Sea King by Patrick Allen

For all who love this helicopter and don’t have this in their library, this book is a must!!

This paperback book is colour throughout, and the 112 pages take the reader from The Sea King concept, all the way through the Sea Kings operational life with the UK air arms right up to the ‘Op Grapple’ casualty evacuation operation in Bosnia of 1992 (when the book was published).

All export versions of the helicopter and home service marks are covered section by section with excellent text and photographs. Colour schemes are well represented for those with an interest in modelling the Sea King (my original driver for buying the book), although having said that, if the modeller is looking for side colour profile plates or detailed close up views in walk around format, then this isn’t the book for you.

As a colour record of the Sea King and the various marks in service with the variety of operators worldwide this book can’t be faulted. Not only is the text in each section informative, but the captions for all the photographs are also well written, and provide all the information you’ll need about the aircraft and the circumstances that the photograph you’re viewing was taken under.

The book doesn’t just stop at the aircraft itself, it also has a brief look into Royal Navy Sea King operations with the ASW and Commando Squadrons (as of 1991/92)

As well as a feast of information, the book also includes the Westland Sea King production list and Royal Navy write-off list which is a really useful inclusion in the book, and it’s surprising how many airframes were produced for other air arms as well as the UK.¬†Production¬†figures are also included for the Sikorsky production including overseas lists, but are not as granular as the listing for the UK airframes.

Sections you can find in the book are as follows: –


The concept, Westland Sea King update programmes, and Westland trials Sea Kings

West German Navy Sea King Mk41

Indian Navy Sea King Mk42/42A/42B/42C

RNoAF Sea King Mk43/43A/43B

Pakistan Navy Sea King Mk45

Belgian AF Sea King Mk48

Royal Australian Navy Sea King Mk50/50A

Egyptian Sea King Mk47 and Commando Mk1/2/2B/2E

Qatar Emiri AF Sea King Commando Mk2A/2C/Mk3

ETPS and A&AEE Boscombe Down Sea King HC4 and SH-3D

Royal Navy Sea King HAS1

Royal Navy Sea King HAS2

Royal Navy Sea King AEW2A

Royal Air Force Sea King HAR3

Royal Navy Sea King HAS5

Royal Navy Sea King SAR 4/5

Royal Navy Sea King HAS6, RN Sea King Squadrons 91/92, and RN ASW Sea King aircrew Training

Royla Navy Sea King Commando HC4, Aircraft Specifications and limitations, and Commando aircrew training

Front line Royal Navy Commando Sea King

Operations with 846 NAS


Royal Navy Sea King in the Falklands war

Royal Navy Sea King in the (91) Gulf war

Sea King humanitarian role in Kurdistan and Bangladesh 1991
Op Haven and Op Mana

Westland Sea King production list and RN write-off list


Sikorsky SH-3/3A/3D/3H/3G/HH-3E/VH03A/D
Sikorsky S-61/61N/61L/61N Mk2
Sikorsky production list plus export and license build list

EH-101 Merlin, the next generation

Ex Teamwork and Orient 1992

Op grapple

Overall, this is a great book on the title subject and covers that subject in great depth with informative wording, great photographs throughout, and a well laid out format. As I stated at the beginning, if you don’t have this book in your collection to date and are a fan of the venerable Sea King then it really is worth investing in to add to your library.

Although used, Amazon are currently offering the book at the link below for a great price: –