Armstrong Whitworth ( Arado ) E.555


When British troops overran the Arado factory in Warnemunde at the end of WWII, they managed to remove the prototype of the E.555 Amerikabomber before the Soviet army arrived, along with data and designs relating to its development. Once back in Britain the haul was handed over to Armstrong Whitworth for evaluation.

Concluding fairly rapidly that the Achilles heel of the existing prototype was it’s relatively unreliable engines, AW proposed replacing them with British engines. The scheme was approved, and the aircraft emerged with three Derwent IV engines giving similar total thrust to the original BMW units, though with significantly improved fuel consumption.

Put into limited production as the AW Vanquish B.1, the aircraft gave the RAF an early taste of operating a high performance long-range jet bomber. In common with other RAF bombers of the period, the aircraft was not fitted with defensive armament, the resulting weight loss allowing the carriage of early nuclear weapons.

Revell kit, engines from a couple of Airfix Gloster Meteors