• Army co-operation • Ambulance/search and rescue • Trainer

Conceived at the end of World War II, the Sycamore was designed by Raoul Hafner and was the first British helicopter to gain a civil certificate of airworthiness. It was used for search-and – rescuo duties and as an air ambulance by tho Royal Air Force, and was also tested by the British Army. The Sycamore was even used by the Federal German army and navy, and British examples saw combat service in Borneo, Cyprus and Malaya.

Bristol Sycamore

SycamorePicking up survivors ►


Sycamores pioneered helicopter soarch-and-rescue flights around tho United Kingdom. Most units used the HR. Mk 14 version in this role.

A Evaluation flight

The first Sycamore for Fighter Command. WV781, was flown to St Mawgan by two RAF pilots who had just been trained by Bristol company crows.

SycamoreA Australian delivery

The aircraft-earner HMAS Vengeance took delivery of the Royal Australian Navy’s first threo Sycamore HC. Mk 51s.

Company colours ►

This Sycamore is flying over tho Severn Estuary not far from tho Bristol factory at Filton. The company gave up helicopter production after tho Belvedere.


► The rotor blades were constructed of spruce and ply ribs with a plywood covering and a Hydrullgnum spar.

► Originally known as the Type 171, the Sycamore was Bristol’s first helicoptor.

► Tho Sycamore had a simple auto-throttle which the pilot could ovorrido.


>■ Tho last Sycamore version was the HR. Mk 14, which servod with Fighter Command’s No. 275 Squadron.

>• In early Sycamores tho pilot sat to port, but this was later changed to starboard.

► Tho main production version was the Typo 177 Mk 4, which had taller landing gear.

Bristol Sycamore



Sycamore HR. Mk 14

Type: five-seat muiti-rofe piston-engined military hdicODtor

Powerplanl: one 410-kW (550-hp I Alv* Leonides 73 radial peton engine

Maximum speed: knVh (127 rn p. fij

Initial Climb rate: 280 rrvmin (918 f. p.m )

Range: 430 km (265 ml)

Service ceiling: 4724 m (15,500 tt.)

Weights: empty 1877 kg (4.129 lb ), maximum 2452 kg (5,394 ID I

Accommodation: five including pilot Dimensions:

diamotor 14,8 m (48 It. 0 in.)

length 18.63 m (61 tt. 2 In,)

height 3.71 m (12 »L 2 in)

tail rotor diamotor 2,93 m (D It. 7 m.)


Below: Federal Germany bought SO Sycamores. Two served as VIP transports and the others performed a range of military duties.


Above: Unfortunately for the Sycamore, it never survived into the turbmc ora. It it had it boon re-engined with a gas turbine It may have been in service for for longer.

light-assault role in Malaya Hie Sycamore 11C Mk 11 was evaluated as an ait aniUilance and communications aircraft hy llte. Літу Ліг Corps





The three-btotfc anti – tenme rotor vr. tr, equpped with a Iroe-wheal so « could contirxre timing dLnng auio-rotation



The Бусатот ivnl ieonventcrvil осилил Dwcotoctvn Іе. і« find n мпрс Тлі it <yp’ trifofre. – and an auto route


Medical ovocuaton SyoarTcras hod uvrjo Pctscg* testers Wed to nlbw stretchers to Do occommodetod skMigp пегом ttw cabin


Lfcn many oany hetooptera, the Sycamore nad wooden rotor* wm л metal leading edge Metal tnoo wwo f-ttixt cn eocti root and rotor tip to correct uorodymma: bfltonco Tho bodes worn tufy antcutatcd n tx>th (tapping and dragging planer


SYCAMOREHRMkH 20-1 km* (177 e_f. h.|


170 к in’ll (105 n p. h.)





Л Я06 ♦»naust was trttfKt to moo OCCTCJsng the dock when londng on nhpa. tho mno •eyfcxJer radial engno drew or n through an intake above the (ue«lage, :ind was coceod Ry an engne-dnven fan


Л long tan bumper protected Hw tul rotor, wticfi was зиэоерСЫо to cwm.*ge f ttwi jMut toad m a ncee-high altitude on landrg


B^ng helicopters

^^fCTTVE; The Ц. ІС! takes oil by raising ОощГК’"*. ■>,Ch "* *** ‘"ceasing the

В"Пд Th# throttle.



on th^pOWER: Рад alters the pitch

»W Dt’«. "* Vla con, ro’rwJS to, he ‘’«•O. giving greater hti to tho rotors




• First RAF twin-rotor • Heavy-lifter • Search and rescue

Bristol’s excellent Belvedere gave new muscle to the Royal Air Force in the 1950s at a time when helicopters were becoming bigger and more versatile. With twin engines and tandem rotors, the slender, cigar­like Belvedere lifted and carried more than any previous RAF helicopter. Never successful in its original purpose as a naval craft, the Belvedere performed well hauling troops, supplies and weapons from land bases.

A Malayan mission

Подпись:SycamoreWith emergency floats fitted to the side. Belvederes flew search and rescue missions and heavy lift sorties in the junglos of Malaya.

A Flying crane

Due to the lack of roads and the dense tropical /unglo. the Belvedere was used for transporting heavy items in the Far East.

▼ Back to the drawing board

The Type 173 was the initial prototype. On its first flight the tost pilot found it would only fly backwatds

A Naval trials

The Belvedere was initially developed to meet a Fleet Air Arm requirement for a ship-based transport and anti-submanno helicopter, but it was never ordered.


► The first Belvedere suffered noise and stability problems – rectified by rodosigning the rotor hubs and tailplane.

>• On 24 August 1952 the prototypo for the Bolvodcre series made its maiden flight

► The prototype was domonstratod at the Farnborough air show in September 1952.

► British European Airways leased n Bolvodero briefly but never used it in commercial service.

► The first production aircraft with Gazelle engines made Its Initial night in July 1958-

>• The Belvedere had a long career, onding Its RAF servlco in March 1969.

Bristol Belvedere



Below: Due to some handling and stability problems the designers settled on anhedral tailplanes originally fitted with largo endplates.


Type: short-range tactical transport

Powerplanl: two 1092-kW u.465-hp | Napier Ga? ello NGa.2 turboshaft engines

Max speed: 231 km/h (145 m. p.h. J Max cruising speed: 222 kmh П38 m p. h) Rale ol climb: 305 mfttw (1.000 f p m)

Range: 121 km (75 m* |

Ferry range: 740 km (460 mi.)

Service ceiling: 5275 m (17.30? ft)

Weights: empty 5277 kg (11.609 lb.); maximum overload take-on 9072 kg (19.958 >o)

Dimensions: rotor diameter each 14 91 m (49 ft,) length rotors tuning 2736 m (90 ft )

heighi 5.26 m (17 ft I

rotor disc area, both 349.30 m’ (3.758 aq ft)


Above: Bnhsh European Airways evaluated the Alvis Leonides – powered Typo 173. The dihedral tailplanes were a feature of the earfy prototypes.


performed with distinction. I hough never easy lo lly and always a challenge lo maintain, die Belvedere dill a Пік* job in die infancy | of large helicopters


Left: Based at RAF Soletar in Singapore, No. 66 Squadron Belvederes became known as ‘The Flying Longhouses’.




urn Ajji

Vit Ffjwj Cinjtitasrs




TharM to її» «МлЬггЛ СшгЛл ЬгЬОіМП міднім ОнЛнОмв Ш дхк» portomuxo aid мі n rxyntKK or pont-to-pctol "oocxch m tho e»ty i960» TNi Vah-?4 *u Awn put cood carry Ьдоа» loom


Prototypes used UxrwTes Motor engnes. which del not produce adoquato

(XMrttf vrnn the «XCOVtol

Napier Gazofe turboshalte люто fitted tho BoMtoero began to fulti its potento


This Belvedere of No. 26 Squadron wears Ihe original
transport command colour scheme. The squadron’s
Bclvedorer. saw active service in tho Far East whoro
they adopted jungle camouflage.


222 kmti (138 m. p.n. l




A iwnch on toe port s*» cX the fuselage ccxAl «ft weights

ql up to 270 kg {600 to.).




cany? o My. rnned troop» it* BoViHXre cook) Mo cany up to t? »trotcn«r сам» together w<th nadicei attendant*. The large» Yak-?4 could cany •jp U> 30 troops, which wa* a very impress»»* acrutvement I» the Uto‘ 1950s The И 2І could «so cany stretchers for CAtuaOy *.acu*tx»i duiu»




The heat.») coont. v «Мй»з cr day •И right natnj*-nvii V*j И had dual СОгл’а“- aixj proviso *iaulom. it.; plot


The product on Befveoere tor the RAF had stoop, .mhorfrDi taitpiarsM when picwdod good stnbnly and extra lift.


Although tarty trai m appearance me ипоегсагтыде was an oxoetont design ofcnung operation *rom rough surfaced – The ensioong «rant wfioctn ai. o good manoointabMy on toe ground


20 It»opi


Uftng cjpat. lr* wa a prrnary con»de»aDCn m the огмцп ana «I three hthcoolw» crxAJ cany e им»» рв»*ма They ано had pto»1«on tor carrying unotnxxx) load»


9 in the jungle


LANDING SITE: With the suppfias earned on a sling the Belvedere did not need to land to supply troops on the ground. A small clearing In the single e all that was needed




KM t« 17.700 lb.|



^ lOW LEVEL: Thu RAF crows pnjqfcxffijVng
thcr supply nvssions at very tow level to

proven! detection by enemy fighters or ground forces. Th«s task required groat care and skill.


21» kg (4.66$ .5-І




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