A British licence development of the Sikorsky S-58, the Westland Wessex was a multi-role all-metal helicopter produced by Westland Aircraft Ltd. The Wessex HAS.1, powered by a Napier Gazelle turboshaft engine, first flew in June 1958 and the type began performing anti-submarine duties three years later, operated by the Royal Navy. A more powerful version, the HAS.3, with improved avionics and a radome on the rear fuselage, was introduced in
1967. In total, 140 HAS.1 helicopters
were built, while 45 HAS.3 machines existed (all but three were conversions
In 1963 the Royal Australian Navy acquired a total of 27 Wessex helicopters designated the HAS.31A, of which 23 were later upgraded to Mk.31B standard, similar to that of HAS.3.
The RN Wessex HAS.1 and HAS.3s continued in service until 1979 and 1983, respectively, while the RAN’s HAS.31Bs served in ASW, SAR, utility and ambulance role until the end of 1989.
Colour schemes included in the kit:
1) Wessex HAS.3, White XP153/143-E, No.826 NAS, Royal Navy, HMS Eagle, late 1960s
2) Wessex HAS.3, White XP143/650-PO, No.737 NAS, Royal Navy, RNAS Portland (HMS Osprey), Dorset, 1973
3) Wessex HAS.3, Black XP142 ‘Humphrey’, No.737 NAS, Royal Navy, HMS Antrim, the Falklands War, South Atlantic, April - June 1982
4) Wessex HAS.31B, White N7-220/830, No.816 Sq. Royal Australian Navy, RANAS Nowra (HMAS Albatross), New South Wales, Australia, 1985
This injection-moulded kit contains 44 parts and 6 clear parts (the cockpit canopy and the fuselage windows). A comprehensive instruction leaflet and a decal sheet are included.
Available for Pre-order at http://www.kits-shop.com/index.php (run by Miniwing) and free worldwide shipping (late October 2013)
A review of this kit will be available later this month.