I have as long as I remember been interested in airplanes, and the WW2 period in particular. It started with my father and a shared interest in plastic model kits. The first one was a Westland Whirlwind from Airfix. (I was early damaged) Since then I developed a solid interest in airplanes, although I never got to the point of a PPL-A certificate, all types from small plastic kits to large radio controlled ones has been made. The Whirlwind has always stuck with me as a special plane, not only because it was the first one. I find it both fascinating and quite beautiful, a design far ahead of its time. I didn’t know then how involved I would be in creating a full size Whirlwind “model”.
I have always liked to draw, both freehand and the more technical related. Eventually, I ended up with an education as a Technical Draftsman. I started working with pencils, pens and drawing boards, but soon headed out in the computer age with an early AutoCAD version. I enjoyed the simplicity and possibilities of working with CAD, and went soon from working as a Mechanical Engineer to work as Application Engineer at a CAD software reseller. Today I work as Technical Manager at a SOLIDWORKS reseller, CCS, a company I’ve been working at for the last 18 years and been a part owner for the last 12. I have worked with support and training, consultancy and construction, rendering and animation and now as project leader and department manager. In my line of work I have been involved not only with mechanical construction, but also structural FEA analysis and CFD- or flow analysis. This is a great help in my current involvement with the Whirlwind project.
I discovered the efforts of recreating a Whirlwind many years ago on the internet. Not a lot came out of it then, and it disappeared for a long while. 3 years ago it eventually turned up again with different persons and seemingly, more seriousness. I hoped it would be possible to get more information made available of the Whirlwind, so I made contact to the group, offering my help and CAD experience to the project. It was kind of a shock to discover how little information that actually existed. Some GA drawings, a parts list and two original construction drawings. Luckily one wind tunnel model drawing was discovered, and saved what seemed like a hopeless project. 3 years later, a lot of hours and hard work have been put into the project, a replica Whirlwind has started appearing from sheet metal. We have a great project group, and I’m sure we’ll see a Whirlwind in a museum near you not too far into the future.