Special Hobby - Westland Whirlwind FB Mk.I 'Fighter-Bomber' Hi-Tech 1/32
Not long before the outbreak of WW2, the British Air Ministry issued a requirement calling for two types of fighter aircraft, one light weight with machine gun armament and the other one with heavy cannon armament. To these requirements, the machine gun armed Hurricanes and Spitfires were designed, while to fit the second category, the Westland offered their Whirlwind twin engined 'Cannon Fighter'. This type was eventually produced in more than a hundred examples and further production was ceased only by the shortage of the Peregrine power units. The Whirlwinds were deployed over the English Channel in fighter and ground attack missions. For the latter ones, the Whirlwinds were fitted with bomb racks and were designated FB Mk.I. This modification proved very successful and it became more than clear that the Whirlwinds suit these types of missions very well indeed.
Our model of the Whirlwind now comes in the Hi-Tech format and contans ten styrene sprues, one with clear parts, a fret of photo etched details, set of 3D-printed parts and also resin parts. These details improve the cockpit area substantially and also make it possible to leave the nose section open to show the four Hispano cannon armament to good advantage. The decal sheet offers markings for four green and grey Raf machines, two of XX. and the other two of 137 Sqn. One of the schemes has a title under the canopy and another one sports the striking black and white wing undersurfaces, the markings carried for the Operation Stalker.
Westland Whirlwind FB Mk.I, P7094, HE-T, 'Bellows', No.263 Sq., Raf Warmwell, early 1943. With the name on the port side fuselage as well as its pilot's name F/Lt Blackshaw in a rectangle of the original Dark Earth colour. However, a photo of this machine is known with Canadian pilot F/O Jp Coyne in the cockpit. The top scheme consists of three colours, the regulation Dark Green and Dark Sea Grey and the makeshift shade known at the time as the Mixed Grey. The spinners wore small national insignias at their very front. P7094 most likely took part in the 28 March 1943 Roadstead 60 attack on the German shipping in the English Channel, the Whirlybombers were escorted by Spitfires of No.310 (Czechoslovak) and 313(Czechoslovak) squadrons. P7094 was destroyed on 16 May 1943 when its flying career totaled 166 hours with No.263, 137 and again No.263 squadrons.
Westland Whirlwind FB Mk.I, P6974, HE-Z, No.263 Sq., Raf Angle, June or August 1942. In the standard Day Fighter Scheme on the top surfaces, albeit in unusual Black on the wing lower surfaces with white Id bands as well as with white forward fuselage worn for the Dieppe operation. However, these colours might as well be associated with either the Starkey operation or Rutter exercise. With No.263 Sqn Raf from September 1940 to 19 September 1943 when P6974 was lost in action. On 28 March 1942 this machine was flown from Raf Colerne to Raf Dumfries by Czechoslovak pilot S(O Cyril Novacek, a pilot with three victories over France. S/O Novacek had been hit and injured by friendly (French) anti aircraft fire on 10 June 1940, lost part of his right foot, and since then was excluded from further combat flying, even after his evacuation to the UK. As he clearly was an excellent pilot, he found his new job with the Ata and transported various aircraft for the needs of the RAF. During the war, he accumulated flying experience on more than 60 various machines, both single and twin engined.
Westland Whirlwind FB Mk.I, P7102, SF-P, 'Comrades In Arms', P/O E.L. Musgrave, No.137 Sq. RAF. In Mixed Grey and Dark Green scheme used for only some time instead of the standard Raf Day Fighter Scheme. The Comrades In Arms lettering on the port side beneath the cockpit. With No.137 Sqn from July 1942 to September 1943, then transferred to No.263Sqn. SoC and scrapped in September 1944.
Westland Whirlwind FB Mk.I, P7012, SF-V, No.137 Sq. RAF. In the makeshift scheme consisting of Mixed Grey alongside the standard Dark Green, the No.137 Sqn Raf operated this airframe between November 1941 and June 1943. Later, P7012 was transferred to No.263 Sqn and struck off charge and scrapped in July 1944.