In some alternative world, air wars looked like this:
A painting by Daniel Bechennec (for Fana d'Avation magazine cover, April 2010) depicts the Westland-Hill Pterodactyl fighter accompanying a formation of Heyford bombers. In our timeline, the Handley Page HP.50 Heyford served with the RAF, and the Pterodactyl remained a prototype.
Actually, there was a Pterodactyl family, a series of experimental aircraft developed by Professor Geoffrey Hill while working at the Westland aircraft company.
The first Pterodactyl, the MKI, made its maiden flight in 1928 powered by a 70 horsepower Armstrong Siddeley Genet engine. The MKI, a high wing tailless monoplane was significantly different in appearance to later versions.
This machine was an impressive two-seater fighter, powered with a 600hp Rolls Royce Goshawk engine, and differed noticeably from previous Pterodactyl designs. The most striking departure was the tractor arrangement of the engine, as opposed to the earlier ''pusher" types, while the wings were in sesquiplane form, with the upper plane raised above the fuselage.
The military advantages foreshadowed in the first Pterodactyl were brought to practical form in the Mark V, the rear cockpit, immediately aft of the pilot, being fitted with an electrically-operated twin-gun turret. The unobstructed field of fire from this position has only been equalled by the tail gun-turrets of modern multi-engined bombers and, with a performance equal to that of its contemporary, the Hawker Hart, the Pterodactyl V was an ideal fighter type.
Test flights, by Mr. H. J. Penrose, showed that with this example the tailless type had attained a degree of performance, stability and control equal to the conventional aeroplane. It was demonstrated to be fully aerobatic and even capable of inverted flight, but, although so successful as an experimental machine, certain secondary problems rendered a degree of re-design necessary for production.
Unfortunately the Pterodactyl program suffered problems from the start. The most significant of which was the unstable flight characteristics of the aircraft. It also proved to be slower and less reliable than its competitors.
However unlike its extinct dinosaur namesake, the Westland Pterodactyl MKI prototype still survives. It can be seen at the Science Museum in London. And, in at least one of the parallel worlds there could be a Pterodactyl flying boat:
Sources: diseno-art.com, Virtual Aircraft Museum