PDA

View Full Version : The Westland Whirlwind.



Uyraell
03-01-2009, 06:46 AM
This is yet another I shall have to dis-inter information on.
Conceived as an escort fighter and long-range attack aircraft, this design foundered essentially because of the many problems with it's engines, two Rolls Royce Peregrines. The Peregrine was essentially an experimental and unfortunate outgrowth of the very successful RR Kestrel, which is best described as the "grandfather of the Merlin".

The Whirlwind, had it ever been equipped with Merlin engines, would potentially have been a world-beater, well within the class of later generation fighters such as the Lockheed P38L and Ilyushin Il10.

The aircraft was formidably armed, with up to four 20mm cannons and two Browning .303 machineguns, or 6 cannon. These were mounted in the nose of the fuselage, much as the P38 Lighting and Me.262.

The wings were internally stressed for equipping with bomb racks for variously 4 x 250lb bombs, or 2 x 500lb bombs, or, later, 8 x 60lb rockets, much as the Typhoon.

It's service history is less than illustrious, however, as it was only ever produced in sufficient numbers to equip two RAF Squadrons. It was employed in the ground attack/ strafing/ fighterbomber role, which it excelled at, as often as the Peregrine engines allowed.

Other Forum members are invited to contribute to this thread on the Westland Whirlwind: these days a little-known and very much forgotten British aircraft.

Regards, Uyraell.

32Bravo
03-01-2009, 06:51 AM
Never heard of it as a fighter, until now...always thought it as a helicopter...at least the ones I flew in were.

Fighter

http://images.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/cb/Westland_Whirlwind_prototype.jpg&imgrefurl=http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Westland_Whirlwind_prototype.jpg&usg=__7thxFtou4QKlK-koqqfJ1Fard84=&h=468&w=640&sz=61&hl=en&start=2&tbnid=lFx-BT2WJufwKM:&tbnh=100&tbnw=137&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dwestland%2Bwhirlwind%26gbv%3D2%26hl%3 Den%26sa%3DG

Helicopter

http://images.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://www.national-army-museum.ac.uk/oldResearch/images/83310.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.national-army-museum.ac.uk/oldResearch/templerss2.shtml&usg=__NBzzERbNo39pcbftdLOpyEJcc7k=&h=124&w=200&sz=8&hl=en&start=161&tbnid=wLtbumtDoSdQZM:&tbnh=64&tbnw=104&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dwestland%2Bwhirlwind%26start%3D147%26 gbv%3D2%26ndsp%3D21%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN

http://airpower.callihan.cc/images/Helicoptr/01-Duxford-WestlandWhirlwind.jpg

jopped
03-01-2009, 08:52 AM
I have a book called: And it was never silend. (But then in Dutch). It was produced in two parts by the airforce, and it documents all airactivety over The Netherlands from May 14 1940 untill about June 1945. In part one, it says:

12 August 1941. Bomber Command. 87 aircraft, of wich 54 Blenheims, 12 Hampdens and 3 B-17's. Blenheims to Keulen, Hampdens to Franse, 2 B-17's to Germany and one to De Kooy (Dutch airfield near Den Helder).

12 August 1941. Fighter Command. A squadron Whirlwinds and six squadrons Spitfires escort and support of Blenheims from Bomber Command till the Dutch coast.

12 August 1941. Coastal Command. Photo recon. Den Haag, Leiden, Amsterdam/Schellingwoude, Haarlem, De Kooy, De Mok, Ypenburg, Schiphol, IJmuiden, Hoorn and Den Helder.

It was the first time the B-17 apeared over Holland. It was a big day. The is an appendix with more information, following here:

'Large attack of 2nd Group to Germany, first B-17's to The Netherlands'.

Tuesday 12 August 1941 was the day of an attack 2 group Blenheims crews had been training for for a while. This attack was directed to Germany, two powerplants at Keulen, however, reporting is relevant as a lot of action took place in Dutch airspace. It also ment the deput of two new airplanes in our airspace. The B-17 and the Whirlwind.

Because the Blenheims could only be escorted to just over the Dutch coast line, 5 group Hampdens would attack targeds in France. They could be escorted all the way. Also, four B-17's of 90 squadron, 2 Group, would attack the airfields of De Kooy, Emden and Keulen from high altitude.

All in all, about 400 aircraft of the RAF would be flying that day. The attack on Keulen would be executed by 54 Blenheims, ( of 18, 21, 82, 107, 114 and 139 squadron). On the way in, comming in from the Westerschelde, they would be escorted by 12 Whirlwinds of 263 squadron and on the way back by 30 spitfires. (of 234, 152 and 66 squadron). Also, a group of 37 spitfires would conduct a fighter sweep over Zeeland. (266, 65 and 19 squadron). To ease navigation, both groups of Spitfires would be led by a Blenheim of 266 squadron.

Take off at 10.30 (Dutch time) the low flying formation of 54 Blenheims and 12 Whirlwinds reached the Dutch coast around 11.45. Not as had been planned over the Westerschelde, but at the Harlingervliet. No German fighers were sighted, but German flak was alert and a short time after crossing the coast line the first Blenheim (of 82 squadron), was shot down by the AAA near Strijen. The escort turned back, and the 53 remaining Blenheims went on on their own. The Whrlwinds came over the Westerschelde on their way back tough, reported there by the Germans at 12.05. They came in very low, 10 to 30 meters. They wanted to attack a building they saw on the way in, but couldn't find it. So they attacked what they thought to be Flak-ships. All this when being fired upon by the AAA.

The pilots reported 2 ships possibly destroyed, but the Germans reported no ships lost. All 12 Whirlwinds landed at 12.35 at their base, aldough some had holes of machinegun fire and flak.

Meanewhile, in England the two groups of Spitfires had taken off and following their guides, arived shortly after 13.00 over Zeeland. They soon were engaged in dogfights with Messerschmitt Bf-109's of JG 26 and JG 1. What happened exacly is unclear, but it was a buissy half an hour over Zeeland. Around 13.15 the Blenheims returned, while from the German side, Bf-110's of ZG 76 and even some Ju-88's night fighters of I/NJG2 joined the fight. All at very low altitude, and with the partisipation of the German AAA.

All in all, 12 Blenheims went down, 10 of the Keulen group, and 2 of 266 squadron, who had been guiding the Spitfires. Sad thing was, one of them was shot down by 109's despite the protection of 37 spitfires. He crashed into sea, and the crew was killed. The second guiding Blenheim was hit by flak, crashed near Philipinne, and this crew was also killed. This also happened to a 152 squadron spitfire, who crashed near Biervliet. Pilot also killed. A second spitfire was hit by a Bf 109, and had to crash-land near Goede. Pilot lightly wounded, and captured.

Of the Blenheims, 5 were shot down on the way in and at the targed, and when they got back to the Dutch coast, where they were picked up by their escort, another 5 were shot down. Shot down by AAA, fighters, or both, crashed into sea. Only one, hit by AAA ditched onto sea, and the crew could get into their dinghy. They were lated picked up by a German boat and captured. (21 squadron lost 2, 18 squadron lost 3, as did 139 squadron. 114 squadron lost one and 82 squadron also one. Then there were the two guiding Blenheims of 226 squadron.)

The Spitfires of 19 squadron claimed one Bf 109 damaged, 234 squadron one 109 and a Ju-88. Who did what is unclear, but sertan is that around 13.00 a Bf-109 of 2/JG1 had to emergensy land near Colijnsplaat, as did a night figher Ju-88 of I/NJG2, who hit the ground at Steenbergen, and of the crew, two were injured.

While this all happened over Zeeland, 3 out of 4, (one went back to base due to technical problems) B-17's released their bombs. Pilot Officer Sturmey rapported that he had dropped his bombs at 11.00 over De Kooy, but cloud cover had prevented him from seeing the results. De Kooy raported no bombs.

It had been a buissy day over Zeeland, not only for the RAF, but also for the Germans and the Dutch people living there.

The Flak commander of the Vlissingen area raported that it was not easy to see who was friend and who foe. Not only because the German fighters, agains orders, flew very low, but also because the shark mouths painted onto the Bf-110's of ZG-76 gave them a totaly different look, and also the black Ju-88's were confusing. Also he reported that, aldough the shooting chances were very low, some troops could not keep calm unther the pressure of so many aircraft.

So far the appendix.

This was the first opperation of the Whirlwind, at least over The Netherlands, and it had not been a failure. They had attacked the Germans, aldough not destroying any ships, but still, it must have been a good day to learn from.

According to the book, Whirlwinds were also present during the 'Channel Dash' (the break trough of 2 German warships trough the Channel from France to Germany). 137 Squadron lost that day, February 12, 1942, lost four Whirlwids.

Another rapport, of May 27, 1942 states: Whirlwinds flew a patrol along the Dutch coast, one didn't return.

Note: The Whirlwind was shot down by flak near IJmuiden-Beverwijk. The pilot, Flight Sergeant Brennan of 137 squadron is burried at Bergen aan Zee. The Whirlwinds had attacked the Steel factory's at IJmuiden. The factory reported about 100 hits from 2 cm guns, but no more damage.

Apparently, where were more version's of the Whirlwind, because the raport of October 25 goes as follows: At 07.00 4 Whirlwind B's sent to shipping between Cape Griz Nez and Hoek van Holland. Nothing seigthed.

It seems, that Whirlwind B stands for Whirlwind bomber. This was the fighterbomber version, and, just like the Hurricane, it was rapported in a different version then the normal figher.

A lot of information, and at times a bit off topic, but I hope you all find it interesting.

Cheers,
Joppe

Uyraell
03-01-2009, 09:47 AM
I have a book called: And it was never silend. (But then in Dutch). It was produced in two parts by the airforce, and it documents all airactivety over The Netherlands from May 14 1940 untill about June 1945. In part one, it says:

12 August 1941. Bomber Command. 87 aircraft, of wich 54 Blenheims, 12 Hampdens and 3 B-17's. Blenheims to Keulen, Hampdens to Franse, 2 B-17's to Germany and one to De Kooy (Dutch airfield near Den Helder).

12 August 1941. Fighter Command. A squadron Whirlwinds and six squadrons Spitfires escort and support of Blenheims from Bomber Command till the Dutch coast.

12 August 1941. Coastal Command. Photo recon. Den Haag, Leiden, Amsterdam/Schellingwoude, Haarlem, De Kooy, De Mok, Ypenburg, Schiphol, IJmuiden, Hoorn and Den Helder.

It was the first time the B-17 apeared over Holland. It was a big day. The is an appendix with more information, following here:

'Large attack of 2nd Group to Germany, first B-17's to The Netherlands'.

Tuesday 12 August 1941 was the day of an attack 2 group Blenheims crews had been training for for a while. This attack was directed to Germany, two powerplants at Keulen, however, reporting is relevant as a lot of action took place in Dutch airspace. It also ment the deput of two new airplanes in our airspace. The B-17 and the Whirlwind.

Because the Blenheims could only be escorted to just over the Dutch coast line, 5 group Hampdens would attack targeds in France. They could be escorted all the way. Also, four B-17's of 90 squadron, 2 Group, would attack the airfields of De Kooy, Emden and Keulen from high altitude.

All in all, about 400 aircraft of the RAF would be flying that day. The attack on Keulen would be executed by 54 Blenheims, ( of 18, 21, 82, 107, 114 and 139 squadron). On the way in, comming in from the Westerschelde, they would be escorted by 12 Whirlwinds of 263 squadron and on the way back by 30 spitfires. (of 234, 152 and 66 squadron). Also, a group of 37 spitfires would conduct a fighter sweep over Zeeland. (266, 65 and 19 squadron). To ease navigation, both groups of Spitfires would be led by a Blenheim of 266 squadron.

Take off at 10.30 (Dutch time) the low flying formation of 54 Blenheims and 12 Whirlwinds reached the Dutch coast around 11.45. Not as had been planned over the Westerschelde, but at the Harlingervliet. No German fighers were sighted, but German flak was alert and a short time after crossing the coast line the first Blenheim (of 82 squadron), was shot down by the AAA near Strijen. The escort turned back, and the 53 remaining Blenheims went on on their own. The Whrlwinds came over the Westerschelde on their way back tough, reported there by the Germans at 12.05. They came in very low, 10 to 30 meters. They wanted to attack a building they saw on the way in, but couldn't find it. So they attacked what they thought to be Flak-ships. All this when being fired upon by the AAA.

The pilots reported 2 ships possibly destroyed, but the Germans reported no ships lost. All 12 Whirlwinds landed at 12.35 at their base, aldough some had holes of machinegun fire and flak.

Meanewhile, in England the two groups of Spitfires had taken off and following their guides, arived shortly after 13.00 over Zeeland. They soon were engaged in dogfights with Messerschmitt Bf-109's of JG 26 and JG 1. What happened exacly is unclear, but it was a buissy half an hour over Zeeland. Around 13.15 the Blenheims returned, while from the German side, Bf-110's of ZG 76 and even some Ju-88's night fighters of I/NJG2 joined the fight. All at very low altitude, and with the partisipation of the German AAA.

All in all, 12 Blenheims went down, 10 of the Keulen group, and 2 of 266 squadron, who had been guiding the Spitfires. Sad thing was, one of them was shot down by 109's despite the protection of 37 spitfires. He crashed into sea, and the crew was killed. The second guiding Blenheim was hit by flak, crashed near Philipinne, and this crew was also killed. This also happened to a 152 squadron spitfire, who crashed near Biervliet. Pilot also killed. A second spitfire was hit by a Bf 109, and had to crash-land near Goede. Pilot lightly wounded, and captured.

Of the Blenheims, 5 were shot down on the way in and at the targed, and when they got back to the Dutch coast, where they were picked up by their escort, another 5 were shot down. Shot down by AAA, fighters, or both, crashed into sea. Only one, hit by AAA ditched onto sea, and the crew could get into their dinghy. They were lated picked up by a German boat and captured. (21 squadron lost 2, 18 squadron lost 3, as did 139 squadron. 114 squadron lost one and 82 squadron also one. Then there were the two guiding Blenheims of 226 squadron.)

The Spitfires of 19 squadron claimed one Bf 109 damaged, 234 squadron one 109 and a Ju-88. Who did what is unclear, but sertan is that around 13.00 a Bf-109 of 2/JG1 had to emergensy land near Colijnsplaat, as did a night figher Ju-88 of I/NJG2, who hit the ground at Steenbergen, and of the crew, two were injured.

While this all happened over Zeeland, 3 out of 4, (one went back to base due to technical problems) B-17's released their bombs. Pilot Officer Sturmey rapported that he had dropped his bombs at 11.00 over De Kooy, but cloud cover had prevented him from seeing the results. De Kooy raported no bombs.

It had been a buissy day over Zeeland, not only for the RAF, but also for the Germans and the Dutch people living there.

The Flak commander of the Vlissingen area raported that it was not easy to see who was friend and who foe. Not only because the German fighters, agains orders, flew very low, but also because the shark mouths painted onto the Bf-110's of ZG-76 gave them a totaly different look, and also the black Ju-88's were confusing. Also he reported that, aldough the shooting chances were very low, some troops could not keep calm unther the pressure of so many aircraft.

So far the appendix.

This was the first opperation of the Whirlwind, at least over The Netherlands, and it had not been a failure. They had attacked the Germans, aldough not destroying any ships, but still, it must have been a good day to learn from.

According to the book, Whirlwinds were also present during the 'Channel Dash' (the break trough of 2 German warships trough the Channel from France to Germany). 137 Squadron lost that day, February 12, 1942, lost four Whirlwids.

Another rapport, of May 27, 1942 states: Whirlwinds flew a patrol along the Dutch coast, one didn't return.

Note: The Whirlwind was shot down by flak near IJmuiden-Beverwijk. The pilot, Flight Sergeant Brennan of 137 squadron is burried at Bergen aan Zee. The Whirlwinds had attacked the Steel factory's at IJmuiden. The factory reported about 100 hits from 2 cm guns, but no more damage.

Apparently, where were more version's of the Whirlwind, because the raport of October 25 goes as follows: At 07.00 4 Whirlwind B's sent to shipping between Cape Griz Nez and Hoek van Holland. Nothing seigthed.

It seems, that Whirlwind B stands for Whirlwind bomber. This was the fighterbomber version, and, just like the Hurricane, it was rapported in a different version then the normal figher.

A lot of information, and at times a bit off topic, but I hope you all find it interesting.

Cheers,
Joppe
Many, Many. Thanks, Joppe :)

I have almost no ''in action" data on the Whirlwind, these days. My book collection was destroyed. I still have the dimensional data, and similar details, along with minor information on the aircraft at war. Am glad to see this information you've shared.

Regards, Uyraell.

Uyraell
03-01-2009, 09:55 AM
Never heard of it as a fighter, until now...always thought it as a helicopter...at least the ones I flew in were.

Fighter

http://images.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/cb/Westland_Whirlwind_prototype.jpg&imgrefurl=http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Westland_Whirlwind_prototype.jpg&usg=__7thxFtou4QKlK-koqqfJ1Fard84=&h=468&w=640&sz=61&hl=en&start=2&tbnid=lFx-BT2WJufwKM:&tbnh=100&tbnw=137&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dwestland%2Bwhirlwind%26gbv%3D2%26hl%3 Den%26sa%3DG

Helicopter

http://images.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://www.national-army-museum.ac.uk/oldResearch/images/83310.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.national-army-museum.ac.uk/oldResearch/templerss2.shtml&usg=__NBzzERbNo39pcbftdLOpyEJcc7k=&h=124&w=200&sz=8&hl=en&start=161&tbnid=wLtbumtDoSdQZM:&tbnh=64&tbnw=104&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dwestland%2Bwhirlwind%26start%3D147%26 gbv%3D2%26ndsp%3D21%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN

http://airpower.callihan.cc/images/Helicoptr/01-Duxford-WestlandWhirlwind.jpg

Which is in part why I began this thread.
These days the helicopter is barely remembered.
The airplane is even less known.
Since it did serve in WW2, I thought it worth a mention, where, for example the Bristol Brigand or the DH Sea Hornet is not, despite that they are also WW2 designs.

Also, for the first few post-war years (roughly 20), the British were far from imaginative or creative where naming new models of aircraft was concerned. Several times names were re-employed even though relating to very different aircraft.

The Helicopter you flew as a Whirlwind doesn't exactly class as "British" in design either.
The prototype Sikorsky 51 was demonstrated in the UK, and Type Approved for purchase for Armed Forces use. Subsequently, the UK govt insisted on Licenced Production in the UK, thus Westland enters the scene. As usual, the UK govt delayed the purchase so long that the S51 had meanwhile evolved via the S53 into the S55, which is what the UK govt ended up purchasing, carrying the Whirlwind name over from what had been intended to be the S51 name in UK service. In effect recycling the name "Whirlwind" for the third time.

At this remove in time from my childhood years (I was about 9 when I read all the above) I may have committed to writing minor inaccuracies, but the story as far as the helicopter Whirlwind is basically factual as I've put here, and as far as my memory allows.

Regards, Uyraell.

pdf27
03-01-2009, 06:00 PM
Fit Merlin engines, and you need to re-do a lot of the development work to match engines and airframe. Do that and you end up with the De Haviland Hornet, a truly formidable aircraft but one which wasn't operational until 1945 - and then only barely. Just fitting new engines is rarely a simple process, and it is questionable what role such an aircraft would have performed better than existing aircraft - and if this is a good use of scarce resources in wartime.

Nickdfresh
03-01-2009, 07:39 PM
Fit Merlin engines, and you need to re-do a lot of the development work...Just fitting new engines is rarely a simple process, and it is questionable what role such an aircraft would have performed better than existing aircraft - and if this is a good use of scarce resources in wartime.


Especially when it's a twin engined aircraft...

Panzerknacker
03-02-2009, 05:58 AM
Interesting aircraft, I got a little book about. lll post a little more later.

Uyraell
03-02-2009, 06:21 AM
Fit Merlin engines, and you need to re-do a lot of the development work to match engines and airframe. Do that and you end up with the De Haviland Hornet, a truly formidable aircraft but one which wasn't operational until 1945 - and then only barely. Just fitting new engines is rarely a simple process, and it is questionable what role such an aircraft would have performed better than existing aircraft - and if this is a good use of scarce resources in wartime.

Very true. What always struck me as curious though, was that AEE Farnborough took a P40 (effectively the same generation, in design terms) and contrived to fit increased span wings, with a Merlin on each `a la Whirlwind with Peregrines. Not unnaturally, a sort of bastardised P40/Whirlwind was the result. Perhaps surprisingly, the P40-Twin flew well, though they never ascribed a role for it.

Thus, having produced a twin Merlin aircraft smaller than a Beaufighter or Mosquito, they had the preliminary work in essence complete, for a Merlin-Whirlwind.

Which is more or less where the DH Hornet enters the scene. The P40-Twin was one of the contributory aircraft that provided data towards the Hornet, along with the Merlin-Beaufighters, and the Mosquito.

Thus, though the point about wartime resources is well made, a certain rather curious usage of those resources is demonstrated. Much of the thinking on that prompted this thread.

Regards, Uyraell.

Uyraell
03-02-2009, 07:16 AM
Interesting aircraft, I got a little book about. lll post a little more later.

My friend, anything you can contribute will be worth the read. :)
And I shall be glad to see it.

Warm Regards, and Thank you in advance,

Uyraell.

Uyraell
03-02-2009, 07:19 AM
Especially when it's a twin engined aircraft...

You're both correct.
The curious history of the aircraft is one reason I began the thread.
The fact that it could have been, and could have achieved so much more, is another reason.

Warm Regards, Uyraell.

jopped
03-02-2009, 11:28 AM
Hi. Today, I took the second part of my book, it going from june 1943 till the end of the war. Here is what it says:

14/15 june 1943, Fighter Command. 16 Mosquito's, 8 Beaufighters, 6 Whirlwinds, 6 Mustangs, 3 Typhoon B's, and a Boston were sent out for Intruder opp's over France and the Low Coutries. Results: A Mosquito attacked targeds in the Netherlands, damaging two trains and two river ships. A Beaufighter shot down a Bf-110 and also reported that another German aircraft was shot down by their own AAA.

Note: 40 aircraft were used by fighter command for intruder opp's, and aldough all types of aircraft had done this before, now for the first time Beaufighters with radar on board were used. In responce of the losses of Bomber Command during night raids, it had now been alowed for these night fighters to opperate in enemy teretory, especialy to hunt down the German night fighters. To do this, they had the 'normal' AI radar, and the 'Serrate', a radar that responded to the German night fighter radar from a range up to 150 km.

Of the 8 used Beaufighters, six had radar equipment. They were from 141 squadron, normaly stationed at Wittering, but for this night they opperated from Coltishall. Wing Commander Braham, the squadron CO, claimed the Bf-110 at 02.30, the fighter going down in flames, and crashing in a great ball of fire on the north east shore of the Zuiderzee, north of Stavoren.

The German raports do not state the loss of a Bf-110 in the area, they did rapport a crash landing of a Bf-110 on Gilze-Rijen, due to engine troubles by enemy fire. This one was from I/NJG1, a second Bf-110 of II/NJG1 was shot down over Germany by a Lancaster. They also didn't rapport the shooting down of a German aircraft by their own flak, but they did report two Lancasters being downed in the area, one at 01.44 by a night fighter, 3 km east of Deelen, another at 02.30, near Renkum. Of the 204 Lancasters of Bomber Command on opp's this night, 17 did not return to base. One of them was DV160, 460 RAAF squadron, shot down by a German night fighter near Schellingwouden. One engine of this aircraft was recovered by the Dutch airforce in 1978 and now rests in the Soesterberg Airforce Museum.

15/16 August 1943. Fighter Command. 27 Mosquito's, 8 Beaufighters, 7 Typhoons an 4 Mustangs for intruder opps. Over the Netherlands railroads were attacked, and bombs dropped at De Kooy airfield. One Typhoon didn't return from this opp.

3 Whirlwind B's and 6 Hurricane with rockeds were sent out for anti shipping opperations between Walcheren and Northern France, nothing special to report.

Note: The Typhoon lost was of 195 squadron, who, according to the German raport, crashed at 03.00 2 km north east of Bergen airfield. The pilot was blinded by search lights. Pilot Officer Webster lost his life.

In the night of 17/18 August 1943, there is another mentioning of the Whirlwind in nightly anti shipping opperations, but again nothing special to report.

These last opp's with the Whirlwind must have been carried out by 263 squadron, as 137 squadron seizer operating them in June of 1943. They got Hurricane Mk IV's for a while, before they got Typhoon's. (link: http://www.rafweb.org/Sqn136-140.htm )

263 squadron traided in their aircraft for the Typhoon in December 1943. (link: http://www.rafweb.org/Sqn261-265.htm )

Cheers,
Joppe

Amrit
03-02-2009, 12:13 PM
don't forget that the Whirlwind was conceived at the same time as the Spitfire and the Hurricane. At that time 1937/38, it was, in effect, superior to the other two. The fact that it used Kesteral engines was considered a problem. It was seen in the same way as the ME110, in that it was to be a bomber protecter.

Considering the modifications that were needed to made to the Spitfire over its service, one can't really knock the lovely Whirlwind for falling behind the opposition. And the biggest hinderance to the aircraft being given Merlins wasn't design issues but the fact that Bomber Command kept blocking Merlin engines being diverted away from their bombers. The only two engined aircraft they pushed for was the Mosquito, and even then they weren't happy about its use by non-BC squadrons.

But I still prefer the Beaufighter :)

leccy
03-02-2009, 01:07 PM
A later development along the lines of the Whirlwind 'I have read that it was a later development from the whirlwind idea' was the Westland Welkin developed around 42/43

Not got much actual info except a test pilots short report on it

A High altitude twin engined fighter using R/R Merlin engines

Panzerknacker
03-02-2009, 05:51 PM
Good reports Jopped, wasnt it used also covering the Dieppe Landings ?



My friend, anything you can contribute will be worth the read. :)
And I shall be glad to see it.



Here you got, nice litte heavy fighter, demolishing firepower, tough a bit slow.

http://i44.tinypic.com/2ibexdk.jpg


http://i41.tinypic.com/21ew8di.jpg


http://i43.tinypic.com/16m2ech.jpg


http://i42.tinypic.com/28u1ctg.jpg

Panzerknacker
03-02-2009, 06:00 PM
Continues....

http://i43.tinypic.com/sghkkm.jpg


http://i40.tinypic.com/5mmn0z.jpg


http://i43.tinypic.com/30adhe1.jpg


http://i42.tinypic.com/2hoidm8.jpg

Uyraell
03-03-2009, 10:24 AM
don't forget that the Whirlwind was conceived at the same time as the Spitfire and the Hurricane. At that time 1937/38, it was, in effect, superior to the other two. The fact that it used Kesteral engines was considered a problem. It was seen in the same way as the ME110, in that it was to be a bomber protecter.

Considering the modifications that were needed to made to the Spitfire over its service, one can't really knock the lovely Whirlwind for falling behind the opposition. And the biggest hinderance to the aircraft being given Merlins wasn't design issues but the fact that Bomber Command kept blocking Merlin engines being diverted away from their bombers. The only two engined aircraft they pushed for was the Mosquito, and even then they weren't happy about its use by non-BC squadrons.

But I still prefer the Beaufighter :)

You are correct. :) and I'd not like it thought that I regard the Whirlwind as "unstylish". While it does not have the rakish elegance of the FW187, for example, it is nonetheless a rather tidy and structurally sturdy package.

As to the Kestrel/Peregrine engines (and yes, developmentally it flew each at some stage) My view has always been that they were it's greatest weakness.

The Kestrel series engines flew well in (for want of a term describing performance requirements) constant demand mode, but tended to suffer in high demand mode, when the metallurgical and temperature issues again manifested, just as they had with the Eagle series of predecessor engines.
The Peregrine series had been intended to overcome those same issues and had in effect added-to rather than decreased the amount of woes.

As happens, irony enters the picture at this point, where the "Kestrel C/D" series engines, began as a "one-off" experiment, evolve into the PV12 , which becomes the Merlin, almost devoid of the same issues the Peregrine highlights.

The Bomber Command attitude regarding the Merlin being employed is a strong influence, I agree, though I tend to view that as "developmental politics" rather than as relating to developmental engineering. The cases of both the Hercules and Centaurus engines would tend to support my view, in as much as there also, the baleful influence of BCmd was felt.

And yes, the Beaufighter was, as it eventuated, preferable, once the elevator dihedral, and cg2 variance issues were sorted. (Though, the Gods forgive me: I'd have run like hell from flying in a Beaufighter 2 with a Boulton-Paul turret. :mrgreen:)

My profound appreciation for your learned addition to this thread, Amrit :)

Kind Regards, Uyraell.

Uyraell
03-04-2009, 03:37 AM
Continues....

http://i43.tinypic.com/sghkkm.jpg


http://i40.tinypic.com/5mmn0z.jpg


http://i43.tinypic.com/30adhe1.jpg


http://i42.tinypic.com/2hoidm8.jpg

Thank you indeed, Panzerknacker, my friend, a very full and pleasing contribution. :)
A very enjoyable read.

Warm Regards, Uyraell.

Rising Sun*
03-04-2009, 08:01 AM
Maybe it was the aircraft design that made the aircraft not suitable for war and not the engines?

Quite possibly.

Which do you think it was?

The engine or the airframe?

Or, given substantial research during and after the war, was it the defective inverted flight monostat valve which controlled the hydraulic static drive for the gyroscopic auto horizon in most British and American planes until the fault was discovered ini 1943 when a Brewster Buffalo landed upside down on instruments because the monostat valve when inverted had an unexpected duostat function which inverted the horizon?

herman2
03-04-2009, 08:55 AM
I thought a Brewster Buffalo was actually a real buffalo, but if it helps Viper, I found this from Wiki...It's a real plane I just found out!!

The Brewster F2A (company Model 139) was an American fighter aircraft which saw limited service during World War II. In 1939, the F2A became the first monoplane fighter aircraft used by the US Navy. In December 1941, it suffered severe losses with both British Commonwealth and Dutch air forces in South East Asia while facing the Japanese Navy A6M Zero and the Japanese Army's Oscar. It also saw action with US Marine Corps squadrons at the Battle of Midway. Frustrated with the Buffalo's poor maneuverability and speed compared to the Japanese Zero, the F2A was derided by U.S. Marine Corps pilots as a "flying coffin",[1] However, during the Continuation War of 1941-1944, the Buffaloes operated by the Finnish Air Force proved capable of engaging and destroying most types of Soviet fighter aircraft operating against Finland at that time.

Thanks RS once again, for causing me to look up stuff you write about. I am learning new stuff each day. I am amazed on how you know so much of this stuff.I don't know about your Monostatic valve discussion, but I now know what a Brewster Buffalo is!!

Amrit
03-04-2009, 01:31 PM
The Rolls Royce engines and Merlin engines are one of a kind! meaning that they are the same engines.
So changing the engines on this aircraft (Whirlwind)won't make her any better.
So i read millions of times.
Also i have read that the Rolls Royce Merlins engines were outstanding for the time.
Maybe it was the aircraft design that made the aircraft not suitable for war and not the engines?
I read this too,so it's not like i am trying too yirk you or anything like that.


Eh?

Rolls Royce were the maker of lots of engines, not just the Merlin. Yes the Merlin was an outstanding engine, but it was different from the Peregine used in the Whirlwind. The Merlin was more powerful and reliable than the Peregrine, so of course it would have made a difference.

Amrit
03-04-2009, 01:39 PM
It suffered severe losses with both British Commonwealth and Dutch air forces in South East Asia while facing the Japanese Navy A6M Zero and the Japanese Army's Oscar.

It still managed a kill rate of 3.74:1 against the Japanese in Singapore and the surrounding campaign. It may not have been as fast or agile but it had the advantage of armament, armour and general sturdiness.

pdf27
03-04-2009, 02:51 PM
Eh?

Rolls Royce were the maker of lots of engines, not just the Merlin. Yes the Merlin was an outstanding engine, but it was different from the Peregine used in the Whirlwind. The Merlin was more powerful and reliable than the Peregrine, so of course it would have made a difference.

The Merlin was also significantly heavier and more expensive, and had higher cooling requirements. It is NOT a simple job to swap out Peregrines and fit Merlin engines.

Panzerknacker
03-04-2009, 04:20 PM
Thank you indeed, Panzerknacker, my friend, a very full and pleasing contribution


One more plate...

http://i42.tinypic.com/14liz4x.jpg

...and the " Bellows Argentina", not sure if this aircraft got its name because some donation...

http://i44.tinypic.com/21ajwb9.jpg

Amrit
03-05-2009, 03:30 AM
...and the " Bellows Argentina", not sure if this aircraft got its name because some donation...


For Panzerknacker

http://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t272/kyt1968/ac5b2953.jpg

Uyraell
03-05-2009, 04:58 AM
The Welkin was mentioned earlier, and I made mention of both the Brigand and Hornet, as did another contributor.

Those aircraft are almost another thread each, in as much as they represent the approaches of different designers in different companies with similar tasks in mind.

Perhaps such a thread "Those aircraft that might have been built or used before 1945",
will emerge from this discussion.

Regards, Uyraell.

pdf27
03-05-2009, 12:42 PM
What, a kind of Allied Luft'46? Would be worth doing - the information is all out there, and the majority of the aircraft would have outperformed their Luftwaffe equivalents. I'm not aware of any neat attempts to collect them all into one place though...

Panzerknacker
03-05-2009, 05:10 PM
For Panzerknacker



Beautiful !! thank you very much :)

Uyraell
03-06-2009, 02:55 PM
What, a kind of Allied Luft'46? Would be worth doing - the information is all out there, and the majority of the aircraft would have outperformed their Luftwaffe equivalents. I'm not aware of any neat attempts to collect them all into one place though...
I've no objection in principle to such a thread on Allied-'46 as it were, pdf27.
Though I don't think it fair to say the Allied aircraft would have outperformed their German counterparts.
Remember, the Me 262 V8 was travelling faster than the "record holder" Meteor jet nearly 5 years later. 624.8 mph (early 1944) against 619.4 (mid1949).

Regards, Uyraell.

R Mark Davies
10-14-2009, 06:38 AM
At least one of the two Whirlwind squadrons operated out of RAF Angle, on the southwestern corner of Pembrokeshire in Wales. It seems to have operated mainly in the maritime strike role.

Antinchip
12-02-2009, 05:47 AM
My late uncle, Sqn/Ldr Thomas P Pugh, DFC was Commanding Officer of 263 Squadron in August 1941. I have a BBC recording from January 1942 of Uncle Tom giving an account of a sortie to a German airfield in coastal France. This describes his flight strafing and destroying a number of JU-88's on the ground. I have just found a website on 263 Squadron (http://homepage.ntlworld.com/laurieburley/jeff/index.html) with transcripts of the Squadron ORB and various other documents which includes a record of this very sortie, which was against Lannion on 26 August 1941.
From the records I have identified that one of the Whirlwinds pictured in the Philip J R Moyes article, P7116 and that detailed in colour, was Uncle Tom’s “personal mount”. Uncle Tom is mentioned in the text as being credited with advocating the fitting of bomb racks to the Whirlwind, although he was posted to Headquarters, No 82 Group as Squadron Leader Tactics in February 1942, before the “Whirlibomber” came into being.
Uncle Tom was later W/Cmdr with 182 Squadron operating Typhoons and was KIA on 2 August 1943 dive-bombing a destroyer in Dunkirk harbour. His wartime story along with that of my father S/Ldr Robert M Pugh AFC RAF (Ret'd) (who flew "Wimpeys" with Coastal Command), now 89, and their brother P/O John C Pugh who died in a Spitfire crash in 1940 was relayed in some detail in Dilip Sarkar’s book “Through Peril To The Stars”.
I hope you find this of interest.
Regards
Anthony

Uyraell
02-13-2010, 01:47 PM
My late uncle, Sqn/Ldr Thomas P Pugh, DFC was Commanding Officer of 263 Squadron in August 1941. I have a BBC recording from January 1942 of Uncle Tom giving an account of a sortie to a German airfield in coastal France. This describes his flight strafing and destroying a number of JU-88's on the ground. I have just found a website on 263 Squadron (http://homepage.ntlworld.com/laurieburley/jeff/index.html) with transcripts of the Squadron ORB and various other documents which includes a record of this very sortie, which was against Lannion on 26 August 1941.
From the records I have identified that one of the Whirlwinds pictured in the Philip J R Moyes article, P7116 and that detailed in colour, was Uncle Tom’s “personal mount”. Uncle Tom is mentioned in the text as being credited with advocating the fitting of bomb racks to the Whirlwind, although he was posted to Headquarters, No 82 Group as Squadron Leader Tactics in February 1942, before the “Whirlibomber” came into being.
Uncle Tom was later W/Cmdr with 182 Squadron operating Typhoons and was KIA on 2 August 1943 dive-bombing a destroyer in Dunkirk harbour. His wartime story along with that of my father S/Ldr Robert M Pugh AFC RAF (Ret'd) (who flew "Wimpeys" with Coastal Command), now 89, and their brother P/O John C Pugh who died in a Spitfire crash in 1940 was relayed in some detail in Dilip Sarkar’s book “Through Peril To The Stars”.
I hope you find this of interest.
Regards
Anthony

Hello Anthony, Many Many Thanks to you Sir!!

The information and links you provided are most welcome, and I am most grateful for them. My Profound Thanks to you, Anthony.

To me, it is hugely interesting to know of folk who used various equipment or aircraft operationally, and in the case of the Whirlwind, the aircraft is such a relative rarity, that can only add to the value of the information you have so kindly shared.

Your contribution to this thread has added a lot of value to it, Anthony. :)

Kindest Regards, Uyraell.

Clave
03-01-2010, 07:00 AM
One of my favourite fighters, and it could have been so much more with the right engines...

http://www.clavework-graphics.co.uk/aircraft/westland_whirlwind/Whirlwind_137Sqn_1.png

http://www.clavework-graphics.co.uk/aircraft/westland_whirlwind/Whirlwind_137Sqn_2.png

http://www.clavework-graphics.co.uk/aircraft/westland_whirlwind/Whirlwind_263Sqn_1.png

Uyraell
03-03-2010, 06:08 AM
Clave, my Profound Thanks to you. :)
I'm touched that you set your images on this thread, because your work is of such superlative quality.

Many Many Thanks, Clave.:)

Kindest and Warm Regards, Uyraell.

Clave
03-07-2010, 07:31 PM
Any time! :)

Spyinthesky
06-11-2010, 08:06 AM
Thanks for all the information on this thread it has been extremely illuminating and though having done much research on this aircraft have still managed to learn a lot more. For those that don't know a documentary is being produced on the aircraft and the lost opportunities. Indeed i will direct the producer here in case there is anything that may be of interest. If anyone has information that they feel could be of use or would like direct contact with the producer please let me know at. screenworx@gmail.com all help would be gratefully received.

Just to add a little more information when the aircraft was designed it was proposed for power by Merlins however the Air Ministry wanted an alternative in case the Merlin (and therefore Spitfire/Hurricane) proved problematical. Ironically the Peregrine was considered a safer bet as it was an update of a proven design and Westland reluctantly agreed, I don't know to what extent this altered the design at that point which obviously would have reflected on the later Mk2 update with Merlins that Westland proposed. This was unfortunately to be the design's downful as Rolls Royce was soon to decide not to do further Peregrine development, indeed it wanted to cancel it altogether. It is true to say that by the time the Mk2 was proposed even if conversion had proved reasonably easy (?) other designs were better placed to do its designated roles and general confidence in Westland's production process was fragile at best and the Lysander took precedence for its vital role. However had it been designed with Merlins in the first place which likely would have solved much of the development delay too then this would have been a most outstanding aircraft and likely the fastest piston engined aircraft of the war, a Hornet perhaps 4 years earlier. The fact by the end of the war fighters, piston or jet had taken up its general design philosophy surely says something.

Anyway out of interest I have included illustrations of standard Whirlwind and how it may have looked with Merlins. You can see more of them at screenworx (dot) net if you wish.

Stuart

Panzerknacker
06-11-2010, 04:17 PM
Nice plates, thanks.

Antinchip
09-02-2010, 12:16 PM
Jim Munro who is the producer of the proposed Whirlwind documentary "Ghost of the Whirlwind" has recently posted a "teaser" on you tube to attract interest, he is in the process of trying to obtain funding etc. to take things forward. I don't have enough posts to post a link here but I'm sure you will be able to find it on you tube easily enough.

Enjoy!

Cheers

Anthony

Uyraell
09-02-2010, 07:53 PM
Many Thanks Anthony, I'm sure the clip will be viewed with interest.
It is a good thing that, though belated, effort is being made to record the rare equipment in World War Two as well as the the more ubiquitious.

Kind and Respectful Regards, Uyraell.

modlbldralex
11-03-2011, 06:19 AM
Hi All,
Regarding Whirlwind aircraft; I've been looking for tail markings for a specific Whirlwind with "Shark mouth" nose art from 263 Squadron.
All assistance is greatly appreciated.
I'm unable to post link or insert image of aircraft due to forum posting rules. Let me know if you're interested in viewing image and I can send you offline.
Cheers,
Alex

http:
//i201.photobucket.com/albums/aa88/modlbldralex/Whirlwind/Whirlwind.jpg

nikkoo
07-31-2012, 06:26 PM
Interesting aircraft, I got a little book

modlbldralex
08-01-2012, 07:45 AM
Interesting aircraft, I got a little book about

Hi,
Is there any reference to shark mouth aircraft in your book?
I've been looking for tail markings for that aircraft.
Cheers,
Alex

J.A.W.
03-14-2013, 06:12 AM
Were the Whirlwind squadrons pleased to be re-equipped with Typhoons? Most likely,yes..
Fighter pilots usually prefer more power/speed/armament performance, & the Typhoon had more - with one engine..
Apart from the P 38s doing well against obsolecent Oscars in the Pacific,[& didn`t do so well against the NWE Jagdwaffe].
Most twins were generally seen as easy meat by the more agile single engined fighters.
Even the late war high performance twins [DH Hornet,Do 335, F7 Tigercat,P82 Twin-Mustang],
were out-performed as fighters, 1-on-1 by their single-engined contemporaries.

Nickdfresh
03-14-2013, 09:27 AM
Were the Whirlwind squadrons pleased to be re-equipped with Typhoons? Most likely,yes..
Fighter pilots usually prefer more power/speed/armament performance, & the Typhoon had more - with one engine..
Apart from the P 38s doing well against obsolecent Oscars in the Pacific,[& didn`t do so well against the NWE Jagdwaffe].
Most twins were generally seen as easy meat by the more agile single engined fighters.
Even the late war high performance twins [DH Hornet,Do 335, F7 Tigercat,P82 Twin-Mustang],
were out-performed as fighters, 1-on-1 by their single-engined contemporaries.

The later versions of the P-38 such as the J and L models performed much better. There is some truth that the early war P-38's suffered serious losses, but at the same time they were often outnumbered as the Luftwaffe had not yet been beaten back. They also suffered from poor tactics that failed to make the best of the P-38's attributes and some pilots engaged in dogfights with the Me109 did not come off well. But many of the planes deficiencies were solved and the P-38L was probably on par with the P-51 effectiveness wise by the end of the war. But the high altitudes of European air war froze the pilots in the "Fork-tailed Devil" and the plane did not perform as well at low level. In the tropics, this wasn't a problem and the Lightening did well not just against Oscars, but against Zeros as well. I believe modifications pioneered by none other than Charles Lindbergh also increased the performance at low level by 1944. But by then the Mustang became dominant and most ETO P-38 units had been refitted with them...

J.A.W.
03-14-2013, 05:42 PM
Again, the pilots involved may reveal their views, those U.S. 8th A.F. pilots transitioning from the P38 to the P51 were generally happy to do so, & the German jagd-flyers felt themselves at an advantage if facing P38s.
Also, Mosquito fighter-bombers needed a single engined escort, whereas - when the Whirlwind squadrons went to Typhoons, their familiar Spitfire escorts found it difficult to match the higher cruising speed of the [even bomb-laden] Typhoons..
& when an escort proved necessary for the B29s, P 38s weren`t tasked for the job - P51s were, as being more effective, both in performance & cost-wise.