View Full Version : The Rotary Nostalgia Thread

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7th Feb 2012, 22:37
....btw what limit is there on memory use on Photobucket?

Errm........ I can't remember. No, don't tell me - it'll come to me in a minute... Errr.. bu99er... it's no good.... it's gone.

7th Feb 2012, 22:46
Forget the Vauxhall, look at that lurvely Puma in the back ground; my old sqn too, by the looks of it. I think that was a Tiger Meet year, too.

7th Feb 2012, 22:52
I think that was a Tiger Meet year, too.

Ah, yes - 1936... a lovely day too..

7th Feb 2012, 23:04
Well Wikipedia reckons its a Victor FE (a.k.a. Chevrolet Royale or inscrutably a Shinjin Record :))

7th Feb 2012, 23:12
Well, that's settled then.

8th Feb 2012, 07:24
Gordy - Queste sono Bellissime!

These are wonderful images with the Bell 47 being the industry's all-time universal classic. So many North American rotary-wing pioneers began their businesses with this craft .. the likes of Carl Brady (ERA) and Bob Suggs (PHI) and doubtless many others.

In Papua New Guinea (where I flew for a season) Rotorwork Helicopters began their activities with a 47 (Tony Karas was one of their early partners). I'm not sure which type Mal Smith began with, if not a 500 then it may well have been a 47 also.

Tell me, what age was the old boy in your image of him flying the 206?

Agusta built 47's at one of Agusta's hangars c.1956

8th Feb 2012, 11:17
Mmmm ...

I do believe Mal Smith started Pacific Helicopters with (Ex Aussie Army mates) Peter Spoor and Roger Dundas in the early mid'70's with Hughes 500's ....

Mal I believe is still trying to run PNG (good luck with that Mal) Peter is enjoying life and Roger spends time 'Yachting' and 'stockmarketing' down in Melbourne ....


8th Feb 2012, 11:51
If I were to post some of the earlier Italian rotary-wing designs I would have to go hide under a rock somewhere

Dare I mention... Fiat 7002? :}

It was one of a number of prototype helicopters I remember from 1960s editions of the Observers Book of Aircraft - the Piasecki Pathfinder and Filper Beta (which looked rather like the result of an illicit union between a Bond Bug and a CH-46!) are two others that have surfaced amidst my mind's flotsam.

That Bell 48/Agusta 102 does look a bit like an early and rather ill-defined Bell 204, any commonality?

8th Feb 2012, 12:09
Dare I mention the Fiat 7002?

You could .. but then I would have to start searching for a suitably large rock under which to crawl!

That Bell 48/Agusta 102 does look a bit like an early and rather ill-defined Bell 204, any commonality?
Bell/Agusta cooperation was exceptionally close at that time and the 204 was being developed when Agusta began their efforts on the 102 so, highly probable is my guess.

Spinwing, not sure what Malapropism (as I used to call him) is up to now, kind of disappointed he's not made PM yet!

However, from these photos (well after my time) he seems to be maturing nicely!

Mal with Barry Ball at 'Specific's' ;) Goroka hangar

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-717unlN3UOM/TzJyfdInmuI/AAAAAAAAHwg/g45riYmWypA/s640/Mal%2520Smith%2520hands%2520donation%2520to%2520EH%2520Schoo l%2520Boys%2520President%2520Ellyson%2520Ketauwo.jpg
Mal 'The MP' handing over a donation (observe Mal's grief-stricken expression) to the Eastern Highlands School Boys President, Ellyson Ketauwo

8th Feb 2012, 12:26
This shot of G-BCWN departing Heston 6 June 1978 was extracted from the CAA house newsletter. The old tower wasn't long for this world (demolition Dec78)


8th Feb 2012, 13:03
Mmmm ...

Cripes .... Barry Ball has put on a bit of 'condition' since I last saw him ...

Where's that Doberman of his ... probably off chasing a 'local' I'd guess ... (dog would have passed years ago I'd assume) ...

Ha ... those were the days ... :yuk:

Thought I'd heard a rumour that Mal became Governor of the EHP ???? :eek:

How unusual !!! :mad:

8th Feb 2012, 15:26
I believe the RAF called those in the British Army 'brown jobs' during WWII (probably laughably out-of-date slang, now) but how did helicopters become known as cabs in the British Army?
Westland Scout XV130 doing a bit of 'cabbing' at Heathrow 1972....US Army Kiowa 71-20449 on display in Europe 1974ish...both went onto civil registration




8th Feb 2012, 15:52
I thought 'cab' was a Fleet AIr Arm Slang and that the Brown Jobs used the slang 'frames'. Which is probably a corruption of 'Picture Frame'...... no..... really?? 'airframes' ?? I didn't think that Pongos could spell words that long.


Senior Pilot
8th Feb 2012, 16:05
Another of those aviation mysteries? Why 'cab' and when? (http://www.pprune.org/military-aircrew/450103-why-cab-when.html)

8th Feb 2012, 16:19
Hey Geoffers
This one can := (last week I couldn't spell ingineur, today I are one..........' :D:D - VFR

8th Feb 2012, 16:31
Has 'why aircraft taxi?' been done on pprune? I got a bit further with that than with 'cabs'

8th Feb 2012, 16:32

Gordy - Queste sono Bellissime!

Tell me, what age was the old boy in your image of him flying the 206?


I believe he was 93. In his final years he did not fly by himself, but always liked to come along on jobs and he would take the controls frequently.

8th Feb 2012, 16:38
Wow! That's great. I always love seeing both ends of the spectrum .. the youngsters reaching ahead early on and the old boys sticking with it till the very end, great stuff! :ok:

Dennisimo I hope you're reading this .. you see you're still a spring chicken!

10th Feb 2012, 03:56
A Lynx helicopter of 847 Naval Air Squadron lands on the snow covered deck of HMS Ocean during Exercise Cold Response, Northern Norway on 24th February 2010. 'Cold Response' was a NATO exercise hosted by the Norwegian armed forces. Nearly 2000 Royal Navy sailors, Royal Marines and soldiers took part with further support from the Royal Fleet Auxiliary

ShyTorque wrote: Check out that Puma in the background; my old sqn too by the looks of it. I think that was a Tiger Meet year!
Did the non-Bristow Tigers look something like this?

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-Cwwznfd0lNE/TzSeWv9ndBI/AAAAAAAAHx0/RXSdVk-c6mI/s800/Westland%2520SA-330E%2520Puma%2520HC1%2520-%2520Upper%2520Heyford%252C%2520England%252C%2520September%2 52014%252C%25201990%2520-%2520Of%2520230%2520Squadron%2520seen%2520here%2520in%2520sp ecial%2520%2527%2520Tiger%2520%2527%2520colour%2520scheme.jp g
AS330E HC1 Puma of 230 Squadron seen at Upper Heyford on 4th September 1990 wearing the RAF's special 'Tiger' paintwork

US Marine Corps pilot, Captain Bill Spicer, at the controls of a Royal Navy Wessex on board the commando carrier HMS Bulwark during a NATO training exercise (probably in the Mediterranean) in November 1969. Prior to being attached to No. 845 Squadron at Culdrose, Captain Spicer had previously flown operational sorties with the US Marine Corps in Vietnam

FH1100 Pilot
10th Feb 2012, 08:26
RE: Pic of the Scout in A30yoyo's post above: Heyyy, is that the same car from post 1298? That thing gets around!

10th Feb 2012, 15:29
Ah no FH1100 pilot that's a Morris Marina...an all British car :)....
launched in 1971 the model was facelifted somewhat desperately around 1980 by an Italian car stylist Giorgetto Giugaro's Italdesign Studio and it became the Morris ITAL, built in the UK until 1984
Morris Ital - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morris_Ital)

11th Feb 2012, 21:38
G-AYMW was, I think, photographed at the RAF Finningley Air Display (1974 or it might have been 1976)...I believe this machine lived in Yorkshire back then


11th Feb 2012, 22:13
Did the non-Bristow Tigers look something like this?

The paint scheme for Tiger Meets varied i.a.w. the fashion of the day, but yes.

I last flew that airframe, XW224 on Sep 30th, 1983.

The crewman on that occasion later went on to be a first officer on Concorde. :ok:

12th Feb 2012, 13:11
Yoyo, well done with AYMW .. another 'A' reg 206 added to our collection! :ok:

Will write-up something about her during the week.

12th Feb 2012, 13:46
Savoia....You've already got a small photo of G-AYMW on p31 of this thread while it was with B.E.A.S ...I'll try to date mine more precisely...an external search in google 'G-xxxx Jetranger pprune' finds the relevant page in this thread nicely

Sir Korsky
13th Feb 2012, 01:37
Fascinating color vintage pathe film of London Waterloo to Heathrow airport air taxi service in S55s......


John Eacott
15th Feb 2012, 02:44
I'd not heard of Doman Helicopters, but this photo intrigued me: 1953 first flight and lifting 1800lbs on a 400hp Lycoming!



Gary Smith
15th Feb 2012, 03:04
Its a flying Bug:cool:

15th Feb 2012, 03:23
That tail section looks like it was glued on :eek:

15th Feb 2012, 06:17
Mmmm ...

Perhaps made by Agusta ??? ;)

15th Feb 2012, 10:24

Nah, looks too rigid :rolleyes:

15th Feb 2012, 13:10
Mmm ...

:rolleyes: :D

15th Feb 2012, 14:50
It was early days....
so could be Agusta-Bell tail

15th Feb 2012, 16:00
Must have been fun getting that Beetle in the back..

16th Feb 2012, 06:08

In post 1331 of the previous page Yoyo has contributed an image of G-AYMW which, as he rightly points out, debuted on this thread back on page 31:

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-yhHXxCawOJI/TbHDk74zHKI/AAAAAAAAC1I/lcBJzQD8q-c/s800/AYMW%2520JRII%2520Leicester%2520Racecourse%252010%2520Jan%25 2071%2520%2528Brian%2520Johnstone%2529.jpg
Bell 206B JetRanger G-AYMW at Leicester Racecourse on 10th January 1971 (Photo: Brian Johnstone)

AYMW seems to have been imported to the UK in 1970 and sold directly to BEAS at Kidlington. From there she moves on to Wykeham Helicopters of Scarborough in 1973 and with whom she remains until 1984 when she becomes a Dollar bird.

Her registration history has her former ID as EI-BJR and the CAA file shows a period of one year (1980) where she is in Eire while under Wykeham's ownership.

Looking at the colour scheme in Yoyo's image (though it be black and white) I am guessing that our friend Denis de Ferranti had an arrangement with Wykeham and was perhaps leasing this aircraft.

Certainly if the craft was painted a gaudy gold (perhaps Yoyo can remember) then this was Denis' standard fayre when it came to colouring his rotary fleet.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-cDaPHymSTqE/TzyfnHqqiNI/AAAAAAAAH2k/DhzCjKxFeXs/s800/B206A%2520EI-ASW%2520Plymouth%2520Roborough%252017%2520Oct%252070%2520%25 28Chris%2520England%2529.jpg
Bell 206A EI-ASW at Plymouth's Roborough Airport on 17th October 1970 (Photo: Nostalgia Thread supporter .. Chris England)

Here, EI-ASW is seen wearing the same scheme as that worn by AYMW in Yoyo's post of the previous page. I am wondering whether prior to her delivery to BEAS, AYMW flew as EI-BJR? Perhaps someone from the 'Isle' can help us!

Doman LZ5

Jeacott - thanks for the contribution of the 'grass-hopping mini-bus'. Am familiar with the Doman design and though she be ugly enough to qualify as an early Italian effort she was in fact American (although Ambrosini of Italy were looking at manufacturing this 'bug' under licence):

The Doman LZ-5 was a utility helicopter developed in the United States in the early 1950s by Doman Helicopters Inc. of Danbury, Connecticut. Despite the procurement of international manufacturing agreements, no series production of the aircraft ever occurred and only three prototypes were built. Two of these were purchased by the United States Army as the YH-31, but eventually becoming VH-31.

Like the preceding LZ-1 through LZ-4, the LZ-5 utilized designer Glidden Doman's unorthodox gimbaled rotor head system, which featured the elimination of rotor hinges and dampers and included blades of soft-in-plane dynamic design. The servo control system was entirely contained within the rotor head, with no external oil tanks or plumbing. The tail rotor was also hingeless and free floating to eliminate stresses in rapid tail rotor turns. In other ways it had a conventional helicopter main rotor and tail rotor configuration. The pilot and co-pilot were seated over the engine, which was in the nose, and a six-passenger compartment was located behind them. The engine was cooled by exhaust ejectors, producing an energy saving that increased payload by 800 pounds. The aircraft featured wheeled quadricycle undercarriage, the main units of which carried dual wheels.

Doman continued with development, building another LZ-5 aircraft in a joint venture with Fleet in Canada. The LZ-5 helicopters were simultaneously Type Certificated in U.S. and Canada in 1954. The third helicopter flew extensively in Canada under Canadian registration CF-IBG and in the United States, France, and Italy under U.S. registration N812. It flew in the Paris Air Show in 1960. This aircraft was also modified with the installation of full blind flight instrumentation, which was demonstrated extensively in the effort to sell it as a trainer. The aircraft thus equipped was advertised as the D-10. The planned production version would have been modified with a turbo-charged engine and designated as the D-10B. Doman sold production rights for military versions to Hiller and for the Italian market to Ambrosini.

The Doman LZ4 from which the LZ5 was developed c.1949

The LZ5 wearing her Canadian registration CF-IBG (see above)

The LZ5 used for demonstrations with the US Army c.1954

Of course Britain was not impervious to 'ugly duckling' designs and in which regard the Percival P74 which appeared on page 44 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-44.html#post7026051) springs to mind!


16th Feb 2012, 15:01

Markus Buttinger has kindly contributed this wonderful (and rare) shot of an FH1100 in its natural habitat (North America) but he doesn't remember the exact location at which he took this image. Evidently it was a 'proper' heliport, somewhere near the Hoover Dam, 1979.

Some minutes after this shot was taken Markus was treated to a flight in this bird over the Hoover Dam. Sadly that remains his only ever excursion in a blitterblat! (We'll have to change that Markus).

Anyone with any clues on the location please do chip in!

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-axBUTKVGg4Q/Tz0kL7cfpTI/AAAAAAAAH40/ZKQRI_l5_SA/s720/FH100%2520N711KH%2520Hoover%2520Dam%2520Nevada%25201979%2520 %2528Markus%2520Buttinger%2529.jpg
Fairchild-Hiller FH100 N711KH 'somewhere' in Nevada (not far from the Hoover Dam) in 1979 (Photo: Markus Buttinger)

16th Feb 2012, 22:41
Savoia...Can't remember the colour of 'YMW at Finningley but looks similar to the 1970 paintjob.
Couple of questions...reading a little about Charles Hughesdon re Tradewinds I realized that he must now be 103 years old.
Did this thread 'do' the Cessna Helicopter? Steve Remington 's Collectair webpage covers it and Woodason Aircraft Models/Heston Airport on
Collect Air (http://collectair.com/index.html)

17th Feb 2012, 15:19
I have a photograph and a short video clip of G AWOM landing at our house in Suffolk in the late 1960s or early 1970s. Happy to email them to you.

18th Feb 2012, 11:58
Hi Sav,

Well I cant help on the actual colours but the paint job looks slightly different to the 1974 image which was the same as EI-ASW. So unless the scheme was different in one side of the airframe she had a subtle change before 1980.

Here she is in 1980 with Irish Helicopters Ltd. Maybe she was only in Ireland for a short period as otherwise I'm sure you would have seen her during your time there.


19th Feb 2012, 20:00
Operated by Irish Helicopters, I believe it was only in country a little over six months. Picture above was taken in Shannon Airport, could have been on its way to Mayo or should I say Casa de Ferranti...

20th Feb 2012, 04:47
Yoyo: Hadn't really thought about whether Charles was still with is but, if he is, then good for him! :ok:

Shane: You've come up with some great material in recent months and this shot of BJR is a classic example. Had been unable to source anything on her during her Irish tour so this (together with CVR's comments) is most helpful.

Looking at your image one does see that it is somewhat different from Yoyo's mid-70's shot and this, combined with the fact that she is wearing Irish Helicopters titles now makes me wonder whether she ever in fact served with Denis.

You do understand my supposition however .. there were (to the best of my knowledge) no other UK/Eire based 206's wearing half white doors except those in Denis' stable and had EI-BJR's/G-AYMW's fuselage been a copper-gold colour then the similarity would have been too much of a coincidence!

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-mYHJEkkxejE/T0HXfO4Xk6I/AAAAAAAAH6g/0wcD5JRHv7s/s500/B206A%2520EI-ASW%2520Plymouth%2520Roborough%252017%2520Oct%252070%2520%25 28Chris%2520England%2529.jpg
Denis de Ferranti's copper-gold with white panels colour scheme as seen on EI-ASW

G-AYMW (mid-70's) wearing a similar scheme including the single black stripe running along the bottom of the upper cowlings



John Friedrich's empty-containers-for-cash funded LongRangers c.1982

South Australia's first dedicated aeromedical aircraft, LongRanger VH-BJX

9 Network's LongRanger VH-TCH at Darling Harbour in February 1982

20th Feb 2012, 09:31
I think I would rather be ON the stretcher and in pain than have to suffer the humiliation of having to wear those crews clothes :eek:

Very gay for the day back then... :p

20th Feb 2012, 10:25

I think its more of an Australian thing as when I was down that way (late 80's and early 90's) quite a few in the aviation business wore shorts (including ground handlers). Don't know if its the same now!

I presume you've seen the photo of the Aussie helicopter mechanic on vacation?


John Eacott
20th Feb 2012, 10:44
I think I would rather be ON the stretcher and in pain than have to suffer the humiliation of having to wear those crews clothes :eek:

Very gay for the day back then... :p

The guys in shorts are the SA Ambos, not the aircrew. Normal uniform in 30C+ climate, it's not unusual to watch the baggage handlers out on the tarmac in shorts and hi-vis vest this time of the year.


20th Feb 2012, 15:39
it's not unusual to watch the baggage handlers out on the tarmac in shorts

Depends on your persuasion I suppose. Each to their own.

I am sure you mean - it's not unusual to see the baggage handlers out on the tarmac in shorts. :E

20th Feb 2012, 15:42
Griffo....you always did have a thing for Pink!

20th Feb 2012, 15:54
RVDT, JE was a Sailor....

21st Feb 2012, 05:23
In an attempt to maintain topical consistency, one offers this gaily coloured Venezuelan registered MD530F!

The 'F' model always delivered a smoother ride than the 'D' and 'E' models, no doubt due to its slightly longer blades. Let's hope the Afghan recruits enjoy them as trainers.


21st Feb 2012, 21:23
Pretty picture S ... just love the way the bigger engine has to stick out a bit.

Customer of mine in Tralee owned one which he kept at the bottom of his 300feet deep limestone quarry. On lift off it would pop out like a Champagne cork. Regards to PPs. Dennis K

PS. I'm away to Albacete later this week for a PPL training task ... anyone landed at the local airport? I'm told it was once Franco's private bolt hole!

21st Feb 2012, 22:58
Funny how that paint job looks similar to TC's 500 in Magnum PI TV-series.

22nd Feb 2012, 06:47
Ciao Dennisimo!

Great to see you back on thread .. don't be a stranger!

On lift off it would pop out like a Champagne cork.

The 'F' model was a dream to fly. I flew the only two (as far as I am aware) to work in Papua New Guinea, P2-AHM (when I was with Rotorwork) and N16031 (leased to Specific when I was with the 'kela' bald-headed man ;)). They had heaps of power (even at altitude) and I would have wished that all the 500's in that part of the world would have been F models!

Regarding Albacete .. I've not been there. Perhaps Aser or Estepo? But .. have a great visit. I hope the weather is warmer than where you are now.

Regarding General Franco, wasn't Albacete the seat of his avowed enemies .. the International Brigades?

Funny how that paint job looks similar to TC's 500 in Magnum PI TV-series.
The Magnum ship had orange-tone stripes over a brown base but .. I know what you mean:

N58243, one of several Hughes 500 'D' models which sailed the skies over Hawaii during the making of the 1980's American TV series Magnum PI

Sadly, N58243 (the pop-out-float-equipped bird seen skimming the waves during the opening titles of the series) ditched into the sea off Hawaii killing cemera technican Robert Van Der Kar and injuring the driver Robert Sanders. The accident report concluded a cause of pilot error CFIW. When aired, the episode being filmed 'Skin Deep' was dedicated to the memory of Robert Van Der Kar.

But .. I can think of a Hughes which was similarly coloured:

Dennis Kenyon's Hughes 500C G-HSKY in his Skyline hangar at Booker c.1984

HSKY was probably the first 500 I flew. I remember 'The Clarke' wasn't so keen on the Angry Bumble Bee and so one of Dennis' other instructors gave me a go - (I think it was a chap called Bowden or something similar. I remember that he was the first non-military pilot that I had flown with).

Oh Geee .. look what I found .. a Kenyon with a Bumble Bee!

Dennisimo with Hughes 500C G-GEEE c.1990

Formerly known as G-BDOY this craft was most likely registered to Brian Stein of Ockwells Manor, Maidenhead at the time of the photo.

In the late 70's this craft was bought by Cosworth Engineering of St.James, Northampton and which, if I remember rightly, was a British engineering firm which 'beefed-up' somewhat pedestrian automobiles and gave them some 'grunt!'.

23rd Feb 2012, 05:47
In April 1962 an RAF Bristol Type 192 Belvedere was engaged in placing a new 1.5 tonne bronze spire atop Coventry Cathedral. The RAF dubbed the exercise Operation 'Rich Man'.

Involved in the lift were: Sqn Ldr Dowling, Flt Lt Salt and Flying Officer James Martin .. among others.

The Type 192 prepares to lift the spire. This photo taken by Patrick Casey who was 10 years old at the time

.. in colour ..

The Type 192 rests in 'Pool Meadow' within the vicinity of the Cathedral in preparation for the lift

.. and on video:

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-8D2HKAT6Ld4/T0Xfuo-GtaI/AAAAAAAAIBI/_0Gb2PKFN3o/s84/Play%2520Icon.png (http://www.britishpathe.com/video/coventry-spire-by-copter)

Evidently, the morning after the above lift, the Belvedere lowered a cross onto the spire although I have yet to locate the photographic record for this event.

23rd Feb 2012, 07:27
For Savoia :)


23rd Feb 2012, 08:11
Zis, Grazie Mille.

Fantastico! :ok:

23rd Feb 2012, 10:46
There was another G reg 500 in those brown/orange/yellow colours, a D model like the Magnum PI pick but without the long skids and floats G-ONTA, originally for the NTA Nigerian Television Authority - DennisK can tell us more, I suspect about this and the two 500C models G-ONPP and G-VNPP for the Nigerian People's Party....


24th Feb 2012, 06:49
Well done Jeremy! :ok: Your photo shows ONTA at Sywell in July 1989 and was taken by Nostalgia thread supporter Bill Teasdale. Dennisimo must by now be in Albacete - I think he previously put out an enquiry regarding the current whereabouts of these ships.

NZ Nostalgia

Hughes 500C ZK-HJH of Whirlwide Helicopters flown by Eddie McGregor supporting construction work in Caroline Bay, Timaru, New Zealand in 1979

25th Feb 2012, 04:02
Zis, One good turn deserves another! ;)

"At Odds" No. 5

An SA342 Gazelle of the 'L'Armée de Terre' performs a turn over the French countryside in October 2006 (Photo: Natacha Laporte)

More "At Odds" images here (http://www.pprune.org/6994678-post1285.html).

25th Feb 2012, 11:03
If you find yourself at a loose end when taking in the delights of Cornwall then pop down to Falmouth where the National Maritime Museum has a new exhibition entitled Maritime Rescue.

If you have never had the chance to sit in the pilot's seat of the dear old Sea King then head to the NMM and grab the chance. An ex UK SAR Sea King has been loaned to the Museum as a 'climb-aboard' and will be in the main exhibition hall resplendent in both RAF and RN colours (yellow on the right and blue-grey/red on the left). Take your kids and have a really great day out. There are displays that also focus on the HM Coastguard and RNLI as well as the Cornwall Air Ambulance who regularly feature in beach rescues.

If you want to show your family what you do for a living and have never had the chance then head for Falmouth and make a long weekend of it.

G. :ok:

25th Feb 2012, 16:55
Good one, thnx :ok:

Gee, wish I was on that rear seat :)

25th Feb 2012, 21:58
Probs is Geoffers that there are too many emmets in Cornwall to go down there in season :*

However, I am going to my old school reunion in Truro in April so I might just head down to Falmouth and see how the Seaking varies from the CG SAR S61N that I used to fly ;)

26th Feb 2012, 07:36
Ah Zis, I see you are thinking in Italian, bene! I too would gladly surrender the pole seat in order to share the back with the delightful young Natacha. ;)

Revealed: The 1950s plan for a futuristic Manchester of helipads and underground trains

GLIMPSE OF THE FUTURE: A plan from the 1950s shows brightly-coloured helicopters flying around an industrial-looking Manchester – and a helipad at Victoria station. The plans form part of a new exhibition at the Cube gallery


A remarkable collection of architects' drawings, maps and other exhibits - many of which have never before been seen by the public - will go on show at a special exhibition.

Curated by Dr Martin Dodge and Richard Brook, it is It called Infra_MANC and will take place 27 February to March 23.

The urban motorway, known as the Mancunian Way and completed in 1967, was originally part of 1945 plans for four ring roads and an array of radial 'boulevards'.

The plans would have wiped out large parts of the Victorian city and transformed it into an unrecognisable landscape of highways in the sky.

Plans for a helipad on top of Victoria train station, intended as a hub for inter-city helicopter flights, were published in 1956.

Though the Victoria station idea was quickly dropped, other helipad sites, including Castlefield, Piccadilly Gardens and next to Strangeways Prison, were considered.

A landing site behind Piccadilly station, was championed and investigated for ten years as part of Manchester's desire to be plugged into what was predicted would become a UK wide helicopter passenger network.

A railway tunnel connecting Piccadilly to Victoria stations, though eventually dropped, was given parliamentary approval in 1972 - with the new stations to be built underground, including one below Albert Square and the Town Hall, along with moving pavements connecting Oxford Road station and Piccadilly Gardens.

Six miles of secret tunnels under Manchester's China Town were built to protect the city's vital telephone system against atomic bombs during the cold war.

The bunker has since been closed off to the public but remain a mysterious relic of the period.

Richard Brook, from the Manchester School of Architecture, said: "Our exhibition reveals that Manchester could have been a very different place from the city we know today.

"Many of the proposals show the planners of the time had great foresight, vision and optimism.

"Some of these ideas were actually quite beautiful, but sadly they weren't to be and by the time of the 1973 oil crisis - when cash and energy was suddenly in short supply - they were abandoned.

"There were further complications too: the City council found it hard to please the myriad of landowners to go ahead with the ring road plans, and a newly emboldened heritage movement also put on the brakes."

Dr Martin Dodge, from The University of Manchester said: "The exhibition is about giving the public more knowledge about their city.

"Two of the projects we display in Infra_MANC were completed, two were not but both epitomise the spirit of post war recovery in Manchester, the reality of 1960s construction and the economic and political upheaval of the 1970s.

"We would like to thank Manchester Institute for Research and Innovation in Art and Design at Manchester Metropolitan University, Museum of Transport Greater Manchester and Manchester Libraries, Information and Archives for their support."

Modernist makeover was Mancunians way | Bioscience Technology Online (http://www.biosciencetechnology.com/News/Feeds/2012/02/sections-international-news-modernist-makeover-was-mancunians-way/)

26th Feb 2012, 12:36
"...in order to share the back with the delightful young Natacha."

:O ;) :ok: Impossible to fool Savoia :)

26th Feb 2012, 18:03
Impossible to fool Savoia.

Oh no Zis, quite possible; wife no.1 did a grand job .. hook, line and sinker! ;)

And who, one may ask, is Natacha Laporte?


Natacha is the 22 year old girl behind the lens of the Gazelle cabin shot a couple of posts above. According to the information given, she currently flies fixed-wing as an FO, has taken a course in aerobatics (including night time aerobatics) has a helicopter licence and is rated on the Ecureuil.

27th Feb 2012, 08:27
... ...in both RAF and RN colours (yellow on the right and blue-grey/red on the left). ...

So the RAF has the right-hand seat?:ok:

27th Feb 2012, 21:21
As far as im aware there was never a Ferranti connection with this aircraft as during 1980 Denis was operating both Bell 206 EI-AWA and Hughes 500 EI-AVN.

EI-BJR Was only operated by Irish Helicopters (unlike EI-BFK which was operated by them for Vincent O'Brien and occassionally for third party work by IHL)

EI-BJR was dry leased in during July 1980 for an extensive filming task with RTE (the national TV station). The aircraft was retained for Ad-hoc flying in Dublin while EI-BIJ was based in Galway.
EI-BJR was used extensively by the ESB (the national electricity supplier) over a 21 day period from mid September 1980 to early October but was only in limited demand over the winter months.


29th Feb 2012, 18:51
..... XV663 arrives at the National Maritime Museum Falmouth.


The next photo shows the other (crab) side,


Well Done Milly (she fixed it for Jim and all the other kids - young and old - who just can't wait to crawl all over a real Sea King)
G. :ok:

29th Feb 2012, 20:46
That is so wrong......

1st Mar 2012, 08:06
Shane, go raibh mile maith agat.

One has to admit though from having been predominantly white (while with BEAS) to taking on a scheme identical to that worn by Denis' 206's was curious!

San Francisco

During the early 90's I would visit San Francisco each year to see my older brother who was ensconced as a senior VP with what was probably the world's foremost CAD software design firm. During my visits I would self-fly-hire an Astar (as they call them over there) from Oakland-based operator 'AstroCopters'. The company was started by an old boy who had made his money prospecting for gold in the hills east of the city and their CP was a delightful character called Will Prater. AstroCopters were the outfit responsible for the aerial filming for the James Bond movie 'A View To A Kill' which featured an airship wafting around the pinnacles of the Golden Gate Bridge.

During that time I cultivated a keen interest in the city - a place with so much activity and so many interesting locations. I discovered that some years prior to my first visit there had been an operator offering tours right off one of the piers in the city's waterfront area. Evidently they did a rip-roaring trade until the city authority, no doubt spurred by irritable residents, withdrew permission for the operator to fly off the pier.

For many-a-year I have been trying to find the name of that early 80's operator and to obtain a shot of their operation.

You can imagine then my surprise/delight when last week Trevor Bartlett came up with this:

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Xc8sWZqLAEM/T08TA9vkuxI/AAAAAAAAIKg/67UhhqunL18/s800/B206B%2520III%2520N39080%2520Fisherman%2527s%2520Wharf%2520S F%252019%2520Oct%252082%2520%2528Trevor%2520Bartlett%2529.jp g
Bell 206B JetRanger III N39080 at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco on 19th October 1982 (Photo: Trevor Bartlett)

Finally and at last I get to see this operation which Will and others had told me about. My great thanks to Trevor - who flew aboard this bird but who is unable to recall the name of the operator.

I know that our North American readers are few but .. if anyone has any recollection of this operation which flew out of Fisherman's Wharf in the ealry 80's and if anyone has additional details on what happened with the SF city authorities, your input would be welcome.

Regarding Oakland, this of course was the airfield from which the late great Amelia Earhart launched her two attempts to circumnavigate the globe. The first attempt took place on 17th March (St.Patrick's Day) 1937 flying Westbound and the second, Eastbound, two months later in May. As PPRuNer Epiphany will no doubt recall - Amelia's last contact with terra firma was on 2nd July 1937 at Lae Aerodrome in Papua New Guinea.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-9htpYNq6W_A/T08aIkQx-7I/AAAAAAAAILE/M9GIjJFDs8A/s598/Paul%2520Mantz%252C%2520Amelia%2520Earhart%252C%2520Harry%25 20Manning%2520and%2520Fred%2520Noonan%2520Oakland%252017%252 0March%252037.jpg
L-R: Paul Mantz, Amelia Earhart, Harry Manning and Fred Noonan in front of Amelia's Lockheed Electra at Oakland Airfield on 17th March 1937

Lesser known (to some) was the fact that Amelia set a number of records in a Pitcairn autogyro including becoming the first woman to fly an autogyro as well as an altitude record (1931) of 15,000ft. At the event recorded below however, she failed to become the first to fly across the United States:

Amelia with her 'Beech-Nut' chewing gum sponsored Pitcairn PCA-2 autogyro at Glendale Aerodrome on 7th July 1931. Earhart arrived believing she had completed the first trans-continental autogyro flight only to discover that John "Johnny" M. Miller had beaten her to it


1st Mar 2012, 09:30
.. if anyone has any recollection of this operation which flew out of Fisherman's Wharf in the ealry 80's .

Back in 1978 I took the tourist trip in a 206 from Fisherman's Wharf - Pier 43 if I remember correctly. I think the operator may have been Commodore Helicopters as at that time the Commodores had a hit "Three Times a Lady" and as we queued I seem to remember mentioning to my then girlfriend the coincidence of names. May well be wrong though, it's a long time ago!

1st Mar 2012, 09:47
Yes it's still strange about the paint scheme. Also she was leased in from Dollar to Irish Helis at the time.

1st Mar 2012, 10:21
Yes, the radome is the wrong shape for a 3 or 3A;)

1st Mar 2012, 10:38
Thats not right.... I thought they were both several shades of black?;)
Really sad for me though is the fact that I remember that airframe at Culdrose, brand new, 1970 ish. Yes... I am that old!:(

1st Mar 2012, 11:49
Yes - I am going to have a look in my RN Logbook when I get home next and see if that was an old 824, 706 or 737 machine or possibly one of those made in early 1970 that I ferried back to CU from Judwin..... 42 years ago :ouch:


1st Mar 2012, 12:17
So if the whole SARH thing ends up in Room 101, and a dozen 101s fly out the other end of the room, they'll be painted like this? :confused:

John Eacott
1st Mar 2012, 12:35
Yes - I am going to have a look in my RN Logbook when I get home next and see if that was an old 824, 706 or 737 machine or possibly one of those made in early 1970 that I ferried back to CU from Judwin..... 42 years ago :ouch:


Sorry, Geoff, but it initially belonged to the mighty 826th Vertical Pursuit Group for the explicit purpose of transporting this shiny pink body out to Eagle and around the globe :p


Larger image for those who want (http://www.eacott.com.au/gallery/d/4866-1/826+Sea+King+air+to+air+past+Fleet+off+Singapore_001.jpg) :ok:

1st Mar 2012, 18:37
Ah... 826! The second, or was it the third, frontline Sea King squadron! Now, what was the first?? Oh yes.. 824.:D
Sorry for the thread drift.

2nd Mar 2012, 04:49
Bell 206 Chin Perspex

In the 1980's Bell/Agusta modified the design of the 206's chin perspex resulting in a new 'convexed' shaping. Intriguingly (well for me at least) was the fact that the port-side piece displayed more pronounced 'blistering' than the starboard (pilot's) side. Any illumination in response to this prime piece of trivia?

Castle Air's Bell 206B JetRanger III G-DOFY at Wolverhampton's Ha'penny Green helipad on 10th January 2012 displaying the 206's accentuated convex shaping to the port-side chin perspex (Photo: Robert Beaver)

John Eacott
2nd Mar 2012, 06:26
In the 1980's Bell/Agusta modified the design of the 206's chin perspex resulting in a new 'convexed' shaping. Intriguingly (well for me at least) was the fact that the port-side piece displayed more pronounced 'blistering' than the starboard (pilot's) side. Any illumination in response to this prime piece of trivia?

I would suggest that is wrong: the chin bubbles always looked symmetrical to me.


John Eacott
2nd Mar 2012, 06:30
Ah... 826! The second, or was it the third, frontline Sea King squadron! Now, what was the first?? Oh yes.. 824.:D
Sorry for the thread drift.

Second, but at least we got a decent refitted boat with a decent wardroom, cabins, Far East cruise and no Spot 6 :p

2nd Mar 2012, 21:20
This, about a derelict (?) Westland Dragonfly has popped up. I thought it looked interesting
EDIT by A30yoyo....this is what I think I originally posted
Ancoats Dragonfly - Key Publishing Ltd Aviation Forums (http://forum.keypublishing.com/showthread.php?p=1863557)

and it was the Dragonfly in an Ancoats, Manchester yard with an unusual nose in post#9 which caught my eye

2nd Mar 2012, 23:40
The Westland Dragonfly was the first British-built helicopter to serve in the Fleet Air Arm and was manufactured under licence from Sikorsky. The first Westland Dragonfly entered service in 1950 and the last was decommissioned in 1967. The first all-helicopter squadron, 705 Squadron, flew Dragonflies for airborne search and rescue work.

In 1951, 705 Squadron's Dragonflies flew for the first time off smaller naval ships, now a routine practice. Dragonflies were used aboard aircraft carriers for ship-to-shore and 'plane guard' duties.

GJ710 (shown in Yoyo's post) first flew in November 1952 and joined 705 Squadron at Gosport in March 1953. Thereafter she was assigned to search and rescue duties serving at RNAS Yeovil and RNAS Lossiemouth prior to her decommissioning in 1965.

She was restored at the RNAY Fleetlands at Gosport to her 1953 appearance and is now on display at Chatham Historic Dockyard.


3rd Mar 2012, 09:36
The large registration of the Dragonfly above is a bit confusing in modern day terms - the airframe registration is not GJ710 but WG751 and the latter is in very small typeface further aft towards the roundel. GJ refers to the station code of Gosport and 710 the side number allocated within 705 Squadron. The size and style GJ710 is however perfectly correct for the 1953 era.

Had my first helicopter flight in a RN Dragonfly....

3rd Mar 2012, 13:47
Er...it was post#9 in the Key thread which contained the oddly-nosed Dragonfly (a civilian?)

3rd Mar 2012, 14:50
A30yoyo - I think Savoia and I both responded to an Air Britain photo of the renovated WG751 (GJ/710) at Chatham that you had posted......but I'm easily confused nowadays!

3rd Mar 2012, 18:12
CharlieOneSix....I'm confused ,too, because I didn't post the silver Dragonfly pic!....anyhow it was the one in cream and red with the odd nose in post#9 I was intrigued by


4th Mar 2012, 04:47
My dad was airlifted from the wing of his ditched Seahawk off the side of HMS Eagle back in the mid fifties... I'm sure that dragonfly was a very welcome sight indeed :ok:

4th Mar 2012, 06:25

Peter Clarke, whose photo briefly appeared and then disappeared, on one of Yoyo's posts has very kindly contributed to the Nostalgia Thread two unpublished versions of GJ710 which he took at Chatham. Peter, our great thanks:

Westland Dragonfly HR3 WG751 wearing the station code and identifier GJ710 as seen at Chatham Historic Dockyard in September 2010 (Photo: Peter Clarke)

WG751 front right view (Photo: Peter Clarke)

I have another Dragonfly, WG664, taken while in service and visiting Chatham in 1957. The photo was taken by another 'Clarke' and I am just awaiting the photographer's permission to post.

And .. two snaps of two seperate Dragonflies from the 50's wearing the same silver scheme. Sadly .. no details.


This craft sporting the numbers 901 and wearing the letter 'J'

Senior Pilot
4th Mar 2012, 07:00
901 was the ship's flight/planeguard for HMS Eagle in 1954. "J" was Eagle's deck code until the mid 1960's, when it changed to "E".


4th Mar 2012, 18:21
Griffo, there is a chance (given SP's comments) that 901 may have been the very craft used to pluck your Dad from the Seahawk!

I may have asked this before and if that's the case then my apologies but .. do you have any photos from your Dad's flying days?

The permission for this came in sooner than I anticipated .. so here is another photo of another Dragonfly taken by another Clarke at Chatham!

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-Q3oRyRnmnos/T1O8hwatzVI/AAAAAAAAIM0/Fv9EuvfCxSQ/s720/Dragonfly%2520WG664%2520%2528533%2529%2520Chatham%25201957%2 520%2528Malcolm%2520Clarke%2529.jpg
Westland Dragonfly WG664 bearing the identifier '533' visiting Chatham Dockyard in 1957 (Photo: Malcolm Clarke)

As an aside, the last two vessels to be built at Chatham (both Oberon-class submarines) were Ocelot (for the Royal Navy) and Okanagan for the Royal Canadian Navy.

5th Mar 2012, 09:44
I just wondered what the story was on the one-piece windscreen and non-standard lower front panel in post#1394

5th Mar 2012, 11:19
Yoyo: I'm sorry that we've not yet had any responses to your uniquely-shaped Dragonfly but, hang in there, this is PPRuNe and strange things can (and do) happen!

The number of those still 'kicking' with hands-on experience of this type are few and those with such experience who venture online even fewer!

We could embark upon some research ourselves if there were a serial number or registration to track but, alas, we are not given this information. There is obviously a story behind it (perhaps an experimental development by Westland prior to homing-in on the Widgeon?).

More 710 ..

710 at a 'Salute to the 40's' open day at Chatham Dockyard

Plank Cap
5th Mar 2012, 11:38
Surely about time someone got that nose wheel facing the proper direction....

5th Mar 2012, 20:08

A couple of pleasing Gazelle shots, one from 1978 and the other taken just a couple of weeks ago.

In the first photo the photographer Steve Aubury writes: "I was working at the wellsite as the geologist at the time. I am not at all used to forums, and suchlike, but would like to see what you are all discussing."

The second, taken by Rick Ingram, was shot at Salisbury Plain where the craft was flying for QinetiQ, presumably in research related work but .. if anyone knows a little more about how QinetiQ use their Gazelles .. your input would be welcome:

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-9XZ_g5P-XdI/T1UiF2dqhdI/AAAAAAAAIP0/fOZXngxbulM/s800/SA341G%2520C-FEDG%2520Latornell%2520%2528south%2520of%2520Grande%2520Prai rie%2529%2520Alberta%252014%2520Dec%252078%2520%2528Steve%25 20Aubury%2529.jpg
SA341G Gazelle C-FEDG of Ed Darvill Helicopters parked outside the engineer/geologist quarters during drilling support duties in the Latornell area (south of Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada) on 14th December 1978 (Photo: Steve Aubury)

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/--IMQipBxqIA/T1UiGX-Ob3I/AAAAAAAAIPw/Gkbf66U_Ad4/s720/QinetiQ%2520WSA341D%2520HT3%2520ZB625%2520Salisbury%2520Plai n%252010%2520Feb%252012%2520%2528Rick%2520Ingham%2529.jpg
Westland Gazelle SA341D-HT3 ZB625 assigned to QinetiQ as seen at Salisbury Plain on 10th February 2012 (Photo: Rick Ingham)

5th Mar 2012, 21:25
I last flew ZB625 on 17 July 1984, at RAF Shawbury. It was a CFS/1 AFTS asset in those days.

Looks like sensitive airflow sensing equipment on the front. Is that a Doppler aerial on the lower fuselage?

6th Mar 2012, 06:37
ZB265 is probably one of a couple of Gazelles used by the test pilots based at nearby Boscombe Down. When I was there 1992/3 and 2002-4 they were primarily used by the Empire Test Pilot School to instruct on the basic techniques required to test and evaluate helicopters - hence the additional instrumentation.

I remember one exercise involved assessing the helicopters service ceiling. The Gazelles were fitted with oxygen equipment and the pilots wore parachutes. When I enquired why I was told that an autorotation from well above 15000ft following an uncontrollable fire would take too long, so controlled abandonment was the answer.

ETPS also had a dedicated Lynx AH7 and a Sea King. Latterly, I know that ETPS were attempting to acquire a modified A109. For arguments sake this A109 was supposed to be "fly by wire" which would enable its handling characteristics to be "altered" in flight. The fixed wing students had a similar facility in he Bassett and Hawk VSS aircraft. I know that ETPS now have a A109 but it arrived after I left Boscombe Down, so I couldn't confirm it's capabilities.

Just too add I never did the ETPS course so these ramblings are from a keen fast jet pilot from elsewhere at Boscombe. I did manage a trip in the Lynx one day looking at the various forms of the vortex ring state and how to get out if caught. Interesting! Keep up this excellent thread. :ok::D

7th Mar 2012, 08:03
Steve Aubury has kindly shared another image with us from his oil drilling days in Alberta. He adds:

"In those days money was of little concern and choppers could and would just drop in and make courtesy calls."

"The engineer on this job liked his newspapers and woe betide anyone landing and not bringing newspapers for the crew!"

"1978 and the Oil Industry was on a steep climb still in their fortunes after the energy crisis of 1973."

The drilling assignment that Steve was working on was for Union Oil Canada, the drilling contractor was Bawden Drilling and the well known a Union Latornelle:

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-t4LtePgOGR8/T1cdpxIQDpI/AAAAAAAAIQk/buUM2qG-0Ps/s720/B206B%2520C-GHXJ%2520Latornell%2520Grande%2520Prairie%25203%2520Mar%2520 79%2520%2528Steve%2520Aubury%2529.jpg
A Highland Helicopters Bell 206B C-GHXJ lands in the car park at the Latornelle well south of Grande Prairie, Alberta on 3rd March 1978 (Photo: Steve Aubury)

Of Heath and Whirlwinds ..

A Westland Whirlwind of the RAF's Air Support Command delivers British Prime Minister Edward Heath to the 'Jubilee Conference' at Wilton Park in 1971. Heath is greeted by Wilton Park director Heinz Keoppler

Wilton Park began on 12 January 1946 as part of an initiative inspired by Sir Winston Churchill, who in 1944 called for Britain to help establish a democracy in Germany after the second world war. It takes its name from Wilton Park Estate, near Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire, which was used as an interrogation centre during the war. Since 1951 it has been based at Wiston House in Sussex, the Wilton Park Estate remaining in other Government use, currently as the Defence School of Languages.

Between January 1946 and June 1948 roughly 4,500 Germans were made to attend re-education classes there.

8th Mar 2012, 05:10

Your assistance please!

From time-to-time I receive images from well-meaning supporters of this thread but where no details are supplied. The image below being an example.

Anyone who may be in a position to provide some details as to which model of the Whirlwind this may be and to which Squadron she was assigned (she seems to be wearing the identifier 831 or 891) - your input would be welcome. An approximate date and the type of ship she is sailing aboard would be terrific!

Just a reminder to those readers who are not signed-up to PPRuNe but who would like to contribute photos to this thread, the email address is: [email protected]


These do not appear to be the 'standard' Whirlwind floats (or at least not the normal fixed floats) and must presumably be of the emergency 'pop-out' variety.

Also .. can anyone identify the device roughly halfway along the top of the tail rotor driveshaft?

Senior Pilot
8th Mar 2012, 06:28
That would be one of the HAS1 Whirlwinds embarked on HMS Protector back in the mid 1950's for Antarctic research. XA870 was one, and is currently at Aeroventure, Doncaster.

Later in the year 'HMS Protector', the Royal Navy's Ice Patrol Ship was due to sail for the first time with helicopters embarked. XA870 was one of the two chosen helicopters for this task., but was painted in the standard RN scheme of Extra Dark Sea grey over sky. Admiralty decreed that they could not operate in Antarctica in these colours and that the two helicopters must carry the high visibility red scheme. Due to the very short time left, it was not possible to obtain the correct paint and so the next best available was "target towing orange'. As a result the two aircraft were painted in this light orange colour with the contrasting black tops.

This hasty decision over time, became a tradition that the Ice Patrol Ship's helicopters would carry orange high visibility markings. Whilst red remained the normal colour of high visibility for other Royal Navy Search and Rescue units. This distinction carried on for many years until 1976 when the last Whirlwind was withdrawn from RN service.

It is believed that XA870 is the first helicopter to have landed on the Antartic Continent. the code number '911' was used only on board the 1955/56 trip and the following year XA870 was also aboard recorded '911'.

The penguin 'nose art' was painted by one of the crew on board 'HMS Protector' as they sailed south in 1955, and another two different designs of the penguin art were seen on later trips. XA870 did not go to the Antarctica after the 1956/57 trip, but remained with the HMS Protector flight at Lee-on-Solent for 'working up' until struck off charge late in 1966.Airfix did a model of it back in the 1960's, which shows the pop out floats before inflation, plus a perspex dome over what is probably a homing antennae on the tailboom:


From the body language of the two in the foreground, looking at the floats, I would surmise that the inflation was "a bit of finger trouble, Chief" ;)

(edit) a photo of XA868 as one of Protector's Ships Flight while in the Falklands:


and XA866 on the Antarctic


9th Mar 2012, 04:22
SP, many thanks for the supporting info on the Antartic Whirlwinds in their "target-towing-orange" livery, great stuff! :ok:

I especially enjoy the penguin motifs. Extraordinary how animals take on greater significance when one has spent lenghty periods of time at sea!

Also interesting to note that HMS Protector was trawling the Antarctic at roughly the same time my godfather was serving as Chief Pilot for Christian Salvesen in support of their whaling expeditions.

Senior Pilota wrote: From the body language of the two in the foreground, looking at the floats, I would surmise that the inflation was "a bit of finger trouble, Chief"Lol, I agree!

Presumably these three-bladed HAS 1's were of the cartridge-starting variety? I have this vision of the driver shouting out the instruction to load the incendiary followed by a loud bang and a cloud of smoke, lol, what fun it must have been back then!

A Hews by any other name!

A stable of 'Hughes's' at Denham Airfield in 1970 depicting G-AWVL in front of Ryman Conran's G-AVVS. A third 300 is just caught in the left of the frame (Photo: John Davidson)

Air Gregory's G-AWVL first appeared on page 20 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-20.html) of this thread.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-b4C7TqGnP3A/T1mGZ8vyWuI/AAAAAAAAITM/AY8ANrIyeaI/s800/Hughes%2520300%2520N70WT%2520Biggin%2520Hill%2520c.1976%2520 %2528John%2520Davidson%2529.jpg
Hughes 300 N70WT at Biggin Hill c.1976. Behind the little Hughes is Aerial Enterprises' De Havilland DH89A Rapide (Photo: John Davidson)

I was racking my brain trying to remember the location of this semi-circular portion of concrete at Biggin when the clouds departed and I recalled that this was the apron at the western end of Decca's hangar - a place where, if one waited long enough, one could be treated to the aria (http://www.caa.co.uk/application.aspx?catid=60&pagetype=65&appid=1&mode=reg&fullregmark=ARIA) of a 'G' model 47! ;)

9th Mar 2012, 08:46
at the western end of Decca's hangar - a place where, if one waited long enough, one could be treated to the aria (http://www.caa.co.uk/application.aspx?catid=60&pagetype=65&appid=1&mode=reg&fullregmark=ARIA) of a 'G' model 47! ;)
I feel a song coming on..."Robin Hood, Robin Hood, riding through the glen....."

Only those of a certain vintage will understand the relevance;)

9th Mar 2012, 09:16
Kurt, could you maybe expand a little more on the craft you are referring to?

Decca's beautiful little Bell, G-ARIA, at Biggin in July 1970 (Photo: Carl Ford)

A couple of years after this shot ARIA would lose her blue patches and be painted black (except for her tail which remained white). She was used for flight testing of Decca's nav equipment.

C16 .. for you:


An aptly chosen aria indeed by C16 - so chosen (no doubt) in memory of Decca's pipe-smoking helicopter pilot Robin Hood!

9th Mar 2012, 13:23
SA341G Gazelle C-FEDG of Ed Darvill Helicopters parked outside the engineer/geologist quarters during drilling support duties in the Latornell area (south of Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada) on 14th December 1978 (Photo: Steve Aubury)

Great to see that old bird again. I flew it the following winter in the Grande Prairie area. The unique refueling system used bleed air. You stopped the blades and left the engine running, connected a small air hose to a special bung adapter for a 45 gallon drum and slightly pressurized the drum and voila, the fuel was forced thru the filter and hose and into the tank.

Of course you would never get away with that today with health and safety ;)

9th Mar 2012, 14:34
special bung adapter for a 45 gallon drum and slightly pressurized the drum

We used the same system in FEAF during the sixties and seventies. A lot of our fuel drums were air-dropped and sometimes the arrivals were a bit firmer than designed.

It was amazing how they would be inflated back into shape whilst refuelling.

9th Mar 2012, 18:42
My father flew N70WT for Weltrade in Ireland, it was also the First Helicopter I ever flew in. I would be very grateful if I could have a copy of the above picture for my album.

9th Mar 2012, 23:51

Classic 269A.

Manual clutch.

Parallel valve engine O-360?

High speed tail rotor - imagine 5 x 500's approaching at once to get an idea of the noise!

RHD and low console.

Period classic paint colour offered at the time.

The white ship behind appears to be a "B" model

10th Mar 2012, 04:39
:) Satisfied Savoia!

This page has been most pleasing (for me at least) inasmuch as there have been several 'home runs' in respect of Rotorheads linked to the aircraft posted and which is enjoyable not only for me but for the photographers too!

I always send the link to the Nostalgia Thread to each of the respective photographers from who permissions have been sought and they frequently email me with various comments of interest and appreciation.

It was great to land upon one of ShyTorque's ex's, ZB625, and remarkable to receive feedback in respect of C-FEDG from Outwest. North American Gazelles are a rarity at the best of times (of which this was, being the late 70's) so that Outwest flew this craft within months of the photo is great fun indeed!

Outwest: How was the bleed air siphoned-off the engine please?

(During my days in 'Niugini' I became quite fit rolling 200 litre drums all around the place, standing them upright (not the ideal scenario in terms of settling I know) and then manually fuelling whatever one was flying. The pumps had a rotary hand mechanism which was actually quite effective. After leaving Rotorwork and joining Pacific I happened upon a couple of electric pumps which could be connected to the battery but only used this once as it was as slow as hell and bothersome to connect).

Most surprising of all was that we dug-up the craft in which CVR had his first helicopter encounter. I was 'sure' there would be no response to N70WT! In the 70's American registered helicopters in the British Isles were uncommon, in fact I was of the belief that this may have been a visiting demonstrator. I'm not sure if you noticed CVR but .. and while I know the early 300's had little 'piglet tails' .. in John's photo 70WT's tail rotor doesn't seem to be visible at all! Re: a copy of the photo I have PM'd you requesting your email so that I may forward a version (larger than the one posted and with John's blessing).

More Decca ..

[Some of this had been 'done' before on a short-lived thread specifically addressing the Decca ship, so apologies if you have read this previously but .. I think its worth consolidating the info here on Nostalgia]

To facilitate the development of lightweight airborne equipment, particularly that destined for helicopters, Decca acquired a Bell 47-G
helicopter from Worldwide Helicopters in 1966 It was used mainly for Decca Mk 15, 19 Doppler 71 and later for Data Link development and testing.

That helicopter was a three seat model powered by a 200 hp Franklin 6V4-200-C32 engine which gave it a cruising speed of 70 knots and an endurance of 2.5 hours. It was equipped with full night flying equipment and a modified instrument panel which included a lightweight artificial horizon, heading indicator and a hovermeter. In the mid 60's it was fitted with a Mk 8 Navigator receiver, a flight log, and a well as a series 70 light-weight Doppler. During this time period it was also used in the evelopment program for the Doppler 70 series, Doppler 80 series and the Mk 15/19 Decca Navigator.

Decca Doppler for helicopters was proving to be of great interest to everyone in that particular field so Decca did a lot of demonstrating. The receiver aerial was no more than a foot from the ground and without even flying, one could slide along the grass and get a reading of half a knot or less. The output was coupled to a speed meter and a cross pointer meter so that it was even possible to hover blind.

Peter Huggins relates this flying anecdote. "In May of 1966 I was bringing the helicopter back from the Air Show at Hanover in a howling South West wind. It was a slow progress having flown from Hanover to Osnabruk to Nornhorn to Hilversum. From Hilversum to Rotterdam was dead into gale force winds and it took me one hour and fifteen minutes to fly a distance of 35 miles. I was flying as low as I dared to get the lowest head wind possible when something caught my eye below and I found that I was being overtaken by a frightened cow! I was almost stationary at the time".

Peter flew the helicopter occasionally but the main pilot was Edward A. Hood, also known by the nickname of "Robin Hood.” Edward was a pipe smoker and would sometimes puff away when flying, much to the chagrin of any passenger. It is not known how long Decca kept the helicopter but the Civil Aviation Authority records indicate that G-ARIA was registered to the Arabian Aircraft Corporation in Brighton in May, 1984. By March 1987 the Bell 47-G was and transferred to France since the C-of-A expired in February 1986.
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-roGQmx_qt1k/TqKZX7uDlFI/AAAAAAAAFfc/g9NffTlGlkg/s720/Decca%2520Navigator%2520Co%2527s%2520Bell%252047G%2520G-ARIA%2520LGW%252012%2520Oct%252067%2520%2528Chris%2520Englan d%2529.jpg
Decca Navigator Co's Bell 47G G-ARIA at London Gatwick on 12th October 1967 (Photo: Chris England)

ARIA's panel

Still searching for anyone who may know what the device was along the top of the tail rotor driveshaft in the Whirlwind photos. In the version I posted the device seems to be uncovered but in the images from Senior Pilot it is housed under a small white dome!

10th Mar 2012, 07:25
Outwest: How was the bleed air siphoned-off the engine please?

Not sure how the fitting was actually made, but I do seem to remember that it only pressurized the drum by about 1 or 2 psi. There was a regular female air fitting just inside the step on the right hand side of the a/c. You just connected it like you would an air hose to an air compressor. I have used hand wobble pumps, electric pumps, Honda powered pumps....you name it, and the very best was that simple bleed air system.

The Gazzo was a great machine, pass anything but a fuel station ;)

Believe it or not, I actually found a photo of me standing beside EDG, I would have been 22 years old at that time.......man I wish I was still that skinny and had hair again :{

I would post it, but first I don't know how and second there would be a flood of old friends with wise cracks :O

10th Mar 2012, 15:42
It was a longtime ago but I think the bleed air was taken from the "P2 something" I could be wrong. You had to be careful, It was regulated somehow for safety. Man was it noisy though.

You could do the same on a B206, I remember an old AME I had on a B206 on floats and he used bleed air from the machine to either refuel or adjust the air in the floats. It was a simple connection, seems to be coming out from the front end of the engine. On a 206 anyway


11th Mar 2012, 05:13
A Field of Sioux

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-PnVwc8DT9WY/T1ww80F_9sI/AAAAAAAAIUY/CIFSyK_Du7g/s800/Daily%2520Express%2520International%2520Balloon%2520Meet%252 0at%2520Weston%2520Park%252C%2520Shropshire%2520AH1%2520Siou x%252013%2520Sep%252075.jpg
Westland Sioux of the Royal Army's Blue Eagles display team attend a balloon meet sponsored by the Daily Express newspaper at Weston Park, Shropshire on 13th September 1975

Nigel Osborn
11th Mar 2012, 07:25
I don't think they are royal!!!!!!:ok:

P6 Driver
11th Mar 2012, 11:40
They are superb to see though!

I can never get enough of the Blue Eagles in their Sioux days.

11th Mar 2012, 12:53
I don't think they are royal!

Quite right Nigel, my mistake.

I can never get enough of the Blue Eagles in their Sioux days.
Here's something to be going on with:

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-BtgrO7KNLyI/T1yc77_z_8I/AAAAAAAAIU4/pZ7MfXPDMdM/s720/W%2520Sioux%2520XT511%2520Plymouth%2520Roborough%252022%2520 Jul%252072%2520%2528Stephen%2520Rendle%2529.jpg
Westland Sioux XT511 of the Blue Eagles Army display team as seen at Plymouth's Roborough Airport on 22nd July 1972 (Photo: Stephen Rendle)

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-obNqLqHXk40/T1yc68MxbqI/AAAAAAAAIU8/qAm3lHpubYg/s800/WSioux%2520Near%2520Middle%2520Wallop%252018%2520Jun%252070% 2520%2528Adrian%2520Balch%2529.jpg
Westland Siouxs of the Blue Eagles in practice near Middle Wallop on 18th June 1970 (Photo: Adrian Balch)

I have a considerable amount of Blue Eagles memorabilia stashed away in the UK including several large photos signed by the team from their Sioux flying days. Will dig them out when I next visit.

11th Mar 2012, 22:55
Still coming across occasional Jetrangers in my negative file...here's the ex- BEA G-AWGU in front of the Beehive at Gatwick ca. 1975

12th Mar 2012, 04:55
Ah well, it doesn't get much more nostalgic for me than to see one of the Beehive craft - thank you Yoyo! :ok:

Spent many hours flying G-AWGU, the 16th JetRanger to be registered in the UK and the former personal mount of Jock Cameron (BAH's MD). When Jock retired my godfather proposed to BAH's Board that the craft be gifted to Cameron in much the same way as Shell gave the ex-WW II flyer Douglas Bader a Piper Apache upon his retirement but, BAH's Board being what it is was .. did not approve the request and Jock's runabout was shipped-off to Oman - to do what I cannot recall.

In the immediate post-Ferranti years (1979-1982) my godfather made extensive use of this craft to facilitate the requests of former-Ferranti clients who remained loyal. With Ferranti gone BAH's crew looked after the craft's day-to-day maintenance (she was previously cared for by Ferranti who installed the Ferranti interior and avionics fit) and were always rewarded by my godfather for their efforts in installing 'GU's' dual controls which were not of the 'quick-fit' type but required about 30 mins work to install.

Here's a story taken from page 13 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-13.html) of this thread and which involved 'GU':

One of the Colonel's clients needed to be dropped at Stansted and we were using Jock Cameron's mount G-AWGU (the BA 206) for the task. We uplifted the client from the Copthorne Hotel (near Gatwick) and proceeded to STN. After crossing into Essex the weather deteriorated abruptly so that most of the time we were flying in IMC (I do recall GU having Schermuly flares fitted because Ferranti fitted them) - 'GU' also had Decca's DANAC moving map navigator installed.

Whether we were classified as IFR or whether the Col. managed to convince the controllers at STN to let him in on a special I just don't know - what I do recall is arriving at STN in pitch black, in torrential rain and with a thoroughly sodden Martyn Fiddler standing on the apron to receive the pax. Martyn shouted a few words in Bob's ear trying to convince him to sleep over but no .. there was an important function to attend in the city and so, to Martyn's disbelief, we disappeared into the blackness, rain and lightning heading for Battersea.

Like many of the rotary characters from the early days, my godfather was a determined type and having placed his dinner jacket and patent leather shoes aboard the craft there was no way he was going to miss his engagement!

By the time we approached North East London the cloud began to break-up and the city became visible. I think we joined the Thames somewhere around HMS Belfast (perhaps just to the West of her). The short cruise to Battersea above the city lights seemed somewhat surreal after the noise and buffeting of rain, cloud and storm of the previous 20 mins or so.

We wafted down to a dark and closed Battersea where I was assigned the job of putting on 'GU's' overnight covers. When eventually we reached the Waldorf and Bob headed off for his dinner I was able to call my Mum who was beside herself with concern as apparently, a couple of hours prior to our trip, a Hughes 300 had ploughed in somewhere near Stansted while battling the same weather!

Author's Note: Flying in marginal weather/IMC should only ever be carried-out in an appropriately equipped aircraft with appropriately qualified crew and even then with the utmost caution taking care to avoid storm cells and intense precipitation. What my godfather did on the trip described above would today be considered foolhardy but .. that is what happened. My godfather (being among the first rotary wing flyers in the UK) belonged to a group of pioneers who, rightly or wrongly, (mainly the latter) considered themselves invincible in the face of such minor 'irritations' as weather! If you are flying a single, and especially if you are not instrument rated with plenty of current experience, please stay the hell away from weather! Have lost far too many friends because they failed to observe this simple rule.

12th Mar 2012, 11:35

G-AWGU s/n 8044 now registered, and has been for a long time as A7-HAO, alive and well, still flying and earning a crust here in Doha.


12th Mar 2012, 22:38
Hallo lads and for 'S' ... I'm back in 'Blighty' after a PPL(H) spell at Minaya Airfield (known locally as Balas Aero) just west of Albacete. My error as the Balas place was not General Franco's quoted 'Bolt Hole' but which turned out to be a grass strip adjacent to the village of Penascosa which apparently Franco used extensively and secretly before he left us. In fact my client gave me my first ever ride in a 'Delta' weight shift micro light there. The type has two jet engines! The locals don't seem to object to a micro light being started up in the village hangar and ground taxied olong the main road out to the local air strip for the take off.

For the training I was re acquainted with and flying my old friend, Enstrom G-BEYA which obliged me with my first ever engine failure, (a mixture problem) although fortunately over the Balas Aero airfield. My dear friend Tim Price travelled down a couple of weeks later to do the client's Skills Test where upon the Enstrom similarly treated Tim to a second failure. Happily all doing well, but my apologies Tim.

Now to Hughes 500s. Ref G-BDOY which was purchased from the Costin Engine company. My purchaser, Brian Wronski decided he wanted the 500C with a C18 so the exchange was made by March Helis at Sywell circa 1986. The removed C20 went to Flair Air at Shoreham for their B206. I later purchased the 500 as G-GEEE and sold her as G-OSPG, but now with the 'Norvic' nose a la 500E. The G-GEEE deal involved my selling a 500 'E' model which the purchaser had painted in the most startling 'camouflage' khaki scheme registered as G-HUKA ... all very polo' ish you see. Where is she now?

Finally 'twas the ex Nigerian 500, G-OVPP (go vote People's Party) that became G-HSKY being a 'Skyline' serial and it was this 500 that did airborne battle over the skies of Kent when she collided with a Bristow Bell 47 on a student navex ... and all parties landed safely albeit the resultant blade damaged to the 500 caused vibration sufficient to remove the entire instrument console. And just out of interest the same 500 pilot repeated the incident years later when his AS350 collided with a glider out of Booker. Once again all parties were unhurt! All quite amazing I would think.

Happpy daze and more trivia as and when from Dennis K.

Amos Keeto
12th Mar 2012, 22:50
Yes that's my photo of the Blue Eagles making pink smoke. I was lucky enough to fly with them for a photo shoot from Middle Wallop in June 1970. Have lots more shots from that sortie and one of my photos appeared on the front cover of Air Pictorial's October 1970 issue .

13th Mar 2012, 06:06
Stace: Well that is remarkable! She will be 44 this year and I had no idea she was still 'active' - wonderful! I would imagine though that she carries very few of her original parts. Is she flying with ADA or some other outfit?

I would be much obliged if you (or indeed anyone) were able to source a photo of her as A7-HAO as it would be most interesting to see her again.

Ciao Dennisimo! Welcome back. Yes I was going to mention about Gen. Franco .. in fact Albacete became the headquarters for the International Brigades .. Franco's avowed enemies.

Thanks for the details on BEYA and the 500's. Most interesting that someone would request a 'downgrade' to a C18. I don't think I could ever convince myself to value economy over power but there we are .. I'm a lover of powerboats and probably viewed by most of my friends as something of a 'petrolhead'!

Never realised that HSKY had a mid-air! I think it was from a fellow Rotorhead (probably 500 Fan) that I learned about the rear passenger skylights being wider on the Cayuse than on the civilian 'C' models and which begs the question .. was HSKY ex-mil? Will keep a look out for G-HUKA.

Along with the Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee this is also a big 'round numbers' year for you Dennisimo! All the best and keep going strong.

Adrian, Its a brilliant shot! :ok: Seeing as P6 Driver has said he can "never get enough" of the Blue Eagles Siouxs may I suggest that, whenever possible, you post some more images and which I am sure we shall all thoroughly enjoy!

RAF Gazelle ZB628

On the 9th September 1993 an RAF Westland Gazelle SA341D HT3 ZB628 was one member of a three-ship flight which departed Frosinone in Italy bound for RAF Strawberry (aka Shawbury) in the UK.

While flying off the coast of Imperia the flight encountered a severe 'tropical' rainstorm forcing two of the Gazelles to a beach near Cannes. ZB628 did not make it to shore but instead struck the sea and sank. Her crew and passenger survived and were promptly rescued by the Italian coastguard.

An excerpt from the Accident Report (http://www.ukserials.com/pdflosses/maas_19930909_zb628.pdf) reads:

The Board of Inquiry determined that the accident was caused by the failure of the crew of ZB628 to notice an inadvertent loss of speed and height in time to prevent the aircraft from striking the sea. Contributing factors identified by the Board included: the bad weather conditions, lack of windscreen wipers, the limitations of the low height warning system connected to the Radar Altimeter; the lack of formal guidance on crew management procedures for operation of Gazelle aircraft with two qualified pilots; and, the failure of the crews to reduce the spacing between aircraft in the formation on encountering bad weather.
On this latter point I must say that I am in sympathy with the RAF crews inasmuch as I was taught the opposite .. that upon encountering reduced visibility for formation would become 'loose' or indeed break-up.

When serving a 3 year contract in Africa for the UN (mid-80's) we would regularly fly in formation (as opposed to in company) mainly to get in the practice. Our Lead Pilot always gave the brief that if visibility deteriorated he would give the call "formation break" and at which point each aircraft was to peel away in a pre-arranged sequence according to their position. If we were in a five aircraft form (and this was mixed helicopter and fixed-wing) the two outermost craft would break to the side while the next two would initially break vertically (according to the available space depending on the weather) and then to the side and the centre craft would remain on heading.

Back to 628's accident; foul weather over the sea is a horrid experience and one would do well to take measures to avoid such encounters. As written a while back .. when a driver reaches that point in his/her career where they decide to put their foot down with regard to flirting with marginal weather .. life becomes much easier - and safer.

Reading between the lines of 628's accident report I am surmising that there might have been a bit of a 'fight' between the two drivers aboard and which, again, does not help!

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Bo0pHC704eE/T17NVr96O1I/AAAAAAAAIVw/E0OrhUQn1ho/s800/SA%2520341D%2520Gazelle%2520HT3%2520RAF%2520ZB628%2520Middle %2520Wallop%25205%2520Jul%252084%2520%2528Don%2520Hewins%252 9.jpg
Westland SA341D Gazelle HT3 ZB628 at Middle Wallop on 5th July 1984 (Photo: Don Hewins)

There appears to be a Manfred Mann 206 in the background of the above photo and so I shall ask 'The Don' whether, perchance, he managed to capture this as it would doubtless make a nice addition to the Mann Thread.

In 1998 a small fishing boat accidentally hooked ZB628 off the Bordighera coast where it was discovered in a deep ravine. The wreck was then moved to a new location with a depth of 35 meters where it has become a diving attraction.

This is what 628 looks like now:

ZB628 - now a 'diving attraction' off the Ligurian coast in Italy

628's Panel

628's Collective lever

Diving on 628

With special thanks to Gazelle enthusiast Zishelix for suggesting this post and sourcing much of the above material.

13th Mar 2012, 06:24

No, she flies for Gulf Helicopters, saw her take off an hour ago for a photo mission, I'll get a photo later and post it for you.


Anthony Supplebottom
13th Mar 2012, 07:07
G-AWGU s/n 8044 now registered, and has been for a long time as A7-HAO,

She will be 44 this year

Serial No. 8044 will be 44 this year. Maybe Gulf Helicopters will paint this helicopter in special anniversary colours?

13th Mar 2012, 10:17
Now isn't that strange - 8044 is an A/Bell, probably built as an A model and subsequently converted. I had 2 x sister ships at ADDF, Bateen, in 1970; 8036 and 8042, one of which 'fell over' into the sea hear the Muqta bridge (write-off) post an engine malfunction after I had gone to Africa. (yes, me too, only I was on the Eastern bit, not the Niger Delta)

The 'strange bit' is that I can remember with a blinding clarity the events of those days, to also include discussions with Cliff Saffron of BHL at the other end of the pan at the airport (Bateen again, it was the only one) together with his Whirlwind - I think - and the horrendous corrosion problems I had with mag alloy skinned t'booms

BUT............... I can't remember what I had for supper last night! :confused::eek:

13th Mar 2012, 10:37
The only time I ever flew G-AWGU was back in 1980 when I was based in Shoreham with BCalH. We had a call from BAH at Gatwick asking if we could supply a pilot. Jock Cameron was unavailable and they urgently needed to use GU to ferry a spare engine bearing down to Penzance for the S61 which was unserviceable, with a backlog of passengers waiting to fly out to the Scillies. I was very impressed with all the flight instrumentation when I got into the aircraft, but less so when I was told that it was all unserviceable and all that was working was the stanby A/H and the E2B compass! An announcement had been made to the passengers prior to my arrival at Penzance and they all stood outside clapping as they'd been told that I was bringing the part which would render their transport serviceable again. I had to wait until the part had been changed and the 61 ground run in case they needed another one. I was very well looked after with a large variety of BAH meal vouchers ensuring that I was considerably heavier for my return journey to the Beehive!

13th Mar 2012, 13:01
RAF Gazelle ZB628

I last flew that one on 27 Mar 1984. I flew 3 x 45 minute sorties, my last revision flights, leading up to my CFS FHT the following day.

I never flew her again whilst later instructing on 1 Sqn so she must have been reserved for Central Flying School.

Sad to see her in that state!

500 Fan
13th Mar 2012, 17:32
Sav wrote;

"I think it was from a fellow Rotorhead (probably 500 Fan) that I learned about the rear passenger skylights being wider on the Cayuse than on the civilian 'C' models and which begs the question .. was HSKY ex-mil? "

Here is my take on the early production versions of the Hughes 500. The first Hughes 500 built was N9000F. It appears initially to have been modified only with a new slimmer instrument panel and a civilianised interior. It had a left-hand start. Presumably, the wiring for the mini-gun was also removed. The rear doors retained the small windows of the OH-6A. After completing its first promotional tour in 1966, it returned to Culver City and got the new rear doors with the larger windows. The over-head window above the rear doors was the same size as that featured on the OH-6A.

The next ten Hughes 500 airframes built were a mixture of H369H, H369HM and H369HE and H369HS versions. The H369Hs were employed mostly for test work, with one being sold to a commercial operator. The H369HMs were military versions and these (4) went to Colombia while the others, the HE and HS, were the very first of what would become the two versions for sale commercially in the late sixties. Some of these first twelve were "soft bellies" as they lacked the necessary reinforcement on the belly to support a cargo hook. From C/N No.12 onwards, the design remained pretty much the same, with the larger rear window in the rear door and the OH-6A-style large overhead rear window.

As always with the 500 series, there are a few anomalies. At least one of the early 500s was sold with the OH-6A rear doors with the small windows. G-HSKY was No.36 built and was a H369HM. This was initially purchased by Denis De Ferranti and as reported previously, due to his sight difficulty, he needed a right-hand starter. My guess is that G-HSKY (EI-ATY) was wired up with a right-hand start collective but was completed with a civilian interior and had the wiring for the mini-gun removed! The same probably holds true for EI-AVN (G-HAUS). Both airframes were probably assigned M-data plates and when they were diverted to a civilian customer, retained their H369HM designation.

I think the first 115 (I'm not 100% sure of this figure) Hughes 500s built had the large overhead window. The rear door appears to have undergone a redesign in the early seventies and production changed to the new style door. The new style of door may have been in production before the Hughes 500C designation was adopted in promotional literature. Apologies for the thread drift.

500 Fan

13th Mar 2012, 19:23
For 500 fan and 'S' ... when I owned G-HSKY for my company Skyline, circa 1983 ish, she was definitely the usual 'Left Hand Drive' and left collective start. Following the accident, I inspected her as a severely damaged machine with a view to buying her back from the insurance company. I think I was outbid and never saw her again. And by the way, I do recall flying an HM version AND on the G register. She was G-RAMM and the standard military Right Hand Drive. I think she was the only HM version to be placed on the UK register. Any conflicting facts out there please?

Happy flying to all. Dennis Kenyon.

500 Fan
13th Mar 2012, 19:50
Another Hughes 500 anomaly - a 369HM with left-hand start! Was G-HSKY definitely a 369HM? I am getting my info from the Rotorspot Register but I don't know if their information is 100% accurate (I believe that it is).

Thanks in any case for the info on HSKY, Dennis.

500 Fan.

Amos Keeto
13th Mar 2012, 22:40
As one of my pics of the "Blue Eagles" has been posted here taken during a photo shoot, I thought you might like to see some more from the same sortie. These were taken on 18th June 1970 from Sioux XT145 operating out of Middle Wallop. Enjoy!

http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n184/Amoskeeto/XT1934Westland-Bell47GSiouxAH1sArmyAirCorpsBlueEaglesnearMiddleWallop18June 19701.jpg



14th Mar 2012, 05:15
Stace: This may well be too much of an encumbrance, and if so then please, simply forget it, but .. it would be grand to discover 'GU's' current airframe hours .. if indeed you are able to access such information. Again, simply out of interest!

Soggy: Didn't realise you were a member of BCalH's early crew. Can't recall the name of the manager back then but do know that he possessed a Neo-like aversion to 'Smith' and which, given that he had already gone, seemed a little unnecessary. In 1980 'GU' would have been 'suffering' from a lack of TLC due to Ferranti's departure for, as you know, the Beehive wasn't really equipped for 206 maintenance being mainly used for S61 and Chook support.

Shy: Glad that we've hit upon another one of your ex's and yes, its always sad to see something one's flown looking so poorly.

500 Fan: Thank you for your summary of OH6/Cayuse and civilian 'C' models. I had to chuckle at discovering I had flown one of Denis de Ferranti's craft. Together with your own and Dennisimo's comments there's plenty of 500 material for us to explore .. G-OVPP, G-HUKA, G-HAUS and G-RAMM. G-BDOY and to a lesser degree G-GEEE have of course already been touched-upon during this thread.

Adrian: Wonderful shots of the Blue Ealges, well done. :D One hopes that P6 is pleased!

Can we assist a fellow Nostalgian?

Croatian-based PPRuNer Zishelix (who is an infrequent poster but an avid reader of this thread as well as a devout Gazelle fan) was recently 'gutted' to have lost-out on a recent eBay auction of Gazelle memorabilia. The various manuals and brochures can be seen here (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=220964367477&ssPageName=ADME:X:RTQ:GB:1123).

Is there anyone in possession of (or with access to) any of this material? Zis has said that he would be more than pleased with scans of whatever may be out there.

As with the post covering ZB628, Zis has asked me to 'help out' in the belief that I may be able to better communicate his request and which of course I am more than pleased to do.

14th Mar 2012, 09:12

Yes, I was one of the 6 pilots brought in as BCalH bought the old Ferranti operation - Frayne Coulshaw, Dick Vaux, Charles Pemberton are other names which come to mind.

Can't recall the name of the manager back then but do know that he possessed a Neo-like aversion to 'Smith' and which, given that he had already gone, seemed a little unnecessary

Do you mean Ron Salt who was the acting General Manager or John Hedges who was eventually brought in as MD? One of the delights of being at Shoreham (other than its location) was listening to Warbie Warburton's reminiscences: he was a wonderful person.

14th Mar 2012, 10:08
Do you mean Ron Salt who was the acting General Manager or John Hedges who was eventually brought in as MD?

Makes little difference as both pretty much disliked my godfather.

No matter. The record, for the sake of posterity, will be set straight on the Ferranti site.

Moving on .. I regret never having had the opportunity to fly the 206 with Ferranti's SAS fitted. Did you get the chance to try this and, if so, could you perhaps describe the difference in handling against non-SAS-fitted 206's. My godfather always flew the 206 with little or no friction .. so I ended-up doing the same and which made them fairly sensitive. I was told the SAS delivered a more 'positive' feel?

One of the delights of being at Shoreham (other than its location) was listening to Warbie Warburton's reminiscences: he was a wonderful person.

From the Ferranti Thread:

Warby was such a vital element of what was Ferranti Helicopters that I can scarcely consider the company without bringing him to mind.

He was at the heart of the management trinity which included Bob Smith and Sebastian de Ferranti. Indeed, when Bob was off flying Warby was the one Sebastian would most often seek out.

Warby not only personified the dignity and character of personnel that Sebastian and Bob cultivated at Ferranti but was, in his own right (and as his obituary so aptly demonstrates), one of Britain's most accomplished pioneers in both fixed and rotary wing aviation.

His contribution as an essential member of the Ferranti team could never be over estimated. He was, on all counts, an impeccable gentleman aviator and manager par excellence.

Major Herbert 'Warby' Warburton at Ferranti's Beehive Operations Office, London Gatwick Airport with Ferranti Bell 206 G-AZZB
in the Background

Major Herbert Warburton MBE DFC CdeG (1916-1998)
Former Operations Manager, Ferranti Helicopters

14th Mar 2012, 10:31

A7-HAO Total Airframe hours of this morning - 9293.3


15th Mar 2012, 01:22
Both Denis De Ferrantis 500s seem to have been HMs with matching data plate number , unlike Trans World Helicopters HE from the same time which had an E c/n

EI-ATY Hughes 369HM 49-0036M EI-ATY,G-BDKL,G-VNPP,G-HSKY · w/o

EI-AVN Hughes 369HM 52-0214M N9037F,EI-AVN,G-RAMM,G-KBOT,


15th Mar 2012, 17:05
Shane thanks, do you have any more info EI-AUA?


French registered Bell 47 F-BSIA caught top-dressing in Martinique. No dates unfortunately:



https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-fly-mfxqtsU/T2Ic6TU91KI/AAAAAAAAIWg/h6YJPftDkMI/s800/Epandage%2520a%25C3%25A9rien%2520par%2520h%25C3%25A9licopt%2 5C3%25A8re%2520sur%2520la%2520bananeraie%2520du%2520Mont%252 0Vert.jpg

19th Mar 2012, 00:31
Hi Sav,

I don’t have any information on EI-AUA but it seems Dennis Ferrantis EI-ATY was Trans World Helicopters first Hughes 500.

From Flight International 28 April 1966
“Trans World Helicopters are also interested in selling the machine (H300) to private customers and are looking forward also to the delivery later this year of the first Hughes 500, the civil version of the -OH-6A, although the first demonstrator expected in the autumn will be the military version.”

Flight International of 24 July 1969 records this first machine was EI-ATY which had just arrived in the country.

http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1969/1969%20-%202485.html?search=trans world helicopters

21st Mar 2012, 08:44
Shane many thanks. Would be great if we could source an image of AUA!

In the meantime ..

Airfast Bell 206B VH-UHC serving the Wales Rescue contract in 1974

Would anyone know the location of this little beach in Sydney?

John Eacott
21st Mar 2012, 12:31
Almost like Manly Beach. But I'm sure that Nigel will know, he'd have either been flying it at the time or know who was ;)

About the same area as Chopper Squad :cool:



21st Mar 2012, 14:31
For a brief period in 1983 G-BHXU became the star in a movie in was based it the Caribbean and featured Billy Connolly and Michael Cain. It was called 'WATER' . If you have never heard of it then don't be surprised - it was a bit of a flop. Turning North Devon (Hartland Point) into a tropical paradise complete with palm trees was quite an amazing accomplishment.


21st Mar 2012, 17:16
G-ASNL apparently sank in the North Sea while G-BCEB soldiers on with British International it seems....here it's marked with the Speedbird symbol....nostalgia for somebody?

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7258/6857111942_2a61f9bbb4_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/6857111942/)
G-ASNL (http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/6857111942/) by A30yoyo (http://www.flickr.com/people/[email protected]/), on Flickr

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7111/6857112606_09038a2ff2_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/6857112606/)
G-BCEB (http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/6857112606/) by A30yoyo (http://www.flickr.com/people/[email protected]/), on Flickr

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6045/7003228595_b21990c92f_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/7003228595/)
G-BCEB (http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/7003228595/) by A30yoyo (http://www.flickr.com/people/[email protected]/), on Flickr

21st Mar 2012, 18:06
More helicopters at PZ but this time an interloper. This photo to commemorate the first 25 years of the first HEMS operation in UK which began operations on 1st April 1987.


21st Mar 2012, 18:14
.......... here G-LRII is parked during the Castle Air visit to the Sarajevo Winter Olympics in February 1984.


21st Mar 2012, 18:44
Hey Geoff, have you took some close snapshot of that exYU military Gazelle by any chance?

21st Mar 2012, 20:32
I think we would have been arrested if we had shown too much interest although we spent the whole 6 week adventure in the same hangar as a wide assortment of Police helicopters. That was to prove a great asset when, on the return flight to UK we made a forced landing in Banja Luka due to Rain Ice. That, as they say, is another story.

G. :ok:

22nd Mar 2012, 10:43
"I think we would have been arrested if we had shown too much interest..." Well, I don't think you were in such danger those days in Sarajevo :)

However, pity to hear you didn't make any pic of those two civil YU Gazelles on the Butmir airport.

22nd Mar 2012, 15:44
Chopper Squad, great stuff! :ok: Could never understand though, just when Surf Rescue operations Down Under were recruiting commercial sponsors, why Grundy Television or the 0-10 Network didn't garner the support of the existing sponsors who, one would have thought, would have relished having their 'brand' splashed all over the series!

The record states that the series was filmed (or at least the helicopter base scenes) at, firstly, Dee Why Beach Surf Life Saving Club and later on at Palm Beach Surf Life Saving Club.

Had always wanted to fly a fixed-float-equipped 206 most especially because, unlike some of the 206's contemporaries, the JetRanger would actually land on its floats as opposed to a skid under the float and which must have made landings an interesting if somewhat 'bouncy' experience!

More Chopper Squad and classic Aussie life-saving 206's on page 41 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-41.html).

Yoyo: Great shots (as always). G-ASNL aka 'Arsenal' has debuted previously on the thread, specifically pages 20 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-20.html) and 26 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-26.html) the latter depicting the time she went swimming.

Geoff: Most interesting to see BHXU in this scheme and wonderful to see LRII in the snow in Sarajevo!

Zis: Sorry you didn't get more coverage of the 'Yugo' Gazelle but here's something to be going on with:

Montenegrian soldiers practice 'rapid insertion' courtesy of a Gazelle from the Montenegrian Air Force

More Gazelle footage

22nd Mar 2012, 17:20
You're right Savoia, I'll try to correct omission soon :O

22nd Mar 2012, 18:10
Here you see Geoff Evans and Richard (Dicky) Vaux at the birth of British Caledonian Helicopters. The display of tools is to highlight the entire tool collection for our one Sikorsky S61 that had been leased from KLM and put on the British Register by Marshals of Cambridge. Not sure what an AOC required in those days but Geoff was our one licensed engineer and Dicky our Base Manager. Together with Mike Webber, Dave Sale and Frayne Coulshaw we opened our portakabin offices at Aberdeen and began the business from scratch.


Geoff I believe went down under but have lost touch with him. Dicky unfortunately died of cancer back in about 1983. Lovely guys, both of them and fun to work with. Those were the days......... wish I could remember the name of our Aberdonian lass who became 'Girl Friday' and kept us all in order.

G. :ok:

22nd Mar 2012, 19:46
It seems G-ASNL was recovered from the seabed and flew again for Carson Helicopters of Oregon as a 'Shortsky' N4503E on firefighting

Photos: Sikorsky S-61N MkII Shortsky Aircraft Pictures | Airliners.net (http://www.airliners.net/photo/Carson-Helicopters/Sikorsky-S-61N-MkII/0582236/M/&sid=259fb3b9d86e41996cb1884f124cc0fc)

and click on images below for flickr page versions

http://farm2.staticflickr.com/1200/1100870822_37e3806500_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/rustlingleafdesign/1100870822/)
"Farmington Fire" (http://www.flickr.com/photos/rustlingleafdesign/1100870822/) by Scott Stringham "Rustling Leaf Design" (http://www.flickr.com/people/rustlingleafdesign/), on Flickr

http://farm2.staticflickr.com/1322/1099993899_9cca9cf48f_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/rustlingleafdesign/1099993899/)
"Farmington Fire" (http://www.flickr.com/photos/rustlingleafdesign/1099993899/) by Scott Stringham "Rustling Leaf Design" (http://www.flickr.com/people/rustlingleafdesign/), on Flickr

22nd Mar 2012, 23:12
Geoffers - you mean the lovely Lorna McIntosh? Photo taken in 2007.


Also do you not mean Geoff Chandler rather than Geoff Evans?

23rd Mar 2012, 00:18
Climbing over Gulval and rare Cornish snow behind the Heliport 25 years ago


23rd Mar 2012, 05:36
Yoyo: Another wonderful shot, bravo!

Geoff: So BCalH began their S61 maintenance department with a grease gun and with what looks like a wheel-nut spanner - lol!

Didn't realise that David Sale had been among BCalH's early crew. The last time I saw him would have been c.1990 at Hayes. I was visiting McAlpine's on behalf of a client who was interested in a 365N and David had been collared by their sales team to demonstrate the type. At the time he was CP for P&O.

Could this be David first in the line-up below (seem to recall he had red hair) only that he appears a little different (I suppose younger) than I remember him:


23rd Mar 2012, 09:51
Not David Sale - that's the Boeing 707 crew who flew the Pope from the UK to Rome at the end of the Papal visit in 1982.

Nigel Osborn
23rd Mar 2012, 10:01
That is Geoff Chandler in the photo & he did move to West Australia & worked for several companies. Top bloke & excellent engineer; must be retired by now & probably still in Perth.

23rd Mar 2012, 12:21
C16: There's a bespectacled chap in the image on the previous page who also appears in the images when HH is moving about the UK aboard BCal's S61. One can see him again (behind HH's shoulder) in the photo below:


23rd Mar 2012, 20:11
Looking at the BCAL website it would appear his name is Ray Searle, the airline's Security Services Manager.

24th Mar 2012, 06:24
Thanks Charlie.


One knows that squirrels like nuts but ..

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-2jade71VjPk/T21jTZsLzUI/AAAAAAAAIZc/bhDESxYRngM/s800/G-NUTZ%2520at%2520Hickstead%252031%2520May%25201987%2520%2528J ohn%2520Oram%2529.jpg
AS355-F1 TwinEcureuil G-NUTZ (registered to 'Powersense Ltd') as seen at Hickstead on 31st May 1987 (Photo: John Oram)

24th Mar 2012, 07:48
........Chandler that is, it must be my age. Speechless Two, Charles Pemberton and Chris Powell and Chris Hunt were of course reinforcements once we got our first contract and then I went over to Evergreen's HQ in McMinville, Oregon to check out another S61 which became G-BIMU once it had been through Marshal's hands down in Cambridge.

Another S61 found in Buenos Aires (remember main line BCal provided scheduled DC10 services to BA) turned out to be the ex-president's ex-VIP transport and had been painted Olive Green and had no paperwork to speak of so that was given a miss. I believe it turned up in South Africa with Court Helicopters but not sure about that.

A quick trip to Greenland provided another ship and then there were three:

G-BHPU - Leased from KLM first flight in BCal(H) colours April 23rd 1980
G-BIHH - ex Greenlandair, first flight in BCal(H) colours January 9th 1981
G-BIMU - ex N8511Z Evergreen, first flight in BCal(H) colours in May 1981

G-BFPF - came along in July 1981, it came from BA but it was leased by them from Court and they did not extend the lease. I collected it on 3rd July 1981 after doing a test flight at Beccles on June 2nd.


P6 Driver
24th Mar 2012, 14:22
I would like to issue a belated "Thank You" for the Blue Eagles photographs a few pages ago - absolutely superb!!!

:D :O :D

24th Mar 2012, 16:26
P6D: Hope to be able to drop in some more to compliment Amos' wonderful shots!

Geoffers: Most interesting about BCal's first 61's. Did you happen to meet Del while in McMinville? Last time I saw him was in the lobby of the Anaheim Hilton - he was having a 'tipple' with Col. Bob (another Smith) and Mr Suggs (another Bob) lol!

More from the Papal visit:


This states that F. Coulshaw (who was he please) and Chris Hunt were flying G-BFPF (which Geoff collected in 1981). I wonder where they landed in Canterbury? Seem to recall a long strip of grass alongside an ancient section of stone wall that could have been used or perhaps they made use of a school ground etc. (My mother used to enjoy drinking 'Lapsang Souchong' tea from the County Hotel in Canterbury where we would visit together on my exeat weekends .. accompanied by toasted cheese and tomato sandwiches!!!).

Chris Hunt was the person who piloted me on my first ever helicopter flight and which occassion is recalled earlier in the thread. A wonderful chap.

25th Mar 2012, 16:32
The Torrey Canyon was a supertanker capable of carrying a cargo of 120,000 tons of crude oil, which was shipwrecked off the western coast of Cornwall, England in March 1967 causing an environmental disaster. At that time, the tanker was the largest vessel ever to be wrecked.

When laid down in the United States in 1959, it had a capacity of 60,000 tons but the ship was enlarged in Japan to 120,000 tons capacity. At the time of the accident it was registered in Liberia and owned by Barracuda Tanker Corporation, a subsidiary of Union Oil Company of California but chartered to British Petroleum. It was 974.4 feet (297.0 m) long, 125.4 feet (38.2 m) beam and 68.7 feet (20.9 m) draught.

The ship left the Kuwait National Petroleum Company refinery at Mina al-Ahmadi on its final voyage on 19 February 1967 with full cargo of crude oil, reaching the Canary Islands by 14 March. From there the planned route was to Milford Haven.

On 18 March 1967, owing to a navigational error, the Torrey Canyon struck Pollard's Rock on Seven Stones reef between the Cornish mainland and the Scilly Isles. An inquiry in Liberia, where the ship was registered, found Shipmaster Pastrengo Rugiati was to blame, because he took a shortcut to save time in getting to Milford Haven.

"Ashore on Seven Stones, require immediate assistance." This was the message which began the drama of the break up of the 118,000 dwt tanker the Torrey Canyon on Saturday 18th March 1967. Initially the report of the vessel running aground on the Seven Stones Rocks said that seven cargo tanks had been holed and that some 30,000 tons of crude oil had escaped. The inspection made on the second day of the drama showed that the damage was a lot more serious than first stated and that 14 of the 18 cargo tanks had been holed. A fleet of four tugs and equipement was at the site but the master did not agree to there salvageing the vessel at first and this caused considerable delay.

On the Sunday it was`realised that the rocks had ripped through the bottom plating beneath the forward and aft fuel tanks. At this stage the lifeboats and the Search and Rescue helicopters had lifted off most of the crew and only the Master and two other crew members remained on board.

The British Government and the salvage company tried to salvage the vessel in one piece and equipemnt was placed on board the Torrey Canyon to try to float the vessel and good progress was made through the Monday and Tuesday but then an explosion happened in the engine room and the salvage crews left the vessel and during this process the captain of one of the tugs was injured and died.

On the Wednesday the Royal Navy and the salvage company decided to try again and the vessel was partially floated by the Thursday . However the tanker was stuck firmly on the rocks and the weather started to deteriate. Force 7 to 8 winds were predicted for Friday 24th March so work was hectic to try and reflote the Torrey Canyon. On Saturday and Sunday further attempts were made despite the increasing deteriation of the weather. On the evening of Easter Sunday the vessel broke in two and the stern section started to settle in the water.

On Easter Monday, the fore ship, pounded by the enormous seas, broke in two. On the morning of Tuesday the Admiralty ordered everyone off the ship and away from the area and then Fifty three vessels sprayed 5000,000 gallons of detergent, itself toxic to wildlife, onto the slick which covered an area of 35 miles by 22 miles. With the wreck in three sections by this time, it still held about a third of its cargo, 40,000 tons. A decision was made that the RAF would bomb the wreck in order to attempt to set fire to the oil. The RAF dropped 200,000 lbs of explosive , 11,000 gallons of kerosene and 3,000 gallons of napalm onto the wreck The salvage attempt was officially abandoned.

In 1982 her entire forepart, still intact, was refloated and converted into an oil storage barge.

The 120,000 tonne MV Torrey Canyon runs aground off the coast of Cornwall in March 1967

Navy Wessex respond to the incident

A Navy Wessex winches personnel from the distressed vessel

Navy Wessex contine to support the salvage/recovery operation

At one point a BEA S61 gets involved

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-9FvVRH6BADM/T28-hJNN9BI/AAAAAAAAIbo/OppA1905x7o/s800/Torrey%2520Canyon%2520Trevone%2520Bay%2520March%25201967%252 0%2528R.A.%2520Cutlack%2529.jpg
Not wanting to be left out the RAF too participate with this Wessex using a car park in Trevone Bay as a staging area (Photo: R.A. Cutlack)

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-0gRQqlmTp1U/T28-ibUIuiI/AAAAAAAAIbs/XVb_b1dAr-g/s640/loading%2520detergent%2520for%2520use%2520in%2520torrey%2520 canyon%2520clean%2520up.jpg
A 'Dennis Oates' lorry unloads detergent for the clean-up operation in Cornwall


25th Mar 2012, 16:44
Back in the late 80's we had the pleasure of carrying out the last few crew changes on the "sevenstones" light vessel before it was automated....I shit you not people it had a moving deck that made a Bolkow look like a chinook :E
Without a doubt on a slack tide it was pound for pound the most difficult landing sight I have ever encountered in 30 years of aviating..:{

That wreck had a lot to answer for...:=

25th Mar 2012, 20:16
Some old 206 photos to jog memories !


G-AVVH Agusta Bell 206A (8026)
seen during ownership of Autair Helicopters Ltd, 14.8.70 -15.1.73
eventually sold as EI-BEV 15.5.78


G-AWOY Agusta Bell 206A (8094)
cancelled 18.1.74 to SE-HEP


G-AWRV Agusta Bell 206A (8095)
Seen at Edinburgh Airport (Turnhouse) 6.6.71 during ownership of Globe Construction Ltd.
Eventually sold in France as F-GAJL


G-AYDK Bell 206A (337) owned by Fairoaks Aviation Services Ltd.
Sold as 9J-ACT 5.5.71


G-AYHN Bell 206A (225) seen at Gatwick 5.10.73 during ownership of Heli-air Ltd, 10.1.73 - 2.7.74
Eventually left the UK as N4802R


Now for a couple of Bermudan registered Agusta Bell 206A's at Gatwick 7.7.71
VR-BDZ is Agusta Bell 206A (8095) not sure which one is behind it ?
Eventually became EP-HAP. Can anyone shed any light on how long they were in the UK. This 206 was never registered on the UK register and I assume it was on contract work and returned to UK for engineering ?

all photos from the Helipixman collection

25th Mar 2012, 22:39
A decision was made that the RAF would bomb the wreck in order to attempt to set fire to the oil. The RAF dropped 200,000 lbs of explosive , 11,000 gallons of kerosene and 3,000 gallons of napalm onto the wreck The salvage attempt was officially abandoned..

.........as usual the efforts of the Fleet Air Arm Sea Vixens and Buccaneers are omitted.

Nigel Osborn
26th Mar 2012, 04:08
I had the pleasure of being the first helicopter to go to the Torrey Canyon. John Bell, later joined Alan Mann, went first in a Wessex 1 but the float bag on his right wheel blew & duly burst in the cruise, so he came back. I set off in a Wessex 5 which didn't need floatation!! It was my last week or so in the RN & quite a fun way to finish my time. I think I did about 10 flights, mixture of SAR crew, photographers, medics, salvage experts & picked up some ship's crew members plus at least one badly injured. I think he was the one who was hit in the back by a flying hatch when there was an explosion in the engine room. It was truly well stuck on the rocks, so I'm not surprised it couldn't be dragged off.

So long ago!!

26th Mar 2012, 05:28


Presented to Nigel Osborn
for being 'first on scene' in the Torrey Canyon disaster
and for his ongoing efforts in bringing rescue and relief
to her crew and salvers


Senior Pilot
26th Mar 2012, 06:58
.........as usual the efforts of the Fleet Air Arm Sea Vixens and Buccaneers are omitted.

More on the actual story here: Torrey Canyon - 18 March, 38 years ago (http://www.pprune.org/aviation-history-nostalgia/167499-torrey-canyon-18-march-38-years-ago.html)

27th Mar 2012, 13:25

Interesting! My great golfing friend John Williamson who was duty S&R pilot (RN) on the Wessex 1 has always maintained he was first on the scene.

I'll ask him to register and respond.

Small world, as I was a 9 year old on holiday on the Scilly Isles at the time, and remember it all unfolding!

27th Mar 2012, 15:15
Ciao Estepo!

Please do encourage John to sign-up as we would love to hear his reminiscences of this event. Even better if he has some photos from his Navy days.

I'm guessing you would have been following events via the 'wireless' given that live television coverage was somewhat rare in the 60's. The Seven Stones are of course just a stone's throw ;) from the Scillies.

I'll prepare another DFA (Distinguished Flying Award) in case John comes up with a good story, lol!

30th Mar 2012, 09:36
Stumbled on this shot whilst trying to find images of helicopters with wheels for my grandson (click on pic to get to flickr page)

http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4090/5038224471_012ea65f3b_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/defenceimages/5038224471/)
A Merlin HM Mk1 helicopter from RNAS Culdrose, with a Seahawk from the Australian Navy (http://www.flickr.com/photos/defenceimages/5038224471/) by Defence Images (http://www.flickr.com/people/defenceimages/), on Flickr

31st Mar 2012, 11:12
Frayne Coulshaw, like myself (also called Bob btw!), was one of the 6 pilots recruited by BCalH at the time they took over Ferranti with plans of getting into the North Sea offshore market. I don't know where he is now.

Several of us were involved with helping John Hedges put together bids for offshore contracts in Europe and Africa, but didn't get in to the offices very often as they were still in Shoreham. We often got calls one evening and were asked to be in the office first thing with all the calculations complete. I lived in Sussex at that time so regularly used to fly charters in the 206. We took over the Met Police contract based out of Battersea using Bo105s whilst they were awaiting delivery of their own Bell 222s. We also had one Bo105 based in Falmouth docks for tanker pilot changes in the English channel. The aircraft used to land on a converted railway truck and was then pushed into its hangar by tractor, though passengers were embarked and disembarked from a small helipad.

I did my S61 conversion with KLM in Holland, but never flew it for BCalH on the North Sea, having left by then. Speechless and myself also did a lot of work on performance and planning figures for the Chinook as we put in a tender for the Magnus contract for BP.

1st Apr 2012, 10:20
Soggy: Many thanks for this background info on BCalH.

Am fairly well versed with the Metpol contract but was unaware of the pilot transfer work ex-Falmouth and which must, one assumes, have been interesting.

Did you get the opportunity to fly one of the 206's fitted with Ferranti's SAS and, if so, how was the general handling of the craft when compared with a standard 206?

Were BCalH also looking at the 234?

Wasps & Scouts ..


A Westland Wasp from HMS Minerva. Any assistance with a prospective date and location would be most welcome.

One presumes that this is the same Minerva that HRH The Prince of Wales served aboard and which frigate was launched in 1964.

1st Apr 2012, 11:03

It's nice to see the photo of G-NUTZ. I last flew that in 1990 when I was with McAlpine Helicopters. I'll have a look when I'm next home and see if I have any photos of it.

The 206 with the Ferranti SAS was lovely, like flying a normal 206 through a bowl of cream, it was so smooth!

The pilot transfer work was interesting, but very unprofitable and ultimately a failure. Usually we were only called out when the weather was too bad for the pilots to be transferred by boat. We had one instance where the tanker was pitching and rolling so much the Mast Moment Indicator came on and stayed on and the aircraft had to be flown back to Falmouth like that for a check. I remember driving with Charles Pemberton from Sussex down to Falmouth, where the company rented a small flat above a shop for the crews to stay. We waited for information from the pilot service that the tanker would be in the rendezvous zone (with no radar we relied on the tanker being in a small circular zone, where we would contact it on marine FM, get its latest position and update that on the Decca). We finally got confirmation of an ETA at the RV point and left the docks in very strong winds and low cloud at about 0500 and made our way to the RV circle but could not establish RT contact with the tanker. Falmouth coastguard eventually told us that they had contact with the vessel and that it was hove to in heavy seas with waves breaking over the deck some 60 nm from where we were. Fuel would have been very marginal and we were not willing to risk landing on the deck with waves breaking over it so we returned to Falmouth. The pilot service decided to try and send the pilot by boat and refused to pay for the flight time already incurred. Soon after that the service was terminated.

We had options on 2 BV234 with which we were bidding on BP's Magnus contract (we were unsuccessful). When representatives from BV visited, Speechless and I would be left behind at Shoreham airport while John Hedges and Tony Pannell went out for lunch with them at The Sussex Pad :\:\.

One of the spin-offs of that was that we set up a joint venture with Kawasaki in Japan and put in a bid for an SAR contract with KV107s for the government of Bahrain.

1st Apr 2012, 16:07
Can you tell me the dates that the Pilot Service was running. I was recruited by BCal(H) in late 79 and told I was destined for that project but having done my Bo105 TR with CP and a week or so on the MetPol contract Frayne and I were 'lent' to North Scottish for their newly won Shell contract out of Sumburgh.

You will be amused to know that having arrived on day one of the Sumburgh venture I was able to put my woodworking skills to good use and built all the office furniture and fittings for the Ops Office with some plywood sheets ferried up from ADN and a box of tools bought with the petty cash in Lerwick.

FC and I even flew together on one occasion thereby claiming the first flight on the North Sea by a BCal(H) S61 crew. After 3 months we came back to Shoreham and prepared to set up ADN with G-BHPU.


1st Apr 2012, 17:27

The sussex pad did the best bacon buttes Ive ever had..period :ok:

A heart attack in every bite (of dripping) :eek:

2nd Apr 2012, 09:31
A Westland Wasp from HMS Minerva. Any assistance with a prospective date and location would be most welcome.
Can't help with the date but the Commander on the right with Observer wings is John Gunning.

The location is reminiscent of Yeovil with similar housing to the north of the airfield.

Anthony Supplebottom
2nd Apr 2012, 13:28
And the guy on the extreme left is Brendan Gleeson's dad.

4th Apr 2012, 16:56
With my thanks to Steve Aubury who has contributed the following to the Nostalgia Thread:

S61N ZS-HDK belonging to Court Helicopters as seen in Cape Town in December 1972. The craft flew in the UK for a time as G-BFPF (Photo: Steve Aubury)

S55 ZS-HCR belonging to Court Helicopters as seen over Mossel Bay on 21st July 1973 (Photo: Steve Aubury)

SA318C SX-HAI belonging to Olympic Airways off the coast of Kavala, Greece aboard the drillship the MV "Wodeco V" on 15th November 1975. The "Prinos" oilfield was situated between Kavala and the island of Thasos (Photo: Steve Aubury)

Le Cochon Plastique
7th Apr 2012, 19:42
I happened upon this site a couple of days ago and haven't stopped reading it since. WOW! So many distant memories- names, tales and aircraft from my past. :D

My first flight in a helicopter (G-BAKT) flown by Tony Boulter in 1978 whilst working for Burnthills. 3 days after starting as a 17 year old apprentice I was standing underneath it hooking up aircon units for a new supermarket. Fully trained and briefed of course!
Pics of the rock star in front of an unidentified blue AS350 (G-GINA I was shouting)- and TRC was right- it was the late RK piloting it in the later pic. RK was my boss for 4 years from '79 where I played with all of the early AS350Bs plus Mr. Kenneth's SA341 G-BBHW and Carl Beaman's 206 G-BBBM.

I then did a spell at Colt Executive Aviation with the likes of Robert Kellie, Mark Trumble, Pete Turner looking after the G-?ORR's, including the black and red G-MORR which morphed into G-NOEI. I would later pick up the pieces of that aircraft from Silverston whilst working for AMH where TRC christened me "Marcel, mechanicien de Le Cochon Plastique".

I then did many years at PAS with Mark Trumble and his successors taking care of the G-PAS? fleet of AS355s, Bo105s and MD902s.

Fantastic times, great memories and lots of stories to tell- and quite a few pics stashed away somewhere which I must dig out.

Swing that lantern!

8th Apr 2012, 15:23
Bonjour Marcel.

Le Cochon Plastique
8th Apr 2012, 15:48
Bonjour me old fruit.

I've just been digging around in the loft and found a photo of just about the entire AMH team in 85, perhaps 86. You may recall the occasion- Jack was departing AMH and we got everybody outside the hangar with G-BBRI, G-TPTR and an upturned trolleyack for a good old pose as a leaving pressie. I'll get it scanned and posted.

8th Apr 2012, 19:34
Greetings from sunny SE Turkey.

Yes, post it.

Let's see how many on here can workout the relevence of an upturned trolley-acc. Only those that were there will really know......

Answers on the back of a £10 postal order.

8th Apr 2012, 21:30
LCP: Welcome to PPRuNe and to the Nostalgia Thread specifically!

There was TRC giving me grief about my use of nicknames and what have you (abbreviating Jet and Long Rangers to Rangers and calling Air Gregory .. Gregorious etc.) and all along he was doing the very same thing!!! :p I shall ensure that his drinks are appropriately 'spiked' when eventually we hook-up for our shindig in the UK! ;)

Extraordinary that we should have shared the same girl .. "Katie" (ie. G-BAKT) in taking us across the threshold of 'rotary virginity' - I guess mine was a couple of years before yours! She was a lovely craft, one I can never forget.

I suppose you heard that old man Mann recently passed away? Here is an excerpt from an email I received from his son Henry a day or so after his passing:

"Thank you for your kind words of condolence.

The memorial service will take place on 3rd May at noon in Romsey Abbey, Hampshire.

There will be a reception afterwards at the house. All are welcome.

All the best

Henry Mann"

FYI: We also have an Alan Mann thread (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/443466-alan-mann-helicopters-nostalgia-thread-14.html) where you may prefer to post anything so related.

An up-turned trolley-ac .. hmm .. could it be helpful in starting this:


LCP .. you are going to have to explain what prompted TRC to christen you so!



9th Apr 2012, 05:47
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-OoLcP2Qa24U/T4JySuV2_xI/AAAAAAAAIko/YrxqbPOA8o0/s800/S61N%2520G-BIHH%2520Aberdeen%2520Dyce%25203%2520Apr%252081%2520%2528Der ek%2520Heley%2529.jpg
S-61N G-BIHH at Aberdeen's Dyce Airport on 3rd April 1981 (Photo: Derek Heley)

S-61N G-BHPU at Coventry Airport on 30th May 1982 having delivered HH JP II

Can anyone advise which call sign BHPU used while flying HH? I think BFPF was also seconded to this assignment.

BCal line-up: 1-11, 747, 61

9th Apr 2012, 06:59
"Only those that were there will really know......"

Ah yes, I remember the trolley acc incident, one of those things that I believed had passed into the obscurity of history............:cool: LOL

I also remeber the difficulties of horrisson, horiizon, hurizone in LBE's too (subsequently designated AH, 'cos it's easier :uhoh:)

And today it is NOT sunny in Essex-by-the-Sea it's hissing down :ooh: - VFR

Le Cochon Plastique
9th Apr 2012, 07:01

I don't recall Katie being quite the gentle lady that you do. I remember one of my early dates with her where we flew from Glasgow to Edinburgh to deliver a washing machine. My extensive underslung load training hadn't extended to static electricity and grounding wires so when I hooked up the load in pouring rain she gave me an almighty belt. That's how I learned most things back then- the hard but fast way.

However, she did infect me with the rotary wing disease (I was in danger of embarking on a plank wing career path at the time) so she was a major influence in my life.

Re LCP. When I joined Manns in '85 I found an unshaven, trogloditic collection of life forms locked in a small dingy hangar full of ancient helicopters. I mean- they were all made of metal and covered in grease nipples and oil leaks. Yuk! G-NOEI (AS350) had just turned up- an advanced peice of French technology made mostly of plastic and left over Citroen bits and AMH needed somebody who was wise in the ways of such modern things. So, I became Marcel and G-NOEI was Le Cochon Plastique. I always thought there was an element of jealousy in the air. (Lets see if that gets a bite or two- it always used to!)

Really good answer re the upturned battery cart, but wrong. That's the sort of silly answer that TRC would come up with :rolleyes:

I'll stick the Class of '85 pic on the AMH thread- thanks for the steer.

Anyway. Back to the washing machine. We were delivering it to a woman who had won it in a local supermarket competition and having it delivered dangling below a helicopter into the supermarket car park was all part of the PR. Event over, the assembled crowds quickly dispersed due to the rain and as we climbed out of the car park towards the 200 foot cloudbase I can still picture the poor woman, all on her own now, thinking "how the hell am I going to get this washing machine home".

10th Apr 2012, 07:52
Two pics of the Jacques Cousteau's Calypso Schweizer 300C (N6129E) taken during their Danube Expedition 1991 when they visited the Nature Park Kopacki rit. Photos taken at Cepin airfield near Osijek, Croatia where the bird stopped for refuelling.
http://img860.imageshack.us/img860/9484/n6129e.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/860/n6129e.jpg/)

And last but not least: Congratulations to the Nostalgia Thread for reaching a quarter of a million views in less than 24 months! This is one of PPRuNe's great threads and brings a lot of satisfaction to many readers. Please keep the stories and photos coming. :D

500 Fan
10th Apr 2012, 16:06
Here are some nice early Hughes 500s. VH-BAG served previously in the Antarctic with Vowell Air Services.


Here is a 500C belonging to Sloane.

All sizes | G-BDFP - 1975 build Hughes 500C, later re-registered as G-OAIM | Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/6596482747/sizes/l/in/photostream/)

500 Fan.

10th Apr 2012, 18:04
LCP: Thanks for filling-in the gaps, great stuff! :ok:

500 Fan: That is a great shot of VH-BAG, well done. Both BAG and PPRuNer Palma's G-BDFP have featured on the thread in pages past.

Its been a 'Hughesy' sort of day on Nostalgia so I shall continue the theme below.

Zis: I am one of those who is unable to view images hosted by Imageshack .. I still don't know why but .. here is something to compliment your contribution:

More Cousteau ..

Cousteau's first research vessel, the RV Calypso, went through a string of 300's. Those we know of include: N9672F, N102CS and N6129E and I think there were a further two craft (also 300's) which served aboard the vessel:

N102CS about to depart the Calypso in Nassau, the Bahamas, in 1975

All of the Cousteau 300's were given the name .. Félix!

The RV Calypso passes in front of the Oceanographic Museum in Monaco where Cousteau was a member

The RV Calypso was a BYMS (British Yard Minesweeper) Mark 1 Class Motor Minesweeper, laid down on 12 August 1941 with the yard designation BYMS-26 and launched on 21 March 1942. It was commissioned into the Royal Navy in February 1943 as HMS J-826 and assigned to active service in the Mediterranean Sea, reclassified as BYMS-2026 in 1944, laid up at Malta and finally struck from the Naval Register in 1947.

The Irish millionaire and former MP, Thomas "Loel" Guinness bought Calypso in 1950 and leased it to Cousteau for a symbolic one franc a year. He had two conditions, that Cousteau never ask him for money and that he never reveal his identity, which only came out after Cousteau's death. Cousteau restructured and transformed it into an expedition vessel and support base for diving, filming and oceanographic research.Calypso carried advanced equipment, including one- and two-man mini submarines developed by Cousteau, diving saucers, and underwater scooters. The ship was also fitted with a see-through "nose", an observation chamber three meters below the waterline, and was modified to house scientific equipment and a helicopter pad. The Calypso underwater camera is named after this ship.

Old man Cousteau aboard Félix

N102CS rests aboard the RV Calypso

Cousteau looks out from Calypso's wheelhouse over an Arctic scene with N9672F resting on the helideck

Félix's helicopter pilot Bob Braunbeck aboard the Calypso in 1975

Bob Braunbeck doesn't sound like an especially French name but he sure dresses (if that's the right word) like a Frenchman. I always felt one had to have balls to wear those briefs back in the 70's! ;)

10th Apr 2012, 21:24
Add Rod Hall-Jones (NZ) and Jim Stock (USA) as drivers for J-Y Cousteau.

As Jim told me the uniform of "budgie smugglers" and beanie was "de rigeur" on the good ship Calypso.

Nigel Osborn
10th Apr 2012, 21:41
Interesting to see that photo of VH-BAG. I flew both BAG & BAD after Bill English changed the company name from Vowells, an ex Melbourne jockey, to Helicopter Resources.

Both 500s did several trips to the Antarctic.

10th Apr 2012, 23:32
Mmmmm ....

AND ...... I flew both BAG & BAD ... and PMY (?) before the name change ...
(even went to the Antarctic with them in summer of '76/77 :eek:)

Ahhh the memories .... :D

11th Apr 2012, 14:17
Now where is Tony Boulter ( a.k.a. -the self proclaimed- 'King of the Northsea' ) these days ?

Le Cochon Plastique
11th Apr 2012, 21:53
I last bumped into him at Dollar Heli, Coventry in 1988 selling insurance.

John Eacott
12th Apr 2012, 01:11
Interesting to see that photo of VH-BAG. I flew both BAG & BAD after Bill English changed the company name from Vowells, an ex Melbourne jockey, to Helicopter Resources.

It took a whole 1hr 10min for my endorsement in BAD with Vic Barkell, half of which was IMC in the cockpit due to his chain smoking :p

13th Apr 2012, 12:25
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-nf_thtsWxdc/T4gOyFB_l1I/AAAAAAAAInQ/WnNhOkaaE54/s800/S61N%2520OY-HBJ%2520Greenlandair%2520%2520Reykjavik%25201%2520Jul%252081 %2520%2528Baldur%2520Sveinsson%2529%2520a.jpg
S61N OY-HBJ of Greenlandair as seen at Reykjavik on 1st July 1981 (Photo: Baldur Sveinsson)

Here depicted at Reykjavík Airport apparently addressing a 'technical' issue. Named Qarsaaq, this S-61 was with Greenlandair from 1975 to 1984. The craft was later sold to the US where she was registered as N221RA and then on to Canada where she flew as C-FWYN.

Sadly, the craft crashed at Canoe Creek, British Columbia, on 2nd April 1993.

14th Apr 2012, 16:45

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-Ax5Bwd5eEWs/T4mnlQ1CjMI/AAAAAAAAIoE/pBjuXN2Ywoo/s800/AS%2520355F1%2520G-JLCO%2520Hayes%2520Heliport%25201984%2520%2528Adrian%2520Bat chelor%2529.jpg
AS 355F1 G-JLCO TwinEcureuil at Hayes Heliport in 1984 (Photo: Adrian Batchelor)

This TwinEcureuil began life with John Laing Construction in 1983 prior to being sold to the Colt Car Company in 1987 (presumably Colt Executive Aviation) who renamed her G-TMMC.

In 1996 she returned to McAlpine (by now relocated to Kidlington) and flew as G-BXBT before being sold to Premiair in 2005 when she became G-VONF. She was finally sold to Belgium in 2009.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-_45krWZmeaQ/T4mm-wD1imI/AAAAAAAAInw/spQyMG06KmI/s720/AS355F%2520G-GWHH%2520Glasgow%2520Int%252015%2520May%252085%2520%2528Dere k%2520Ferguson%2529%2520a.jpg
AS 355F1 G-GWHH TwinEcureuil at Glasgow International Airport on 15th May 1985 (Photo: Derek Ferguson)

Originally registered as G-BKUL until bought by Wimpey Homes (G-GWHH) in Januray 1984 this craft went on to fly for an outfit called 'Ford Farm Helicopters' (G-FFHI) of Jackdaws Castle (presumably the horse training centre) in Cheltenham in 1994. Two years later she was back with McAlpine where she seems to have gone on a ten year hiatus to the Ministry of Defence.

In 2006 she was bought by Premiair when she became G-VONH.

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-E5r2lSYeXis/T4mm-05cCII/AAAAAAAAIns/4NrUVs3omvE/s800/AS%2520355F1%2520TwinEcureuil%2520G-BLEV%2520Hayes%2520Heliport%25201985%2520%2528Adrian%2520Bat chelor%2529%2520a.jpg
AS 355F1 TwinEcureuil G-BLEV at Hayes Heliport in 1985 (Photo: Adrian Batchelor)

Registered to McAlpine in 1984 this craft was bought the following year by Chivas Brothers Ltd, of Paisley in Renfrewshire, Scotland (the makers of Chivas Regal Whisky) who sold her on to Wensley Grosvenor Haydon-Baillie (what a name!) who, among other things, collected Spitfires. While with Wensley she became G-ZFDB.

This craft went on to fly for Mala Services, Century Logistics (G-LENI) and Grid Aviation.

* * *

My sincere thanks to Adrian Batchelor and Derek Ferguson for donating these great shots to the Nostalgia Thread.

Monkey Boy
16th Apr 2012, 12:02
Not sure if this has been covered already, but I was talking to my father the other day, and he used to make regular flights on an AS355 Twin Squirrel owned by Marley Tiles (as a passenger I hasten to add). He can't remember the registration, other than it was G-*MTG or G-*MTC, but it used to be based in Sevenoaks. Any information would be gratefully received, I know there's a Squirrel in NWI registered to Sterling which is G-BMTC, could this be the one?

16th Apr 2012, 16:21
MB: I'm not sure about the identity of Marley's Ecureuil II (TwinEcureuil) but what I can say for certain is that in 1980 Marley Tiles bought the AS350B Ecureuil 'Squirrel' G-BHIV from McAlpines.

The craft flew frequently into and out of Marley's offices in Riverhead (near Sevenoaks) from 1980 to 1984 when the craft was sold to Omes Faulkners of Colnbrook in Slough and reregistered as G-COLN.

The craft has had a string of owners since then and, as far as I can tell, now flies as G-JESI.

I saw this craft while she flew with Marley Tiles very many times as my mother kept a home in Sevenoaks in order to be near my elder brothers while they were attending Sevenoaks School.

Marley Tiles Ecureuil G-BHIV c. 1980

G-BHIV first featured on Nostlagia on page 25 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-25.html).

Monkey Boy
16th Apr 2012, 16:35
Hi Savoia - I'll point him in the direction of this thread, that's good information, and the dates would be about right. He was convinced it was a twin though, so I'll break the news to him gently! :ok:

16th Apr 2012, 16:44
MB: Sorry, I'm posting from Abu Dhabi and its early evening and its been a long (and hot) day so you are dealing with a slightly lazy Savoia!

I've just checked and .. Marley did add a twin to their stable in 1983 and the craft was indeed G-BMTC - bought from McAlpines in December '83 and leaving Marley's patronage in 1986.

The craft flew with several 'latter' owners including the Cambridgeshire and Essex Air Support Consortium (G-EPOL) and then, as you say, with Sterling registered back to G-BMTC.

Monkey Boy
16th Apr 2012, 16:50
Ahhh! Good to know that old age hasn't got to him yet, and he's still got his marbles! Thanks for double checking!

17th Apr 2012, 20:12
Rear-Admiral Ian Robertson, who has died aged 89, was decorated as a young pilot and became one of the few RNVR officers to reach flag rank


Robertson earned his wings and was commissioned in 1942, specialising as a torpedo-bomber pilot and qualifying to fly the Fairey Barracuda, which he described as “the ugliest aeroplane ever built”. It was also difficult to fly, overweight and, while pulling out from a dive (essential for delivering its weapons), likely to break up.

In July 1943 Robertson joined 827 Naval Air Squadron at Dunino, Fifeshire, under the command of Lt-Cdr Roy Baker-Falkner , a Battle of Britain fighter veteran and former test pilot. Under his leadership Robertson and his peers “survived 16 months” in Barracudas , flying from the carriers Furious, Implacable and Victorious.

In October the squadron joined 830 NAS to form No 8 Naval Wing, flying from Furious and from Hatston in the Orkneys. Robertson took part in Operation Tungsten on April 3 1944, when Baker-Falkner led a dive-bombing attack against the battleship Tirpitz. Robertson flew one of 42 Barracudas which shared 14 hits on Tirpitz, crippling her and ending any possibility of her threatening the D-Day landings.

In Operation Lombard, flying from Victorious, Robertson’s squadron successfully attacked enemy convoys off the coast of Norway; he was awarded a DSC for his many successful strikes at enemy shipping and given a permanent commission.

Ian George William Robertson was born on October 21 (Trafalgar Day) 1922 and educated at Radley. He resolved to join the Navy but failed the exams, so became a dispatch rider in the Bromley Home Guard. In 1940 he tried again, visiting the Naval recruiting office at Lewisham, which advised him to join the RNVR.

By late 1944 Robertson was an instructor at Yeovilton, and the following year he was appointed to the destroyer Obedient . In Germany, after war’s end, he claimed to have briefly commanded the German cruiser Prinz Eugen, then lying at Wilhelmshaven.

He qualified as a flying instructor in the first post-war course at the Central Flying School, Little Rissington, and held a number of flying appointments. As senior pilot in 813 NAS he flew another “abomination of an aircraft, the Blackburn Firebrand”, which had killed two test pilots while under development. The Firebrand suffered so many deck landing accidents that the Admiralty Board was advised to withdraw it from service. Robertson went on to serve as Commander (Air) at the Royal Naval Air Station, Culdrose, from 1956 to 1958 and of the carrier Albion (1958-60). From 1960 to 1962 he commanded the frigate Keppel, and from 1963 to 1965 the frigate Mohawk; he introduced helicopters to both ships.

Promoted to captain, Robertson commanded RNAS Culdrose, then as now the largest Naval air station, spent a year at the Imperial Defence College in 1968 and then, in one of his few desk jobs, 12 months at the Joint Warfare Establishment, Old Sarum. Then, in 1970, he was given command of the strike carrier Eagle. The government had already taken the decision to cut the Navy’s carriers, and announced that this would be Eagle’s last commission. One of Robertson’s first tasks was enforcing the abolition, on July 31 1970, of the rum ration.

Eagle was undergoing a refit, and Robertson applied his energy to getting her to sea; but on returning to Plymouth after trials, her starboard outer propeller struck a rock and he was court-martialled. The trial heard that the Ashe buoy was out of its charted position, and Robertson was reprimanded but retained his command. Although he took the blame with dignity, he always resented not having been told that the buoyage system had been changed.

Over the next 18 months Eagle, and her powerful air group, took part in exercises with the French and Americans; visited the Mediterranean, the Atlantic and the Far East; and held fly-pasts over Cape Town, Sydney and Hong Kong.

She also marked Britain’s withdrawal from “East of Suez” with parades in Singapore; covered the withdrawal of British forces from the Persian Gulf; and stood by during the 1971 crisis in Pakistan which resulted in war with India and the secession of East Pakistan. Nevertheless, she was paid off in early 1972.

Robertson was promoted to rear-admiral, making him one of the very few officers who started out in the RNVR to reach flag rank. He was Admiral Commanding Reserves and Director General of Naval Recruiting, and retired in 1974, at the relatively young age of 51. He was appointed CB.

Nigel Osborn
17th Apr 2012, 22:02
He was the last captain I served under at Culdrose in 1967. His sense of humour & general decency stood out when I had to go on Captain's Orders with young sailors in trouble & I was the DO defending them. When he knew I was leaving the Navy, he called me in for a long friendly chat & gave me some excellent advice for my future. One of his favourite sayings was to say ' keep your powder dry ' !

John Eacott
18th Apr 2012, 00:01
His full initials were I.G.W.Robertson, which led to the unfortunately nickname of 'I Ground Warships' Robertson after the bingle in Plymouth harbour.

When carrying out RAS (Replenishment At Sea) we would have a huge banner raised on the port side of Eagle's island with a copy of the Robertsons' jam gollywog and a reproduction of the jam label logo, "Robertsons. By Golly it's Good"

All terribly jolly stuff, but Eagle was a happy ship under his captaincy and the Far East cruise was one to remember prior to paying off for the last time. Many, many escapades and fun times :ok:

19th Apr 2012, 15:31
Serbian Air Force Soko SA342L Gazelle in Pasuljanske livade, Serbia, live-firing a 'Malyutka' 9M14M anti-tank missile (Photo: Dimitrije Ostojic)

'Night Gazelles' (Photo: Dimitrije Ostojic) Additional details forthcoming

My sincere thanks to Dimitrije Ostojic for the above photos.

19th Apr 2012, 15:38
We continue to showcase the excellent 80's images of British Squirrels captured by Adrian Batchelor:

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-qPa6CHKvB7w/T5AsYL-pjWI/AAAAAAAAIpc/BdX6Yx1QFT0/s0-d/AS350B%2BG-GWIL%2BAnglian%2BHayes%2B1984%2B%2528Photo%2BAdrian%2BBatche lor%2529.jpg
AS350B Ecureuil G-GWIL belonging to Anglian Windows as seen at McAlpine's Hayes base in 1984 (Photo: Adrian Batchelor)

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-aWN9YIotxaM/T5AsUsEoHgI/AAAAAAAAIpY/FXw-NsDYoIY/s0-d/AS355F1%2BCEA%2BHayes%2B1984%2B%2528Photo%2BAdrian%2BBatchel or%2529.jpg
AS355F1 Ecureuil II belonging to Colt Cars UK (Colt Executive Aviation) as seen at McAlpine's Hayes base in 1984 (Photo: Adrian Batchelor)

AS355F1 Ecureuil II G-BUSA belonging to Barratt Developments as seen at McAlpine's Hayes base in 1984 (Photo: Adrian Batchelor)

Adrian, many thanks for these contributions. :ok:

21st Apr 2012, 08:45
.......... UK use of airborne broadcast TV from a Police helicopter. Probably 1979 but will need to check the logbook. From memory the guy in the seat of the AMH 'mount' was Inspector Radcliffe? who was in charge of the ASU at that time. The mount has a Sony video camera fitted and a broadcast transmitter and aerial gave enough of a range to deliver a view of London to the 'high-ups' at Scotland Yard who evaluated this trial and gave the go ahead for more development work.

At the time we had the contract to patrol London from Lippits Hill - in a Bell 47G5A!!!!

Picture taken at Battersea Heliport where our 206 was set up for the trial.

G. :ok:


21st Apr 2012, 20:44

That would depend when in 1979. I flew BCalH's Bo105s on the MPASU contract in 1979 with HeliTele fitted.

22nd Apr 2012, 08:49
Was this the first ............
Not from a police helicopter, but the first TV broadcast from a helicopter in the UK was 4th August 1956.

Short artical here (http://www.turnipnet.com/whirligig/index.htm). Put "helicopter" in the search box, it's the first item on the list.

22nd Apr 2012, 09:35
And because TRC's missus has despatched him to the grocers to collect parsnips for their Sunday roast .. I have acquiesced, for the convenience of Nostalgia readers, (and so as not to disturb the aforementioned PPRuNer's household luncheon plans) to copy the article here:

With the approval of the Air Registration Board, the first television programme from a helicopter took place on 4 August 1956. Because helicopter flying time is expensive, much experimental work beforehand was done by simulating flying conditions in the laboratory. The main requirements were a vibrating table to shake the equipment and a loudspeaker to make ear-splitting noises.

The camera used on transmission was the standard image-orthicon, which was necessary to cope with the variable light. Unfortunately such cameras are rather heavy, so that the flying time of the Westland Whirlwind S.55 with the full load of television equipment and personnel was restricted to about forty-five minutes. The power to operate the television equipment was taken from the helicopter 24 volts supply using a technique developed for the RAF flying programme last year. As helicopters are noisy machines with a fair amount of vibration at a very low frequency, a special mount to keep the camera steady had to be designed and constructed. In addition, circuit adjustments were made in the receiver on the ground to reduce the flutter on the pictures due to the movement of the helicopter rotor blades.

Westland Whirlwind Mk III G-AOCZ (owned and operated by Westland Helicopters) with standard image-orthicon camera fitted

G. F. L. Beresford making adjustments before take-off

F. L. Beresford making adjustments before take-off

22nd Apr 2012, 19:18
Would have been before that I'm pretty sure. I seem to remember the BCAL contract with the MET started in the autumn and I joined in time to do a couple of metpol flights straight after my TR on the 105 in the November I think. I will need to check the logbook which is now 1000 miles away!

G :}

22nd Apr 2012, 20:11
PPRuNed from page 64 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-64.html) of this thread:

As you probably know, the film's producer, Euan Lloyd, (he of 'Wild Geese' fame) was 'inspired' to create 'Who Dares Wins' by the events of the 1980 Iranian Embassy seige in London having resided not far from the scene of the action and having watched (as many did) the events unfold on TV. Much (if not all) of the aerial footage from the Iranian Embassy seige was filmed with a Heli-Tele fitted to an ex-Ferranti MBB Bo105 (G-BFYA) which was on contract to Metpol.

Ex-Ferranti Bo105C G-BFYA on contrat to Metpol and seen at Battersea in 1980

23rd Apr 2012, 05:20

Its been a while since we have seen any handiwork from Nostalgia Thread supporter and renown aviation photographer Chris England and which makes his current contribution all the more welcome:

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-fycgVi2GWPI/T5TfUTK0ksI/AAAAAAAAIqs/0YROZUXsa-U/s770/WW+HAS7+XL843+Plymouth+%28Roborough%29+15+Jun+63+Varsity+WJ9 43+%28Chris+England%29.jpg
Royal Navy Westland Whirlwind HAS7 XL843 at Plymouth Roborough airport on 15th June 1963. Behind the Whirlwind is a Vickers Varsity WJ943 (Photo: Chris England)


Hughes 500D G-BHST attending the Vintage Aircraft Club's fly-in at Finmere on 4th April 1982

Sadly, BHST's owners at the time of this photo (Abbey Hill Vehicle Services of Yeovil) somehow failed to maintain pressure in the ship's oleos resulting in the craft beginning to adop a hyena-like posture with her lowering hind legs!

BHST's last UK owner was 'ACME Jewellery Ltd.' of Stourbridge in the West Midlands after which she was shipped-off (in 1994) to Denmark. I had to re-read this last ownership entry because in my mind 'ACME' had always existed as a ficticious corporation employed in various Warner Bros. cartoons - noted by the way for producing an assortment of products which would fail at the most inopportune moments but, I suppose, one is free to name one's businesses as one pleases. One British gentleman for example has chosen to name his building business .. 'Titanic Construction' (http://www.titanicltd.co.uk/). One does of course wish him the best of British luck! ;)

24th Apr 2012, 06:42

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-OvGD2v0Vv4E/T5ZGC6VIdUI/AAAAAAAAIrE/H8DawJNxYvo/s0-d/Edinburgh%2BTurnhouse%2BMay%2B1980%2B%2528Robert%2BPittuck%2 529.jpg
Agusta-Bell 206B G-BDBR owned by PLM Helicopters departing Edinburgh's Turnhouse Airport in May 1980 on duty for PLM client 'William McEwan's' (Photo: Robert Pittuck)

This Agusta-built 206 began life with Manfred Mann in April 1975. She was then bought by William Monks Builders Merchants of Sheffield in September of the same year. For builders merchants Monks seem to have had a fair thirst for rotorcraft. From memory I believe Dennisimo sold them at least one Enstrom and, if I remember correctly, they owned up to three JetRangers including the venerable G-WIZZ which Geoffers delivered from Agusta's Frosinone factory to Mann's base at Fairoaks.

BDBR went on to serve with Heliwork as well as 'John James Woodhouse' of Aldershot who re-named her G-JERY. She was sold to France in 1993.

You can see more of G-BDBR while under PLM's patronage in a series of photos posted by Wiggy on page 7 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/443466-alan-mann-helicopters-nostalgia-thread-7.html) of the Mann Thread.

24th Apr 2012, 08:14
Interesting Savoia, that heli BFYA was ex veritair out of cardiff, and was borrowed a few times to do the lighthouse releif at Irish Helicopters in early eighties when theirs was down for a service.

24th Apr 2012, 10:50
Bolkow: Yes, BFYA was part of Julian's stable for almost a decade. She began life as D-HJET before being bought by Ferranti Helicopters in 1978. In 1982 she was told to my godfather's dear friend, the late John Crewdson of Helicopter Hire, who sold her on to Julian in 1986.

From Veritair she went to Sterling (1995) and finally to Alan Mann (the latter being more of a paperwork exercise than a change of ownership).

While with Julian I think she served with the Strathclyde Police and perhaps one or two additional forces.

I have images of her from almost every chapter of her career.

Another ex-Ferranti Bölkow which also chipped-in with some Police work (Sussex) and serviced a number of lighthouses was G-BAFD:

Ex-Ferranti MBB Bo105C G-BAFD en-route from Shoreham to the Royal Sovereign Lighthouse situated 6 miles south of Eastbourne

27th Apr 2012, 22:47

Friday, April 27, 2012

A helicopter heroine whose windscreen was holed by gunfire in the Falklands War and had her finest hour sinking five Iraqi gunboats in the First Gulf War has become the Fleet Air Arm Museum Yeovilton’s latest star. And the pilot and observer who scored that remarkable quintet were there to see Royal Navy Lynx Mk 3 XZ720 pass into history yesterday.

David Livingstone, left, who piloted the Lynx in the First Gulf War and observer, Florry Ford

The aircraft’s remarkable record is emblazoned on her paintwork in the five black missiles on either side of her fuselage.David Livingstone, who was the aircraft’s pilot in the First Gulf War won the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions.He and his observer, Florry Ford, then a young Sub Lieutenant, told how they earned their remarkable tally, with Sea Skua missile, while flying from the destroyer HMS Gloucester, including three sinkings in one day and a night mission under enemy attack.

Mr Livingstone, 51, of Taunton, who was a Lieutenant Commander at the time recalled: “On January 30 We were on a patrol and got a contact which was a patrol boat which the Iraqis had taken from the Kuwaiti Navy,“Under the rules of engagement we could not fire without permission to engage. Once we had that we fired and while we engaged another contact appeared from nowhere so as soon as we sank the first one we fired on the second. It was a Russian-built mine-layer.”Their third strike came that afternoon.

The next day a menacing Iraqi patrol boat appeared as the pair were supporting Americans carrying out search and rescue operations. They hit their target, while the cluster bombs of a an American A6 jet missed.Ten days later they were tasked to hunt a mine at night, under the dubious light of parachute flares when they spotted a Russian-built fleet supply vessel on its way to resupply Iraqi forces. They fired two missiles but also came under attack from two surface-to-air missiles.

Mr Livingstone took evading action, and Mr Ford warned the missiles were still on track.To avoid disaster Mr Livingstone had to fly the superbly agile helicopter within 20 feet of the sea. The enemy missiles passed just 180 feet away.The helicopter, built at Westland at nearby Yeovil joined Yeovilton-based 815 Naval Air Squadron in 1980 and saw active service with HMS Alacrity in the Falklands War, where she was on the receiving end of machine gun fire from an Argentinian gun boat.The pilot Lieutenant Rob Sleeman fortunately avoided a bullet, which came through his window screen only by turning his head.

The aircraft has been on active service until her retirement.

A special team of engineers restored her to her 1991 colours and specification. Serviceable parts were also removed for the use of the serving Lynx fleet, and replaced by others.

Yeovilton’s commanding officer, Commodore Paul Chivers, himself a Lynx Observer, accepted the helicopter on behalf of the museum of which he is a trustee.

Museum director Graham Mottram said: “We are delighted to have her, she is proof that history is a continuing process.”

Falklands War aircraft is latest star at Fleet Air Arm Museum Yeovilton | This is Somerset (http://www.thisissomerset.co.uk/Helicopter-flying-history-action-service/story-15934494-detail/story.html)

30th Apr 2012, 05:12
Photographer Mike Freer has kindly contributed the following to the thread:

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-Hf3ShuSDTuw/T54dN5o3koI/AAAAAAAAIu4/f71OnX_j_vc/s900/RN+WW+HAS1+P-531-2+XT434+from+RNAS+Portland+at+Abingdon+14+Sep+73+%28Mike+Fre er%29.jpg
Westland Wasp HAS1 XT434 from RNAS Portland as seen at Abingdon on 14th September 1973 (Photo: Mike Freer)

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-VhCxkOChvXA/T54btEtkTeI/AAAAAAAAIu8/my7zyV8HpVQ/s860/W+Sea+King+HAS2+XV671+from+HMS+Blake+converted+to+AEW2+then+ ASaC7+at+Yeovilton+28+Jun+77+%28Mike+Freer%29.jpg
Westland Sea King HAS2 XV671 from HMS Blake (converted to AEW2 then ASaC7) as seen at a rather wet RNAS Yeovilton on 28th June 1977 (Photo: Mike Freer)

5th May 2012, 05:07
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-F5j6bOYqGJE/T6SyL8ubzJI/AAAAAAAAIvs/Bh4VKCtfXus/s0-d/AB206A%2BG-PMGG%2BDerwent%2BValley%252C%2BDerbyshire%2B30%2BApr%2B%2528 Shaun%2BConnor%2529.jpg
Agusta-Bell 206A G-PMGG serial no. 8185 in the Derwent Valley, Derbyshire on 30th April 2012 (Photo: Shaun Connor)

Currently owned by Michael Gee and Paul Gallagher this 'A' model 206 seems to have begun life in Libya as 5A-BAM. From Libya she returned north to Malta where she flew with the Police Air Wing as 9H-AAJ.

From Malta 8185 was imported to the UK (1997) where she has previously flown as G-DNCN, G-PELS and G-EEGO.

Check-out the sliding pax door.

5th May 2012, 06:14
"Check-out the sliding pax door."

Mmm, the early A/B 206s had several military provisions which came as standard; they were built-in on the production line, so you got them anyway, whether you wanted them or not. I had S/Ns 8036 & 8042 in Abu Dhabi in 1970. Whilst they were ostensibly 'VIP transport' there was a hard-point on the cabin longitudinal beam for a pintle-mounted machine gun :eek:

There was also another optional fit (which I thought was rather novel); discussed at length with TRC when I joined Manns, though I think he thought I was being economical with the truth. It was an easy exercise to remove the rear seats and install a honeycomb platform with tie-down points for lashing down freight. It also doubled as a service platform with steel lanyards to screws high up on the rear fuselage, adjacent to the engine. (Very useful in the ield, on hi-skids, and that infernal, high-maintenance C18 engine)

And, I might add, the initial tailbooms were skinned with mag-alloy - and operating in that hostile environment...............:ugh:

There you go, now you know too!! - VFR

6th May 2012, 11:34
Found on an interesting Spanish photosite....it seems the Ju-52s are from Gando(LasPalmas/Gran Canaria)


AviationCorner.net - Fotografa aeronutica - Bell 206A JetRanger (http://www.aviationcorner.net/show_photo.asp?id=240334)

Saint Jack
7th May 2012, 02:07
The early AB206's (the only examples that I really got to know well) were indeed noticeably different from their Bell cousins. I remember that, a) the sheet metal skin on the rear fuselage, below the engine, was a thicker guage (I didn't know/remember about the magnesium tailboom skin), b) the rotor brake used system pressure, not a master cylinder, c) the engine anti-ice valve was activated by a push-pull cable, not an electric actuator, d) rain gutters over the doors were standard from scratch, it took Bell some time to copy this simple and highly desirable feature, e) a windscreen wiper kit was available although I only saw this a one machine, in Italy, but I cannot remember the operator and finally, f) the one difference everyone is aware of is that the pedals are embossed with 'Agust-Bell'. I'm sure there were more differences, but these are the ones that come to mind.

7th May 2012, 05:40
SJ: You are quite right (as far as I remember). Some of the other variations (according to the inimitable TRC) included a hinge-mounted circuit breaker ceiling panel, a removable panel under the baggage compartment and hand-sewn leather hydraulic servo covers.

Also, Agusta began using polyurethane paint on their production 206's before Bell, in fact, many of Bell's first 'A' model 206's were delivered with a finish which was akin to a matt texture!

Yoyo: That's a great shot of the Swiss 206 (which I think may have been a Bell as opposed to an AB). The write up gives the year as 1970 and that in 1975 the craft was sold to Italy to fly as I-NYCO and where she was upgraded to a 'B' model.

7th May 2012, 11:25
One thing that Bell were quick to change was the clearance to fly in snow with the Particle Separator - they made it compulsory to use the Snow Deflectors which Agusta did not. The CAA missed this anomaly and as a result the Clyde Helicopter Bell 206B (which ran alongside an Agusta Bell 206B for a while) crashed in a snowstorm in December 1989 killing one unfortunate policeman.

It was being used to back-up their Bo105 which was on contract to Strathclyde Police. The cops had decided against helmets - 'an unnecessary expense' I seem to remember the quote went. Man dies of head injuries. Fortunately they were all wearing them when their EC135 hit the mountain one dark and cheerless night.

G. :ugh:

7th May 2012, 14:51
Herewith is the reference material for the two accidents to which Geoffers refers:

Accident summary (http://www.griffin-helicopters.co.uk/accidentdetails.aspx?accidentkey=14606) for Bell 206 G-EYEI of Clyde Helicopters which crashed on 24th January 1990.

CAA 'Follow Up Action Report (http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/factor200330.pdf)' on EC135 G-SPAU which crashed on 17th February 2002.

In both cases there was no obviously available information from the AAIB.

7th May 2012, 17:40
In both cases there was no obviously available information from the AAIB.

Shame on you....

AAIB for G-EYEI is here (http://www.aaib.gov.uk/cms_resources.cfm?file=/Bell%20206B%20II,%20G-EYEI%2005-90.pdf). :8

Couldn't get anything for G-SPAU though.

8th May 2012, 06:02
Ah well TRC that's why you are there .. to sort-out those odd moments when we have a bit of finger trouble! ;)

The Bell YOH-4A

As most would know - the origins of the ubiquitous JetRanger are to be found in Bell's YOH-4, a prototype created in response to the US Army's request for a Light Observation Helicopter (LOH) and which request was issued on 14th October 1960.

In May 1965 Howard Hughes' YOH-6 (later to become known as just the OH-6) won the competition whereupon Bell set-out to redesign their 'OH-4' with potential civilian sales in mind.

In addition to the image problem (the craft had gained the nickname "The Ugly Duckling" during the US Army fly-offs) the helicopter lacked cargo space and only provided cramped quarters for the planned three passengers in the back.

The solution was a fuselage redesigned to be more sleek and aestheticly appealing, adding 16 cubic feet (0.45 m3) of cargo space in the process. The redesigned aircraft was designated as the Bell 206A with then Bell President, Edwin J. Ducayet, naming the craft the "JetRanger" denoting an evolution from the popular Model 47J Ranger.

Bell's first 206A mock-up (1965) - note the drop-down baggage door

Just months after losing-out in the US Army LOH fly-offs, Bell wheeled-out a mock-up of the redesigned YOH-4 (now the 206A above) and which redesign was to become the 'face' of light civilian helicopter operations for the better part of three decades.

A boot 'to boot'!

The 206A's 'spacious' boot

Keen to demonstrate (especially to the Army) the 206's new luggage capacity/cargo store, Bell sent them the above photo!

In 1969 the US Army re-opened the LOH contract because of a failure by the Hughes Tool Co. to meet its promised production quota whereupon Bell submitted its now redeisgned and redesignated 206A.

The improvements to the original YOH-4 as well as the small matter of under-bidding Hughes, ensured that the 206 won the re-tendered contract. The 206 was reallocated as the OH-58 and picked-up the name 'Kiowa' in the tradition of the US Army naming their craft after native North American tribes.

The Kiowa has been in continuous use by the US Army since 1969.

US Army OH-58 Kiowa

8th May 2012, 11:42
Savoia - re your post 1527.

She was reputedly used to transport one Colonel Gadaffi on occasion, although this cannot be confirmed. However, whilst in Malta, she was used as the transport for a certain Anneka Rice for an episode of the show. Sometimes I find myself just staring at that left hand seat!
Still flies beautifully.

8th May 2012, 23:26
Hi all, I'm new here. This is my first post. Found this place after looking for old aircraft that my Dad flew.
He did almost 18,000 hrs (as pilot) in his career (many of those helicopter) so there's a few to look for.
I thought I'd share a few pictures of some of his rides, he flew Whirlwinds in the RAF and various Bells and Hughes and others after his service.

He loved the Jet Ranger So here's a couple of shots to begin with.




9th May 2012, 06:21
OJB: If 8185 flew Anneka in Malta then it should be possible to obtain a photographic record of this event - let's see what we can come up with!

Wildboy: A warm welcome to Nostalgia.

These are lovely images, well done. Some of these aircraft have appeared previously on this thread but their return is most welcome. :ok:

Perhaps you might like to share with us who your Dad was! For my part much of my 'nostalging' is drawn from my childhood memories of accompanying my godfather, Bob Smith (ex-Army and former Ferranti Helicopters MD), on his various aviation escapades.



9th May 2012, 07:44
Hi Sav.

My dad was Wally Wilding.
He did 17 years in the RAF as pilot including Q.H.I. (C.F.S)
And flew with various companies who had the British Gas contract in the 80s.

(the white cap was sort of his trademark:))


9th May 2012, 08:23
Savoia - can't find any photos, but if you search YouTube "Treasure Hunt Malta", you'll see the old girl. Check out the low flying in Part 5, 3:40 onward:


Part 6, 1:00 onward:


9th May 2012, 14:53
Ben: I met your father at Biggin Hill, I suppose it must have been 1978 or 79. He was flying a Dollar 206 (I don't remember which one) and he was on a gas survey.

I was just a wee lad in those days but he knew my godfather and remains in my memory for his spirited take-off which he performed for my pleasure. He was, by all accounts, a most capable pilot.

Keep the photos coming - wonderful!

OJB: Great clips from the Treasure Hunt days. As you've probably read we have an ex-Treasure Hunter on Rotorheads, PPRuNer Geoffersincornwall.

Here's a shot of your bird in the same colours she wore for the Treasure Hunt shoot during her time with the Maltese Police:

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-UhBDaqf6nTw/T6qCJSmv7CI/AAAAAAAAIyM/5W1JU40PrFs/s0-d/AB206A%2B9H-AAJ%2BLuqa%252C%2BMalta%2B1985%2B%2528Photo%2BLawrence%2BDal li%2529.jpg
Agusta-Bell 206A [cn: 8185] 9H-AAJ in the service of the Malta Police Air Wing as seen at Luqa in Malta in 1985 (Photo: Lawrence Dalli)

* * *

Anyone else with memories of Wally Wilding?

9th May 2012, 18:39
Hi all ... and not having posted for some time, I'm getting withdrawal symptons so just thought I'd add a note to B206 G-FSDA pictured. Many will know that the FSA series were operated by Derek Chandler of 'Flair Soft Drinks' 'A' being the first ... they went on to FSDC etc. Derek's son, Wayne ran the Heli Flair and Southernair businesses in the 1990s and noughties. An innocent note, Derek Chandler left fixed wing for rotary in the mid 1970s when he was driving along the A27 past Shoreham Airport when I was display practicing an Enstrom. Derek was interested in display flying and turned into the airfield to enquire about the manoeuvres and was introduced to yours truly. A short time later he took delivery of Enstrom G-BHAX a 28C-2. With the demise of Southernair, I believe Wayne is now a fixed wing man. Warm wishes if you are reading this. Dennis Kenyon.

PS. I think FSDA or one of them was originally G-ROOT which I purchased as an OO reg from Belgium and next owned by a certain Godfrey Hope. If he is reading this, I have your log book!

9th May 2012, 19:34
Great that you met him an remember!
He did the gas survey for a good many years, looking at his logbooks sometimes 7 hours of flying a day.
Here's a shot of a bell 47 (he flew G2,3,4,5 variants between '77-'79)
Don't know the tail number of this one or the exact date but I'm guessing the trousers were a bet (or it was Rupert the Bear week:rolleyes:)

10th May 2012, 15:35

The JR from Belgium was G-FSDG with Flair, started its G reg's with JETR in 4/82, ex OO-CDP, to ROOT 8/82 to 4/85, FSDG 4/85 to 10/95, COUR 10/95 to 5/98 then off to Austria as OE-XLM, the other one, FSDA was ex AWJW in 1/83, then became SHRR in 2/90, was destroyed, reg. cancelled 10/97, both FSDA and FSDG were used, 'on hire',by Clyde Helicopters while waiting for the arrival of EYEI in 1987.


10th May 2012, 19:19
I remeber meeting Wally in a hotel near Leiscter around 78 or so when he was flying a G5 or G5a for Bristows on the pipeline contract, he had landed and overnighted in the garden of a newly converted old house that was just starting business as a hotel, in the morning the machine refused to start in the cold weather and the battery went flat, so I and another engineer were dispatched from Redhill to get him going again, the machine was parked neatly in the middle of what can only be discribed as an immaculatley flat croquet lawn.
After a drawn out process of changing plugs, Battery and several attempts to start failed I resorted to the old trick of soaking a load of rags in a bucket of hot water and draping them around the induction tubes, much to Wallys amazement the old bird farted!! and away she went.
The rest of the evening was spent in the local pub listening to Wally stories, I was too young and didn't have many to tell then!, myself and the other engineer spent a strange night sharing the Honeymoon suite! (the only room finished apart from the one Wally ocuppied), in the morning we awoke to find Wally had started, taken off and disappeared, leaving the once immaculate croquet lawn with a horse shoe pattern of mud made by engineers feet right in the middle, so we quickly paid the bill and legged it!.

Best Regards


10th May 2012, 21:42
One day on the Gas contract Wally's observer had called in sick and Wally was about to go home so I volunteered to act as observer. We flew around the south-east landing at Southend and overnighting at Fairoaks and staying in a hotel at Woking. The intention of observing was to report by map ref any JCB's etc operating near the pipeline to BG at the next landing. I found it hard to get all the ref's ready for each landing so we had to report at the end of the day, BG was not pleased. It was surprising that so many diggers were operating near the pipelines.

Another time Wally had a leaking fuel tank near Sheffield, I took a spare tank in the back of my MGB GT and a container for any drained fuel. After changing the tank I was left with a partly filled tank and a container of fuel which we couldn't use, so I drove down the M1 with all the windows open and having to stop at nearly every service station to have a cigarette.

11th May 2012, 06:48

In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Louis Blériot's epic Channel crossing on 25th July 1909 the Daily Mail (who sponsored the initial Channel crossing with a £1,000 prize) organised a London to Paris race from Marble Arch to l'Arc de Triomphe. The race, which attracted some 150 participants, took place between 13th-23rd July 1959.

The 'Anniversary Race' involved competitors in desperate measures not merely in the air (which was perhaps the easiest part of the course) but on the roads of the respective capital cities and their environs, as the contestants strove first to get from the centre of London to an airfield not too far distant, and then having flown the Channel to get from their landing point in France to the finishing line.

The rules of the race stipulated that the laws and regulations of both Britain and France (particularly air navigation laws and road speed restrictions) must be complied with. Within those restrictions the race was open to anyone, using any form of transport he or she liked. Competitors ranged from well organised teams such as those of the RAF to eccentric individuals.

The race was won by a team led by Squadron Leader Charles G. Maughan, the commanding officer of No.65 Squadron. Squadron Leader Maughan completed the course between Marble Arch and l'Arc de Triomphe in Paris in a time of 40 minutes 44 seconds, travelling by Royal Air Force Police motorcycle, Bristol Sycamore helicopter and Hawker Hunter T7. The prize money of £6,500 was donated to charity.

From Marble Arch Maughan was driven at a furious pace as a pillion passenger on a motorcycle to Chelsea Embankment where a Bristol Sycamore helicopter was waiting to carry him to Biggin Hill in Kent. There a Hunter T7, with dual side-by-side seating, was waiting, cleared for immediate take-off, with turbojet engine running and Flight Lieutenant Jim Burns at the controls. This streaked across the Channel at high subsonic speeds and touched down at the Armée de l’Air’s Villacoubly base on the south side of Paris where another helicopter was waiting to get him to the centre of Paris.

There, a motorcycle was waiting to get Maughan as close to the Arc de Triomphe as it could without infringing Paris’ traffic regulations. The Squadron Leader then completed the course with a 100-yard dash to the finishing line in what proved to be the winning time from Marble Arch of 40 minutes 44 seconds.

In practice for the race Maughan had (illegally) arranged for the traffic lights on the route from Marble Arch to Chelsea to be held at green, by getting fellow airmen from 65 Squadron to jump up and down on the pressure pads in the road. But on the day the police, who had got wise to the practice, put a stop to it.

The leader of the RAF’s team, Group Captain E. N. Ryder, was third in a time of 42min 6sec, having injured his leg in a motorcycle accident in Paris. British contestants scooped the top three prizes, £5,000, £2,500 and £1,500, with a civilian, Eric Rylands, taking second place in 41min 41sec.

Charles G. Maughan during the 1959 London to Paris Air Race with his motorcyclist

The Daily Mail poster for the event

Enter Jeremy Hughes ..

Jeremy has most graciously agreed to showcase his small private collection of black and white images taken during the race and which captured some of the rotorcraft involved. Here's what he had to say:

"In July 1959 I had recently left school and was waiting to start work at my first job which was in a bank. I lived in Shirley near Croydon and at this time Croydon airport was closing down with its aircraft transferring to Biggin Hill. Access to photograph aircraft at Croydon had been very difficult due to police security, however, at Biggin one was pretty much free to wander about and take photos and I was able to get there easily on my bicycle.

By chance a well known newspaper (The Daily Mail) sponsored a celebration of the 50th anniversary of Louis Blériot's channel crossing in his monoplane by holding a London to Paris race. This was to be timed between Marble Arch in London to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. Quite a few people and teams entered including Billy Butlin,a celebrity who was famous for pioneering holiday camps where the public could stay by the seaside and be entertained at very low cost. They were very popular and he was later knighted by the Queen for his services. He used a Spitfire T.8 for the cross-channel part, other teams used jets or helicopters but most employed a helicopter at some stage of the race. Many also used motorcycles through the city streets which must have been quite dangerous. The race was won by an RAF pilot, Squadron Leader Charles Maugham in 40 minutes 44 seconds.

Other teams came from the Army, the French and various private individuals who obviously enjoyed the publicity it gave. The race generated many aircraft movements which I was of course eager to photograph. I used a small Zeiss Nettar folding camera (fairly inexpensive) which took 12 6x6 cm. pictures and I developed and printed the results myself. Of course I have looked after the negatives carefully which I hope is shown in the results.

The following year I started learning to fly and eventually joined BEA which later became British Airways. I retired as a captain in 1995.A 100th anniversary race was held in 2009 though I doubt if it was as exciting."

All images by Jeremy Hughes, taken at Biggin Hill Aerodrome between 13th-23rd July 1959:

Westland S51-2 Widgeon G-APVD at Biggin Hill Aerodrome in July 1959

APVD came onto the British register a month before the race in June '59 and was operated by Westlands for four years until being bought by Ferranti in 1963. APVD was pretty much 'kept in the family' being sold by my godfather to his dear friend John Crewdson (Helicopter Hire) and from Crewdson to Andrew Walters (an ex-Army friend of my godfather and owner of International Messengers who also bought G-BBEU and G-OIML).

Westland S51-2 Widgeon G-APTE at Biggin Hill Aerodrome in July 1959

APTE was registered to Westlands from 1959 to 1973 during which time she seems to have been leased to several operators including Bristows (as shown in Jeremy's image above) as well as Aer Lingus. [Note the winged ‘BH’ on the upper fuselage].

Agusta-Bell 47J Ranger G-APTH at Biggin Hill Aerodrome in July 1959

Registered to British European Airways in April of 1959, transferred onto the Nigerian register in March 1963 and then back on the UK register (still with BEA) in December of the same year. In April 1965 she was bought by Freddie Wilcox (Autair) and then went on to accommodate a string of owners until being sold to Germany in 1992.

Alouette II F-OBMV serial no. 1244 at Biggin Hill Aerodrome in July 1959

Close up of F-OBMV

Hiller 12-E EI-AKT at Biggin Hill Aerodrome in July 1959

Copy of the signed menu cover from the dinner sponsored by the Royal Aero Club on 27th October 1959 for the race-goers

From the start on the morning of Monday, July 13, when Capt. R. M. B. Walker on a motor cycle, Stirling Moss in a Renault Dauphine and Lt-Cdr. W. Boaks on roller skates left Marble Arch and headed south, to the final evening eleven days later when a quartet of motor-cycle decoys did their best to confuse the police and assist Colette Duval's husband, the Daily Mail Bleriot anniversary race was an undoubted success. The total number of competitors was 135, including the efficient and well-drilled Service entries, a number of enthusiastic amateurs flying their own light aircraft, and a sprinkling of one-off off-beats.

The shortest time for the journey from Marble Arch to the Arc de Triomphe (or vice versa) was 40 min 44 sec in the Paris-London direction by S/Ldr Charles Maughan, commanding officer of No. 65 Sqn., Duxford, who received the £5,000 first prize on behalf of the R.A.F. Second fastest at 41 min 41 sec from London was Eric Rylands, who was awarded the second prize of £2,500, and the £1,500 third prize went to G/C. Norman Ryder, station commander at Duxford (42 min 6 sec from Paris). Each used the motor-cycle/helicopter/Hunter Two-Seater/helicopter/motorcycle sequence, with change-overs at the Thames (at Chelsea), Biggin Hill, Villacoublay and Issy.

A special prize of £1,000 awarded on the basis of journey time, originality, ingenuity and initiative went to the BEAline syndicate, a group of 11 men and two women from British European Airways who made the exceptionally good average time of 62 min 15 sec for a journey by special double-decker bus from Marble Arch to Paddington Station, special diesel train to Ruislip Gardens, cars to Northolt, Comet 4B to Le Bourget and taxis to the Arc de Triomphe.

Ten consolation prizes of £100 were awarded to "competitors who have emerged with high merit." These were Brian Neely, "remarkable ingenuity and practical example in demonstrating a high-level heliport on Hungerford Bridge"; W. E. Butlin, "initiative and a journey considerably speeded by a floating heliport on the Thames"; Capt. R. M. B. Walker, "personal dash, efficient organization and example with a river-bank helicopter platform"; Bill Aston, "initiative and practical demonstration of amphibian aircraft operation between the two cities"; Pierre Auerbach, "fastest user of personal transport with the light executive jet, a Morane Saulnier Paris"; Owen Dixson, "who drove his two-seat invalid carriage—a courageous and remarkably fast journey by a disabled competitor"; Jonathan Hutchinson, "ingenious example of personal transport—a folding motor scooter carried in a light plane"; Fergus Ferguson, "a determined and fast single- handed attempt"; Derek Mott, "students' initiative and ingenuity in building their own cars and aircraft"; and Madame Madelaine Rassam, "excellent time by an energetic airline traveller who made no special advance arrangements and found fast transport as she went along."

Among the other entries, several used the Air Charter and Silver City cross-Channel air ferries, in vehicles ranging from Lord Montagu's 1909 Humber to Freddie Laker's Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud and a Heinkel bubble-car, and several used the combination of car, scooter or cycle and light aircraft. On the first day of the race the Amsterdam paper Algetneen Handekblad,having published a London edition carrying an exclusive report that Bleriot was a Russian, entered a team of four reporters who, wearing bowler hats and busily typing their stories, completed their journey through the streets of Paris on an open lorry.

Among the fixed-wing aircraft used were Spitfire two-seater, Piaggio P. 136, MS.760 Paris, Hunter T.7, Vautour, Jet Provost, Tiger Moth, Aiglet, Turbulent, Jodel D.I 17, Dove, Prentice, Proctor, Avro 19, Miles Student, Vampire and Viscount. Prior to the race, on July 2, Fairey Aviation Ltd. had announced that the Rotodyne would not take part because "it is essential that an unbroken flight development programme be completed between now and the end of August.

Flight International, 21st August 1959

Eric Rylands gets aboard smartly at Biggin Hill: his Hunter Two-Seater, provided by Hawker Siddeley, was powered by a 200-Series Avon. Mr. Rylands is chairman of Skyways Ltd

Bill Aston, chief production test pilot of Vickers-Armstrongs (Aircraft), used this Piaggio P.I36 from the Thames at Barking to the Seine in Paris

Brian Neely used a special platform on Hungerford Bridge to alight from his Alouette II

Capt. Roderick Bamford Walker, 23rd Special Air Service Regiment, T.A., approaches his Saunders-Roe Skeeter on its floating platform on the Thames at Chelsea

A third type of helicopter technique, complete with frogmen, was used by Roy Lover of B.E.A., who flew by Comet 4B from Villacoublay to Biggin Hill, and Bell 47 J to the Thames at Westminster (51 min 19 sec)

British Pathé clip (http://www.britishpathe.com/video/pathe-joins-air-race) following George Eyles (Director of tests for the Institute of Advanced Motorists) who flies aboard G-APTE from Battersea

With special thanks to Jeremy Hughes whose photos were the inspiration for this piece.

11th May 2012, 17:04
Many thanks Stacey and Oldlae for your stories and taking the time to post them.

My Dad was in 22 Squadron 'D' flight based at RAF Manston (October '62 -September '64)

They did Search and Rescue. Heres a picture of what i believe to be XP347 (There is an entry in his log book in April 7th '64 for Daily Mail pictures in 347 and I'm thinking these are the shots they took.)


I remember him telling me the story of a 'scramble' where the bell rang and off they ran, jumped in, helmets on and strapped in. After taking off and flying out to sea, my dad felt a 'rustle' in his helmet and had to flip it off. There was a rat inside that jumped out and ran about causing havoc in the back until they kicked it out! I remember as a kid, If he ever heard a bell (fire alarm, etc) he was always ready to run and scramble.

Heres a picture from his log book, the entry 26th May '64 in aircraft 347 reads Valiant "wheels up" in the details.

Heres another he flew quite regularly, XP350 - This happened on the 13th Febuary 1963.

I had a look into what became of this craft and found a few nice pictures of it. Here it is on display to the public at Flambards Theme Park, Helston, Cornwall (Thanks to Tristan for use of the photo)

Lost a bit of the sheen in this picture in its current resting place by M Lawson (thanks to him and Demobbed - Out of Service British Military Aircraft (http://www.demobbed.org.uk) for permission to use)

Its been living since 2003 at the national Paintball fields, Bassetts pole. Thanks to Chris at NPF for letting me use these pictures of the old girl back in action and offering me a look around it under 'cease fire conditions', he tells me people have come as far as the Netherlands to see it.

Strangely I went to NPF as part of my 'stag do' in 2010 and saw the whirlwind there, but didn't go too close for fear of getting trapped in a corner of it and being shot to bits.

A nice little coinsidence none the less.



12th May 2012, 08:31
It's a small world, I joined 22 Sqdn in April 1964 and ended up at Manston when I demobbed and joined Bristow March 1969. I worked on all the 22 Sqdn Whirlwinds as they rotated through St Mawgan for major maintenance and mods, I have mixed feelings about seeing XP350 again in such circumstances.

12th May 2012, 20:29
Great images there Ben! :ok:

Is it true that your Dad picked-up the nickname "Golden Balls" after the pub landing! ;)

I'm sure I'm not the first to say that your Dad bore a mild resemblance to the late Richard Harris.

Richard Harris; who was not entirely dissimilar in appearance to Wally Wilding

13th May 2012, 10:13

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-Dc3TrN6uhbU/T6-Dmpd5fyI/AAAAAAAAI5I/ewIlNQtguWY/s0-d/Air%2BGlaciers%2BAS350B3%2BHB-ZCZ%2BSion%252C%2BSwz%2B28%2BApr%2B12%2B%2528Photo%2BPhilipp e%2BRey%2529.jpg
Air Glaciers AS350B3 HB-ZCZ near Sion in Switzerland on 28th April 2012 (Photo: Philippe Rey)

Philippe Rey has kindly contributed the above photo to the Nostalgia Thread and which wonderfully compliments our 'At Odds' photo series.


While on the matter of Air Glaciers .. this great Lama shot also:

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-cDk0KtpboQA/T6-D5ObPLuI/AAAAAAAAI5M/RkZJnl_iHdk/s0-d/Air%2BGlaciers%2BSA315B%2BLama%2BHB-XTO%2B%2528Bex%2BLSGB%2529%2BSwz%2B1%2BSep%2B07%2B%2528Photo %2BZaki%2529.jpg
Air Glaciers SA315B Lama HB-XTO taken on 1st September 2007 (Photo: Zaki)

More "At Odds" images at the following links: AO1 (http://www.pprune.org/6402148-post607.html) AO2 (http://www.pprune.org/6914626-post1140.html) AO3 (http://www.pprune.org/6925462-post1154.html) AO4 (http://www.pprune.org/6994678-post1285.html)

13th May 2012, 12:32

I raise you this...


Circa 1989 overhead Truro with yours truly driving the nag and Nigel "Bomber" Harris the only paramedic in Kernow who could map read backwards lying on his back.......... Legend :ok:

13th May 2012, 14:46
:DSav - Very funny, He did bear a mild resemblance. Great read by the way (London to Paris '59). Must take a good deal of research for a piece like that!

Oldlae - I can imagine how you feel, as you worked on the Whirlwinds to keep them in fine fettle. The pictures of choppers broken up and rotting to the ground are very poignant. I think NPF seem pretty proud to own their one and I hope they keep it intact as long as possible.

great action pics Sav and Griffo.

13th May 2012, 15:44
Dad was in Borneo September '64 - March '67.He was in 103 / 110 sqn doing medevac / casevac / searches /ops / etc. He flew over 700hrs, 600hrs as 1st Pilot and flew 30 different whirlwinds 10s during his tour.

Heres one of them in action XK968 dropping off or picking up in a clearing, this one looks quite spacious but I remember him saying that some of the LZs were just big enough to fit into and the rotors often trimmed the foliage.

Heres the same craft shot at RAF Manston March 1991, by 1997 it had been completely destroyed.
http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4017/4316269670_02b66d3a5b_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/last_lightning/4316269670/)
WHIRLWIND HAR10 XK968 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/last_lightning/4316269670/) by Gaz West (http://www.flickr.com/people/last_lightning/), on Flickr

But here the same craft immortalized on a st Kitts 80c stamp. I was very pleased to find this on ebay and the seller kindly sent me a detailed picture when i queried the tail number.

Heres a couple of pictures from his log book of an unidentified Whirlwind aboard the Empire Kittiwake during the same era.

Lastly heres another picture from his Log book of the time i can only guess either bleach was involved or that he was flying VIP (there is some mention to VIP in the duty section on some days.)


14th May 2012, 12:58
Off Cape Wrath, 18 June 1987. Crew change, HMS Ark Royal.



And here are two for the Maestro...the sublime G-SUTT and the more prosaic but still great-fun and sweet to fly F28A, a much underrated helo.



14th May 2012, 18:13
Sorry folks ... the moment I see dear old Shoreham Airport, I have to pipe up! Especially for an Enstrom. G-BBIN, Serial Number 157 I seem to recall was naturally nick-named 'Breadbin' locally. I supplied her when new to a client at Helston, Cornwall. That would have been circa 1973 ish. Looking in my files, I see I subsequently sold her no less than three times. My original pic of her was a standard 28A colour scheme in a sort of Orange/White.

Hughes (as she was then) G-SUTT went to Sutton windows after they traded in their first Enstrom 28A being serial 150 ... may have been G-BBHD. Funny how I can rmember CAA reggies after forty years but can't remember where I left my glasses yesterday! Good flying to all. Dennis Kenyon. President designate for the COF society. (a subsidiary to Pprune)

14th May 2012, 18:17
Oh ... and incidentally that Enstrom pic must have been taken after 1980 as in the background, the last steep roof house on the horizon up Mill Hill was the home I built in 1979! Take care all and thanks for putting up with this trivia. Dennis K.

25th May 2012, 09:18
Wally Wilding pics again.
Dad left the RAF in Nov '67 and started flying with Gregory Air service Feb '68
Flying mainly Hughes 300 (& Allouette II G-AVEE)
He Flew G-AVZC a lot, but also G-AWKC and G-AVUM.

Line up of the GFTS at Denham airfield.

His log book mentions filming 'Avengers' in Jun, Aug and Sept '68 in G-AVZC and ive traced the episodes featuring G-AVZC as Split!, Super secret cypher snatch, and killer all filmed in '68. G-AVUM was also in 'Avengers' this year in an episode named 'Noon doomsday'

Ferrying a spy in 'Split!'

Trying to pick up a dress wearing bad guy in 'Super secret cypher snatch'

Dropping a corpse into a cemetry in 'killer'

Heres another picture of G-AVZC with Frazer Hines on the right (used to be in Emmerdale farm years ago) and my sister in the middle.

Dad did a few filming bits and pieces over the years and as a kid i remember a big green hand from a seamonster that was given to him after filming Dr Who (Dad flew them 'rising' from the sea). He used to try and scare us by putting it round doors as he walked in, etc.

In December '68 He started work for Globe construction, flying G-AWKC quite a lot and G-AVZC, G-AVUM, G-AXAY.


In Jan '70 he did the conversion to Bell 206 in G-AWRV a 206A and flew this one a lot until Dec '71 when he went to Indonesia and flew Allouettes again.
This picture from PJK collection. Taken in Edinburgh 6th June 1971 and this ties in with Dads logbook as being in his charge at that time.

A spot of map reading in the Bell 206.

26th May 2012, 05:49
Griffo: Unable to raise you (for now) but let's see what turns up! ;)

Ben: Some great nostalgia there involving your Dad, bravo! :ok:


https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-pHYP0PO4We8/T8BpukTmy0I/AAAAAAAAI78/beneX9_H8ks/s768/RN+W+Sea+King+HAS-6+A+Flight+824+Squadron+ZA+136+RFA+Fort+Auston+June+1988+%28 Kev+Slade%29.jpg
Royal Navy Westland Sea King HAS-6 ZA136 from "A Flight" 824 Squadron operating with the RFA Fort Austin in June 1988 (Photo: Kevin Slade)

136 is seen here performing a hi-line transfer alongside the RFA Fort Austin in the North Atlantic. Sadly, this craft ditched in September of the same year following a hydraulic leak and fire in rear cabin. The fuselage went to HMS Sultan at Gosport.

The Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Fort Austin was laid down at Scott Lithgow in 1975, launched in 1978 and commissioned in 1979. This ship was designed to carry a wide range of stores to support other ships; ammunition, food, explosives. She had extensive aviation facilities with two flight decks, one to the stern and one spot on top of the hangar which could accommodate up to four Sea Kings. Austin had the capability of replenishing ships at sea via six RAS points.


The RFA Fort Austin at Portsmouth