Author Topic: Westland Wyvern F.1A - Completed  (Read 1656 times)

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Offline zenrat

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Westland Wyvern F.1A - Completed
« on: April 29, 2018, 03:36:00 am »
Westland Wyvern F.1A – 666 Squadron

The UK government’s 1953 White Paper on Defence sent shockwaves through the British aerospace industry with its insistence that the future of military aviation lay with the propeller and that jet propulsion was “just a load of hot air”.
Following its publication the Minister of Defence, Lord Dowty-Rotol cancelled all jet aircraft and jet engine development and announced the scrapping of all RAF and FAA jets pending replacement by propeller aircraft.  In order to facilitate this, production of all existing military propeller types was increased and the issuing of contract for the development of new types was put underway.

Westland Wyvern F.1A  12
Wyvern F.1A on the flight line at Rawlham, Kent.  Summer 1956.

Initially unhappy about having their Hunters replaced with Westland Wyverns the RAFs’ interceptor squadrons soon changed their tune when they discovered that an accompanying move back to grass runways (cheaper to maintain than bitumen or concrete – cost savings had to be made to pay for all those new aircraft) combined with a raising of the alert level meant a return to the glories of the Battle of Britain – of long summer days spent lazing in deckchairs out on the sward swigging pink gin before scrambling to intercept intruders over the North Sea.

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Restored Wyvern F.1A.  Dadswell Bridge Field.  May 2017

When developing the Wyvern F.1A the key performance criteria was climb to height.  The Ministry of Defence specified that the aircraft should reach 36,000 feet in less than three minutes.  This figure being selected as it was the proposed climb rate of the English Electric Lightning, the aircraft that was being developed to fill the interceptor role in 1953 but which was scrapped following the publication of the White Paper.
In order to meet this target Westland developed what was at the time the largest jettisonable solid fuel rocket booster fitted to a manned aircraft.  Designed to assist climb rather than take off the RAC (Rocket Assisted Climb) booster, or RAC Pack was fired once the pilot had left the ground, raised the flaps and undercarriage and pulled the aircraft into a climb.  When a boosted take off was viewed from the ground the Wyvern appeared to disappear in a cloud of smoke from which a bolt of lightning shot heavenwards accompanied by a thunderous roar.  When the RAC Pack burnt out it was automatically jettisoned at which point the nose cap popped off to deploy the parachute that lowered it for recovery and reuse.  RAC Packs were painted brightly to facilitate recovery.  Each squadron adopting their own scheme.

Westland Wyvern F.1A  7
Restored Wyvern F.1A.  Dadswell Bridge Field.  May 2017

In addition to strapping a large firework under it’s rear fuselage Westland uprated the Wyvern to F.1A specification by clipping its wings and tails and de-navalising it.  This De-navalisation consisted of non folding wings with increased fuel capacity and a new lower rear fuselage without the arrestor hook and its associated reinforcing structure.  Armament consisted of four 20mm British Hispano Mk V cannons mounted in the wings and, after 1955, two De Havilland Firestreak Passive Infra Red Homing air to air missiles mounted on underwing pylons.
As the Firestreaks were required to be slaved to the launch aircraft’s radar until lock was achieved and the weapon was launched, Wyverns thus armed were fitted with GEC AI Mk 16 radar in a pod on the right wing outboard of the cannons.

Westland Wyvern F.1A  5
Restored Wyvern F.1A.  Dadswell Bridge Field.  May 2017

The service life of the Wyvern F.1A was brief (but spectacular - as anyone who viewed the boosted full squadron scramble at the 1962 Farnborough air show can attest) finishing in 1963 with the return to RAF and FAA service of jet powered aircraft.  Dowty-Rotol having been promoted sideways to Director Generalship of the BBC in 1958 after his attempts to enforce an open cockpits and biplanes policy caused a furor in The House and letters to the editor in Pravda.

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Restored Wyvern F.1A with PDRV Magpie Squadron Wyvern S4.  Dadswell Bridge Field.  May 2017

The Model
Trumpeter “British Wyvern S4”.
Firestreaks from Airfix English Electric Lightning.
RAC Pack from Airfix Stratos 4.
Paint is what Vallejo claimed at the time of marketing the RAF & FAA WW2 paint set were their closest shades to  RAF Dark Green, Ocean Grey and Medium Sea Grey.

Westland Wyvern F.1A  10 by Fred Maillardet, on Flickr
« Last Edit: May 01, 2018, 04:52:41 am by zenrat »
Fred

Another ill conceived, lazily thought out, crudely executed and badly painted piece of half arsed what-if modelling muppetry from zenrat industries.

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Offline NARSES2

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Re: Westland Wyvern F.1A - Completed
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2018, 08:25:52 am »
Glorious sir  :bow: :bow:
Decals my @r$e!

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Re: Westland Wyvern F.1A - Completed
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2018, 09:43:50 am »
Brilliant, utterly BRILLIANT!  :thumbsup:

That's the model and the backstory too, a masterpiece even.  ;D
Any aircraft can be improved by fitting longer wings, and/or a longer fuselage

...and I'm not a closeted 'Take That' fan, I'm a REAL fan! :)

Regards
Kit

Offline Old Wombat

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Re: Westland Wyvern F.1A - Completed
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2018, 03:50:24 am »
 :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Has a life outside of What-If & wishes it would stop interfering!

"The purpose of all War is Peace" - St. Augustine

veritas ad mortus veritas est

Offline zenrat

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Re: Westland Wyvern F.1A - Completed
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2018, 04:00:34 am »
Thank you gentlemen.
Fred

Another ill conceived, lazily thought out, crudely executed and badly painted piece of half arsed what-if modelling muppetry from zenrat industries.

zenrat industries:  We're everywhere for your convenience..

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Re: Westland Wyvern F.1A - Completed
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2018, 08:16:16 am »
Gorgeous!  Love the Wyvern.
So I got that going for me...which is nice....

Offline zenrat

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Re: Westland Wyvern F.1A - Completed
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2018, 04:51:57 am »
Thanks AP.
It now really is finished.  Looking at the last pic I realised that despite having drilled holes for them I had forgotten to fit the extra stays for the RAC Pack.
So it was back to the bench to do that and while it was there I painted the undercarriage stays that I also forgot to do.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2018, 04:53:59 am by zenrat »
Fred

Another ill conceived, lazily thought out, crudely executed and badly painted piece of half arsed what-if modelling muppetry from zenrat industries.

zenrat industries:  We're everywhere for your convenience..