Saturday, 21 April 2007

'Teddy' William Edward Willoughby Petter 1908-1968

Teddy Petter was a descendant of the family that founded Westland, the company being a separation of the aircraft business from Petter engines.
He designed the Lysander,Whirlwind and Welkin for Westland. He left Westland after the war when they chose to concentrate on helicopters through a linkup with Sikorsky and went to English Electric who were then moving into aircraft design having been involved in building aircraft under contract during the war. While at EE he designed the Canberra and started the work on what would become the Lightning. He split with EE over the direction of aircraft design, he favouring the small over the large.
He joined Folland Aircraft Limited in Hamble as managing director in 1950. At Folland, he designed the Midge, which first flew 11th August 1954 and the Gnat which first flew 18th July 1955.