Westland Wessex Series 60


Registration: G-AVNE/PK-HBQ/VH-BHC
Country of origin: UK
Built: Yeovil, England, 1964
Manufacturer: Westland Helicopters
Constructor's Number: WA561
Engines: Two 1350shp Rolls Royce Gnome turboshaft engines
Type: 16 seat passenger transport helicopter

Note: This long-range commercial version of the Wessex was used by Bristow for oil-rig support in the North Sea, and in Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia and Nigeria.

Details: Westland built sixteen Wessex 60s, based on the RAF's HC.2 model, for Bristow Helicopters, between 1965 and 1975, to replace some of the Widgeons and Whirlwinds in their fleet, which serviced the expanding UK and overseas offshore oil and gas exploration sector.

The seventh Westland Wessex Series 60 to be built, G-AVNE, a 16 passenger civil transport with twin 1350 shp Rolls-Royce Gnome H1200, Mk.660, turboshaft engines, was delivered to Bristow, at Redhill, in 1967. It was the first long-range Series 60 and, soon after delivery, was despatched to Sunderland, N.E. England, where it operated in support of one of the early offshore oil rigs, 'Glomar IV'.

In 1970 G-AVNE was flown out, from the UK, to Kuantan, in Malaysia, and transferred to Bristow's Far East operations, serving successively in Singapore, Indonesia, Australia and then back in Malaysia, each time with appropriate re-registration. It returned to the UK in 1973.

In 1974 G-AVNE was transferred to the Warri base in Nigeria, again to support offshore oil rigs and platforms. It was re-registered as 5N-AJL and remained in Nigeria until 1981 when, following a third and serious accident to a Wessex 60, it was withdrawn from service and returned, via Redhill, to the Westland factory in Weston-super-Mare.

In 1987, after three years in hangar storage at Hurn Airport near Bournemouth, G-AVNE was bought by The Helicopter Museum where it has been restored.

Performance:
Max Speed: 212.43 km/h (132 mph)
Empty Weight: 3783 kg (8340 lb)
Range: 499 km (310 miles)
Capacity/Load: 16 persons
Power: 2 x 1350shp Rolls-Royce Gnome H1200 turboshaft engines