Westland WS-55 Series 3,
G-AODA/EP-HAC/9Y-TDA, at The Helicopter Museum.
Whirlwind Series 3, G-AODA, c/n WA/113, was built in 1955 as one
of two Series 1 machines, with 600hp Pratt & Whitney R-1340 radial piston
engines, for the Shell
Petroleum Company. Initially they operated from Qatar, in the Persian Gulf, supporting
exploration oil rigs off Doha. Although owned by Shell the helicopters
were managed and crewed by Bristow Helicopters Ltd.
In 1965 G-AODA was the first WS-55 to be converted, by Bristow engineers at Redhill, to the Series 3 configuration, with a single 1050 shp Bristol-Siddeley Gnome H1000 turboshaft engine and twelve passenger seats. It was operated by Bristow Helicopters, for charter operations, in Iran as EP-HAC, in Trinidad from 1969 until 1974 as 9Y-TDA and with Conoco in Kuantan, Malaysia. Later G-AODA returned to the UK and was involved in setting up the first SAR units in the North Sea, with BP, in 1978, before returning to Redhill where it was used for pilot training, Command Course assessments and charter work.
Read Captain Steve Hogarth's memories of G-AODA and Bristow Helicopters.