The Westland Wessex was a general purpose duties helicopter produced by Westland Aircraft Ltd. and represented a British licence development of the Sikorsky S-58. The initial production version, the Wessex HAS.1, first flew in June 1958 and the type began to be operated by the Royal Navy three years later.
The Wessex was designed for ASW, search and strike and air/sea rescue roles, with crew of one to three according to role and up to 16 passengers in main cabin. It was powered by a Napier Gazelle turboshaft engine. The fuselage was a light-alloy semi-monocoque structure, with steel tube support structure for the main rotor gearbox. The main and tail rotor each had four blades made of light-alloy. The landing gear was of a non-retractable tailwheel type. The HAS.1 was capable of carrying two torpedoes or depth charges on fuselage external stores pylons and it was equipped with a dipping sonar. In an assault role the aircraft could carry rocket pods and two missiles mounted on fuselage sponsons above the undercarriage wheels. Auxiliary drop fuel tanks could also be carried on aft fuselage pylons.
Deliveries of HAS.1s began in April 1960 to No.700H Sq. IFTU. Ultimately, HAS.1 equipped seven front-line ASW units in Fleet carriers and Ship’s Flights in County Class destroyers and four training squadrons. In 1967 the HAS.1s were replaced in the ASW role by the more sophisticated HAS.3 version. The last HAS.1 was retired from RN service in August 1979. In total, 140 Wessex HAS.1 were produced.
Colour schemes included in the kit:
1) Westland Wessex HAS.1, XL727 (c/n WA1), Westland Aircraft trials a/c, Yeovil airfield, Somerset, and SBAC Air Show, Farnborough Air Base, Hampshire, U.K., August 1958
2) Westland Wessex HAS.1, XM330 (c/n WA11), trials a/c, Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE), Ministry of Defence (MoD), Farnborough Air Base, Hampshire, U.K., mod-1970s
3) Westland Wessex HAS.1, XM330 (c/n WA11), ‘Raspberry Ripple’, trials a/c, Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE), Ministry of Defence (MoD), SBAC Air Show, Farnborough Air Base, Hampshire, U.K., September 1976
4) Westland Wessex HAS.1, XM832/506 (c/n WA13), No.700H NAS, Intensive Flying Trials Unit (IFTU), Royal Navy, RNAS Culdrose (HMS Seahawk), Cornwall, U.K., April 1960 – July 1961