I have been digging in the past again and came across the instructions for this helicopter published in the 1954 number 5 manual. Although the title of the model is not specific it is very clearly based on the Westland Dragonfly of that period. Westland had acquired the license rights to build the Sikorsky S-51 in 1947 it became the Westland Dragonfly when it was produced in the UK. The last machine was built in 1955 the helicopter served with the Royal Navy from 1950 until the late 1950’s. It was also in service with RAF and civilian operators such as the state owned airline British European Airways many were also exported. I have built the model more or less as the original instructions using contemporary red and green parts but with some constructional changes. I also made some cosmetic changes, replacing the cord used on the cockpit with narrow strips and filled in the top of the cabin as is the original helicopter. The use of a plate roller was essential in forming the cockpit and tail boom. I thought the model was rather appealing when completed and a fairly good representation of the original aircraft. What was not very appealing was the clockwork “Magic Motor” bolted under the cabin used to drive the rotor blades and tail prop. This can be seen in the original instructions shown on the left. This model was frequently used by Meccano in publicity, the smooth lines clearly showing modern curvaceous models could be built with Meccano. After I built it I thought it would have looked good in zinc and yellow parts watch this space.
Royal Navy Dragonfly shown above from 1955. Below left Dragonfly in BEA livery from 1953. Pictures courtesy of Wikipedia. Show card below courtesy of Andrew Horner
Page created April 21 2016 Revised April 22 2016