Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 134,776 pages of information and 213,825 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Westland: Dreadnought

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Sept 1940.

Note: This is a sub-section of Westland Aircraft.

The Westland Dreadnought was an experimental single-engined fixed-wing monoplane design for a mail plane created to trial the aerodynamic wing and fuselage design ideas of Woyevodsky. It was designed and built by British aircraft manufacturer Westland Aircraft for the Air Ministry. Only a single aircraft was ever built, and it crashed on its initial flight, badly injuring the test pilot.

The design was aerodynamically advanced, featuring a continuous aerofoil section over all parts of the aircraft, including the fuselage and, unusually for British aircraft at that time, had no form of wing bracing.

Construction was all-metal, comprising drawn channeling with a skin of corrugated sheet panels. The method may be compared to the modern stressed skin construction.

Another advanced feature was the fail-safe ejection system.

Although conceived as a twin-engined type with retractable undercarriage, the design that emerged was fitted with a single 450 horsepower Napier Lion II 12 cylinder engine that allowed the Dreadnought speeds of up to 102 miles per hour.

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