Jump to content
  • entries
    155
  • comments
    326
  • views
    51,032

A Forgotten Fighter - Westland Whirlwind


toboldlygo

1,055 views

 Share

Something a bit different a heavy fighter from the early years of WW2 - fantastic concept, let down with crap engines, if only they'd fitted it with Merlin's.

Over a year in the making (though technically only took a week to build).

 

Box Art

 

whirlwind_01.jpg.236b35b673d34127f98b419274c98301.jpg

 

Instructions & Colour Call out.

 

whirlwind_02.jpg.852f7dbf070a20f42ea161d9557f916f.jpg

 

What's in the Box.

 

whirlwind_03.jpg.369244b75ddb6b07ac58698b425914e3.jpg

 

whirlwind_04.jpg.4c91ffdb8fa505ac9f09e498827201ab.jpg

 

whirlwind_05.jpg.a97761ef9b8b1fdec21f8f62073acb54.jpg

 

whirlwind_06.jpg.e078ab14e5fd87349cd92c2745b851fa.jpg

 

whirlwind_07.jpg.fd5ec60c463c0659ad592131014fa803.jpg

 

The Build part 1..

 

whirlwind_08.jpg.3476b0c41a4314cac3914dbc2c43d81c.jpg

 

whirlwind_09.jpg.1b674a6f55c60cd0d80a46b7192dce89.jpg

 

It went together well, just other projects and commissions got in the way.

 

Roll on a year - the build part two (and different workbenches).

 

whirlwind_10.jpg.7037318527d9ccdbfbf3159b0617d8e7.jpg

 

whirlwind_11.jpg.a8bb522b84974d588b38d0c7bf093848.jpg

 

whirlwind_12.jpg.e57043e22222d0055273501168fb6f8f.jpg

 

whirlwind_13.jpg.6b420167f6c28fd87201a48be1717d47.jpg

 

White Tac Sausage time..

 

whirlwind_14.jpg.162b55465c18cc8f5356a7b99726e35f.jpg

 

whirlwind_15.jpg.b7f2f6313359f28cb1de55cc5e695b4f.jpg

 

whirlwind_16.jpg.4a0520811225013bbe193bfcf24aad2b.jpg

 

Now Whirlwinds were quite allergic to their paint, so I've tried to recreate it.

 

whirlwind_17.jpg.a1fbb8efbf0b67a2299c8fc257eb2b45.jpg

 

The final reveal..

 

whirlwind_18.jpg.efbf9f069a21b206d50db961429d4bc5.jpg

 

whirlwind_19.jpg.24f047d3adbc69002c710ab5f7b8cf55.jpg

 

whirlwind_20.jpg.94bb8caddb46eeda21cc5a8c82ef5074.jpg

 

whirlwind_21.jpg.74415636406c0ee883457679d279aa52.jpg

 

whirlwind_22.jpg.6f0530ff7f96327e970317781ad5bbe7.jpg

 

whirlwind_23.jpg.ea4317e8cf79dcc4e2467b35c5665600.jpg

 

whirlwind_24.jpg.16ca2262f76914def26e965c6abe887e.jpg

 

whirlwind_25.jpg.3160bc6f3d24f3788e3903905e353ab6.jpg

 

whirlwind_26.jpg.2e9448faf63e1d67073b0e2fc6481328.jpg

 

TTFN

  • Like 23
  • Craftsmanship/clever 18
 Share

28 Comments


Recommended Comments



I remember building a 1/72 version of that almost 60 years ago - not to that standard, though!

  • Like 2
  • Agree 4
Link to comment
  • RMweb Gold

Dammit, this stuff looks so tempting. TBG, I think you're employed by the model aircraft business to infiltrate the railway modelling hobby. I hope they're paying you well because it's almost working. If it had a copper-capped chimney my last defences would crumble.

  • Like 1
  • Funny 7
  • Friendly/supportive 3
Link to comment
On 06/06/2021 at 23:19, pH said:

I remember building a 1/72 version of that almost 60 years ago - not to that standard, though!

Me too! Well, more like 45 years. I suppose it was the Airfix kit

  • Like 3
Link to comment

Lovely model, This is my favorite aircraft. only two squadrons were operational during the war,and  no.137  sqdn flew from RAF Manston  in Kent - which was my local airfield for many years.

As you said if only they had fitted them with Merlins... They were however good for ground attack and at low level, very well armed.  Replaced by the HawkerTyphoon.

Regards,Sigtech'

 

I still have a 1/72 scale one (Airfix) to make one day!!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
12 hours ago, sigtech said:

Lovely model, This is my favorite aircraft. only two squadrons were operational during the war,and  no.137  sqdn flew from RAF Manston  in Kent - which was my local airfield for many years.

As you said if only they had fitted them with Merlins... They were however good for ground attack and at low level, very well armed.  Replaced by the HawkerTyphoon.

Regards,Sigtech'

 

I still have a 1/72 scale one (Airfix) to make one day!!

The Typhoon was also troubled by its power plant at altitude, IIRC,  but came into its own at treetop height. I wonder what a Whirlwind might have been like with two Merlins? It would have been pretty nippy, I'd imagine, given the Peregine-engined one could manage 360 mph.

  • Like 3
  • Agree 1
Link to comment

Well the DH hornet was basically a Look-a-like produced 4 years later, which was fitted with Merlins. That could do 475mph.

  • Like 4
  • Agree 1
Link to comment

Yes, it makes you wonder? The Whirlwind gained the nickname  'Crikey' after an advert for the time for Shell petrol. showing a man attempting to look both ways at once trying to follow a speeding car. The advertisement strapline read; 'Crikey, thats Shell that was!!'

Regards

SIGTECH. (Steve)

  • Like 3
Link to comment
  • RMweb Gold
On 07/06/2021 at 07:58, Mikkel said:

Dammit, this stuff looks so tempting. TBG, I think you're employed by the model aircraft business to infiltrate the railway modelling hobby. I hope they're paying you well because it's almost working. If it had a copper-capped chimney my last defences would crumble.

 

I do have an aircraft model in production cue, that has actual copper machine guns..

  • Like 4
Link to comment
12 hours ago, Fat Controller said:

The Typhoon was also troubled by its power plant at altitude, IIRC,  but came into its own at treetop height. I wonder what a Whirlwind might have been like with two Merlins? It would have been pretty nippy, I'd imagine, given the Peregine-engined one could manage 360 mph.

The Sabre was problematic at any height, and in the early days, the Typhoon's airframe also gave many problems - all very stressful for the MAP at the time. The Whirlwind's airframe was built around the Peregrine, which was a much smaller engine than the Merlin - so the Merlin was never an option, they were simply to big and heavy. All the time and effort went into developing the Merlins, so the Peregrine and the Whirlwind both withered on the vine. The Typhoon never made the grade as a fighter, because, quite apart from the problems with the Sabre's reliability, the Typhoon's wing was very thick. Great for strength and housing cannons, but it had a very low Critical Mach Number - a problem many other types of that period suffered from, such as the P38. The similar-looking Tempest had an entirely new, and much thinner wing, and was a much better machine that used the Sabre and the Centaurus. The Tempest was developed into Centaurus-powered the Fury and Sea Fury, both excellent machines, though the Centaurus was also not without it's problems.

 

  • Like 4
  • Agree 1
  • Informative/Useful 3
Link to comment
12 hours ago, meil said:

Well the DH hornet was basically a Look-a-like produced 4 years later, which was fitted with Merlins. That could do 475mph.

Nowt to do with the Whirlwind. The Hornet was a spin-off from the Mosquito - both superb machines.

 

  • Like 1
  • Agree 2
Link to comment
8 hours ago, Methuselah said:

Nowt to do with the Whirlwind. The Hornet was a spin-off from the Mosquito - both superb machines.

 

Eric "Winkle" Brown's favourite 

 

From Wikipaedia

As regards his preferences Brown states:

My favourite in the piston engine (era) is the de Havilland Hornet. For the simple reason it was over-powered. This is an unusual feature in an aircraft, you could do anything on one engine, almost, that you could do on two. It was a 'hot rod Mosquito' really, I always described it as like flying a Ferrari in the sky.

  • Like 6
Link to comment
9 hours ago, Methuselah said:

The Sabre was problematic at any height, and in the early days, the Typhoon's airframe also gave many problems - all very stressful for the MAP at the time. The Whirlwind's airframe was built around the Peregrine, which was a much smaller engine than the Merlin - so the Merlin was never an option, they were simply to big and heavy. All the time and effort went into developing the Merlins, so the Peregrine and the Whirlwind both withered on the vine. The Typhoon never made the grade as a fighter, because, quite apart from the problems with the Sabre's reliability, the Typhoon's wing was very thick. Great for strength and housing cannons, but it had a very low Critical Mach Number - a problem many other types of that period suffered from, such as the P38. The similar-looking Tempest had an entirely new, and much thinner wing, and was a much better machine that used the Sabre and the Centaurus. The Tempest was developed into Centaurus-powered the Fury and Sea Fury, both excellent machines, though the Centaurus was also not without it's problems.

 

Thanks for explaining that; presumably the thinner wing was the 'laminar flow' one?

  • Like 2
  • Agree 1
Link to comment
  • RMweb Gold
11 hours ago, Methuselah said:

The Sabre was problematic at any height, and in the early days, the Typhoon's airframe also gave many problems - all very stressful for the MAP at the time. The Whirlwind's airframe was built around the Peregrine, which was a much smaller engine than the Merlin - so the Merlin was never an option, they were simply to big and heavy. All the time and effort went into developing the Merlins, so the Peregrine and the Whirlwind both withered on the vine. The Typhoon never made the grade as a fighter, because, quite apart from the problems with the Sabre's reliability, the Typhoon's wing was very thick. Great for strength and housing cannons, but it had a very low Critical Mach Number - a problem many other types of that period suffered from, such as the P38. The similar-looking Tempest had an entirely new, and much thinner wing, and was a much better machine that used the Sabre and the Centaurus. The Tempest was developed into Centaurus-powered the Fury and Sea Fury, both excellent machines, though the Centaurus was also not without it's problems.

 

 

Then someone had the bright idea to take advantage of the Typhoon's fighter shortcomings and it become the superb ground attack aircraft we all know - so good they named the Eurofighter Typhoon (much to the annoyance of the Germans).

With the Tempest, a lot of people ask why the Tempest V - the Tempest was developed to take a multitude of engines, the fifth prototype and first flown was fitted with the Sabre II, which was readily available as production started. Then the II with the Centaurus - the others fell by the wayside.

  • Like 1
  • Informative/Useful 2
Link to comment

Somewhere, in a box with his wings and Warrant Officer's insignia, I have my late father's copy of the Tempest V Pilot's Notes.

  • Like 6
Link to comment

I do love a Whirlwind. Reminds me of a piston- engined Me 262.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
  • RMweb Gold
2 hours ago, MPR said:

 

I've had a number of conversations with Ian at Typhoon Legacy.

 

And there's a few other Tempest's on the go and I can remember seeing a pair of Tempest II's in the private hangar on the opposite side of Dunsfold Aerodrome that were recovered from Burma or India.

 

 

  • Like 2
  • Informative/Useful 1
Link to comment

I had both of the Airfix 1/72 scale Whirlwind models in the past. The original tooling dated back to 1958 and was in production until around about the mid 1970's. A complete new tool was created in 1978 which was a great improvement on the original model. 

 

Dave R. 

  • Like 4
Link to comment

This looks good. The worn camo has come out well. Had an airfix one long ago. An interesting aircraft. I've read that a further problem from the ones mentioned above was that the aircraft had a high landing speed for the time and needed a long runway. Therefore it couldn't be operated from all RAF bases.

Edited by railroadbill
  • Like 2
  • Informative/Useful 1
Link to comment
On 10/06/2021 at 10:59, Fat Controller said:

Thanks for explaining that; presumably the thinner wing was the 'laminar flow' one?

I think so. I didn't realise how different - or how big they were until I stood under a (Non-airworthy.) Fury in Florida some years ago. (Even chunkier than the Fw190 - a beefy machine too.). They even re-engineered the Tempest's main u/c - presumably to fit into the thinner wing, so the apparent similarities actually belied what was really quite a different machine.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
On 10/06/2021 at 13:35, MPR said:

The Whirlwind is a strictly static build. The Tempest - being a Centaurus - is a bit more practical - but still a Herculean effort, and I very much look forwards to seeing it fly. The Typhoons.....well, it's fair to say that anything with a Sabre in it is in quite another league - rather an understatement..... I don't think ANY Sabre has even ground-run since the 1950's. There are few engines, very few spares - and nothing to compare with the infrastructure that sits behind, for example, the Merlin. No one alive was involved with the design, development or servicing of the Sabre. The Sabre was always a highly problematic engine, and the RAF got rid of them all  as soon as the war ended - for exactly that reason. Napiers only half-decent engine was the Lion - and that took them decades to get right. We may well get to see a Sabre-engined Typhoon ground run, but the odds are stacked very heavily against it flying.

 

  • Like 1
  • Informative/Useful 2
Link to comment
On 10/06/2021 at 15:55, toboldlygo said:

 

I've had a number of conversations with Ian at Typhoon Legacy.

 

And there's a few other Tempest's on the go and I can remember seeing a pair of Tempest II's in the private hangar on the opposite side of Dunsfold Aerodrome that were recovered from Burma or India.

 

 

Kermit Weeks has possibly got more Sabre engines than anyone else of the planet. His Tempests II & V are being restored to airworthy standards - but for static display. ( I think he possibly has eight Sabres.).  Kermit has excellent resources and facilities - and is better positioned than probably anyone else to get a Sabre-engined Tempest into the air. One might argue that the FAA is perhaps a tad more adventurous than the UK's CAA. Even so - I wouldn't put money on his Tempest V flying.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
  • RMweb Gold
14 minutes ago, Methuselah said:

Kermit Weeks has possibly got more Sabre engines than anyone else of the planet. His Tempests II & V are being restored to airworthy standards - but for static display. ( I think he possibly has eight Sabres.).  Kermit has excellent resources and facilities - and is better positioned than probably anyone else to get a Sabre-engined Tempest into the air. One might argue that the FAA is perhaps a tad more adventurous than the UK's CAA. Even so - I wouldn't put money on his Tempest V flying.

 

Kermit has so many projects on the go, it's just crazy.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
  • RMweb Gold
toboldlygo

Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Methuselah said:

The Whirlwind is a strictly static build. The Tempest - being a Centaurus - is a bit more practical - but still a Herculean effort, and I very much look forwards to seeing it fly. The Typhoons.....well, it's fair to say that anything with a Sabre in it is in quite another league - rather an understatement..... I don't think ANY Sabre has even ground-run since the 1950's. There are few engines, very few spares - and nothing to compare with the infrastructure that sits behind, for example, the Merlin. No one alive was involved with the design, development or servicing of the Sabre. The Sabre was always a highly problematic engine, and the RAF got rid of them all  as soon as the war ended - for exactly that reason. Napiers only half-decent engine was the Lion - and that took them decades to get right. We may well get to see a Sabre-engined Typhoon ground run, but the odds are stacked very heavily against it flying.

 

 

I suspect to get a Typhoon or Tempest V in the air - it may well be fitted with a Griffon or a Merlin (both of which will fit the air frames - I know Ian was mentioning that as an interim measure for his Typhoon). Though with modern design and engineering tweaks we might see a Sabre engined one fly.

Edited by toboldlygo
Link to comment
23 minutes ago, toboldlygo said:

 

I suspect to get a Typhoon or Tempest V in the air - it may well be fitted with a Griffon or a Merlin (both of which will fit the air frames - I know Ian was mentioning that as an interim measure for his Typhoon). Though with modern design and engineering tweaks we might see a Sabre engined one fly.

The RR engines have been mooted as a stand-in for a long time - and there is much merit in that option to at least see a Typhoon in the air. As for regenerating the Sabre - the prognosis isn't great. A vast effort to get - probably at most three Typhoons into the air..... The Sabre is a pretty fiendish engine. I knew mechanics who'd worked on them in the war - and they found them a nightmare. Still - if money is no object....

  • Like 1
Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...