The Skeeter W.14 is the original variant of the legendary Saunders-Roe Skeeter scout and training helicopter.
The Skeeter first took flight in 1948 and was officially introduced in 1956.
Saunders-Roe were not in fact the ones who started the Skeeter project, in fact it was the Cuervo Autogiro Company that started what was originally the W.14 Cierva.
The W.14 was intended as a military light observation craft and was powered by a single piston-engine. It seated only two occupants and its air-cooled Jameson FF-1 produced 110 horsepower.
The design of the Skeeter is conventional, with a three-bladed main and anti-torque rotor. It was fitted with a fixed tricycle landing gear design.
The Skeeter has the unique distinction of being the first ever helicopter adopted by the British Army Air Corps.
The development of the Skeeter was however quite protracted, spanning 10 years in total.
Early models had many severe problems, such as pronounced ground resonance in the W.14 Skeeter 2, which directly followed the W.14 original model.
A later variant, the Skeeter 6, was ordered in quantity by the British Army. In total they asked for 64 units. These were then re-designated AOP.12.
Many military helicopter pilots in the UK would cut their teeth in a Skeeter, given its role at the RAF Central Flying School.
The Skeeter was quite widely used and found a home not just with the British Army and RAF, but also with the German army and navy.