Thursday, 1 May 2014

Newsletter for May

Chris Hayward

263 Squadron Crest.


Welcome to the May newsletter, first off an apology is due because somehow or other all the photographs have disappeared from the earlier blogs and I have no idea as to how that happened, if anyone has any ideas I would love to know the reason why then hopefully I can stop it happening again.

I would like to thank the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes, St Leonards Lodge No 1601 and Bedford and District Provincial Grand Lodge for their kind donation to our project.

Congratulations must go the the Peoples Mosquito having taken the big step in cutting the first wood for the wings, I had hoped that we might just beat them to it but it was not to be, so well done guys and may your glue always set firm.

Things are still progressing slowly, as you know we now have the material in the workshop to start the build of the rear fuselage, Mike has a Spitfire in there at the moment that he wants to move out before work commences, we have to realise that he is doing this project without charge so of course his main business comes first otherwise there will be no workshop in which to construct it, so we have to fit in around what he has to do.

What are the chances?

Ten sections of ‘top hat’ stringer, to precise dimensions, were needed to complete the inventory of materials for the rear fuselage.  A month-long search showed that sections to these dimensions were not available anywhere ‘off the shelf’. Getting them made to the precise dimensions looked like an expensive business, some quotes being upwards of £1,000.
Matt B called in on the off-chance at a company – Milton Precision Engineering (  – literally a three-minute walk from his office in Cambridge. They were able to manufacture the 10 lengths to the exact specification for £65! Now we have all the material we need for the rear fuselage.  Just goes to show, it never hurts to ask locally..

The AGM is still ahead on the 24th of May, the main part of the meeting will be to agree the constitution, when that is done we can approach HMR&C and apply for charity status so that we can gain from the benefit of gift aid.

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.

All are welcome.

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

There will be a raffle and also there will be goodies for sale, all proceeds of which will to go towards the build.

 There are still a number of prints available from me at the address at the end of this newsletter, the print is unframed and carries the signature of the artist David Gibbings also in facsimile the signatures of Penrose, Petter and Davenport the cost is £25.00 which includes postage and packing.

Information above is correct at the time of writing but may be subject to minor changes

Whirlwind Stories

Bellows Argentina No2

Delivered to 263 Squadron on the 3rd of November 1941, on the 25th of July she was hit by a Beaufort AW274 and repaired onsite, on the 12th of December 1942 he went to the Station flight at Colerne but was later damaged and returned to Westland but was re-categorised as unrepairable possibly due to extensive corrosion. Total ops hours 80.5

Thanks to RN Pearson for the above image.

Thanks to Rob Bowater and also to Niall Corduroy's book Whirlwind for the above information.

Arthur Davenport.

Arthur Davenport F.R.Ae.S (1891 to 1976) was a British aircraft engineer working for Westland Aircraft.
When the Westland Aircraft Works was created by the Petter twins in 1915, Arthur was one of the first draughtsmen to be recruited from Petter's Ltd . He was chief designer from 1919, working under the direction of Teddy Petter from May 1934 until 1944, when Petter left and Davenport became technical director. According to Harald Penrose, he was made the scapegoat for the late delivery of the Wyvern and headed into retirement in March 1952.
In the 1920s, when most aircraft were biplanes, Arthur was a strong proponent of the monoplane Most of his monoplane designs were high-winged or parasol, culminating in the Lysander. During his career he was involved in the design of the following fixed-wing aircraft.
  • Westland Limousine  Chief draughtsman
  • Westland Wagtail  Chief draughtsman/Designer
  • Westland Weasel  Chief draughtsman/Designer
  • Westland Woodpigeon
  • Westland Widgeon  Chief designer
  • Westland Wizard
  • Westland Wapiti/Wallace
  • Westland Interceptor
  • Westland Wessex
  • Westland PV.3
  • Westland Wallace
  • Westland PV.7
  • Westland F.7/30
  • Westland Lysander
  • Westland Whirlwind
  • Westland Welkin
  • Westland Wyvern  Technical director
In the early 1930s he worked with Juan de la Cierva to develop the Cierva C.29 and CL-20 auto-gyros.
 It was this interest in rotary winged aircraft that would lead Westland to manufacture Sikorsky helicopters in the early 1950s.

Information above from Wikipedia.

From our correspondent Jim Munro

Separately just to let you know that Prof Glyn Davies of Imperial College, London has written the first ever biography on W.E.W. ('Teddy') Petter who of course designed the Whirlwind, Lysander, Gnat, Canberra and had a major hand in the English Electric Lightning.   The book launch will take place at AgustaWestland at Yeovil on Thursday 19th June........starting time 'TBD'.


Coffman Starter, not used on the Whirlwind for starting the engines but used as a flare dispenser, sited in the rear fuselage and covered by a cloth cover, the exit hole for the flare is on the top of the fuselage about half way down towards the tail, a donation would be preferable but could buy it if the price is right.

CAD Work 

At the moment we can't show the plans that Mike will use to construct her but these CAD pictures will give you an idea of the extent that Gunnar has gone to to resurrect the Whirlwind using crash pictures and studying manufacturers pictures and plans that still exist. I will put up more next month.

Copyright Whirlwind Fighter Project 2011-2014
All Correspondence should be sent to,

The Secretary, 57 Bramblefield Lane, Sittingbourne, Kent ME10 2SX


Copyright Whirlwind Fighter Project 2011 - 2014

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