Westland Wyvern

Post-War Wings Line
Michal Ovcacik, Karel Susa
4+ Publications, 2003
ISBN 80-902559-9-X
36 Pages, Softbound

Reviewed by Chris Banyai-Riepl

Few aircraft can make as many claims as the Westland Wyvern can in terms of British firsts and lasts. It was the first turbine-powered propeller aircraft to serve on aircraft carriers and the only one to reach squadron service. At the same time, it was the heaviest single-seat military aircraft at the time it entered service. The original design utilized the most powerful piston engine built by Rolls Royce, which also had the distinction of being the last piston engine from that firm. It was the last fixed wing Westland aircraft to serve with the FAA as well. Finally, one rather interesting little tidbit, the Wyvern was the first aircraft to perform an underwater ejection. For all this, though, the service life of the Wyvern was short, serving with only four front-line squadrons from 1953 to 1957, with only one squadron actually seeing combat in the Suez Crisis of 1956.

This latest title from 4+ does their usual great job of providing excellent detail photos and interesting period photos. This title covers the TF Mk.1 & 2, the T Mk. 3 and the S Mk. 4, as well as many of the different engine test frames utilized. A brief text provides a basic background to the development of the Wyvern, as well as a basic overview of the type differences. A nice set of 1/72 scale drawings fill the center section, and mixed in with the photos are several profile illustrations showing many of the different markings carried by the Wyvern.

For those interested in FAA aircraft, or those who just think the Wyvern looks neat, this is definitely a book well worth picking up.

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