Westland 30

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Westland 30
Westland WG.30 PanAm NY 08.87.jpg
A Westland 30 of Omni Flight operating for Pan American at New York's East 60th Street Heliport
Role Helicopter
National origin United Kingdom
Manufacturer Westland Helicopters
First flight 10 April 1979
Introduction 1982
Retired ca.1991
Primary users Pawan Hans
Pan Am
British Airways Helicopters
Produced 1981-1987
Number built 41[1]
Developed from Westland Lynx

The Westland 30 is a British medium helicopter based on the Westland Lynx. Although Westland Helicopters foresaw a market for the type in VIP, passenger and cargo transport, and off-shore support operations, production remained limited, ending in 1987 after only 41 had been built.

Design and development[edit]

Westland was investigating replacements for its Wessex and Whirlwind helicopters. It studied a larger version of the Lynx for civil use. The civil helicopter was originally named "WG-30 Super Lynx" before being changed to "Westland 30". It shared transmission, rotor blade and other components with the Lynx, but had a new airframe.[2] The Westland 30's rotor system is larger with slower-turning four blade main rotor assembly. The fuselage is a conventionally built structure of aluminium while composites are used for the tail boom.[2]

Westland initially meant the WG.30 for air ambulance and tactical transport military uses. As a civilian carrier, fitted with airstair or sliding doors it could carry up to 22 passengers with a baggage compartment at the rear of the fuselage.[2] Fitted for offshore work the Westland 30-100 could operate with a 250 km radius of action (227 kg fuel) carrying nine passengers out and 13 home. As a military aircraft it could carry 14 troops with equipment, 17 without or six stretchers and medical attendants.[2]

The prototype WG30 made its first flight on 10 April 1979,[3] and made an appearance at the Paris Air Show the same year.[2] Production of the first model, the Westland 30-100, began in 1981, receiving British Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) type certification in December 1981, with American (FAA) certification following in December 1982.[3] This was followed in 1984 by the 30-160 with uprated engines.[4]

Operational history[edit]

The first of three Westland 30-100s was delivered to British Airways Helicopters at Beccles on 6 January 1982, to support gas rigs in the southern sector of the North Sea. The type was later used on the scheduled passenger service between Penzance and the Isles of Scilly, and remained in service when the company became British International Helicopters in 1986.[5]

In the United States, Airspur Helicopters Inc. acquired four Westland 30s on lease to operate scheduled passenger flights in the Los Angeles area, beginning on 9 May 1983.[6] Omniflight Helicopter Services operated the type on behalf of Pan American World Airways, linking John F. Kennedy International Airport with Pan Am's heliport at East 60th Street in central Manhattan. Services ceased on 1 February 1988,[7] and the helicopters were returned to Westland; most ending up at The Helicopter Museum in Weston-super-Mare.

The chief operator of the type was Pawan Hans of India. The British government agreed with India to supply 21 Westland 30s for oil exploration duties using a British grant of 65 million pounds.[8] India was reluctant to accept the deal until it was made clear that the aid would not otherwise be forthcoming.[9][10] The aircraft were delivered to Pawan Hans between 1986 and 1988 for offshore operations on behalf of the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC). A similar number of SA 365N Dauphin helicopters was supplied by France. It was soon found that the Westland helicopters were ill-suited to Indian conditions, and after two fatal accidents, the fleet was grounded in 1991. The 19 surviving Westland 30s were sold to a British company, but after six had been shipped to the United Kingdom, the deal fell through, and the aircraft are believed to remain in storage in the United Kingdom and India.[11]


A Westland 30 in 1984
Westland 30 Series 100
Powered by two 846 kW (1,135 shp) Rolls-Royce Gem Mk 41-1 turboshaft engines.[4] 14 built.
Westland 30 Series 100-60
Powered by two 940 kW (1,260 shp) Rolls-Royce Gem 60-3 turboshaft engines.[4] Also known as the Series 160. 24 built.
Westland 30 Series 200
Single aircraft powered by two 1,276 kW (1,712 shp) General Electric CT7-2B turboshaft engines. Variant first flew in 1983.[4]
Westland 30 Series 300
Proposed variant in 1986 with a General Electric CT7 or Rolls-Royce Turbomeca RTM 322 engine. Its maximum takeoff was increased and featured composite BERP rotor blades, reduced noise, and a glass cockpit as an option.[4] Single aircraft.
Westland 30 Series 400
Proposed variant powered by Rolls-Royce Turbomeca RTM322 engines; not built.
Proposed tactical military transport version.[4] One prototype modified to this configuration.
Proposed tactical military transport version[4] with 17 seats.


 United Kingdom
 United States

Aircraft on display[edit]

  • 001 - 30 Series 100 - G-BGHF - The Helicopter Museum, Somerset.
  • 003 - 30 Series 100-60 - G-BKKI - AgustaWestland, Yeovil. (No Longer on display.)
  • 007 - 30 Series 200 - G-ELEC - The Helicopter Museum, Somerset.
  • 020 - 30 Series 300 - G-HAUL - The Helicopter Museum, Somerset.

Specifications (30-160)[edit]

Data from Westland Helicopters W30 history page,[19] Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1982–83.[20]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Capacity: 19 passengers (high density seating)
  • Length: 15.90 m (52 ft 2 in)
  • Rotor diameter: 13.31 m (43 ft 8 in)
  • Height: 4.39 m (14 ft 5 in)
  • Disc area: 139.1 m² (1498 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 3,135 kg (6,911 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 5,806 kg (12,800 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Rolls-Royce Gem 60-3 turboshafts, 914 kW (1,225 shp) (take-off) each


See also[edit]

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era



  1. ^ McGowen 2005, p. 157.
  2. ^ a b c d e Apostolo, G. "Westland 30". The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Helicopters. Bonanza Books, 1984. ISBN 0-517-43935-2.
  3. ^ a b James 1991, p.428.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Donald, David, ed. "Westland 30". The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft. Barnes & Nobel Books, 1997. ISBN 0-7607-0592-5.
  5. ^ James 1991, pp. 428–429.
  6. ^ James 1991, p.429.
  7. ^ James 1991, pp. 429–430.
  8. ^ Kuldip Nayar. "India signs Westland agreement." Times [London, England] 17 Mar. 1986: 7. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 10 June 2012.
  9. ^ Helicopter deal: India's jinxed Westland saga Rediff News, 20 February 2013
  10. ^ Government lobbied hard for the sale of 27 helicopters to India The Hindu 17 July 2015
  11. ^ "India sells back helicopter fleet to Britain". The Guardian, 18 October 2000.
  12. ^ "Pawan Hans W-30". Demand media. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  13. ^ Harding, Luke (18 October 2000). "India sells back helicopter fleet to Britain". London: guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  14. ^ "Flightglobal 1981 "Orders for Westland 30" pg 262". flightglobal.com. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  15. ^ "British Airways Westland-WG-30". Demand media. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  16. ^ "Pan American World Airways WG-30". Demand media. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  17. ^ "Airspur Helicopters will". Demand media. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  18. ^ "Airspur Helicopters will cease operations". latimes.com. 25 February 1985. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  19. ^ "Aircraft Data Sheet: W 30-Series 100 (1979)". Archived from the original on 13 October 2007. Retrieved 26 June 2007.
  20. ^ Taylor 1982, pp. 281–282.