Military History Books
by Harold A. Skaarup   www.SilverHawkAuthor.com   
 
Canadian Warplanes 1: The Biplane Era, Westland Wapiti

Canadian Warplanes of the Biplane Era, 

Westland Wapiti

Data current to 17 Feb 2019.

Westland Wapiti IIA, RCAF (Serial No. 513), RCAF Station Trenton, Ontario.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3232304)

The Westland Wapiti was a two-seat general-purpose military single-engined biplane of the 1920s.  It was designed and built by Westland Aircraft Works to replace the Airco DH.9A in RAF service.  The Wapiti was first flown in 1927 and entered service with the RAF in 1928.  It remained in production until 1932, with a total of 565 being built.  It equipped twenty squadrons of the RAF, both overseas (particularly in India and Iraq) and in the UK, remaining in RAF service until 1940.  It also served with the  Royal Australian Air Force, the RCAF, the Royal South African Air Force and with the Indian Air Force.  The Wapiti is named for the elk, one of the largest species of the deer family and one of the largest land mammals in North America and eastern Asia.  (Wikipedia)

RCAF No. 3, No. 10 and No. 100 Squadrons flew the Westland Wapiti.  The first Westland Wapiti Mk. II (Serial No. J9237), was taken on strength by the RCAF for winter trials on 17 March 1930.  The RCAF acquired a further 24 Wapiti Mk. IIA (Serial Nos. 508-513) and (Serial Nos. 527 -544), on 5 March 1936. 

No. 3 (Bomber) Squadron departed Calgary, Alberta for their new wartime station at Halifax, Nova Scotia immediately on 26 Aug 1939. after being alerted about impending hostilities.  Seven aircraft made the trip eastwards, (Serial Nos. 509, 510, 513, 532, 535, 542 and 545).  Three more Wapitis joined the flight from RCAF Station Trenton, Ontario, (Serial Nos. 538, 541 and 544).  The Wapitis from Calgary made a number of stops which included North Bay, Ontario, Ottawa, Ontario and a refuelling stop at Megantic, Quebec.  Other more easterly stops included Millinocket, Maine and Moncton, New Brunswick.  The squadron was re-designated as No. 10 (B) Squadron at Halifax on 5 Sep 1939.

Westland Wapiti Mk. II (1), (Serial No. J9237), Mk. IIA (24), (Serial Nos. 508-513, 527-544), for a total of 25 aircraft.

Westland Wapiti in flight.  (RAF Photo)

 

Westland Wapiti, RCAF (Serial No. J.9237) on skis, flown by the RCAF between the wars.  None have been preserved in Canada.  (RCAF Photo)

Westland Wapiti Mk. IIA (Serial Nos. 544, 541 and 538), No. 10 (BR) Squadron, RCAF.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3256692)

Westland Wapiti (Serial No. A43), RCAF Station Trenton, Ontario, 8 Dec 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3583641)

Westland Wapiti Mk. IIA, RCAF (Serial No. 513), Trenton, Ontario.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3581156)

Westland Wapiti, RCAF, pilot's hood open, 3 July 1937.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3581107)

Westland Wapiti, port side pilot's hood open, 3 July 1937.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3581105)

Westland Wapiti, pilot's hood, rear view, 3 July 1937.   (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3581106)

Westland Wapiti Mk. IIA RCAF (Serial No. 510), No. 3 Sqn, 1938.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3545983)

Westland Wapiti Mk. IIA, RCAF (Serial No. 510), No. 3 Sqn, 1938.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3545901)

Westland Wapiti Mk. IIA, RCAF (Serial Nos. 544, 541 and 538), No. 10 (BR) Squadron, 30 Aug 1939.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3256692)

Westland Wapiti Mk. IIA floatplane (Serial No. 503).  (RAF Photo)