Westland Wasp HAS1

This is the story of the Westland Wasp Historic Wasp Flight which operates former Royal Navy Wasp XT787.

 It is the story of a unique first generation jet helicopter made famous for being the first helicopter ever to be operated from small ships (frigates and destroyers) and the first helicopter to disable an enemy vessel at sea.  This particular Wasp is beautifully maintained and lovingly preserved as a celebration of the Wasp's place in aviation and Royal Navy history.  

In an enthusiastic effort to keep history 'alive', Westland Wasp XT787 is available at cost only prices for air displays, ground (static) exhibits, fly-ins, fly-pasts and all sorts of other events where a classic helicopter can add that extra touch of excitement, interest and class!

More about the iconic and historic Westland Wasp HAS1


Short history of the Wasp

The Westland Wasp HAS1 is a first generation jet engine helicopter that was built for the Royal Navy, based on an original Saunders Roe concept of a light utility helicopter for the British Army – the Scout AH1.


The army Scout was configured as a light five seat helicopter with skid undercarriage, whereas the Wasp has a quadricycle undercarriage, with fully castoring, long-stroke oleos, lockable wheels that can be toed outwards or inwards depending on operational need. 


The Wasp also has folding elements (tail and main rotors) to enable shipboard stowage; a deck securing system; negative pitch to 'stick' the Wasp to a heaving deck when landing in rough seas, metal tail rotor; single horizontal stabiliser opposite the tail rotor; anti-submarine warfare avionics; anti-submarine warfare armament; autostabilisation; autopilot; radar altimeter for SAR operations; a winch, and flotation devices.

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Available for Air Shows, displays and other events

This superbly agile and very unique navy helicopter is put through its paces by display pilot Terry 'Doc' Martin. His display routine can be 5, 10 or 15 minutes long and is conducted safely, within all current air show regulations, and yet at low level (surface to 100 ft) and therefore close enough to the crowd display line to be both an exciting visual and audible spectacle.  The sound of the Wasp's Rolls Royce Nimbus jet engine is just as iconic as its appearance.


The Wasp is also available for fly-ins, fly-pasts, and ground static displays alone.  This classic 1960s helicopter is an ideal addition to any village fete, charity event, museum open-day or whatever.


Airshow and event organisers wishing to contact us about a booking for the 2017 display season, please email direct to: 


[email protected] 

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Military roles as XT787 and NZ3905

The Westland Wasp HAS1 that we operate is former Royal Navy helicopter XT787. She rolled off the production line at the Fairey division of Westland Helicopters at Hayes on 10th January 1967 and made her first flight on 19th January 1967. In her Royal Navy career, XT787 (as '476') operated on frigates HMS Leander and HMS Rhyl (as part of 829 Sqn,) and also later with 703 Sqn (Portland).  


After being retired in 1981, the Royal Navy's Wasp helicopters were offered a final swansong during the Falklands campaign when RN Wasps were brought out of storage for deployment on Leander, Tribal and Rothesay class frigates which were too small to carry the Lynx helicopter which replaced the Wasps on the newer ships of the fleet.


However, in October 1982, not long after the cessation of hostilities in the Falkland Islands, she was struck off charge from the Royal Navy and, because of her excellent condition and low hours (679:40 total flying hours in RN) she was transferred to New Zealand where, until 1997, she served as part of the RNZAF but in service with RNZN as NZ3905. 

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Now a civilian as G-KAXT

On being withdrawn from RNZN service in March 2002, NZ3905 was sold back to Westlands and was subsequently bought by Kennet Aviation and registered as G-KAXT. With MoD approval, G-KAXT was again remarked as XT787, and repainted in the South Atlantic camouflage scheme of Wasp XS527. This was the famous Wasp helicopter of HMS Endurance Flight (829 Sqn) that fired the missiles that severely damaged the Argentine submarine Santa Fe at Grytviken in South Georgia in May 1982.


In Nov 2012, Kennet Aviation sold XT787 to Terry Martin a former RAF doctor and pilot who now maintains her in this historic camouflage paint scheme and is proud to keep alive the memory of this distinguished first generation military jet helicopter and to represent the many crews who served in Westland Wasps during more than 30 years of naval service. However, in a sense, XT787 became truly tri-service for a while, being flown by Terry, a former RAF Wing Commander, and being based for 3 years at the Headquarters of the Army Air Corps at Middle Wallop in Hampshire until August 2015.

Flying Displays in recent years

Abingdon

RAF Benson

RNAS Culdrose

Ibsley

RAF Odiham

Old Sarum

Old Warden

Shuttleworth (Fly Navy)

Weston-super-Mare

Yeovil (Westlands)

RNAS Yeovilton

Yeovil (Westlands)

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Static Displays in recent years

RAF Cosford

Ibsley

Royal Marines Museum  Portsmouth

Capel

East Fortune air show

RNAS Yeovilton Air Day

RAF Benson


 

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Fly-ins and Fly pasts

Bournemouth Aviation Museum

Weston Heli Meet

Royal Marines Museum Portsmouth

Explosion RN Museum Gosport

Herne Bay air show

HMS Sultan Gosport

QE School Wimbourne

AAC Middle Wallop 

Andover Strut Barton Ashes



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