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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 20th Oct 2011, 11:54
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John Eacott


I think that oleo change was whilst at anchor in Grand Harbour, Malta. D
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Old 22nd Oct 2011, 10:17
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Excellent shot Bast0n!


A young Cathy Jones visits the chaps at RAF Valley c. 1976
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Old 23rd Oct 2011, 22:59
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XS117 engine dumped in river because they thought it was a shopping trolley?
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Old 27th Oct 2011, 22:24
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Is it true that Wessex 5 pilots were, note the were, most handsome of the genre........................?



OK Nigel let's see you in the cockpit......................

D
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Old 28th Oct 2011, 00:08
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I can't believe you didn't remain a Mid for your entire Navy career!!!! When did you eventually retire?
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Old 28th Oct 2011, 09:18
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Anyone recognize this young chap......................

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Old 28th Oct 2011, 10:21
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Old 28th Oct 2011, 10:50
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And I haven't changed a bit!!!!!!!!
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Old 28th Oct 2011, 11:22
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No doubt you poor old codgers will recall this from the Farnborough programme



Last edited by John Eacott; 2nd May 2020 at 04:05. Reason: Add missing photo
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Old 28th Oct 2011, 13:12
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And for Savoia I combine the two best looking Wessex 5 pilots...............


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Old 28th Oct 2011, 13:28
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Lol! Excellent!

"Quite right Your Royal Highness, nor indeed any version of the Wessex! But I'm a great fan!"

While we're at it - please can you tell me what the 'Wessex bit' is that I've highlighted in your photo.



ps: Which squadron ties are you and PC wearing?
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Old 28th Oct 2011, 17:04
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Savoia those covers run down both sides of the Wessex 5 just below cockpit level. You will note that unlike other marks of Wessex the forward end is open as an intake. In the lesser marks this square tube carries electrical cables that the well known maker of garage doors that made the Wessex various did not know where to put and run devious bits of kit like Asdic! In the 5 however the tubes act as an intake to a very small ram air turbine that provides current to a coffee maker in the forward end of the main cabin, crewman for the use of, to serve his master up the front. In the tropics the electricity can be diverted to a small fridge that slots in place of the coffee machine. If you do not fly in balance you get cold coffee or warm beer. The photo below shows an in the field repair to the coffee maker.



The tie we are wearing is the FAA tie that the Fly Navy Heritage Trust sells to raise boodle to keep all sorts of things running. It is available online through the FAA Museum shop.
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Old 28th Oct 2011, 17:45
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bast0n, that has to be a future contender for the caption-competition thread - please!
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Old 28th Oct 2011, 21:18
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Originally Posted by bast0n
The tie we are wearing is the FAA tie that the Fly Navy Heritage Trust sells to raise boodle to keep all sorts of things running. It is available online through the FAA Museum shop.
Of course, a proper Wessex driver gets the ZigZag tie from the FAAOA

Coffee maker, eh? We'd just ring the steward in the galley down the back for lunch, much easier than all this landing in paddocks stuff
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Old 1st Nov 2011, 09:39
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Bast0n, thanks for that explanation.

My 'stab in the dark' had been a ram air duct for the passenger cabin although I was naturally curious as to the length of the 'appendage'. That it served as a conduit for wiring etc. suggests there can't have been much extra space or an easy route from the nose to the cabin?


Royal Navy Westland Wessex of 845 Naval Air Squadron winches aboard members of a British Army patrol in Borneo in 1964
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Old 3rd Nov 2011, 09:25
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ROYAL NAVY WESSEX SIBU AIRSTRIP, SARAWAK, 1965: A crippled Navy Wessex helicopter hovers above a landing pad while its damaged under-carriage unit, weighing 300 lbs, is removed, repaired and replaced by a repair team in 8 minutes. Piloted by Lieut John Foster, RN, the left undercarriage wheel snapped on landing near the Indonesian border, the pilot promptly put the aircraft into a climb and flew back to Sibu airport, and hovered while his passengers disembarked and the repair team went into action.


ROYAL NAVY WESSEX ABOARD HMS ALBION, 1962: Flight deck scene as Royal Marines of 41 Commando embark on a Wessex helicopter. HMS Albion prepares for her tour of the Far East in 1962 during trials and work-up as the Royal Navy's second commando carrier assigned to relieve HMS Bulwark. The Marines here pictured were participating in Exercise 'Double Take' which involved training operations from helicopters, carriers and landing craft
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Old 3rd Nov 2011, 10:30
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John had a lovely Swedish wife who made the best lobster/crab dish I've ever had, all freshly caught that afternoon!!
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Old 3rd Nov 2011, 12:12
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815 Squadron in the Radfan, north of Aden, in 1964

A few months ago a relative of a friend was dismantling an old chest of drawers he had bought years before at a car boot sale in Hawick, Scotland. He found some dusty old 35mm monochrome negatives tucked away in the back and I scanned them for him. The grainy photo shown here is of a Fleet Air Arm anti-submarine Wessex HAS Mk1 depositing an underslung load and after some research the story behind the photo has become clearer helped by locations shown in the other negatives. The harp insignia just behind the port oleo shows this to be a Wessex of 815 Squadron.


The Radfan Mountains are located 60 miles north of Aden. In 1964 the new republican government in adjacent Yemen, backed by Egypt's President Nasser, was actively fermenting trouble in the Sultanate of Upper Yafa, which was one of the Western Aden Protectorate states that was refusing to join the Federation of Saudi Arabia.

It became clear that a campaign was being waged against the Federation of Saudi Arabia, mainly by the Yemen and Egyptian-backed Radfan tribesmen. Their main objective was to attempt to close the main road from Aden to Yemen's frontier town of Dhala. However, the campaign mounted by British personnel, with Federation troops, quickly and effectively defeated the tribesmen.

The Wessex in the photo above is '302' XM873 of 815 Naval Air Squadron which with other 815 Wessex left the aircraft carrier HMS Centaur on 22 May 1964 to go on detachment to the Radfan hills north of Aden. The purpose was to undertake the junglie role in support of 45 Commando, 1st Battalion of the King's Own Scottish Borderers, and the East Anglian Regiment. 815 had previously been in the Radfan in January that year in support of a similar task - Operation Nutcracker - and all the antisubmarine role equipment was once again removed from the Wessex to allow transportation of troops.

Based at RAF Khormaksar, the squadron flew daily to Thumier. The normal routine was for RAF Hunters to soften up a rebel stronghold with rocket and cannon fire, followed by a mortar bombardment, and then, when enemy heads seemed to be scarce the Wessex flew in advance troops to secure the site.

The photo of XM873 must have been taken at some point in the 19 days between leaving Centaur and when it was written off in the Radfan on 10 June 1964 when a sudden wind veer just prior to touchdown at an elevation of 5000ft caused it to bounce several times. The tail section parted and the aircraft rolled over 5 times into a 150ft deep gully at Wadi Misrah on the Radfan Plateau. The crew, pilots Bob Wilkins and the late Paul Kingston, and the Observer Bryan Naylor were all OK but four East Anglian Regiment soldiers were injured (Privates Holden, Ide, Casserley and Muglesoone) and one, Private Fox, was killed. XM873 was struck off charge on 11 September 1964 having a total of 670.40 flying hours.

A month after they had disembarked, 815 returned to Centaur on 22 June 1964 having flown 300 hours of operational tasks, transported 2500 troops, moved 400,000lbs of stores, and flown 25 casevacs.

Last edited by CharlieOneSix; 3rd Nov 2011 at 12:23.
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Old 3rd Nov 2011, 13:03
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Brilliant investigative post C16!
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Old 12th Nov 2011, 06:22
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Westland Wessex of 845 Naval Air Squadron Westland Wessex based aboard HMS Bulwark. These craft were used to carry commando troops and were part of a 16 ship complement of aircraft


Westland Wessex lands on board HMS Triumph (A108) while docked in Mombasa, Kenya, in December 1971
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