Westland Seaking Mk.48

Twin engine rescue helicopter

 

    To replace the successful Sikorsky HSS1/S58 in the Air-Sea Rescue role, the Belgian government ordered five Westland Seaking Mk.48 helicopters in April 1975. In a first stage, all aircraft were used for training Belgian aircrews at RNAS Culdrose before being delivered to Koksijde in November 1976. All aircraft have since undergone several updates including replacement of the radar by a vastly more capable version and the installation of a FLIR (Forward Looking Infra-Red) camera. The most remarkable intervention of the Seakings took place after the disaster with the "Herald of Free Enterprise" off the coast at Zeebrugge on March 6th, 1987. Three Seakings of N° 40 Squadron were able to rescue 30 passengers from a certain death. After more than 30 years of service the Seaking has been  replaced by the NH Industries NH90 helicopter NFH.

RS-01

C/N

Date In

WA831

Nov 1976

Date Out

Dec 2008

History

G-BDNH (Westland), G-17-1, RS-01, flown into retirement at the Royal Army museum, Brussels on 17 Dec 2008

RS-02

C/N

Date In

WA832

Nov 1976

Date Out

Jan 2019

History

G-BDNI (Westland), G-17-2, RS-02. Last flight 13 Jan 2019, sold to Historic Helicopters, Chard, UK to be maintained in flying conditions.

RS-03

C/N

Date In

WA833

Nov 1976

Date Out

Aug 2013

History

G-BDNJ (Westland), G-17-3, RS-03. Last flight 29 Aug 2013, earmarked to become monument on roundabout at Koksijde.

RS-04

C/N

Date In

WA834

Nov 1976

Date Out

Feb 2019

History

G-BDNK (Westland), G-17-4, RS-04. Last flight 15 Feb 2019,sold to Historic Helicopters, Chard, UK to be maintained in flying conditions.

RS-05

C/N

Date In

WA835

Nov 1976

Date Out

Mar 2019

History

G-BDNL (Westland), G-17-5, RS-05, Special c/s 25 Years Seaking. Official last flight 21 Mar 2019, last flight to VLOC Oostende: 26 Mar 2019

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