Tuesday, 1 July 2014

July News

Chris Hayward.

Welcome to the July Issue of the Newsletter, since the AGM last month there has been a lot of discussion around the topics raised especially the naming of the Whirlwind which will be the " Pride of Yeovil " P7056 the only part of that which is still a mystery is the Squadron letter SF-? we do have photographs but all show her pre- delivery so if any one has any insider knowledge we would be pleased to hear from you.

One of the main items on our wanted list this month is someone who is prepared to keep our Web site up to date and also run our small shop, this of course, comes unpaid like all of us, but would go a long way to attracting cash flow, if you are interested then please contact me at the address below. 

Our artist in residence Dave Gibbings MBE submitted a small sketch which show a group of people standing by the windsock on the North side of the Westland airfield on a cold and windy day in January.

Below is a copy of one of the posters that was created for the AGM .

Copyright Whirlwind Fighter Project.

There were several others done as well and we are looking at getting some printed for sale, without the AGM logo of course all to raise money for the project the other item that is being sought after are Baseball caps these should retail at about £13 including P&P and I will let you know when these are back in stock.

Copyright Whirlwind Fighter Project.

Wants list 

This seems to never shrink, we are still looking for a Coffman Starter along with several items to go towards completing the cockpit interior, please have a look at the list at the end of this article and see if you can help in anyway . 


One item that has now been obtained is a Flap Ram, this was found for sale on Ebay and was obtained by the project, a big thank you to all those who donated funds for this purchase, please keep your eyes open, you never know what is going to turn up.

Copyright Whirlwind Fighter Project

The aircraft, serial No. P7118 of No. 137 Squadron crashed on 29th of May 1942 at Bintry Farm, Itteringham, Norfolk, when the pilot, Pilot Officer D. St J. Howitt saw smoke coming from the aircraft and believing the engine was on fire he baled out. In fact it was a glycol leak. The crash site was partially excavated in 1981.
The ram, which was used for operating the flaps is in very good condition and has a data plate and a number of makers stamps on it.
A rare piece from a rare aircraft. This came from the late Pat Burgess collection and still retains his original hand-written label.

Can any one help with any further information on the Pat Burgess collection as there may be more Whirlwind parts about.

                                     And Found a bit more.

                                                      Copyright Mumford and sons

"A while ago members were asking the question 'How can I feel more involved', to which active project members replied 'Please feel free to join in by doing some research legwork'. One suggestion was a visit to Plymouth Council's archives, as they held the records of one of Westland's sub-contractors - Mumford and Sons (yes, to those hip enough to know of the band of the same name, really).

Mumfords were a small Plymouth-based engineering firm specialising in coachwork. One post war article in an obscure transport magazine mentioned that they had the contract for Whirlwind rear fuselages. Any look through their photo archive was always going to be a long shot, but just the sort of long shot that has yielded all the new material we have.

Our member Steven Smith took up the challenge, and journeyed to Plymouth. He returned having seen a fascinating collection of unpublished photographs showing dispersed production and repair, mainly of Spitfire and Barracuda tails and control surfaces. However, there was no apparent sign of any Whirlwind activity.

It was only when the Council Archivist sent Steven scans of the images that a second look revealed something very rare - previously unknown images of a Whirlwind rear fuselage freshly manufactured and sitting in Mumford's workshop. Even more usefully, the images also showed the internal tray that supported the R3003 IFF equipment - an item that had previously been rendered as an (educated) best-guess. There is no other known reference to this part.
There was also a blurry image of Whirlwind fuselage frames in a jig, something that hasn't been seen before.

                                                        Copyright Mumford and Sons

The moral is we should all keep looking, things do still turn up. And massive thanks to Steven" 

Found and Donated

Many many thanks to Matt and Simone Denning for donating the Oxygen supply valve and bayonet fitting from their collection of CAC Boomerang parts they gathered during their airworthy restoration.  Honestly we don't get that many direct donations of parts, much of what we've acquired has been through purchases so this is very much appreciated.    
                                    Whirlwind Stories

Joined 263 Squadron on the 3rd of January 1941 on the 11th of March she was hit by return fire from a Ju88 and force landed at Mullion PO Kitchener was seriously injured and the aircraft was wrecked and burnt out.

Many thanks to Niall Corduroy and his book Whirlwind for the above information. 
And also to RN Pearson for the profile.

                                            263 Squadron 

No 263 Squadron was formed on 27 September 1918, in southern Italy form Nos 359, 435, 436 and 441 Flights at the former RNAS station at Otranto and its sub-station at Santa Maria de Leuca. For the rest of the war, it flew anti-submarine patrols over the Straits of Otranto to prevent U-boats passing into the Mediterranean from the Austro-Hungarian ports on the Adriatic. It was disbanded on 16 May 1919.
On 2 October 1939, No 263 reformed at Filton as a fighter squadron. Equipped with Gladiators, it was sent to Norway in April 1940, in an attempt to give air cover for British and Norwegian forces. Operating from a frozen lake, it had all its aircraft rendered unfit for action within three days and returned to the UK to re-equip. In May, the squadron arrived back in Norway, this time further north and flew patrols until the Allied forces were withdrawn from Narvik. Its aircraft embarked on the carrier 'Glorious', which was sunk en route to the UK by German surface ships.
On 12 June 1940, ground staff began to arrive at Drem to reform the squadron, which was intended to be the first with Whirlwind twin-engined fighters, meanwhile some Hurricanes were received. In November No.263 moved back to south-west England for convoy patrols. In June 1942, the Whirlwinds were fitted as fighter-bombers for attacks on enemy shipping and airfields. In December 1943 the squadron converted to Typhoons, resuming sweeps on 1 February 1944. In July it replaced its bombs with rockets for close-support duties with the invading Allied armies. No.263 moved to France in August 1944 and flew ground attack missions for the rest of the war, disbanding on 30 August 1945.
On 29 August 1945. No.616 Squadron at Acklington was renumbered 263 Squadron which flew Meteors as part of the fighter defences of the UK until converted to Hunters in 1955. These remained in service with the squadron until it was renumbered 1 Squadron on 1 July 1958. On 1 June 1959, No.263 reformed at Watton as a bloodhound surface to air missile unit, disbanding on 30 June 1963. 

Thanks to the RAF historical site for the above information. 

This Poster was a bit of an eyeopener for us as we weren't aware of its existent till it was passed to Jim Munro from Dr Segal, nice selection of aircraft.

We have been looking into finding the spot near Morlaix Airfield in Brittany where George Wood's Whirlwind crashed after it was hit by flack, the following report was passed on to us by Steve Kerry via our Facebook site and is well worth a read.

George Wood's report.

                                Contact details--- chris-hayward@outlook.com
       All correspondence to--The Secretary, 57 Bramblefield Lane, Sittingbourne, Kent, ME10 2SX.

All materiel Copyright Whirlwind Fighter Project 2011/2014

                                                              Wants list


Hubs (x2)
Hamilton Standard 3D40 or 3D50 units including spider, cylinder and shel


 Main Wheels (x2)
Wheel: Dunlop AH.10110
Tyre: Dunlop 10.5 - 10

Photo DescriptionRef Numbers (AM or other)  NOTES
 Magneto Switches 5C/715 cage and two 5C/1540 switchesMagneto Switch unit. The 5C/1252 is a
non-magnetic version of the cage
(switchbox) - possibly acceptable?
  Artificial Horizon 6A/599 Artificial Horizon, Mk. I
 20. ASI Correction Card plus holder 6A/387 or 6A/409
 21.  Engine Speed Indicators 6A/776 Mk. IVA3500 rpm
24. x1 Oil temp gauges 6A/157 (20') Mk1A11.5' to Engine bay, therefore 20'
Luminous orange bezel
 28. x2 Coolant temp gauges  6A/494 (10') Mk. VIIIH  6' distance to Radiator, therefore 10' capillary would do?
Blue bezels fitted to earlier instruments, green used for most of the war.
 34. Spade Grip Dunlop pattern AHO 2040Same type as used on Hurricane, including brake lever
 113.  Fuel pressure Indicators5C/1638Lamp unit 

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