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Westland Woodpigeon


The Woodpigeon biplane was first conceived as the Westland entry in the Air Ministry's Light Aeroplane Competition of 1924, but was finally produced with the main object of being tested side-by-side with another Westland competitor, the Widgeon high-wing monoplane, in order to weigh the relative merits of a biplane and a monoplane with almost identical wing areas and power loadings. In the Competition and in later trials at Westland it soon became obvious that the Widgeon monoplane was much superior although, on paper, each machine should have had identical performances. In their endeavour to make a fair assessment the Westland technicians insisted on cutting a runway, with a hand-mower, through the long grass of Yeovil aerodrome, in order to get the Woodpigeon airborne. In fact it was so difficult to keep the little aeroplane in the air that it was decided to decrease the wing loading, so a second Woodpigeon, G-EBJV, was built with a large span, and the wings of the original machine, G-EBIY, were also increased to suit. Further tests in this form, and with the more powerful Anzani engine, were carried out by Major L. P. Openshaw, and in the end the Woodpigeons were flying reasonably enough to attract the interest of two private owners.

original Competition machine
Engine: 1 x 32hp Bristol Cherub
Max take-off weight: 353 kg / 778 lb
Empty weight: 199 kg / 439 lb
Wingspan: 6.93 m / 23 ft 9 in
Length: 5.94 m / 20 ft 6 in
Height: 2.15 m / 7 ft 1 in
Wing area: 14.4 sq.m / 155.00 sq ft
Max. speed: 116 km/h / 72 mph

Westland Woodpigeon



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