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Information about 04065
Last update: 2 Mar 2013
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Aircraft Data
Reg: 04065
S/N: 4078
Year: 1972
Last known operator:
This aircraft was the last Vertol 107 to be delivered to the Navy when it was handed over in December 1976. It came to be known by the nickname "Gordon". The Swedish Navy and Air Force had a total of 14 Vertol 107 helicopters (4+10) at that time. The helicopters had been in service as HKP 4A and HKP 4B from 1963, but as the Navy retired its lighter HKP 1s (Vertol 44) the need for further helicopters grew.

The Navy ordered seven Kavasaki-Vertol 107-IIs through the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) in May 1971. The order was made with the Japanese manufacturer Kawasaki Heavy Industries, which was the only manufacturer of the Vertol 107 since Boeing Helicopters had cancelled its production in 1971.

The helicopters were delivered by boat to Sweden between 1973-1974, and they were assembled at Ostermans Aero’s maintenance facility at Bromma Airport in Stockholm. Unfortunately the first helicopter, 04065, was badly damaged in a storm en-route to Sweden, why FMV had to order a replacement helicopter (04072). Y-65 was eventually repaired, and it became the eighth Kawasaki-Vertol 107 (designated HKP 4C) in the Swedish Navy as it was delivered in December 1976.

The II-16 version of the Vertol 107 is a special long-range search and rescue model. It has got improved external long-range tanks, rescue winch, domed windows, searchlights, improved navigation aids and an advanced custom-made SA-08 autopilot for anti-submarine operations. Ostermans Aero upgraded the Swedish KV 107s with two Rolls-Royce Gnome H.1200 turboshaft engines. The Gnome engines were featured in all HKP 4s and HKP 3s in the Swedish Armed Forces in order to find a versatile power source.

As a new joint military helicopter structure came to birth in 1998-1999 all Navy, Army and Air Force helicopters were incorporated in a combined fleet - the Swedish Armed Forces Helicopter Wing. The new organization had no impact on the helicopters other than adding a wider range of operations.

Gradual withdrawal
In September 2000 the Swedish Armed Forces formally decided that the its 14 Vertol 107s were to be withdrawn, starting from January 2005 to December 2009. In the next year, 2001, the Armed Forces ordered two new helicopter systems that were intended to replace numerous military helicopter types, including the HKP 3 “Huey”, the HKP 4 and the HKP 6 Jet Ranger. The new helicopters, 20 Agusta 109 LUH (“HKP 15”) and 18 NHindustries NH90 (“HKP 14”), were scheduled to arrive between 2003 and 2009.

The Vertol 107s had been stationed at three bases throughout Sweden – Berga Heliport in Stockholm, Säve Airport in Gothenburg and Kallinge Air Force Base in Ronneby. However, in 2005-2006 both the Berga base and the Säve base were closed and the Vertols were moved to Kallinge and Linköping (Malmen).

Awaiting the verdict
By now the fleet of HKP 4s was closing in on its retirement. In all, the helicopters flew approximately 1 200 hours annually in 2005 and 2006, and roughly 500 hours annually in 2007 and 2008. The deliveries of new HKP 14s were heavily delayed and the permanent decommission of the Vertol 107s was briefly postponed due to the lack of military helicopters. Eight HKP 4s were maintained in an airworthy condition.

Four of these were extensively customized for tactical troop transports in Nordic Battlegroup ’08, but the resource was never used. The helicopters were put in standby for a potential participation in the International Security Assistance Force’s operation in Afghanistan, but they were never deployed for that task either.

The modified helicopters were 04065, 04068, 04070 and 04071. They were stored in Ronneby together with five other Vertol 107s. The remaining helicopters were stored in Linköping.

On April 9, 2010, Sweden's Secretary of Defense, Sten Tolgfors, announced the retirement of the Vertol fleet. The helicopter type was considered to be too expensive to upgrade, despite the heavy delays in the deliveries of HKP 14. A year later, in April 2011, the Secretary of Defence announced the purchase of 15 new Black Hawk helicopters. HKP 4 was retired after 48 years in faithful service.

The last flight of a HKP 4 in the Swedish Armed Forces took place on 1 March 2011, as Y-70 (04070) was flown from its former base in Ronneby to Säve Airport in Gothenburg. The helicopter was donated to the Aeroseum Aviation Museum at Säve, which will operate and display Y-70 as a flying exhibit as a part of the Swedish Air Force Historical Flight.

Y-65 was retired after a total of 7105 hours in the air.

For sale
Y-65 was included in a survey performed by the Swedish Defence and Security Export Agency (FXM) in mid-2011, concerning potential customer's interest for buying the HKP 4 helicopter system as a whole, or in parts. The only catch was that the helicopters had been maintained according to Swedish Military Authority Regulations, not EASA or equivalent. Nine HKP 4s were included: 04061, 04063, 04065, 04067, 04068, 04069, 04071, 04073 and 04076. The two remaining helicopters, 04074 and 04075, were planned to be kept in Sweden and mounted as gate guards in Ronneby and Linköping.

Columbia Helicopters
In December 2012 the large American operator and manufacturer Columbia Helicopters Inc (CHI) purchased ten of the retired HKP 4s and spare parts through FXM. The deal included 04061, 04063, 04065, 04067, 04068, 04071, 04073, 04074, 04075, and 04076. In contrast to the 2011 survey, the acquisition did not involve 04069, but it did include Y-74 and Y-75 instead. The airframe of Y-69 was kept in Sweden with the intention to be mounted as a gateguard at the Aeroseum Museum in Gothenburg.
The first three helicopters to leave Sweden were 04061, 04074 and 04076. They were transported from Linköping to the Port of Tacoma, United States, in February-March 2013. The remaining seven helicopters were to be shipped from Ronneby.

CHI is the world’s only commercial operator of these tandem-rotor aircraft. It has its main office in Aurora, Oregon, United States, but operates in various parts of the world, including Canada (through Helifor), Alaska, Papua New Guinea and Peru. The company is well known for its logging, firefighting and sling load operations with Chinooks and Vertol 107s.

In 1991 CHI had purchased four retired Swedish Air Force HKP 4s (04452, 04454, 04456 and 04457). Two of them are still flying today. In 2005 CHI purchased eight retired CH-113 Labradors (Vertol 107s) from the Royal Canadian Air Force. A year later, in 2006, Columbia Helicopters purchased the type certificate for the Boeing-Vertol 107.
This page was last modified on 2 March 2013 | click here to edit the page
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