Westland’s first military and civil helicopter products, derivatives of the Sikorsky S-51


Mike Hooks began his aviation photography career in 1945 with a simple box camera, moving on to an Ensign folding camera in about 1948, and later to a Voigtlander Vito B. He converted to colour in the 1950s, and went on to build one of the UK’s most extensive archives of Kodachrome transparencies

MAIN IMAGE: Lined up at Blackbushe in July 1965 following the type’s withdrawal from service, these former Royal Navy Dragonflies were some of the 19 that were sold to a small company in Ebbw Vale. Few sales were achieved, the majority of the airframes eventually going for scrap. WP500 in the foreground ended up disguised as a Widgeon for film work in 1969.

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