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DW Aviation DW.II



During 1929, Dudley Watt was approached by T. Neville Stack who had an idea for a slow-landing, safeflying training biplane combining the advantages of folding wings with natural stability. Watt agreed to finance the construction and formed a company, D. W. Aviation Co, at Brooklands. The aircraft was designed by Captain K. N. Pearson, M.C., AFRAeS, and dubbed the D.W.II. By the end of 1929, first wood had been cut. Drawings for the tail unit were completed by March 1930 from which time forward con-struction proceeded at full speed. .

The work team consisted of Bill Hellon, a former Handley Page general mechanic who had worked with Savage Skywriters at Hendon, and Bill Whitaker, an aircraft craftsman who had formerly worked for both Vickers and Hawkers. The chief engineer responsible for the project was William A. Baker.

The building of the D.W.II took place in the "black sheds" at Brooklands and on May 17, 1930, G-AAWK made its public debut in the hands of Dudley Watt. The engine was a 90 h.p. ADC Cirrus III.

The D.W.II was an instant success.

Everything seemed set fair for this biplane with its "unusually high-lift" wings which cruised at a respectable 75 m.p.h. on such comparatively low power.

It was at this point that the whole enterprise left Brooklands for Ford Aerodrome, Yapton, Sussex, where larger hangars were available. Here was to be set up a production line.

But things did not work out as planned and the Dudley Watt fortunes took a turn for the worse. Inspired by the success of the D.W.II, work had already begun on the mock-up of a three-seat version to be known as the D.W.III. This was never to be and just before Christmas, 1930, the collapse came. In spite of its success, orders did not materialise for the D.W.II and there was now no cash left to allow speculative building. Dudley Watt was forced to sack his workforce.

Watt and the D.W.II turned up at aviation meetings during the following season but afterwards gradually faded from the aviation scene. The D.W.II was sold in 1934 to Brian Field who dismantled it into oblivion.


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