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Westland Wapiti Prop Size - Different in India?


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I read in a discussion of the Wapiti in India service that the Wapitis stationed there were fitted with a larger propeller than standard. Does anyone have any info about that, particularly the dimensions of the regular Wapiti prop versus the one used in India? I'd really love if anyone has photos or drawings they could share illustrating the difference. I want to model a Wapiti serving on the India frontier and I'm fully prepared to fabricate the correct prop if I just have a good idea of what it looked like.

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I found the website links below that had a lot of useful information and photos, including those aircraft based in India- nothing really  definitive regarding the two props used, other than mention that two different types/diameters could be fitted. Perhaps if @John Aero is not too busy, he might be a better source of references.

Mike

 

 

http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/aircraft/past/901-wapiti.html#gsc.tab=0

 

https://www.key.aero/forum/historic-aviation/140804-westland-wapiti-iia-engine-variant-question-see-attached-image

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Hi bjohns5- Have been doing some digging myself regarding RAAF Wapiti props. Hope this link to a topic (regarding Bulldog anti glare colours)  on www.key.aero is some help.

 

https://www.key.aero/forum/historic-aviation/147340-colour-code-for-anti-glare-green-on-bristol-bulldog

 

There is a photo of an RAAF Wapiti prop hub giving what looks to be a diameter of 8'10 1/2". (its one of pics attached by powerandpassion 24November 2017 00:13). Interestingly this one is painted in NIVO which I was not expecting.

 

Frustratingly this prop is just down the road from me but we can't travel more than 5km from our homes under the Melbourne Covid lockdown and the museum is likely to remain closed for some time after the travel restrictions are lifted. Otherwise I would be down there like a shot!

 

I would expect this prop would have the same diameter as the RAF props. If Indian Wapitis had larger diameter props it may be because they would have been expected to operate at higher altitudes in the Himalayan regions.

 

Hope you get your answer :)

 

Pinback

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Hi Pinback,

 

You state that the Wapiti prop was painted in Nivo. It was not usual practice to paint propellers in camouflage/airframe finishing paints.

 

The required finish for props in the RAAF at that time was:

K3/77. Dark Green Lacquer Cellulose undercoat. This was made to DTD 103/K30. (In Brit stores vocabulary it was 33B/588). 

Applied over this was,

K3/76. Khaki Cellulose Lacquer Finishing. This was also made to DTD 103/K30. (In Brit stores vocabulary it was 33B/587).

 

The lacquers were manufactured by adding two colour pigments to a carrier consisting primarily of Nitro-cellulose syrup, with lesser amounts of Butly Acetate, Butyl alcohol, Tolouol, and Dibutyl Phthalate. The pigments were Yellow Ochre, (BS Spec D.26), and Carbon Black. (BS Spec D.30).

 

For the undercoat, the yellow ochre was 52 lb to 1 lb of carbon black in approx 350lb of the carrier. For the finishing coat, the two pigments were to be mixed to match "the standard which is obtainable from the Director of Aeronautical inspection".

 

The actual colour, as applied, tended to vary a bit due to the diligince applied in mixing before application. A colour near Nivo may be a good approximation.

 

'Av a Fosters or VB for me!! 

 

Peter M

 

 

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2 hours ago, Magpie22 said:

It was not usual practice to paint propellers in camouflage/airframe finishing paints

Hi Peter BIG thanks for the correction and info ( I was going by the site) Will certainly toast you with a VB:)

 

Don't want to seem rude by hijacking this thread (maybe PM me?)  but you dont happen to know what RAAF Wapiti interplane struts were painted with? From photos they dont look like wood. Maybe silver or grey?

 

Pinback

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Hi to all. While not answering the question on the prop size, these photos of No.11 Squadron Wapitis operating on the North West Frontier may be of use.

All from the Air Force Museum Of New Zealand photo archive site. https://fotoweb.airforcemuseum.co.nz/fotoweb/

Note: I have resized these to post here, full resolution photos on the site. There are also a couple of photos of Hart's as used by No.11 as well.

 

owTKE2R.jpg

 

Image from the Geoffrey Newland Roberts personal album collection. Senior British Army officers inspecting No. 11 Squadron personnel and aircraft. Westland Wapitis in view. North West Frontier, India. Wapitis were in use with the squadron from October 1928 to August 1932.

 

qVxTq25.jpg

 

Image from the Geoffrey Newland Roberts personal album collection. Tribesmen gather at Gilgit to see the first flight of No. 11 Squadron Wapitis. North West Frontier, India. J9400 is first aircraft in line-up. Aircraft attached to No. 2 (Indian) Wing.

 

aZn1g80.jpg

 

Image from the Geoffrey Newland Roberts personal album collection. Air to air of No. 11 Squadron Westland Wapiti J9401. Somewhere over the North West Frontier, India.

 

O7tNxZG.jpg

 

Image from the Geoffrey Newland Roberts personal album collection. Air to air of No. 11 Squadron Wapiti J9494, with underwing stores attached, over Narang, looking west. North West Frontier, India.

 

For info on Geoffrey Newland Roberts https://teara.govt.nz/en/biographies/5r17/roberts-geoffrey-newland

 

Enjoy,

Pete M.

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