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TimV1969

1/72 Airfix Westland Whirlwind FB.2

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In 1943, the Westland Whirlwind was being withdrawn from service, one factor being lack of support for its Peregrine engines - together with the need to maintain two engines per airframe compared with the single-engined Typhoon intended to replace it. However with development of the Typhoon taking longer than expected, an interim solution was needed to support the second front expected to be opened in France in 1944. The remaining Whirlwind airframes were therefore re-engined with Bristol Mercury XVs, which were in plentiful supply and could provide enhanced performance running on 100 octane fuel. As the radial engines were air-cooled, the radiators could be removed from the wing roots making more volume and weight available for fuel tanks. The wing hard-points were strengthened, to allow carriage of two 1000lb bombs. Finally, the new MkIII IFF was fitted, the rod aerial under the starboard wing replacing the previous tailplane-to-fuselage wiring. Enough aircraft were re-manufactured to equip 263 squadron, which flew as part of 2nd Tactical Airforce over France from February 1944, until finally replaced by the Typhoon at the end of that year.

...

Well, it could have happened anyway!

Based on the venerable (if that is the right word!) Airfix Whirlwind, with engines from the old-tool Blenheim IV, spare propellers and spinners from the new Spitfire I/II and bombs from the Bomber resupply set. Following my reading of the regulations for D-Day stripes, and 24" wide stripes on the wings of twin-engined aircraft, as well as the 18"-wide fuselage stripes. I kept the sky band forward of the tail, and assumed the squadron codes would be re-painted over the stripes. Decals from a variety of sources, including some of the original airfix ones which had stood up pretty well for a 1980s-era kit.

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and a few more photos here: Westland Whirlwind FB.2

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What a beast! :yikes:

Reminds me of a Grumman Skyrocket on stereoids! :winkgrin:

Great idea well executed! :goodjob:

Cheers :bye:

Hans J

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My goodness, can you imagine trying to see anything ahead wider than an arc of 60 degrees or so! And it looks like it would have a tendency to nose over if you stamped on the brakes too much!

A very clever idea - good job!

Matt

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A great flight of fancy. There's something of the Popeye about it!

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I like it. I like it a LOT!

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Tim

I absolutely love the Whirlwind and have a plan to do a series of whifs (eventually) but it never crossed my mind to stick a pair of radials on it. THIS. IS. GENIUS. :mike:

DC

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WOW....stunning job....i've done a few whirlwind whiff's my self,but never though of going radials....now i'm going to have to look into it......... :ninja:

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An interesting concept and well executed. I have to say though, that weight and balance would have been all over the shop with two huge engines like that hanging off the front of the wings.

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Bonkers but eyecatchingly plausible. Reminds me of a Grumman Skyrocket

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If the mk.I was a Crickey, then this mk.II would have been a Streuth!

Great WHIF!

Trevor

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Well you got me to start with!!! Great work, looks amazing. Do like the whirlwind and this looks a beastie.

Thanks for sharing.

All the best
Chris

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That's great. I bet it would be a tricky little beastie to handle when landing with one engine out.

Very interesting concept though.

Edited by cngaero

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Thanks for your kind words, all! Although the engines do look huge, they are actually slightly lighter than the Peregrines they replace (485kg dry weight vs 517kg, if you believe Wikipedia) and although all the radial engine is entirely ahead of the wing, compared to the Peregrine where it starts about 0.6m behind the leading edge, the shorter radial engine (about 1.2m compared to 1.8m for the Peregrine) means the centre of mass, by my rough calculations, wouldn't be too far out. I did toy with the idea of a tricycle undercarriage, which if you reversed the main undercarriage legs might look better balanced - although you'd then need to work out where the front undercarriage would go.

I did start doing a Whirlwind development several years ago, going down the more traditional route of fitting Merlins, but by the time you've done that, worked out how much heavier the engines are (744kg each?), added the weight of extra fuel, you'll then want to increase the wing area accordingly to maintain the same wing loading, and then the wings will look too big for the fuselage... so I scrapped that idea! (You'd probably end up with something like the Welkin F.1 anyway). For the same reason I rejected any bigger radial engines, like the Bristol Hercules, for this project. A jet-engined one would be interesting though!

At one stage I was going to fit rocket rails to this one, but then I worked out how far out they'd need to be to give a reasonable clearance of the propeller discs, and thought again, and contented myself with the 1000-lb bombs.

Tim

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That is absolutely superb! I only wish I'd thought of it myself!

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Surely a Jet engine Whirlwind is a Meteor?

Lovely Whiffery and quite plausible as these things go!

Edited by At Sea

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Extroardinary.

I always wondered about Griffins and five bladed props.

Now racking my brain to remember the 1930s US type that looked similar.

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I was thinking Whirlwind as a jet engine testbed.

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