Ursus 1/72 SR.53








Scott Van Aken


Airfix Molding


The Saro SR.53 was the result of a 1953 study to see if a rocketfighter could be built to intercept incoming Soviet bombers. They should havelooked back at the the Me-163 of ten years earlier to see that it could be done,but that it wasn't that effective. Needless to say, they went on with the designbut combined a Spectre rocket with a Viper turbojet. The turbojet was atop therocket with intakes just behind the canopy.

First flight was in May of 1957 with the first prototype XD145.With the Spectre rocket firing, the SR.53 eventually saw Mach 2 at heights above35,000 feet. The second prototype XD 151 was lost along with the pilot in Juneof 1958. This resulted in the grounding of the other prototype. It was hopedthat the production version, the SR.55 would be built in both the UK andGermany, however the Germans lost interest in the program and pulled out. Theprogram was finally cancelled and the remaining aircraft used for ground testpurposes until retired to the Cosford Aerospace Museum in December of 1961 


This kit is actually an Airfix molding and was reboxed in Poland. This kit comesfrom the 1980s, before the demise of Communism and the collapse of the IronCurtain. As a result, it reeks of old Eastern Europe kit. The box is a very poorcardboard and quite small. The instruction sheet is poor newsprint andeverything in it is in Polish. It shows an exploded view of the kit and that isabout it. There is undoubtedly some history and painting information, but Icannot read it. 

Not surprisingly, there are no decals withthe kit. Fortunately, this isn't that big a problem for many modelers as theneeded roundels and codes can be gleaned from any one of the many aftermarketsheets, the Modeldecal ones being the most useful in this regard. 

Thekit itself isn't that bad. No rivets, decent detail. Also no cockpit (just apilot and seat) or wheel well detail. The kit does have separate speed brakesand can be built wheels up. There is a small stand included as well as aninteresting little black barrel. From past involvement with these types of kits,it is either glue or paint. I'm not willing to open it to find out!!

Itreally doesn't look like that bad a kit. It is also one that has not been issuedfrom Airfix for at least 25 years, making it very much a collector's kit. Shouldone decide to build it, I can pretty well guarantee it to be a quick build andrecommended for all building levels.



British Research and Development Aircraft, by RaySturtivant, 1990, Hayes Publishing

Review kit courtesy of me and my wallet!

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