Everest Exhibition Panel 5

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Everest Exhibition Panel 5
Design ©
April 3rd 1933over Everest
Wings
Aircraft Fit for Purpose
B
y the 1930s Westland Aircraft
of Yeovil was established as a
manufacturer of Military and
Civilian aircraft and their performance
at high altitude, combined with spacious
fuselages and strong undercarriages
attracted the interest of the expedition
planners.
First flown in 1931 the PV3 was a privateventure design with folding wings to
provide a dual-purpose machine suitable
for both Army Co-operation and the
Fleet Air Arm. It drew on operational
experience with the Westland Wapiti
and was capable of carrying bombs and
a torpedo. Chosen for the expedition
in late 1932, and re-designated the
Houston-Westland biplane, it was
lightened by the removal of all nonessential equipment and had a specially
built, highly supercharged Bristol
Pegasus I S 3 engine installed.
The rear cockpit was enclosed
and facilities for heating the
crew suits and cameras were
installed. The vital oxygen cylinders
were installed between the pilot’s and
observer’s cockpits.
By the 1930s Westland Aircraft of Yeovil was
established as a manufacturer of Military and
Civilian aircraft w Houston-Wallace PV6
At the end of January 1933, Harald
Penrose with Air Commodore Fellowes
as observer, commenced a series of trial
flights finally achieving an altitude of
35,000 feet, comfortably exceeding the
height of Mount Everest, and the civil
registration G-ACAZ was applied.
w Installing Bristol engine in the PV3
w PV3 and PV6 in the workshop
w Oxygen cylinders
The PV6 began life in 1930 as an
improvement of the Wapiti series of
Army Co-operation aircraft with the
redesign of the fuselage and strengthened
undercarriage. During 1931 Harald
Penrose flew it in both landplane and
floatplane configurations on a sales tour
of South America. Further improvements
meant it differed so much from the basic
aircraft that it became known as the PV 6.
Converted to much the same standard
as the PV 3 and with another specially
built Pegasus engine installed it was
renamed the Houston-Wallace and
given a new civil identity as G-ACBR.
w PV3 during fitting out
PV 3 spent most of its remaining life
as a flying test-bed for the Bristol
Aeroplane Company and the Royal
Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough.
PV 6 was eventually converted to a
standard Westland Wallace and with
the Air Ministry tail number K3048 was
delivered to 501 Squadron Auxiliary Air
Force to start a normal service life.
Following the expedition both
aircraft were stripped of their
special equipment.
Produced with permission of South Somerset Heritage Team ©

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