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Westland 30: threads merged

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Westland 30: threads merged

Old 3rd Sep 2002, 21:33
  #21 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Devon, England
Posts: 1
Westland 30

For my sins, I was the Project pilot for BAH in January 1982. As far as I can remember we had no problems bringing into service although the limited range made it difficult to operate in the northern sector, although in the southern gasfields it was okay, and the cabin was liked by our "customers". I think the real problem with the 30 was that Westlands were falling over themselves to have a viable "presence" in the North Sea as a launch platform for sales overseas, but were giving the aircraft away for next to nothing - ref the Airspur and Indian orders - and when BAH wanted more spares, Westland upped the costs so much that it became completely uneconomic to operate - anyway I left BAH in 1983, taking the money and avoiding Mr Maxwell !!! - so I'm only surmising the final outcome - and yes, I've seen them all gently rotting away in Somerset - very sad.
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Old 3rd Sep 2002, 23:26
  #22 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2001
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RE the demise of the type. I believe that they were withdrawn from use in the UK not because of Westland, but because Rolls-Royce stopped supporting the engines in the normal way i.e. PBH (power by the hour). The new payment scheme meant that they were no longer a commercially viable option for BIH. The american aircraft were sitting in a hangar in Tucson at this time and I think The Pawan Hans Indian machines had also been grounded by the Indian CAA, their grounding being another story....

Variable Load
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Old 5th Sep 2002, 20:03
  #23 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: England
Posts: 61

Wobbly 30?

Fine machine, tell yer Mam -

what was it Terry Squires said?
"the only machine I've ever flown in where you bite the sandwich and it chews it for you"

Donks not really robust enough to swallow minor dust from tarmac without damage; & used to eat accessory drive pinions for breakfast, pain in the butt to do engine work offshore 'cos the cowlings were removed in slabs & not hinged to the airframe (try taking one off in 30kt wind - what do you do when you're stood 8 feet up on a 6" ledge with a 4' x 2' panel in your hand?)

Lovely low floor, doddle to load, floats a pain to pack, tailplane support struts/bearings weak, T/R balance charts written backwards in one axis, nasty airframe fuel filters, whoopsie with the forward ring frame... good old titanium doublers!

Shame about the 30, much nicer to work on than the S76 (regardless of model)

Even doubled as a RAF Puma for a BBC docudrama about troops in Ireland - never did get the scratches out of the windows after the film crew scrubbed off the emulsion paint with steel wool (sorry KATE)
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Old 6th Sep 2002, 04:34
  #24 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 179
Last saw G-KATE in the BIH hangar in 1989 looked v sad.
Attended a management meeting at the time with the Admiral
at which it was suggested that the 30 could be put back into service!!!!
Mind you at the time BIH were operating their heavy 76A's and wre considering everything including Dauphin and 412.
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Old 6th Sep 2002, 17:30
  #25 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: England
Posts: 61
Rob L;

That would be the same Admiral that had the bright idea of putting G-BCEB on to the Penzance/Scillies run during his inspection of same during respray into BIH colours at Beccles?

"would be useful with those extra seats and forward airstair"
"yes, Chief, that's why it's been there for the last 25 years"
"Oh, good show"

Dear old Jock must be rolling....
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Old 6th Sep 2002, 18:00
  #26 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 88
ppheli wrote:

but I don't think they were all delivered. Little odd to me that this photo was taken in NYC and the description says "Pan Am" when it obviously isn't in their colours.
No worries. N112WG was the WG-30 demonstrator that was used for only a short time until Omniflight got the regular bird (N4499N) outfitted and painted. It may have even been the backup a/c but me memory is as foggy as LHR in the morning.
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Old 6th Sep 2002, 18:58
  #27 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Somerset, England
Posts: 2
Operating Costs

Regarding the comment on operating costs, we worked out towards the end it was cheaper to undersling the loaded '30 under one of our BV234s and accept the lower operating cost!

And in passing I remember being in the Aberdeen crewroom when we were demo'ing the 30 to local customers. I did point out gently (and sotto voce) to the assembled pilots that my disposable payload to the Magnus in the 234 for the trip I was planning at the same time was higher than the MAUW of the 30...........

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Old 6th Sep 2002, 20:35
  #28 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 1998
Location: at the edge
Posts: 154
Ah yes, I also remember G KATE, and G OGAS and G BIWY which was nicknamed "Winkee Wanky" by the AFISOs at North Denes (a fine bunch of Bristow guys who used to keep the whole SNS de conflicted in the days when Coltishall was closed and Anglia Radar was but a distant dream)

I digress, I am missing a W30 here, because there was 4 of them I think, was it G BKGD?

It could have been such a good machine with some development, and dynamic improvements.
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Old 6th Sep 2002, 22:26
  #29 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2000
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The same admiral indeed!!!!!!!
Also had a conversation with him (one sided, largely due to me being speechless) on the Bell 48!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

I remember suggesting that going into big Bells or Dauphins was going to be difficult as Bristow and Bond had a head start.
I suggested selling the existing S76 and buying newer lighter aircraft giving a performance increase while maintaining crew and engineering continuity plus an existing spares holding.
DIdn't get much response to that.
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Old 7th Sep 2002, 20:59
  #30 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: England
Posts: 61
BKGD was indeed the 4th (and most reliable) - Gladys by her other name...

Believe she went to PZE to support BCEB with the other 3 acting as Christmas trees and lasted 2 or 3 years, but I was history by then....
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Old 24th Sep 2002, 10:45
  #31 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 1998
Location: U.K.
Posts: 2
Smile Westland 30

A few weeks ago someone was asking about the Westland 30.
I was unable to reply because I was about to leave for abroad and have only just returned. Did you find out what you wanted or,if not, can I be of assistance? I have a couple of thousand hours or more on this helicopter and I was both a technical pilot and training captain on the type when it was operated by by BAH/BIH.
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Old 29th Sep 2002, 18:42
  #32 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: UK
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Yes, all information received and understood but thanks for the offer!!

What did you think of the helo - could it of been used to replace the Puma/Wessex for the MoD?
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Old 30th Sep 2002, 10:42
  #33 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 1998
Location: U.K.
Posts: 2
sorry about the delay in replying. I had no experience of the W.30 in a military role, but I suspect it would not have succeeded in the military role in the form we had it, i.e, short range with F.O.D. sensitive engines. However I believe the Series 3 with the more powerful American Engines(T.800?) with a much greater range, greater M.T.O.W. and payload, 150knot cruise and crash resistance fuselage would have made an excellent machine for both military and civil North Sea operations assuming it lived up to the hype. Unfortunately the lack of about 90 million to develope the machine, and perhaps the military timescale involved, killed it off. It did fly some test flights at Westlands I believe, but I don't know how well it did. If they had had the money and the time to fully develope it then I believe it would have been able to win both military and civil approval and would have sold well. Big 'if' of course.
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Old 12th Jun 2007, 05:36
  #34 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2003
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A few years ago, there was a thread on the Westland 30 which has now been closed so can't post these pictures into it. Apparently, someone was planning to import the ex Indian machines to the UK and re commence operations. Seems to me they may have some work to do.

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Old 12th Jun 2007, 08:22
  #35 (permalink)  
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Location: Germany
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Sad pictures
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Old 12th Jun 2007, 11:16
  #36 (permalink)  
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Location: Just behind the back of beyond....
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OK, I'll bite. Why were the Indian ones grounded?
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Old 12th Jun 2007, 11:27
  #37 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: UK
Posts: 179
Angel WG 30

You can also find one, from I believe the USA, on the PETANS helideck at their safety & survival centre on the North Side of Norwich Airport.
with fraternal greetings, ambi
PS: The main rotor blades are not quite correct though!
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Old 12th Jun 2007, 12:09
  #38 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Mexico
Posts: 5
Unhappy Omniflight operations

Omniflight operated 3 W30 with the Gem 60 and 3 W30 with the Gem 40 engines for PAN AM and UNITED. The airframe was great for the shuttle operation but with 24 engines for the gem 60's helicopters, we could not keep the helicopter in the air. When we shut the airline down, there was one helicopter still running and 22 engines in the shop. Hard to operate with that kind of reliability.
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Old 12th Jun 2007, 12:30
  #39 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2004
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Thumbs up

Personally, I don't like the look of the VIP seating and table at the front of the static display (pic 1). People always blow smoke in one's face when in club configuration. Not that they wouldn't be more comfortable than seating in some modern economy classes.

also fraternally,

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Old 12th Jun 2007, 12:37
  #40 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Wiltshire
Posts: 770
Went to see it at Yeovil when it was being considered for the military - Westlands rep seemed generally puzzled when we asked where the hardpoints were, where a hook and winch could be fitted, how could the ground clearance be inproved to allow landings in unprepared sites etc. His answer 'you must remember it's designed for the civil market'. Why wardrobe? Looks good, but when you fill it up it can't be moved.
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