1/32 Westland Whirlwind F Mk I, Special Hobby

prichrd1

SMF Supporter
Joined
Apr 27, 2018
Messages
475
Points
93
First Name
Paul
Looking good so far, harness looks ok though [In the piccie] , seems a bit strange - looking at the office with no flooring
and the "hand brake" [technical term for that lever] just attached almost hovering!! :smiling::flushed: :tongue-out3:.

Paul.
:smiling:
 

stona

SMF Supporter
Joined
Jul 22, 2008
Messages
9,117
Points
113
First Name
Steve
It's an unusual way to engineer the kit, but I don't see any issue with it. The cockpit floor, rudder controls etc. are built into the wing.

IMG_2556.JPG

Notice that at this stage the seat is still not fitted...good luck with that :smiling3:
 

adt70hk

I know its a bit sad but I like quickbuild kits!!!
SMF Supporter
Joined
Sep 4, 2019
Messages
4,066
Points
113
First Name
Andrew
Coming on very nicely Steve.

ATB.

Andrew
 

prichrd1

SMF Supporter
Joined
Apr 27, 2018
Messages
475
Points
93
First Name
Paul
The cockpit floor, rudder controls etc. are built into the wing
I can see now why you're putting the seat in now - it could be very awkward later on.
Most aircraft I have built - admittedly 72nd or 48th - you build the office up then squeeze
it into the little hole between fuselage halves [another tekki term I've picked up] where the
instructions say it should fit!! I should of downloaded & studied the instructions :flushed: .
Still looks the business tho'. :thumb2:

Paul.
:smiling:
 

stona

SMF Supporter
Joined
Jul 22, 2008
Messages
9,117
Points
113
First Name
Steve
Indeed! There are many ways of skinning a cat.

Most of this cockpit is built into one side of the fuselage, with the accompanying seemingly endless dry fitting of the other fuselage half to keep everything square. That's pretty traditional I would say.

I don't remember building one with the cockpit floor in the wing before, but I'm sure it's previously been done by some manufacturer or another.

The real Whirlwind cockpit was a tight fit, just 32" wide, presumably measured at the canopy rails.
 

stona

SMF Supporter
Joined
Jul 22, 2008
Messages
9,117
Points
113
First Name
Steve
That was P7048, which was sent to Westland for repair in May 1943, having sustained flak damage, but was retained by the company. Westland bought it back after the war and used it a a company hack, registered G-AGOI. Eventually the engines were removed and used to drive helicopter rotor test rigs!
It is true that the airframe was dismantled and buried at Yeovil in 1951, but sadly it was later exhumed and disposed of properly after concerns were raised about it (and other buried wreckage) polluting ground water.
 

stona

SMF Supporter
Joined
Jul 22, 2008
Messages
9,117
Points
113
First Name
Steve
The inspiration for 'Crikey!"

Crikey.jpg

The nick name seems to have origins at the A&AEE Martlesham Heath where the Whirlwind was tested. ‘Crikey’ came from the Shell advertisement above.

The Whirlwind was faster than the Spitfire I below 10,000 feet, and equal to it between 10,000 feet and 20,000 feet,
 
Last edited:

stona

SMF Supporter
Joined
Jul 22, 2008
Messages
9,117
Points
113
First Name
Steve
Slow progress as I seem to have acquired a number of bank holiday jobs this weekend!

I have built the internal structure of the wing, mainly some bits to represent that structure and some radiator cores, and taped the wing up in preparation for assembly. It's quite big.

IMG_2557.JPG

While I was at it I dry fitted the taped together fuselage, just to see. There is no cockpit floor here, but I can confirm that you can fit the seat in the fuselage and control column to the floor before finally making this step. This will avoid having to fit them later with what would be some extremely fiddly key hole surgery.

IMG_2558.JPG

This looks very encouraging. All those of us who build kits with wings will be aware of the potential issues around the all important wing-fuselage join(s) but this one looks like it will be fine.
 

stona

SMF Supporter
Joined
Jul 22, 2008
Messages
9,117
Points
113
First Name
Steve
I have fitted the cockpit 'floor' and engine nacelles to the wing. Nacelles are another thing that often have a dodgy fit, but these are not too bad. The only gap was at the back of the left hand nacelle, dealt with by a bit of CA glue and talc. This is all awaiting a bit of a tidy up.

There are bulkheads in the nacelles which carry the undercarriage and, at the front, what appears to be the air intake for the downdraught carburettors of the Peregrines (a fundamental reason why the updraught Merlin was a non-starter in the Whirlwind without a complete redesign of the nacelles and undercarriage BTW). The later will be visible from the bottom of the model and is a nice touch. However, the instructions in this area have gone from vague to difficult to interpret, so plenty of messing about and dry fitting.

The control column does fit this way, but is very close to the seat, so you need to be careful!

IMG_2562.JPG

IMG_2563.JPG

With a bit of luck I'll get the wings and fuselage together tomorrow.
 

Tim Marlow

SMF Supporter
Joined
Apr 27, 2018
Messages
7,575
Points
113
Location
Somerset
First Name
Tim
Looking good.....
I suppose the Crikey with Merlins idea evolved into the Welkin?
 

stona

SMF Supporter
Joined
Jul 22, 2008
Messages
9,117
Points
113
First Name
Steve
Looking good.....
I suppose the Crikey with Merlins idea evolved into the Welkin?
Well, kinda, sorta.

In January 1941 Mensforth and Petter went directly to Fighter Command with his proposal for a Merlin powered Whirlwind, which would still have been a Whirlwind. We can only guess how his attempt to short circuit the established British aircraft procurement system went down at the Air Ministry and Ministry of Aircraft Production. I doubt that it was met with a positive reaction. We know that in February Sir Henry Tizard did examine the possibility but his report noted that the Whirlwind used two engines and twice as much alloy (the actual figure is three times as much) as the Spitfire to do fewer jobs less well. Tizard allowed the original cancellation of the type to stand.

A more realistic scenario was an earlier proposal for a Whirlwind II powered by developed Peregrine engines. The ever optimistic Petter thought, in conjunction with new propellers, would give such an aircraft an extra 40 mph in speed and a service ceiling of 36,000 feet! Despite Petter's ludicrous figures this would have been a good aeroplane, but fell victim to Rolls-Royce's rationalisation of production and development.

The Welkin was built to a different specification, F.4/40, for a high altitude fighter to deal with the Luftwaffe's high altitude reconnaissance aircraft. The Ju 86 P had proven itself immune to interception in 1940/41. Westland and Petter were very clear that the Welkin would use many structural elements of the now discontinued Whirlwind. It was an attempt to salvage something from the Whirlwind programme and to reassure the Air Ministry that the Welkin could be built more economically by utilising parts, tools and jigs already purchased for the Whirlwind.
Edit: Westland wrote that, "We shall probably be able to use the Whirlwind outer wings, slots, ailerons, rear fuselage and tail unit with a number of the detail parts particularly those in the wing spar boom." Given the rather poor relationship the company enjoyed with the Air Ministry and had done with Fighter Command under Dowding (who thought the company was hopeless) the conditional might not have inspired confidence!

The Welkin gets a lot of stick, but it met the specification. It flew higher than any previous British production aircraft and helped to reveal some of the secrets of compressibility. It was important to the development of pressure cabins which would become vital a few years later at the dawning of the jet age. What it never did was fire its guns at an enemy reconnaissance aircraft. Just as the Whirlwind was outdone by aircraft that could perform several roles better than it could (notably the Spitfire and larger Beaufighter) the Welkin ran up against one of the best aircraft of the era in the Mosquito.

The Welkin was a beautiful aircraft.

IMG_2564.JPG

I'd build a model of one, though I have no idea where I could put it!
 
Last edited:

adt70hk

I know its a bit sad but I like quickbuild kits!!!
SMF Supporter
Joined
Sep 4, 2019
Messages
4,066
Points
113
First Name
Andrew
Well, kinda, sorta.

In January 1941 Mensforth and Petter went directly to Fighter Command with his proposal for a Merlin powered Whirlwind, which would still have been a Whirlwind. We can only guess how his attempt to short circuit the established British aircraft procurement system went down at the Air Ministry and Ministry of Aircraft Production. I doubt that it was met with a positive reaction. We know that in February Sir Henry Tizard did examine the possibility but his report noted that the Whirlwind used two engines and twice as much alloy (the actual figure is three times as much) as the Spitfire to do fewer jobs less well. Tizard allowed the original cancellation of the type to stand.

A more realistic scenario was an earlier proposal for a Whirlwind II powered by developed Peregrine engines. The ever optimistic Petter thought, in conjunction with new propellers, would give such an aircraft an extra 40 mph in speed and a service ceiling of 36,000 feet! Despite Petter's ludicrous figures this would have been a good aeroplane, but fell victim to Rolls-Royce's rationalisation of production and development.

The Welkin was built to a different specification, F.4/40, for a high altitude fighter to deal with the Luftwaffe's high altitude reconnaissance aircraft. The Ju 86 P had proven itself immune to interception in 1940/41. Westland and Petter were very clear that the Welkin would use many structural elements of the now discontinued Whirlwind. It was an attempt to salvage something from the Whirlwind programme and to reassure the Air Ministry that the Welkin could be built more economically by utilising parts, tools and jigs already purchased for the Whirlwind.

The Welkin gets a lot of stick, but it met the specification. It flew higher than any previous British production aircraft and helped to reveal some of the secrets of compressibility. It was important to the development of pressure cabins which would become vital a few years later at the dawning of the jet age. What it never did was fire its guns at an enemy reconnaissance aircraft. Just as the Whirlwind was outdone by aircraft that could perform several roles better than it could (notably the Spitfire and larger Beaufighter) the Welkin ran up against one of the best aircraft of the era in the Mosquito.

The Welkin was a beautiful aircraft.

View attachment 424886

I'd build a model of one, though I have no idea where I could put it!
Thanks for the info. Had heard a little bit about the Welkin but not sure I'd seen a photo. As you say it was a beautiful aircraft.

ATB.

Andrew
 

Tim Marlow

SMF Supporter
Joined
Apr 27, 2018
Messages
7,575
Points
113
Location
Somerset
First Name
Tim
Interesting that you mention the Beaufighter as a rival Steve. In one pilots memoirs I read he seriously disliked the earlier marques of the type, claiming the Mark 6 (I think) killed more of its pilots than the Luftwaffe. His attitude was that it should not have got to squadron deployment until the issues have been sorted out.

I like the Welkin, by the way, but think it’s a bit “leggy” in appearance.
 

spanner570

SALAD DODGER
SMF Supporter
Joined
May 26, 2009
Messages
9,973
Points
113
First Name
Ron
Nice work Steve.
There is a 1/48 Welkin on ebay......£80 odd pounds!
 

stona

SMF Supporter
Joined
Jul 22, 2008
Messages
9,117
Points
113
First Name
Steve
Interesting that you mention the Beaufighter as a rival Steve. In one pilots memoirs I read he seriously disliked the earlier marques of the type, claiming the Mark 6 (I think) killed more of its pilots than the Luftwaffe. His attitude was that it should not have got to squadron deployment until the issues have been sorted out.

I like the Welkin, by the way, but think it’s a bit “leggy” in appearance.
The Air Ministry and MAP preferred the Beaufighter to the Whirlwind but not as a day fighter, where there was clearly no contest.
The Beaufighter fulfilled roles that the Whirlwind could not. It offered greater range and its much larger fuselage could accommodate airborne radar for night fighting or ASV radar for anti shipping operations (the Beaufighter became the mainstay of Coastal Command strike wings with, eventually, the Mosquito). It also had room for the wireless telegraphic equipment needed for long range operations and the second crewman required to operate it.
It was no accident that almost 6,000 were built. It is one of the most overlooked British aircraft of WW2.
 

stona

SMF Supporter
Joined
Jul 22, 2008
Messages
9,117
Points
113
First Name
Steve
Nice work Steve.
There is a 1/48 Welkin on ebay......£80 odd pounds!
I assume that is the Planet Models resin kit?

I did have a look at one of these last year, whilst suffering from lockdown fever. Eventually discretion got the better part of valour :smiling3:

80 quid is about right, but I do think you would really need to want a Welkin to stump up that much. I've seen at least one person bash it into a very nice looking model.
 

papa 695

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
SMF Supporter
Joined
May 9, 2011
Messages
17,101
Points
113
First Name
Ian
Looking very good so far Steve.
 

stona

SMF Supporter
Joined
Jul 22, 2008
Messages
9,117
Points
113
First Name
Steve
It's been too nice to spend much time on this today, and anyway the Fuhrerin had assigned me other allegedly more important tasks.

I did get the wing on early this morning and have just added a few other bits that now make this look like a Whirlwind. I'll leave the fine analysis and micrometre wielding to those who actually care about such things. To me this looks a lot like a Westland Whirlwind.

IMG_2566.JPG
 
Top