Historic Helicopters to restore ultra-rare Westland Widgeon to flight

CHARD | Historic Helicopters have announced the intention to restore yet another rare classic helicopter to flight – this time, an ultra-rate Westland Widgeon.

First flying in 1955, the Widgeon was an improved varient of the Westland WS-51 Dragonfly utility helicopter, itself a license-built varient of the Sikorsky S-51. Although used by four air arms – including the Brazilian Navy and the air force’s of Hong Kong, Sri Lanka and Jordan – only 12 Widgeons were produced, in addition to three Dragonfly conversions.

Chard-based Historic Helicopters already operate one Westland Wessex HU.5, a Westland Whirlwind HAR.10 (the only Whirlwind flying today), a Sea King HAR.3 and Sea King HC.4. They are in the process of restoring a Lynx AH.7 and two more Sea Kings, with a further pair of Sea Kings also due to be restored in due course.