Aviation of Word War II

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Wapiti

Light Multipurpose Attack Aircraft

Westland

Westland Wapiti Mk.II

Westland Wapiti is a British lightweight multipurpose attack aircraft from the Westland Aircraft Company. In March 1927, a prototype began to be tested.

The Westland Wapiti was a single-engine biplane of mixed design with fixed landing gear. The engine was installed depending on the modification. The aircraft crew consisted of 2 people. Armament included one synchronized 7.7 mm Vickers machine gun and one Lewis machine gun of the same caliber above the rear cockpit; bomb load up to 263 kg.

By the time the Second World War began, Wapiti were still in service with countries such as Canada, India, South Africa (modern South Africa). Canadian Air Force aircraft patrolled the coast in search of submarines from September 1939 to April 1940. South American aircraft also carried out reconnaissance off the South American coast and South West Africa. In the fall of 1940, they took part in battles on the Kenyan-Somali border.

Squadrons of Great Britain in India and the Indian Air Force removed the Westland Wapiti from service in mid-1940, then they were used in flight schools for several years. Wapiti was transferred to Canadian aviation schools in April 1940, some aircraft were used as target towing vehicles until August 1940. In 1941, the South American Air Force finally removed the Wapiti from service.


                                                                                                                                                                                                              
Wapiti Mk IA
Crew 2
Dimensions
Length, m 14.15
Wingspan, m 9.65
Height, m 3.61
Powerplant
1 × PE Bristol Jupiter VIIIF, power hp. 1 × 550
Weight, kg:
Empty weight 1,728
Loaded weight 2,449
Performance
Maximum speed, km/h 225
Cruising speed, km/h 177
Service ceiling, m 6,280
Service range, km 853
Armament
1 × 7.7mm machine-gun Vickers, 1 × 7.7mm Lewis, bombs, kg 263

More than 1000 aircraft of this type have been built in total. In England, production ended in 1932. Westland Wapiti aircraft were in service: from January 1928 - in Great Britain; from February 1930 - in Australia; since 1930 - in the South African Republic; since 1931 - in China; since 1934 - in Saudi Arabia; from March 1936 - in Canada. About 80 of these aircraft were still in service in India and Canada at the time of the outbreak of World War II.

Wapiti Modifications

  • Wapiti Mk I - production version with 420 hp Bristol Jupiter VI radial engine
  • Wapiti Mk IA - an improved version with a 480 hp Jupiter VIIIF engine. and Handley Page slats.
  • Wapiti Mk IB - similar to Wapiti Mk IA, but with separate main landing gear; first with Jupiter VIIIF engine, then with Armstrong Siddeley Panther with 550 hp
  • Wapiti Mk II is an improved version with an all-metal load-bearing structure.
  • Wapiti Mk IIA - production variant with modified wing design.
  • Wapiti Mk III - 27 aircraft built under license in South Africa.
  • Wapiti Mk V - developed on the basis of the projected version of the Wapiti Mk IV with an extended fuselage and some improvements; equipped with 550 hp Bristol Jupiter VIIIF engine
Photo Description
Схема Wapiti

Drawing Wapiti Mk IIA

Bibliography

  • Close reconnaissance, spotters and attack aircraft of the Second World War /V. Kondratyev/
  • British Aircraft of World War II. Westland Wapiti