Bristol Type 171 was the first post-war British helicopter in
production, and was manufactured at Filton and Weston-super-Mare.
The Sycamore was fitted with a triple-blade main rotor and a
triple-blade rear rotor. The rotor blades were entirely made of Australian maple wood. The main
rotor was designed so that the blades could be folded to one side, towards the rear boom.
This meant that it was possible to save space on naval vessels and in the hangar. The
first flight of the Type 171 was done by a Model Mk.1 on 27 July 1947.
The Mk.1 was a 2 seater with a 450hp Pratt and Whitney R-985 Wasp Junior
radial engine: two prototypes (VL958 & VL963) were built. The
four/five-seat general-purpose helicopter Bristol Type 171 Sycamore Mk.4
was the final production version of this machine. 178 examples of which
had been completed when the last was delivered in 1959. Of these 50 were
built in 1957-1959 for the Federal Germany as the Sycamore Mk.52, most
serving with the Luftwaffe but 4 being delivered to the Navy, joined
later by a further four from the Luftwaffe stocks. The German Sycamore
Mk.52 helicopters were withdrawn from service in 1972-1973.
Bristol 171 Sycamore Mk.52 c/n 13473 entered service with the Luftwaffe FFS-S as AS330. The Sycamore was transferred to
RVSt3 as LC115 and finally 7816. After being withdrawn from its military duties it entered the civil register as D-HALC in July
1977. Bristol 171 Sycamore D-HALC was seen at Fliegerhorst Ahlhorner Heide in Germany during the Tag der offenen Tür on 25 May 1979.
Sycamore D-HALC didn't survive as it was destroyed by fire at Wulpshausen on 2 August 1986.