Back Westland "Westminster"

Westland "Westminster"

Large transport helicopter for up to 40 passengers with single main 5-blade rotor and gearbox from Sikorsky S-56, tailwheel u/c, tubular frame fuselage structure with metal cladding for passenger role or open frame for utility/crane role. Powered by two 2920shp Napier Eland E220 turboshafts. Two built. Prot. G-APLE FF 15 June 1958.

R.Simpson "Airlife's Helicopter and Rotorcraft", 1998

Westland "Westminster"

Based on the dynamics of the Sikorsky S-56 Mojave, Westland redesigned the fuselage using steel tube construction to create a medium sized troop and passenger carrying helicopter. First flown in June 1958, two prototypes were built before the project was cancelled. The Westminster was powered by twin Napier Eland turbines developing 2610kW with a single engine performance and could carry up to fifty-one troops or four Jeeps. The Westminster could cruise at 184kph, had a range of 330km and a gross weight of 16345kg. The project was cancelled in 1959.

P.Allen "The Helicopter", 1996

Westland "Westminster"

A private venture by Westland using the main transmission, rotors and hydraulic controls of the Sikorsky S-56 with a steel tube fuselage. The prototype flew on 15 June 1958. It was proposed for civil or military operation but the project came to nothing.

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

Technical data for "Westminster"

Crew: 2, passengers: 45, engine: 2 x Napier Eland E.229A turboshaft, rated at 2090kW, rotor diameter: 21.95m, length: 27.4m, take-off weight: 14965kg, empty weight: 10125kg, max speed: 241km/h, cruising speed: 184km/h, hovering ceiling, IGE: 2750m, range: 330km

Dr. Derek P. Blake, e-mail, 19.07.2014reply

I was also an apprentice in the Westlands EXP Dept, but a little bit later than Trevor, my time there was around 1962. Although the project was cancelled in 1960 the company continued to show the Westminster until 1962 /3 at air shows in hopes of a commercial contract. The aircraft did many flights as the 'Flying Crane' and I actually flew on the flight-deck during 63(?) whilst working on experimental flight control.

Adrian Balch, 20.11.2009reply

The text states the project was cancelled in 1959, which is not correct. After the type's appearance at the 1960 Farnborough Air show, it was cancelled in September of that year due to lack of government funding and lack of capacity by Westland to continue the project.

PAUL, e-mail, 15.10.2009reply


Trevor stuckey, e-mail, 20.10.2008reply

I was a 17 year old apprentice in the Experimental Dept in 1957 /58 where the Westminster was being manufactured and I machined various tube ends and other fittings. Considerable problems were encountered with the distortion of the airframe which obviously could be expected and I can remember a dimension of 3 feet being the offset from the centre line being stated.

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