View Full Version : Which Westland Widgeon?

5th Mar 2018, 12:53
During the first rollout of the VC10 prototype G-ARTA, it was photographed from a helicopter, a Westland Widgeon. I have found a photo from the Sunday Express that shows this helicopter, see below. Would anyone be able to help me with identifying this particular Widgeon? I have a sneaking suspicion that it might be G-APPS, used by Bristow Helicopters, but I would appreciate a confirmation or any additional information.

I found this image of G-APPS, and while the colourscheme is pretty close, I wonder if Bristow had other Widgeons or whether there was another Widgeon with a comparable scheme operating in 1962: https://abpic.co.uk/pictures/view/1514946

5th Mar 2018, 16:30
G-AOZD wore a similar scheme.

5th Mar 2018, 18:16
Thanks for that! I went through all the Bristow Helicopters photos on ABPic, but must have missed that one. Does anyone know if that external tank was a permanent fixture? That would help narrow it down to a Widgeon without that tank. My grainy picture shows the round exhaust just aft of the (open) sliding door within the blue cheatline, which would in my view have been covered if that tank had been fitted.

Did Bristow operate other Widgeons apart from these two?

6th Mar 2018, 10:25
Bristow operated at least five Widgeons the first two being conversions which were originally built as WS-51 G-ALIK and G-AKTW. These two aircraft were re registered after conversion, becoming G-APPS and G-APPR respectively in 1958. The other three were built as Widgeons and registered G-AOZD, ZE and G-APTE.

Bristows sent all of these aircraft to Nigeria so PR became 5N-ABV Jun62, PS became 5N-AGA Jan63, ZD became 5N-AGL Dec60, ZE became 5N-ABW Jun62 and TE became 5N-AGM Dec66. First flight of VC10 ARTA was 29/6/62 APPS is a good candidate.

6th Mar 2018, 10:31
Brilliant, thank you for that 134brat! The occasion wasn't the first flight but the first rollout, which occurred on 15th April 1962. That means that next to APPS, APPR, AOZE and APTE were also in the UK at that time. Considering that there may have been bit of preparation involved in reregistering the aircraft and preparing them for shipment (assuming they didn't fly there), APPS or APTE could be the most likely candidates.

From the photo I found on ABPIC, at least APPS carried the correct scheme. I'll have to have a look around for photos of APTE to see if this carried the same scheme.