Wsetland Wessex HAS.3, XT257

On a recent trip to Weymouth we were looking for somewhere to take my eight year old granddaughter. We came across a place on the internet called Adventure Land. Next door was the Bournemouth Aviation Museum after taking the little one on a few rides I decided that I would go and have a look around the museum, leaving her with her gran. I was greeted by a chap that looked very happy in his job, a nice big smile and a pleasant welcome. He handed me over to another chap who told me all about the various aircraft that they had and which ones you could sit in. One aircraft there was a bright yellow Westland Wessex. I had been into a LHS in Weymouth and noticed Italeri had released the 1:48th H.A.S.3 and that the aircraft on display was actually one of the options in the kit. I took this series of picture to help anyone that would like to add a little extra detail to the kit. You can see I have started off with the basic airframe. I then moved inside the passenger compartment before making my way into the cockpit. I have tried as much as I can to show a reference point on each picture so you can tell which part of the aircraft you are looking at. The last two pictures in the set show how the black paint has been worn away to reveal the “interior green” which in turn has been worn away to show the metal surface.

Westland Wessex H.A.S.3, XT257

The Westland Wessex is a British Turbine powered version of the Sikorsky S-58 “Choctaw”, developed under licence by Westland Aircraft (later Westland Helicopters) initially for the Royal Navy and later for the Royal Air Force. The Wessex was built at the Westland factory at Yeovil in Somerset.

This Aircraft XT257 is a preproduction H.A.S.3 built by Westland in early 1965. As such it was never operational with the Royal Navy being used for development flying. In 1966/67 it was at A&AEE, RAF Boscombe Down testing flight control systems and radio evaluation. Its flying days were over by 1980 when it was passed over to the RAF as an instructional airframe at No1 School of Technical Training at RAF Holton. It moved with No1 S of TT to RAF Cosford in early 1995. At some stage it was painted in the yellow colour scheme as it appears today at the Bournemouth Air Museum. It was sold to a private owner and moved by road in January 2005 for display at the museum.

Wessex aircraft were based locally at RNAS Portland, often being seen flying along the Dorset coast. The Wessex was finally replaced by the larger Sea King, which has a greater range.