Westland Pterodactyl V


Back to the Virtual Aircraft Museum
  TAILLESS FIGHTER SESQUIPLANEVirtual Aircraft Museum / United Kingdom / Westland  

Westland Pterodactyl V

TYPE.-Two-seat tailless fighter sesquiplane. The fourth Pterodactyl, and third and final Westland-Hill production, was the Pterodactyl Mk. V, which made its appearance in 1932. This machine was an impressive two-seater fighter, powered with a 600hp Rolls Royce Goshawk engine, and differed noticeably from previous Pterodactyl designs. The most striking departure was the tractor arrangement of the engine, as opposed to the earlier ''pusher" types, while the wings were in sesquiplane form, with the upper plane raised above the fuselage.

The military advantages foreshadowed in the first Pterodactyl were brought to practical form in the Mark V, the rear cockpit, immediately aft of the pilot, being fitted with an electrically-operated twin-gun turret. The unobstructed field of fire from this position has only been equalled by the tail gun-turrets of modern multi-engined bombers and, with a performance equal to that of its contemporary, the Hawker Hart, the Pterodactyl V was an ideal fighter type.

Test flights, by Mr. H. J. Penrose, showed that with this example the tailless type had attained a degree of performance, stability and control equal to the conventional aeroplane. It was demonstrated to be fully aerobatic and even capable of inverted flight, but, although so successful as an experimental machine, certain secondary problems rendered a degree of re-design necessary for production.

A.H.Lukins "The Book of Westland Aircraft", 1943

Westland Pterodactyl V

 ENGINE1 x 600hp Rolls Royce Goshawk steam-cooled vee-type engine
  Take-off weight2313 kg5099 lb
  Empty weight1602 kg3532 lb
  Wingspan14.22 m47 ft 8 in
  Length6.24 m20 ft 6 in
  Height3.55 m12 ft 8 in
  Wing area36.7 m2395.04 sq ft
  Max. speed305 km/h190 mph
  Ceiling9150 m30000 ft
 ARMAMENT2 x Vickers guns

Westland Pterodactyl VA three-view drawing (810 x 1105)

mashan, 20.06.2011 13:32

particularly any phtos of the top surface of the upper wing and close up of the nose and spinner.


Peter Trounce, e-mail, 02.10.2010 22:53

As a youngster with my parents I saw this machine perform at an air display (perhaps Tangmere) near Worthing, We were at the airfield downwind end, and quite close. I recall the gunner waving to us all as the machine turned to take off.


Daniel A. Amato, e-mail, 17.04.2010 00:56

This is amazing to me, I have thought that the flying wings technology had start with Horten bros, Lippish, Northrop & Fauvel at the 30 ies, also I found this wing tips control surfaces (that I've seen for first time on a Fokker prototype design by Reynhold Plath) very fair to be used in a flying wing even with a drag rudder at the trailing edge placed at these surfaces, like split flap & spoiler, and Prof.geofrey Hill confirm me it 90 years ago. Really amazing.

I enjoied the History

Best regards Daniel


Brian Barton, e-mail, 12.01.2010 17:49

All this information is available from the Book of Westland airceaft. I would very much like to get hold of any further information on this aiecraft. particularly any phtos of the top surface of the upper wing and close up of the nose and spinner.


Do you have any comments?

Name    E-mail


All the World's Rotorcraft

All rhe World's Rotorcraft AVIATION TOP 100 - www.avitop.com Avitop.com