Westland Scout AH1 XT617 has served as gate guardian for many years after the Army Air Corps took possession of Wattisham Station. On the 22nd of May 2014 the aircraft was moved by 3 Regiment REME Army Air Corps when it was lifted off its base and onto a flatbed truck, then transported to the northern part of the airfield to take up residence at Wattisham Station Heritage Museum H.A.S. workshop to undergo a little restoration and a spruce up.
This particular helicopter has a special connection because in the late 1960’s it was flying from nearby Colchester Barracks with 19 Flight, and has also served in the late 1970’s with 653 Sqn who currently fly Apache helicopters from Wattisham.
Click here to view the service history of XT617.
Click here to view the Restoration Blog.
First flew: 1961
Maximum all up weight: 5,000 lbs (2,268 kg)
Engines: Rolls Royce Nimbus Mk. 105
Crew: Pilot plus four
Length: 40 ft
Main rotor diameter: 32 ft
Maximum speed: 110 knots (204kph) max 100kts (185kph) cruise
Range: Two and a half hours 150 gallon (682 litre) fuel tank
Armament: 7.62mm general purpose machine gun or M3M 12.7mm machine gun
Brief history of XT617
22 Nov 1965: First flight Yeovil
02 Dec 1965: Delivered to Netheravon, for the soon to be reformed 2 Flight
June 1966: To 19 Flight at Colchester
July 1969: To 4 Flight at Barnard Castle
December 1970: To 660 Sqn at Topcliffe, coded K
18 May 1978: To 653 Sqn at Soest
April 1979: To Wroughton for storage
23 Jun 1992: Cabin roaded to Almondbank for storage
19 Sep 1994: Roaded to Wattisham for Gate Guard duties