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UK Helicopter Plans for the 70s

JFC Fuller

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I am currently trying to piece some numbers together for the UK Helicopter plans in the 1960s to meet needs in the 1970s; my initial digging has dragged up the following:


SA.341 (Gazelle): 250 to be divided between all three services, primarily a Sioux replacement
SA.330 (Puma): 100 (I have only seen very early fleeting references to this) or 50 as a Whirlwind replacement
WG.13 (Lynx):30 for the RAF (SAR), 100 for the RN (ASW), 150 for the Army, primarily a Scout/Wasp replacement
Chinook: 15 as a Belvedere replacement


I have also seen a 1974 requirement to the Army that states 162 Lynxes and 99 Gazelles with approximately half to be armed.^


^ http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1974/1974%20-%200569.html


Does anybody have any other information?
 

uk 75

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Sealord

A worthwhile exercise. Another area where we need a Prof Grove.

I think you will find that the RAF Lynx were intended as trainers rather than SAR. They are cancelled some time in 1974 as part of the Defence cuts.

The evolution of the Sioux successor into the Anglo French Gazelle is also interesting. Westland had its own designs, and of couse there were obvious US candidates.

The Puma is certainly a Whirlwind rather than a Wessex replacement. Again, a Westland design was replaced by the Anglo French helicopter deal.

Chinook, as you have mentioned in another thread, was seen both as a Medium Lift Helicopter and as a long range ASW machine. Westland's WG11 was pretty much a British Chinook. At some point in 1962-3 the RN notes that the US are able to use the SH3 Sea King in this role rather than a twin rotor helicopter (Vertols of some kind-Retrievers-Piasecki thingies and the old Bristol 173 had all be tried). Chinook remains as an MLH. Quite why the UK does not stick to the Sikorsky family (CH53) for this role is not revealed. Germany is still using its CH53s.

We need much more info...
 

JFC Fuller

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I am aware that there was an RAF trainer requirement at one point for the Lynx but the reference I have seen for the RAF 30 is specifically for the SAR role (an old RUSI document IIRC*), I am curious about the Lynx trainer requirement though...?

*RUSI & Brassey's defence yearbook 1968 (via google books)

The helicopter package seems to have got even less attention than the fast jet programme.
 

uk 75

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The ref to the Lynx trainer cancellation is in one of the Cabinet papers in Hennessy's Bomb book.
I have also seen the trainer featured on the Whatifmodelers site.

The whole RAF Lynx saga is never covered in books and I have seen no pictures or artwork.
 

uk 75

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Another of my interests which seems
unlikely to be shared is the saga of British military helicopter projects.
In particular I am still unable to find any info on the RAF Lynx variants cancelled in 1974.
I also found a reference to Westland offering a military version of the S61 used by BEA. It even had a W name given it.
 

JohnR

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I have seen or read somewhere in the last few months; but for the life of me I can't remember where, that the Army was interested in obtaining the OH6 Cayuse for its Scout replacement.

On a personal note I think we should have purchased the S61R for the Commando role rather than the de marinised Sea King we did.

If we had purchased Chinnook for ASW role I presume that they would have only been used from Carriers?
 

uk 75

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I found my note. The illustration came from an Ian Allan guide to helicopters from about 1961 and was given the name WILTSHIRE.
 

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