Westland Whirlwind Belgian Air Force

As war became more and more likely in Europe in the late 1930s the Belgian Government started looking for modern fighter aircraft to strenghten the obsolete Belgian Air Component. A Belgian delegation visited Britain late 1938 and witnessed demonstrations of the Hurricane, Spitfire and Whirlwind fighters.

The Belgians preferred the Spitfire but this was not made available for export to Belgium as the RAF needed all the airframes that could be produced. Given the choice between the Hurricane and the Whirlwind the Belgians opted for the Westland fighter.

From early 1939 onwards a total of 20 Whirlwind fighters were delivered to Belgium. The aircraft were originally destined for the RAF and retained their RAF camouflage. During the short war in 1940 all Whirlwinds were destroyed, most of them on the ground on the initial day of the war.

Last updated: 28/09/2015