1/35 Airspeed A.S.58 Horsa Glider Mk.II|
The Airspeed Horsa was a large troop carrying glider designed in 1940 for British Airborne forces. It was to be the workhorse of the airborne divisions of both the British and American armies, and as such was continually developed and modified to carry Jeeps and small artillery pieces. On the AS.51 Horsa Mk.I loading was done through the side cargo door which needed a lot of manpower to physically lift Jeeps and guns into the glider. This was far from ideal and so the AS.58 Horsa Mk.II was developed with a hinged front fuselage.
The cockpit section could be raised up to allow equipment to be driven directly into the cargo bay. A twin nose wheel was also used and a new cable attachment on the nose wheel strut.
The Horsa Mk.II also featured a stronger reinforced cargo bay floor to help prevent damage when landing. Fully loaded the glider weighed 7,100 kg and could be towed at 242 km/h, this dropped to a gliding speed of 160 km/h when the tow cable was released. Production of the Horsa reached 2,400 with over 400 being passed to the United States Airborne forces.