Aeroplane Monthly 1977-07
A.Ross - Westland Wyvern /Fighters of the fifties/ (15)
Wyvern S.Mk 4 VZ79? picks up an arrester wire on HMS Eagle at Spithead, in May 1955. Note generous flap area, rocket rails and drop tanks.
The first prototype Wyvern TF. Mk 1, TS271, powered by a 2,690 h.p. Rolls-Royce Eagle piston engine, seen here in the hands of Sqn Ldr P. J. Garner on a flight from Yeovil on Wednesday, October 15, 1947. During this sortie the propeller stopped owing to failure of the pitch translation bearing and Garner was killed whilst attempting a forced landing.
This study of Wyvern T.F.2 VP109 was taken at Yeovil in May 1950. This aircraft featured a tailplane with 10° dihedral and first flew on March 22, 1949, from Merryfield. It suffered engine failure and crashed into a Farnborough hangar on April 24, 1952.
Wyvern S.4 VW870 was a converted T.F.2, and is seen at the SBAC Show, Farnborough, in September 1951 with torpedo, auxiliary tanks and fences inboard of the ailerons.
Wyvern S.4 WN334 was flying with 831 Sqn based at Ford when photographed on February 22, 1956, with 16 25lb rockets underwing. In June 1957 WN334 underwent trials with the US Navy at Patuxent River.
The second aircraft from the front in this formation of S.4s from Ford-based 813 Squadron, taken in September 1953, is VZ762. The nearest aircraft is VZ761.
VZ762 is the farthest machine in the production line picture, taken at Yeovil in March 1952.
VZ761 shows off the auxiliary vertical surfaces on the tailplanes which became a feature of the S.4.
VP113, the second prototype T.F.2, was lost on October 31, 1949, when it overshot into council houses at Yeovil after engine failure, killing Sqn Ldr M. Graves.
The second prototype Wyvern, TS375, first flew on September 10, 1947. It was originally used for aerodynamic and handling tests.
Wyvern T.F.2 VW867, which replaced VP113 in the test programme, first flew on February 16, 1950. It survived until it was broken up at Yeovil in 1955.
S.4 VZ790 of 813 Squadron, armed with 25lb underwing rockets, leaves the deck of HMS Eagle in late October/early November 1957. Note the catapult strop falling away beneath the main wheels. VZ790 was struck off charge on September 23, 1959.
The one and only Wyvern trainer, to Spec T.12/48, was the T.Mk 3 VZ739. Photographed in January 1950, it first flew on February 11 the same year. It became a station “hack” when orders were not forthcoming.