Very true. I think it was at E.Kirkby or possibly Elvington that I read that new crews from Canada suffered badly. Used to mile upon mile of very flat land they came to grief on night navigation training missions from bases in E.Yorks & Lincs; where the locality is pretty flat but comparatively close to the Peak district, N.Yorks moors and the Pennines.
The one that sticks in my mind involved a formation flight over a village fate. If I remember right two lancs touched and both crews were killed. I don't mind admitting to having a tear or two in my eye reading about it.
'Westland was aware that its design – which had been built around the Peregrine – was incapable of using anything larger without an extensive redesign. Building a Whirlwind consumed three times as much alloy as a Spitfire.'
A particularly good friend of mine was not the first person onto the wreck, but the first with a radio. He co-ordinated the rescue for the next 18 hours, for which he was awarded the MBE.
I was doing the Merchant Navy degree in Liverpool at the time and the next day, having been told that the ship had sailed with the bow doors open, I used the ball-park figures provided by the BBC and fitted them into the formula for free surface effect. I did this in the naval architecture theatre, in front of 6 fellow MN officers and 2 naval architecture lecturers. A ship normally has a positive stability of 1 metre, but the number from my calculation was minus 11 metres. You add one to the other and you see why the ship rolled over so quickly. Nobody said a word, because we all knew what had happened.
But by the time it was a 'mature' operational airframe, 20mm cannon-armed Spitfires were close to entering service, with the advantages described above. Still a bloody marvellous looking aircraft though!
Sorry, doesn't do it for me at all. Forgiving the lack of 3-blade props due, I assume, to being a powered model, the lack of the 4 20mm cannon in the nose is an unmissable characteristic (and the whole reason for the operational existence) of the Whirlwind.
That just doesn't look right although if I remember correctly it was reasonably effective, had a decent performance and Hispano canon in the nose would have given Fritz a nasty surprise. It looks like something cobbled up out of a box of bits that were lying around but didn't quite fit with each other.
Read a book on a battle pilot who fought in May 1940, slaughter is a understatement. The Boche learnt their trade in Spain, while the RAF suffered from appeasement stifling aircraft design development and delay