Bristol 171 Sycamore HR.14B
Single engine rescue helicopter
When in the early 1950s the vast training base at Kamina (Belgian Congo) became operational the need arose for a rescue helicopter that could offer assistance at remote and distant areas. After some unsuccessful test with the Sikorsky S.51 which revealed to be too short legged, the Belgian Government decided to purchase three Bristol Sycamore helicopters which were the “nec plus ultra” of their time. After being fine tuned in the UK and in Belgium the three machines were airlifted by C-119 Flying Boxcar to Congo. The helicopters were successfully operated in the rescue- and medevac roles as well as for humanitarian missions from their base at Kamina. With the withdrawal of the Belgian forces out of Congo in 1960 the last surviving Sycamore was made unserviceable.