‘Pedro’ and replica Whirlwind for Hawkinge
The Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust Ltd has acquired IWM Duxford’s Casa 2111B B.21-103 for its aircraft collection at Hawkinge, where in due course it will join the museum’s BP Defiant replica, Bolingbroke parts and full-size Spitfire and Hurricane models. One of the 236 licence-built Heinkel He 111s, known as ‘Pedros’, produced for the Spanish AF between 1945 and 1956, it was used in the filming of Battle of Britain, although it is not known to what extent. Subsequently the ‘Heinkel’ was on display at Tablada Air Base, Seville, until the mid-1990s. A German Army CH-53 air-lifted its fuselage to Duxford in March 1998 (its wings and engines arriving separately). Initially OFMCowned, it passed to the IWM in around 2000. The Trust is in talks with ‘several air forces’ to assist with its new addition’s move from Cambridgeshire to Kent.
The Museum has also partnered with the Whirlwind Fighter Project to reproduce an early WWII twin, of which no preserved examples exist. The replica Westland Whirlwind will be created using original company drawings and incorporate as many original parts as possible. It will initially be exhibited as a reproduction in progress, its subassemblies on public view in the museum’s Stuart-buttle Memorial Hangar. The finished Whirlwind will go on display as ‘P7056’ and bear the name ‘Pride of Yeovil’, referencing its birthplace.
First flown in October 1938, the Whirlwind I entered RAF service in June 1940 as a fast and heavilyarmed fighter. Fitted with four nosemounted Hispano 20mm cannon – and subsequently, in its Mk II form, 250/500 lb underwing bombs – it equipped just three squadrons: Nos 25 – a former Hawkinge unit – 137 and 263. Follow build progress at www.whirlwindfighterproject.co.uk Report: Paul Fiddian
Whirlwind ‘P7056’s' fuselage panelling being rolled on former Westland Aircraft machinery
Duxford-hangared Casa 2111B B.21-103 is heading for Hawkinge soon
Whirlwind P7110, here piloted by Westland chief test pilot Harald Penrose MID-WWII