‘Pe­dro’ and replica Whirl­wind for Hawkinge

Pilot - - OLD TIMERS -

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

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