Airfix - 1/48 Westland Sea King HAS.1/HAS.5/HU.5
Westland Sea King HAS.1 XV666, No.826 Naval Air Squadron, Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose, Cornwall, England, 1970. (A)
A11006 Westland Sea King HAS.5 XV666, No.814 Naval Air Squadron, Royal Naval Station Culdrose, Cornwall, England, 1988. (B)
A11006 Westland Sea King HU.5 XV666, No.771 Naval Air Squadron, Royal Naval Station Culdrose, Cornwall, England, 1990. (C)
A11006 Westland Sea King HU.5 XV666, Heli-Operations, Portland, Dorset, England 2022. (D)
King of land, sea, and sky, we introduce the newly tooled 1:48 Westland Sea King HAS.1/HAS.5/HU.5, the most complete Sea King kit ever released with 348 pieces.
With its captivating narrative, this kit portrays the evolution of a single aircraft, from its inaugural flight to its current livery, rendering it truly one-of-a-kind.
The newly designed Westland Sea King boasts an intricately detailed exterior, featuring a fully riveted external skin and overlapping panels. Its interior is equally detailed, showcasing raised cockpit elements and instrument surfaces, and three distinct cabin configurations tailored to each scheme.
At the very forefront of world helicopter design and development in the post war era, the US Sikorsky Company were awarded an important contract to produce an all-weather amphibious helicopter for the United States Navy in 1957. Its primary mission profile would be that of an anti-submarine warfare aircraft, protecting the US fleet from possible attack, however, the aircraft would prove adaptable enough to take on a multitude of secondary roles, going on to become one of the truly great aircraft of the 20th Century.
The aircraft, which was given the designation SH-3 Sea King, was produced with an amphibious hull, giving it the capability to land on water, in addition to its more usual environment on the decks of numerous US Navy warships. Powered by a twin turboshaft engine arrangement, the Sea King was an impressive machine, capable of carrying significant loads of men, equipment, or general supplies, providing the US Navy with a truly revolutionary new aircraft.
On entering service in 1961, the Sea King was the most advanced aircraft of its type in the world and presented the US Navy with one of the most flexible aviation platforms at that time. In Britain, an existing licence agreement between Westland Helicopters and Sikorsky to build their helicopters in the Uk was extended to include the SH-3 Sea King not long after the first flight of the prototype aircraft, because even at that early stage, the incredible potential of this new helicopter was clear, and Britain wanted its own Sea Kings.
Externally, Westland manufactured Sea King helicopters featured the same classic lines of the original US design, however internally, they were very different machines, with numerous modifications geared towards British military use. The Westland Sea King was selected by the Royal Navy to meet their requirement for an anti-submarine warfare helicopter, replacing the venerable Westland Wessex in this role, with an order for 60 aircraft being placed in the summer of 1966.
The first Westland built Sea King HAS.1 flew from their factory facility at Yeovil on 7th May 1969, with the first Royal Navy machines delivered to No.700 Naval Air Squadron (OEU) at Rnas Yeovilton later that same year. As the Sea King became established in Royal Naval service, it quickly showed itself to be both operationally capable and highly adaptable and was destined for a long and illustrious career not only with the Fleet Air Arm, but also with the Royal Air Force.
Excelling in every role it was assigned, it was perhaps its use as a Search & Rescue helicopter which made these some of the best loved aircraft in British military service and undoubtedly one of the most successful aircraft of the post war era.