This is an un-assembled 1/152nd scale model of a Reliance Mercury Tractor that measures 45mm long, 18mm wide, and is 15mm high. It weighs 30g and consists of 9 parts that are made of lead-free pewter alloy.
In Service - from about the mid 1980s to the early 2000s
The Reliance Mercury RM 350 Heavy Aircraft Tractor came into service in the RAF in the mid 1980s. It is designed to tow aircraft either from the front or rear with a maximum drawbar pull of 33,000 lbs such as the RAF’s Hercules and VC10s. The body panels are made of thick steel plate to give the vehicle a weight of 22,962kg to hold it down to prevent wheel spin when towing a heavy load.
The original colour scheme was light olive green overall and yellow stripes. At least two of these vehicles are known to be used at RAF St. Athan at the Defence Aviation Repair Agency where they are currently painted yellow overall. It is believed that this vehicle is also used by some commercial airlines.
For anyone fancying something different, two versions of this vehicle were produced as tank tugs. One type seen at what was the Armoured Vehicle Sub Depot at Ludgershall looked the same as the aircraft type except for a narrower and lower one man cab at the front. Another was seen at the Vehicle Depot Ashchurch with a box like cab positioned on top of the engine with hand rails around the body and wooden pusher bars at front and rear.