Skeeter Mk. 51
One of only four Skeeters in Navy use

(taken from: "Flugzeuge und Hubschrauber der Bundeswehr", Motorbuch Verlag)

The Skeeters development began in 1948 by the Cierva Company. The first Skeeters, which had their maiden flight on 8th october 1948 were powered only by 78 kW strong Jameson engine.
Cierva was bought by Saunders-Roe and the military variants of the Skeeter were further developed. One of the first variants to be introduced in the Royal Army was the Mk. 6 powered by a 154 kW Gipsy Major 30 engine.

In 1956 the Bundeswehr ordered 6 Mk. 50 and 4 Mk. 51 helicopters, as the Mk. 6's exportversions were designated. The helicopters were intended for comperative tests with other new types intended for use in the Bundeswehr. Between october 1958 and march 1959 the four Mk. 51s entered service with the Seenotrettungsstaffel based at Kiel. The helicopters recieved the naval designations SC+501 through SC+504.
The Skeeters were used as liaison, oberservation and SAR helicopters.  The Skeeter was terribly underpowered and proved to be unsuited for the assigned missions. As a result the small helicopters were withdrawn from service the same year.
The Skeeters were mothballed and handed over to Portugal as part of the military partnership in 1961. There too the Skeeters quickly showed they were unsuited for military use, as they could not even take off under hot wheather conditions, when fully loaded.

The same Skeeter seen from a different angle

(taken from: "Die deutschen Marineflieger", Motorbuch Verlag)
Technical data:
Length             :  8,10m
Rotordiameter      :  9,75m
Height             :  2,30m
Weight empty       :  720kg
max. Takeoff Weight: 1000kg
max. Speed         : 160km/h
Range              : 390km
Serviceceiling     : 9000ft
DeHavilland Gipsy Major 30
Thrust             :  135kW
[back to main page]