The Lynx helicopter has had a long and distinguished career with the British Army stretching back nearly 40 years.
Described as a primary battlefield utility helicopter, the venerable Lynx entered service in 1978 and since then has been used to: destroy tanks, evacuate the wounded, gather intelligence, provide humanitarian support, rescue those in peril, wow the crowds at air shows and much more besides.
The Lynx has the distinction of being the world’s first fully aerobatic helicopter with the ability to perform loops and rolls.
In 1986, a specially modified Lynx set the current Fédération Aéronautique Internationale‘s official airspeed record for helicopters at 400.87 km/h.
It’s proven itself across the globe in such exacting locations as: the freezing plains of Northern Canada, the steaming jungles of South East Asia and Central America, the sub-zero environment of the Arctic to the dust bowls of the Middle East and has supported British troops on active service in Bosnia, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Sierra Leone.
However, as told in the British Army news release, age has finally caught up with the Lynx and although it’ll be a tough act to follow, Wildcat will replace the Lynx.
The Wildcat, with its superior avionics engines and improved capability, will prove a formidable force over any battlefield of the future.
To mark the Lynx’s decommissioning from British Army service, the Army Air Corps have flown four of the last remaining airframes from RAF Odiham in Hampshire, from where they are based,on a commemorative tour around England taking in some of the sites and locations to which the aircraft is most fondly associated: Middle Wallop, Upavon, Yeovil, Wattisham to name a few.
The flight culminated in an impressive 4 ship ‘air procession’ along the length of the River Thames over Central London, then finally landing back at RAF Odiham.
Photo credit: Cpl Rob Travis / Crown Copyright
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