from: "Flugzeuge und Hubschrauber der Bundeswehr", Motorbuch
Skeeters development began in 1948 by the Cierva Company. The first
Skeeters, which had their maiden flight on 8th october 1948 were
powered only by 78 kW strong Jameson engine.
Cierva was bought by Saunders-Roe and the military variants of the
Skeeter were further developed. One of the first variants to be
introduced in the Royal Army was the Mk. 6 powered by a 154 kW Gipsy
Major 30 engine.
1956 the Bundeswehr ordered 6 Mk. 50 and 4 Mk. 51 helicopters, as
the Mk. 6's exportversions were designated. The helicopters were
intended for comperative tests with other new types intended for
use in the Bundeswehr. Between october 1958 and march 1959 the four
Mk. 51s entered service with the Seenotrettungsstaffel based at
Kiel. The helicopters recieved the naval designations SC+501 through
The Skeeters were used as liaison, oberservation and SAR helicopters.
The Skeeter was terribly underpowered and proved to be unsuited
for the assigned missions. As a result the small helicopters were
withdrawn from service the same year.
The Skeeters were mothballed and handed over to Portugal as part
of the military partnership in 1961. There too the Skeeters quickly
showed they were unsuited for military use, as they could not even
take off under hot wheather conditions, when fully loaded.
from: "Die deutschen Marineflieger", Motorbuch Verlag)