View Full Version : New Whirlwind publication

06-02-2008, 11:20 PM
Career total of nine kills versus fifty-five combat losses (116 built)! Any comments Low Flyer?


06-03-2008, 01:33 AM
Among the easiest things to find out about the Whirlwind are production figures. I wouldn't trust a work that can't get that right.

It would at first glance appear to be academically lightweight and a rehash of illustrations easily obtainable elsewhere. Despite claims of photographs published for the first time. Pilot accounts, are of course always welcome if not seen before. I shall, however reserve my full judgement until such time as I've obtained a copy for review.

WHIRLWIND The Westland Whirlwind Fighter.

Victor Bingham
Airlife Publishing 1987
(Hardback 157 pages)

ISBN 1 85310 004 8

Page 87.

'The year 1941 had finished successfully and the Whirlwind had vindicated itself. Seven Whirlwinds had been shot down or lost in operations and 61 enemy aircraft destroyed or damaged in air combat.'

And from the recent 4+ publication:


And 114 built according to both publications.

Gratuitous Whirly shot:


06-03-2008, 02:31 AM
Thought the successes look fishy. Needless-to-say, Airlife always trumps fast food stuff. Thanks for the info, LF.

06-03-2008, 03:03 AM
Just a thought...

Could 116 be reached as a production figure if the two Westland P.9 prototypes are counted? I'll have to dig a bit further.

Gratuitous Whirly prototype shot:


Skoshi Tiger
06-03-2008, 03:04 AM
If you compared the numbers to other aircraft types it would probably turn out quite favourable.

How many of the first 116 production Spitfires, or Mustangs or BF-109's or FW190 were still operational by 1944? Not many I'ld guess.

With such low production numbers it's hard to make a fair judgement.

06-03-2008, 03:34 AM
Previous poster makes a good point about glaring inaccuracies in books.

Just saw this (look at enlarged pic of cover )


Surely the Africa unit badge on the 109 and if I remeber Polish campaign 110 sharks mouth do not belong on the cover of a book about german fighters over England?Am I right or did the Afrika unit (JG27) subsequently fight over England?Strange...

06-03-2008, 03:56 AM
Prophetically, JG27's Africa insignia predated their deployment to Africa and was on their 109s in the B of Brit. II/ZG76 was not using the sharkmouth until early 1940 and used it throughout 1940 and after.

Kagero publications are pretty notorious in the "fast food" genre.

06-03-2008, 03:58 AM
I *think* the JG27 badge is based on a town or German aristo's coat of arms. The unit ended up in Africa by coincidence. As ever, I could be wrong on that. But, yes - the tactile nature of a book does lead people to take information far more seriously than if posted on the internet.

Gratuitous Whirly pilot's opinion . Courtesy of Waldo.Pepper:



06-03-2008, 04:33 AM
the first CO , Hauptmann Riegel, of the I./JG27 (founded in october 1939) , and only this group used the " black man & lion over africa" insignia (the Wing itself and the other groups used different ones -> http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Gliederungen/Jagdgeschwader/JG27-R.htm ), was a fan of the idea having colonies in africa. so it was established long before the group was sent to NA.
if it was intendet by the LW HQ because of this insignia or that it was by pure chance that the I/JG27 was the first fightergroup sent to NA, i cant say.

06-03-2008, 05:26 AM
I would beg to differ re the tactile nature of books giving them greater credibility over the internet (although, being part of the world of publishing I am prone to think books are a priori swell), it is, of course, the writer and his/her diligence as a researcher that makes a book---or an internet site.

06-03-2008, 05:35 AM
That's the point I was trying to make, Leit'. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Gratuitous Whirly shot:


06-03-2008, 05:04 PM
I have a pic taken from the ground of a Whirlwind attacking a german aerodrome,
Will see if i can find it

06-03-2008, 05:18 PM
Alex Crawford eh... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

A KeyPublishing man and also quite up on all things Whirly... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif Not the sort of man to get the production figures wrong and as such would guess that this blooper is not of his doing... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

AnyWhoo have ordered the book and should be here within the next 5-7 days... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

Evening L_F... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

Gratuitous Whirly shots:




06-03-2008, 05:29 PM
Evening, Mr C.

Check P.T's http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

06-03-2008, 05:49 PM
I can vouch for the 4+ Publication on the Wellington---it is incomparable---the best technical monograph ever printed on the aircraft. The Fulmar is very good, too.

06-03-2008, 06:41 PM
Must agree the 4+ Whirlwind has a lot of tech spec for a small volume. It's the only one I can comment on. Like I said, I'll hold fire on the Listerman until I've got hold of a copy.

Gratuitous Whirly cockpit:


06-03-2008, 07:08 PM
Check the author... he deals with mostly uncommon types http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif .
4 publications so far.


06-03-2008, 07:15 PM
Sometimes I think for the Battle Of Britain wed have been better off with more Whilwinds instead of Spitfires/Hurricanes. Someone care to comment?

4 20mm cannon would have made light work of the Heinkels.

06-03-2008, 07:52 PM
So many of the design characteristics were like those of the post war piston engined fighters. Clean, light weight design, designed ground up with a bubble cannopy, radiators mounted inside the wings.

Would have been to see it get a couple of 1200hp Engines.

06-03-2008, 08:08 PM
The Whirly is a really neat airplane no doubt, and I always thought they looked so great. I would love the opportunity to fly one in a high quality combat sim.

06-03-2008, 08:52 PM
Forgot to add that the author of the 4+ Wellington did archival research at the RAF Museum. He read the same arcane manuals and documents I spent hours finding on the Wellington IA and IC, and graciously printed the data in the monograph. It is a gem, a really exceptional entry in a field saturated with poor material.

06-04-2008, 05:58 AM
Thought this might interest some of you... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

This was written by a very good friend of mine and who is, in my humble opinion, one of the most knowledgeable men on all things Whirly...

The Rolls Whirlwind: P6967 was sent to Rolls from 263 Sqn in late Sept 1940 to investigate complaints that rated boost pressure could not be maintained. Rolls found that there were bad leaks in the boost pipes and gauges (poor quality systems plumbing was a recurring complaint in the the early days of the Whirlwind). Once corrected the correct boost pressure was obtained. Rolls further modified the aircraft with a carb air intake on top of the nacelle instead of Petters utterly silly convoluted internal duct from the leading edge radiator intake. (The 2nd proto was also similarly modified in early 1940 while at Boscombe Down - see the graph of climb performance in the report and note "External Air Intakes" legend on it). The last change Rolls made was to replace the 3 coffee-can shaped, honeycomb radiators with rectangular fin-and-tube radiators from Morris. This was a change earlier suggested by Petter as a part of his Whirlwind MK 2 package. The fin and tube rads were cheaper, lighter, offered less drag and are fundamentally more efficient at losing heat than the honeycomb types favoured by the aircraft industry (for which reasons car makers had been using them for years). Since they could be made in rectangular form they could also fill the rectangular duct in the Whirlwind wing allowing a worthwhile increase in radiator area. Thus modified Rolls achieved a max speed of 362 mph (although one should be wary of comparing directly with A&AEE data as measurement methodologies were not identical) which may make it the fastest Whirlwind of all. (or maybe not, see below). P6997 went to RAE Farnborough on 25 August 41, but was not flown much (13 flts, approx 8 hrs), before being returned to Westland on 9 March 42 to be brought up to current modification standard before issue to 137 Sqn. Note that the Peregrines themselves were NOT modified.

100 Octane fuel: The Whirlwind did indeed use 100 octane fuel operationally, but the Peregrine was never developed for a full 100 Octane rating. Its a common misconception that using 100 fuel on an otherwise unchanged engine somehow liberates more power. It doesn't. 100 Octane fuel allowed the boost capsules on the Peregrine to be reset to allow 9 lbs boost rather than the usual 6 3/4 lbs (the max allowed on 87 Octane, before dangerous pre-ignition set in). This gave more power for takeoff and at low altitudes, but since the Peregrines supercharger could only maintain 6 3/4 lbs boost up to around 15000 ft and 9 lbs up to about 9000 there was no benefit from 100 octane above that height. Use of 9 lbs was limited to 5 minutes. This is very similar to the initial use of 100 octane in the Spitifre and Hurricane. To make full use of 100 octane throughout the altitude range, the Peregrine would have needed at least a change in supercharger gearing and probably a new, better supercharger. To allow the higher boost continuously rather than just for five minutes would almost certainly have required the major components of the engine to be beefed up and a substantial improvement in cooling capacity. All this was intended for the Peregrine Mk II but it was never built. Incidentally, while the first three Whirlwinds were briefly with 25 Squadron in June 1940, one was modified for 9 lbs boost (which later became the norm) and another for no less than 12 lbs boost. This was found to be going a bit far, although test data I have from Rolls shows that, on the bench, running at 12 lbs boost the Peregrine produced no less than 1000 hp - an extraordinary output for a 21 litre engine. So it could just be that P6966 (the aircraft so modified on 25 Sqn) may well have been (briefly) he fastest Whirlwind of them all.

06-04-2008, 04:33 PM