Westland Lysander

 

1st Flight 1936

The Westland Lysander is a British army co-operation and liaison aircraft produced by Westland Aircraft that was used immediately before and during the Second World War.

Variants

Lysander Mk.I

Powered by a 890 hp (660 kW) Bristol Mercury XII radial piston engine.

Two forward-firing 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Browning machine guns in wheel fairings and one pintle-mounted 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis or Vickers K machine gun in rear cockpit.

Optional spat-mounted stub wings carried 500 lb (230 kg) of bombs.

Four 20 lb (9.1 kg) bombs could be carried under rear fuselage.

Lysander TT Mk.I

Lysander Mk.Is converted into target tugs.

Lysander Mk.II

Powered by one 905 hp (675 kW) Bristol Perseus XII sleeve valve radial piston engine.

Lysander TT Mk.II

Target tug conversion of the Lysander Mk.II.

Lysander Mk.III

Powered by a 870 hp (650 kW) Bristol Mercury XX or 30 radial piston engine, 350 delivered from July 1940.

Twin 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Browning guns in rear cockpit.

Lysander Mk.IIIA

As Lysander Mk.I, with Mercury 20 engine. Twin 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis guns in rear cockpit.

Lysander Mk.III SCW (Special Contract Westland)

Special version for clandestine operations.

No armament, long-range 150 gallon fuel tank, fixed external ladder.

Lysander TT Mk.III

Lysander Mk.Is, Mk.IIs and Mk.IIIs converted into target tugs.

Lysander TT Mk.IIIA

100 purpose-built target tugs.

P.12 Lysander Delanne

Unofficially referred to as the “Westland Wendover” Modification of the prototype Lysander K6127 to carry a 4-gun turret power-operated tail gun turret at the rearmost end of the fuselage for “beach strafing” in case of invasion of the UK.  

It was fitted with a new constant section rear fuselage and a much larger tail plane with twin tails, making it a Delanne-type tandem wing, to support the additional weight of the turret aft.

Both Frazer Nash and Boulton-Paul turrets were considered but neither electrical (for the BP turret) nor hydraulic lines (for the FN turret) were installed.

The wing and forward fuselage remained unchanged.

Although it flew well, trials were still underway when the threat of invasion disappeared and it did not proceeded past trials, most of which were carried out with a dummy turret.

“Pregnant Perch”

L6473 adapted with a ventral gun position, again for beach strafing.

Crashed during testing after engine failure.

In 1940 K6127 was tested with a pair of 20 mm (0.79 in) Oerlikon cannon mounted on top of the wheel fairings, and the stub wings removed; the intention was to use the aircraft against invasion barges in the threatened German invasion of Britain.

Specifications

Crew: 2 (1 pilot, 1 pass.)

Length: 30 ft 6 in (9.30 m)

Wingspan: 50 ft 0 in (15.24 m)

Height: 14 ft 6 in (4.42 m)

Wing area: 260 sq ft (24 m2)

Airfoil: RAF 34 modified

Empty weight: 4,365 lb (1,980 kg)

Max take-off weight: 6,330 lb (2,871 kg)

Powerplant: 1 × Bristol Mercury XX 9-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine, 870 hp (650 kW)

Propellers: 3-bladed

Performance

Maximum speed: 212 mph (341 km/h, 184 kn) at 5,000 ft (1,524 m)

Stall speed: 65 mph (105 km/h, 56 kn)

Range: 600 mi (970 km, 520 nmi)

Service ceiling: 21,500 ft (6,600 m)

Time to altitude: 10,000 ft (3,048 m) in 8 minutes

Take-off distance to 50 ft (15 m): 915 ft (279 m)

Armament

Guns: 2x forward-firing .303 in (7.7 mm) Browning machine guns in wheel fairings and two more for the observer.

Bombs: 4× 20 lb (9 kg) bombs or 1x drop tank (fuel or cargo) under rear fuselage and/or 500 lb (227 kg) of bombs or drop tanks on undercarriage stub wing hard points (if fitted).

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