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Anyone flown the Wessex?

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Anyone flown the Wessex?

Old 11th Feb 2002, 18:58
  #41 (permalink)  

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...er, well, Sikorsky was Russian.
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Old 11th Feb 2002, 23:20
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Ha ha, good point.
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Old 12th Feb 2002, 02:42
  #43 (permalink)  
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Gasp! I have to agree with Lu on the low probability of Russians taking American technology. Don't let physical similarity of the Mi-4 and the S-58 lead you astray. I have studied the latest generation of Russian machines, and I know the chief designers of Mil and Kamov fairly well. IMHO, they seem to have done quite nicely on their own, thank you very much!
 
Old 12th Feb 2002, 19:27
  #44 (permalink)  
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Lu,

One of your questions remains unanswered. The Wessex never had a radial engine, If I remember correctly an S58 was delivered to Yeovil, whereupon Wastelands immediately fitted the Napier Gazelle, used in the HAS 1 and 3.

For the HC 2 (RAF) and HU5 (RN) they fitted a pair of Bristol Siddely(?) later RR Gnomes which by then had proved a good engine in the Whirlwind (S55)

The Gnome was a license built T58 (also used in the Lotus Indy turbine car 56?)

To complete the series, the HCC4 applies to the Queen's flight pair.

Oh, and BearintheAir, yes I could (unless of course you refer to the ship!)

Tough old bird too. Downbirded in the Falklands, I had to leave my Wessex in an exposed position for two days whilst a storm raged. turned through 180deg by the wind, and received no damage at all.

As for the old 'boot laces tied behind the cyclic' gag, there was another good wheeze if you were a bored copilot. Whilst the pilot carressed the cyclic lightly betwixt thumb and forefinger, you could cup both hands over the top of your stick, and whilst holding it in position, motor the pitch trim fully forward. Sit back, release stick. It flies forward out of the pilot's hand and produces a couple of seconds of negative G and much swearing fromm the now wide awake right-seater!

I'd told some bloke about this , and was most dis-chuffed when he demonstrated his humour on me. We were at about 25ft at the time.
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Old 12th Feb 2002, 19:59
  #45 (permalink)  

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Here is another story from the archives. The US Navy version of the S-58 had an Automatic Stabilization System that included among other capabilities Barometric hold and Hydrodynamic hold, which was used during SONAR operations. The Barometric hold was installed in the upper right corner of the battery compartment. The unit was tied into a static port. The Navy constantly complained that rain water would collect in the lines and render the unit incapable of performing its’ function. Sikorsky in their wise ways disconnected the unit from the static port and the sensor line was connected inside of the helicopter. One day an HSS-1 was moving at about 30-40 knots and was preparing to stop and lower the SONAR ball. The Co pilot opened his sliding window, which made a dramatic change in the atmospheric pressure inside of the helicopter, and the sensor commanded the control system to lower the helicopter. The wheels were in the water before the pilot could disengage the Bar Alt sensor and raise the collective. Sikorsky eventually found a new location for the static port but before they did the Navy was told not to use the Bar Alt.

As an added note, the ASE was a very slightly modified autopilot used in the USAF F-86.

When the SONAR ball was lowered and the helicopter was in a hover an individual could move the sonar ball in any direction and the helicopter would follow. See the first photo on page two of this thread. If this were a HSS-1 and someone moved the ball in relation to the helicopter the helicopter would move in that direction. I do not know if the Wessex had this same capability.

[ 12 February 2002: Message edited by: Lu Zuckerman ]</p>
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Old 13th Feb 2002, 05:08
  #46 (permalink)  

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To: Speechless Two

The system you described was the same as that used in the HSS-1 however the equipment manufacturer might have been different. If memory serves me correctly the SONAR system used in the HSS-1 was made by Texas Instruments. I was not inferring that the SONAR operator wiggled the line to the ball. I meant that if the ball were dropped a person on the ground could move the helicopter by moving the line in relation to the drift forks. This could also be done on the Wessex because of the systems design. I believe they had a similar ground control capability on the Sky Crane for positioning over a load.

I don’t know if you are familiar with the rigging of the helicopter but on the HSS-1 the ASE was placed on a fixture that reflected the hover position of the helicopter. 3-degrees tail down and (I hope this is right as it has been many years since I did this) 7-degrees left wheel down. In this position and with the helicopter level the error signal from the ASE was nulled out so that in a hover there would be no error signal. The SONAR system would reflect the hover position in the hover due to the displacement of the drift forks and the SONAR operator would null that signal out so the helicopter could remain stationary. Then, if the drift forks were displaced due to water movement below the helicopter, the drift forks would sense this movement and send an error signal to the ASE. The ASE would then generate a signal to the Aux.servo and move the helicopter with the water flow below it keeping the SONAR ball under the helicopter. All of this from the mind of an aging old fart (71 years old). The last time I saw one of these helicopters was in 1956.

[ 13 February 2002: Message edited by: Lu Zuckerman ]</p>
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Old 14th Feb 2002, 05:45
  #47 (permalink)  
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Ahhh, Pingers, don't you love 'em!

The Wessex 5 also had Autopilot Mk 19, which could barely fly S & L. Anyone know what Mks 1 to 18 were like!!!!! <img src="eek.gif" border="0"> <img src="eek.gif" border="0"> <img src="eek.gif" border="0">
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Old 19th Feb 2002, 12:51
  #48 (permalink)  

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To all who have made an input to this thread, Thank You, it seems that you all have some very fond memorys of this big bird, it also seems that it was a pretty safe and stable sort of thing! <img src="wink.gif" border="0">
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Old 20th Feb 2002, 13:09
  #49 (permalink)  

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Final word,. .I heard from the Aunt of the actual pilot who so amazed me with his skill and obvious ability in his handling of the Wsx, he has indeed received my letter, and has said that he is thrilled that some one should track him down and then write to thank him for the impromtu display, isn't it nice to hear that! . .Thank you all.. .Peter B <img src="wink.gif" border="0">
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Old 22nd Feb 2002, 16:11
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Ark, another top wheeze when putting a LHS pilot into a UP during IF training was to have the door open and put your finger over the end of the pitot. When you gave him control he would keep pushing the nose down to try and gain speed until you removed your finger and gave him an instant 100 kts IAS and a completely different UP to recover from.. .Lu, if you want to see an S58 twin pack flying the go to New York, they were still doing airport transfers and sightseeing trips in one a few years ago.
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Old 22nd Feb 2002, 19:51
  #51 (permalink)  

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To: [email protected]

There are many S-58 Ts flying in the USA in fact there is a company in California that is licensed by Sikorsky to convert S-58s and H-34s to the S-58 T configuration and to act as a support center for that model. There is however one S-58 T that I hope is not flying and I hope it never got certified and therein lies a tale. When I was working in Los Angeles I heard that there was a company that was converting an H-34 to the S-58 T configuration. I went to see them and offered my services as I had been a tech rep on the S-58, H-34 and HSS-1. I discovered that the aircraft was purchased from the Israeli military and just about every moving part on it had been infested with sand to include the rotorhead and the swashplate as well as every lubricated surface in the airframe. I disconnected the upper swashplate from the pitch links and the pitch links from the pitch horns. I rotated the four blade cuffs and each one was severely effected by sand ingestion and as a result were extremely rough in their movement. We tried to purge the grease on one cuff but it didn’t do any good as the bearings were already effected. I rotated the upper portion of the swashplate and found the same problem and as before the purging had no effect. I told them it would be best to send the entire dynamic system and the power train back to Sikorsky for overhaul and they indicated that they did not want to incur the expense. I also discovered that they were trying to convert the airframe directly from an H-34 to an S-58 T. The certification procedure dictated that the airframe had to be certificated as an S-58 and after that was granted it could be converted to an S-58 T. They had already modified the airframe to accept the combining gearbox and were ready to install that and the engines within a week or so.

I told them that if they didn’t do it correctly I would not be involved in the program. While I was in the hangar I spoke to several company pilots who told me another story about how this company operates. They had recovered two S-55 wrecks and attached the good parts together to make one aircraft. They did not use factory jigs to maintain alignment and as a result the helicopter never flew right. After the first test flight they shipped the S-55 to Central America without getting US certification and they planned to do the same with the S-58 T.

I told this story on Just Helicopters and someone posted that the S-58 was rotting next to a company hangar in Alaska
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Old 23rd Feb 2002, 02:44
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Why did the RAF wessex have a hooter?
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Old 25th Feb 2002, 17:10
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To scare the **** out of the pax!!. .They would get their own back by messing with the tail rotor cables:-(
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Old 25th Feb 2002, 19:23
  #54 (permalink)  

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The hooter was certainly not required for overtaking.....
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Old 7th Mar 2002, 17:32
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Not quite the last word,. .. .I have today received from the very pilot who so enthralled me, a very nice two pager, explaining why he was off the beaten track, and why he decided to put on the impromptu display, he went to great lengths to explain how he flew the machine on that day and that he handed my letter to his crew who all felt very happy to see that someone somewhere was drooling over the antics of their Wsx, the letter finished by stating that after an eight formation flypast in London, then various other RAF bases these birds will finish up at good old Shawbury on their very last flight later in March o2, the Heli I saw on that spectacular day was 40 years old, and the only Wsx left flying after March, will be in Cyprus and these have been given a 1 year extention.. . I can say without doubt, this is one of the nicest letters I have ever received from a young man, who it seems is a very proud member of the Royal Air Force! <img border="0" title="" alt="[Big Grin]" src="biggrin.gif" /> <img border="0" title="" alt="[Big Grin]" src="biggrin.gif" />
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Old 8th Mar 2002, 05:25
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Vfr. .You have a good knack for starting interesting threads.. .Thanks. .. .Heliport. .Moderator
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Old 8th Mar 2002, 12:46
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Heliport,. .. .That is very kind, of you! <img border="0" title="" alt="[Embarrassed]" src="redface.gif" /> <img border="0" title="" alt="[Smile]" src="smile.gif" /> but most of the flyers who answer these posts are the skilled ones, who folk like me do listen to, and look up to as well!. .My Regards. .Peter B. . . . <small>[ 08 March 2002, 08:50: Message edited by: Vfrpilotpb ]</small>
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Old 17th Mar 2002, 23:23
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I have a couple of thousand hours on Wessex V's and used to do a display in a WxV for the Royal Navy Schools Presentation Team years ago so can vouch for their manoeuverability! I now have about four and a half thousand hours on A109s and love the two machines equally.
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Old 21st Mar 2002, 07:21
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The old Wally Wessex.....the only aircraft ever made that could sustain a bird strike FROM THE REAR!. .Speechless Two.....Mike Lehan has finally retired and has left the Naval Aviation Museum and moved to Melbourne.. .. .Take care and enjoy! <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" />
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Old 21st Mar 2002, 08:23
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On a sad note there was one time that the S-58 was not so agile. During the establishment of the height velocity curve the test pilot put the helicopter in a hover about 20 feet above ground and dropped the collective and before he could recover the helicopter hit the ground hard and stove in the landing gear. The helicopter rolled over and I believe when the blades hit the ground a stub end of one of the blades entered the cockpit killing the pilot.
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