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BWAG members at the BA Heritage Collection in March 2017 with Group Chairman Andy Rankine third from left

LYNX AT UPAVON : JANUARY 2018

 

These excellent pohotgraphs were passed to me by my friend Richard Hall

a very keen photographer and aviation enthusiast. An explanatory note by

Richard appears below the pictures

 

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In a long and distinguished career which has spanned nearly four decades, the Westland Lynx is finally bowing out of active service. The Army Air Corps (AAC) retired its last remaining Lynx AH.7s in July 2015, whilst the Fleet Air Arm (FAA) decommissioned the Maritime Lynx in March 2017. This left one unit of Lynx AH.9As serving with No 657 AAC based at RAF Odiham in Hampshire.

Differing from earlier AAC Lynx variants, the AH.9A featured uprated engines and wheels instead of skids, which gave it a somewhat different look to the more traditional model. With the introduction to service of the Westland Wildcat, the Lynx has now finally given way to its modern successor, with the last remaining AH.9As being withdrawn from service in January 2018.

 

The Wildcat will now take the Army Air Corps (AAC) and Fleet Air Arm (FAA) forwards with regards to the future of land and sea based operations.

 

To mark the type’s retirement a farewell flypast was flown on 16 January 2018 by four remaining No 657 Squadron AH.9As. Departing from RAF Odiham, the farewell formation flew a commemorative tour taking in places closely associated with the aircraft, which included among others Middle Wallop, Upavon, Yeovil, Shawbury and Wattisham.

 

The final part of the tour culminated in a flight along the length of the River Thames over Central London, with the formation then returning to RAF Odiham. One of the helicopters, ZG917, was especially painted for the day with special art work that commemorated 75 years of No 657 Squadron, as well as a very striking depiction of a Lynx.

 

As part of the farewell flypast a photo-call was held at Upavon in Wiltshire, where the four AH.9As of Valhalla Formation are seen in the accompanying images.

 

PAGE UPDATED : 19.01.18.