Westland Wendover; WHAT THE…..

November 11, 2020

Looking like the bastard love child of a Lysander and a Lancaster bomber, the Westland Wendover is one of the stranger designs to be dreamed up by British aero engineers during World War Two. Only built as a prototype, the Wendover was a development of the Westland Lysander.

This aircraft would perform excellent work for covert operations, flying agents into occupied France during World War Two, but truth be told it was not very successful in it’s designed role as the Royal Air Force’s primary army cooperation aircraft. Intended to be used for artillery spotting and for dropping supplies and messages to ground units, the Lysander suffered heavily during the Battle of France in the face of Luftwaffe fighters.

Slow and steady, it was pretty much a sitting duck. In the two months of May and June of 1940, 118 were lost over France or Belgium out of the 175 deployed.

Obviously something needed to be done and Westland figured that the solution might be…

MORE GUNS!

So they merged the front half of a Lysander with a broad-beamed twin tail that mounted a power-operated Nash & Thompson turret armed with four .303 browning machine guns. Certainly enough to give any German attacker a nasty surprise.

First flying in July 1941, the aircraft was reported to handle well and was comparable to the standard Lysander.

However with bigger priorities for aircraft production no orders were placed. The RAF recognised that achieving air superiority was a better use of scant resources than investing in aircraft that would still be pretty vulnerable. Plus the Brits had soured a bit to the turret fighter concept, leaving the Wendover as just an odd side note in the history of aircraft.

That Which Sees All; The Paramount Mwari

That Which Sees All; The Paramount Mwari

The war in Ukraine has been dominating the military headlines for the best part of a year now, and that has also meant that discussions about weapon systems has, understandably, been largely about those used in large scale conventional conflict – tanks, artillery and...

The Jaguar M; When the Big Cat Went to Sea

The Jaguar M; When the Big Cat Went to Sea

The late 1960s was a bit of a rough period for the NATO carrier fleet…at least if you weren’t American. A number of nations had taken the opportunity after the Second World War to avail themselves of the large number of surplus vessels – basically British – that had...

Soviet Built Tanks for the Invasion of Malta

Soviet Built Tanks for the Invasion of Malta

Situated as it is in the heart of the Mediterranean between the Italian peninsula and Africa, Malta has long been of great strategic importance. For millennia, people have fought for control of this island, using its position to dominate the surrounding seas. And the...

Dr. Anna Kruglova – How ISIS Used Marketing to Sell Themselves

Dr. Anna Kruglova – How ISIS Used Marketing to Sell Themselves

Had the opportunity to talk with Dr. Anna Kruglova of the University of Salford on her specialist subject - how ISIS used marketing to recruit and spread their message. We also discuss how the same techniques are being used by other movements now. Dr. Kruglova’s...

The Lockheed YO-3A Quiet Star; Charlie’s Silent Stalker

The Lockheed YO-3A Quiet Star; Charlie’s Silent Stalker

While the Vietnam War saw several very large conventional battles fought, probably the most iconic image of the war, and the experience of most of the belligerents, was of a grinding guerrilla conflict where the forces of the United States and their allies spent a...