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Whirlwind: Westland's Enigmatic Fighter Hardcover – 19 Jul 2012


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Fonthill Media (19 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781550379
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781550373
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 15.9 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 315,826 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Niall Corduroy is the son of an RAF officer and inevitably developed an interest in aviation at a very early age and even at university showed more interest in aviation researches and in qualifying as a pilot than the engineering degree he was studying for. The bulk of his professional career has been spent in strategic marketing and marketing communications, primarily in the technology industry and, most recently, with the UK's largest technology retailer. He lives in Hertfordshire with his wife Karen.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Border Reiver on 1 Sep 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Please don't get me wrong - I genuinely like this book and would recommend it without hesitation.
I just can't help feeling there's something (I'm not even sure what) missing..

The first few chapters document the whys' and wherefores of the specification which led to the Whirlwind and gives an insight into the mindset of the RAFs' leadership, pre-war. It also gives some insight into the, seemingly, almost chaotic state of the aviation industry in the UK in the late thirty's with companies vying for orders they could not possibly fulfill.

One can only marvel at some of the design decisions alluded to in the aircrafts development and I would have liked a more in-depth and wider-reaching review of this aspect of the subject (perhaps this is what I'm referring to above?).

The majority of the book is an immensely detailed research of the service history of the type for which the author is to be congratulated. However, the book really needs the addition of some maps to show both the operational areas of the squadrons equipped with the Whirlwind and the bases from which they flew.

While 1000 were originally ordered, the final delivery of only just over a hundred always meant the Whirlwind would only ever be a footnote in history.Enigmatic, certainly. Interesting, definitely.

I've always had a particular interest in the Whirlwind and have to confess I think my biggest 'grouse' with the book was that I didn't feel that I 'knew' the aeroplane any better after reading it.

However, I DID have a much better appreciation of the aircrew who flew it, often in extremely difficult weather conditions.

To sum up - worth buying for the operational history alone, but a wider and deeper technical review of the aircraft itself would have guaranteed that fifth star.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By M. Steedman on 27 Aug 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
At the time people though designing a monoplane with four machine guns was daring, to design one with four cannon was just fantastic.
The fact the four machine gun planes became the eight machine gunned Spitfire and Hurricane, both of which went on to carry four cannon shows how correct the idea was. However as is the burden of most future designs this one ran into unseen problems and it being the early years of the war when fighters were required yesterday there was never enough time to wok the design problems out.
When it finally seen limited service initially the RAF had no idea what to do with it and while its performance was ok for 1939, it was struggling by1942.
The book covers the struggle to get the design excepted and into production then the planes war record, with the two squadrons, is accounted for.
The book is a good read and a worthy account of what might have been
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Wilga on 25 Nov 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A thorough history of the origins of the aircraft, and of how it was used, together with histories of the individual aircraft. An enjoyable read.
Criticism - No discussion of what might have happened if the design had been actively progressed since inception, and how / if it's presence, and it's cannons, might have affected the 'Battle of Britain'
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael G Coombs on 7 May 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Well written and interesting. A little light on the technical side and not much detail on the politics however there is quite a bit on the design and loads of operational information about the units and people which make it an excellent read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There is worthwhile early history about the inception and development of the Whirlwind, and general background of Fighter Command's philosophy as it changed between the two wars. There is also detail that I hardly expected - who'd have thought that the cockpit cover would blow off! But I won't spoil it for you. The war service of the Whirlwind is covered extensively, though it doesn't appear to have been a very marked success, which may be why there hasn't been much written about it before that I know of. Good book, worth reading, but I found it something of a hassle on my Kindle. Probably best to get the paperback.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A book to take you from conception, development to use in service. A lesser known aircraft of WWll, this book covers just about all the aircraft built (and lost). With so few to actually get built and enter service it is easy for many to overlook an aircraft that provided some excellent service for it's day.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By ray julien on 2 Nov 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A detailed account of the trials and tribulations of the ground breaking fighter, the then small firm of Westland that built it, and the pilots that flew it.
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By Charles O Leary on 20 Dec 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
One of my all time favourite aircraft. I would dearly love to see more on this aeroplane.
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