|This page is about the British gift twin-engine fighter Whirlwind P.9. For the other version, see Whirlwind Mk I.
The Whirlwind P.9 is a gift rank III British twin-engine fighter with a battle rating of 4.3 (AB/SB) and 3.7 (RB). This aircraft was introduced in Update 1.77 "Advancing Storm" during the 2018 World War Two Chronicles. It was later re-released during Update 1.91 "Night Vision" as a reward for the 2019 Operation "Shipyard" event.
Whirlwind P.9, an experimental pre-production vehicle, is the direct ancestor of the British Whirlwind Mk I heavy fighter. Development of the aircraft began in 1937 and the aircraft in this series had plenty of time to fight against German aircraft and ships during the Battle of Britain.
The Whirlwind is agile and speedy in level flight. The manoeuvrability is surprising, and even better with the use of flaps, making it possible to dogfight with most of the twin-engine fighters and, with skill and situational advantages, some single-engine planes as well. Just be wary of not draining all your speed while dogfighting enemies.
If played conservatively, this plane can be a tenacious opponent, especially when having an altitude advantage as this allows the Whirlwind P.9 to dive, fire, and then escape from enemies all with the same energy. This way a pilot can exploit the Whirlwind P.9's great speed to minimize the enemy's chance of getting a successful hit.
| Max Speed
(km/h at 4,877 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run
|Max Static G
|Optimal velocities (km/h)
|100% Engine power
|WEP Engine power
Survivability and armour
Packed with wide 2 layers of armour (both of 9 mm) in front of the pilot, covering the 20 mm cannons and the engine. The bulletproof glass (60 mm) will also be helpful in head-ons or when hunting turret defended planes.
The Whirlwind P.9 has a vulnerable tail as the elevator and ailerons generally will be blown off if the enemy gets to blaze you from behind or wins in a head-on. Hence you should avoid be caught off guard as it will much likely end your flight capacities.
Modifications and economy
The Whirlwind P.9 is armed with:
- 4 x 20 mm Hispano Mk.I cannons, nose-mounted (121 rpg = 484 total)
The four cannons make the Whirlwind P.9 well-armed for head-on engagements or Boom & Zoom tactics, as the four nose-mounted cannons will shred through everything, especially with the Ground Targets belt due to its AP ammunition. If pilots rather the enemy planes catch on fire, it is recommended to use the universal or stealth ammunition belts which offer this kind of benefit, unfortunately at the cost of somewhat reduced armour piercing performance. Keep in mind the reduced ammo of the cannons and the ability of some planes to turn off fires with self-sealing fuel tanks. The choice of engagement is up to the pilot.
Although gun convergence is a personal choice, it's suggested to set the gun convergence of the nose-mounted cannons to 600 m as the four cannons are lined horizontally (vertical convergence if Boom & Zooming). This allows scoring great shots at the moment when diving onto an enemy without getting to close or too far away. Just enough to align with the target's flight trajectory and release a short burst. If engaged with them in a dogfight just keep in mind this distance.
Usage in battles
The Whirlwind P.9 should be used similarly to other heavy fighters. The flight characteristics are very similar to the Whirlwind Mk I with the main difference being that the Whirlwind P.9 has more than double the ammunition count.
The P.9 is very effective in a boom and zoom role due to its good climb rate, and powerful armament. However, the relatively low wing break speed in RB does limit you in this role. The Whirlwind P.9 has a good turn rate for a heavy fighter but will be easily out-turned by single-engined fighters. The use of combat flaps will help to balance out this disadvantage. Care must be taken when using the combat flaps, however, as they are prone to snapping off at a relatively low speed.
Manual Engine Control
Not auto controlled
| Not controllable
Not auto controlled
Auto control available
| Not controllable
Pros and cons
- Devastating armament in 4 x nose-mounted 20 mm Hispano cannons
- Guns are tightly packed which makes it easier to aim
- Decent manoeuvrability for a twin-engine fighter
- Decent roll rate for a heavy fighter
- Deadly with the Ground Targets belt
- Gets an airspawn
- Ammo can deplete pretty quickly (though still double that of the Whirlwind Mk I)
- Slower than average dive speed
- Unlike the Mk I variant the P.9 can't take any secondary weapons
- Experiences severe control stiffening at speeds above 500 km/h
- Vulnerable to speedy fighters
- Very low red-line speed
During the Mid-1930s, development of combat aircraft in Britain was accelerated, when a war with Germany was becoming more apparent. While trusty and advanced, the Hurricane and Spitfire lacked in range and armament, and in 1935 the British Air Ministry issued operational Requirement F.37/35 which called for a heavy fighter design to be fitted with four 20 mm Hispano cannons. Many British aircraft manufacturers responded, but it was found that the submission made by Westland Aircraft of Yeovil in Somerset would be the one selected in 1937.
The first flight of the new aircraft, later designated the Whirlwind, took place in October 1938 with the prototype aircraft being made of an all-metal design with flush riveted construction as well as magnesium skin at the rear of the fuselage. Initial flight testing proved impressive, so much so that the Air Ministry considered rushing the aircraft into production.
The Whirlwind P.9 was the first prototype for what became Westland's fighter. The Whirlwind had low mounted wings with the engines mounted in under-wing nacelles. It also featured four 20 mm Hispano cannons mounted in the nose. The aircraft was powered by two Rolls-Royce Peregrine engines. The Peregrine was a development of the proven Rolls Royce Kestrel engine, which was used widely in the inter-war period in aircraft such as the Hawker Fury and Handley Page Heyford biplane bomber. The Whirlwind's canopy, was a bubble design and gave excellent all around visibility and combined with a "Tail-Dragger" configuration allowed for the installation of a high-mounted elevator assembly. The tail design was initially planned to incorporate a twin-tail design, but this was found to be impractical as the disturbed air from the engines affected performance.
- Related development
- Westland Whirlwind Mk I
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Operation "Shipyard": H-34 and Whirlwind P.9
- Official data sheet - more details about the performance
- [Wikipedia] Westland Whirlwind (fighter)
|Westland Aircraft Limited
|Whirlwind Mk I · Whirlwind P.9
|AH Mk.1 Apache**
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|*After World War II, Westland Aircraft focused on building helicopters and changed its name to Westland Helicopters.
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