The arrival of the Whirlwind Mk10 with 22 Sqn in the latter part of 1962 saw a significant increase in the capability of SAR Helicopters. With up to a 30% increase in fuel/pay load over the earlier piston engined Whirlwinds.
The aircraft had a greatly enhanced range and was able to respond more successfully to a wider range of tasks. There was no promised night flying rescue task because the Whirlwind lacked appropriate equipment such as auto-stabilisation, target illumination, radar etc for the role in complete darkness. The policy was therefore to maintain a 15-minute readiness throughout the hours of daylight and a one-hour readiness at night. In practice most of the night operations requested were in fact carried out.
XJ729 served with 22 Sqn from 1962 until it was withdrawn from service in 1981. It was later sold into private ownership, re-registered as G-BVGE and restored in its former SAR colours. Based in Ireland it is currently the only Whirlwind still flying.