Westland Widgeon (fixed wing)

:"For the 1950s helicopter , see Westland Widgeon (helicopter)"

The Westland Widgeon was a British light aircraft of the 1920s. A single engined parasol monoplane, the Widgeon was built in small numbers before Westland abandoned production in 1929.

Development and design

In 1924, the British Air Ministry, eager to encourage the the development of cheap civil aircraft suitable for use by private owners and flying clubs, sponsored a competition for a two seat ultralight aircraft, which had to be powered by an engine of 1100 cc displacement or less and capable of carrying a load of at least 340 lb (155 kg). To meet this requirement, Westland Aircraft produced two designs, the Woodpigeon biplane, and the Widgeon parasol monoplane. Unable to decide which design would be superior, Westland decided to build both types. James 1991, p.104.]

The Widgeon first flew at Westland's Yeovil factory on 22 September 1924, eight days after the first of two Woodpigeons. James 1991, p.111.] Its fuselage, which was very similar to that of the Woodpigeon, was of mixed steel tube and wooden construction, while the wooden parasol wing, which was tapered in both chord and thickness, Flight 25 September 1924, p.624.] folded for easy storage. It was powered by a single 1,090 cc Blackburne Thrush three cylinder radial engine, which produced 35 hp (26 kW). James 1991, p.110.]

The Air Ministry Light Aircraft competion began at Lympne Aerodrome, Kent on 27 September. The Widgeon, which due to the use of the Thrush engine was badly underpowered (as was the Woodpigeon), crashed during the first day of trials. Despite this setback, it was clear that the Widgeon had promise and was superior to the Woodpigeon, and the damaged prototype was rebuilt with a more powerful 60 hp (45 kW) Armstrong Siddeley Genet engine as the Widgeon II. Despite its much greater weight, the new engine transformed the Widgeon, the rebuilt aircraft being almost 40 mph (64 km/h) faster. James 1991, p.112.]

Based on this experience, Westland decided to enter the Widgeon into production for the private owner. It was therefore redesigned with a simpler, constant chord, wing replacing the tapered wing of the Widgeon I and II to ease production. The resulting Widgeon III could be powered either a a radial engine like the Genet or an inline engine such as the Cirrus. The first Widgeon III flew in March 1927, with production starting later that year. James 1991, p.114.] The design was further refined with a duralumin tube fuselage and a new undercarriage to produce the Widgeon IIIA.

The Widgeon proved expensive compared to its competitors and a total of only 26 of all types, including the prototype, were built and sold before production was stopped in 1930 in order to allow Westland to concentrate of the Wapiti general purpose military aircaft and the Wessex airliner. James 1991, p.118.]


;Widgeon I:Powered by one 35 hp Blackburne Thrush radial engine. One built.;Widgeon II:Rebuild of Widgeon I with 60 hp Genet radial.;Widgeon III:Redesign for production. Powered by ADC Cirrus II or III inline engine, Genet II radial, ABC Hornet or de Havilland Gipsy. 18 built. ;Widgeon IIIA:Variant of Widgeon III with metal fuselage and new undercarriage. Powered by Cirrus or Gipsy engine. Seven built. James 1991, p.120.]

pecifications (IIIA)

aircraft specifications
plane or copter?=plane
jet or prop?=prop

ref=British Civil Aircraft since 1919 Volume III Jackson 1988, p.243.]

length main= 23 ft 5¼ in
length alt= 7.15 m
span main= 36 ft 4½ in
span alt= 11.09 m
height main= 8 ft 5 in
height alt= 2.57 m
area main= 200 ft²
area alt= 18.6 m²
airfoil=RAF 34 [ Flight 28 July 1928, p.518.]
empty weight main= 935 lb
empty weight alt= 425 kg
loaded weight main=
loaded weight alt=
useful load main=
useful load alt=
max takeoff weight main= 1,650 lb
max takeoff weight alt= 750 kg
more general=

engine (prop)=Cirrus Hermes II
type of prop=4-cylinder air-cooled inline engine
number of props=1
power main= 120 hp
power alt= 90 kW
power original=
max speed main= 104 mph
max speed alt= 90 knots, 167 km/h
cruise speed main=86 mph
cruise speed alt= 75 knots, 138 km/h
never exceed speed main=
never exceed speed alt=
stall speed main=
stall speed alt=
range main=315 mi
range alt= 274 NM, 507 km
ceiling main=15,000 ft
ceiling alt= 4,570 m
climb rate main= 640 ft/min
climb rate alt= 3.25 m/s
loading main=
loading alt=
power/mass main=
power/mass alt=
more performance=



ee also


related=*Westland Woodpigeon

similar aircraft=*Hawker Cygnet
*de Havilland Moth


see also=


*" [http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1924/1924%20-%200624.html THE WESTLAND "WIDGEON" LIGHT MONOPLANE (No. 6)] ". "Flight". 25 September 1924, p.6243
*" [http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1927/1927%20-%200555.html The Westland "Widgeon III"] ". "Flight". 28 July 1928. pp.513-518.
*" [http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1929/1929%20-%200512.html The Westland "Widgeon IIIA"] ". "Flight". 14 March 1929. pp.206-207.
*Jackson, A.J. "British Civil Aircraft 1919-1972: Volume III". London:Putnam, 1988. ISBN 0 85177 818 6.
* James, Derek M. "Westland Aircraft since 1915". London:Putnam, 1991. ISBN 0 85177 847 X.

External links

* [http://www.jaapteeuwen.com/ww2aircraft/html%20pages/WESTLAND%20WIDGEON.htm Westland Widgeon] . "British Aircraft of World War II".
* [http://www.britishaircraft.co.uk/aircraftpage.php?ID=510 Westland Widgeon] "British Aircraft Directory"

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