Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Aircrew Forums > Rotorheads
Reload this Page >

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

Rotorheads A haven for helicopter professionals to discuss the things that affect them

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

Old 18th Mar 2010, 13:44
  #141 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Forres
Age: 80
Posts: 126
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Coming from the Whirlwind, the two engines of the Wessex were of great comfort when dangling under it during my SAR days but I still remember some embarrassing times in NI having to drop half a stick of troops and their bergens outside while we went back into the fort to get the other half of the stick when Walter ran out of puff. Memories of ultra low flying in the Mk 4 around Scotland with Alan McG when I winch operated for the Queen's Flight delivering mail to the yacht. Seeing Foxtrot still afloat after we ditched in the South China Sea in a typhoon following a double engine failure due to water ingestion. Still hear the cries of "SAR boys, w*****s" from the crews who recovered us! Happy memories indeed.
Oldsarbouy is offline  
Old 18th Mar 2010, 17:30
  #142 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Cornwall
Age: 76
Posts: 320
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
As always, coming in late on a thread, I had the pleasure of flying both the Wessex 5 and the Wessex 60. My logbook tells me I had 1029 hours on them.

How did you know you had no 1 engine shut down on the wessex? You heard the exhaust of no 2!!

A few pics. 2 from 848 Sqn RNAS in 1966 and t'other from North denes in 1972. If you look closely, "x" marks the spot.







John Whale
TipCap is offline  
Old 18th May 2011, 18:33
  #143 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Milano, Italia
Posts: 2,423
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Wonderful Wessex

.

RAE Westland Wessex HAS1 XM330 at Farnborough on 10th September 1976 (Photo: Steve Fitzgerald)

This craft incurred an incident during a ground run at Farnborough and was, from what I understand, somewhat badly damaged. It was later shipped off to the museum at Weston.

While on Wessex, Ferranti supplied a number of SAS units to Bristow's offshore fleet in the early 70's and it would be interesting to hear any recollections as to how the SAS performed.

Sav
Savoia is offline  
Old 20th May 2011, 09:15
  #144 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 915
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
XM330 actually suffered an IPN starter explosion,which caused some localised structural damage only.Easily repaired for static display and as noted now at the Helicopter Museum.
heli1 is offline  
Old 8th Aug 2011, 02:23
  #145 (permalink)  
Chief Bottle Washer
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: PPRuNe
Posts: 5,040
Received 156 Likes on 91 Posts
This little gem popped up on the Rotors over Gloucestershire website



By 1979 the Churchdown School magazine had a new name Chant and Matthew Price of E1 had this to report about the previous autumn:
"In November, the Royal Navy came to the school to give us a display. They were stationed on the ground as well as in the air. They had a Landrover and a trailer. First the helicopter landed on a rugby pitch, then flew off leaving a man behind. The helicopter came back and picked up a trailer, putting it down on the other side of the field. Then a man sat in a dinghy, pretending to be at sea, to be rescued by the helicopter team. I thought it was very exciting to watch, particularly when the helicopter waltzed around the field. It was funny when the man sat in the dinghy in the middle of the field and when later, dangling from the helicopter, he looked like a spider!"

I personally remember this event well, not least because the Royal Navy always seemed to have the slickest careers presentations of the three services. The rotorcraft in question was a blue Westland Wessex HU5 with the letters P and T in white either side of the blue and red roundel on the rear fuselage. Did this stand for Presentation Team perhaps? Perhaps someone made a note of the number too. What I always regret is going home to eat as usual that day. Apparently some of the Sixth Formers were given a ride during the lunch hour!
Senior Pilot is offline  
Old 8th Aug 2011, 14:02
  #146 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Hants
Posts: 25
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Jousting for boys

In 73 I was Nav2 on Bulwark and my SLJ had the rather grand title of Assault Chief Marshall. Mission - to wear a surcoat/loop headset and make sure the right sticks of booties got in the right Wessy. I loved that job and, call me soppy old romantic, was intrigued with the way the pilots climbed in the helo, as you might mount a charger before a joust, rather than just 'got in' like a SK.

It was that job that convinced me to go for flying and I was mildly disappointed, on getting my wings, to be sent SK rather than Wx5. But I finally realised my ambition when, on the cusp of leaving the RN in 82, I became the last pilot to convert to the Wx3 - day VMC only.

So I got to climb up the side in the end. I also loved the SOPS running landings and regular formations. On the downside, I still miss Greg Lewis.
Andy Healey is offline  
Old 14th Aug 2011, 08:39
  #147 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Milano, Italia
Posts: 2,423
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Osborn's Wessex

Nigel Osborn wrote: That Farnborough video reminded me of 1964 when 848 Squadron flew in the airshow with the Wessex 5.
Since reading this comment I've been keeping my eyes peeled for any '64 images of Wessex in the Farnborough vicinity but, alas, I've not had too much success. There was a RAF HC2 on display that year and I do have a shot of that!

However, 1964 was supposedly the year when two Wessex demonstrated their in-flight refuelling capability (below):


Presumably Nigel remembers seeing this demonstration?

Another Wessex from '64 would have been this Mk 5 at Yeovilton:


RN Wessex HU5 at Yeovilton air base on 25th May 1964 (Photo: Alex Christie)



Of the 848, just two images, one of which is likely to be of greater relevance to Nigel than the other:


Westland Wessex HU5 XT471 of 848 Squadron attached to HMS Bulwark visiting Edinburgh during the Summer of 1973 (Photo: Peter Nicholson)


Westland Wessex Mk 5 of 848's 'C' flight in Nanga Gaat in 1965

Some of the narrative associated with the above image reads: "On arrival in Singapore we disembarked for the RM barracks Sembawang and NAS Simbang where we prepared the helicopters for operations in the jungles of Borneo swapping the sand and green camouflage for the jungle green colouring that now denoted us a jungle bunnies.

After the period of preparation we once more embarked on the Albion and proceeded to Borneo. On arrival off Kuching 'B' and 'C' flights flew off to their respective areas of operation. We had now exchanged our Navy blue for the green uniforms of our Royal Marine brothers but we did not seem to convey the same outwardly appearance that the 'Bootniks' achieved and I suppose most of them were a little weary of 'Jack' with a rifle in his grasp.

'B' flight was to operate from our rear base at Sibu and 'C' flight was on its way up country to Nanga Gaat which was a few miles from the Indonesian border where the Gaat and barley rivers met. As we flew down the river it became apparent on just how much 845 Squadron had suffered whilst operating here. In the trees was a wreck of a Wessex 1, one of two that had collided as they approached the forward airbase. This was more compelling as Scouse Rothwell, a Naval Air Mechanic who had been in my class at Ganges and Condor had perished in the incident.

It was as it we had entered another world. We had all heard about the head hunters of Borneo but never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine I would live amongst them. The Iban tribesmen were used by the British forces as border scouts and one of my first sightings of them was as they disembarked from one of the Wessex."

Another Wessex character from this period was W.H. Sear:


'Slim' Sear climbs aboard the Wessex

W.H. "Slim" Sear, OBE, AFRAes, was Chief test pilot of Westland Aircraft from 1952 until 1967. "Slim" Sear went to Westland after flying with the RAF and the Royal Navy and graduating from the ETPS and was responsible for the development and production flight testing of all the company's rotary-wing aircraft during his tenure. He played a prominent part in developing the all-weather and anti-submarine capabilities of the Wessex and was closely associated with the development of turbine types.

He was responsible for flight development on the Westminster which was, at that time, the UK's largest helicopter and, latterly, the anti-submarine Wessex Mk 3. He received an OBE in 1963 in recognition of his flight test work.
.
Savoia is offline  
Old 14th Aug 2011, 11:00
  #148 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Gold Coast, Queensland
Posts: 943
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sav

Very interesting! Slim Sear was a great bloke & took me out for dinner twice at Farnborough as I had 2 girls visiting & he made a foursome! Slim is flying one of the refueling Wessex, quite a straight forward operation but not really practical. The Wessex he is climbing into had the short original exhaust pipe, ok in England where you kept the back door shut but no good in the tropics as the cabin filled with exhaust when the main door was open for ventilation. Hence the longer pipe was fitted.

The late John White is on the ground in the middle of the front row, along with Gordon Bradley, Pat McHaffey & myself; too small a photo for me to recognise the others.

The Nanga write up is not correct, both Wessex Mk1 of 845 fell into the river & thanks to the depth & very strong current were never located by the divers. Only one person survived the accident, Petty Officer Crispin, who went out the open main door into the river & only had minor injuries.

One day I'll work out how to load photos!!
Nigel Osborn is offline  
Old 14th Aug 2011, 11:21
  #149 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Milano, Italia
Posts: 2,423
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
.
The late John White is on the ground in the middle of the front row, along with Gordon Bradley, Pat McHaffey & myself; too small a photo for me to recognise the others.
Good Lord! What a merry band of rascals you were!

Yes, now that you mention it that does look like Pat (third from the right) and Chalky (fifth from the left). The image is horrifc and for which I apologise. Believe it or not, it was enlarged from the original!

If you have photos Nigel then please get them scanned (if you can) and email them to me. I'll gladly host them for you whereupon you can post them on PPRuNe to your heart's content and, I dare say, to the appreciation of a few Wessex fans!
.
Savoia is offline  
Old 15th Aug 2011, 15:21
  #150 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Cornwall
Age: 76
Posts: 320
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Savoia, It was great seeing Wessex "E" with the "A" of Albion on the tail in your post (#154) on the ground at Yeovilton in 1964 .

That was the aircraft that was allocated to me when I flew it on to Albion from Culdrose on 3rd April 1967 when 848 embarked (see my post #148).

Regards

TC

Last edited by TipCap; 15th Nov 2012 at 18:21. Reason: editorial
TipCap is offline  
Old 15th Aug 2011, 18:21
  #151 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Milano, Italia
Posts: 2,423
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
John

There seem to be a number of PPRuNers with links to the Albion, posted below for posterity:


HMS Albion 'at sea' in 1972 onto which PPRuNer John 'TipCap' Whale flew Wessex 'E' from RNAS Culdrose in 1967

On the Nostalgia Thread I've dropped a wee note about the late great Roi Wilson who was senior pilot with 848 Sqn from 1955-57 and who served as Air Commander aboard the Albion from 1966-68.

Did you also fly Wessex with Bristows and if so, do you happen to recall if the craft you flew were fitted with Ferranti SAS and again, if so, how did the equipment perform please? (This is for a write-up on the Ferranti site).

Finally, can anyone assist with the image below for which I have no details? Grazie Mille.


A Wessex flight 'somewhere' at 'sometime' !! Sorry, no info on this one.

Regards

Sav lemonchiffon
Savoia is offline  
Old 15th Aug 2011, 19:19
  #152 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Cornwall
Age: 76
Posts: 320
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi Sav

Thanks for the great pictures . Any chance of sending me that picture of Albion at sea. I have several of her that if anyone was interested I would post.

Yes I flew the Wessex 60 with Bristows with some 700 hours in command. We certainly had sas fitted and in later days even weather radar but whether the sas was ferranti or not I don't know but I will find out for you.

Best wishes

John Whale
TipCap is offline  
Old 15th Aug 2011, 19:43
  #153 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Portsmouth
Posts: 17
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Wessex SAS

John, I have been watching your posts so I will supply some of the answers.
The SAS fitted to the Wessex 60 Series 1 was a Ferranti Type FAS-2W embodied to modification ATL/GEN/004.
To show what an anarak I am it consisted of 3 Gyro amplifiers P/n 64-55530 or FAS-A2-W. A control unit P/n 74-80-025. An Adaptor unit P/n 64-55490 or FAS-TI-W and three normal Servo motors WB5-73-2903.
Please keep the pictures coming.
Its reliability was quite good after we learnt the lessons from G-ATCA's crash at Swansea Airport (9 Sept 1972) except for a onerous check every seven days.
Dave Gash.
dg93 is offline  
Old 21st Aug 2011, 14:09
  #154 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Cornwall
Age: 76
Posts: 320
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks Dave.

Nice to hear from you again after all these years.

Sav, there's your answer.

Take care, guys

John Whale
TipCap is offline  
Old 21st Aug 2011, 17:21
  #155 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Milano, Italia
Posts: 2,423
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
John/Dave, many thanks!

My understanding is that the Ferranti SAS unit employed on the Bristow fleet was reasonably effective. I would still appreciate further feedback from any drivers familiar with the system.

More Wessex from Osborn's era ..


An RAF Westland Wessex HC2 XR516 at Gaydon on 19th September 1964 (Photo: Peter Clarke)

Is that an early Mobil Oil symbol on the tail?

ps: One of the mods is tagging me "lemonchiffon" - should I be pleased or pi**ed? Lol!

lemonchiffon.
Savoia is offline  
Old 21st Aug 2011, 18:46
  #156 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: In the shadows
Age: 79
Posts: 290
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Savoia
.
Is that an early Mobil Oil symbol on the tail?.
Although it doesn't much look like it, it's a Pegasus rampant which indicates it is an 18 Squadron airframe.
CharlieOneSix is offline  
Old 21st Aug 2011, 19:39
  #157 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Milano, Italia
Posts: 2,423
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
C16, many thanks for identifying 516 as a member of 18 Sqn. As you say, the Pegasus rampant doesn't reflect the standard design normally used by the squadron and (as depicted below) appears to have more in common with the logo of the oil company.

Perhaps 18's CO had an understanding with the MD of Mobil!



18 Sqn badge with Pegasus rampant



1960's Mobil Oil logo

lemonchiffon
Savoia is offline  
Old 21st Aug 2011, 20:08
  #158 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Portsmouth
Posts: 17
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
18 Squadron Motif

Hi Savoia

Yes we received a batch of Transfers from Mobil as it was the easiest way of getting a sign on the aircraft before we took part in the 1964 Farnborough show.
Thanks for the pictures
Dave
dg93 is offline  
Old 21st Aug 2011, 20:25
  #159 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Milano, Italia
Posts: 2,423
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Dave, good Lord, how odd!

Let me hope that the chaps at Mobil granted the squadron a favourable discount on Jet A or a year's supply of jet oil or some such benevolence in recompense for the 'free advertising' 18 Sqn delivered during the show, lol!

lemonchiffon
Savoia is offline  
Old 21st Aug 2011, 21:22
  #160 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Cornwall
Age: 76
Posts: 320
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sav

You are talking about an Oil Company now and I had 40 years experience flying for them - enough said!!! You don't get "owt for nowt"

John
TipCap is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.