Friday, 1 January 2016


January Newsletter

Well here we are at the start of the new year and looking forward to continuing the build of "The Pride of Yeovil".

The whole team would like to take this opportunity wish all our friends and members a very happy new year.

Looking back on what has gone, on the whole it has been quite succesful, the AGM went down very well and we were able to show off the first framing for a Westland Whirlwind that has been cut for 75 years, we were also able to feature a whole raft of interesting speakers.

We were also invited to attend the 100 anniversary of Westland and The Aircraft Restoration Group did a great job in assembling framework to show off how far we had progressed with the build.
The day was also highlighted by the attendance of the Reverend George Wood one of the surviving Whirlwind Pilots who turned out to be a great T Shirt salesmen and we also very lucky enough to meet the family of the designer of the Whirlwind W E W Petter.

The team have also been able to add to our collection of Whirlwind parts over the last couple of years, from that well known online auction site, some of the parts are shown below.

Flap Ram
Artificial Horizon

Oxygen valve.

Radiator track guide

Prop Bracket

Parts of the self sealing tank.

On the down side we have had a delay in the build due to ARG having to relocate their workshop to Fishburn Airfield in Durham, but more of that below.

New year message from our Chairman Mike Eastman 


Before I go into the plot may I first wish all our supporters,sponsers and those just interested compliments of the season and a very happy New Year.

The Plot to build an 1-1 replica of a Westland Whirlwind Mk 1 Fighter as acurately as is possible.

Where to start and what with ?,well I am connected with  the Aircraft restoration group currently in North Yorkshire and very shortly to move but more of that later. The Aircraft Restoration Group is a small band of volunteers rebuilding old and historic aircraft including things like Spitfires,Vampires etc ,etc.And have been doing so for over 45 years.

A few years ago in casual conversation I came accross equaly enthused guys discussing the Westland Whirlwind fighter, the last time I had anything to do with the Whirlwind was many,years ago as a boy with a model I built and wondered why no one had saved one for everyone to see.The idea then came if we are scratch building Spitfires etc why cant we do a Whirlwind Fighter.??.

A few of us started to excahnge this mad idea on the internet and emails flew around until on one mad moment I said lets build one and we will supply the where, but we needed the how as no drawings seemed to exist.This I where Stuart and Chris came in and we managed to pursuade Agusta Westland to not only speak to us but allow our mad idea to bloom by giving us access to their archive and library. Wow! but then to cut the story short we came accross 11 production drawings and three wind tunnel models, Not excatly the plans needed to build the aircraft.

The team expanded with Matt and then Gunnar a CAD engineer and things really moved with also other enthusiasts with various abilities all around the world things started to come together.Sorry for not naming everyone involved but they know who they are.

After over 18 months of research and various virtual models etc production drawings started to appear to enable materials to be cut. And so at the begining of this year we started to cut patterns to double check everything was going to fit and looked right, this I recomemend to anyone on such a project as you find that once you cut hard patterns in thick card etc in full size its then you start to see bugs in the work you have and can then make modifications to bring the planned structure into being and after a few modified patterns we started to transfer from hard patterns to aluminium.

In May we started to get issues and rumblings that things where not well with ARG's Landlord and we seemed to be being fenced in or out.
Depending on your view of the fencing etc being erected and also that applications had been made for the site to redevelope for housing.This started to ring alarm bells and a search began for a new location for our workshops and after an initial dissapointment we came accross Fishburn Airfield in County Durham just up the road from Sedgefield race course.They have been most helpfull and offered us a new site with a starter ten year lease and put up our own hanger.Having been very lucky to come accross a world war 2 hanger called a Romney at Doncaster it was dismantled and moved to storage at Fishburn.Things began to become very uncomforatble at our workshop and we had no option but to move all our aircraft workshops and projects including the Whirlwind into temporary storage Near to Ripon,but it meant we could not do much if any work.

(By this time a kit of parts for the rear fuselage had been cut and prepared to go into a jig to assemble.)

Whilst all this was going on we had planning applications in for our new hanger etc at Fishburn.If anyone has every dealt with the various issues that planning applications will raise will understand when I say the plot thickened and it did so much as to be akin to trying to wade through treacle wearing concrete overshoes and has taken over 6 months to finally get all the permissions needed to now excavate the hole and lay concrete to put the first building up for our historic aviation centre.As has been said already the first building is the workshops building and once that is up projects and tooling,materials etc can move in and work can recommence on everything including the Whirlwind.Hopefully we should be up and running by early April and open to visitors who will be able to see the Whirlwind rear fuselage going into jig and to start to take shape. Phase 2 is our main Display hanger that will display the Whiwlrind once complete along with other aircraft.

I hope to be able to update again very soon with some more progress pictures of the aircraft and finally we greatly appreciate your support it does not matter if its just moral support but donation of materials contributions to our registered charity or even if you are nearby actually come and help put the aircraft together and be a part of it right at the sharp end.

More to follow.

Mike E

We have had another visit from the Dept of Arm Waving

Further to my last, when I started to get an inkling of some pattern to the DH blade numbering system, below is my stab at what it all means.The table relates only to DH bracket-type blades, not Hydromatic equivalents or otherwise. It gets a little hazy around the smaller end of things (1, 2 and 3 series) and also the 6 series. But the middle bit, I am now confident of. I plotted some known examples without cheating (ie not looking at photos for reference, just using the numbers) and when I did check on the results I was pleasantly surprised! I'm including them here too.The key is where the widest part of the blade lies, as measured from the tip of the nominal design in each case. Of course the last digit alters where the real-life tip is. That's why it's been hard to work out backwards!

So to recap - 1st digit, prop type (5=alloy CP), 2nd digit = shank size, 3rd digit = position of broadest chord relative to tip, 4th digit = rotation PLUS MODIFIER TO INDICATE ROOT EXTENSION, and 5th digit = reduction in diameter by 'shaving' tip.

To explain the 4th digit - the basic system is 0 for RH and 5 for LH. But to indicate that the blade has been 'stretched' inboard of the widest point by multiples of 18 inches, another '1' is added, so the stretched RH's can be 1 or 2, and the stretched LH's can be 6 or 7.

I would be very happy for someone with a real blade to measure theirs and tell me this is wrong - but not as happy as I would be if they told me I was right!
With thanks to arm waver in chief Matt Bearman.

Matt Bearman

             Whirly Stories

Copyright Richard J Cauana


 This Whirlwind joined 263 Squadron on the 13th of March 1941 while they were at St Eval and was given the Squadron code of HE-L, she suffered battle damage in August of that same year while beeing flown by Cliff Rudland. During November she went to Westland and then rejoined 263 at Charmy Down. On the 13th of December she suffered a tail wheel collapse and then went back to Westland for repair. During June 1942 she went to 18MU at Dumfries, from there she then joined 137 Squadron at Manston and carried the code of SF-W. In April she ditched in the sea just off Dungerness while being flown by Norbury Dugdale.                                                                                
Operational hours 72:00hrs
Total flown hours 278:00

Sorry about the poor quality of the picture its the only profile that I have of P7002 and I have had to enlarge it a bit.

Many thanks to Rob Bowater for the above extract from his book, copies of which can be obtained direct from him at.
Signed print £25.00 plus P&P

Beanie £12.00 plus P&P

£9.00 plus P&P

£6.00 plus P&P

£16.70 plus P&P Various sizes.           
Copyright Westland Aircraft

                                                         Copyright WFP 2011/2016 



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