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

Westland 30: threads merged

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

Westland 30: threads merged

Old 9th Sep 2011, 08:40
  #81 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: around and about
Age: 67
Posts: 280
Hit the nail on the head there! As a typical experience I can relate as follows.

A long time ago (when I had hair - a VERY long time ago!) I was one of the first LAE's in UK to gain a type rating on the Gazelle (SA341). I thought it was the killer of a machine from a maintenance standpoint - and streets ahead of its contemporaries at the time - FH1100, J/R, H500. Clever bits of (English) design, like the vernier built-in to the blade grip to set a replacement blade; the acres of space on the Xmsn platform; the ease of engine removal and installation; the clever Tq indication system - I could go on.............!

I believe the performance was pretty damned impressive also (even if the blades do go the wrong way round)

But it was the total lack of technical support from Westland that killed its success. Getting spares was always an interesting exercise; as was a civil release for them - very occasional as I recall. One particular event sums up the total mis-appreciation of what the commercial market needed and reasonably could expect of the OEM. Westland published an SB for the addition of a grease nipple for lubrication of the swashplate. No special deal this - carefully drill a hole, tap it, screw in the nipple, job done.

It was necessary to take the assembly to the Weston-Super-Mare plant for this work to be completed; no-one's listening to my LAE's comments and frankly Product Support didn't even seem to know what an LAE was. So off I go with the swashplate in the back of the van. Arrive at Weston and get a bollocking for not presenting the component in its Westland-approved transit box.

I asked what time in the afternoon I could collect the modified unit. "No chance" I was told. "When then?" I asked. (Wait for it) "It'll take about 9 months......" and he was serious

Apparently the 'system' provided for EVERYTHING received to go down the full O/H route, irrespective of what work was needed - hence the timescale. I called my boss; many strenuous conversations ensued i believe. Finally, the following day I was permitted to enter the hallowed portals to inspect and certify (on my licence number) since there was only 1 x LAE at Westland, based in Yeovil, and he was on leave for two weeks. I was also advised that this was a VERY special concession which was unlikely ever to be given again, and I should be contrite and ever so grateful.

I never did find out how much the modification cost, but, cynically, I doubt an invoice was ever raised since there was in all probability, absolutely no mechanism to raise one. Anyway, my boss was ready to raise his own on Westland at 10 x the value of their's for certification......

And that, Cylic, is but one insignificant example as to how Westland missed the boat. Well it is from my perspective anyway. - VFR
vfr440 is offline  
Old 16th Nov 2011, 13:50
  #82 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: under the sea
Posts: 2,349
I saw three of the Pawan Hans aircraft on low-loaders on the M25 last night.Does anybody know where they were going?
tubby linton is offline  
Old 16th Nov 2011, 14:07
  #83 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Beyond the black stump!
Posts: 1,209
Was there a dump nearby?
Cyclic Hotline is offline  
Old 16th Nov 2011, 14:09
  #84 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: under the sea
Posts: 2,349
No not that I could see.It was on the western section of the M25 going up towards the M4.
tubby linton is offline  
Old 16th Nov 2011, 16:50
  #85 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Beyond the black stump!
Posts: 1,209
Maybe they are like salmon, returning to their birthplace in Yeovil, to spawn and die?
Cyclic Hotline is offline  
Old 18th Nov 2011, 08:52
  #86 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: UK
Age: 43
Posts: 1,588
Possibly going to Weston Super Mare to the Museum? Don't they collect them for swapping with other museums?
Brilliant Stuff is offline  
Old 19th Nov 2011, 09:25
  #87 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 886
Errrr...no they don't !
Actually the museum sold off three of theirs a month or more ago to a company for conversion to ground trainers,last seen in the Tewkesbury area.Looks like that company is buying more from the part Indian stock brought back by an entrepreneur in Surrey quite a few years ago.They have been stored at Redhill,Biggin and near Sevenoaks ever since.
All are stripped of useful parts.
heli1 is offline  
Old 12th Mar 2013, 19:03
  #88 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: 1 Dunghill Mansions, Putney
Posts: 1,797
The curse of the WG30 strikes again...

[Alleged] middleman at the center of AW101 scandal had previously bought-back WG30s from Pawan Hans as goodwill gesture

Ian Corrigible is offline  
Old 12th Mar 2013, 20:19
  #89 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Milano, Italia
Posts: 2,425
Ah well, what a day, when PWC did search my books!
Did I receive such accusing looks from old and young.
Instead of reward for my Indian charms,
A WG30 about my neck was hung!
Savoia is offline  
Old 13th Mar 2013, 07:45
  #90 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 886
Very interesting update as a mystery man in a black Rangerover tried to buy some of the WG30s in the UK around this time. After he failed an ex Westland employee came along on behalf of a Malaysian company to buy them as training machines , including the Pawan Hans aircraft stored in the Redhill/ Biggin Hill area .....they all went in the direction of Tewkesbury in late 2011 and no one has seen them since !
As far as I know the remaining Pawan machines left in India are still sitting at Mumbai after the original deal to sell them all to a man n Surrey fell apart .
Thre may be an innocent explanation of course.
heli1 is offline  
Old 13th Mar 2013, 23:55
  #91 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Ross-on-Wye
Posts: 282

Can I throw in an aside on the WG30s ... and to give a break from the really heavy posts ... I just wonder how many here know the history of the G-KATE registration. In 1981, the Helicopter Hire business at Southend was run by John and Gillian Crewdson who operated the type registered as G-KATE after their new baby daughter. Many years later, I gave the lovely Kate a few initial flying lessons. Kate Crewdson obtained her private licence and went on to qualify as a medical practitioner.

A different aside too ... in 1981, I was working for the Southern Air firm at Shoreham. I picked up the phone one day to be told I was speaking to a headhunter ... a HH who had an open cheque book to recruit a few 'suitable' salesmen and as a one-time successful helicopter sales guy, I was suitable! If interested I was to report to a posh London Hotel. I did and was told to attend the company's Somerset factory for a 'two-day' interview. I checked in locally at the Three Choughs hotel and wearing my best suit I was soon paraded before the interview panel.

Having earlier checked the current WG30 was using the Gem 40 I quickly worked out the relevent range and endurance which on an IFR basis was less than an hour. I raised the issue with the panel but was firmly told the newer Gem 60 would solve any prolems.

I then asked if my job would be to demonstrate the type ... "NO we have our own specialist pilots who will be doing that". OK so I'm the Operational Advice man ... "NO we have a specialist engineering team who will be doing that". I rub my hands. Ah, I see, so I'll be the wheeler-dealer who actually does the deals! ... "NO we have qualified accountants who will be doing that". So what would I do, I ventured. "You attend the exhibitions and entertain potential customers of course". I guess that meant handing out the booze at Farnborough I decided ... but I didn't get offered the job anyway! Did I say the wrong things? Take care all. Dennis K.
Dennis Kenyon is offline  
Old 14th Mar 2013, 02:41
  #92 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Inside the Industry
Posts: 783

As I am sure you know, G-KATE spent many years on lease to BAH in Beccles flying the SNS for Phillips Petroleum among others. "Tango Echo" was a frequent visitor to North Denes in the mid to late 80s.
industry insider is offline  
Old 14th Mar 2013, 13:01
  #93 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Milano, Italia
Posts: 2,425

Helicopter Hire's WG30 G-KATE (so named after John Crewdson's daughter) as seen at Plymouth Airport on 2nd June 1984. John Crewdson's name appearing beneath the forward door (Photo: Chris England)

British Airways Helicopters WG30-100 as seen at Humberside Airport on 2nd August 1985 (Photo: Derek Heley)

Last edited by Savoia; 23rd Nov 2013 at 06:46.
Savoia is offline  
Old 14th Mar 2013, 17:30
  #94 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: England
Posts: 1,252
I remember KATE and I think at least one other W30 parked up in the Beccles hangar mid 1989. Rather sad covered in dust and guano. I dont think they flew again.
ericferret is offline  
Old 14th Mar 2013, 18:15
  #95 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 886
Ah G-KATE......last seen tipped on her side on the fire dump at Yeovil.rest in peace.
heli1 is offline  
Old 22nd Nov 2013, 20:28
  #96 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 886
November 2013 update on W30..............
Well actually no. Two years since those airframes went to Tewkesbury still no one has seen them since. Not on a ship...not on a fire dump,not in a scrap yard, nothing!
heli1 is offline  
Old 6th Jan 2015, 18:35
  #97 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: 1 Dunghill Mansions, Putney
Posts: 1,797
UK pushed India to buy Westland choppers in '85
The 1985 UK cabinet documents that were declassified last week show how keen the Margaret Thatcher government was to sell Westland W30 helicopters to India and save the aerospace company from certain ruin. It was apparently a case of UK government indirectly funding a private company. The money that India was eventually pressurized into spending on the helicopters was part of the unspent aid fund given by the UK to its former colony.

Discussions in the UK cabinet meetings on April 18 and 25, 1985, show that the Thatcher government was not above diplomatic arm-wrestling on the issue. Right from Thatcher to her ministers, several UK authorities were in touch with their counterparts in India, constantly pushing and even threatening to make the deal happen.

The most interesting document is the minutes of the cabinet meeting on April 25, 1985. It reads: "When the Minister for Overseas Development Mr Raison, had met Mr Gandhi on 24 April...he had also drawn Mr Gandhi's attention to the implications for the United Kingdom's aid programme to India of failure to finalise the contract for the purchase of the Westland helicopters."

The documents show that the United Kingdom's aid budget for India had been "underspent in successive years." The UK cabinet noted that the "unsatisfactory situation would have to be brought to a head, while bearing in mind that the value of United Kingdom exports to India amounted to 800 million annually and that the collapse of the helicopter contract would have grave consequences for Westlands".

Finally, Westland sold 21 helicopters to India in 1987 for 60 million, used mainly to transport personnel and supplies to offshore ONGC rigs. In 2000, The Guardian reported that India had sold the fleet back to Britain for just 900,000 a few years later as the choppers had been grounded for being technically faulty.
Ian Corrigible is offline  
Old 6th Jan 2015, 19:25
  #98 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: After all, what’s more important than proving to someone on the internet that they’re wrong? - Manson
Posts: 1,525
Born again?

RVDT is offline  
Old 6th Jan 2015, 20:08
  #99 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Tax-land.
Posts: 903
The WG-30 was conceived by someone who had no clue about the relationship between installed power and gross weight of an oversized shoebox.
stop dreaming about what it could have been but never was.

Last edited by tottigol; 6th Jan 2015 at 20:11. Reason: removed frustrated verbiage
tottigol is offline  
Old 11th Jan 2015, 14:09
  #100 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Houston,Texas
Age: 54
Posts: 12

If you bonk the ground with this one you are a suger cube and melt!
I prefer the five blade WG30 all metal aircraft. A strong airframe like a Boeing! I get tired of people saying aircraft are made for flying not crashing however , unplanned events happen in the friendly skies and I know its nice to have a strong failsafe structure with bolts and metal. The innocent people deserve it! This is a very particular and special aircraft and I have to defend it. I like! I build aircraft and fly them and they have to be user friendly, economic, and reliable. The British really hit it good with this one and now it will only take a mountain of money to materialize. The 139 is a beauty Queen with its looks and beautiful systems and capabilitys but what about British Pride! Americans are flying BK117C2 in the US ARMY now! "My sunday confessions"
Bcopters500 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.