XA 870

Westland-Sikorsky WS55 Whirlwind HAR1 XA870History of  Whirlwind XA870

18-05-54  First flight at Westland helicopters.
18-07-54 Delivered to RNAY Gosport for far east service
9-09-54 Transferred to AEA far east by sea.
22-10-54 Taken on charge at Sembawang, Singapore.
23-10-54 Transferred to 848 Squadron. De-preservation of the five Mk1 Whirlwinds was not completed until January 1955. This mark of Whirlwind was found to be unsuitable for the far east by the Fleet Air Arm. Probably underpowered and overweight?
17-03-55 Transferred on loan to the RAF for 155 Squadron. After two months the RAF found the Whirlwind HAR1 to be equally unsatisfactory.
9-8-55 Returned to Gosport
01-10-55 To HMS Protector, following de-preservation / refurbishment. Coded 911
25-06-56 Returned to Lee on Solent
14-09-56 To HMS Protector, now coded 991.
1956 During the 56/57 commission XA870 was one of the helicopters involved in guiding the MV Theron through pack ice when it collected Sir Edmund Hillary and Dr Vivian Fuchs who were with the Antarctic survey expedition.
22-5-57 Returned to Lee on Solent.
26-08-57 Temporary Loan to 705 Squadron.
20-01-58 Formally transfered to 705 squadron and coded 528(replacing XA862)
11-03-59 Severely damaged when taxied into a fixed fuel installation.
17-03-59 To RNAY Fleetlands for cat 4 repairs, followed by UHF/VHF radio fitment and special mod’s for ‘Protector’ service at NARIU, Lee on Solent.
30-03-61 Returned to Fleetlands.
06-06-61 To HMS Protector. Used as a ‘spare’ aircraft by Protector flight and was used as a training aircraft for the flights crews between commissions at Lee on Solent.
17-07-61 Crash landed at Lee’ and transferred to Fleetlands for repair.
22-06-62 to
With Protector flight based at Lee on Solent.
07-06-63 to
With Protector flight based at Lee on Solent.
18-07-63 Forced landing at Kingston in Devon due to clutch problems, after a few days the clutch was literally repaired ‘in the field’ and the aircraft resumed its service with the flight until at least mid’ 9-63.
18-05-66 Allocated maintenance serial A2543/E4552 at Lee’ (class two instructional airframe).
13-6-66 Struck off charge with a total of 416 flying hours. Remained at Lee’ until
1973, it was uncoded in 1969 but later coded 448/PR possibly in 1969.
22-05-73 Taken by road to RNAS Predannack for storage.
Late 1975 To RNAS Culdrose for repainting and partial sectioning.
Early 1976 To Cornwall Aeronautical Park (later renamed Flambards Theme Village) collection for display. FLA1c
07-11-02 Donated to The Yorkshire Helicopter Preservation Group and moved to their home at AEROVENTURE, Doncaster for restoration and display in the museum. Click the image below for the full story of the movement is in the special report elsewhere on this site. S2300018
S2300067 S2300092