ACJV – Super Rare c.1934 SKYBIRDS No.18 – wooden with metal parts and folding wings -1/72 scale

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A very rare pre-war (c.1934) original wooden/metal Skybirds model of Charles Kingsford Smiths record breaking PercivalGull Four (G-ACJV), which flew from Lympne Aerodrome (Kent) to Darwin, Australia, arriving on 10 December 1933, in a record 7 days, 4 hrs, 44 min.

At 1/72 scale, airframe is solid wooden, with metal undercarriage etc. in the usual Skybirds fashion.....and it is built including the folding wings, which was a feature of the real aircraft. the Gull has a wingspan of around 6 inches (16cms) and is in complete condition, not bad for an 80 years old model ! The photograph of the original kit is archive...not included !

The Percival Gull was a British single-engined monoplane, first flown in 1932. It was successful as a fast company transport, racing aircraft and long-range record breaker. It was later developed into the Vega Gull and the highly successful RAF Proctor Trainer.

It was the record breaking aircraft of the period, and its stories are impressive !

On 9 July 1932, E.W. Percival flew the prototype Gull (G-ABUR) in the round Britain Kings Cup Air Race, averaging almost 143 mph (230 km/h),

The speed of Gulls also made them attractive for the long distance flights popular in the 1930s and the Gull, fitted with extra tanks offered a range of 2,000 miles (3,220 km)..

On 4 October 1933, Kingsford Smith made his Darwin flight previously mentioned.

On 17 June 1935, E.W. Percival piloted a Gull Six (G-ADEP) from Gravesend to Oran (Algeria) returning to Croydon Airport the same day, and was awarded the Oswald Watt Gold Medal in recognition.

New Zealander Jean Batten made at least two memorable flights in her Gull Six (G-ADPR). On 11 November 1935, she departed Lympne and flew two legs to Thies, Senegal. After a 12 hr, 30 min crossing of the Atlantic on 13 November, she arrived at Port Natal, Brazil, and was later awarded the Britannia Trophy. On 5 October 1936, Batten flew from Lympne to Darwin in the record time 5 days, 21 hr, 3 min, then flying on across the Tasman Sea to Auckland to set another total record time of 11 days, 45 min.

On 4 May 1936, Amy Johnson, flying a Gull Six (G-ADZO), took off from Gravesend on on a flight to Wingfield aerodrome, Cape Town and back to Croydon Airport in a record 7 days 22 hr 43min.

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Avro Type 621 Tutor – Rare c.1934 SKYBIRDS pre-war model – wooden with metal parts -1/72 scale

A pre-war (c.1934) original wooden/metal Skybirds model of the Avro Tutor.

At 1/72 scale, airframe is solid wooden, with metal undercarriage etc. in the usual Skybirds fashion.....the Tutor has a wingspan of around 5.5 inches (14cms) and is in complete condition, not bad for an 80 years old model !

A.V. Roe's Type 621 Tutor was a two-seat British radial-engined biplane from the interwar period. It was a simple but rugged initial trainer that was used by the Royal Air Force as well as many other air arms worldwide.

The Tutor was designed by non other than Roy Chadwick (of Lancaster & Vulcan fame) as a replacement for the equally successful Avro 504.

The Tutor Model 621 achieved substantial foreign sales. A.V. Roe and Co exported 29 for the Greek Air Force, six for the Royal Canadian Air Force, five for the Kwangsi AF, three for the Irish AF (where it was known as the Triton) and two for each of the South African and Polish AFs. In addition 57 were licence-built in South Africa, and three licence-built by the Danish Naval Shipyard.

A total of 30 Tutors were exported to the Greek Air Force and at least 61 were licence-built in Greece. A number of Greek Tutors was incorporated in combat squadrons after Greece's entrance in WWII, used as army cooperation aircraft.

Known for its good handling, the type was often featured at air shows. Over 200 Avro Tutors and five Sea Tutors remained in RAF service at the beginning of the Second World War.

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Fiat G.80/82 – Period wooden/metal contractor model 1:50 scale – with original multi pose aluminium stand c.1952 very rare

A rare model of an equally rare aircraft !

The Fiat G.80/82 was a military jet trainer developed in Italy in the 1950s, and was that country's first true jet-powered aircraft. It was a conventional low-wing monoplane with a retractable tricycle undercarriage and engine air intakes on the fuselage sides. The pilot and instructor sat in tandem under a long bubble canopy. 

The G.82 was a refined version of the original G.80 developed for entry in a NATO competition to select a standard jet trainer, and had a Rolls Royce Nene engine replacing the previous Goblin. Only 5 aircraft were completed and the programme was terminated. The G.82's that had been built were used by the Aeronautica Militare for a few years before being handed over to the Reparto Sperimentale Volo (Dept.of Experimental Flight) in 1957.


This vintage “Cold War” contractor model is constructed mainly from wood, but the fuselage spine running from the rear of the glazed cockpit to the tail is metal. Underneath is fitted a brass universal joint ball, so that when the aircraft is located onto the aluminium stand, it can be posed at any angle.

The wingspan is around 9 inches (23 cms) which makes it around 1:50 scale.


The airframe is good, straight and undamaged, the original canopy is clear and undamaged.......and with only 5 of the real aircraft completed, this is a very rare model indeed....


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Vickers Valiant – Scratch built wooden model & stand - 19 inch span

A well made and finished solid wooden model of the Classic Vickers Valiant...

The Vickers Valiant was a four jet high altitude strategic bomber and was the first, and most conservative in design, of the V-Bombers (the others being the Victor and the Vulcan). It served in pure bomber, photo-reconnaissance and tanker roles and was withdrawn from service in January 1965.

Age unknown, paintwork has a few scratches and abrasions, but it displays well. From the estate of a collector / model maker in Worcestershire, this model is quite nicely finished. The airframe is solid wood, the stand is wood and perspex.

The wingspan is around 19 inches (49cms) which I think makes it 1:72 scale.

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SKYBIRDS

The Air League of the British Empire (started in 1909) began a campaign to develop “air-mindedness” with its Empire Air Day program following the success of Sir Alan Cobham's 1932 National Aviation Day Campaign. A Junior Air League section was formed by A.J. Holladay, called the "Skybird League" in 1933, and the decision was made to market commercial solid-scale model kits of current model aircraft in 1:72 scale. These models consisted of solid wooden airframes, with beautifully cast metal engines, undercarriages, guns etc.

This was a purely commercial enterprise, but was the foundation of the later official War Department's Recognition Model program for the British.