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Westland - Hill: Pterodactyl

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1926. G. T. R. Hill's Pterodactyl tailless Aeroplane.
1927. The Hill Pterodactyl or Tailless Aeroplane.
1931. Westland Hill Two Seater Pterodacytyl. Mk IV.
1931. Westland Hill Pterodactyl. Mk IV.
1935. Westland Pterodactyl Mark V two-seater fighter.
Sept 1940. Pterodactyl 1b.
Sept 1940. Pterodactyl Mk V.
Sept 1940. Pterodactyl 1a

Note: This is a sub-section of Westland Aircraft.

Pterodactyl was the name given to a series of experimental tailless aircraft designs developed by Geoffrey T. R. Hill in the 1920s and early 1930s. Named after the genus Pterodactylus, a well-known type of Pterosaur commonly known as the pterodactyl, all but the first were produced by Westland Aircraft Ltd after Hill joined them.[1]

1926 The machine was structurally tailless and undoubtedly merited the title which its inventor bestowed upon it. It had remarkable flying properties. The control remained effective up to angles of incidence as large as 45 deg. There was no marked division between stalled and normal flight. From the tailed condition, as a result of the effectiveness of the controls, the pilot could recover normal flight by gradually easing the control stick forward and without executing the usual dive to regain speed. An accidental stall near the ground therefore lost much of its risks.[2]

Read a detail account of the aircraft's developing dimensions in The Engineer 1926/04/30.

A detailed history of the Pterodactyl was publised in Flight, 26 March 1970

A summary of the principle dimensions are given below:[3]

Principle Dimensions and Weights as recorded by Captain Hill - April 22nd 1926
Area of main Plane 223 sq. ft.
Area of Controllers 55 sq. ft.
Area of Rudders 13 sq. ft.
Wing Span, Overall 45 ft.
Wing Span, Fixed Part Only 30 ft.
Weight Empty 458 lb.
Petrol and Oil 30 lb.
Pilot 170 lb.
Passenger 170 lb.
Total Weight as a Two Seater 828 lb.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Wikipedia
  2. The Engineer 1926/04/30
  3. The Engineer 1926/04/30