The Wessex helicopter is the first twin-engined, single rotor helicopter to enter service with the Royal Air Force.
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Background: The Wessex helicopter is the first twin-engined, single rotor helicopter to enter service with the Royal Air Force. For a helicopter, it has a long range - over 300 miles at 115 m.p.h. - although it is equally useful as a short-distance "shuttle" aircraft for ferrying troops or supplies into forward operational areas. It was used most successfully in this role during the operations against dissident tribesmen in the Radfan Mountains of South Arabia. The aircraft can carry up to 16 troops, or for aeromedical duties it can be equipped with 8 stretchers. It can also transport freight, either internally, or in the case of heavy weapons such as 105 m.m. Howitzers, as underslung loads, externally. If either of its two Gnome shaft-turbine engines should fail, the Wessex can fly satisfactory on the other.