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Westland F.29/27 C.O.W. Gun fighter


Usually known as the COW-Gun Fighter, this prototype monoplane was one of two ordered by the Air Ministry (with the unorthodox Vickers Type 161) in fulfilment of Specification F.29/27. This called for an aircraft armed with the 37mm Coventry Ordnance Works (COW) cannon that had been evolved during World War I and was thought to have potential as an anti-bomber weapon. The COW gun was to be mounted at an upward angle of at least 45 degrees from the horizontal, with the idea that the fighter would approach enemy bombers from below and astern. The Westland prototype was, in effect, an enlargement of the F.20/27 prototype, and had the COW gun mounted to fire upwards at 55 degrees, with the breech casing in the starboard side of the open cockpit. Aiming was by means of a periscopic sight, and a special "ammunition dispenser" carried 39 rounds. The fighter was of similar all-metal construction to the F.20/27 and, like the latter, was first flown with a small fin and rudder which later had to be considerably enlarged to obtain satisfactory spinning characteristics. Powered by a 485hp Bristol Mercury IIIA nine-cylinder air-cooled radial, the F.29/27 first flew in December 1930, but the RAF quickly lost interest in the COW gun. With a Mercury IVA, the COW-Gun Fighter remained at the A & AEE until July 1934.

Max take-off weight: 1762 kg / 3885 lb
Empty weight: 1186 kg / 2615 lb
Wingspan: 12.45 m / 41 ft 10 in
Length: 9.09 m / 30 ft 10 in
Height: 3.22 m / 11 ft 7 in
Wing area: 20.62 sq.m / 221.95 sq ft
Max. speed: 296 km/h / 184 mph
Ceiling: 8900 m / 29200 ft

Westland F.29/27 C.O.W. Gun Fighter



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