Its time once again for a look at the scintillating world of airport service vehicles.
Let’s take a look at an early-War fuel truck that served a critical need at a desperate time.
In the early 1930s the RAF was looking for a truck to serve a variety of needs, from ambulance to fuel truck to general transport. They chose the AM463 family of vehicles from Albion Motors of Scotland. About 400 were acquired, but honestly I’m not sure if that’s total or just the fuel trucks?
An interesting feature of the design was three overhead booms that would allow simultaneous fueling of three aircraft.
Like every RAF asset the type the pushed to the utmost summer and fall of 1940.
The Albion trucks were replaced with newer types starting late 1940; my source (the kit directions!) says this was due to obsolescence, but doesn’t really define in what sense. It could mean automotively, miles add up and if a type is out of production upkeep can become more difficult. Or it could just be a matter of size, obviously this is a small fuel tank that would require frequent trips back to the fuel farm. And while the three boom design obviously has its uses, it looks like its only about a 20 foot span? So it really could only service fighters or trainers.
No doubt, if I had a really authoritative reference for Wartime airport service vehicles, it would collect a lot of dust. But at least once in my life it might answer some questions…
This is the Airfix kit. It is the second of their newer kits I’ve built recently and the first vehicle. Airfix does have a unique approach to things, and the quality of the plastic itself remains suspect; but the engineering is first rate. Really a fun and different sort of project.