Del'd: 93 - 1953 to 1972


The RAF used versions of the Sycamore 3 and Sycamore 4.
The RAF used the HC.12 for SAR work with 22 Squadron during 1955. This, together with the winch-equipped HR.13 was based on the Bristol 171 Mk3.
The majority of RAF Sycamores were based on the Mk4 and entered service as the 4 door Sycamore HR.14.

The first Sycamores for the RAF were delivered to 275 Squadron in Cyprus in April 1953. 194 Squadron in Malaya was next to equip in 1954 and this eventually revealed a weakness with the all-wooden main rotor blades in this hot and humid environment. Following a crop of accidents (eg XE319) in 1959, the fleet was grounded from Apr until Feb 1960 when the blades were coated with a moisture resistant sealant and rotor tip weights added to reduce vibration. Sycamores served in trouble spots such as Kenya and Aden and performed a variety of support duties and rescue operations in addition to liaison work.
Most Sycamores had been retired from active duty by the autumn of 1964. They were still used at the Central Flying School until mid 1966, finally being withdrawn from 32 Squadron in 1972.

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Sycamore Historic Visit to Weston-super-Mare, 14-Jun-18 : #museum The world’s last flying Bristol 171 Sycamore flew to the Helicopter Museum at Weston-super-Mare, UK 60 years after it was built. Will be displayed until June 24


YearsUnitsbold : Current base of the Unit
1969/7232 (The Royal) Squadron RAF Northolt
1961/63HDUOld Sarum
1961Helicopter Communication FlightDE Gütersloh
1960/64110 SquadronSG Seletar
MY Butterworth
1960/62225 SquadronRAF Odiham
1959/63103 SquadronSG Seletar
CY Nicosia (Lefkosia)
1959/62118 SquadronAldergrove
1959/60228 SquadronRAF Leuchars
RAF Leconfield
Norwich Airport
1958/69MCSRAF Northolt
1958/64SAR Flight, KhormaksarYE Khormaksar / Aden International
1956/59284 SquadronCY Nicosia (Lefkosia)
1956/5784 Squadron YE Khormaksar / Aden International
CY Nicosia (Lefkosia)
AAC Middle Wallop
1955/56ISFCY Nicosia (Lefkosia)
1955/56SAR Flight, NicosiaCY Nicosia (Lefkosia)
195522 SquadronRAF Valley
Thorney Island
1954/59194 SquadronMY Simpang
1954/59275 SquadronAldergrove
RAF Leconfield
RMB Chivenor
RAF Leuchars
Norwich Airport
North Coates
RAF Linton-on-Ouse
1953/55275 SquadronRAF Leuchars
Norwich Airport
North Coates
RAF Linton-on-Ouse
1952/55Air/Sea Warfare Development UnitNewquay / St Mawgan
1950/571906 FltAAC Middle Wallop

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