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F aster and better armed than the Spitfire, the Whirlwind was the RAF's response to a new generation of armoured German bombers which it expected to meet over England in 1940. A few months after its first flight, 1,000 Whirlwinds were ordered, but nine months later the RAF cancelled the entire programme. Just 114 were built, but they went on to have a distinguished three-year career from the uneasy months following the Battle of Britain to their final sorties against Hitler's V-weapon sites in France.Based on original research from military and corporate archives, this groundbreaking study throws new light on why the RAFhad such high hopes for the Whirlwind, but was then prepared to cancel it. It exposes for the first time the political and corporate wrangling that surrounded the Whirlwind programme, while bringing a fresh perspective to the aircraft's valiant operational history, calling on German records and Ultra signals. Attacking railways, shipping, torpedo boats and airfields, often against fierce opposition, the Whirlwind squadrons flew with outstanding courage and determination, regarding themselves, justifiably, as a privileged elite within Fighter Command - the 'fewest of the few'. In its thorough research and captivating style, Whirlwind: Westland's Enigmatic Fighter is a fitting tribute to the designers, engineers and pilots who believed in the Whirlwind, and made itglorious.
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About the Author

Niall Corduroy is the son of an RAF officer and inevitably developed an interest in aviation at a very early age and even at university showed more interest in aviation researches and in qualifying as a pilot than the engineering degree he was studying for. The bulk of his professional career has been spent in strategic marketing and marketing communications, primarily in the technology industry and, most recently, with the UK's largest technology retailer. He lives in Hertfordshire with his wife Karen.

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