The Full Wiki

Saro Skeeter: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


(Redirected to Saunders-Roe Skeeter article)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Skeeter W-14
Role Trainer, Scout
Manufacturer Saunders-Roe
First flight 8 October 1948 (Cierva W.14)
Introduced October 1956
Primary users British Army
Royal Air Force
German Army
German Navy

The Saunders-Roe Skeeter was a two-seat training and scout helicopter produced by Saunders-Roe ("Saro") of Cowes and Southampton, in the United Kingdom. The Skeeter has the distinction of being the first helicopter to be used by the British Army Air Corps.


Design and development

Initially designed around 1948 by the Cierva Autogiro Company, the Skeeter did not enter service until 1957. This long development period ensured that it was outdated before it even entered service. Plagued by ground resonance problems due to underpowered 145 hp engines, it was not until Saro, which had taken over Cierva in 1951, had put in a 200 hp Gipsy Major engine that any significant orders were procured, in 1956.

Operational history

The British Army ordered 64 Skeeter 6's to be designated as the Skeeter AOP.12 (Air Observation Platform), and the Skeeter finally entered service in October 1956. With the merger of the helicopter activities of the British Bristol Aeroplane Company, Fairey and Saro with Westland Aircraft in 1960, plans to develop a turbine powered version were abandoned. Although this knowledge was used in the development of the Westland Scout and Westland Wasp through the P.531 which was based on the Skeeter airframe.


Cierva W.14 Skeeter 1
Original design, first flown on 8 October 1948, powered by a Jameson 106 hp FF-1 engine. It had a triangular cross section to its tail boom. Only one was built.
Cierva W.14 Skeeter 2
First flew in 1949. Powered by 145 hp Gipsy engine. Suffered badly from ground resonance and eventually shook itself apart. This version had a circular-section tail boom, as did all future versions. Only one was built.
Skeeter 3
Started to show some progress, powered by 180 hp Blackburn engines. Two were produced. No orders were placed by the British Army.
Skeeter 4
Version for the Royal Navy, was rejected. Similar to Skeeter 2 and 3. Only one was produced.
Skeeter 5
Similar to other earlier Skeeters. Only one was produced.
Skeeter 6
Only three prototypes were procured.
Skeeter AOP.10
Three evaluation aircraft were built for the British Army Air Corps.
Skeeter T.11
One dual-control trainer was built for the British Army Air Corps.
Skeeter 7
Had Gipsy 215 hp engine. This was the most successful Skeeter. 64 were built and acquired by the British Army Air Corps.
Skeeter AOP.12
Air Observation Platform helicopter for the British Army Air Corps.
Skeeter T.13
Training version for the RAF. The Skeeter T.13s were used to train army helicopter instructors.
Skeeter Series 8
Commercial version, with Gipsy 215 hp engine. Orders for it never materialised. Three were built.
Skeeter Mk.50
German Army Aviation Corps designation for the Skeeter 7. 11 were ordered and exported.
Skeeter Mk.51
German Navy designation for the Skeeter 7. Four were ordered and exported.


 United Kingdom


There is one remaining flying example of the Skeeter though a number are held by British museums.

Specifications (Skeeter 6)

Data from

General characteristics

  • Crew: Two
  • Length: 28 ft 5 in (8.66 m)
  • Rotor diameter: 32 ft (9.76 m)
  • Height: 10 ft 2 in (3.10 m)
  • Empty weight: 1,607 lb (730 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 2,202 lb (1,000 kg)
  • Powerplant:de Havilland Gipsy Major 4-cylinder aircooled inverted engine, 200 hp (149 kW)


See also

Related lists


External links



Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address