Aircraft Data Sheet: WS-51 Dragonfly (1948)

WS-51 Dragonfly
First flight: 5th October 1948
Rotor diameter: 14.63m/48ft 0ins
Length: 17.72m/58ft 1ins
Max weight: 2,675kg/5,900lb
Max speed: 167kph/90knots (Max)
Power: One 520shp/388kW Alvis Leonides 521/1
Accommodation: Pilot plus four
No Built: 149

Westland built version of the Sikorsky S-51, This was Westland's first venture into helicopters. The basic S-51 was adapted to UK standards, including the introduction of the Alvis Leonides engine, the Dragonfly could carry a pilot and three passengers. Versions were produced for the Royal Navy, the Royal Air Force and civil operators. Those for the Royal Navy were equipped for sea rescue and communication duties, and those for the RAF primarily and casualty evacuations. Rescue versions carried a hoist capable of lifting 375lb. (170 kg).

Dragonflies entered service with No 705 Naval Air Squadron at RNAS Gosport in 1950. The RAF used the Dragonfly extensively in Malaya.