|The Helicopter Museum loaned three elderly Westland Lynx helicopters to the Royal Naval Air Station at Yeovilton for static exhibition at their International Air Day on Saturday 9th July 2011. The Show commemorated the 40 years since the first flight of a Lynx, XW835, on 21st March 1971. The three Museum helicopters, transported from Weston-super-Mare, supplemented a further five historic Lynx from other sources.
|The Museum helicopters were (above left) the sole 1984 prototype Lynx 3, ZE477 and a Lynx HAS.2 prototype, XX910 (above centre), which also represented the many ship-borne Navy Lynx brought into service in the 1970s/80s. Then there was the holder of the world helicopter speed record of 249.1 mph, G-LYNX (above right), whose achievement, in August 1986, remains unbeaten after 25 years. All three machines were returned to The Helicopter Museum on Thursday 14th July 2011.
|The Lynx 3, ZE477, as seen, above left, in the hangar at Yeovilton on 1st July 2011, was being refurbished by Royal Navy personnel shortly after arrival from The Helicopter Museum. The Lynx HAS.2, XX910, was photographed on 22nd June 2011 in the FAA paint shop during completion of re-painting. The record-breaking G-LYNX was restored to its 1986 configuration and colour scheme by AgustaWestland engineering apprentices at Yeovil. This photograph was taken during a visit from Mike Hirschberg, Executive Director of American Helicopter Society International, in mid-June 2011, and shows Mr.Hirchberg, four of the apprentices and Bob Pemberton of AgustaWestland.
The restored G-LYNX was formally unveiled to the AgustaWestland workforce on Friday 8th July 2011 by Chief Executive Officer Bruno Spagnolini, who said “To have held the world helicopter speed record for 25 years highlights what an outstanding achievement it was by all those involved in the project and the development of the rotor blade technology that was key to the successful record attempt. The apprentices are to be also congratulated on performing an excellent restoration of this historically important helicopter, it is their skills and knowledge that will help keep AgustaWestland at the very forefront of rotorcraft technology for the next 25 years.”
|The highlight of Yeovilton International Air Day on 9th July 2011 was, as expected, a mass flypast of current Lynx variants from the Fleet Air Arm and from several other military operators.
Photographed outside 6 Hangar at Yeovilton on 7th July 2011, two days before the Show, are Lynx 3, ZE477 (above left), with rotor head refitted, paintwork and lettering refreshed, missile launchers fitted and handling gear in place and, (above right), with blades fitted, Lynx HAS.2, XX910, and Petty Officer Chris Adams RNR standing alongside following completion of the refurbishment.
The Friends are very grateful to Chris Adams who is not only a Volunteer at The Helicopter Museum but also an active member of the Support Team at RNAS Yeovilton. Throughout the two Lynx restorations, at Yeovilton, he has kept us up-to-date with progress reports and a stream of excellent photographs, many of which have appeared on these pages.