Westland Dreadnought

1st Flight 1924

On completion of the Dreadnought, the pilot Arthur Keep carried out taxi trials and short airborne hops. On 9 May 1924, he took off for its first flight test.

The aircraft was initially stable, it soon became clear that Keep was losing control and not long after, at a height of about 100 ft (30 m), the Dreadnought stalled and crashed.

Thrown from the aircraft, Keep suffered severe injuries and later had both legs amputated.

He remained with the company and did not retire until 1935.

After this failure, the Dreadnought design was abandoned, although the ideas that were conceived and used in its making were visibly an advancement in aircraft and are appreciated as such in the present day.

Specifications

Crew: Two

Capacity: Eight passengers

Length: 56 ft 0 in (17.08 m)

Wingspan: 69 ft 6 in (21.19 m)

Height: 16 ft 4 in (4.98 m)

Wing area: 840 sq ft (78.1 m2)

Empty weight: 5,623 lb (2,556 kg)

Gross weight: 6,900 lb (3,136 kg)

Powerplant: 1 × Napier Lion II , 450 hp (336 kW)

Performance

Maximum speed: 102 mph (164 km/h, 89 kn).

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