XK970 Whirlwind History Interact! Resources

This aircraft is currently residing at Bramley airbase until we can transport her to the hangar and we are reliably informed by Wolverhampton Aviation Group that she is designated XK970. If anyone can confirm this, has more detail on her or her history we would be delighted to hear from you; Please get in touch.


XK970 was the first MK10 Whirlwind we received as a replacement for the Sycamore Mk 14s that had filled the SAR/SH role in the protectorate since 1955. It arrived in February 1964 and was joined by XL111 shortly afterwards. Two more were delivered later that year.

The Sycamores were duly retired and flown in formation onto the carrier Albion in the harbour; the crews were then recovered to base by XK970.

At the time it was fitted with the standard nose engine intake door. An air filter door was fitted later to cope with operating in sandy conditions.

I continued to fly XK970 until I left Aden in July 1965, including picking up the crew of a ditched Argosy (23 March 1964), rescuing two boys from the volcanic mountainside of Aden (21 October 1964), and many hours supporting the Army in the Radfan area just to the north (re-supply of food and ammunition, Casevac, etc)

From the latter you will see that the Mk10 Whirlwind was most definitely NOT used for "..moving officers around..."! (Oops - Sorry Tony. Ed.)

In the 1960's it was the mainstay of the UK coastal SAR fleet and equipped most of our SH squadrons operating in Germany, Cyprus, Aden, Bahrein and the Far East (Borneo). It served on 110, 103, 230, 202, 22 and 84 squadrons and several separate flights at El Adem, Guiana, Aden, etc. It was also used in the training role at Ternhill and Valley, which is where I flew the first one in 1963.

- Wg Cdr Tony Bell, pilot of XK970 Feb 1964 - Jul 1965.

Whirlwind HAR.10

First flew 25-May-1956

Delivery date 06-Jul-1956 to to 8789M, bG.I. Bramley

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