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Special Hobby Westland Whirlwind Mk 1

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Guest Martinnfb

Hey Guys, please excuse my ignorance, but does anybody knows why it stayed unmodified throughout it's career and withdrawn from service so soon? To progressive for British command  or some kind of industrial politics ?



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From what I read, problems with the Pergrine engine, and the inability to redesign for merlins, was a big contributing factor, also, limited range due to low fuel capacity and the fact that it used way more alloy in construction then tyoes like the Spitfire. I'm sure there are folks here who know more about it and the details....



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One of the problems was that you couldn't switch tanks over. So if a tank was holed you had one other full tank that you couldn't use.

It was not a complete failure though. The engines were underdeveloped but if you look at the airframe how clean it is with very low

frontal surface and four 20mm cannon it packed quite a punch.

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A very interesting and unique aircraft for sure... I will build one for interest's sake and also because Canadian pilots flew them too!

What I always find interesting is how designers can design systems into aircraft that render an airframe vulnerable... not being able to switch between tanks, the use of a different powerplant etc. At the time when the machines were designed and built, the designers had their reasons for their decisions, but in hindsight many aircraft from the era suffered from non redundancy in many systems.

What would have made sense to us now, in the present perhaps was not envisioned at the time of the design's conception.

That is what makes these unique aircraft so interesting!




Ps. Just imagine what this aircraft would have been capable of had it had the same Merlin powerplant, some propellor system as the Mk IX Spits, and fuel crossfeed and self sealing fuel tanks with redundant flight controls. The in-field serviceability and operational readiness including combat survivability would have been outstanding.

Edited by alaninaustria
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Putting on Merlins would need a complete redesign of the wing. Radiators would have to be bigger. The heavier Merlins would necessitate a longer rear fuselage to maintain centre of gravity within limits.

By the time these changes had been made, it would be a completely different plane and Mosquitos were reaching the squadrons in their hundreds.

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And according to the Victor Bingham book it could mix in with 109's. Perhaps it was too advanced for it's day. It had a high landing speed while most pilot's at the time were still used to make a threepointer.


If you're referring to this book (it's the only one that I'm aware of by Bingham), it's a great old volume. I've had my copy for roughly 20 years now (or more).




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