HMS Triffid

In World War II the British and Canadians used a total of almost 300 corvettes of the Flower class. These were 205ft long ships used for the protection of convoys across the Atlantic. This meant that they were sent into action to find and destroy enemy submarines. Very early in the war the allies recognized that aerial reconnaissance could greatly improve the efficiency of the anti-submarine warfare.

In 1942 one of the corvettes, HMS Triffid, was modified to carry an autogyro. This meant that the entire afterdeck was covered with a landing platform. It carried one Avro C-30 Rota autogyro. Initial trials were positive although the landing of the autogyro on the small deck in rough seas was very difficult. The corvettes were not very big and in heavy seas they moved around quite a bit.

This diminished the effectiveness of the concept quite a lot as the autogyro could only be used in very calm weather. Because of these difficulties the HMS Triffid remained a one-off. It did keep its landing deck however and a limited number of flights were made with the on-board autogyro.

In 1952 the HMS Triffid was used as a trial vessel for the Royal Navy to carry a real helicopter on a warship. A Westland Willet (license-built Bell HSL-1) was carried during a number of cruises. The handling of the Willet was better than that of the Rota and this led to the fitting of helicopter decks to numerous Royal Navy vessels.

Kit: Revell 1/144 Flower Class Corvette, helicopters by Anigrand


Last updated: 13/01/2021