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Calling all ex-Wessex personnel

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Calling all ex-Wessex personnel

Old 2nd Jan 2017, 16:33
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Calling all ex-Wessex personnel

Calling all ex-Wessex personnel (inter alia, 18, 22, 28, 60, 72, 78, 84, 103 Sqns, SARTU, SAREW, WSF, Muharraq SAR & The Queen's Flight; 700, 706, 707, 737, 771, 772, 781, 814, 815, 819, 820, 826, 829, 845, 846, 847, 848 NAS; ETPS & A&AEE; and any ex-Bristow people for Mk.60s etc etc).

I am currently writing the follow-up to my previous Sea King HU Mk.5 (2014) and Lynx HAS Mk.3 & HMA Mk.8 (2016) Haynes Owners Workshop Manuals, this time on the venerable Wessex.

Unlike the other two, however, this book will cover all British marks - RAF and RN.

To that end I would be pleased to hear from any ex air or ground crew from their days operating the aircraft who might have some hitherto unseen photographs of interest and/or feel they might like to contribute some of their tales of what it was like to fly and maintain (my own Wessex maintenance experience being limited to training airframes during my apprenticeship!).

If anyone thinks they might like to help, please send me a PM for more details.

Many thanks in advance.

Lee

Last edited by Lee Howard; 3rd Jan 2017 at 13:39.
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Old 2nd Jan 2017, 18:39
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Don't forget 78 Sqn.
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Old 2nd Jan 2017, 18:55
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At last the Double Datum Overspeed Trip Governor will get the recognition it deserves. And the Hydraulic Fuses? Those were the days....
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Old 2nd Jan 2017, 19:14
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It was a very rough non-exhaustive list off the top of my head. I'd overlooked 28 Sqn as well...now corrected!
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Old 2nd Jan 2017, 19:56
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Good project, looking forward to reading it. I'll dig out some Wx HAS Mk III photos when next home. I'm sure you didn't forget 737 NAS on the main exhaustive list. pp.
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Old 2nd Jan 2017, 21:24
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I would suggest opening a thread over on Rotorheads, too.

ps 826 NAS needed in your listing
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Old 2nd Jan 2017, 23:33
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And what about 103 Sqn? They operated Wessex 1972-1975 at RAF Tengah in Singapore.
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Old 3rd Jan 2017, 06:32
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The Wonderful Wessex, a machine which magically converted jet fuel into noise, vibration, electricity, friction, heat and cold with a little bit of energy left for the accomplishment of flight. It was made from a combination of unobtainium, corrodium and Tough Stuff.
I proved that it indeed was made of Tough Stuff on many occasions, but notably when a bunch of jolly naval aviators invited me, not being of the Senior Service, to attempt to land their Mk5 helicopter, which I was supposedly in charge of, on 1 Spot on the otherwise empty deck of the original and much loved Rusty B. This would have normally have been quite simple, except for the fact that the weather had precluded flying by the wise members of said Senior Service and they were not going to miss out on their little jape by allowing me the pleasure of a more comfortable landing on 4 or 5 spot. Hey ho, I am still here.... but there is more....
Such as. How to organise oneself an early lunch by casting the tracking flag on to the hangar roof by using only one tied down Wessex and its associated and by now mangled main rotor blade tips. Or. How to remove the tail rotor Gust Lock without having to bother climbing up on to the pylon. This involves engaging the main rotor first, which allows the 3 to 4 kg of Twangy Metal Gust Lock to disappear at an exceedingly high rate of RPM's and knots. Or. How to check out the flying properties of a Riley motor car by using only a few wire slings, an 8 foot strop, 1500 feet of unoccupied airspace and a Wessex Mk2. A truly wonderful and magnificent aircraft much loved by its crews.
Sadly, I cannot PM you, so if you wish any more, particularly with reference to the more esoteric technical bits, please PM me and we can go from there.
PS. We could start with the amazing windscreen wiper system, that did many things but this did not include wiping windows. There is so much more. RG
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Old 3rd Jan 2017, 08:27
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Lee, there are many years of Wessex reminiscing here: What is it about the Wessex that makes people so fond of it?
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Old 3rd Jan 2017, 10:15
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Seems to have forgotten HOCF, 240 OCU, the Shawbury mob and several others too.


Just remember to put the stay back in before you remove the second engine, because lifting a jack up onto the decking to jack the nose back up to allow it to fit was a pain
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Old 3rd Jan 2017, 12:22
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Let us take a moment to contemplate the Electrically Wound Clockwork Start Relay. I had forgotten the Barking Wiper System. Nothing wrong with self parking by bleeding pressure from the number 1 flying control circuit?
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Old 3rd Jan 2017, 14:00
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All,

Many thanks for the replies. And just to reiterate, the list above was NOT exhaustive! It was merely off the top of my head without having anything written in front of me - not bad!). But rest assured, they'll all be listed in the book.....that includes 2FTS!

RG: I'll be in touch shortly. Some good 'dits' there, by the look of it!

PP: I'd be interested to see what you might have Wx3-wise, albeit with the other FAA books I've written, I've probably got a fair selection to choose from already....but you never know!

DW: PM sent!

Lee
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Old 3rd Jan 2017, 14:39
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Not forgetting No 5 Squadron Uruguayan Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Uruguaya), they took some of our Wessex 2's over (Ex 28 Sqn and Shawbury 2 FTS). I was on RAFWATT (RAF Wessex Advisory and Training Team) in Montevideo in 1997.
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Old 3rd Jan 2017, 15:55
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Lee, I live in East Devon & would be happy to meet up with you.

I have some Wessex publications and did two and a bit tours as a Wessex Crewman.

lsh
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Old 3rd Jan 2017, 16:05
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The unforgettable Gnome engine bearings, Roller, Ball, Roller, Roller, Ball. Takes me back 40 odd years, and some of them were odd!!!!
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Old 3rd Jan 2017, 16:25
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First time I did a BF on a Wessex, prepping them for the Spithead Review in 77, I forgot to shout Igniters. Some poor engine fitter got a HT wallop. He was ok; at least he ran quickly as he chased me round Flight Test.
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Old 3rd Jan 2017, 18:28
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Ish: where in Devon? PM me.
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Old 4th Jan 2017, 07:19
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Lee/WASALOADIE
In the course of some other work in 2012 in South America I chanced upon the ex-Shawbury Wessies parked in storage at Punte del Este airbase in Uruguay (along with two ex-750 Jetstreams), regrettably all in a sorry state apart from one which was stated as physically complete in all respects, apart from suspended from all routine servicing and planned maintenance.
I'll post a couple of photos soon. XR 505 and 521 were two of them. There were also a couple of ex-US Sikorsky H34s; obviously the mould for the Westland-built machines, as different a SeaKing was from an H3.
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Old 4th Jan 2017, 07:58
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WASA, this Squadron Print was still on the Armada crewroom wall 4 years ago.
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Old 4th Jan 2017, 20:08
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PP - looking forward to seeing them.
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