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Westland Walrus

The Westland Walrus was a British aircraft designed for spotter and reconnaissance purposes.

In 1919, the Royal Navy had an urgent requirement for a three-seat aircraft of this nature.

In order to reduce costs, the Airco DH.9A was adapted from partially completed airframes that were available in large numbers following the conclusion of the First World War and the cancellation of orders.

Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft initially attempted to modify the aircraft by adding provisions for an observer and removing the stagger from the wings, resulting in the Armstrong Whitworth Tadpole.

Westland was subsequently tasked with further developing the aircraft, resulting in the creation of the Walrus.

The Walrus featured a 450 hp (336 kW) Napier Lion II engine, replacing the Liberty engine of the DH.9A and Tadpole.

Like the DH.9A, the Walrus was a single-engine, two-bay biplane.

It was equipped with an additional cockpit for the observer/radio operator, located behind the gunner’s cockpit.

The observer also had a prone position for observing in a ventral pannier.

The undercarriage could be jettisoned, and the aircraft was fitted with floatation bags and hydrovanes to aid safe ditching, as well as arresting gear to facilitate landing on aircraft carriers.

The wings were detachable to aid storage.

Despite poor flying characteristics exhibited during its initial flight in early 1921, a further 35 Walrus aircraft were ordered.





29 ft 9 in (9.07 m)


46 ft 2 in (14.07 m)


11 ft 7 in (3.53 m)

Wing area

496 sq ft (46.1 m2)

Empty weight

3,180 lb (1,442 kg)

Gross weight

4,998 lb (2,267 kg)


1 × Napier Lion II W-12 water-cooled piston engine,

450 hp (340 kW)


2-bladed fixed-pitch propeller


Maximum speed

124 mph (200 km/h, 108 kn)

Service ceiling

19,000 ft (5,800 m)

Rate of climb

950 ft/min (4.8 m/s)

Wing loading

10.8 lb/sq ft (53 kg/m2)


0.09 hp/lb (0.15 kW/kg)



1 × forward firing Vickers machine gun

1 or 2 rear Lewis guns on Scarff ring.

Westland Aircraft Since 1915-Derek N. James.
The Book of Westland Aircraft-A H Lukins.
Westland, Plane Makers 2-David Mondey.



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