30/06/2012. Remarks by Malcolm Lowe: "Resplendent in an overall yellow color scheme and RAF Rescue titles, the helicopter in fact never served in the Rescue role, nor was it ever destined for RAF service. Originally intended as a production example of the initial Wessex naval ASW variant for Britain's Royal Navy, the HAS.Mk.1, it first flew in May 1965. It was completed, however, as one of three prototype/pre-production examples of the more powerful and uprated HAS.Mk.3. It subsequently spent all its active life on development, trials and experimental work, principally with Westland Helicopters at Yeovil in southern England, and with the A&AEE at Boscombe Down, Wiltshire, UK.
After retirement from flying it spent several years as a ground-based instructional airframe with the RAF as 8719M at Halton, Buckinghamshire, and then Cosford, Shropshire, receiving at that time its bright yellow but misleading color scheme. It was sold during the late 1990's in one of the sell-offs to private ownership of various ex-military British aircraft and helicopters. Transported by road to Bournemouth in a partly dismantled state, the helicopter was placed on display outside the Museum's building complex where it can be viewed by the public.
The Museum was located until the late 2000's at Bournemouth Airport, but was forced to re-locate due to expansion at the airport which then included no room for the airport's rich aviation heritage. The Museum is now located across the main road from the airport."