In this copy and over the next few issues I would like to introduce you to the team behind the build of the Whirlwind and, as our research and development team stretch from North America through Norway and all the way to New Zealand, we find that the best way to get together is online, this we do on a monthly basis. There are a lot of avenues that the team are exploring and I had hoped to tell you this month that building had commenced, but due to ongoing problems it will not start till early next year.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Arthur Lee-White for his very generous donation to the project. Arthur lives in New Brunswick, Canada and was a member of 263 Squadron.
Copyright Central Press/Getty images
Thanks to Radovan Tuma for sending in this photograph of a group of pilots from 263 Squadron during March 1943. Can anyone put names to these men as it would be good to acknowledge what they achieved flying the Whirlwind. We believe that the dog’s name is Lynn.
The Picture on the above shows the scan we did of the Radiator which is on display at the Kent Battle of Britain Museum at Hawkinge this will be added to the CAD drawings that we are being done by Gunnar in Norway. I think we were a little surprised at the fact that it was round as the leading edge intakes suggest that it should be oblong.
Images ‘Flight” Copyright
Nothing on the Whirlwind was standard or simple. Even the spinners, often dismissed as just a pointy cone of metal to make the propeller look nice, were complex items. Whirlwind spinners employed the VDM locking design allowing simple access to the de Havilland pitch-change gubbins inside – and it seems that these were initially made by the VDM licence holders, Constant Speed Airscrews Ltd of Warwick. The spinners nevertheless had a de Havilland drawing number – P30200A/C
It seems the complex process was: Westland draw up a profile to fit (which it does – compare the smooth lines of the Whirlwind nacelle with other in-line designs, which have pronounced chins, shoulders etc). They tell the propeller manufacturer of choice (de Havilland) who then gives the necessary design a DH drawing number. However, De Havilland then use a VDM design, licenced to Constant Speed Airscrews, for the mechanism and structure, combined with their profile drawing, based on a Westland profile.. Whether they or Constant Speed Airscrews Ltd, or even VDM spinners Ltd (of the same address) do the actual manufacturing is uncertain.
One would think that this process involves so many parties that someone would have a design drawing or two. It seems not.
HOWEVER, owing to apparently close links between Government and Sankey’s engineering (in fact one of the Sankey family became the Regional Controller for the Ministry of Production in 1942) a contract to manufacture de Havilland and Rotol spinners was awarded to Sankey’s on September 30th 1941. A subsequent document would appear to refer of the transfer of ex-Constant Speed Airscrews manufacturing machinery to a new spinner works in 1942 - (sounds like a stitch-up, but I digress).
As the Whirlwind was not cancelled until January 1942 there is a CHANCE that they received plans for the P30200 as a potential part of the new work that they were taking on, even if it is unlikely that they ever produced any.
Therefore, some spinner details MIGHT be at the Wolverhampton Archives & Local Studies Service http://blackcountryhistory.org/collections/institution/GB149/
This is the kind of long-shot that we have to pursue – and which has resulted in what we know so far.
Any volunteers to go to Wolverhampton?
Does anyone have any information on G42B cameras? Specifically drawings or examples of said camera. The controller in the cockpit was interchangeable, fitting on to the same mounting plate - but we could do with knowing if the camera itself was also interchangeable.
Do you, or any one you know, have stories to tell about the Whirlwind?
What sparked your interest in her? Please let me know by dropping a message at the WFP web site, or to me at chris-hayward@outlook .com
And talking about stories.
This covers the crash of a Whirlwind at Saltford Station.
It’s that time of year again and following two successful draws we are again running a members draw.
First prize: One aviation oil painting (oil on canvas)one wooden whirlwind model an A4 artist sketch of ww2 fighter pilot signed plus a T shirt ,a mug, a coaster and a reap the whirlwind poster signed by H Penrose.
Second prize: One aviation oil painting (oil on canvas) A4 artist sketch of WW2 Pilot signed plus a T shirt and a mug as well as a reap the whirlwind poster signed by H Penrose.
Third prize: One wooden Whirlwind model, one T-shirt, one mug and a coaster. Also a Whirlwind poster but unsigned
Fourth prize: T-shirt, mug and a coaster plus a whirlwind poster unsigned.
THE COST OF TICKETS £2 STERLING EACH or SIX FOR £10 STERLING
TO GET YOUR TICKETS. DO NOT APPLY VIA THE WEB SITE WE ARE IN THE MIDST OF GETTING A BANK ACCOUNT SET UP WITH BARCLAYS FOR THE PROJECT. IN THE MEAN TIME IF YOU USE THE PAYPAL FACILITY ON THE WEB SITE PAYPAL WILL TAKE 10% OF EVERYTHING.
To get your tickets apply via firstname.lastname@example.org request your quantity of tickets and then pay in one of the following ways.
Paypal account: email@example.com mark as just sending money NOT for goods etc.
Bank internet payment:
Barclays bank account: Aircraft Restoration group
Sort code: 20-37-13
Account number: 03814785
any ref: xmas draw.
By cheque or postal order; Payable to Whirlwind Fighter project
Unit 6, Little Pickhill workshops, Pickhill, Thirsk, North Yorkshire ,UK, YO 7 4 JU
Once we have payment confirmed you will be notified of your draw numbers. The draw will be made on Monday 23rd December 2013 at 20.00 hrs GMT and winners will be notified immediately and the results and money raised will be published on the site within 24 hours. Good luck and your support will help the project as nothing will be taken out from the draw funds as all prizes have been donated.
Don’t forget the Whirlwind Years book signing at the Aviation book shop in Tunbridge Wells Kent on the 14th of December at 10:30hrs. Several members of the team will be there including me, so looking forward to seeing you all.
And even more important don’t forget…It’s never too late to donate!
As it’s coming up to that time of year again and this will be the last newsletter before Christmas I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our members a very happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year from all the team at the Whirlwind Fighter Project.
The Secretary, 57 Bramblefield Lane, Sittingbourne, Kent, ME102SX.