Westland Aircraft & Rotorcraft - Secret Projects & Cutting Edge Technology

By Jeremy Graham & Ron Smith 

While the general history of Somerset’s major aerospace manufacturer is well documented, many of Westland’s lesser-known and often more adventurous products, projects and technologies most certainly are not. This new volume from authors Jeremy Graham, a former member of the company’s Future Projects team and head of avionics and systems technology, and Dr Ron Smith, former head of Westland Future Projects and light attack helicopter chief design engineer, presents a highly detailed and fully illustrated exploration of the company’s many innovative programmes and projects using documents, photos and illustrations from the official Westland – now Leonardo – archive.

Fixed wing types, from the blended-wing Westland Dreadnought to Lysander, Whirlwind, Welkin and Wyvern-based projects and on to a variety of 1950s jet fighter designs, receive extensive coverage but Westland’s greatest achievements have been in the field of rotary wing aircraft – and it is here that the book provides unparalleled insight. From adapted licence-built types such as the Wessex and Sea King to home-grown types such as Lynx and on to multinational collaborative efforts such as Merlin, Wildcat and the AW609 tiltrotor, the authors explore the technology developed and employed, the political and financial backdrop and the specific developments themselves. Along the way numerous unbuilt projects, such as attack and stealth helicopters as well as early military drones, not to mention a host of remarkable technological innovations are described in detail.

Crammed with previously unseen imagery and written with unmatched authority, Westland – A History: Secret Projects and Cutting-Edge Technology is a must-read for any aviation enthusiast.