S u m m a r y
|Title and Author
||Westland Wyvern TF Mks.1, 2, T Mk.3,
S Mk.4; by Michal Ovcacik & Karel Susa, a ‘4+ Publication’ by MARK1 Ltd
||Soft glossy covers, A4 portrait
format, printed on 36 good quality semi-gloss pages. Includes 2 pages of
B/W artwork, 4 pages (1 gatefold) of 1/72-scale plans, many B/W + 4 pages
of colour photos.
||£9.80 (when bought at the Fleet Air
Arm Museum, Yeovilton, UK)
||Excellent collection of photos of
all marks, including some colour. Good 3-view drawings of the TF.1 (at
last!), TF.2 (with details of the T.3 trainer) and the S.4. Wyvern’s
development, technical details and production well covered. Useful
diagram and table covering the external stores variations.
||In-service histories not covered
(but you can’t have everything).
Reviewed by Steve Naylor
HyperScale is proudly supported by
The Wyvern is probably one of those
aircraft you either love or hate – well I’m not afraid to say that I love it!
As this book says, the Wyvern achieved a large number of ‘firsts’ for an
aircraft with such a long gestation, but such a short service life. These
First propeller-turbine-powered aircraft
to serve on carriers.
Only naval strike fighter with this propulsion
type, to reach squadron service.
Heaviest single-seat combat a/c in British
service (c.10 tons!)
Prototype utilised the most powerful, and yet
at the same time, the last piston engine developed by Rolls-Royce (the Eagle),
as well as the first 8-bladed contra-rotating propeller system developed in
First Westland-designed a/c to serve with the
Royal Navy since 1921 but paradoxically, the last fixed-wing aircraft produced
The first underwater ejection in history, on 13
Who could fail to be impressed by this
unique machine? So a long-planned visit to Yeovilton’s Fleet Air Arm Museum, to
see and photograph the only survivor (TF Mk.1 ‘VR137’), inevitably led to my
purchase of this new book from the museum shop.
The book begins with a history and
background of the Wyvern’s inception. Interestingly, the RAF was apparently
also expected to be a recipient of the type, but dropped out in order to
concentrate on introducing jets (chance for some RAF’46 modelling here?). There
then follows a technical description of the various marks, together with a
useful table detailing; orders placed, serial numbers, production sequence,
operating units and notes on the disposition of some aircraft. Note that
although this book is a Czech publication, text is English language throughout.
Most of the rest of the book consists of
black and white photographs covering all variants, many of which I certainly
have not seen before. There are four pages of colour photos, mostly detail
shots of Yeovilton’s TF.1, but there is also one of an S.4 at Hal Far (Malta)
and one of ‘VW870’ at the 1953 SBAC Farnborough display. The colour cover shots
show; (front) Yeovilton’s ‘bird’ in 1991 (spurious EDSG over Sky – she’s now in
prototypical NMF), and (rear) the two-seat T. Mk.3 ‘VZ739’ in 1950. Cockpit
shots are also included – those of Yeovilton’s TF.1 being in colour, whilst
those of an example S.4 are black and white. All photos are well reproduced and
provide much interesting detail for the enthusiast and modeller alike.
There are two pages of black and white
‘shaded’ aircraft profiles (shame they were not in colour), showing example
markings for the various marks, and a cockpit diagram with key (only for the S.4
though). Finally, there is a drawing detailing the various external stores
possible (including RATO/G) and their attachment, with an accompanying fitment
table showing the permitted external stores permutations. This is backed up by
a description of the Wyvern’s intended role and armament.
No matter whether you love or hate the
Wyvern, this is an extremely useful book bringing together a wealth of
photographic and technical detail. If you are just curious, or intending to
model the Wyvern (my Dynavector S.4 awaits a slot on the workbench at some
point), this book will certainly add to your knowledge and appreciation.
Possibly only a couple of things are missing; service histories of those
machines that made it into service, and more diagrams, etc from service
manuals. But that would have been an altogether different book (and not at the
price of this one!), so let’s not be picky.
Recommended to anyone with a liking for
Westland’s 10 ton, propeller-driven swan-song.
Review copy courtesy of my
wallet (I’ve warned you about this before! Wallet).
to check, but I would have thought that this book should be available from most
good retailers. MARK1 Ltd. can be contacted at PO Box 10, 100 31 Prague 10 –
Stasnice, Czech Republic, or email
Review Copyright © 2003 by
This Page Created on 30 September, 2003
Last updated 29 September, 2003
Back to HyperScale