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What is it about the Wessex that makes people so fond of it?

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What is it about the Wessex that makes people so fond of it?

Old 13th Oct 2011, 21:26
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ISTR the Wessex pee tube went to a bladder, which if filled was expected to be emptied by the user. QED, it was not often used

Unlike the Sea King which vented under the fuselage, and was needed on 4+ hour sorties. Although the Sea King A25 in my name was another story......
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Old 13th Oct 2011, 22:10
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C53204

My last memory was sitting in one on a pad at Bessbrook Mill. just after lift off an almighty bang and the pic dumped it on the ground. By the time we were allowed off, several techs looking curiously around the TR.
Was that early in 2001?

OF
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Old 15th Oct 2011, 08:49
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Bast0n, Sycamore; many thanks!

Sandy Toad wrote: Tasks were varied but often out of Battersea with various Admirals or Cabinet Ministers.

Westland Wessex HU5 XT772 'Green Parrot' of 781 Naval Air Squadron (for another [better] image of this craft see page 9) departing Battersea Heliport in 1978 (Photo: Anton Heumann)

Nice to see the RN Ensign on the nose.
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Old 15th Oct 2011, 14:21
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Seeing the Green Parrot reminds me of a good fun flight when Bob Warren was flying it out of Lee and I was the SAR pilot in a WX5. There was a splendid chap whose name escapes me who did the radar approaches and it was his last day on the job before retirement. Bob was approaching the Needles from the west and I went round the IOW low level clockwise and met up with him in very tight formation.

Bob did all the radio and we did a radar controlled approach until we were at about 300 feet and Bob broke up and right and I went down and left! When we got to the bar the controller was still shaking from the experience……….he genuinely thought that Bob had had a midair……………….! Happy days.

D

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Old 15th Oct 2011, 14:27
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Unlike 4+ hour sorties
I hadn't realised the RN had 45 year old Sub Lieutenants.......
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Old 15th Oct 2011, 15:19
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Lol, that's excellent Bast0n!

There was certainly more freedom in those days to have a bit of a laugh .. progress for you.

And the plank in your photo?
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Old 15th Oct 2011, 22:46
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Dave

We took over from the Wessex V SAR at Lee in 1988. Can't remember the Flight Commanders name but a nice guy who I think went outside to the USA after staying with us for a handover.

Do I remember you had something to do with Seafield Park at the time.

Also I believe you were SAR on the Mk 9 when I went through basic training at Culdrose end '65/'66

John
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Old 16th Oct 2011, 14:22
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Re. the Whirlwind cyclic 'feel' as against the Wessex, VERY light indeed!! When I first got to SAR at Thorney, a story was current of a previous Flt Cdr -(one 'Punch-Up P..... r' , for reasons we won't go into!!) He was built like the proverbial outhouse and found the lightness of Ww controls not to his taste. He, therefore, used to tighten the fore and aft and lateral frictions to absolute maximum. He had completed a flight just before the visiting 'trapper' pilot decided to have a bit of local continuity flying - ... the resultant take-off and transition was, to say the least, interesting - couldn't take his feet of the pedals to adjust the friction until he got to 60 kts and getting there needed mucho muscles!!
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Old 17th Oct 2011, 09:01
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I flew her from 1990-97 and wrote over 2000 WetSex hours in my log book. It was like flying a semi looking through the letter box, but as a decidedly average pilot, it was a great beast to learn to operate, esp hot and high in Hongkers! Best of all was the big, bouncy undercarriage; it absorbed many of my finest arrivals! Many of them are in museums...makes me feel really old though!
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Old 17th Oct 2011, 10:56
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...yeh but you did start kinda young!
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Old 17th Oct 2011, 12:39
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Aye, that I was...I think I was nearly 5!
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Old 18th Oct 2011, 13:45
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Westland Wessex HC2 of the Empire Test Pilot's School photogrpahed on 19th March 1976. The pilot failed to arrest his rate of descent during a transition from rearward to forward flight after hovering in a tail wind. The aircraft struck upward sloping ground in a field adjacent to Boscombe Down village. Both crew received injuries. The forward section of the fuselage was sent to Australia to be used for technical training


Westland Wessex HAS Mk III returns to HMS Osprey/RNAS Portland with wheel-floats inflated

Last edited by Savoia; 20th Oct 2011 at 04:56.
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Old 18th Oct 2011, 16:53
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Originally Posted by Savoia
Westland Wessex HAS Mk III returns to Culdrose with wheel-floats inflated
Looks more like Portland to me....especially as it has PO on the tail!
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Old 18th Oct 2011, 19:44
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Tiz indeed HMS Osprey...one of the (still in place) concrete Mullberry Harbours are just in the bottom of the shot that didnt get floated over for D Day.

Chris
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Old 20th Oct 2011, 03:30
  #235 (permalink)  
 
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An interesting photo of a Wessex HU5 in the hover, changing an oleo over the deck of Bulwark reportedly in 1972. What/why, anyone?

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Old 20th Oct 2011, 03:47
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Interesting to see the MK2, if its the one I think it is, as an apprentice in Fleetlands I was extensively involved with the re-skinning of that aircraft after it had returned from an extended tour in Oman and badly corroded, and sometime later (it was under re-build for a long time), I was the Flight test fitter who did the ground runs and air tests, the last time I saw it was on a 'Queen Mary' lorry outside the flight test hangar in Fleetlands destined for the scrap yard!

Stacey
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Old 20th Oct 2011, 04:51
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C16/Coley Chaos, thanks for verifying the location of the Wessex with wheel-floats inflated. I should have known better having been into Osprey a couple of times although never to Culdrose.

Bast0n - still no word on the event depicted in your image lifting the plank?


Bristol Belvedere XG 456 of 66 Squadron based at Seletar, Singapore, recovers Westland Wessex XS 117 of 845 Naval Air Squadron
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Old 20th Oct 2011, 09:04
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Savoia - the light aircraft was from a flying school, Hamble I think, and the student for some unknown reason lost the plot on finals and went in upside down in the mud. I turned the aircraft the right way up so they could get at the sad remains.

Carrying on from the last picture of the WX1 being recovered............

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Old 20th Oct 2011, 09:29
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Originally Posted by Savoia
Bristol Belvedere XG 456 of 66 Squadron based at Seletar, Singapore, recovers Westland Wessex XS 117 of 845 Naval Air Squadron
"Recovered" is a bit of a misnomer. Shortly after the photo was taken the Belvedere crew dropped the Wessex into the jungle when the load became unstable.

Edit: There's quite a story of mishaps associated with this event - as detailed in Lee Howard's book "FAA Helicopters Since 1943".

XS117 was parked overnight on a slight slope at Nanga Gaat, Sarawak. There were monsoon rains overnight and on 5 December 1963 the aircraft jumped chocks and rolled down the slope with the nose embedding itself in a tree stump. The tail pylon was removed from XS117 and on 9 December the late Nick Boyd in Wessex XP138 lifted the pylon but it gyrated and the twisted strop eventually failed and the pylon was lost in the jungle.

The engine from XS117 was removed on 11 December and dumped in a river - why I don't know. Presumably a write-off having clobbered a tree stump but why in a river?

On 15 December the Belvedere completed the saga. XS117 was only 8 months old with just 144 hours on it.

Last edited by CharlieOneSix; 20th Oct 2011 at 09:49.
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Old 20th Oct 2011, 10:16
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Originally Posted by John Eacott
An interesting photo of a Wessex HU5 in the hover, changing an oleo over the deck of Bulwark reportedly in 1972. What/why, anyone?
Could possibly be XS490 with Lt TMF Neil on 3 March 1972. Port u/c leg radius fractured. Oleo and arm replaced in the hover on Bulwark (Info from book "FAA Helicopters Since 1973"). But it was not an unusual occurrence - it happened again on Bulwark a few months later to XS498; port radius arm fractured on T/O off North Carolina on 31/1/73 and again all changed in the hover.

Last edited by CharlieOneSix; 20th Oct 2011 at 10:40.
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