The Westland WS55 Whirlwind Series 3 is a medium-weight multi-role
utility helicopter, powered by one 720 shp Bristol Siddeley Gnome 101
turboshaft and accommodating up to 10 passengers and 2 crew. The British
built Westland Whirlwind is an extensively developed version of the
single piston-engined Sikorsky S-55 also known as the H-19 Chickasaw. In
1951, Westland Aircraft Ltd., Yeovil, imported one American- built
example (s/n 55-016), that was registered G-AMHK on 6 February 1951 and
was used for demonstration and development flying. Westland Aircraft
Ltd. acquired a licence for production of the Sikorsky S-55 in 1952. As
the Westland Whirlwind the helicopter was put into production for the
Royal Navy and R.A.F. / Army, the first four versions having American
piston-engines. These were the Naval H.A.R.1 and Army H.A.R.2 versions
withe the Pratt & Whitney R-134-40 engine, with the first Mk.1 flying on
15 August 1953, and the Naval H.A.R.3 with R-1300-3 engine and the Air
Force H.A.R.4 with a R-1340-57 engine. With the Whirlwind H.A.R.5 for
the Royal Navy, Westland introduced the British Alvis Leonides Major 155
engine, with the first flight of the Whirlwind with this engine on 28
August 1955. The Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm Whirlwinds served
primarily in anti-submarine and search and rescue roles. Next
to the miltary civil versions were produced, as the WS-55 Series 1 and
the WS-55 Series 2 with the R-1340 and Leonides Major engines,
respectively. In 1959, the company introduced the Westland Whirlwind
Series 3 with a turbine engine supplanting the original piston engine. The Gnome turboshaft-powered Whirlwind Series 3
flew first on 28 February 1959 and was ordered in quantity for R.A.F
Transport and Coastal Commands in April 1960 as the Whirlwind H.A.R.10.
In addition to new machines of this type, some R.A.F.'s
piston-engined have been brought up to H.A.R.10 standards.
On 16 August 1955, the Westland Whirlwind HAR 3 s/n WA71 flew first. On
23 September 1955, the helicopter was delivered to the Royal Navy as
XG576. Westland Whirlwind HAR 3 XG576 served with the Royal Navy Fleet
Air Arm until the helicopter was withdrawn from use in 1967 and sold to
Bristow Helicopters. After the sale to Bristow, the Westland Whirlwind
HAR 3 underwent a major overhaul and was converted by Bristow engineers
at Redhill, to the Westland WS55 Whirlwind Series 3 configuration, with
a single 1050 shp Bristol-Siddeley Gnome H1000 turboshaft engine. Next
to this the helicopter was converted to a SAR configuration.On 14 december 1970, the
helicopter was registered G-AYNP with Bristow Helicopters Ltd., Redhill.
In service with Bristow the helicopter was operated as a rescue
helicopter on behalf of HM Coastguard. On 10 March 1975, registration
G-AYNP was cancelled as exported to South Africa and registered as ZS-HCY.
On 18 July 1977, the helicopter was restored as G-AYNP in the UK with
Bristow Helicopters Ltd., Redhill. On 27 October 1985, the CofA expired
of the G-AYNP which at that time already was withdrawn from use and
stored at Redhill. On 14 February 1994, the helicopter was delivered by
road from Redhill to the International Helicopter Museum at
Weston-Super-Mare. On 22 February 1994, registration G-AYNP was
cancelled by the CAA as permanently withdrawn from use. The
International Helicopter Museum used the helicopter as an exchange
object and traded the helicopter with the Aero Park Brandenburg for another helicopter and so the Westland WS55 Whirlwind
Series 3 G-AYNP was moved to Germany. From 1994, the G-AYNP "Cygnus" was
part of the outdoor static of the "Aero Park Brandenburg" in Diepensee
just South of Berlin-Schönefeld. The museum was not really a succes and
closed its doors in 1999. As the grounds of the museum were neaded for
the new Berlin Airport, the owners of the failed "Aero Park Brandenburg"
had to evacuate the more than 100-acre site before 2002. Westland WS55
Whirlwind Series 3 G-AYNP was sold to Verlag Druckerei Medienvertrieb
Heinz Nickel in 2000 and put on display for their office in Zweibrücken.
In 2006, the helicopter was sold to Sammler- und Hobbywelt in Alten-Buseck.
By the end of the year the helicopter was restored and repainted in basic Royal
Navy colors. In 2007, Royal Navy XG576 and Rescue titles were applied and the
helicopter was put on display as a Westland Whirlwind H.A.R.9 Culdrose
SAR flight helicopter. In January 2015, the XG576 "Princess Olivia"
was added to the collection of PS Aero and transported to Baarlo in the Netherlands. In June 1974, the Westland WS55 Whirlwind Series 3
G-AYNP was seen at Redhill aerodrome near London while in service
Bristow Helicopters as a rescue helicopter on behalf of H.M.Coastguard.