Westland Welkin F Mk.I NF Mk.II
By Martin Velek
Publisher: MARK I Ltd 2005 36 Pages
PDF 46 MB
Handsome is as handsomely does, says an old English proverb, yet, sadly, the West-land Welkin, an undisputedly elegant machine with its finely shaped airframe of long narrow wings and slim engine nacelles, was to some extent a denial of this saying. When in the summer of 1940 one of the high altitude Junkers Ju 86P prototypes probed for the first time the airspace over the British Isles, it brought with it a stir in the top echelons of the British military that eventually proved to be quite out of proportion to the almost negligible strategic importance the high-altitude reconnaissance and bomber aeroplanes of the Luftwaffe had on the Third Reich's warfare against Britain.
That is indeed a judgment made with the advantage of 20/20 hindsight, but at the time it was painfully apparent that the new and yet unopposed threat the Nazis brought to help their attack against the British had to be tackled. German high-altitude aeroplane development was no secret, and so, after some prodding from the eager industry, the high-speed, high-altitude fighter Specification F.4/40 was finally issued by the Air Ministry in early July 1940, almost coincident with the first Ju 86P overflights.