Sycamore Airframe History

The following information has been compiled from Geoff Goodall’s website article “Bristol 171 Sycamores in Australia“.  We extend our grateful thanks  – our job would have been immeasurably harder had it not been for his excellent work. 

RAN acceptance Number Model Serials Delivered to Australia
11.3.53 3 HR.50 XA219-XA221 HMAS Vengeance delivery voyage from England
22.11.54 4 HR.51 XD653-XD656 Crated on merchant vessel MV Braeside
10.3.56 2 HR.51 XK902 & XL507 HMAS Melbourne delivery voyage from England, with RAN’s new Sea Venoms and Gannets
26.6.58 1 HR.51 XN448 Crated on merchant vessel
19.6.59 2 HR.51 XN449 & XN450 Crated on merchant vessel SS Araluen
24.8.61 1 HR.51 XR592 Crated on merchant vessel SS Africa

 

RAN Serial Type C/N. Aircraft History
XA219 HR Mk 50 13063 1952 Built by Bristol Aeroplane Co.Ltd of Filton, Bristol. 550HP Alvis Leonides 524/1.  This was part of a the second production batch of 10 Sycamores (13062 to 13071)  Completed as HR50 to RAN order.
Allocated serial XA219 by British Ministry of Supply.
25/10/52.First Flight at Filton, near Bristol UK.
31/10/52. Commenced at A&AEE Boscombe Down including deck landings on HMS Triumph.
08/01/53. XA219-XA221 were delivered to RNFAA station Gosport for training of RAN aircrew. 
16/01/53.  XA219-XA221 flown aboard HMAS Vengeance at sea in English Channel enroute to Australia.
11/3/53. HMAS Vengeance berthed at Garden Island, Sydney. XA219 delivered to Nowra Air Station same day and taken on charge by 723 Sqn coded 906 (later 724 Sqn coded 996).
02/09/54. Damaged Nowra when rotor blades struck fuselage.
–/11/56. Grounded after two cylinders cracked during VIP flight (Pilot Lieut S O’Farrell) and returned to Nowra by road.
17/08/55. Visited Melbourne Showgrounds Ascot Vale, code “906”
29/10/56. 723 Squadron disbanded at Nowra. XA219 transferred to 724 Squadron code 996.
18/07/57. 723 Squadron reformed at Nowra, XA219 on strength.
06/02/58. Commenced detachment aboard HMAS Melbourne.
20/02/58. Issued to Nowra.
–/06/58. Allotted to Bristol Aviation Service, Bankstown, for overhaul.
04/09/58. Issued to Nowra.
10/09/58. Crashed. Flown by LEUT (P) D.J Orr, RAN, had a partial power loss, force landed and caught fire Nowra NSW.
15/12/58. Struck off RAN charge. 

Remains reported to have been used as Instructional Airframe at Schofields NSW. Presumably scrapped there before the training school closed.

 

XA220 HR Mk 50 13064 1952 Built by Bristol Aeroplane Co.Ltd at Filton, Bristol. Came to Australia aboard HMAS Vengeance.
12/52 Part of second production batch of 10 Sycamores. Completed to HR50 for RAN Order
5/12/52  First Flight at Filton.
–/12/52  XA219-XA221 were delivered to RNFAA Station Gosport.
31/12/52  Taken on Charge by Royal Navy at Gosport.
16/01/53. XA219-XA221 flown aboard HMAS Vengeance at sea in English Channel off Weymouth.
11/03/53. HMAS Vengeance berthed Sydney Garden Island.
11/03/53. XA220 delivered to Naval Air Station Nowra.
11/03/53. XA220 taken on charge by 723 Squadron, code “907”
18/09/53. XA22- Commenced detachment aboard HMAS Vengeance.
11/11/53. Allotted Nowra

04/01/54. Allotted RAN Schofields
06/01/54. Allotted Bristol Aviation Services, Bankstown
14/01/54. Allotted RAN Schofields
11/03/54. Allotted Bristol Aviation Services, Bankstown for damage repairs
20/08/54. Allotted 723 Squadron, Nowra
26/08/54. Allotted HMAS Sydney
31/08/54. Allotted Nowra
29/09/54. Damaged on HMAS Sydney when rotor blades struck fuselage
01/12/54. Disembarked from HMAS Sydney to Nowra
27/01/55. Allotted Bristol Aviation Services, Bankstown for damage repairs
16/06/55. Allotted Nowra
01/02/56. Damaged during rescue operations in NSW floods
11/03/56. Allotted HMAS Sydney
02/06/56. Allotted Nowra
26/07/56. Allotted HMAS Melbourne
27/07/56. Allotted Nowra
09/08/56. Allotted HMAS Melbourne
25/10/56. Allotted Nowra
29/10/56. 723 Squadron disbanded at Nowra, XA220 transferred to 724 Squadron
03/01/57. Allotted HMAS Melbourne
07/02/57. Allotted Nowra
21/02/57. 723 Squadron reformed at Nowra, XA220 on strength
11/07/57. Allotted Bristol Aviation Services, Bankstown
06/03/58. Allotted Nowra
16/10/58. Allotted HMAS Melbourne
30/10/58. Allotted Nowra
14/11/58. Allotted HMAS Melbourne
20/11/58. Allotted Nowra
–/09/61. XA220 noted at Port Melbourne on board HMAS Melbourne
02/10/61. XA220 code “849” noted Nowra, silver with yellow markings.
–/02/62 XA220 “849” noted Hobart on board HMAS Melbourne
–/11/62. In service with 723 Squadron, blue & white, code “849”
16/02/63. XA220 Code “849” noted at Port Melbourne on board HMAS Melbourne. Midnight blue overall with white markings and silver detail.
–/11/63. Retired at Nowra
31/08/66. Closing date for Tender issued by Department of Supply: location Nowra, without engine
14/09/66. Sold to Business Aviation Pty Ltd, Bankstown NSW
2.67 Sold to Associated Helicopter Services Pty Ltd, Bankstown NSW.
Reportedly purchased for spare parts
–/02/67. XA220, XN450 & XR592 from RAN at Nowra arrived Camden aerodrome NSW for Business Aviation Pty Ltd of Bankstown. All are fitted with external winches and are complete except for radio.Two were in the Skyservice Aviation hangar at Camden 6.67
23/03/68. XA220 noted Camden NSW, code “849”
20/08/70. XA220 noted Camden
18/06/72. XA220 noted Camden inside museum hangar
by 9/72. Sydney Technical College as instructional airframe
05/01/85. Noted at Bankstown, outside Technical College hangar, complete, painted white and blue, no markings or identity.
1986 Donated by Bankstown technical college to Australian Naval Aviation Museum, Nowra NAS NSW
05/10/86. Noted at Nowra outside museum hangar, silver “XA220” code “907”.
27/09/89. XA220 noted at Naval Aviation Museum, Nowra. Bare metal <inish, code “907” on fuselage in black
2001 Renamed Australia’s Museum of Flight, Nowra NAS NSW
01/09/06. Renamed Fleet Air Arm Museum, Nowra NAS NSW
05/03/08 noted at Nowra inside museum, silver “XA220” code “907”
x
XA221 HR Mk 50 13065 1952 Built by Bristol Aeroplane Co Ltd at Filton, Bristol. 550hp Alvis Leonides 524/1
12/52 Part of the second production batch of 10 Sycamores, c/ns 13062 to 13071.
Completed as HR.50 to Royal Australian Navy specifications. Allocated serial XA221 by British Ministry of Supply
12/52 First flight at Filton
12/52 XA219-XA221 were delivered to RNFAA station Gosport.
12/01/53. Taken on charge Royal Navy at Gosfport
16/01/53. XA219-XA221 flown on to aircraft carrier HMAS Vengeance at sea in the English Channel off Weymouth, Dorset en route to Australia. Operational trials were conducted while at sea
11.03.53. HMAS Vengeance docked at Garden Island, Sydney Harbour
11.03.53. XA221 delivered to Nowra Naval Air Station NSW.
11.03.53. Taken on charge by 723 Squadron, RAN, based Nowra, code “908”
3.07.53. Allotted HMAS Vengeance
10.08.53. Allotted Nowra
22.09.53. Allotted HMAS Sydney
22.10.53. Allotted Bristol Aviation Services, Bankstown for overhaul
19.03.54. Allotted HMAS Vengeance
12.05.54. Allotted Nowra
26.08.54. Allotted HMAS Sydney
01.12.54. Allotted Nowra
01.02.55. Allotted Bristol Aviation Services, Bankstown for checks
04.02.55. Allotted Nowra
25.02.55. Crashed near Singleton NSW. While carrying out flood relief operations in Maitland area.
24.04.55. Wreckage of aircraft located.
06.06.55. Wreckage allocated Bristol Aviation Services, Bankstown.
25.02.56. Struck off charge.
x
XD653 HR Mk 51 13071 Sycamore Mk.4, to HR.51 C/n 13071 Codes 904, 994, 850 G-AMWJ, XD653
Built by Bristol Aeroplane Co Ltd at Filton, Bristol. 550hp Alvis Leonides 524/1
Part of the second production batch of 10 Sycamores. C/ns 13062 to 13071.
To be a Mk.3 as a Bristol company demonstrator, but completed as a Series 4
1.12.52 Registered as Sycamore Series 4 G-AMWJ Bristol Aeroplane Company Ltd, Filton, Bristol
No British CofA issued
1/53 Converted by Bristol as the first Mk. HR.51.
–/53 Sold to Australian Government for use by RAN
British Ministry of Supply assigned serial XD653
30/9/53 Struck off Civil Register “to Royal Australian Navy”
12/11/53. First flight at Filton
16/12/53. Delivered to A&AEE Boscombe Down.
XD653 & XD654 were tested at A&AEE Boscombe Down until 2.54
4/3/54. Allotted Bristol Aeroplane Co, Filton for mods
9/3/54. Taken on charge by Royal Navy as Abbosinch
25/05/54. Allotted A&AEE Boscombe Down for flight trials of modified engine boost and rotor blade tab settings
14/07/54. Allotted Bristol Aeroplane Co, Filton until 6.8.54
10/54 XD653 to XD656 were delivered to Australia on board merchant ship MV Braeside
22/11/54. MV Braeside arrived at Sydney
22/11/54. Taken on RAN charge as XD653
22/11/54. Received by Bristol Aviation Services at Bankstown Airport, Sydney for assembly
1/2/55. Allotted Nowra to 723 Squadron
23/2/55. landed at Malvern Grammar School, Melbourne as part of a RAN demonstration
55 photo at Nowra: XD653 all silver, code “904”
4/6/55. Allotted HMAS Sydney
26/7/55. Allotted RAAF Williamtown NSW
21/11/55. Allotted Nowra
13/9/56. Allotted Bristol Aviation Services, Bankstown
11/7/57. Allotted Nowra 723 Squadron
29/8/57. Allotted HMAS Sydney until 26.9.57
3/10/57. Allotted HMAS Melbourne
30/11/57. XD653 noted at Essendon Vic. All silver, code “904”, kangaroo roundel
6/2/58. Allotted HMAS Melbourne
24/7/58. Allotted Nowra
9/10/58. forced landing
29/1/59. Allotted HMAS Melbourne
29/5/60. flew a display at an airshow, Bankstown
2/10/61 XD653 noted Nowra, code “850”, with 723 Squadron
11/62. Listed on strength 723 Squadron, midnight blue & white, code “850”
11/63. Retired from active service
10/66 noted at HMAS Nirimba, Schofields Aerodrome NSW with RAN training college as an instructional airframe.  You can see a video of this aircraft’s last flight from Nowra to Nirimba here.
4/67 noted at HMAS Nirimba, Schofields Aerodrome NSW. In hangar, good condition, polished blue allover with white trim, code “850”
Issued to RAN Museum, Nowra
12/10/69 noted Nowra, displayed
12/8/74 XD653 noted Nowra, midnight blue RAN scheme, no code
10/8/77. Officially allotted to Australian Naval Aviation Museum, Nowra
9/77 XD653 noted Nowra Museum “849”
8/80 XD653 noted Nowra Museum “849”
4/9/85 XD653 noted Nowra, parked outside museum hangar
5/10/86 noted at Nowra outside museum hangar, “XD653” code “850” midnight blue scheme, also 27.9.89
5/10/91. XD653 code “850” noted at Nowra, undergoing refurbishment in a hangar for display
1/11/92 noted at Nowra inside museum, “XD653” code “850”, midnight blue scheme
5/8/00 XD653 noted Nowra
/01 Renamed Australia’s Museum of Flight, Nowra NAS NSW
1/9/06 Renamed Fleet Air Arm Museum, Nowra NAS NSW.

 

XD654 HR Mk 51 13146 Sycamore HR.51 C/n 13146 Code 909, 851 XD654
Built by Bristol Aeroplane Co Ltd at Filton, Bristol. 550hp Alvis Leonides 524/1
Part of the third production batch of 20 Sycamores. C/ns 13144 to 13203. completed as a Mk.HR.51
British Ministry of Supply issued serial XD654, for use by RAN
14/12/53 First flight at Filton
1/3/54 Delivered to A&AEE Boscombe Down for trials.
XD653 & XD654 tested at A&AEE Boscombe Down
11/3./54 Allotted Bristol Aertoplane Co, Filton for winch repairs
4/8/54 Taken on charge by Royal Navy
5/8/54 Delivered to Lee-on-Solent
10/54 XD653 to XD656 were delivered to Australia as cargo on board merchant ship MV Braeside
22/11/54 MV Braeside arrived at Sydney
23/11/54 Taken on charge RAN
23/11/54 Received by Bristol Aviation Services at Bankstown Airport, Sydney for assembly
21/1/55 Delivered to 723 Squadron, Nowra, code 909
2/2/55 Allotted HMAS Vegeance until 14.2.55
2/55 Damaged Dubbo NSW during flood relief operations
13/3/55 Allotted HMAS Sydney
29/3/55 Allotted RAAF Williamtown
31/3/55 Allotted HMAS Sydney
27/4/55 Allotted Nowra
16/10/55 Damaged
18/10/55 Allotted Bristol Aviation Services, Bankstown for repairs
10/7/56 Allotted Nowra 723 Squadron
2/8/56 Allotted HMAS Sydney
29/10/56 723 Squadron disbanded at Nowra, XD654 transferred to 724 Squadron
7/2/57 Allotted HMAS Melbourne
14/3/57 723 Squadron reformed at Nowra, XD654 on strength
9/10/57 Allotted HMAS Sydney
10/10/57 Damaged
17/10/57 Allotted Nowra
20/2/58 Allotted HMAS Melbourne until 24.7.58
16/10/58 Allotted HMAS Melbourne until 20.11.58
9/1/59 Allotted Bristol Aviation Services, Bankstown
4/3/61 Ditched in sea near Cocos Island, Indian Ocean, off HMS Hermes.

 

XD655 HR Mk 51 13147 Sycamore HR.51 C/n 13147 XD655.
Built by Bristol Aeroplane Co Ltd at Filton, Bristol. 550hp Alvis Leonides 524/1
Part of the third production batch of 20 Sycamores. C/ns 13144 to 13203. completed as a Mk.HR.51
British Ministry of Supply issued serial XD655, for use by RAN
22/12/53 First flight at Filton
5/8/54 Taken on charge Royal Navy at Lee on Solent
10/54 XD653 to XD656 were delivered to Australia on board merchant ship MV Braeside
22/11/54 MV Braeside arrived at Sydney
23/11/54 Taken on charge RAN as XD655
23/11/54 Received by Bristol Aviation Services at Bankstown Airport, Sydney for assembly
1/55 Delivered to 723 Squadron, Nowra
27/2/55 Allotted RAAF Williamtown
11/3/55 Allotted Nowra, 723 Squadron. Reported code “901” but unconfirmed
18/3/55 Allotted HMAS Sydney until 23.3.55
28/3/55 Allotted Bristol Aviation Services, Bankstown
29/3/55 Allotted HMAS Sydney
2/4/55 Allotted Nowra
6/4/55 Allotted Bristol Aviation Services, Bankstown
19/4/55 Allotted Nowra
23/9/55 Allotted HMAS Sydney
7/10/55 Damaged at RAAF Point Cook Vic
12/10/55 Crashed Jervis Bay NSW. Crashed in shallow water in St Georges Basin
17/10/55 Wreck allotted to Bristol Aviation Services, Bankstown
1/61 Wreck sold to Aircraft Engines and Overhauls, Sydney

 

XD656 HR Mk 51 13148 Built by Bristol Aeroplane Co Ltd at Filton, Bristol. 550hp Alvis Leonides 524/1
Part of the third production batch of 20 Sycamores. C/ns 13144 to 13203.
Completed as a Mk.HR.51
British Ministry of Supply issued serial XD656, for use by RAN
4.1.54 First flight at Filton
5.8.54 Taken on Royal Navy charge at Lee-on-Solent
10.54 XD653 to XD656 were delivered to Australia on board merchant ship MV Braeside
22.11.54 MV Braeside arrived at Sydney
23.11.54 Taken on charge RAN as XD656
23.11.54 Received by Bristol Aviation Services at Bankstown Airport, Sydney for assembly
1.2.55 Delivered to Nowra, 723 Squadron
4.2.55 Allotted HMAS Sydney
26.2.55 Allotted RAAF Williamtown
5.3.55 Allotted Nowra
23.3.55 Allotted HMAS Sydney
29.3.55 Allotted RAAF Williamtown
2.4.55 Allotted HMAS Sydney
27.4.55 Allotted Bristol Aviation Services, Bankstown for mods
29.4.55 Allotted HMAS Sydney for cruise to New Zealand, returned Sydney 6.5.55
16.6.55 Allotted Nowra
23.9.55 Allotted HMAS Sydney
10.55 Landed at Melbourne Grammar School, South Yarra, Melbourne off HMAS Melbourne as part of an RAN demonstration. Code “905”
11.3.56 Allotted HMAS Sydney
11.4.56 Delivered Nowra to Bristol Aviation Services, Bankstown for overhaul
18.10.56 Allotted Nowra
29.10.56 723 Squadron disbanded at Nowra, XD656 transferred to 724 Squadron
4.12.56 Damaged
20.12.56 Allotted Bristol Aviation Services, Bankstown for repairs
28.2.57 Allotted Nowra, 723 Squadron
26.6.57 Landed in Centennial Park, Sydney bringing an injured man from Milton NSW to hospital
10.10.57 Allotted HMAS Melbourne
11.11.57 Crashed in sea off HMAS Melbourne on Queensland coast. Due engine failure, pilot Lt. Hunt of 723 Squadron.
4.12.57 Struck-off RAN charge

 

XK902 HR Mk 51 13401 Built by Bristol Aircraft Ltd at Old Mixon, Western-super-Mare. 550hp Alvis Leonides 524/1
Part of the eighth production batch of 17 Sycamores. C/ns 13401 to 13417.
Completed as a Mk.HR.51
British Ministry of Supply issued serial XK902, for use by Royal Australian Navy
23.2.56 First flight at Hatfield
1.3.56 Taken on Royal Navy charge at Abbotsinch, Glasgow, Scotland
9.3.56 XK902 & XL507 were ferried to Glasgow Docks to be delivered to Australia on the maiden voyage of RAN’s new aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne
10.3.56 Taken on RAN charge as XK902
10.3.56 Loaded on HMAS Melbourne at Glasgow Docks
14.3.56 HMAS Melbourne sailed from Glasgow on delivery voyage to Australia. Carried RAN aircraft purchases: 39 Sea Venoms, 22 Gannets, 2 Sycamores, also an Avro 707A for RAAF trials in Australia.
5.56 Aircraft off-loaded from HMAS Melbourne at Jervis Bay NSW, near Nowra. Melbourne then continued to Sydney where it arrived 9.5.56
15.5.56 Received at Bristol Aviation Services, Bankstown for preparation
2.8.56 Allotted Nowra, 723 Squadron
3.8.56 Allotted HMAS Melbourne
25.10.56 Allotted 724 Squadron, Nowra
31.1.57 Allotted HMAS Melbourne
11.7.57 Allotted 723 Squadron, Nowra
17.7.57 Carried a line across the Woronora River near Lucas Heights, south of Sydney to provide power to the Atomic Energy Laboratory at Lucas Heights
3.10.57 Allotted HMAS Melbourne
12.12.57 Allotted Nowra
10.1.58 Crashed in mountains near Grafton NSW. While operating on support duties for HMAS Warrego on an exercise to chart coastal waters, carried survey marker poles 25 miles south of Grafton. Aircraft crashed on the Bald Knob Range coastal mountain range, rolled down a slope before falling off a cliff and lodging vertically on a narrow ledge. Pilot and one passenger unhurt, 3 other passengers were injured.
31.1.58 Wreck allotted from Nowra to Bristol Aviation Services, Bankstown for salvage of engine and components
6.58 Bankstown report: “Dumped outside the Bristol hangar was part of the fuselage of another Sycamore, RAN “902”
26.6.58 Struck-off RAN charge

 

XL507

(XK903)

HR Mk 51 13407 Built by Bristol Aircraft Ltd at Old Mixon, Western-super-Mare. 550hp Alvis Leonides 524/1
Part of the eighth production batch of 17 Sycamores. C/ns 13401 to 13417.
Completed as a Mk.HR.51
British Ministry of Supply issued serial XK903 for use by Royal Australian Navy
Order for two HR.51s had been placed, allocated XK902 & XK903. However a separate contract was subsequently raised for the second machine, and for administrative purposes the Ministry of Supply replaced XK903’s serial with XL507
1.3.56 First flight at Filton, marked XK903
3.3.56 Serial changed to XL507
6.3.56 Taken on Royal Navy charge at Abbotsinch, Glasgow, Scotland
3.56 XK902 & XL507 were ferried to Glasgow Docks to be delivered to Australia on the maiden voyage of RAN’s new aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne
9.3.56 Loaded aboard HMAS Melbourne
10.3.56 Taken on RAN charge as XL507
10.3.56 Loaded on HMAS Melbourne at Glasgow Docks
14.3.56 HMAS Melbourne sailed from Glasgow on delivery voyage to Australia. Carried RAN aircraft purchases: 39 Sea Venoms, 22 Gannets, 2 Sycamores, also an Avro 707A for RAAF trials in Australia.
5.56 Aircraft off-loaded from HMAS Melbourne at Jervis Bay NSW, near Nowra. Melbourne then continued to Sydney where it arrived 9.5.56
15.5.56 Allotted Bristol Aviation Services, Bankstown for preparation
14.7.56 Allotted Nowra, 723 Squadron
26.7.56 Allotted HMAS Melbourne
25.10.56 Allotted 724 Squadron, H Flight HMAS Melbourne
13.12.56 Allotted Nowra
21.2.57 Allotted 723 Squadron
14.3.57 Allotted HMAS Melbourne
24.5.57 Ditched in China Sea off HMAS Melbourne
30.5.58 Struck off RAN charge
XN448 HR Mk 51 13270 Built by Bristol Aeroplane Co Ltd at Filton, Bristol. 550hp Alvis Leonides 524/1 55
Part of the sixth production batch of 10 Sycamores. C/ns 13264 to 13273.
Completed as a Mk.HR.51
12.4.55 Registered as Sycamore Series 4 G-AOBM Bristol Aeroplane Company Ltd, Filton, Bristol
19.5.55 British CofA issued
24.5.55 Struck-off British Register as sold to Canada
25.5.55 Flown to Avonmouth Docks for shipment to Canada on board SS Gloucester City
5.55 Registered CF-HVX
2.56 CF-HVX flew from Winnipeg to Mexico City on North American sales tour
Returned to Old Mixon, Weston-super-Mare for overhaul and sale
10.57 CF-HVX noted at Weston-super-Mare
Allocated B Class Registration G-18-5
13.11.57 Returned to British Register G-AOBM Bristol Aircraft Ltd, Filton, Bristol
British Ministry of Supply allocated serial XN448 for use by Royal Australian Navy
Converted by Bristol to Mk.HR.51 for RAN
16.4.58 First flight after miitary conversion
24.4.58 Struck-off British Register as sold to Royal Australian Navy
29.4.58 Flown to London Docks for loading on a ship
6.58 Delivered to Australia as cargo on a merchant vessel
26.6.58 Brought on RAN charge as XN448
26.6.58 Allotted Bristol Aviation Services, Bankstown for storage
12.58 Under preparation by Bristol Aviation Services for issue
22.1.59 Issued to Nowra, 723 Squadron
1.59 Arrived Nowra ex Bristol Aviation Services painted as “13270” (its construction number) as serial and operated by RAN a such for a short time then repainted XN448
29.1.59 Allotted HMAS Melbourne
15.2.60 Flew Moruya NSW to Sydney on a medical evacuation operation
29.5.60 XN448 coded “852” noted at Bankstown airshow in static park, allover silver, yellow bands on tail boom
2.9.61 XN448 “852” noted at Auckland Harbour NZ on board HMAS Melbourne
17.9.61 XN448 “852” noted Port Melbourne on board HMAS Melbourne
2.10.61 XN448 “852” noted at Nowra, 723 Sqn, silver with yellow markings
1.4.62 XN448 “852” at Bankstown airshow, with 2 others.
11.62 XN448 Code 852 on strength 723 Sqn, midnight blue and white
.64 Retired at Bankstown, stored at Hawker deHavilland premises
14.9.65 Struck off RAN charge
29.10.65 XN448 code “852” noted Bankstown in Bristol Aviation hangar, sealed for storage
7.66 Advertised for civil disposal by tender by Australian Department of Supply
31.8.66 Closing date for Tender issued by Department of Supply: location Bankstown, complete
10.66 XN448 code 852 in RAN blue scheme parked outside Bristol Aviation Services hangar at Bankstown, code “852” main and tail rotor blades removed and in crate alongside. Unmoved until January 1967
1.67 Sold to J. Rose Motors, Melbourne Vic to replace their VH-GVR crashed 26.1.67
14.2.67 Registered VH-SYC G. V. Rose Motors, Melbourne Vic
This company later establish Jayrow Helicopters at Moorabbin Airort, Melbourne
16.2.67 Ferried Bankstown-Moorabbin, RAN blue scheme with white registration letters
3.5.67 VH-SYC noted at Essendon
67 photo at Moorabbin: midnight blue with white roof, VH-SYC on tail boom
1.1.68 noted at Moorabbin, polished metal finish. Parked with VH-BAW. Also 20.1.68
3.68 Purchased by Associated Helicopter Services Pty Ltd, Bankstown NSW
2.11.68 Damaged in forced landing “Bow River” Station, via near Turkey Creek WA, south of Wyndham.After hovering over an area, which the pilot Gerhard M. Grandt decided was unsuitable for landing, the helicopter over-pitched when he attempted to climb above a small tree in the climb path. When RPM decayed, the helicopter settled lightly on the ground but the main rotor blades struck trees and disintegrated. No injuries to pilot & 3 passengers. Remote location, 60 miles from the Bow River Homestead.
12.68 VH-SYC’s insurer Air Claims Ltd, Sydney received a total of 4 claims in two weeks after the accident: the initial event of blades striking the tree, another for damage by fire, further damage on ground through causes unknown, and finally radio equipment stolen by persons unknown. Because it was a Partial Loss Policy, Air Claims paid out on the last two incidents but did not become owner of the aircraft or have any salvage rights.
69 Associated Helicopter Services Pty Ltd was in liquidation. DCA had completed its investigation into the accident and the aircraft (in situ) became the property of the company’s creditors.
14.8.72 Struck-off Register
79 Experienced RAAF pilot Don Ende, who was now with RAAF Air Training Corps HQ at Perth planned to salvage the Sycamore and bring it to Perth as a ground training aid for ATC cadets. However the plan was 8`1. Ende then offered all the assistance and information he had gathered to RAAF Association, Bull Creek, Perth in order that they might salvage the Sycamore for their Aviation Heritage Museum
81 After 18 months of negotiations with the numerous parties involved, ownership of VH-SYC was transferred for the sum of $1 to RAAF Association, Perth WA. Agreement reached with RAAF that should a Chinook heavy helicopter be in the Kimberleys area, subject to operational requirements, it would be diverted to attempt to air-lift the Sycamore from its forced landing site to Kununurra WA.
12.81 A RAAF Chinook from No.12 Squadron, under command of Sqn Ldr Graham Chalmers, was in the area. Guided by Kerry Slingsby of Helimuster Ltd at Kununurra, the Sycamore was located and its crew spent 90 minutes at the site. The decision was made not to attempt to lift the Sycamore because of concern that air pressure build-up in the Sycamore cabin, due to loss of almost all the perspex canopy, would cause it to be uncontrollable or break-up. The RAAF crew report detailed VH-SYC’s poor condition, due to exposure to the humid heat of the region and vandalism. All windows were smashed and perspex removed, many small parts had been cut off and the rear tail boom with tail rotor had been dismantled and removed. RAAF Association considered various other recovery methods, but all were uneconomical due to the remoteness of the crash site and its distance from Perth.
2015 The stripped Sycamore still parked on its undercarriage at the forced landing site, via Turkey Creek WA

 

XN449 HR Mk 51 13504 Built by Bristol Aircraft Ltd at Old Mixon, Western-super-Mare. 550hp Alvis Leonides 524/1
Part of the tenth production batch of 50 Sycamores. C/ns 13458 to 13507.
Completed as a Mk.HR.51
British Ministry of Supply issued serial XN449 for use by Royal Australian Navy
10.2.59 First flight at Western-super-Mare as G-18-177
Testflown with British Class B registration G-18-177
31.3.59 Flown to Newport Docks for loading on ship
5.59 Shipped to Australia on merchant ship SS Araluen
19.6.59 Taken on charge by RAN
19.6.59 Allotted Bristol Aviation Services, Bankstown for assembly
10.60 Overturned on landing at Nowra
2.10.61 XN449 noted Nowra, code Code “853”, silver with yellow markings, 723 Squadron
1.4.62 XN449 “853” at Bankstown airshow with two other RAN Sycamores
3.9.62 Crashed and destroyed by fire near Nowra. While on a training flight from Nowra the engine failed at 30 feet altitude 2 miles from  the airfield. Aircraft crashed on a steep hillside and rolled down the slope. Wreckage caught fire. Lt. M. Astbury and Sub Lt. N. Dennett received minor injuries.
XN450 HR Mk 51 13505 Built by Bristol Aircraft Ltd at Old Mixon, Western-super-Mare. 550hp Alvis Leonides 524/1
Part of the tenth production batch of 50 Sycamores. C/ns 13458 to 13507.
Construction ceased at 13505, making this the last Sycamore built, completed as a Mk.HR.51
12.58 First flight at Weston-super-Mare as G-18-178
Testflown with British Class B registration G-18-178
British Ministry of Supply issued serial XN450 for use by Royal Australian Navy
3.3.59 First flight as XN450
5.59 Shipped to Australia on merchant ship SS Araluen
19.6.59 Taken on RAN charge as XN450
19.6.59 Allotted Bristol Aviation Services, Bankstown for assembly
.59 Allotted Nowra, 723 Squadron
2.10.61 XN450 noted Nowra, Code “848”, silver with yellow markings, 723 Squadron
1.4.62 XN450 “848” at Bankstown airshow with two other RAN Sycamores
11.62 XN450 on strength 723 Squadron, midnight blue and white, code 848
14.9.65 Struck off RAN charge. Toyal flying time 1351 hrs.
7.66 Advertised for civil disposal by tender by Australian Department of Supply
31.8.66 Closing date for Tender issued by Department of Supply: location Nowra, without engine
14.9.66 Sold to Business Aviation Pty Ltd, Bankstown NSW
2.67 Sold to Associated Helicopter Services Pty Ltd, Bankstown NSW.
Reportedly purchased for spare parts
2.67 XA220, XN450 & XR592 from RAN at Nowra arrived Camden for Business Aviation Pty Ltd of Bankstown. All are fitted with external winches and are complete except radio. Two were in the Skyservice Aviation hangar at Camden 6.67
23.3.68 XN450 noted Camden, code 848, callsign reminder “VJODH”
72 Camden Museum of Aviation, Camden Airport NSW, later Narellan NSW
18.6.72 XN450 noted at Narellan in museum building
.79 Acquired by Sid Beck/ Sid Beck’s Military Museum, Townsville Qld, later Mareeba Qld
11.8.80 XN450 noted at Becks museum near Townsville “848”
23.7.83 XN450 noted at Becks museum near Townsville “848”
c88 moved to new museum site on a farm near Mareeba Qld
22.10.09 XN450 noted at Becks Military Museum near Mareeba Qld, RAN blue scheme “848”

 

XR592

(XN635)

HR Mk 51 13070 Built by Bristol Aeroplane Co Ltd at Filton, Bristol. 550hp Alvis Leonides 524/1Part of the second production batch of 10 Sycamores. C/ns 13062 to 13071.
To be a Mk.3 as a Bristol company demonstrator, but completed as a Series 4
1.12.52 Registered as Sycamore Series 4 G-AMWI Bristol Aeroplane Co Ltd, Filton, Bristol
7.9.53 CofA issued
9.53 at Farnborough Air Show, Mk.4 demonstrator, all silver, fitted with two stretchers
6.9.54 at Farnborough Air Show, Mk.4 demonstrator
9.54 flew into Southbank Heliport, London
Over 5 years was demonstrated in France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland and Austria. Photo G-AMWI wearing “Autair” company titles, carrying equipment to a lighthouse
6.55 at Paris Air Show, Le Bourget in static display park
4.9.55 at Farnborough Air Show, Mk.4 demonstrator
1.1.56 Change of owner’s name: Bristol Aircraft Ltd, Filton, Bristol
56 took part in Pye airborne TV experiments
7.56 G-AMWI noted at Filton, dismantled, centre fuselage on a stand in the rear of the Bristol flight shed
3.9.56 displayed at Farnborough Air Show, painted in new Bristol colours of crimson and white
5.57 G-AMWI demonstrated at Paris Air Show
6.57 G-AMWI was used as a dual control trainer for German pilots as part of the Luftwaffe order for Sycamores. Training continued until 1.58
2.9.57 G-AMWI demonstrated at Farnborough Air Show, its fifth consecutive year at Farnborough
2.58 Logbook of Peter Wilson, Bristol test pilot: he flew G-AMWI at Weston-super-Mare in every month of 1958 except January and August. There was a gap in his regular flights, between 9.7.58 to next flight 1.9.58
23.9.58 G-AMWI took part in helicopter displays at Christchurch, England for a NATO conference
4.59 G-AMWI had a forced landing at Weston-super-Mare, England
22.10.60 Change of owner’s name: Westland Aircraft Ltd (Bristol Helicopter Division), Weston-super-Mare, Somerset
4.4.61 Logbook of Peter Wilson, Bristol test pilot: his last flight in G-AMWI at Weston-super-Mare
5.61 Purchased by RAN
61 converted to Mk.HR.51 for Royal Australian Navy
61 British Ministry of Supply issued serial XN635
61 XN635 duplicated a Jet Provost serial, Sycamore changed to XR592
6.61 Shipped to Australia on merchant ship SS Africa
13.7.61 Struck-off British Register as sold to Australia
G-AMWI Logbook: Final entry total flying time 1119 hrs 34 min
XR592 Logbook: taken on charge by RAN: total flying time 1119 hrs 34 min.
XR592 Logbook: “Aircraft originally on British Civil Register as Sycamore 171 Mk.4 registration G-AMWI, then converted for RAN registration number XR592″
24.8.61 Taken on RAN charge as XR592
24.8.61 Allotted Bristol Aviation Services, Bankstown for assembly
12.61 Allotted Nowra, 723 Squadron. Reportedly arrived at Nowra still painted as XN635
XR592 served on HMAS Melbourne and HMAS Sydney
26.7.62 XR592 code “851” noted Bankstown, midnight blue
11.62 XR592 in service with RAN 723 Squadron, code 851
17.7.63 Damaged on takeoff, rolled over
7.63 Allotted Bristol Aviation Services, Bankstown for repair
8.64 Allotted Nowra
26.10.64 XR592 visited Sydney Airport
14.9.65 Struck-off RAN charge
65 XR592 Log: Final page quotes total flying time logged as 1715 hrs 25 mins. The same number of hours is quoted in VH-BAW’s civil log book as the starting hours on the airframe.
7.66 Advertised for civil disposal by tender by Australian Department of Supply
31.8.66 Closing date for Tender issued by Department of Supply: location Nowra, complete
14.9.66 Sold to Business Aviation Pty Ltd, Bankstown NSW
2.67 XA220, XN450 & XR592 from RAN at Nowra arrived Camden for Business Aviation Pty Ltd of Bankstown. All are fitted with external winches and are complete except for radio.Two were in the Skyservice Aviation hangar at Camden 6.67
5.3.67 XR592 noted Camden in hangar, rotor blades removed. Full RAN scheme midnight blue and white, code “851”.
6.10.67 XR592 noted Moorabbin on low-loader truck from Camden, full RAN midnight blue scheme, code “851”
14.11.67 Registered VH-BAW Business Aviation Pty Ltd, Bankstown NSWVH-BAW Airframe Logbook quotes serial 13070
20.1.68 VH-BAW noted at Moorabbin, with VH-SYC
20.7.68 VH-BAW noted at Bankstown, midnight blue with white roof
26.4.69 VH-BAW noted at Bankstown, midnight blue with white roof, having engine maintenance
13.3.70 VH-BAW noted Bankstown, midnight blue with white roof
20.9.70 VH-BAW noted Bankstown
5.71 Sold to Camden Museum of Aviation, Camden Airport NSW
12.6.71 moved by road from Bankstown to Camden for Camden Museum of Aviation
20.8.71 VH-BAW noted at Camden Museum of Aviation.
14.8.72 Struck-off Register as withdrawn from service
Displayed Camden in 723 Squadron markings as “851”
.79 Camden Museum of Aviation moved to a newly erected hangar at Narellan, near Camden
Currently displayed at Camden Museum of Aviation, Narellen NSWXR592 arrives