Westland Widgeon (helicopter)

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For the 1924 aeroplane, see Westland Widgeon (fixed wing)
Westland Widgeon
Westland Widgeon.JPG
Westland WS-51A Widgeon on display at the Helicopter Museum (Weston)
Role Helicopter
Manufacturer Westland Aircraft
First flight 23 August 1955
Number built 12 new built plus 3 conversions[1]
Developed from Westland Dragonfly

The Westland Widgeon helicopter was a private venture by Westland Aircraft as an improvement on the Westland WS-51 Dragonfly.

Design and development[edit]

Westland Aircraft decided to make a private venture improvement on the Westland WS-51 Dragonfly, which was a licensed Sikorsky design, helicopter by increasing the cabin capacity and replacing the Dragonfly's rotor head, blades and gearbox with the units used in the Westland Whirlwind. Three Dragonfly Series 1As were converted to WS-51 Series 2 Widgeons, and the first one flew on 23 August 1955.

There was a plan to take up to 24 existing Fleet Air Arm Dragonflies to Dragonfly HC.7 standard (as the Naval Widgeon was to become) but this was abandoned and it contributed to the decision to stop progress.[clarification needed]

Operational history[edit]

The Widgeon was a technical triumph.[citation needed] Widgeons flew in many parts of the world, but it never achieved commercial success.[citation needed]


Military operators[edit]

 Hong Kong

Civilian operators[edit]

 Hong Kong
 United Kingdom

Specifications (Widgeon)[edit]

Data from Westland Aircraft since 1915[1]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Capacity: 4 passengers
  • Length: 41 ft 10 in (12.75 m)
  • Rotor diameter: 49 ft 2 in (14.99 m)
  • Height: 13 ft 4 in (4.07 m)
  • Disc area: 1,898 ft² (176.4 m²)
  • Empty weight: 4,322 lb (1,969 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 5,900 lb (2,682 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Alvis Leonides 521/2 nine-cylinder air-cooled radial engine, 520 hp (388 kW)


See also[edit]

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era



  1. ^ a b James 1991, p. 320.
  2. ^ Apostolo 1984, p. 103.


External links[edit]

  • Westland Widgeon pages at helis.com database