HC Deb 05 March 1952 vol 497 cc399-400
8. Mr. Albert Roberts

asked the Minister of Civil Aviation if economic helicopters are now available; and if he will provide a service between London and the West Riding.

Mr. Maclay

No, Sir. Some years of research and development work are required before an economic helicopter becomes available. A service between London and the West Riding operated with the helicopters now available for passenger carriage would not contribute to that development programme.

Mr. Roberts

Is the Minister aware that in this respect the West Riding has always been a neglected area?

Mr. Maclay

I have heard the same charge made about a great many other areas.

Mr. Beswick

As it is becoming increasingly obvious that, both for military and civil purposes, helicopters tend to be the machines of the future, will the Minister see whether he can arrange with his colleague in the Air Ministry for more research into these matters and for the development to be speeded up?

Mr. Maclay

A lot of work is proceeding on helicopters and we are all most anxious to see them develop as quickly as possible.

Mr. Wilfred Paling

If it is necessary to develop twin-engined helicopters before progress can be made, can the Minister say what steps are being taken?

Mr. Maclay

The present rules are that single-engined helicopters cannot fly over built-up areas. That is a necessary safety rule. A British designed twin-engined helicopter has flown, but it will be some time before it goes into active use.

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