• American design • Piston and turbine variants • Military service

Подпись: ▲ A licence-built Sikorsky design, the WS-55/Whirtwind served the British armed forces for many years, mamty in transport, anti-submanne warfare and rescue roles.Whirlwind

Early Whirlwinds were licence-built

Sikorsky S-55s, with Pratt & Whitney Wasp or Wright Cyclone piston engines. Westland soon replaced the US engines with the more powerful Alvis Leonides Major, a two-row radial which gave improved performance. Then, in 1958, Westland decided to build a version using the Gnome, a licence-built version of the General Electric T58 turboshaft. The result was a much more capable machine.

WhirlwindWhirlwindПодпись:Popular in export markets ►

This WS-55 Senes 3 was among a number of Whirlwinds oxported to both civil and military users. Ghana’s air force was among military customers who also included Austna. Canada. France. Jordan. Spam and Yugoslavia.

A Navy ASW

Royal Navy HAS. Mk 7s wero tho first British helicopters used for front-line anti – submanne v/ork.

A Search and rescue

In RAF and Royal Navy service. SAR was a major Whirlwind role. The type often co-operated with RAF rescue motor launches.

◄ WS-55 Series 3

Some examples of this civil version of the lurbine – powerod WS-55 were, like this aircraft, converted from piston-engined aircraft.


► Westland built a total of 364 S-55s under licence between 1953 and 1966, including 68 WS-55 civil aircraft.

► Bristow Helicopters’ Series 1s were used for ‘flying crane’ and oil rig support duties.

► British airline BEA used WS-55s between central London and Heathrow airport.

► Most turbine-powered WS-55 Series 3s wore converted from piston-engined Series Is and 2s.

► WS-55s were used from tho 1950s in tho Falkland Islands for whaling operations.

► In 1955 a Whirlwind on delivery was flown 5000 km (3.100 miles) to the Persian Gulf.


Accommodation tor eqnt passengers. 10 tUfy-armed trooos or six stretchers was ovaVibte in the S 5fi/Wbx4vmdb 9.63 m (340 cube toot) cater rtenor


A rectangular. iqnt тоу sem-monocoouo «tructu-о. iho Мишдо had a roor соno-

shaped extensor cum, mg the tof rotor oyton. A tnsnguar tin **kJ the з!«р between the two


To accommodate its turbre engine, the tusatogn was lengthened by 78.2 cm Tlw gtsrto* and

transmission nsmnxxxJ inowignd.



XR488 was the first of two Mk 12s delivered to
the Queen’s Flight In earty 1964. Although the
socond aircraft was destroyed In a fatal
accident. ’486 continued to transport Royal
Family members until replaced by the Wessex.


Wr-.it who HCC Mk 12s went a specialty llir rehod and «(upped variant ol the *WR to scorch tvto rescua type used fry the RAF from 106? until 1078



Westland helicopters of Sikorsky design


SAcrfcy* S-51 was tho txKB tor tfe ЇГЙ

t«c*ocptnr bun »i ________

• – Tiieesn Breanioortor

■■JV wrnoe with the RAF —-

– -■ J —j: . П K4 Wtettand ooqurod і.. k a

r ‘ nghti to the design n

v V (У 1947. repOivemgS

Дд w«i a Brteii Alve ф

Leonidas гаЗД


■ SFAKJNG: .1 1959WteBcrd signed a tcence agreemert tor Bie S – 61. devdepng mo T)T» tor a ravxi arf>- aufcmarlnerole Two Gnome engines were Sllud Many vsevbu* tar the ИсгугГ Ht. y the RAF and export




Подпись: • Anti-submarine • Tactical airlift • Search and rescue


Westland’s Wessox performs

solidly in every task a holicoptor can undertake. The popular British-built version of the Sikorsky S-58 entored service in 1961 and since then has appeared on ship decks, on battlefields and In many countries and climntes. With its stalky fuselage and jutting nose, the turbine – powered Wessex is easy to recognise. This ageing machine remains in operation as a tactical support holicoptor.

Whirlwind▲ Australian Wessex

The Royal Australian Navy usod the Wessex in the anti-submarine role. This ono has the radar removed, but the fairing remains m place.

22 rescue you ►

Serving in tho search – and-rescue role with No. 22 and No. 202 Squadrons, the Wessex has rescued hundreds around tho British coastline.

▲ RAF support role

In support of the army, the RAF still uses the Wessex in tho tactical support rolo. it will bo replaced by tho EH. 101 Merlin in 1998.

◄ Navy gunship

Подпись: A Heli-iiner Although it was noisy and had a narrow fuselage. Bristow Hohcopters usod tho Wessex 60 to transport oil workers to ngs oft tho coast. One In four Wessex HU Mk 5s was configured as a gunship with rocket pods and missilos.


► Australia’s navy new 27 Wessex helicopters on anti-submarine dutios starting In August 1962.

► Westland’s first prototype, a rebuilt Sikorsky S-58, now on 17 May 1957.

► Users of the versatile Wessex Include Australia. Brunoi, Ghana and Iraq.


► The Wessex hod top priority and In 1960 Wostland halted work on a larger •heavyllft’ helicopter.

► A Wessex fired AS. 12 missiles at an Argentine commnndor In tho Falklands.

>■ Australia’s Wessexes used Gazolle engines instoad of coupled Gnomes.

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