|The WS-51 Dragonfly helicopter was a license-built version of the American Sikorsky S-51 built by Westland Aircraft in the United Kingdom. An agreement between
Westland and Sikorsky, signed in December of 1946, lead to the license to build the British version. The Dragonfly entered service with the Royal Navy in 1950 as an
air-sea rescue helicopter. The Royal Air Force also utilized a number of Dragonfly units for casualty evacuation. The Dragonfly was eventually replaced by the
Westland Whirlwind, another license-built Sikorsky design, in the late 1950s. Some units were exported to Egypt, Thailand, Italy and Yugoslavia for military use.
L’Arsenal 2.0’s new 1:350 scale aircraft set provides five Dragonfly fuselages and front landing gear in resin and a fret of photo-etch parts packaged in a zip-lock
bag. The helicopter is cast as one-piece with main landing gear legs and wheels incorporated into the fuselage. The casting has good details, like cockpit windows and
rotor mast. The main landing gear legs are totally solid when in reality the top section should be a strut. To accurately reproduce this, you will need to remove that
section and replace it with plastic rod or brass wire. Some of the main landing wheels broke off during shipping, which is the result of overstuffing the zip lock bag.
A small box would have been a better choice of packaging. Each fuselage is attached to a casting block with resin film and a few attachment points, so removal
should be very easy and cleanup minor. You get plenty of the resin front landing gears (10 when you need only 5), so in case you lose some you have extras. The
front landing gear requires a little bit of cleanup to remove some excess resign.
The photo-etch parts include four main rotor blades, two extended and two folded. Yes, you read that correctly, there are four main rotor blades but five helicopters
– somehow someone didn’t count correctly. The photo-etch also includes the tail rotors (you get six of those) and alternate versions of the front landing gear.
There are no assembly instructions per se are provided, but based on the images on the label the location of all the parts are pretty straight-forward. No decals are
provided so you will need to find another source for Royal Navy and Air Force markings.