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  • Writer's pictureSouth Yorkshire Aircraft Museum

Dragonfly restoration moves forwards at South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum

Members of the Yorkshire Helicopter Preservation Group based at the South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum have taken a major step forward in the restoration of Westland Dragonfly WN499 as the forward section was moved into the workshop this weekend ready for the next stage of the project. Work has been completed on the tail boom, which has now been stored within the YHPG workshop allowing the forward section to be brought undercover and for work to commence.

WN499 within the YHPG workshop.

Built in 1953 as a Dragonfly HR.3, the project will see the aircraft restored to represent Dragonfly HC.4 XB251 of 194 Squadron RAF as flown during ‘Operation Firedog’ - The overall contribution by the RAF during the Malayan Emergency. ‘Operation Firedog’ saw the first major use of helicopters in the casualty evacuation role, with the Dragonfly’s being used to rapidly transport wounded soldiers from the Malayan jungle to medical facilities, alongside troop and equipment transport duties.

Upon completion of the project, WN499/XB251 will be the sole example of a Dragonfly HC.4 in existence. The YHPG have experience in restoring the Dragonfly with the group previously restoring HR.5 WH991 in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s led by the late Ray McElwain, with WH991 remaining on display at Elvington.

WN499 within the YHPG Workshop. The tail boom can be seen completed above.



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