|TWO-SEAT GENERAL-PURPOSE BIPLANE||Virtual Aircraft Museum / United Kingdom / Westland|
In the. year 1931 a British Empire Exhibition was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, at which Westland was represented by a special A.S. Panther-engined Wapiti, G-AAWA, piloted by Mr. H. J. Penrose. This machine embodied the accumulated experience gained with the first 500 Wapitis constructed, and was fitted with a lengthened fuselage and braked undercarriage.
After a successful tour in South America the machine was returned to Yeovil, where further refinements were made, including the fitting of a divided axle chassis, improvements to the fuselage lines, and the installation of a Pegasus engine with Townend ring. By this time both the performance and the appearance of the aircraft differed considerably from that of the standard Wapiti and it was given the designation P.V.6, under which it successfully completed Air Ministry acceptance trials as a general-purpose machine.
With the placing of a production order the type was given the name of Wallace, but the original machine, again returned to Yeovil, underwent yet another change and was converted for service with the Houston-Mount Everest Expedition.
The very successful realisation of the Expedition's object brought this veteran aircraft once more into Westland hands, this time to be converted back into a standard Wallace and issued to a Squadron.
On the early Wallace machines the cockpits were of the open type, with a Scarff gun-ring over the rear cockpit, but the type is now best remembered by reason of a later development. This was the fitting of a transparent cabin over both cockpits, thus making it the first R.A.F. aeroplane to be so equipped. Apart from the greatly increased comfort, this enabled the Wallace to use its rear gun with increased accuracy when operating at maximum speed.
The Wallace had a long period of service with the Royal Air Force, and with the various Auxiliary Squadrons, and although succeeded by the Lysander and other general-purpose types.
A.H.Lukins "The Book of Westland Aircraft", 1943