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British Industrial History

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Westland: Dragonfly

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Exhibit at the Fleet Air Arm Museum.
1951.
1952. Westland Dragonfly. Exhibit at Chatham Dockyard.
1953.

Note: This is a sub-section of Westland.

The Westland WS-51 Dragonfly helicopter was built by Westland Aircraft and was a license-built version of the American Sikorsky S-51. The Dragonfly entered service with the Royal Navy in 1950 in the air-sea rescue role. A number were also used by the Royal Air Force for casualty evacuation. It was replaced in British service by the Westland Whirlwind, another derivative of a Sikorsky design, in the late 1950s.

Variants

Westland/Sikorsky WS-51

  • Prototype.

Dragonfly HR.1

  • Air-sea search and rescue helicopter for the Royal Navy powered by a 540 hp (400 kW) Alvis 50 radial piston engine. 13 built, some modified later as HR.5s.

Dragonfly HC.2

  • Casualty evacuation helicopter for the Royal Air Force similar to the commercial Mark 1A, 2 built.

Dragonfly HR.3

  • Air-sea search and rescue helicopter for the Royal Navy. Similar to the Dragonfly HR.1, but fitted with all-metal rotor blades, 71 built some later modified as HR.5s.

Dragonfly HC.4

  • Casualty evacuation helicopter for the RAF similar to the Dragonfly HR.3 with all-metal rotor blades, 12 built.

Dragonfly HR.5

  • Air-sea search and rescue helicopter for the Royal Navy similar to the Dragonfly HR.3. Modified from HR.1 and HR.3.

Westland-Sikorsky WS-51 Mk.1A

  • Civil transport helicopter powered by a 520 hp (388 kW) Alvis Leonides 521/1 radial piston engine. Built by Westland in the United Kingdom, 36 built.

Westland-Sikorsky WS-51 Mk.1B

  • Civil transport helicopter powered by a 450 hp (336 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-985 Wasp Junior B4 radial piston engine, 15 built.

See Also

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