View Full Version : Lack Of Historic Helicopters

Orange Arm Waver
22nd Mar 2004, 14:50
Is anyone else saddened by the lack of early / historic helicopter types to be seen "on the circuit" and the lack of support from organisers to book those that were around a few years back?
e.g. The Royal Whirlwind, the Widgeon (now on loan to a museum) and so on... :confused:

I appreciate that a major problem with these would be spares availability and cost but am I alone in this thought train?:8

Oscar Duece
22nd Mar 2004, 15:43
I saw an articel in pilot a couple of years ago, about an airworthy Whilrwind c/w cartidge start radial engine that needed hand cranking before starting.
quote ' there was so much vibration you could barely read the instruments'
Is it still about ???

Lu Zuckerman
22nd Mar 2004, 16:32
Check this out: http://www.airhaven.net/HelicopterPix.htm

Shown at the bottom of the photo spread is a USCG HO3S-1G
Number 233. I flew in and maintained this helicopter back in the early 1950s.

:E :E

22nd Mar 2004, 21:37
There was a yellow ex-RAF SAR Whirlwind on the circuit a few years ago, it was on static at Yeovilton's 2000 Air Day. I'm not sure where it is now.

I'd love to see a Wessex fly in the UK - in Fleet Air Arm SAR colours naturally :D

Do the Army Historic Flight still have their Skeeter?

23rd Mar 2004, 07:48
There's also a Hiller on the circuit in RN Fleet Air Arm markings....was in the static at RIAT last year but is a flyer!!!!
Would be nice to see some olders types fly in to W-s-M rather than all those J/rangers and Robinsons,eh????
[No disrespect intended to those more modern types,of course,but you know what I mean:ok: ]

Orange Arm Waver
23rd Mar 2004, 08:37
Speechless Two
The AAC and Tracy Martin et al need to be applauded for their efforts and supported as much as possible...
Re-Wessex flying I believe the CAA have said no to the ex-mil ones as being too different from the civil version??:confused:

Lu Z
Wow!!! what a fantastic collection of aircraft... Must be nice to see "your" machine still looking good.:D

The AAC do still have their Skeeter but I believe that they've had an enormous amount of trouble of getting a servicable gearbox.
As an aside have you seen the film of the Skeeter demonstration to be found on the Castle video (I think) of Army Flying... I never knew they could be flown like that!!!:ooh:
I think the Whirlwind you mentioned is now in Ireland.

Having watched the Skeeter take off the other year I don't know if they have the space for much in the lower power ranges...:uhoh:
As for that sight of the UH-1's and the Bo105's in formation the other year....:ok:


Shaggy Sheep Driver
23rd Mar 2004, 09:11
What is it about the Wessex that makes people so fond of it? I remember some time back an RAF helo flew into the Manchester Zone from North Wales with a casualty for Wythenshawe Hospital. As he was departing towards Crewe on his way home to Valley the the controller said "confirm you're a Sea King?"

Back came the reply, in a shocked 'you must be joking' voice, "negative, we're a Wessex!.

All helos look the same to me (well, almost:) ), so what's so special about this one?


23rd Mar 2004, 09:44
How long have you got SSD ?

Maybe you should ask on the Mil Forum, you might finish up with something as good as the Vulcan and Canberra threads......

Oscar Duece
23rd Mar 2004, 10:44
Wessex special ?

Could be becuase it one of the few yank machines we bought and actually made better when we built then. (especially with the gnomes).

Got some great pics of a wessex at home at an airshow or something, coming in to land and taking out a brick wall with its tail. Plus some early wessex pics at sea, with one downing in the drink and the later recovery. Shame I don't have a scanner.

Having only had limited contact with them in the service (1991) I gather they regarded them as being a robust and capable machine (quite rare in our mil inventory), a bit like an SLR (FnFal) if anyone knows what I mean. You can use it in all conditions, throw it about, built a small bridge with them, march a troop across and it will still do the job witohut failing. With only a few weaknesses (recoil and no auto, plus limited mag, and later the ammo becoming non nato std(SLR)) or hot and high even with the gnome Wessex.

23rd Mar 2004, 12:58
The affection for the Wessex is borne out of nostalgia. For in the RAF, it is the Wessex that was the first big multi engined helicopter that people learned to fly in. It smelled like an aeroplane should smell. It forgave bad manners from man with stick in hand. It served for a very long time, and although somewhat late in retiring, was faithful to the end. It looked like a military helicopter and especially so when landing with speed tail on the ground, gear still aloft. It did have vices though, and could and did roll over and shake itself to bits on occasion.

Oscar Duece
23rd Mar 2004, 17:04
and even flying in order.

But then they are 'senior service' machines. :ok:

Lu Zuckerman
23rd Mar 2004, 20:46
To: Oscar Duece

Could be because it one of the few yank machines we bought and actually made better when we built them. (Especially with the gnomes).

Before Westland was licensed to build the S-58, Sikorsky had already built the HSS-1 which had two T-58s driving into a combining gearbox. I believe Sikorsky did this on their own hook but the US Navy was not too interested. Perchance Westland copied the design but with British engines?

:E :E