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D-HALC Bristol 171 Sycamore Mk.52 c/n 13473 - Ahlhorn Air Force Base in Germany - 25 May 1979 oldtimer biplanes

Bristol Type 171 was the first post-war British helicopter in production, and was manufactured at Filton and Weston-super-Mare. The Sycamore was fitted with a triple-blade main rotor and a triple-blade rear rotor. The rotor blades were entirely made of Australian maple wood. The main rotor was designed so that the blades could be folded to one side, towards the rear boom. This meant that it was possible to save space on naval vessels and in the hangar. The first flight of the Type 171 was done by a Model Mk.1 on 27 July 1947. The Mk.1 was a 2 seater with a 450hp Pratt and Whitney R-985 Wasp Junior radial engine: two prototypes (VL958 & VL963) were built. The four/five-seat general-purpose helicopter Bristol Type 171 Sycamore Mk.4 was the final production version of this machine. 178 examples of which had been completed when the last was delivered in 1959. Of these 50 were built in 1957-1959 for the Federal Germany as the Sycamore Mk.52, most serving with the Luftwaffe but 4 being delivered to the Navy, joined later by a further four from the Luftwaffe stocks. The German Sycamore Mk.52 helicopters were withdrawn from service in 1972-1973.

Bristol 171 Sycamore Mk.52 c/n 13473 entered service with the Luftwaffe FFS-S as AS330. The Sycamore was transferred to RVSt3 as LC115 and finally 7816. After being withdrawn from its military duties it entered the civil register as D-HALC in July 1977. Bristol 171 Sycamore D-HALC was seen at Fliegerhorst Ahlhorner Heide in Germany during the Tag der offenen Tr on 25 May 1979. Sycamore D-HALC didn't survive as it was destroyed by fire at Wulpshausen on 2 August 1986.

page last updated: 15-08-2005
Copyright Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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