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The Westland Wasp was, just as the Westland Scout, the result of the same development program P.531 of Saunders-Roe or SaRo. Both types originate somehow from the Saunders-Roe Skeeter, a light helicopter, which was a development of the Cierva Aurogiro. In 1959 SaRo merged in Westland Aircraft.
The Skeeter was equipped with a piston engine, whereas the Scout/Wasp were equipped with a turbine engine.
Because of the ongoing submarine mid fifties threat the Royal Navy made a list of requirements, MATCH (=Manned Torpedo Carrying Helicopter). This aircraft had to attack submarines with torpedoes.
The SaRo P.531 was developed based on these requirements and it made its maiden flight on July 20, 1958.
The P.531 was intensively tested by the Royal Navy and also several types of under carriage were tested. In September 1961 Westland received an order for two aircraft,designated Sea Scout. The Sea Scout made it's first flight at the end of October 1961.
Soon an definite order for 98 aircraft followed and also orders were received from abroad, e.g. the Netherlands, Brasilia and Indonesia. A total of 133 examples was built.
The Wasp was in essence the same as the Westland Scout, which was developed for the Royal Army. main difference was the four wheeled under carriage, which could be used to manoeuvre on a flight deck. The rotor blades were constructed in such a way they could press the Wasp on the flight deck, so the aircraft could be anchored to the deck.,.
Further extra fuel tanks in tail and under the floor were added; tail and rotor blades were fold-able and a hoist was available at starboard and load could be carried with a sling. Three passengers could be transported and for emergencies a stretcher could be carried.
Later inflatable floats were added and also provisions to carry and launch the Nord SS11 and also the SS12 missile.
- Sea Scout HAS.1:
- the original designation.
- Wasp HAS.1:
- the later designation.
|Length with rotor||12,29 m||Rotor diameter:||9,83 m|
|Height:||2,72 m||Tail Rotor diameter:||- m|
|Empty weight:||1566 kg||Full weight:||2495 kg|
|Max. speed:||193 km/hr||Rate of climb:|
|Range:||488 km||Service ceiling:||3720 m|
|Engine type:||One Rolls Royce Nimbus F02BS-503 rated 710 hp.|
|Armament:||(max. 245 kg) Two Mk 44 or Mk 46 homing torpedoes, bombs or depth bombs.|