10/31/2011. Remarks by Ray Watkins: "In 1933 the last production Wapiti Mk.I (s/n J9102) was assigned to Westland and the Bristol Aeroplane Company for use as a flying testbed for the Bristol Phoenix I air-cooled diesel engine. The success of early trials led to the aircraft appearing at the RAF Display at Hendon in June 1933.
Results with bench tests of a supercharged version, the 485 hp
Phoenix II, and subsequent flight testing, led to an attempt on the world altitude record on
May 11, 1934. The aircraft, piloted by Harald Penrose, reached a height of 27,453 ft (8,373 m),
which remains the altitude record for a diesel-powered aircraft. The photo shows the aircraft
fitted with the Phoenix II engine for the record attempt."