No. 12098. Westbrook W-5 (NC966V c/n W-503)
Photographed at Roosevelt Field, Long Island, New York, USA, ca. 1934, source unknown

Westbrook W-5

09/30/2013. To build the Sportster the Westbrook Aeronautical Corporation was founded at Teterboro, New Jersey in 1929 by Neil Westbrook Perdew and John Knox McAfee. Due to the depression and difficulty in financing, a school arrangement was worked out where prospective owners could go to ground school and build their own airplane at the same time, thus getting practical experience toward an A&E license while cutting the cost of the airplane to a minimum.

The Sportster was designed by Westbrook and Carroll H. Mattson as a private owner airplane. It was a two-seat low-wing sport trainer monoplane featuring a full cantilever plywood covered wooden folding wings, a steel tube fuselage and it was initially powered by a four-cylinder in-line engine. Registered NC9N and fitted with a 60 hp De Havilland Gipsy engine, the first aircraft flew in1930, followed by ten months of test flying, done mostly by Clarence Chamberlain.

The airplane developed spinning problems, failing to recover (stop) in the required number of turns. Therefore, the center of gravity was changed by adding eighteen pounds of lead to the nose of the airplane, later the engine was replaced by a Cirrus. The aircraft was destroyed in a crash near Teterboro, New Jersey in 1931, the same year the company went out of business. In 1939 an attempt was apparently made to put the design into production as the Allied Sport H-28 Sport Trainer, but apparently no planes were built.

The pictured NC966V was the third one completed as a W-5B and was fitted with an 85 hp Cirrus III engine, but had no folding wings. It was purchased by Harold Munch who based it at Valley Stream airport on Long Island and later at Roosevelt Field. He and his partner Art Romeo barnstormed, hopped passengers and generally had a good time with the airplane. About 1937 Munch sold the airplane to a police officer in Detroit, shortly thereafter he crashed, killing himself and his female passenger.

Created September 30, 2013