Westland C.O.W. Gun Fighter

Westland C.O.W. Gun Fighter

A prototype interceptor fighter with a heavy gun


The Westland C.O.W. Gun Fighter was an attempt to produce a fighter aircraft armed with a heavy calibre gun. The Coventry Ordnance Works (COW) 37 mm automatic gun was used, which had been developed for this purpose some years earlier.

The design was in response to Air Ministry specification F.29/27. The design was an open cockpit single engined metal monoplane with fabric covering. The aircraft design had already been submitted for specification F.20/27 as the Westland Interceptor but had lost out to the Gloster Gauntlet. The gun was in the fuselage and fired up at an angle, in order to attack bombers from below. The plane first flew at the end of 1930 but the trials did not give satisfactory results to continue with the idea.


General characteristics
Crew:  One
Length:  29 ft 10 in (9.10 m)
Wingspan:  40 ft 10 in (12.45 m)
Height:  10 ft 7 in (3.23 m)
Wing area:  223 ft² (20.7 m²)
Empty weight:  2,615 lb (1,189 kg)
Loaded weight:  3,885 lb (1,786 kg)
Powerplant:  1 × Bristol Mercury IIIA nine-cylinder air-cooled radial engine, 485 hp (362 kW)
Maximum speed:  185 mph (161 knots, 299 km/h) at 13,000 ft (3,960 m)
Climb to 10,000 ft (3,050 m): 7min
Guns: 1 x fixed upward firing 1½ lb COW 37mm gun with 39 rounds
Number built: 1
First flight: December 1930


All the above text based on / 'borrowed' from Wikipedia.




The sole Westland C.O.W. Gun Fighter, J9565, photographed in 1930. Note the upward-pointing C.O.W. gun.