The Royal Navy Wasp, an Operational & Retirement History

The Wasp was the first helicopter in the World specifically designed to operate from destroyers and frigates. This is a story that extensively uses the words of those who worked with or flew the outstanding Wasp helicopter great text with excellent illustration. – Most Highly Recommended

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NAME: The Royal Navy Wasp, an Operational & Retirement History
FILE: R2828
AUTHOR: Larry Jeram-Croft, Terry Martin
PUBLISHER: Pen and Sword
BINDING: hard back 
PAGES: 264
PRICE: £25.00
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: naval aviation, shipboard helicopter, turbine-powered helicopter, small 
ship helicopter, anti-submarine helicopter, SAR helicopter, nuclear depth bombs, 
torpedo, rockets

ISBN: 1-52672-114-7

IMAGE: B2828.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/y4xae74a
LINKS:  
DESCRIPTION:   The Wasp was the first helicopter in the World specifically 
designed to operate from destroyers and frigates. This is a story that extensively 
uses the words of those who worked with or flew the outstanding Wasp helicopter 
great text with excellent illustration. -  Most Highly Recommended

The Saunders Roe was a pioneering British helicopter company that had its roots in the pre-WWII 
Cierva Company. The authors have done so much more than write a very welcome and definitive 
history of the Wasp helicopter, but they have prefaced this account with a profile of British efforts in 
rotary flight from the joint venture between A V Roe and Juan de la Cierva y Codorníu, 1st  Count
 of la Cierva. Cierva tragically lost his life in a DC2 crash and is perhaps best known for his work from 
1922 on the development of autogyro rotary wing aircraft. He was however also a pioneer of helicopter 
flight and had he not been killed in 1936, the joint venture Cierva Company may well have produced 
viable helicopters by the start of WWII for military service with the British Armed Services.

With Cierva's untimely death, the assets of the Cierva Company passed to Saunders Roe. This was not 
the only British company pioneering helicopter development, with Fairy producing some very 
interesting concepts, an ultralight and a compound rotary wing aircraft, where the rotor was powered by 
tip mounted jets. It was however Saunders Roe who led and the Westland Aircraft Company that 
eventually absorbed all British rotary wing development under  politically driven amalgamations.

Saunders Roe produced the very promising Skeeter, using parts from the Cierva W9 in the construction 
of the prototype. This piston engine helicopter served successfully with the British Army and was the 
starting point for the turbine engine WASP. Britain had conducted extensive trials of Sikorski Hoverfly 
helicopters before the end of WWII, but the limiting factor for shipboard operation with the smaller 
warships was the difficulty in finding unobstructed space to land and take off and the equally important 
requirement of weather protected accommodation for use during a full commission of a warship that 
might operate in any of the oceans for perhaps two yeas before return to home port.

The authors have presented a nicely judged review of the operational roles for a shipboard helicopter, 
including the carriage of nuclear depth bombs. This makes their continuation into the history of the 
Wasp all the more readable and useful to those developing an interest in helicopter development and 
specifically naval aviation.

The text reads well and is comprehensive for the subject. The standard of illustration is first rate, and 
largely in full colour, with images reproduced through the text. The Wasp enjoyed a long and 
successful service life although the single engine did present problems from time to time. At the end 
of operational service, the Wasp is still operated in flying condition and as static display in aviation 
museums, this retirement life is also well detailed.