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Westland Whirlwind Variants and Projects

brewerjerry

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Hi
Well I re scaled the drawing and compared it to a whirlwind model in 1/72 scale, and the canopy is virtually the same and the outline of the whirlwind fuselage is the same as the rear of the 'XX' and the wing shapes are similar, but wider.
In theory I think two airfix whirlwind kits might make a decent model of it.( and maybe a mossie kit for the engines )
I compared it to a 1/72 welkin kit I have and no useable parts, nothing matches the drawing.
cheers
Jerry
 

brewerjerry

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Hi
Extract from a reply to a thread i had on flypast forum, thought it might interest a few here.
cheers
Jerry
http://forum.keypublishing.co.uk/showthread.php?s=12a56ed6eedff09ef771097cdbd4d269&t=113891
"We have as you know been very fortunate to have Westlands themselves on board with help on our project and unrestricted access to archive material that is in as much as it exists or can be found.

There is very strong evidence that not only was a Whirlwind fitted with a merlin installation but also that it flew in trials with the same installation.Unpon realisation of how much improved it was and that Oops there would be a demand for merlins the aircraft was promptly refitted with its Peregrines and returned."
 
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Tophe

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yulzari

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Re sealord lawrence's nacelle mounted radiators. Regretfully this has been found to be a photoshop job (not by him AFAIK.)

While I am writing; why the repeated reference by folk to a 37mm cannon when the 40mm S gun was the intended installation? It is up there with the 'unreliable Peregrine' references (unreliable in service for 3 years: I don't think so.)
 

JFC Fuller

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Yulzari,


Thank you for the reply, it was most certainly not done by me, but whoever did it did a good job. It is a shame though.
 

brewerjerry

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yulzari said:
Re sealord lawrence's nacelle mounted radiators. Regretfully this has been found to be a photoshop job (not by him AFAIK.)

While I am writing; why the repeated reference by folk to a 37mm cannon when the 40mm S gun was the intended installation? It is up there with the 'unreliable Peregrine' references (unreliable in service for 3 years: I don't think so.)
Hi,
Correct the "37mm photos", actually show trials of a 20mm cannon with a belt feed.
The 37mm cannon reference seems to have originated from old westland info,I personally wonder if at one time there was a project to fit the 37mm cannon of the type used in the P-39, and the "37mm photo" has wrongly been associated with it "
The 40mm cannon nose,I think it was to be a two cannon with two mg for aiming,my files are packed at the moment, the contract was issued but was cancelled.
As you say peregrines in service mid '40 and still going late '43, hardly a failure.
cheers
Jerry
 

brewerjerry

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Hi All,
Found this about the photo recce whirlwinds, maybe one day a drawing will turn up.
From my research notes ......... may 1940 ..... cannon space used for tankage to increase range...... 100 octane petrol....

attachment source:- knight of the skies from google books

cheers
Jerry
 

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brewerjerry

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Hi
found letter regarding the 40mm cannon, it was to be a vickers gun.
cheers
Jerry
 

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JFC Fuller

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PRO Kew, AVIA 15/317: Whirlwind developments

A lot of this has been posted here before but there are some new and interesting details, these are the final proposals made.

Nose: New lengthened nose with 4x20mm hispano (120 rpg) and 3x .303 browning (400 rpg), the cannon were arranged in a line in the lower nose (as in the photo posted here) and the brownings were mounted above them. In addition to this the new nose would have had an additional 30 gallon fuel tank. The new nose would have been interchangeable to the one that was actually produced. My insinuation is that existing Mk1s could very easily have been retrofitted with the MkII nose. All of this was authorised though it was obviously abandoned at some point.

Propulsion and aerodynamics: The peregrine was able to run on 100 octane fuel in an emergency at low altitude but Westland's wanted RR to produce a new version of the Peregrine that would run on 100 octane all the time. In addition this engine would have a higher supercharger gear ratio or higher crankshaft speed with central entry system analogous to the Merlin developments (I will allow engine experts to interpret that!), this engine would drive a new 30 or 35 degree pitch propeller. None of this was approved for development. Also, and I believe this was approved, there was the use of a Morris type film radiator instead of the original honeycomb radiators.

The MkII was ultimately not pursued, in part because it was thought that the Typhoon and Tornado would be better aircraft at altitude (yes, I do understand irony) but primarily because an already overworked RR would have to develop the new Peregrines and then manufacturing capacity would have to be found to produce them. The oft repeated comment about one Peregrine costing two Merlin's is included.

It is a shame though, based on the estimated performance and armament it could have been a fantastic fighter.

The file contains, at least that I found, no reference to a possible Merlin installation, that is not to say that there is no such reference. Brewerjerry earlier mentioned a letter from Eric Mensforth to Sholto Douglas dated January 1941, this would have been whilst Douglas was head of Fighter Command and there is a Fighter Command Westland Whirlwind file (AIR 16/326) in Kew that I hope to look at on my next visit.
 

brewerjerry

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Hi
hopefully the letter still exists at the NA, I will try to find my photocopy and post it here.
thanks for posting the info
cheers
jerry
 

JFC Fuller

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I forget to mention, AVIA 15/317 contains at least two separate large drawings. I did not have time open them up but I believe they cover the latter proposed nose I mentioned above and an earlier configuration that had the 4x20mm in a single row in the lower nose and a 27 gallon fuel tank but no .303 inch guns.
 

JFC Fuller

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Johnbr,

Thanks for posting, does anybody know what book that is from? The image of the 3x.303 and 4x20mm configuration must be the final Westland proposal, you can see what I believe is the extra 30 gallon tank behind the cannon ammunition boxes.
 

brewerjerry

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JFC Fuller said:
Johnbr,

Thanks for posting, does anybody know what book that is from?
Hi
4+ whirlwind book 9788090255968Westland Whirlwind Mk. I Fighter, Mk. I Fighter-Bomber (4+ Publication)Michal Ovcacik, Karel Susa ISBN 10: 8090255965
ISBN 13: 9788090255968
Publisher: Mark I Ltd. / 4+ Publications
Publication Date: 2002
Binding: Softcover

usually abe books is a good source cheers Jerry
 

JFC Fuller

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Abraham Gubler said:
brewerjerry said:
Leads a bit more weight to the fact it was possible to fit merlins, dispelling the old myth of airframe being too small,
and more importantly the time he mentions occurs before the welkin spec was issued by the air min, so a totally different project
No it doesn’t. And the “myth” is the many well researched articles on the Whirlwind including that by by Tony Butler “Reap the Whirlwind” based on extensive interviews with senior Westland personnel.
Ahem, I am just going to leave this here....a Westland offer to install the Merlin XX in the Whirlwind.
 

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brewerjerry

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Hi
yes that is the letter,
great it still exists , a pity any plans have not been found yet
there is a new book out by naill corduroy
I have just got it
jerry
 

JFC Fuller

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Niall Corduroy's book is "Whirlwind: Westland's Enigmatic Fighter", how is it, does it reveal anything new?
 

brewerjerry

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Hi
just found a letter from westlands at the NA regarding the early welkin proposal
quote
from the purely production view the most interesting thing about the ...... is that we shall probably be able to use the whirlwind outer wings, slots, ailerons, rear fuselage and tail unit, with a number of the detail parts particularly thems in the wing spar boom
I cant post the photo for about two weeks
naturally the spec changed as the welkin proposal was more defined and ended up with a totally different machine than the one talked about above
but I know have enough info for a what if
jerry
 

JFC Fuller

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I have been meaning to post this for a while. This is the proposed fuel layout for the Whirlwind Mk.II which as the document makes clear was substantially improved over the Mk.I. I would also note that this is also not the final configuration, that had a further revised nose with the 25 gallon tank replaced with a 30 gallon tank so the total in that case would have been 199 gallons.
 

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alertken

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Whirlwind/Welkin holds attention almost at TSR.2 level - missed opportunity &tc. So why did (they) fail/not flourish? It was production, not design that was the problem. That, and the perceived purpose of fighters as evolving in the 1935-40 timeframe.

4/7/35: shed-in-meadow Westland Works of engineer Petters was minority floated as WAL, as part of the bubble of Stock Exchange lemming lust for Air ReArmament - the dot com of its day. Army Co-operation Lysander. But by 10/35 "A.M intervened when it appeared the Co. was on the verge of collapse" Ritchie,Industry & Air Power, Cass, 97,P.46. Proceeds from public equity had been pocketed by Petters, not invested in the business. WEW Petter's qualification to be its Design Team was his surname.

Whirlwind shows promise to the cannon escort fighter role; to ensure business depth, A.M. facilitates equity stake by (Queen's shipbuilder) J. Brown (50%) and engineer titan A.E.I (18.75%), 7/38, then funds Nuffield 8/38 to build an assembly line vastness at C.Bromwich, to build, not Spitfire as widely reported even today, but Whirlwind. By 12/4/39 big rethink, due in part to development difficulties in Yeovil, but also to...what do we want fighters to do in 1941? Cannon or Browning? Range or climb/joust? 1,000 Spitfire IIA ordered for CBAF, delete Whirlwind.

What A.M then did with Yeovil was to second-source (soon bombed) Supermarine, to be Design Authority for Seafire, and to assemble/build/repair things needed NOW! To the detriment of persevering with Whirlwind/Welkin. Others could do twin/cannon, such as Beaufighter, soon Mosquito. Who really wishes to assert that MAP could have used Aero resources better by not producing Sea/Spit down West, but pressing on with a complex system distracting RR and the components industry (for the pressurised type)?
 

JFC Fuller

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Whirlwind/Welkin holds attention almost at TSR.2 level - missed opportunity &tc.
Provocative. ;)

I hadn't heard the corporate history narrative before. The archives are very revealing on the why the aircraft was dropped, the first aircraft were a complete maintenance headache, the Mk.1 had no altitude performance, and the type was seen as far less manoeuvrable than the Spitfire or Hurricane necessitating the development of new tactics to exploit the aircrafts speed. Westland's were also taking their time making the aircraft already delivered work.

What really killed the type though was the engines. In order to rectify the altitude problems, and create the Mk.II wonder-fighter, the power plant had to be completely redesigned. The engine itself needed to be redesigned to allow it to run continuously on 100 octane, the supercharger needed to be redesigned and new propellers were required. Hardly a worthwhile effort when only a single type used the Peregrine and RR claimed that one Peregrine would cost two Merlins.

By the time the Mk.II proposals were being made the first Spitfires from CBAF (meaning the Whirlwind had no high volume production line) were already in service and were doing what they needed to do.
 

brewerjerry

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Hi
Not an issue with the engines, the myths still get repeated
they ran on 100 octane
source R-R letter
15 june 1940
"100 oct available on station ( north weald) and arrangements to be made for suitable sparking plugs to be available "

a copy of a reply i found on my computer cant remember the source board
"Here is an interesting quote regarding the Peregrine and the Whirlwind from the RRHT book "Rolls-Royce - The pursuit of excellence" by Alec Harvey-Baillie and Michael Evans...

"While it lacked high altitude performance it proved to be a formidable FGA aircraft when the Peregrines were rated at 880 hp on 100 octane fuel. Contrary to popular view the Peregrine was not unreliable. Its two main problems were rapidly tackled. Main engine joint failures were overcome by deleting the joint washers and using jointing compound, while bowstring failures of end cylinder holding down studs were cured by reduced anti-vibration collar clearances.

Some of the stories of unreliability spring from difficulty in managing the operation of the radiator shutters during taxiing, take-off and initial climb. Westland had linked the radiator shutter operation with that of the flaps to keep the radiator shutters open, when flaps were not needed for flight. In early operations a number of engines were overheated because the system was not fully understood, and evidence of this is in the pilot's notes which were extensively amended."



Also
one of the main performace problems was the air intake system that westlands usd and it was not allowed to be modified to cure the problem even when proven at fault.

cheers
Jerr
 

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brewerjerry

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alertken said:
Whirlwind/Welkin holds attention almost at TSR.2 level - missed opportunity &tc. So why did (they) fail/not flourish? It was production, not design that was the problem. That, and the perceived purpose of fighters as evolving in the 1935-40 timeframe.

4/7/35: shed-in-meadow Westland Works of engineer Petters was minority floated as WAL, as part of the bubble of Stock Exchange lemming lust for Air ReArmament - the dot com of its day. Army Co-operation Lysander. But by 10/35 "A.M intervened when it appeared the Co. was on the verge of collapse" Ritchie,Industry & Air Power, Cass, 97,P.46. Proceeds from public equity had been pocketed by Petters, not invested in the business. WEW Petter's qualification to be its Design Team was his surname.

Whirlwind shows promise to the cannon escort fighter role; to ensure business depth, A.M. facilitates equity stake by (Queen's shipbuilder) J. Brown (50%) and engineer titan A.E.I (18.75%), 7/38, then funds Nuffield 8/38 to build an assembly line vastness at C.Bromwich, to build, not Spitfire as widely reported even today, but Whirlwind. By 12/4/39 big rethink, due in part to development difficulties in Yeovil, but also to...what do we want fighters to do in 1941? Cannon or Browning? Range or climb/joust? 1,000 Spitfire IIA ordered for CBAF, delete Whirlwind.

What A.M then did with Yeovil was to second-source (soon bombed) Supermarine, to be Design Authority for Seafire, and to assemble/build/repair things needed NOW! To the detriment of persevering with Whirlwind/Welkin. Others could do twin/cannon, such as Beaufighter, soon Mosquito. Who really wishes to assert that MAP could have used Aero resources better by not producing Sea/Spit down West, but pressing on with a complex system distracting RR and the components industry (for the pressurised type)?
Hi
Awesome post
pretty much sums it all up.
and when you add in the personality problems between westlands and the 'air min' over the whirlwind production ...
cheers
Jerry
 

JFC Fuller

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Jerry,

They ran on 100 octane some of the time- only in emergencies and at low altitude, to run on 100 octane all the time they needed to be redesigned. That is not a myth that is fact taken directly from documents in the PRO (AVIA 15/317).

It is well known that most of the Whirlwind Mk1 problems were eventually solved and that it eventually served for a comparatively long time in the low altitude fighter bomber role but the fundamental reason the type was not developed further was the necessity to redesign the engines, propellers, and superchargers to achieve worthwhile altitude performance- all that for an engine with only a single application (the Whirlwind) and from a company with multiple other engines to work on that were powering multiple types.
 

brewerjerry

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hi
interesting they predicted emergencies in advance and thus changed the plugs and fuel in the tanks.
seems we always have a difference of opinions on the whirlwind so i will leave it at that
jerry
 

Nick Sumner

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I'm confused by your post too JFC. They couldnt switch between fuel grades in flight.
 

JFC Fuller

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The plugs allowed the use 100 Octane but the engine was not optimised for it meaning that the aircraft was unable to take full advantage of it due to the engines limited boost potential (9lb boost was limited to 5 minutes maximum- where the "emergency" comes from) meaning that the use of 100 octane actually made very little difference to the performance of the Mk.1 Whirlwind.

To be clear: Whirlwinds flew with 100 octane but Whirlwinds could not, by a very large margin, make much use of the fuels extra potential because the Peregrine was not developed for it.

As a side note, a number of people appear to have posted this on other forums over the years, with more detail. Including a reference to a 12 lb boost Peregrine having been run at 1,000 hp on a bench.
 

brewerjerry

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brewerjerry said:
Hi
just found a letter from westlands at the NA regarding the early welkin proposal
quote
from the purely production view the most interesting thing about the ...... is that we shall probably be able to use the whirlwind outer wings, slots, ailerons, rear fuselage and tail unit, with a number of the detail parts particularly thems in the wing spar boom
I cant post the photo for about two weeks
naturally the spec changed as the welkin proposal was more defined and ended up with a totally different machine than the one talked about above
but I know have enough info for a what if
jerry
Hi
finally found time to upload the extract
Cheers
Jerry
 

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JFC Fuller

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JFC Fuller said:
Niall Corduroy's book is "Whirlwind: Westland's Enigmatic Fighter", how is it, does it reveal anything new?
I now have a copy of this book and it does reveal something new, to me, one of solutions involved in installing the Merlin XX on the Whirlwind was the use of shorter-bladed 4 blade propellers in order to guarantee fuselage and ground clearance. No word on what the undercarriage modifications were though. It reminds me very much of the issues with the Merlin on the short sturgeon where the propeller issue was solved with contra-props.

The book also describes the same issues with the Peregrine and 100 Octane as I described earlier. Short emergency boosts at the cost of shorter overhaul periods was achieved but not full capability which would have required a new supercharger, improved cooling and new propellers.
 

Tony Williams

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Slightly OT but might be of interest to Whirlwind fans: I think that there could indeed have been a useful role for a compact twin multi-role plane in WW2, but it would need to be a bit bigger than the Whirlwind. See: http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/WW2plane.htm
 

ReccePhreak

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brewerjerry said:
HI
The first whirlwind production was originally going to be a photo recce version.
Cheers
Jerry
I wish there were drawings available, showing where & how the camera(s) would be fitted. There is no mention of a PR version, in the excellent 4+ book.

I would love to convert the new Trumpeter 1/48 Whirlwind into a photo-recce version.

Larry
 

brewerjerry

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Hi
from the new whirlwind book by richard franks
cheers
jerry

ps
my thoughts
1)
the merlin XX pods give room in the wings for extra fuel tanks ( where the radiators,etc, used to be)
2)
if packard were able to produce peregrines, then engine availability did not kill the whirlwind
and secondly with packard engines the possible use by the USN of the whirlwind becomes a more feasable option
 

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JFC Fuller

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See here for the Merlin details as they exist: http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,5734.msg207571.html#msg207571

Little evidence to suggest more room in the wings for fuel, the fact that Westlands wanted shorter bladed props suggests very little structural change.

I have never seen reference to possible Packard production of the Peregrine but that does not solve the problem anyway. Packard ended up producing the far more useful Merlin (it would have been an either/or, not both) and the documentary evidence in the National Archives is clear- it was the need to develop a brand new Peregrine variant and then produce it at the cost of Merlins that killed the Whirlwind (compounded by Westland's poor performance delivering the Mk.I) as well as the aircraft's generally uneconomical nature:

A Whirlwind used three times the duralumin of a Spitfire and RR was claiming one Peregrine would cost two Merlins.

If you want a Merlin XX twin it's the Supermarine Type 327: http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,8155.0.html
 

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Hi,

Jet powered Whirlwind?

J.A.W. said:
Air war against Nippon rates well below the ETO for combat/technological intensity..
.. which is why the P-38 could hack it pretty well there, & not so much against the Luftwaffe..
 

GTX

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J.A.W. said:
Air war against Nippon rates well below the ETO for combat/technological intensity..
.. which is why the P-38 could hack it pretty well there, & not so much against the Luftwaffe..

:eek: I am sure the pilots in the theatre at the time would not agree with you.
 

brewerjerry

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ReccePhreak said:
brewerjerry said:
HI
The first whirlwind production was originally going to be a photo recce version.
Cheers
Jerry
I wish there were drawings available, showing where & how the camera(s) would be fitted. There is no mention of a PR version, in the excellent 4+ book.

I would love to convert the new Trumpeter 1/48 Whirlwind into a photo-recce version.

Larry
Hi
Getting back to the thread topic ..

Naill's book mentions the PR whirlwind on pg 39
' cameras and a 150 gallon fuel tank replaced the guns in the nose'
'until late march [1940] the first two production machines ( P6966 & P6967 ) were being assembled as reconnaissance aircraft '
cheers
Jerry
 
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The statement about Packard producing Peregrines as an "extension of their production for American PT-Boats" makes absolutely no sense. The engine used in the PT boats was Packard's own 4M-2500, a 2500 cu. in. V-12 which had no relation to the Peregrine, or any other R-R engine for that matter.
 

brewerjerry

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Hi All,
Just wondering is this the nose cone of the 2 x 20mm & 2 x 0.303 mentioned in post 2 ?
no armament is fitted and is shows the cannon ports empty and covered, but is there a covered 0.303 port visible in the photo ?
cheers
jerry

photo from the new franks whirlwind book
 

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brewerjerry

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Hi all
a single engine whirlwind ?
cheers
jerry
source
British-Experimental-Combat-Aircraft-of-World-War-II-Prototypes-Research-Aircraft-And-Failed-Production-Designs

p.s.
would make a nice model in 1:48
trumpy whirlwind and beaufighter engine ?
 

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