The company was founded in 1935
when Petters Limited
split its aircraft
manufacturing from its
concerns to form
Aircraft Limited, based in Yeovil, Somerset. During
World War II their factories were used to build Supermarine Spitfires.
Post-war the company moved out of fixed-wing aircraft and
concentrate solely on helicopters under a licensing agreement with
Sikorsky. Production started with the Sikorsky S-51, which became
the Dragonfly and entered
service with the Royal Navy
and RAF in 1953. The company has gone
through a number of mergers with several other British firms to
Helicopters in 1961.
Now a Joint Venture of Finmeccanica SpA
and GKN plc
it survives in name as AgustaWestland
and is producing some of the most advanced
helicopters operated by the military worldwide.
Please follow one of the Links below to
view the other British companies
Westland WS-51 Dragonfly HR Mk.5,
WG719, C/n. WA/H/50.
The Dragonfly HR Mk.5, WG719 started life as a HR Mk.3 and was
the 50th Dragonfly to be built. It first flew from Yeovil on
19th September 1952 as a HR Mk.3., and delivered to No.705 Squadron Fleet Air Arm. Later it was converted
to HR Mk.5 standard, before joining No.776 Squadron in 1959,
where it remained until 1961.
A 3-seat general-purpose utility helicopter powered by a single Alvis Leonides 521/1
9-cylinder radial piston engine. In June 1967 it
was moved into storage at RNAY Fleetlands
and in 1989 went on display with the Helicopter Museum.
In January 1990 the aircraft was
seriously damaged in 100 mph plus gales and the aircraft became the subject of a major
strip down and rebuild by volunteers at the museum, which was completed in August
Westland WS-51A Widgeon Series 2,
G-AOZE, C/n. WA/H/141.
The Widgeon was developed by Westland from the licence-built S-51or Dragonfly, which
carried 3 people in a narrow cabin. Built in 1957 at Yeovil, Somerset,
G-AOZE was the
fifth Widgeon built and the second to be completed from
scratch as a WS-51A. It first flew
in July 1957 and was sold to Bristow Helicopters. Powered by a Alvis Leonides 521/1
9-cylinder radial piston engine, it operated in the Persian Gulf on offshore oil support
work. It returned to Bristow at their Redhill
headquarters in 1970 and was later donated
to a school. In 1986 the aircraft came up for disposal and joined the Museum collection.
In 1995 long term restoration of the aircraft began and the aircraft has now
been moved back to the exhibition hanger.
Westland Scout AH Mk.1, XP165, C/n. S2/8437.
Designed originally by Saunders-Roe at Cowes, Isle of Wight, the museum aircraft is
generally regarded as the first true Scout prototype. Built in 1960 at
Hampshire as a 5 seat utility and armed attack helicopter powdered
by a Blackburn Nimbus
Mk.101 turboshaft engine. First flown in August 1960, XP165 was initially allocated for
manufacturer trials and in 1963 it was delivered to Yeovil and remained there as a trial
installation aircraft until 1964 when it was returned to White Waltham for refurbishing
and delivery to the ETPS at RAE Farnborough in 1964. In 1983 XP165 was transferred to the
museum collection, and after extensive restoration work by the museum is now fully
restored into its ETPS colours.
Westland Wasp HAS Mk.1, XT443, C/n.
The 60th example to be built for the Royal Navy in 1966 as a ship based
warfare helicopter powered by a Bristol Siddley Nimbus Mk.503 turboshaft engine. It first
flew at Yeovil on 29th March 1966 and was delivered to RNAY Fleetlands, and later to
No.829 Squadron, Portland, Dorset. In 1979 it went to RNAY Wroughton, for storage and then
a overhaul, which was completed 1981 and delivered to No.829 Squadron as HMS Aurora ships
flight. Declared redundant in 1993 it was transferred to Westland's for storage and
donated to the Helicopter Museum, with delivery taking place in January
aircraft was returned to the main collection in November 2002 after
a major 5 years restoration by the museum volunteers.
Westland Lynx, ZB500/G-LYNX,
Following initial orders placed for the Lynx AH Mk.1 by the Army Air Corps and the Qatar
government, Westland built their own demonstrator and trials aircraft.
Built in 1978 at Yeovil, Somerset as a 9-seat military battlefield attack-utility
helicopter powered by two LHTEC T800 turboshaft engines, it first flew on 18th
May 1979 and continued to carry the
civil registration for non-military demonstration flights. Following these flights it
stored for two years, before being reworked in mid 1986 for an attempt on the
Helicopter World Speed Record. On completion of the modification work G-LYNX was flown again on
August 1986 and, following several trial runs, made the actual record attempt on
11th August over a measured 15 km (9.3 mile) route on the Somerset levels. The final
verified by the FAI, was 400.87 kph (249.09 mph) a 9% increase over the
In 1991 the aircraft was modified for flight tests but by mid 1992 the helicopter was
again placed in storage. Following an approach from the
Helicopter Museum in late 1994, Westland agreed to transfer
the aircraft for display and it was moved from
storage to the museum on 19th January 1995.
G-LYNX remains the World
Speed Record holder, 14 years after it took the title.
Westland Lynx 3, ZE477/G-17-24, C/n. 001P.
The Lynx 3 was a private venture
prototype built by Westland to demonstrate the potential
of a growth variant of the Lynx helicopter and largely used technology
The aircraft was manufactured using the major components of
Lynx airframes in 1984 at Yeovil, Somerset, as an 11 seat military battlefield
helicopter powered by two Rolls Royce
Gem 60 turboshaft engines. The Lynx 3 Prototype first flew in 1984 but lack of orders
caused the development to be abandoned in 1988. ZE477 was the only Lynx 3 built, it was
subsequently used for trials and demonstration work through 1984-85 before its last flight
on 10th March 1987. ZE477 then
remained in storage until August 1988 when Westland
agreed to transfer this interesting one-off prototype to the
Westland WS-55 Whirlwind HAS Mk.7,
XK940, C/n. WA/H/167.
The Whirlwind was a British development of the Sikorsky S-55 and
XK940 was built in 1957 as an Anti-Submarine Warfare helicopter.
Powered by one Alvis Leonides Major 750
9-cylinder radial piston engine and features a raised cabin
floor to accommodate a single torpedo. The museum example operated
with No.845 NAS on HMS Bulwark and
Centaur, later joining No.825 NAS on HMS Ark Royal. Retired in 1971 and later restored privately
to flying condition in 1991. One of the
most recent aircraft to join the collection arriving in June 2000.
Westland WS-55 Whirlwind HAR Mk.10, XD163,
Originally built in 1954 at Yeovil, Somerset as a 12-seat transport helicopter, powered by
a Rolls Royce Gnome turboshaft engine. XD163 is of particular
significance as it was
only converted from an earlier mark of Whirlwind, but was in fact in its earlier life the
first Whirlwind delivered to the Royal Air Force and was the first Whirlwind Mk.4. It
first flew in April 1954 and operated with the Far East air force. In 1962 it was
delivered to Westland's factory for conversion to Mk.10 standard. As the 36th production
conversion Mk.10 XD163 first flew in February 1964 and allocated to 2FTS at the Central
Flying School helicopter wing Ternhill in 1966. It remained there until 1979 when it was
retired and placed in storage at RNAY Wroughton. The aircraft was subsequently transferred
to the museum in April 1991. This aircraft is currently located in the
restoration building under going long term restoration.
Westland WS-55 Whirlwind Series 3,
G-AODA, C/n. WA113.
Originally built in 1955 as the 17th production Series 1
Whirlwind, for the Shell Petroleum Company, it first flew in August 1955. It was operated in the Persian
supporting offshore oil installations, capable of carrying up to 12
in 1965 to Series 3 configuration and first flew
as such in July 1965. G-AODA remained based at Redhill for pilot training and charter
operations until 1980 and was kept in airworthy condition
and continued to fly until 1990. In August 1993 Bristow Helicopters donated it to The Helicopter
Westland WS-55 Whirlwind
HCC Mk.12, XR486, C/n WA418.
The Royal Air Force King's Flight first
began operating in 1947 with the Sikorsky R4B and was used to deliver urgent
mail and dispatches to the King. The Mk.12 was the first production example built in
1964 and one of only two VVIP aircraft built for the Queens Flight. the interior
was fitted with special soundproofing, luxury fittings, chrome trim and a high
gloss exterior finish. During it's operational duty the museums example was
piloted by HRH Prince Phillip and The Prince of Wales. XR486 Joined the museum collection in June 2000.
Westland Wessex HAS Mk.1, XM330, C/n.
In the mid-1950s Westland was looking for a successor to the WS-55 Whirlwind helicopter
which was just entering service with the Royal Navy in the
anti-submarine role. The larger
Sikorsky S-58 was evaluated and in 1956 the company signed a licence agreement with
Sikorsky. 111 Wessex HAS Mk.1 were built, 43 of which were later converted to HAS Mk.3.
The aircraft in the collection is the 8th pre-production aircraft built and was first
flown in November 1959. Designed as an Anti-Submarine Warfare helicopter it was powered by
a Napier Gazelle NGa13 turboshaft engine. In 1960 it was transferred to the A&AEE
Boscombe Down for experimental flying and support work and in 1976 was
repainted in the
red/white/blue "raspberry ripple" colour scheme. After a ground
at Farnborough the aircraft was written off as uneconomic to repair and donated by RAE
services to the museum, being delivered in May 1994.
Westland Wessex 60, G-AVNE,
The Wessex Series 60 was a civil variant of the military Mk.5, with the first
flying for the first time in July 1965. A total of 16 aircraft were built, all
Helicopters. G-AVNE, was the 7th Series 60 and the first long range
flown in May 1967. A 16-seat civil transport helicopter it was
powered by two Rolls Royce
Gnome turboshaft engines. Operated by Bristow Helicopters extensively in the Far East
Australia on offshore contracts, in September 1981 the aircraft was grounded before being
shipped back to Redhill and later moved to Hurn in 1984 for storage. In mid 1987 the
aircraft was purchased by the museum and moved to Weston-super-Mare in November.
HCC Mk.4, XV733, c/n WA628.
The Wessex HCC Mk.4 was identical to the HC Mk.2, but with special furnishings and equipment, operated by the RAF. A total of 2 aircraft were built, and
operated by the Queens Flight based at RAF Benson from April 1969.
helicopter, XV733, was
used by all the senior members of the
Royal Family, including the Queen and Princess Diana, and
with the Royal Flight until 1998 since when the Wessex was in storage at RAF
Shawbury in Shropshire. In
November 2001 the aircraft was officially put up for sale and purchased by the
museum, with the assistance of a fast track
from The National
Lottery Fund. The grant was the first time the Fund had ever been used to
purchase a helicopter. On
15th November the Westland Wessex HCC.4 was delivered to the museum. To become
the second Queens Flight helicopter in the collection.
Westland WG30 Series 100, G-BGHF, C/n.
The Westland WG30 was developed by the company from the successful military Lynx family
and used the dynamics
system of this helicopter, matched to more powerful engines and an entirely new airframe. A total of 40 WG30s were built,
G-BGHF being the original WG30
prototype, first flew at Yeovil on 10th April 1979. Power was provided by two Rolls Royce
Gem turboshaft engines. It was used primarily for development work and last flew in
September 1985 before being placed in storage. In August 1988 Westland agreed to
the aircraft to the Helicopter Museum, then following some refurbishment work it was
delivered by road to the museum in February 1989.
Westland WG30 Series 300, G-HAUL/G-17-22,
The Westland WG30 Series 300 was the ultimate version of the WG30
helicopter, the original
WG30 Series 100 lacked power and payload to be successful in the commercial or military
market. Built in 1986 at Yeovil as a 17-seat military transport, the prototype Series 300
was built using the airframe of the 20th production W30-100 and was completed in January
1986. The first flight took place in February 1986 fitted with the more powerful General
Electric CT7-2B turboshaft engines. On 10th March 1987 G-HAUL made a brief
flight before a South Korean delegation, but no orders were
forthcoming and the aircraft
was put into storage. In 1991 it was allocated to the
museum collection and delivered
10th April 1992.
Westland WG25 Mote.
Built in 1975 as an
experimental remotely piloted helicopter, and powered by two Veeco two-stroke piston
engines. The WG25 remotely piloted helicopter was a private venture
project, designed to prove the basic concept for a radio controlled,
fully controllable helicopter that could be used for
surveillance purposes. In 1974 work began on a flying prototype which was first flown
in June 1975. Having completed its trials programme
the WG25 was stored until joining the museum collection in 1990, unfortunately less engines and rotor blades.
Westland Wisp, C/n. WA01.
Built in 1976 at Yeovil,
Somerset as a remotely piloted observation helicopter, the Wisp was powered by two Korba
2-stroke 2-cylinder piston engines. Following the development
success of the Mote, Westland began construction in 1976 of a larger version of a airborne surveillance system that could send
live TV and infra-red pictures to a portable control station day or night. The first
of three prototypes
was completed in August 1976 with
a first flight on 2nd December 1976. Trials were carried out in 1977 but the payload was considered
limited and the project
had already been succeeded by the larger Wideye. The Wisp was acquired by The Helicopter Museum
in April 1990.
Built in 1977 as a remotely piloted observation helicopter,
powered by two Weslake 2-stroke 2-cylinder piston engines. The Wideye was a larger more
sophisticated follow up to the Wisp with coaxial rotors of 2.30 m (7 ft 7 in)
allowing a gross weight of 125 kg (275 lb). The Museum received the
of the initial production aircraft in 1996 and assembled a
virtually complete example.
Also held is a Wideye mock-up which was built for exhibition purposes and utilises an
original airframe shell.
Built in 1983 as
the final design in a family of remote-piloted helicopters developed by the company known as VTUAV (Vertical Takeoff Unmanned Air Vehicle).
the Wisp and the Wideye were manufactured in small numbers for
evaluation, but did not enter large-scale production Westland
continued working on the concept and the Sharpeye was a
"stealth" development with a reshaped
reduce the radar signature. The
event the project was cancelled before a Sharpeye prototype was flown
and the windtunnel mockup is the only remaining evidence of this final
phase of the WG-25 programme.