Westland Limousine

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Limousine
Westland limousine line drawing from Flight 1921.JPG
Role Light Transport Biplane
Manufacturer Westland Aircraft
Designer R A Bruce, P W Petter[1]
First flight 1919
Introduction 1920
Retired 1925
Number built 8

The Westland Limousine was a 1920s British single-engined four-seat light transport aircraft built by Westland Aircraft.

History[edit]

At the end of the World War I the prospect of an expanding aviation market led Westland Aircraft to design a light transport aircraft for three passengers. It was Westland's first commercial aeroplane and designated the Westland Limousine I, the first aircraft (initially registered K-126, but quickly re-registered G-EAFO) flew in July 1919. A biplane, it was powered by one Rolls-Royce Falcon III engine. The passengers were in an enclosed cabin, the pilot sat in the port rear of the four seats. His seat was raised to enable his head to be raised through the cabin roof. The second aircraft (G-EAJL) was designated the Limousine II and was completed in October 1919.[2]

Both the first and second aircraft were used from September 1920 for two months on an experimental express air mail service between Croydon and Le Bourget. A third aircraft was built and was at first test flown with a new Cosmos Jupiter engine, but later was fitted with the Falcon III. Another four aircraft were built, two of which were used by Instone Air Line to fly from London to Paris and Brussels.

To meet the Air Ministry's 1920 Commercial Aircraft Competition the aircraft was re-designed as the larger Limousine III for five passengers. It used the 450 hp Napier Lion engine. The aircraft won the £7,500 Air Ministry prize but only one more aircraft was constructed which was later operated by Instone Air Line.

The first Limousine III (registered G-EARV) pioneered air transport in Newfoundland when it was operated by the Aerial Survey Company (Newfoundland) Ltd. It was used for seal and fishery spotting including being used on skis. Two of the earlier Limousine IIs were also to end up in Newfoundland. The company operated in Newfoundland until the end of 1923 carrying mail and passengers to remote outposts.

Aircraft[edit]

Limousine I
Prototype Falcon III powered aircraft G-EAFO, destroyed in 1925 in a ground collision with a Fairey Fawn at Netheravon.
Limousine II
Four-seat production aircraft (five built).
Limousine III
Larger five-seat version (two built)

Specifications (Limousine III)[edit]

Data from British Civil Aircraft 1919-1972:Volume III [3]

General characteristics

Performance

References[edit]

  1. ^ Flight 28 August 1919
  2. ^ James 1991, p.88.
  3. ^ Jackson 1988, p.238.
  4. ^ a b James 1991, p.93.
  • The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982-1985). Orbis Publishing. 
  • Jackson, A.J. (1974). British Civil Aircraft since 1919. London: Putnam. ISBN 0-370-10014-X. 
  • Jackson, A.J. (1988). British Civil Aircraft 1919-1972:Volume III. London: Putnam. ISBN 0-85177-818-6. 
  • James, Derek N. (1991). Westland Aircraft since 1915. London: Putnam Aeronautical Books. ISBN 0-85177-847-X. 

External links[edit]

  • ""Westlands" of Yeovil" (PDF). Flight XI (32): 1054–1055. August 7, 1919. No. 554. Retrieved January 12, 2011.  Contemporary initial report on the Limousine I with photographs.
  • "The Westland Limousine" (PDF). Flight XI (35): 1145–1148. August 28, 1919. No. 557. Retrieved January 12, 2011.  Contemporary technical description of the Limousine I with photographs and drawings.