Barnes Wallis "Swallow" British Supersonic Transport Concept (1955)
About the Design
In the years following World War II, British aviation expert Barnes Wallis -- the brilliant aircraft engineer credited with designing the "Dam Buster" bomb that helped cripple Germany's steel industry in 1943 -- turned his attention to more advanced aircraft designs, including variable wing (swing-wing) aircraft capable of supersonic flight. One of his most famous concepts was the "Swallow," an elegant tail-less plane he hoped would become the mainstay of Britain's commercial aviation industry.
The plane had four engines mounted in pairs toward the tips of the wings, one above and one below the aerofoil. These pivoted along all three axes, serving in place of a rudder, ailerons and elevators.
Although test models of the plane actually flew, the British government pulled its funding in the late 1950s, essentially killing this promising project.
About the Kit
Released in early February 2009, the "Swallow" was a "tabletop" model (no landing gear) with moveable wings and engine nacelles as well as a "pop-up" cockpit that allowed it to be displayed in either the take-off/landing or in-flight configurations. The kit also came with an extensive decal sheet with markings for both the Pan Am and BOAC liveries.
This model was built from an original issue.