Concept

Westland Wyvern

Résumé
The Westland Wyvern was a British single-seat carrier-based multi-role strike aircraft built by Westland Aircraft that served in the 1950s, seeing active service in the 1956 Suez Crisis. Production Wyverns were powered by a turboprop engine driving large and distinctive contra-rotating propellers, and could carry aerial torpedoes. The Wyvern began as a Westland project for a naval strike fighter, with the engine located behind the pilot, driving a propeller in the nose via a long shaft that passed under the cockpit floor, similar to the Bell P-39. This enabled the pilot to be located in a position that conferred the best possible visibility over the nose for carrier operations. Official interest resulted in Air Ministry Specification N.11/44 for a long-range naval fighter using the 24-cylinder H-block Rolls-Royce Eagle 22 piston engine (unrelated to the First World War-era engine of the same name) being issued to cover Westland's design. The specification also called for an airframe design that would be able to take a turboprop engine when a suitable unit was available. There was a parallel specification for the Royal Air Force, F.13/44, for which Hawker submitted the competing P.1027, a development of the Tempest. The RAF variant was cancelled, when in 1945 it was decided that all future fighter aircraft would be jet-powered. The original design soon matured into the more conventional Westland W.34, with the 3,500 hp (2,610 kW) Eagle engine in the nose driving large contra-rotating propellers and the pilot sitting high in a humped fuselage to improve visibility. The design was otherwise orthodox, with a low wing, tailwheel undercarriage and double-folding wings fitted with both Youngman flaps on the inner wing section and conventional flaps on the outer section. The W.34 was to be armed with four Hispano 20 mm cannon in the wings and have the ability to carry a torpedo under the fuselage or a selection of bombs and rockets under the wings. The prototype W.34; the Wyvern TF.
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