1/144 Bristol Freighter MK 31 - Ozmods
Injected plastic kit, with detailed flight deck, vac-form canopies, decals.
OMKIT14418 with SAFE Air (New Zealand) and British United decals.
OMKIT14419 with RNZAF and RAF decals.
The Bristol Type 170 was designed as a stop-gap project to provide work for the Bristol company while the Bristol Brabazon was under development. Subsequently, the Air Ministry expressed interest in the project, believing that it would provide a rugged transport aircraft capable of using unimproved airstrips, and two prototypes were ordered on the condition that the design was modified so that the aircraft could carry a British Army 3-ton truck, and Air Ministry specification 22/44 (later revised as C.9/45) was drawn up around the design.
In military service, Bristol Freighters were operated by the air forces of Argentina, Australia, Burma, Canada, Iraq, Pakistan and New Zealand. Bristol Freighters were operated briefly by the Pakistan Air Force. After withdrawal, some of the Pakistan aircraft were bought by SAFE Air and used in New Zealand. The Royal Canadian Air Force used five Freighters to carry spares and supplies between the UK and their bases in France and West Germany.
The Royal New Zealand Air Force ordered 12 Mk 31M Freighters in the late 1940s. RNZAF Freighters ranged as far as supplying the New Zealand Army in Malaya, the British High Commissions (and other support staff) in the Maldives, Ceylon, India and Nepal, performing Far East Air Force tasks in Malaya (often when other aircraft types were unserviceable owing to maintenance problems) and Hong Kong. They ran a highly reliable military shuttle service for allies in Thailand during the Vietnam War and served several other roles, being adapted for—amongst other things—aerial top dressing experiments, although to avoid competition with private enterprise, the New Zealand government did not use them in that role.
Available: 2016 December