Part II

Westland Helicopters Part III




1959-1960: Rationalisation of the British aircraft industry In 1959 the British aircraft industry underwent a major re-organisation. There were at the time over twenty aircraft manufacturers, all competing for a few orders. The government of the time made it clear that it could no longer support this situation.
The result was a period of re-organisation where many of the companies combined to form only two major aircraft manufacturing groups. Because of its success in the helicopter business, the Westland company was well placed to take the lead for rotary winged aircraft. There followed a period when Westland acquired Bristol Helicopters, Fairey Aviation and Saunders-Roe to become Westland Helicopters, Britain's sole helicopter company. On August 1959, Westland acquired the helicopter and hovercraft interests of Saunders-Roe, situated at Eastleigh and Cowes, and which had previously taken over the Cierva Autogyro Company in 1951.
At the time of the Westland takeover, two helicopter projects were in progress, namely the Skeeter (First flight October 1948) and the P-531 (First flight Sept.30 1958) , which was subsequently developed to become the Scout and Wasp.

Skeeter
Rotor diameter: 9.76 m
Length: 8.66 m
Weight: 780 kg - Max.1040
Speed : 175 Km/h
Power: 1 Gypsy Major 215 (215 hp)
Range: 1038 Km
Acommodation: Pilot plus 1
No.Built: 88
Skeeter


Saunders-Roe P. 531-1 Saunders-Roe were fully engaged upon the development of the P-531 project at the time of the Westland take over. The work on deck landing was of special significance forming as it did the basis for future shipborne helicopter operations.
Rotor diameter: 9.9 m
Length: 8.8 m
Weight: Max.1542
Speed : Max.193 Km/h
Power: 1 Blackburn Turbomeca Turmo FF turboshaft (425 hp)
Acommodation: Pilot plus 3
No.Built: Six ( P-531 all versions )
P.531


March,1960: Westland acquired the helicopter division of the Bristol Aircraft Company, which was based at Weston-super-Mare in Somerset. The helicopter division was led by the rotorcraft pioneer Raoul Hafner and since its foundation in 1944 had been responsible for the Sycamore (First flight 27th July 1947) and Belvedere (First flight 5th July 1958) helicopters. Having acquired Bristol, Westland became responsible for support of the Sycamore and completion of Belvedere development and production.

Bristol Type 171 Sycamore A light general purpose helicopter.
Rotor diameter: 14.75 m
Length: 12.8 m
Weight: 1727 kg - Max.2540
Speed : Max.212 Km/h
Power: 1 Alvis Leonides (550 hp)
Range: 531 Km
Acommodation: Pilot plus 4
No.Built: 183
Bristol Type 171 Sycamore


Bristol Type 173 / 192 Belvedere ( HC Mk1 ) The Belvedere was a large twin rotor transport helicopter, which entered service with the RAF in 1961.


Rotor diameter: 14.8 m
Length: 16.5 m
Weight: 5277 kg - Max.8618
Speed : Max.222 Km/h
Power: 2 Napier Gazelle N Ga2 turboshafts (1300 hp)
Range: 740 Km
Acommodation: 2 pilots plus 18
No.Built: 26
Bristol Type 173 / 192 Belvedere


May,1960: The Fairey Aviation Company had extended its interest to include helicopters in 1946. Most of the work was centred upon tip jet drive and at the time of the take-over the company was actively working on the Rotodyne (First flight 6th Nov. 1957) project.

The Fairey Type Y Rotodyne
The Rotodyne was a large convertiplane research vehicle, aimed primarily at the civil transport market. Fairey achieved considerable success with the prototype and plans were in hand for a larger (56-seat) production version.


1960: Having absorbed all the major helicopter interests in the UK, Westland continued to manufacture their own and the other company products under the Westland name.
Rotodyne


August 4, 1960: Scout ( AH Mk 1 ) A five seat general purpose helicopter
Rotor diameter: 9.83 m
Length: 12.29 m
Weight: 1230 kg - Max.2404
Speed : Max.211 Km/h
Power: 1 Rolls-Royce Nimbus 101 turboshaft (1050 hp)
Range: 505 Km
Acommodation: Pilot plus 4
No.Built: 149
Scout


October 28, 1962: Wasp ( HAS Mk 1 ) A five seat general purpose, shipborne helicopter
Rotor diameter: 9.83 m
Length: 12.29 m
Weight: 1566 kg - Max.2495
Speed : Max.211 Km/h
Power: 1 Rolls-Royce Nimbus 103 turboshaft (1050 hp)
Range: 488 Km
Acommodation: Pilot plus 4
No.Built: 98

Wasp


Continue with Westland Timeline Part IV






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