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1/6 Westland Whirlwind

P7056 "Pride of Yeovil"

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Timo Starkloff09/12/2017 10:46:36
408 forum posts
896 photos

Due to a special request of a friend from Somerset, I start this thread a bit earlier. I'm only halfway through construction for the Whirlwind and actually I'm occupied with the TK4 drawings. But I'm already working on the Whirlwind canopy and I want to start real building in 2018. Which is also the 80th anniversary for the first flight of a Whirlwind.

Two motivation pictures, presents from my friend, are at the entrance and in my work shop.



Timo Starkloff09/12/2017 10:47:26
408 forum posts
896 photos

Last year I build a small 1/72 model for the slowly growing collection.


Timo Starkloff09/12/2017 10:54:45
408 forum posts
896 photos

I started flying aircombat models at contests in 1999 and soon tried twin-engines since many did that in those days. Quiet small ones in 1712 scale with about 130cm wing span and two .15-engines. Since that worked better than expected and with a great sound and unusual silhouettes in the air, the idea arose to build a bigger twin one day with around 2m wing span. Only problem was time...

A few years ago I meet with another friend from my place in South-West Germany. He and his son have two Ju 87 and one Henschel 123, I have a Arado 96 trainer, all in 1/6 scale. On the picture below you can clearly see what is missing: Allied aircraft and twin-engines. Andreas told me about his plans to build a Junkers 88 in the same scale as the others and I quickly decided to build a Whirlwind. My friend David from Somerset was working for Westland for a long time and already build a nice 1/12 version. So support from England was guaranteed


Edited By Timo Starkloff on 09/12/2017 10:55:33

Ron Gray09/12/2017 11:38:32
2444 forum posts
980 photos

Watching this with interest Timo, the Whirlwind, along with the Tigercat are 2 of my favourites. What power units are you planning on using?

TJ Alexander09/12/2017 11:47:11
105 forum posts

I'll be following this. For some reason, I love twins, and the Whirlwind is a beautiful, and oft-overlooked, aircraft. Your collection is very impressive already.

Denis Watkins09/12/2017 14:59:03
4655 forum posts
132 photos

I don't know if it is my age or my upbringing, but I fully expected this thread to be about helicopters, why is this?

Ron Gray09/12/2017 15:15:22
2444 forum posts
980 photos

Yeas, expecting to see a big yellow blob in the sky, and I don’t mean the sun!

david cowley09/12/2017 15:15:23
6 forum posts
4 photos

Looking forward to this model progressing Timo.😉

Timo Starkloff10/12/2017 16:21:42
408 forum posts
896 photos

Me too, David

There's a Whirlwind helicopter and fighter aircraft. But as I don't have any helicopters, I usually think about the plane first and decided to use the second headline for the specific Whirlwind which is in my focus. All Whirlwinds are the same, the only change made was an additional attachment for bombs. In an area with heavy fighting, the 115 Whirlwinds built had to stand against 109s, 190s, Junkers and Heinkel aircraft for about 3 1/2 years from 1940 to 1943. With no upgrade on engines or airframe. To commemmorate the pilots, the Whirlwind aircraft and Westland Aircraft company I choose "Pride of Yeovil" for my model.

Actually a real Whirlwind is to be rebuild for display in a museum. I have a nice mug from them on the desk at my job


So my first task for the last two years was collecting information, stories, pictures and drawings for the rc model. The books give a good background about the exceptional construction details of the Whirlwind, the controversy why only 115 were built and remarkable wartime stories of the missions flown, mainly over South West England, the Channel and Normandy.


Edited By Timo Starkloff on 10/12/2017 16:22:15

Edited By Timo Starkloff on 10/12/2017 16:23:11

KiwiKid10/12/2017 18:05:22
493 forum posts
481 photos

Really looking forward to following this build of one of my favourite subjects. Co-incidentally, just came across this pic on t' Facebook last night - it appears to have been taken at the same time as the cover shot on the second (from the left) of your book collection - inspiring stuff!


TJ Alexander11/12/2017 10:13:34
105 forum posts

Cool photo! I first came across the Whirlwind in a book I bought on a school trip, aged about 9. I was entranced. The nacelles just seem so...Right.

Martyn K11/12/2017 10:25:10
5118 forum posts
3714 photos

Always thought this was one of the most elegant of the WW2 military aircraft. Looking forward to watching this progress

Ron Gray11/12/2017 11:15:57
2444 forum posts
980 photos

More elegant, Whirlwind or Tigercat, both in my favourites list but I have to go with the Tigercat I’m afraid, it is just so right!

Timo Starkloff29/12/2017 20:56:29
408 forum posts
896 photos

I like building models which are either unkown or a proper plan is missing. In that case, both fits. There is no plane left in museum, many modelers don't know the type, and the few available plans are either too much simplified or way too complicated.

The Tigercat is a great aircraft and aircombat models of that type are flying perfect, even on one remaining engine. But with my connections to Somerset and regular visits to that place during holidays and visits to contests in Normandy, it just has to be a Whirlwind.

Here's a picture of Davids Whirlwind beneath his Typhoon. The morning after the contest at Caen in Normandy and just before leaving, we did an unforgettable and close formation flight with his Whirlwind and my Fw 190


Timo Starkloff29/12/2017 21:01:12
408 forum posts
896 photos

I'm actually working on the canopy model, to get some proper work done beneath all that drawing. It is made from special model foam, covered with two layers of 163g/m² glass fibre and filled with polyester filler (still stinking even after two weeks, should have made that in summer outside). Yesterday I sanded the whole model and started applying fine filler.




Timo Starkloff29/12/2017 21:10:04
408 forum posts
896 photos

After collecting all stories, pictures and drawings available, I started with CAD. I use DraftSight since that is free, similar to AutoCAD and my brother is using that in combination with his CNC machine. Most of my planes are cut and sawn by myself the traditional way, but just in case, it's not bad to get ready to use parts from time to time

The outlines of the plane are the basis for the model. With different sources it was a bit of work to figure out the correct shape of the Whirlwind. After all the research, I started recognising certain failures even on some scale models and hopefully I'm not making others.



Timo Starkloff29/12/2017 21:14:49
408 forum posts
896 photos

After that, you can put all the pieces together to one three-view which is carefully redrawn, to get clean lines and curves. A good thing is, if the original designer (Mr. Petter and his staff in that case) used circular arcs for the round parts like wing tips or the nacelles. It is much easier and more precise than working with splines.

So that little picture below took many hours! In the beginning of my model building I just took a small three-view and started quick drawings and not long after that building. But with the years you want to make plans correct and don't want to repeat the same failures like many others. The most important thing for me is not a perfect scale model, but to get the certain lines correct that are important for a model representing the bigger one. And very often there are differences visible, when comparing drawings to photos. The available drawing for my Glasair was horrible, but also better known ones like the Fw 190 or Me 163 have failures or missing details.



Edited By Timo Starkloff on 29/12/2017 21:18:55

Edited By Timo Starkloff on 29/12/2017 21:21:01

stu knowles29/12/2017 21:41:14
616 forum posts
53 photos

Looking good! Great choice of prototype

Former Member29/12/2017 21:44:44
8090 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

Timo Starkloff29/12/2017 21:58:06
408 forum posts
896 photos

During and after that drawing of the outlines, many of the bigger questions have to be solved. Scale 1/6 is fix and therefore the size of 230cm wing span and 160cm length. Wing area is 66dm², so for a first rough calculation with 100g/dm² wing load a weight of 6600g is the goal. A bit heavier will still fly of course and lower is always better, but somewhere between 6 and 7kg would be perfect.

Airfoil for the wing will be S8052, but with increased thickness (14% instead of 12%) for the main wing and a decrease in thickness to 12% for the outer wing. Tail will be NACA 0009 for elevator and for the rudder a change from 0016 to 0012. I used SD6060 and S8052 on most of my 1/12 aircombat models and already on some bigger ones. Both have low drag and high lift when necessary, but are working reliable with high wing load and pointed wings and are controllable with ailerons until the stall. The usual NACA2415 is great to fly, but bad on landing due to too much lift to land while loosing air flow over the ailerons. S8052 is thicker than 6060 which is important for the stability of the narrow and thin wing of the Whirlwind. Elevator load should be less since 8052 has less camber than the 6060. My small Pucara with a nearly similar configuration did perfect with that airfoil, other aircombat models with narrow wings like the Ki-61, too.

The original flaps are nearly impossible to reproduce for a normal model builder. The model will have three flaps, one big central and two small outside the nacelles. The flap will be the split flap type. I think the look on landing approach will be very similar to the original, but with much less effort. Due to the T-tail in combination with a good airfoil and light building, I think drag is more important for me than lift. The split flap is producing more drag than lift, so the elevator doesn't have to work so much against the flap while on landing. A T-tail elevator doesn't get air flow from the propellers, which is not critical while up in the air at good speed. But you cannot slow down a plane too much because you will loose elevator efficiency. That was the experience of the Whirlwind pilots and mine with the Me 262 and Gloster Meteor as a rc model.

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