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Westland Welkin


On 9 January 1941, Westland was authorised by the Ministry of Aircraft Production to proceed with two prototypes of its P.14 design for a twin-engined high-altitude fighter, in compliance with Specification F.4/40. Conceived as a two-seater with six 20-mm cannon armament, the P.14 went ahead as a four-cannon single-seater with a pressurized cockpit. Revised to conform to F.7/41, and thus competing with the Vickers Type 432, the P.14, to be named the Welkin, first flew on 1 November 1942. The wing was located in the mid position, and power was provided by two Rolls-Royce Merlin Mk 61s of 1,565 hp, these being succeeded by 1,650 hp Merlin 72/73 or Merlin 76/77 in the production Welkin I. Pressurization of the cockpit was achieved by means of a Rotol blower on the starboard engine. Production of the Welkin I was initiated in 1941, contracts for 100 and then 200 being placed, and the first series aircraft was under test at Boscombe Down by mid-September 1943. However, handling problems combined with reduced operational interest in high-altitude fighters led to cancellation of production after the completion of 75, plus 26 airframes without engines. The Welkin I saw no service use. Welkin NF Mk II During 1943, Westland studied a number of possible derivatives of the Welkin I in order to take advantage of the design work already completed. Of these possibilities, one for a two-seat night fighter variant received a go-ahead on 4 February 1943, subsequent development of this as the Welkin NF Mk II being in accordance with Specification F.9/43. Two prototypes were ordered, as conversions of Mk I airframes during production, and orders were given for 60 of the final production batch of Mk Is to be to this standard. As flown on 23 October 1944, the prototype Welkin NF Mk II introduced AI Mk VIII radar in a lengthened bulbous nose and a new one-piece canopy over a two-seat cockpit in which the observer faced aft behind the pilot. Production plans for the Welkin NF Mk II were cancelled during 1945, along with those for the F Mk I, and the second prototype was not completed.

Westland Welkin
Engine : 2 x Rolls Royce Merlin 76, 1233 hp
Length : 41.568 ft / 12.67 m
Height : 15.748 ft / 4.8 m
Wingspan : 70.013 ft / 21.34 m
Wing area : 459.946 sq.ft / 42.73 sq.m
Max take off weight : 17503.3 lb / 7938.0 kg
Weight empty : 12612.6 lb / 5720.0 kg
Max. speed : 336 kts / 623 km/h
Service ceiling : 43996 ft / 13410 m
Wing load : 38.13 lb/sq.ft / 186.0 kg/sq.m
Range : 1043 nm / 1931 km
Crew : 1
Armament : 4x 20mm MG

Welkin Mk 1
Max take-off weight:8970 kg / 19776 lb
Empty weight: 6520 kg / 14374 lb
Wingspan: 21.34 m / 70 ft 0 in
Length: 12.65 m / 42 ft 6 in
Height: 4.65 m / 15 ft 3 in
Wing area: 42.73 sq.m / 459.94 sq ft
Max. speed: 623 km/h / 387 mph
Ceiling: 13410 m / 44000 ft
Range: 2400 km / 1491 miles

Westland Welkin I



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