Westland Whirlwind (helicopter)

infobox Aircraft
name = Whirlwind

caption = A Royal Air Force Whirlwind HAR10
type = helicopter
manufacturer = Westland Aircraft
designer =
first flight = August 1953
introduced = 1954
retired =
status =
primary user = Royal Navy
more users = Royal Air Force
produced =
number built = 400
unit cost =
developed from = Sikorsky H-19
variants with their own articles =

The Westland Whirlwind helicopter was a British-built version of the U.S. Sikorsky S-55/H-19 Chickasaw. It primarily served with the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm in anti-submarine and search-and rescue roles.

Design and development

The first prototype British Whirlwind HAR.1 flew in August 1953, with the 600 hp Pratt & Whitney R-1340-40 Wasp, and it entered service shortly afterwards. They served in non-combat roles, including search and rescue and communications functions. The HAR.3 had a larger 700 hp Wright R-1300-3 Cyclone 7 engine. It was not until 1955 that the HAR.5 flew for the first time with a British power plant, the Alvis Leonides Major.

The HAS.7 became the first British helicopter designed for anti-submarine work in the front-line when it entered service in 1956. It was equipped with radar and dipping ASDIC for submarine detection and designed to be equipped with a torpedo, but could not carry both simultaneously.The HAS.7 was powered by a 750 hp (560 kW) Alvis Leonides Major 755/1 radial engine. It had a hovering ceiling at 9,400 ft and a range of 334 miles at 86 mph.

Later in their lives, some HAR.9s were converted to use the Rolls-Royce Gnome turboshaft engine.

From its start with the Navy, the Whirlwind came to be used by the British Army and RAF. More than 400 Whirlwinds were built, of which nearly 100 were exported to the foreign customers.


;WS-55 Series 1 : 44 built; American engines (Pratt & Whitney Wasp R-1340-40), transport helicopters for military and civilian use;WS-55 Series 2 : 19 built; Alvis engines (Alvis Leonides Major 755), civilian use;WS-55 Series 3 : 5 built; Gnome turboshaft (Bristol Siddeley Gnome 101), civilian use;HAR.1 : 10 built; RN service; Search and rescue;HAR.2 : 33 built; RAF service from 1955;HAR.3 : 25 built; RN service; Wright Cyclone engine;HAR.4 : 24 built; Improved HAR.2 for hot and high conditions ;HAR.5 : 3 built; Alvis engines; RN service;HAS.7 : 129 built; RN anti-submarine duties - 1 torpedo; 12 used as Royal Marine transports;HCC.8 : 2 built; Royal Flight transport, VVIP;HAR.9 : RN service;HC.10 : RAF service;HAR.10 : 68 built; RAF, transport and air-sea rescue;HCC.12 : 2 built; Royal Flight,

The model numbers for the US-built evaluation models were ;HAR.21 : 44 built; rescue;HAS.22 : 44 built; anti-submarine




Over 20 aircraft are preserved in the UK in museums including the RAF Museum and the Fleet Air Arm Museum as well as being the current gate guardian at RAF Odiham.

Whirlwind Series 3 G-APWN, Midland Air Museum, Coventry, England. Sometimes open for viewing

pecifications (Whirlwind HAS7)

aircraft specifications

plane or copter?=copter
jet or prop?=prop
crew=Two pilots
length main=41 ft 9 in
length alt=12.71 m
span main=53 ft 0 in
span alt=16.15 m
height main=ft in
height alt= m
area main=2,205 ft²
area alt=205 m²
empty weight main=lb
empty weight alt= kg
loaded weight main=lb
loaded weight alt= kg
max takeoff weight main=7,800 lb
max takeoff weight alt=3,538 kg
engine (prop)=Alvis Leonides Major
type of prop= 9-cylinder radial
number of props=1
power main=750 hp
power alt=559 kW

max speed main=104 mph
max speed alt=167 km/h
range main=334 miles
range alt=534 km
ceiling main=ft
ceiling alt= m
climb rate main=ft/min
climb rate alt= m/min
loading main= 3.5 lb/ft²
loading alt= 17.3 kg/m²
power/mass main= 0.01 hp/lb
power/mass alt= 0.16 kW/kg

* 1x torpedo (carried in place of dipping sonar)

ee also

* Sikorsky H-19

similar aircraft=
* Mil Mi-4


see also=

External links

* [http://www.navynews.co.uk/aircraft/whirlwind.asp Navy News]
* [http://www.helicoptermuseum.co.uk/westland.htm Helicopter museum]
* [http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/westland-whirlwind-har-10.htm RAF museum]
* [http://www.britishaircraft.co.uk/aircraftpage.php?ID=516 British Aircraft Directory]
* [http://www.helis.com/database/?menu=7&tfabrn=22&tmodn=151 Westland Whirlwind] page at helis.com database

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