Touchdown Aviation
military aviation photography - reports - publications - video
Sea King - Fleet Air Arm
 

The Westland WS-61 Sea King helicopter is a British licence-built version of the American Sikorsky S-61 helicopter which first flew during 1969. The first two pattern aircraft were in fact stock SH-3D airframes wearing the serials XV370 and XV371 and were used primarily for trials purposes. All further airframes were manufactured by Westland helicopters at Yeovil, Somerset.

The Sikorsky Sea King helicopter was chosen to replace the Westland Wessex in the Anti-submarine role for the Fleet Air Arm. Many changes were made to the original design including the use of British built Gnome engines, anti-submarine equipment and computerised control systems. A troop carrying version known as the Commando was also produced. The Sea King saw considerable overseas success being sold to the Air Arms of Australia, Belgium, Egypt, Germany, India, Malaysia, Norway, Pakistan and Qatar.

The first Westland-built airframe for the Royal Navy was designated the Sea King HAS.1 and first flew on 7th May 1969 and was delivered later in the year. Subsequent upgrades saw the original HAS.1 design become the HAS.2 and the HAS.6 in the anti-submarine role. The troop carrying version, originally designed for the Egyptian Air Force, became the Sea King HC4 in Royal Navy service. Five surplus Sea King HAS.6 helicopters had their anti-submarine equipment removed and were converted to the troop carrying role being designated the Sea King HAS.6 (CR).

The latest model is the Sea King ASaC7 which replaced the Fairey Gannet in the Airborne Early Warning (AEW) role and presently serves with 854 and 857 Naval Air Squadrons at RNAS Culdrose in Cornwall. To complete the picture, the Royal Air Force also operates the Sea King HAR.3 in the Search and Rescue (SAR) role.

The Sea King has been engaged in a number of conflicts around the globe. The most notable one being during the Falklands war when a number of helicopters were lost in the most arduous of conditions and in one case with considerable loss of life. Numbers 820 and 846 Naval Air Squadrons provided logistical support and casualty evacuation during the troubles in Bosnia with helicopters being hit by small arms fire on a number of occasions. Later on, the Sea King saw further action during the second Gulf War as well as the evacuation of British citizens from Lebanon.

During its service with the Royal Navy the Westland Sea King has been operated at RNAS Yeovilton in Somerset with 845, 846 and 848 Naval Air Squadrons; at RNAS Culdrose in Cornwall with 771,849, 854 and 857 Naval Air Squadrons along with HMS Gannet SAR Flight at Prestwick in Scotland.

Sea King HC4 - ZF115/R - 848 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm
 

Photos per serial

Sea King HAS2A - XV642/259 - Royal Naval Air Engineering & Survival School - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm XV642  

Sea King HU5 - XV648/CU-818 - 771 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm XV648   Sea King HU5 - XV648/CU-818 - 771 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm XV648   Sea King HU5 - XV648/CU-818 - 771 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm XV648   Sea King HU5SAR - XV648/CU-818 - 771 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm XV648

Sea King ASaC7 - XV649/180 - 849 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm XV649   Sea King ASaC7 - XV649/180 - 849 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm XV649  

Sea King ASaC7 - XV671/83 - 857 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm XV671  

Sea King HC6CR - XV676/ZE - 845 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm XV676   Sea King HC6CR - XV676/ZE - 845 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm XV676   Sea King HC6CR - XV676/ZE - 845 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm XV676   Sea King HC6CR - XV676/ZE - 845 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm XV676

Sea King AsaC7 - XV697/181 - 854 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm XV697   Sea King ASaC7 - XV697/181 - 854 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm XV697  

Sea King ASaC7 - XV707/184 - 849 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm XV707   Sea King ASaC7 - XV707/184 - 849 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm XV707   Sea King ASaC7 - XV707/184 - 849 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm XV707   Sea King ASaC7 - XV707/184 - 849 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm XV707

Sea King HAS6 - XV712/66 - Royal Naval Air Engineering & Survival School - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm XV712  

Sea King AsaC7 - XV714/188 - 854 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm XV714  

Sea King HU5 - ZA134 - 771 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm ZA134  

Sea King HU5SAR - ZA137/CU-820 - 771 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm ZA137   Sea King HU5SAR - ZA137 - 771 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm ZA137  

Sea King HU5 - ZA166/CU-28 - 771 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm ZA166  

Sea King HU5 - ZA167/CU-822 - 771 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm ZA167   Sea King HU5 - ZA167/CU-822 - 771 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm ZA167   Sea King HU5SAR - ZA167/CU-822 - 771 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm ZA167   Sea King HU5SAR - ZA167/22 - 771 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm ZA167

Sea King HC4 - ZA291/N - 848 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm ZA291   Sea King HC4 - ZA291/WN - 848 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm ZA291  

Sea King HC4 - ZA297/W - 846 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm ZA297  

Sea King HC4 - ZA299/D - 845 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm ZA299   Sea King HC4 - ZA299/D - 845 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm ZA299  

Sea King HC4 - ZA310/B - 845 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm ZA310  

Sea King HC4 - ZA314/WT - 848 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm ZA314   Sea King HC4 - ZA314/WT - 848 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm ZA314   Sea King HC4 - ZA314/WT - 848 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm ZA314  

Sea King HC4 - ZD479/WQ - 848 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm ZD479   Sea King HC4 - ZD479/WQ - 848 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm ZD479   Sea King HC4 - ZD479/WQ - 848 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm ZD479   Sea King HC4 - ZD479/WQ - 848 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm ZD479

Sea King HC4+ - ZD625/P - 846 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm ZD625   Sea King HC4+ - ZD625/P - 846 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm ZD625   Sea King HC4+ - ZD625/P - 846 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm ZD625   Sea King HC4+ - ZD625/P - 846 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm ZD625

Sea King HC4 - ZD626/S - 845 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm ZD626   Sea King HC4 - ZD626/VS - 846 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm ZD626  

Sea King HC4 - ZD627/WO - 848 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm ZD627   Sea King HC4 - ZD627/WO - 848 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm ZD627  

Sea King ASaC7 - ZD636/CU-182 - 849 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm ZD636   Sea King ASAC7 - ZD636/CU-182 - 857 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm ZD636  

Sea King ASaC7 - ZE118/86 - 854 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm ZE118  

Sea King ASaC7 - ZE418/CU-186 - 849 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm ZE418   Sea King ASaC7 - ZE418/CU-186 - 849 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm ZE418   Sea King ASaC7 - ZE418/86 - 854 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm ZE418  

Sea King HC4 - ZE425/WR - 848 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm ZE425  

Sea King HC4 - ZF115/R - 845 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm ZF115   Sea King HC4 - ZF115/R - 848 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm ZF115   Sea King HC4 - ZF115/R - 848 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm ZF115   Sea King HC4 - ZF115/R - 848 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm ZF115

Sea King HC4 - ZF116/WP - 848 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm ZF116  

Sea King HC4 - ZF119/WY - 848 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm ZF119   Sea King HC4 - ZF119/WY - 848 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm ZF119   Sea King HC4 - ZF119/WY - 848 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm ZF119  

Sea King HC4 - ZF121/T - 846 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm ZF121   Sea King HC4 - ZF121/T - 846 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm ZF121   Sea King HC4 - ZF121/T - 846 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm ZF121   Sea King HC4 - ZF121/T - 846 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm ZF121

Sea King HC4 - ZF124/L - 845 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm ZF124  
Bookmark and Share