Westland Welkin: Basis for a Whirlwind II?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by ShVAK, Sep 29, 2012.

  1. ShVAK

    ShVAK Member

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    #1 ShVAK, Sep 29, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2012
    The biggest problem with the Westland Whirlwind was its R-R Peregrine engines--lack of high altitude performance, unreliable (though not as bad as early Napier Sabre), limited displacement. These engines were already considered problematic even as the Whirlwind was entering service in 1940, an otherwise stellar short range fighter-bomber by all accounts with unmatched firepower by 1940 standards, excellent overall performance and good survivability.

    The Welkin was a pressurized development of the Whirlwind design that used high-altitude spec Merlin 76/77 engines. Obviously the pressurized cockpit and very long (70 feet!) high aspect ratio wing which was very prone to high incidence/shock stall like the later U-2 effectively made this a completely new aircraft. But as the high altitude German bomber threat never really materialized over Britain, only 77 Welkins were built from '42 to '43.

    So here's an idea--why not remove the pressurization requirement to greatly simplify the manufacturing process, design a shorter 45-50' wing based on the already successful Whirlwind, and use the Merlin 61? The Welkin had enough fuel for 1,480 mile range which would make the resulting Whirlwind II a better escort fighter (one of the original Whirlwind's design failings) and the 4 x 20mm Hispano armament in the fuselage tray was already perfect. Add some bomb/rocket racks and you have a twin engine alternative to the Typhoon and its troubled Sabre engine, an arguably better alternative to the Mosquito as a day fighter, and possibly even a V-1 interceptor.

    Thoughts?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    5,800 kg. P-38L. Empty weight.
    3,768 kg. Welkin F Mk I. Empty weight.
    3,700 kg. Fw-187A. Empty weight.


    Welkin power to weight ratio should be good using RR Merlin engines.
     
  3. ShVAK

    ShVAK Member

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    The big wing compromised Welkin manueverability, though. Would it be possible to re-fit them with shorter wings or would it be necessary to go back to the drawing board?
     
  4. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Whirlwind was a good design. Just a bit too small. I would scale it up to accept RR Merlin engines and a larger fuel tank rather then tinker with the Welkin.

    Or you could pay a Focke Wulf engineer RM 1 million to smuggle out Fw-187 blueprints. The Falke should fly just fine powered by RR Merlin engines. 8)
     
  5. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    You and the damn Fw 187 Dave!

    I say get the Supermarine 327 going. Give it to Westlands to develop, since Supermarines are deemed too busy!
     
  6. ShVAK

    ShVAK Member

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    Never heard of it. Got any specs?
     
  7. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    http://i69.servimg.com/u/f69/11/29/05/29/superm11.jpg
    http://i39.servimg.com/u/f39/11/29/05/29/enigmw10.jpg

    Code:
    Aircraft              Supermarine 327
    Engine(s):          2x RR Merlin 2.SM
    Power:                 1265hp (944kW)
    Span:                          12.2 m
    Length:                        10.2 m
    Wing Area:                     28.3 m²
    Max Weight (kg):               5131 kg
    Maximum Speed (mph):  	        465 mph
    @ Altitude:           	      22000 ft
    Armament:             	   6 x 20mm cannon
    Wing Loading:         	     181.31 kg/m²
    Power Loading:                 2.72 kg/kW
    
    Data from British Secret Projects 1935-1949, Buttler.

    The Type 327 was a follow on from the Type 324 (very similar, but with 12 x 0.303" mgs) and Type 325 (similar to Type 324 but with pusher props).

    The Type 324 and 325 were in the same competition as the Hawker Tornado/Typhoon, the 327 came later when options for cannon armed fighters were required.
     
  8. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    The mockup of the 327

    [​IMG]
     
  9. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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  10. ShVAK

    ShVAK Member

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    Wow that's impressive. Looked like it would've given the Do 335 a run for its money.
     
  11. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    Bear in mind that the proposal for the Tornado/Typhoon also estimated a top speed of around 460mph.

    The Type 327 would have been about the same size as the Typhoon.
     
  12. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Judging from ther pictures drawings, Welkin's wings were far thinner than Type 327's. So the Welkin should be a better performer. More so if, as suggested at opening post, the wings lose some of it's generous wing span (from 70 to, maybe, 55 ft).
    Neat bird to have above vast Asia/Pacific areas, but also in ETO/MTO.
     
  13. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    Welkin had very high aspect ratio wings. Type 327 had low aspect ratio wings, like the Spitfire.

    So "thinness" may be deceptive.

    The Type 327 had a wing span, as noted above, of 12.2m, or 40ft. Much less than the Welkin.
     
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