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Westland Scout AH Mk1

Westland Scout AH Mk1

The Westland Scout, developed from the Saunders-Roe (Saro) P531 was one of the few helicopters of exclusively British design to have been built in quantity. The first P531 was flown on 20 July 1958, powered by a Blackburn Turmo 603 engine.  The British Army was immediately interested in the type as a light battlefield helicopter and the first version was a pre-production and development variant which flew in 1960. This proved so successful that only one month later the British Army placed its initial production contract for the Scout AH Mk1, which differed from earlier models only in having powered controls.

The first Scout AH Mk1 flew in March 1961. The type began to enter service early in 1963 as a replacement for the Saunders-Roe Skeeter, which it clearly outmoded by its combination of greater reliability, substantially improved payload and general operating superiority. Production amounted to 160 Scout AH Mk1 helicopters and since 1963 these have been standard multi-role tactical aircraft with skid landing gear, a five/six-seat cabin and the Nimbus 101 or 102 turboshaft engine. External loads included two litters in side mounted pods and in the anti-tank role the aircraft carried SS-11 wire-guided missiles.

The Scout proved its operational versatility, working in close-support, liaison, light freight, medivac, communication, reconnaissance, search and rescue and training roles.

Westland Scout AH MK1 Specification 
Engine:  Rolls Royce Nimbus Mk 105
Speed:  110kts (204kph) max 100kts (185kph) cruise
Endurance:  Two and a half hours 150 gallon (682 litre) fuel tank
Maximum All Up Weight:  5000lbs (2268kg)
Display Weight:  4078lbs (1850kg)
Dimensions: Length 40ft (12.19m)
Rotor Span: 32ft (9.75m)
Capacity: Pilot plus four
Scout returning from a sortie in Bessbrook

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