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The Vickers Wellington was a British twin-engined, long-range medium bomber which featured an innovative geodetic airframe fuselage structure devised by aircraft designer and inventor Barnes Wallis. The fuselage was built from 1,650 elements, consisting of duralumin W-beams which formed into a metal framework. Wooden battens were screwed to the beams and were covered with Irish linen; the linen, treated with layers of dope, formed the outer skin of the aircraft.
The metal lattice gave the structure considerable strength with heavily damaged or destroyed beams on one side still supported by those on the other. As a result, Wellingtons with huge areas of framework missing were often able to return home when other types would not have survived.
The Wellington carried a crew of five and could be fitted with dual flight controls for training purposes. The Wellington Mk I had a maximum offensive bomb load of 4,500 lb, more than one-fifth of the overall aircraft's 21,000 lb all-up weight.
On 18 December 1939, 24 Wellingtons of No. 9, No. 37 and No. 149 Squadrons participated in the Battle of the Heligoland Bight against the German fleet and naval bases in both the Schillig Roads and Wilhelmshaven.
Having been alerted by radar, Luftwaffe fighter aircraft intercepted the incoming bombers near to Heligoland and continuously attacked the formation much of the way home. In total, 12 of the bombers were destroyed and a further three were badly damaged.
The action at Heligoland highlighted the Wellington's vulnerability to attacking fighters, possessing neither self-sealing fuel tanks nor sufficient defensive armament. In particular, while the nose and tail turrets protected against attacks from the front and rear, the Wellington had no defences against attacks from the beam and above.
As a consequence of the losses taken, the tactic of unescorted day bombing was abandoned and Bomber Command switched to night operations. At the close of the war, Wellingtons had flown a total of 47,409 operations, dropping 37,941 tonnes of bombs with the loss 1,332 aircraft in action.
The Wellington continued to serve throughout the war in other duties, and holds the distinction of being the only British bomber to be produced for the duration of the war and of being produced in a greater quantity than any other British-built bomber.
All Vickers Wellington Instruments listed below come complete with detailed Scale Model, Mango Wood Stand & Plaque plus Printed Fact Sheet featuring photo of instrument in aircraft cockpit.
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VICKERS WELLINGTON LEFT & RIGHT BEAM INDICATOR
VICKERS WELLINGTON BOMB RELEASE TRIGGER & LEAD
Air Ministry stamped Vickers Wellington bomb release trigger with lead...