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Westland Wapiti

9 December 2013

 

Westland Wapiti — San Diego Air & Space Museum archive photo from the Edwin Newman Collection

Westland Wapiti — San Diego Air & Space Museum archive photo from the Edwin Newman Collection

Westland’s Wapiti was not only an evolution from the Airco DH.9 it was partly made up of DH.9 parts still in the RAF inventory — notably the wings and tail. Wapitis were sporty looking aircraft and modern for the day with staggered wings and mostly metal covered forward fuselage over metal tube construction. A fixed forward firing Vickers .303 caliber machine gun and a .303 Lewis machine gun for the gunner/operator comprised the armament while Bristol Jupiter 9-cylinder radial engine provided the power.

Served by a crew of two the Wapiti was a general service aircraft able to scout, bomb or photograph. Wapitis famously served in Iraq (where the above photo was taken) as well as India. Happily, one Wapiti exists and is, thankfully, in a museum — the Indian Air Force Museum.

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