Monday, 31 March 2014

Newsletter for May

Newsletter for April

Chris Hayward 

It's been quite a busy month one way or the other, what with the arrangements for the AGM, the visit to Duxford for the BAPC meeting, the delivery of the first metal sheeting to the workshop at Ripley so that work can start on the rear fuselage, Gunnar has been fine tuning the plans so that Mike will have the best foundations with which to start with, and it looks as if we now have the final drawings in house for the retractable tail wheel.

Team Profile of Rene Peters

 Hello, may I please take this opportunity to introduce myself.

 My name is René Peters, I am 45 years old and live in The Netherlands with my wife and two sons. By profession I am a freelance 3D engineer specialising and working with SolidWorks. Projects varying from motorcycle exhaust systems, sewer pumps through to kitchen equipment.

My hobbies include Scouting, veteran cars and motorcycling, and since my childhood I have been fascinated by all types of military vehicles and combat aircraft from the First and Second World Wars. During our holidays we always try to visit a military museum or a battlefield, so we have seen many places from the Battle of the Bulge to Verdun and the Somme and have also visited the Normandy Beaches.

Whilst browsing the internet I came across the site Where a Bugatti T35 had been reverse engineered. It was on this site that I first came across the Whirlwind Fighter project. The original Westland wind tunnel model had been 3D scanned to produce additional CAD information. Triggered by this I then visited the Whirlwind website and subsequently offered my help to the CAD team. My first intention was to help with the 20 mm. cannons but the Whirlwind team had a bigger challenge for me, namely to make a start on the Rolls Royce V12 Peregrine engine. (Indeed, this turned out to be a bigger challenge!)

The only information available was the original drawings from Rolls Royce with the external dimensions and many photographs of a crashed Peregrine engine in Derby.  It goes without saying that a lot of information was missing, later to be filled in by logical thinking and technical insight. The supercharger and carburetors from the engine in Derby were missing, they remain a complete grey area.  If you just happen to have a supercharger in your attic - please get in touch!
Nevertheless, I am progressing, and with luck and many hours work the Westland Whirlwind will get her engines back!



  Dave Tanner, Mike Eastman, Matt Bearman, Chris Hayward, Patrice Moreau.
Five members of the team attended the BAPC meeting on the first of March at Duxford to hear the committee accept us as provisional members, during the next twelve months we have to make a presentation to the committee as to what the project is all about, and this will take place during the meeting at Doncaster on the 16th of August and will be given by Matt Bearman. At the end of or our first year the BAPC will vote as to whether or not we can become full members.

The First AGM of the Project will be held at
The Premier Inn Hotel.  
Alvington Lane, 
Brympton d'Evercy, 
BA22 8UX.

In the Conference room on the 24th of May 2014

The meeting will start at 11:00hrs followed by a break for lunch and then resume at 14:00hrs with a talk on the project by Patrice Moreau followed by The Eye of the Storm' - Westland' the fixed wing years and Quo Vadis a talk by Dave Gibbings.

If you are planning to attend please can you let me know so that we can work out the numbers for food.
Begging Bowl

As you will surely appreciate raising money for a project like this is never easy, we have sufficient funds now to nearly complete the rear fuselage and tail section but that still leaves the rest of the airframe that we need to fund.

If you wish to donate please don't use Paypal as they take a lump of your donation and deplete the amount that you give us, either pop a cheque in the post to my address or contact me and I will let you have the paying in details, you can if you wish, make monthly donations via a standing order.

I am asking people to have a look and see if you have a few pounds that you can spare, or visit our Shop  and buy some goodies, I also still have some prints of the Whirlwind prototype available so if you missed it last time take this opportunity to get your print now.

 The print of the Whirlwind prototype. This is unframed and costs £25.00 which includes postage and packing. It is signed by the Artist Dave Gibbings MBE also in facsimile by Petter, Penrose and Davenport. 
This can be obtained from me at the address or email at the end of this Newsletter.

Whirlwind Stories

 Bellows Argentina No 1,

 Was delivered on the 17th of June 1941 to 39 Maintenance unit at Colerne, on the 8th of July 1941 she went to Staweall Farm Dispersal. and on the 1st of November she joined 137 Sq at Charmy Down as (SF-S, on the 12th of February she suffered battle damage while being flown by Charles Mercer, on the 26th of August she suffered further damage to her undercarriage and nacelle at Snailwell while in the hands of John Luing. On the 1st of September she went to Westland and from there to 18 Mu in Dumfries. On the 18 of February she rejoined 137 Sq at Manston as SF-U she then was hit by flack on the 6th of June 1943. 
On the 24th of June she was one of the Whirlwinds allocated to 263Sq at Warmwell when 137Sq lost is aircraft. She had further damage from flack and also damage to the tail.
On the 11th of January 1944 she went back to 18 MU and as scrapped on the 30th of September 44.

Total operational hours 107:00

Many thanks to Rob Bowater for the above information.

If you would like a copy of Robs Book on 137 and 263 Squadrons you can email him direct on.

William Edward Willoughby "Teddy" Petter

William Edward Willoughby "Teddy" Petter CBE (8 August 1908, Highgate in Middlesex - 1 May 1968, Béruges) was a British aircraft designer. He is noted for Westland's wartime aeroplanes, the Canberra, the early design of the Lightning, and his last plane, the Folland Gnat.
Edward was the son of Sir Ernest Petter (26 May 1873 - 18 July 1954), who founded the Petters Limited engineering company. He was a descendant of one of the twin sons that founded Westland in 1915, the company being a separation of the aircraft business from Petter engines. It built flying boats. Both were Yeovil companies.
He attended the prestigious Marlborough College in Wiltshire. He studied the Mechanical Sciences Tripos at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where he graduated in 1929. He won the John Bernard Seely Prize for aeronautics.


Petter joined Westland, the family firm, as a graduate apprentice in 1929. He became Technical Director in 1935. This appointment was not welcomed by older members of the management, who left. In 1935 Westland set up its aircraft subsidiary. Westland was taken over by John Brown Ltd of Clydebank in 1938.
He designed the Lysander. Originally created as an army cooperation aircraft, in the second world war it was used for transporting spies into France.

Petter's next plane was the twin-engined Whirlwind (which was one of the fastest aeroplanes in the world at the time). Not many were built. His last plane for Westland was the high-altitude twin-engine Welkin. It had a pressurised cockpit and was designed to intercept German reconnaissance aircraft. Around 100 were built. At this time Westland was mostly building Spitfires, under contract.

Petter left Westland in December 1944, after wanting to take over production as well as design. They chose to concentrate on helicopters through a link-up with Sikorsky.
He went to English Electric as Chief Engineer who were then moving into aircraft design, at Warton near Preston, having been involved in building aircraft under contract during the war. While at EE, under the leadership of George Nelson, he designed the Canberra. This plane was based on a Westland design for a jet bomber, created by Westland's Chief Engineer, Arthur Davenport. The aircraft would stay in operation in the RAF for 57 years until June 2006. The Americans built it as the Martin B-57 Canberra, being heavily used in Vietnam.

He started the work on what would become the Lightning. He split with EE in 1950 over the direction of aircraft design, he favoring the small over the large. He also wanted to be in charge of production as well as design. Petter was replaced as Chief Engineer by Frederick Page, previously his assistant.
The Lighting remains the only all-British Mach 2 aircraft. The plane has been described as fifteen tonnes of screaming aluminum.

Petter joined Folland Aircraft Limited in Hamble, Hampshire as Chief Engineer in 1951, and took some colleagues from English Electric. At Folland, he designed the Midge, which first flew 11 August 1954, and the Gnat training jet (first flight 18 July 1955). He was also responsible for early work on the Red Dean air-to-air missile before this work was transferred to Vickers. The Gnat was entirely his design; it was his attempt to make an affordable and easy-to-build fighter. He felt that other contemporary fighter aircraft were too big and expensive.
Petter became Managing Director of Folland in 1954 when Henry Folland died. Folland Aircraft was bought by Hawker Siddeley in 1959, which kept the Folland name until 1963. Petter left when Hawker Siddeley took over; he did not like working for large organisations, preferring to run projects himself. Colleagues found him authoritarian and eccentric - some described him as likeable but difficult. His manner was likened to that of a sixth form maths tutor. He was known as an excellent leader of teams, so long as things went as he wanted.
On leaving Folland / Hawker Siddeley, Petter left the aircraft industry completely. He moved to Switzerland.

Petter had two younger brothers and a younger sister. He married and had three daughters (including two born in 1936 and 1938). He died in Poitou-Charentes in France aged 59. Petter married Claude Marguerite Juliette Munier, from Geneva. She died in 1975, having suffered for a long time from Parkinson's disease.

Thanks to Wikipedia for the above text.

Chris Hayward, 57 Bramblefield Lane, Sittingbourne, Kent, ME10 2SX

copyright Whirlwind Fighter Project 2011-2014

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