The first Wessex, a HAS.1 flew in 1958, and they entered anti-submarine duties in 1961 with the Royal Navy. It was the first helicopter to have a free power turbine. The design was adapted in the early 1960s for the RAF to become a general-purpose helicopter capable of troop-carrying, air ambulance and ground attack roles. In contrast with the turbine HAS.1, it used turbo-shafts. It was first used by the RAF in 1962, and did not finally retire until January 2003, being the main transport helicopter until the introduction of the Aérospatiale Puma. The bright yellow RAF machines used for air-sea or mountain rescue duties became especially famous and saved many lives. The Navy pressed the development of the HAS.1 into the improved HAS.3, coming into service in 1967. It saw embarked service on the County Class destroyers. Wessex helicopters were also used by the Queen's Flight of the RAF to transport VIPs including members of the British Royal Family, from 1969 to 1998. Those Royal helicopters were designated HCC.4 and were essentially similar to the HC.2 but with an upgraded interior, additional navigation equipment and enhanced maintenance programmes. A later version used by the Royal Marine Commandos was the HU.5. 22 Sqn Reformed again in 1955, the Squadron took on the Search and Rescue role it maintains today. Initially equipped with Westland Whirlwinds, these were later replaced by the Westland Wessex. Finally, in the mid-1990s, the Sqn received 6 newly built Sea King HAR.3A to supplement the Sea King HAR.3 aircraft which replaced the Wessex aircraft. The Sqn HQ is as of 2005 located as RAF St. Mawgan in Cornwall. Detachments of two aircraft operate from three other stations to provide search and rescue cover in their respective parts of the country;
Location: Glenmore Lodge, Aviemore, Inverness-shire. Highland Region. Scotland. United Kingdom.