Busy ‘Lizzie ’

Westland Lysander The charismatic performed many different and dangerous roles during World War Two. Malcolm V Lowe tells the story of this multi-tasking warplane

Lysander prototype K6127 in its original unmodified form during flight testing. Aerial images of this aircraft are rare, particularly at this altitude MALCOLM V LOWE COLLECTION

For many years the name Westland was synonymous with the manufacture of helicopters, in which the company has specialised (under a number of recently changed names) since the 1960s to the present day. Up until then, the firm existed as Westland Aircraft, and was a major supplier of frontline combat types especially for the Royal Air Force.

During World War Two the company came to prominence through the varied exploits of arguably its best-known product, the Lysander.

Tracing its origins to 1915 and located at Yeovil in Somerset, over the years Westland produced a very eclectic selection of aircraft types mainly for military service, although its designers

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