Back Westland 30

Westland 30

The origins of the Westland 30, originally known as the WG-30 Super Lynx, go back to the sixties, when Westland was studying the possibility of a replacement for the Wessex and Whirlwind which were then in service with various civil and military operators.

After considering a civil version of the Lynx, the British company favoured a larger machine using many of the components of the military helicopter. Accordingly, the Westland 30 has the transmission, rotor blade structure, some systems and many instruments and accessories of the Lynx, but the fuselage is entirely new and is bigger, even if it resembles the Lynx aerodynamically. It is made wholly of aluminum with a traditional type of structure and skin, while composite materials are used in the tail boom. The landing gear is fixed and the main units are housed in two fairings at the sides of the aft fuselage. The fuel system comprises two 630 liter tanks in the fuselage. The hydraulic system is similar to that of the Lynx as is the instrument panel with a few additions. The larger rotor should have a much longer service life than that of the Lynx on account of its slower rotational speed. Care has been taken to reduce vibrations in the fuselage.

The Westland 30 was originally intended for military use in the tactical transport and air ambulance roles, but the design has proved equally suitable for the civil market. In this role, the helicopter is approved for instrument flight, has optional airstair or sliding doors, and can take up to 22 passengers in the high density version in a comfortable, soundproofed cabin. Behind the cabin, which can be furnished to customers' requirements to carry VIPs, executives or freight, there is an ample baggage compartment reached from the rear of the fuselage. The capabilities of the Westland 30 for offshore work are particularly interesting: with a 250km radius of action and 227kg fuel, the initial W30-100 variant can carry nine passengers on the outward journey and 13 on the homeward one. This type has been ordered by British Airways. In the military version, the same aircraft can carry 14 equipped troops or 17 without equipment, or six stretchers plus medical attendants.

The prototype of the Westland 30 made its first flight on 10 April 1979 in time for a successful appearance at the Paris Air Show that year. Production and delivery of W30-100 aircraft began in 1981. This version has now been superseded by the W30-160 with uprated Gem 60 engines. Westland is also now test-flying the W30-200 prototype, powered by 1700shp General Electric CT-7 engines, which are expected to much improve gross weight performance and payload in hot/high countries, and is also developing a new five-blade rotor system which is expected to appear on yet another new variant, the W30-300.

G.Apostolo "The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Helicopters", 1984

Westland WG.30

Under the designation Westland 30 (initially WG 30), the company developed an enlarged, twin-engined transport version of the Lynx, beginning in 1976. Westland foresaw a market for the type in VIP, passenger and cargo transport, and off-shore support operations. The first aircraft (G-BGHF) flew on 10 April 1979. CAA and FA A type certification of the basic production version, the Series 1OO, powered by a pair of 846kW Rolls-Royce Gem Mk 41-1 turboshafts, was granted in 1982. Compared to the Lynx, the Westland 30 featured a greatly increased cabin coupled with a larger rotor, increased fuel capacity and a new flight control system. In January 1984 the Series 100-60 appeared, powered by two 940kW Gem 60-3 engines. Rolls-Royce was replaced by General Electric in the Series 200, which was powered by a pair of 1277kW CT7-2B engines. This version first flew in 1983. The Series 300 of 1986 offered a General Electric CT7 or Rolls-Royce Turbomeca RTM 322 powerplant, and also had an increased maximum take-off weight, composite BERP rotor blades, considerably reduced noise and vibration levels and an optional EFIS cockpit. Two military tactical transport versions were also developed, the TT30 and the TT300, but these met with even less success than the civilian versions. British Airways ordered two helicopters, for delivery in 1982, and obtained a third the following year. Sixteen further aircraft were spread among several operators in the United States, such as PanAm/Omniflight (for services between John F. Kennedy, Newark and downtown New York) and Airspur. These aircraft were largely Series 100s and 100-60s, operated on lease. By early 1984 only 19 orders had been received. In 1986 the Westland 30 received its last, and largest, order for 21 Series 100-60s from the Helicopter Corporation of India, financed largely by UK government assistance. Production ended in January 1988 with the completion of the 38th airframe. The Helicopter Corporation of India became Pawan Hans and its 19 surviving Westland 30-160s are stored at Delhi and Bombay, the company having failed to sell them on several recent occasions.

D.Donald "The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft", 1997

Westland 30

Technical data for Westland 30

Engine: 2 x Rolls-Royce Gem 60 turboshaft, rated at 1006kW, main rotor diameter: 13.31m, length with rotors turning: 15.91m, height: 4.74m, width: 3.1m, take-off weight: 5805kg, cruising speed: 222km/h, hovering ceiling, OGE: 885m, range: 950km

Comments1-20 21-40
Jackson A Shaw, e-mail, 09.09.2010reply

I was the Chief Pilot and one of the Pilots at the controls of the Westland that crashed in Long Beach. A lot of fun to fly but it did have some major problems. We really had a great bunch of Pilots flying the Westland 30

Odis Nicholson, e-mail, 14.03.2012reply

I worked w30s for airspur at LAX as a mechanic. I started after the crash in Long beach, it was my first A&P job. Those Gem 60s did not like california weather. We swapped them out often. Must have been at least part of reason the company failed.

Anjan Roy, e-mail, 08.12.2013reply

garbage material which is of no use

R.Rajkumar, e-mail, 08.12.2013reply

westland 30 helicopter is made of waste material of expired helicopter. this must not ment for indian climate

Rt max, e-mail, 08.12.2013reply

It was not a good helicopter and it must be thrown in garbage

subhade nha, e-mail, 08.12.2013reply

i worked under wetland 30 helicopter in technical works i flew this helicopter but it was not up to the mark. It requires lot of modification and wastage of time.

chris, e-mail, 16.07.2010reply

Yes Joeseph it is a shame N114wg is sitting at the helicopter mueseum in england completley stripped to the hull and they use it for kids to play on at least they could do a mock up of it in pan am livery and put it on display what a shame !!

chris, e-mail, 16.07.2010reply

Hello Being that this airframe was cancelled in 1990 i cannot imagine that there is many spare parts for this machine from westland agusta that being said it would be pointless to put them in operation again unless you had and agreement with a tooling company to start making parts again it really is a beautiful machine with much headroom for passengers and by todays standards still very fast and with an efis cockpit could be very modern.

Joseph Wilmes, e-mail, 02.05.2010reply

I flew the W30 back in the eighties on the Onmiflight Pan Am contract. With almost 1200 hours in the aircraft I can say I knew them well. It is really sad to see how they ended up. Shame that at least one of the Pan Am ships didn't end up in a museum. I know that one is in a museum in the UK but that just breaks my heart what they have done to it.

Frank (anon.), e-mail, 27.01.2010reply

During the short, sad life of the WG-30 in the USA I worked for Westland, Inc., first in Newport Beach California in support of AirSpur, and then in Herndon & Arlington, Virgina as PanAm /OmniFlight & then other potential operators such as Midway began to start up operations. As an A&P I worked in technical and spares support.

There was a fundamenal design problem with the power train system that manifested itself by the tail rotor 90-degree gearbox essentially beating itself to the point of catastrophic failure, which was the cause of the LA crash and an event nothing short of a miracle given that no one was killed or seriously injured. All anti-torque was lost and the aircraft went through high power transmission lines before impacting the ground. Certainly the fuselange is /was robust. Nice piloting as well, as the power lines were obscured until the last moment by ground fog.

This problem, and others related to the main rotor blades, were known in Westland-Yeovil management and engineering circles prior to the crash, but not widely discussed, and certainly not with the staff in the US. Despite this knowledge by Westland, no notification was given to the operators or airworthiness authorities. In fact, immediate and successful measures were taken in the US offices to remove all relevant intra-company correspondence from the USA offices and ship it to the UK before the FAA arrived. Had this not been done the company would most likely have been ruined consequent to exposure to US product liability /tort law. Because removal of these records was likely a criminal act as well, had such an action become known at the time the Agusta-Westland "US-101" (the 'maybe' presidential helicopter) would certainly have had some difficulty "getting off the ground" in the USA.

As a stop-gap measure BIM indicators, customarily used on main rotor blades, were introduced to the oil filler cap of the 90-degree gearbox and the boxes were charged with nitrogen. The BIM indicators did their job, and number of boxes were subsequently changed, however the basic design problem remained for these aircraft. I left the company after all US helicopter operations ceased and the remaining Westland-owned US airframes "rescued" from Evergreen Air Center in Marana, Arizona (another interesting, and this time amusing, story). I am unaware if the design problem was cured on existing or subsequent builds.

Rick, 09.12.2009reply

I flew for Airspur and it was an exciting job. The helo had many teething problems and even an inflight tailrotor failure and subsequent crash near Long Beach Airport in November 1983. I was happy to move on but still remember the hectic days flying for Airspur.

Collins A-Prempeh, e-mail, 17.11.2009reply

what a beautiful machine.why do we allow such a machine to lie idle for such a time. Pls let us get it flying again

Mike M, e-mail, 09.11.2009reply

I was in A&P school and worked part time for Airspur in the summer of 1984. They crashed one. All survived. Had a major structure failure on another. Westland came out with Engineers and fixtures to repair. They also changed Rotor Blades often due to finding cracks. They closed that year. I heard that the UK could or would not finance a US Operater.
Working for Airspur at LAX was a short but memorable experience and I am still working on helicopters.

G V PRAKASAM, e-mail, 24.02.2009reply

Yes I agree with Vikram Kaul my ex-colleague I was also in love with the helicopter but now I am happy to work on its successor the AW 139 which has become a hot selling machine worldwide

Bazra S., e-mail, 23.02.2009reply

Dear Sir,

We are interested in leasing of this kind of Helicopter.
Can you send us your last price for lease this Helicopter.
Appreciating your cooperation.

Vikram Kaul, e-mail, 01.02.2009reply

A beautiful helicopter which was a bit ahead of its time. I got my initial ame licence on this helicopter and was very disappointed when politics finished this helicopter.

aba, e-mail, 28.06.2008reply

i love this page.

Jerry Lippert, e-mail, 29.01.2008reply

Phil Vickery mentioned thathe had a line on 14 W30-100 you have photos of any of these aircraft?

Phil Vickery, e-mail, 29.01.2008reply

Gus Jacob and any other similarly interested,

I have a line on sale of W30-100 's - 14 to be precise. Pleas contact me for details.
Phil Vickery

Bob Maxwell, e-mail, 20.11.2007reply

I have all the technical details on this helicopter with graphs and diagrams


Bob Maxwell

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