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Gladiator MkII G-GLAD Fighter Collection Duxford 2013 

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Corgi 1:72 AA36210
Gladiator MkII G-GLAD Fighter Collection Duxford 2013

Historical Note:

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The Gloster Gladiator (or Gloster SS.37) was a British-built biplane fighter. It was used by the Royal Air Force (RAF) and the Royal Navy (as the Sea Gladiator variant) and was exported to a number of other air forces during the late 1930s. It was the RAF's last biplane fighter aircraft and was rendered obsolete by newer monoplane designs even as it was being introduced. Though often pitted against more formidable foes during the early days of the Second World War, it acquitted itself reasonably well in combat. The Gladiator saw action in almost all theatres during the Second World War, with a large number of air forces, some of them on the Axis side. The RAF used it in France, Norway, Greece, the defence of Malta, and the brief Anglo-Iraqi War (in which the Royal Iraqi Air Force was similarly equipped). Other countries deploying the Gladiator included China against Japan, beginning in 1938; Finland against the Soviet Union in the Winter War and the Continuation War; and Norway, Belgium, and Greece resisting Axis invasion of their respective lands. South African Marmaduke "Pat" Pattle was the top Gladiator ace with 15 victories over Italian aircraft.

Built in 1939 by Gloster Aircraft at their Huddlecoate factory, Gladiator N5903 is now one of just two examples of the type still airworthy. Restored by the Fighter Collection over a period of more than ten years this Gladiator is an excellent example of the late 1930s biplane. On entering service it flew with 141 Fighter Squadron at Turnhouse in Scotland before being replaced by Boulton Paul Defiants in April 1940.

The Gladiator survived the war, being used for various training and hack duties, before being purchased back by Gloster in 1948. Used as an instructional airframe it was given to the Shuttleworth Collection in 1960 along with the other flying Gladiator L8032. After this it was loaned to the Fleet Air Arm Museum before being purchased for restoration by The Fighter Collection in 1994.

Info:     Gloster Gladiator MkII G-GLAD Fighter Collection Duxford 2013

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