Aviation Historian 20
N.Stroud - Fire in the belly
Two Gloster E.28/39s were built, W4041 and W4046, the second making its first flight on March 1, 1943. Both were extensively tested by RAE and Service pilots at Farnborough, where this photograph shows an E.28/39 being put through its paces. Had an Anson been fitted with a W.1, it would have required the incorporation of a similar nose intake.
Known affectionately by its crews as “Faithful Annie”, the Avro Anson entered RAF service in March 1936 as a general reconnaissance aircraft for Coastal Command. This Anson I, K6152, was delivered to the RAE at Farnborough from the manufacturer, so may have been a candidate for the fitting of the Whittle test unit in 1939.
INSTALLING THE WHITTLE W.1 JET ENGINE. Proposed installation in an Avro Anson
One of the aircraft considered for the fitting of a Whittle jet powerplant was the General Aircraft Ltd Cygnet II two-seat light tourer, powered by a 150 h.p. Blackburn Cirrus Major and fitted with an unusual tricycle undercarriage. This example, G-AGBN, was impressed into RAF service in July 1941 and given the serial ES915.
Stearman-Hammond Y-1 PH-APY had been acquired by KLM as a tricycle undercarriage trainer for its prospective fleet of Douglas DC-5s, but was sold to the British Air Ministry and used by the RAE from the summer of 1939 with the military serial R2676. Fitting the Whittle W.1 unit would have presented something of a challenge!
Miles Aircraft’s first venture into twin-engined aircraft (and its first to have a retractable undercarriage), the M.8 Peregrine made its first flight on September 12, 1936. After a great deal of demonstration flying, it was dismantled in 1937, as Miles’s capacity was taken up with building Magisters for the RAF. Only two M.8s were built.