SPECIAL HOBBY 1/72
Following the end of World War Two, the British Air Ministry issued Specification T.7/45 calling for a three seat training aircraft which should replace the North American Harvard in the training scheme of both the FAA and RAF. Initially, a turboprop engine was considered for the design, however a standard piston engine in the shape of a reliable Merlin Mk.35 type was prefered also because of cost issues. The earlier concept of a three-seater aircraft was also left in favour of a two seat cockpit arrangement. One of the aircraft designed to these specifications was Baulton Paul´s type Balliol T.2/Sea Balliol T.21 which became the final military type to be driven by the famous Merlin engine.
The Balliol was a highly interesting machine having a folding wing of a laminar airflow cross-section and a huge cockpit with side-by-side pilot seats. For the use of the RAF, the T.2 version was produced and the machines saw service mainly with No.7 Flying Training School at Cottesmore and the RAF College at Cranwell. The navalized T.21 vesion was delivered to the FAA having a special naval equipment, arrester hook, smaller-diameter propeller, strenghtened undercarriage legs and hydraulically operated folding wings (the original Balliol design featured manually operated folding system). The production gave a total of 196 T.2s and another 30 of the navalized T.21s. The latter saw service with FAA training units as well as aboard HMS Triumph, then a cadet training ship. The Balliol / Sea Balliol remained in service until the early 1960s when they were replaced by more modern jet engine powered types and were offered for export to the Royal Ceylon Air Force. The RCyAF made use of a dozen of refurbished airframes, six of which were lost during their service with the RCyAF, the survivors withdrawn in the late 1960s. Baulton Paul company had also one airframe in use as a demonstrator, being painted plum red overall with white trimmings, bearing civil registration G-ANZF and serial VR603.
Our re-issue of the Balliol kit caters for company demonstrator machine G-ANZF and two Ceylon machines. The decal sheet brings also detailed stencils. Besides the styrene parts, the kit contains also resin parts along with undercarriage wheels and fuel tanks and a set of PE parts. The kit allows for a folded wing option by means of resin parts.
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