View Full Version : Westland Lynx (Merged threads)

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25th Mar 2005, 17:53
You miss the point. It does not matter who will use AH it is not a small scale weapon system.

Who decides when its big or small, too late for the guy on the ground. Remember we only have a few of these things.

Sorry MK7 not MK6, but still did a great job maybe we should have more of them?

25th Mar 2005, 18:08
timex....now you've done it - mentioned the dreaded Sea King:zzz:
The helicopter that just won't go away! Why?, because nothing discussed on this thread so far can actually replace it!. Lynx too small, Merlin too big.
Rumour has it that enquiries have been made at that foreign owned company in Somerset to see if they could actually build a few more!. There are rotors available off the shelf that give a 30% increase in efficiency for a start!!
This unspeakable airframe always was the ideal size for the RN.

Standing by for the usual hate mail:hmm: :hmm:

25th Mar 2005, 18:57

So the FLynx combines a new generation airframe (more advanced than that of the SLynx 300) with the engines of the SLynx 300, and some of the avionics. Sounds good so far, though the reduction in cabin volume sounds worrying (exactly what is the reduction, and is it primarily in cabin height, or width, or what? Can these new stroking seats be stripped out as easily and as quickly as the current seating?)

You say: "Much of the systems integration that would have reduced operator workload has had to be reduced, to save money. Other legacy systems have also had to be re-used, for the same reason."

What's missing, in your view, and what's being reused?

And how many airframes are they looking at, Naval and Army?

WE Branch Fanatic
25th Mar 2005, 19:39
At least its not the RAN Seasprite. (www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=167568&perpage=15&pagenumber=1)

Having said that, considering the Chinook Mk3 (amongst others) fiasco, the words, pot, kettlle and black come to mind.

Oh dear. Maybe we can sell them Lynx...........

25th Mar 2005, 20:04

The cabin volume hasn't been reduced, but the use of stroking seats (for health and safety reasons) precludes putting Bergens under them in peacetime operations. The result is an effective reduction in usable cabin volume, as current practice is to fit stuff anywhere it will go.

The engines are uprated WRT to SL300, thanks to the use of conformal gears in the MRGB allowing a greater torque capacity, plus the new tail rotor giving adequate yaw authority. SL300 is limited to 5330kg MAUM (same as current Lynx) as the airframe hasn't been uprated (whereas FLynx has). Having said that, the SL300 demonstrator managed to take off and hover OGE at 5330kg MAUM at about 9,400ft ISA plus 30deg C during trials, which is a fairly hefty improvement over current Lynx.

The real problem with the reduced system integration is the workload for the poor old left seat guy in the maritime role. The forced cut in things like data fusion will present him with masses of information and a lot of mandraulic button pressing to pull the picture together. Hopefully this will be addressed through incremental growth, as at least the "hooks" for the integration of systems in the future have been provided. The sensors are very good though, so no reduction in capability has been suffered there. As a consequence, the Find role for land forces will be well provided for, with a recce capability which is very significantly better than WAH 64.

I know people will rush to knock FLynx, but despite the appalling political long screwdrivering into the decision making process it is a damn fine aircraft, in my professional opinion.


25th Mar 2005, 20:41
Ah thanks for the clarification. If bergen carrying is an issue, don't I recall an artist's impression of a non-structural strap on ventral pannier for Lynx, some years ago?

How does the maritime sensor fusion compare with that in the latest (Thai/Malay) Lynxes? With its higher AUW capability would there be any percentage in the SCMR FLynx carrying an extra crewmember?

And what legacy kit is to be reused?

25th Mar 2005, 21:05

The external stowage option may well be looked at again, but I believe that the AAC have tried out the cabin volume demonstrator and declared that they are happy with it.

As to the missing data fusion and other systems integration capability, I'm not sure that it will be an immediate limitation. It will take time for crews to get up to speed with just what FLynx has to offer and it may well prove to be better to shape the required level of systems integration after initial front line experience.

FLynx has very little in common with the Thai/Malaysian/Omani SL300. It has a completely different cockpit and mission system, much better sensors and DAS fit, and a significant improvement in radar fit for the SCMR variant.

I can't tell you on a public forum the exact details of legacy kit that's being re-used, as I'm sure you will appreciate. Suffice to say that it won't pose a problem for the AAC guys and girls and will only (hopefully) be a minor issue for the FAA.


25th Mar 2005, 21:08
If the design is so much better than AH for the find role then can I assume that all the sensors are mast mounted, it comes with a radar on the mast and all manner of new gizmo's?

25th Mar 2005, 21:22

Mast mountiing is incapable of giving the resolution/range needed, due to the stabilisation problem. The compromise has to be to put the EOD where it can be adequately isolated from rotor vibration, so allowing high magnifications with adequate stabilsation to make geo referencing work to an acceptable degree.

As the Find requirement is not primarily NOE, this is not a significant limitation. For the primary recce role the A/C will be at significant altitude, so mast mounting isn't an advantage.

There is no radar requirement for Land Find, only for Maritime Find/Attack. Go figure..............

25th Mar 2005, 21:40
Did vibration rule out roof-mounting for EO/IR as well as mast-mounting?

25th Mar 2005, 21:47

Roof mounting was an option, but the desire to make the AAC and Fleet versions the same led to the nose mount being adopted. Fleet have a need to look down at moderately high angles and that fact that land recce required a relatively high altitude anyway (to get the required range), meant that there is no appreciable penalty from nose mounting the EOD.

As it happens, the Land Find version will have an EO capability that is significantly greater than that required, as commonality means that it gets the maritime device. Fleet have a requirement for target ID at greater ranges than the AAC, but it doesn't make sense to have two different EOD's.


AH Wannabe
26th Mar 2005, 10:19
If the AAC does not get a Lynx replacement, it is history as the very patient RAF move in. However, the AAC does need Future Lynx as there are not enough AH and AH without radar does not satisfy the limited movt of men materiel capability (4 man signal re-bros and C2 teams cannot be done by AH and certainly a waste of a Merlin).

So no, not a Blackhawk and no not another AH - but a good compromise in this cash strapped resource driven MoD.

As alluded to, the clever bit is now not in the airframe but the sights, sensors and connectivity. Otherwise it will not be able to conduct its primary role of cueing the Strike assets to do their job. IR or I2 or MMA or SATURN or HQ2 or Link 16 or IDM - we are all different at the moment and so hopefully Future Lynx for force an industry/Defence standard.

Oh and you Navy guys that are banging on about Cobra - you are doing yourself no favours-you are not getting it and also wasting so much effort in trying to convince people that you will. I reckon that you should concentrate on why you need Future Lynx and what your Squadron is going to bring to the party when AH fails to tip up because 16 bde have the priority over their assets.

26th Mar 2005, 12:37

Re AH and small scale. The reason is that the politicians are v unlikely to commit AH to a small scale op it would send the wrong political message.

26th Mar 2005, 13:48
Oh and you Navy guys that are banging on about Cobra - you are doing yourself no favours-you are not getting it and also wasting so much effort in trying to convince people that you will. I reckon that you should concentrate on why you need Future Lynx and what your Squadron is going to bring to the party when AH fails to tip up because 16 bde have the priority over their assets.

So Unlike on the Al Faw the RM will have no AH support (its own!) because 16 Air Assault will have all the AH? Where does Future Lynx have its missiles, last I heard the new A/C wasn't going to be armed.

Re AH and small scale. The reason is that the politicians are v unlikely to commit AH to a small scale op it would send the wrong political message.

I,m sure that will cheer up the guys on the front line, guess you need to have been there to appreciate it.

AH Wannabe
27th Mar 2005, 09:34

My point exactly, Al Faw, Sierra Leone, Bosnia - wherever - stop bleating about what could have been and make sure that you focus on the futre and drive to ensure that your bootnecks are looked after on the next Op! I am flying the same flag with the rest of the British Army as I dont see too much of 1 and 3 Div getting a look in with AH and funny old thing lets just weigh up who is working the hardest with deployed units at the moment - 16 Air Assault Bde or the rest of the British Army?

So you are right - but the answer is not Cobra, just ensuring that you too dont get left with something that can't really Find, won't be able to Fix and hasn't got a hope in hells chance of Striking let alone providing the bread and butter of rotary CAS or even self protection (which even your beloved Al Faw example saw the US do the most of the serious work by all accounts - not undermining your efforts as they were very professional, but just imagine what you could have done with a truly rounded capability). Don't forget, I am sure that Royal also needs the small 2-4 man teams lifted just as he needs the bunker door opened ;)

27th Mar 2005, 16:18
What the Army/RMs need is SCMR ie a radar fitted find a/c with a light attack capability. You will then be able to have one of those Heineken moments - gets to places others can't.

The Cobra comment was in reply to this Light Attack (HMLA)

(which even your beloved Al Faw example saw the US do the most of the serious work by all accounts - not undermining your efforts as they were very professional, but just imagine what you could have done with a truly rounded capability).

Whose accounts ? What is rounded .......AH64D?

Yes we do need a light lift capability, but we need multi-role in that case, Find Fix and Strike!

Whose bleating? just very concerned that when the next one kicks off Royal is left hanging

And finally will the new Lynx be armed and will it be the same wpn as was planned for SCMR?

AH Wannabe
27th Mar 2005, 17:10
Sorry Timex,

I will suck back - you are not bleating but boy are some of your colleagues in your world (Cobra this and Cobra that - let it go, get over it, it ain't happening!). Of course AH is not rounded - it was procured for one purpose and one one purpose only - death and destruction (predominantly against tanks).

Admittedly, as the rules of war change and the asymetric threat and non contiguous battlefield replaces the old FLOT/FEBA and FLET, AH does have flexibility to use its superb sights and sensors, poise, deterrence, and if needs be lethal munitions (certainly beats my current stab binos - ofh that's right, the SQMS doesn't have any - so it undoubtedly beats my naked eye!!!). However, it appears that Royal wants a bit of everything and AH is one large sledge hammer to crack a nut on 75% of Royals outings. By all means have it up your sleeves when another Al Faw or higher intensity Op kicks off, but for routine sailing around the ogsplosh I would agree with you in that you do want a capability that can Find, Fix, Track, Strike and Exploit - and a limited movement of men and materiel would be a real bonus and one favourably absorbed by the booties I believe.

27th Mar 2005, 19:11
I will suck back - you are not bleating but boy are some of your colleagues in your world (Cobra this and Cobra that - let it go, get over it, it ain't happening!). Of course AH is not rounded - it was procured for one purpose and one one purpose only - death and destruction (predominantly against tanks

TRUE, but again the A/C we needed was not the superb 64D.
Great in its own unique way, but not as flexible (read cheap!)or as deployable for what expeditionary warfare demands in todays conflicts. Small light AH (just so happened that Cobra was the frame of choice.)

Most of us know that we will never get AH but for the sake of RM deployments we need to let people know of the very serious gap in our Op Orbat.

Oh well we can all dream

28th Mar 2005, 22:19
One lady owner!


Further details here (https://comm18.commercemedia.net/is-bin/INTERSHOP.enfinity/WFS/PrcTransactionPublic/en_US/-/GBP/ViewOfferDetail-Start;sid=xmwNRldcDmn8QxUUSrIJVP-c72ny0H5ZOfo=?ProductRef=NELynxHel001%40DSA-Repository&CatalogCategoryID=ZebAqBIEmZgAAAD6Qx54i8LD)

28th Mar 2005, 22:31
Non-effective Lynx helicopter

This Helicopter has been extensively spares recovered and for confirmation of what components are remaining ...

That is the most insipid way of saying "cannibalised" I think I've ever seen. Talk about weasel words!

It should say "good for blowing up or for golf driving range target"

28th Mar 2005, 22:32
Ah... but did she let her son drive it on her insurance?



28th Mar 2005, 22:34
Do a part ex for this 109?

Cyclic Hotline
28th Mar 2005, 23:32
Much better one here! (http://www.barnstormers.com/cat.php?PHPSESSID=e9b34a581e29e16c38df4d3bc8d12602)


29th Mar 2005, 00:34
I wonder there the Injun Wg30's are parked or were they melted down for scrap ?.

29th Mar 2005, 02:47
Most of the WG30s from India are now stationed at WSM heli museum.

Im sure I airtested that Lynx a few weeks ago! No1 PPI was 105 and No2 was 101%.....

Edited by Heliport

29th Mar 2005, 07:48
Aren't cyclics Lynx and xz218 the same one? Just looking at things like the scratches on the nose cone.

My son just asked me, What did you like best dad, Lynx or Gazelle?"
I of course said, "Lynx"
Then he offered to buy me 218 out of his pocket money, (obviously gets too much!!) as my birthday is coming up.
He then asked, "How much would it be for a service?" (Too much time around helis!)
"Too much son, too much." :cool:

Would have been nice in the front garden if it was in the same state as cyclics piccy.

Golf driving range idea seems best so far.....any better ones?

29th Mar 2005, 10:09
Cyclic Hotline,
Where was the pic taken? Noticed junked Harrier behind Lynx.

poor southerner
29th Mar 2005, 10:17

A secret house in Suffolk. Please DO NOT post any further info people. The owner and his son are very nice people and don't want an army of spotters round.

29th Mar 2005, 10:49
Can someone tell me what the bucket underneath the Lynx in the last picture is for?

As for the rest clearly a case of what happens when your BF asks if he can borrow the Helo for a while! ;)

Cyclic Hotline
29th Mar 2005, 14:16
I think the location of that Lynx can hardly be described as a big secret, as they have it advertsiaed for sale on the Internet! (http://www.barnstormers.com/cat.php?PHPSESSID=e9b34a581e29e16c38df4d3bc8d12602)

But if your funds don't stretch to a non-flying Lynx, then maybe this would be better? (https://comm18.commercemedia.net/is-bin/intershop.static/WFS/PrcTransactionPublic/Witham/en_US//GG4x4.JPG) Maybe you could moonlight with it during the next strike?

29th Mar 2005, 14:41
Here's the ad itself (http://www.barnstormers.com/Helicopter,%20Westland%20Classifieds.htm?PHPSESSID=e9b34a581 e29e16c38df4d3bc8d12602) complete with location and tel no. No secrets being hidden there. :confused:

Advertising all of this (http://www.barnstormers.com/listing.php?mode=usersearch&user=r.j.everett%40btinternet.com&PHPSESSID=e9b34a581e29e16c38df4d3bc8d12602) I think will draw the spotters in regardless.

http://www.barnstormers.com/uploads/adphotos/a67466p1778547020thumb.jpg Stripped out Falcon 20 airframe.

http://www.barnstormers.com/uploads/adphotos/a66186p1303304245thumb.jpg GNAT T MK.1 Ex. RAF two seat jet trainer. New paint (Red Arrows) scheme. TTAF: 3448 hours. TT Engine: 425 hours (TSO).

http://www.barnstormers.com/uploads/adphotos/a65400p1518341169thumb.jpg HARRIER JUMP JET TTAF: 1,130 Hours. TT Engine: 330 Hours. Immaculate condition.

http://www.barnstormers.com/uploads/adphotos/a65399p281677958thumb.jpg BAE JETSTREAM T MK.1 Year: 1975. TTAF: 11,113 Hours. Excellent condition. No engines fitted.

http://www.barnstormers.com/uploads/adphotos/a64482p627369141thumb.jpg Non airworthy R22 Beta built from time expired parts. Intended to be used as a ground instructional airframe

http://www.barnstormers.com/uploads/adphotos/a64437p1916065604thumb.jpg BAC167 STRIKEMASTER Excellent remaining times on airframe & engine. New paint.

Mrs Sid is just out shopping, wonder if she'll bring back one of these for a birthday pressie?

6th Apr 2005, 08:48
A little bit of XZ218's history.

It was picked up, brand new, from Fleetlands at the end of February 1980 by 662 Sqn AAC who had just finished their Lynx conversion. It was flown to Munster in Germany on the 29th, but if memory serves, it had hydraulic problems at Ostend and didn't reach Munster for a couple of days.

At the beginning of March 1981, it flew to Aldergrove and on 28th May it was used to fly Maggie Thatcher around Belfast.

It's sad to see it reduced to this sorry state.

6th Apr 2005, 09:35
I think it did time in Detmold with 669 as a Mk7.

I'll have to check my logbook when I get back to the beach, but the number seems familiar.

Anyone know why it is surplus? It's not the one Mad-Dog bent in the desert, is it?

6th Apr 2005, 18:47
God I feel old. Just dug out my logbook. I was at 662 Sqn and yes this was one of the aircraft I flew. It was Tony Merrick who flew Margaret Thatcher when she was Prime Minister on one of our NI tours. I will ask him to check.

Tony Chambers
6th Apr 2005, 20:54
Serious question, the top lynx is that a MW and does anyone know if its up for sale. I am actually looking for helicopter frames for ground training.

7th Apr 2005, 23:13
Tony,Serious question, the top lynx is that a MW and does anyone know if its up for sale. If you click the 'more details 'here' link', you'll get more details. :ok:


10th Apr 2005, 08:38
In the hands of children...:uhoh:

(Acknowledgenment to MDN on 18th.)

Is that in the UK? Triumph Dolomite in background?
(Not conclusive proof I know, but all I have!)

The Nr Fairy
10th Apr 2005, 09:26
That frame is at the Helicopter Museum, not far from the old RAF Locking site, near Weston-super-mare.

How do I know ? Played in it myself, not all that long ago - my excuse is I was with my nipper at the time !

10th Apr 2005, 22:29
Quite right about the museum.... I was there a couple of weeks ago and saw the Lynx there too.... although wasn't there a sign about kids only???!!!!

11th Apr 2005, 11:18
I notice that all these Lynx still have their rotor heads - I'm surprised because I was always told they were xty thousand pounds worth of titanium and would imagine that they were worth reclaimation.

21st Apr 2005, 00:16
This Link (http://www.agustawestland.com/communication08_01.asp?id_news=170) shows what the Future Lynx will 'probably' look like....according to AgustaWestland, complete with AH support :D

Basically a mix between the HMA-8 and AH-9 but with :rolleyes: stealthier lines :rolleyes:

21st Apr 2005, 06:23
Gosh they look a lot like scummer and blueegh!

21st Apr 2005, 11:13
it is SCMR.........they just changed the name to F.Lynx....same thing..diff name. Can't wait for it to enyetr service.....Iv'e flown the equivalent and its a superb aircraft...just what is required. Now al we need is FASGW to come on line at the same time and Bob is D'Oncle

26th May 2005, 00:22
What are the most major reliability problems with the Lynx?

Ian Corrigible
26th May 2005, 01:56
There was a good discussion of the type's pros & cons over on Mil Aircrew a couple of months back: see Lynx down on SPTA (http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?threadid=164554&highlight=lynx).


26th May 2005, 05:17
Tail rotor driveshafts.

Tony Chambers
26th May 2005, 10:15
I think it can be summed up in 1 ----LYNX
Although modifications have been made i think it needs a complete rethink in to its role and modify it as necessary, i believe there is a modification programme on the cards through westlands.

26th May 2005, 17:06
I think it can be summed up as "Blackhawk"

Taff Missed
27th May 2005, 11:34
1. Engines
2. Anything electrical from AFCS to AC
3. Airframe

Another 30 years of Lynx - just what we need!:{


What Limits
27th May 2005, 18:04
Don't forget vibration!

Lu Zuckerman
27th May 2005, 23:23
To: Taff Missed

1. Engines

When I was working as a Reliability Maintainability consultant at Agusta on the A-129 I became aquainted with a Royal Navy officer on assignment at Agusta. He was the RN rep on the EH-101.

One day he asked me what I thought about the Rolls Royce engines used on the A-129. Trying to be diplomatic I told him that they were a good engine. He laughed saying that they were the same engines as used on the Lynx and that they were crap.

:E :E

28th May 2005, 21:08
That military Lynx thread was interesting - the Widow maker - I think that's a little harsh, but a name like that aint made up easy !! Poor SS got a right bashing there !! ( it's just a shame that mil post has turned into the traditional pprune slanging match ! )

Tony Chambers
28th May 2005, 21:24
being ex AAC and attended several downed lynx of which i knew some guys who didn't survive the widow maker is harsh but true.

Taff Missed
28th May 2005, 23:23

Thirty years ago, when I first made acquaintance with the Lynx, the engines pi$$ed oil from the exhaust on shut down. To this day they still do it and the 'excuse' is that RR didn't realise that the engines would be mounted 5 deg nose up. They've had thirty years to put a px operated check valve in the PT brg feed.

To go back to the original question - 'Lynx' and 'reliability' is a contradiction in terms.


Shawn Coyle
29th May 2005, 04:55
In more detail -
One of the problems was probably that there was no requirement for reliability or maintainability in the original spec.
For many years, Westlands would not let anyone do any mass balancing of the main rotor blades. The smoothest Lynx I flew had one blade that was one ounce different than the other three, whil I saw up to 8 oz of weight difference on opposite blades on a very rough machine - the blades weigh about 95 lb if I remember right, so 0.5% difference in weight is substantial. That was in the mid-80's, so I don't know about now.

The story I heard was the money for the AFCS was mostly spent in development, and little was left over for buying the actual hardware, so missile gyros (renowned for long life) were used. I don't remember who did the AFCS for the military version, but Louis Newmarks (now Smith Newmarks) did the AFCS for the civil Westland 30, which did it's entire development and certification flight test without an AFCS problem. Does that tell you something about reliability of the AFCS?

Why the Lynx didn't have particle separation built in as standard (even on the Naval variant) was a substantial oversight on the part of MOD. The A129 has a particle separator and must be one of the reasons why the same engine works so well in that helicopter, but not in the Lynx.

And those are just the things I can remember 25 years later!

29th May 2005, 06:14
The biggest problem with the Gem engine was its oil distribution layout - the critical element was the white metal bearings in the reduction gearbox on the output shaft to the MRGB; they did not run without oil at all whereas the remaining bearings had a run-dry capability. So the reduction gearbox was the last location the oil went to before being scavenged which meant it was downstream of the filter. The filter had no bypass and blocked quite easily - the only indication you had was of the Oil pressure suddenly dropping from the green (stepped gauges) to the amber. If you didn't retard the SSL quickly the next thing that happened was the oil pressure dropping into the red followed by a large bang as the reduction gearbox seized. To my knowledge, this problem still exists despite several suggestions for modification and pilots are still having to shut engines down that, on inspection, are full of oil but have a blocked filter.

The only AFCS problem I encountered was the CAC (computer controlled acceleration) runaway; this happens in the collective channel when the accelerometers that are supposed to reduce collective pitch if they sense a rapid increase in 'g' go into a sort of open loop condition when the aircraft touches the ground and results in severe vertical oscillations (mine recorded +4.5 and - 1.5g on the g meter) - very exciting, especially when the CAC cutout is difficult to reach.

What Limits
29th May 2005, 08:32
Or in my case the CAC Cutout switch did not work, so I had to do a double engine-off from about six inches!

5th Jun 2005, 10:02
FS;That military Lynx thread was interesting - the Widow maker - I think that's a little harsh, but a name like that aint made up easy !! Poor SS got a right bashing there !!
Royal Navy Lynx down off Cornish coast, interesting report link in thread. (http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=155029&perpage=15&highlight=lynx&pagenumber=4)
Simulations carried out after the accident also suggest that crew believed they had no other option but to cut power to the rotor because of a perceived major incident rather than inadvertently descending into the sea.


5th Jun 2005, 10:22
Well as you know SS, i'm only a novice to the heli game, but learning fast ! Thanks for rubbing my nose in it. My deepest sympathy I offer to the loved ones without a parent or husband.


5th Jun 2005, 12:17
So we're probably back to tail rotor driveshafts again - there are not many reasons you would pull both speed selects at night over the sea but a TR drive failure is probably top of the list.

5th Jun 2005, 13:11

Not a nose rubbing exercise I assure you. Merely a link from the 'widow maker' phrase that nobody likes and the most recent incident.


RIP. They lost their lives trying to save others.

5th Jun 2005, 13:57
Apologies for that SS, I took it the wrong way for some strange knee jerking reason.


5th Jun 2005, 23:52
crab at SAAvn.co.uk, I take it you mean ECLs and not SSL? You have been away for a while though. ;)

I concur, one of the only reasons why I would wish to pull both back at night over the sea would be due to a percieved TR malfunction. Not nice.
Remember, its not been unknown for a sequence of events to unfold that the sim could never prepare a crew for. Leicester springs to mind.

SS, knowing what you knew before you started flying the Lynx- why did you?

Edited because crabs name kept coming up as a bloody email addy!

6th Jun 2005, 02:11
As the link has changed and the article is now in 'The Couriers' archives somewhere, I hope you don't mind me posting the news article here, for the benefit of those who have not yet had the chance to read it.

Fatal crash copter crew may have faced major fault
By Stefan Morkis

A ROYAL Navy inquiry into the cause of a helicopter crash that claimed the lives of two Dundee airmen has been unable to determine the reason for the accident.

However, their report suggests that the crew experienced a major malfunction and were forced to cut power to the helicopter’s rotor as they attempted to correct the fault.

The inquiry also found that it would be virtually impossible to recover from such a situation while flying at low level over the sea at night.

Pilot Lieutenant Robert Dunn (26), from Broughty Ferry, and naval aviator Lieutenant Jamie Mitchell (29), from Dundee, and two other crew members died when their Lynx helicopter came down off the coast of Cornwall last December.

They were carrying out a search and rescue mission around 17 nautical miles off Lizard Point when the helicopter crashed into the sea.

Despite interviewing 27 witnesses and examining radar data tapes and the technical accident investigation findings, the inquiry was unable to pinpoint the exact cause of the crash.

Its efforts have been hampered by the lack of any type of an accident data recorder, cockpit voice recorder—both of which were destroyed—or emergency radio report from the crew prior to the crash.

The inquiry has managed to determine the sequence of events that led up to accident.

The helicopter had been launched from HMS Portland at 6.20 pm on December 8 to assist in a search and rescue mission after HMS Montrose had reported a man overboard.

At 7.03 pm the helicopter descended to 100 feet above sea level as the crew searched and radioed in their position. After completing two orbits of a search pattern and about two minutes after reporting their position, the helicopter crashed.

Surveys of the wreckage of the helicopter on the seabed showed that although it was upright on the sea floor, it had suffered extensive damage.

Data from the aircraft’s radar tapes showed that when it hit the sea it had an extremely low forward speed but an extremely high rate of descent.

The initial investigation by the Royal Navy Flight Safety and Accident Investigation Centre indicated that neither of the helicopter’s engines was providing significant power to the rotor system at the time of the impact and that both appeared to have been shut down manually before the accident.

This action is known as a crash check and is extremely dangerous when flying at a low level over sea at night.

Therefore, the board of inquiry believes that the crew would only have taken this action if they had been firmly convinced they were dealing with a major emergency.

Simulations carried out after the accident also suggest that crew believed they had no other option but to cut power to the rotor because of a perceived major incident rather than inadvertently descending into the sea.

The inquiry was also unable to determine whether Lt Dunn was wearing his contact lenses when the helicopter crashed and so was unable to say whether this had been a contributory cause or not—thereby not completely ruling out the possibility of pilot error.

However, the inquiry did say that it was unlikely that a combination of disorientation and a minor malfunction had caused the crew to erroneously believe they had suffered a major malfunction.

The board of inquiry has made several recommendations in the wake of the crash, including that the RNFSAIC continues the investigation into the crash.

Wilma Donnelly, mother of Jamie Mitchell, said last night, “Whatever the inquiry finds will not bring my son back. The main concern of all the families was that there was no blame attached to anyone.”

Can we speculate now, as ;
The initial investigation by the Royal Navy Flight Safety and Accident Investigation Centre indicated that neither of the helicopter’s engines was providing significant power to the rotor system at the time of the impact and that both appeared to have been shut down manually before the accident. Both engines manually shut down would certainly, as crab and wg13 mention, bring a tail rotor drive failure to the top of the suspects list.

edited because I've previously answered that question from wg13, dummy

6th Jun 2005, 04:55
WG - quite right, ECLs not SSLs, I'm back on steam driven helicopters now.
If the Leicester one is the one I'm thinking of, I believe it had more to do with not reacting to an engine oil pressure dropping into the amber than anything else although their actions were completely in accordance with FRCs.

6th Jun 2005, 10:38
crab, I thought you had SSLs on the Sea King or is it an American-ism to call the ECLs SSLs :confused:

I think wg is referring to this incident (http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=19897&highlight=leicester+lynx) .

Three friends lost that day.


6th Jun 2005, 12:12
SS, yes SSLs on the Sea King but ECLs on the Lynx - it took me a couple of years to switch over from PTIT to T6 and then the same back again.

Yes, that is the incident which highlighted the shortcomings in the FRC drills - see my previous post about engine oil pressure failures in the Lynx. If you don't assume the worst and retard the the ECL, the engine is very likely (as in this sad case) to blow up as the reduction gearbox seizes and the FPT shears. Investigation into most precautionary engine shutdowns on the Lynx reveals a full complement of oil but a clogging filter.

Op Tastic
12th Oct 2005, 14:39
Is anybody holding their breath for the Lynx replacement to come into service?

12th Oct 2005, 14:46
Its gonna be Fab. F.Lynx is certainly going to be a world class aircraft. Due to enter service in 2014. Can't wait.

12th Oct 2005, 15:18
Am I being thick? or is this the Super Lynx 300 or something completely different not yet put together at the garage door making factory.

12th Oct 2005, 16:47
Think its a face lift that will enable the RN to keep its only ship sinking capability...........

12th Oct 2005, 20:13
I remember hearing about the proposals for the Army's now defunct BLUH (Battlefield Light Utility Helicopter) - one of the requirements was that it was to have more space than the Lynx, in order to carry more troops, and accommodate stretchers.

The favourite for the contest? Another Lynx.

Well done, Whitehall, well done.

While the F.Lynx does seem to suit the RN's needs, could AW revive the WS-70 (licence built Blackhawk) programme again for the Army? Or is the NH90 a better proposal?

Op Tastic
13th Oct 2005, 08:17
Let's be frank. Lynx replacement is... another Lynx. What's the chance of getting a replacement that's either OTS or an original degisn that fits the requirement - may I suggest the one on Team America?

Apparently, FRES was sorted out in a day by the Shrivenham ICSC(L) students, so should we give it to them?

13th Oct 2005, 10:28
The Lynx replacement should be another Lynx. Why would you want to replace the worlds fastest, most capable lightweight helicopter?

The requirement for the Army to have a bigger cabin was removed due to cost.

13th Oct 2005, 15:27
"could AW revive the WS-70 (licence built Blackhawk) programme again for the Army"

Taffer, nice idea - you're forgetting that it's cheaper to buy just one type - so therefore no.

21st Oct 2005, 18:58
F.Lynx is government preferred builder for good reasons.

The RN desperately want and need the capability that it will give them. It meets all Army stipulated requirements and some. It is far beyond Super Lynx and way beyond current Lynx fleet - New airframe, new avionics, new engines, new sights, new comms suite, new weapons, new front and rear seats, new undercarriage, higher AUW, lower maintenance, more reliable. But no it is not a Support Helicopter although it can move small numbers around. The biggest worry is how far it will outstrip Apache in the ISTAR role and making sure Apache can integrate with FLynx more advanced Modem and picture handovers.

Come and visit us at Yeovil if you want more details. We need to buy this sooner rather than later and we need lots. Look how well Merlin has done. FLYnx will build on that, coupled with the lessons learnt delivering Apache (early and under budget! remember it was the Army that hosed implimentation and training - kind of like the RAF said they would).

I am involved in project but am neither Westlands or Army.....but have concerns that the government are going to delay and delay this much needed new capability for all of us.:ok:

21st Oct 2005, 19:42
You are obviously barking.
Great though the merlin and Lynx may be as designs, Westlands consistently bend the MOD over and do us dry.
Dont buy another product until they see us right for spares and other contractual issues on the ones we have

21st Oct 2005, 19:55
Having flown Lynx 7 and 9 in most environments, I have to say it is one of the most versatile helicopters we could choose. It is an outstanding platform. BUT we have been massively let down by the money saving measures, resulting in no spares , no decent sight systems, and a long wait for a replacement. I have to agree with Tourist, the aircraft itself is fantastic - give it new engines, a decent avionics suite, and decent ISTAR capability and it will be an awesome platform - but we have to look further ahead. If we are going to be held to ransom for the next 20 years is it really worth it? Repeating the same mistakes??

Kim Il Jong
22nd Oct 2005, 05:27
Sorry Guys not maritime so have to ask:

Why can't Merlin have rockets/ torpedoes and fulfil the role??

One thing I do know is that Army Lynx=Chocolate teapot:E

22nd Oct 2005, 18:08
I agree that spares is what has let down current Lynx fleet and FLynx comes with a decent spares package and some form of long term servicing agreement is in the offing too I think. Merlin is overkill for the requirement, think small, fast versatile, small ships operations. The Army recconaissance role also requires something manoeuverable and agile, admittedly Merlin would be great for some of the command and control roles though.

23rd Oct 2005, 18:47
Much as I hate to play the cynic,

The Army Lynx requirement had to be rewritten because several people embarrassed themselves trying to justify the aircrafts capability against the original requirement. The phrase ‘so what if it can’t carry a single section of troops, so send two aircraft’ springs to mind as a classic example of the original requirement to carry a properly constituted infantry section.

As a player on the battlefield, Lynx was just about ‘okay’. Yes, I have flown Mk 1, 5, 7, and 9 and they have gradually improved but with nowhere like the expansion capacity required for modern self-defense systems to be incorporated and the like. It has very little crash survivability built in and little or no systems self protection (not the DAS). I have always found myself wanting to be able to do more than the aircraft was capable of providing!

With an Apache as capable as it already is then why not buy some extra D models without the Radar. A force multiplier and let the current Longbows carry out the recce?

There are other systems out there such as MX15 and the like than can provide recce with stand-off where an AH would be not politically correct and with much greater loiter capability!

Considered opinion from an old bold Lynx operator who acknowledges its limitations and has always wanted to be able to do what I should be able to do with it but never could!


23rd Oct 2005, 21:16
HEDP, it may have escaped your attention, but the Apache is an ATTACK HELICOPTER hence AH! So why buy more AH to allow the current Longbow fleet to fill a Recce role, come on mate, think about it. The Lynx is too big for recce, the Apache is far too big and too expensive. The US Army have binned the Commanche and are now looking towards the EC 145 or something like it, small light and cheap, just like the Kiowa Warrior. The British Army would do well to jump on that wagon and share with the development costs.

24th Oct 2005, 09:22
AHQHI656SQNHEDP, it may have escaped your attention, but the Apache is an ATTACK HELICOPTER hence AH! :confused: Scout AH1, Gazelle AH1, Lynx AH1, AH7, AH9:confused: Can we all now go to the attack helicopter pilots dinner? :p

now looking towards the EC 145 or something like it, small light and cheap, just like the Kiowa Warrior. Ignoring things like the extra engine, payload capacity, greater MTOW, U/S load capability and cost, please remind me how the EC145 is like the Kiowa Warrior.

The British Army would do well to jump on that wagon and share with the development costs. Or (b), let the US pay for the development and we can save a bit of cash. Please advise me of your shareholdings , just incase I have shares in the same companies that I need to sell!


24th Oct 2005, 09:41
One of the reasons that Apache won the AH competition was its enhanced survivability due to the radar (27x greater) plus its further self protection in terms of HIDAS. Once it finds its target it can then do something about it. OH58 has struggled massively with payload issues as electronics has competed with weapons in order to do something about what it finds.

If you consider crew survivability as a factor, and most pilots would, how does converting another civilian helicopter for the battlefield rate against something designed for the battlefield?

We use these machines differently as well, we dont have the numbers that the Americans have. However; what we find we can despatch quite effectively!

If we introduce another type to the inventory then we will end up with two fleets that will compete for funding and never really have enough of anything to do either one of the jobs effectively. If you purchase the same type then you will enhance the attack capability whilst retaining the good ISTAR capability it already has.



24th Oct 2005, 10:18
SS, I might have known you'd jump on this one, here goes.

1. I know you've been out for a bit now, the Apache is AH, Lynx is LH, Chinnooks, Puma, Seaking etc are SH. I know the Gazelle was AH1, Lynx AH1,7&9 and that won't change. If you would like to go to the Attack Pilots Dinner give the Lord TT a call at Wallop and stake your claim.

2. EC 145 is smaller than Commanche and much smaller than Apache. It is in the same stable as Kiowa, it is a modern light utility helicopter, ideally suited to the recce role. It's twin engine will give it the power to lift much more. The civilian 145 does indeed have a hook for USL, then again so can the Jetranger.

3. If we share the cost of developing this new machine, we have a vote when it comes to deciding what goes in it. The US Army is strapped for cash, so any other cash injections will improve the overall product, and give the pilots a machine that will be fit for purpose. Something, I know you will agree, the pilots who go into harmsway deserve that.


I cannot agree more about the survivability aspect of any military helicopter. The Apache was designed with many features built in, that enhance the crew survivability. It is however built to fight, like a Chally tank is more armoured than a CVR(T), the roles are different.

I agree that given the money, build a specific military recce helicopter, but as I said, the US Army has just scrapped that idea as it was costing too much, given that time is short to get a replacement into service it will have to be a "off the shelf" buy, I don't like it the idea but its the lesser of two evils. The Lynx can't do the job, most of them don't even have sights as a starting point. We (UK Army PLC) need a "find" capability that will enhance the strike capability we have.

One thing is for sure, the Apache is not a recce platform, I conceed it can do Recce, indeed in the absence of a dedicated Recce platform, it will have to fill that role, but it is very costly.

If the AAC doesn't get a replacement for Lynx, it will become a single type unit, it will struggle to justify itself on the bigger stage, vast amounts of money for a single type. It could be argued that we will be specialist in our field, then again the Harrier force are specialist in the CAS role in the RAF!

24th Oct 2005, 10:45
I think that what ever we, the users, require, the decision to replace the Lynx will be a political decision (and probably quite rightly). No doubt the decision will be based on Votes and jobs and will therefore roll out of the Yeovil factory and will look remarkably like a Lynx. Maybe thats a good thing. The Lynx is a first class aircraft and although it is now a little dated, in the mid 70's when it was introduced, it was looked upon by other Armed Forces with envy. It is now over 30 years since it was introduced into service and as such should be replaced....and thats now, not in 2014 when the Lynx will be gusting 40.

bad livin'
24th Oct 2005, 12:52

i think you'll find that the Trafalgar and Swiftsure class SSN fleet remains a fairly formidable "ship sinking" force, as you put it

and that's aircraft carriers, lph, lpd and anything else you care to mention...

2nd Nov 2005, 07:44
A Royal Navy Lynx from Type 22 frigate HMS Cumberland on hurricane standby in the Carribbean stopped a rigid inflatable suspected of smuggling. The incident took place about 100 miles off Nicaragua.

The boat's occupants tried to outrun the Lynx ( :rolleyes: ) and ignored warning fire across their bows from the helicopter's machine gun. They were were stopped by sniper rifle fire from the helicopter into the boat's engine.

The boat was found to be carrying two tons of cocaine with a street value estimated at £200 million.

Video (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4394392.stm#)

2nd Nov 2005, 09:58
I bet the dead give away was the white streak that followed the boat. :sad:

Good job guys!:ok:

2nd Nov 2005, 14:59
How would the boys take out the engine with sniper fire? Do they have some sort of gyro equiped rifle or is it just a normal weapon?

2nd Nov 2005, 15:46
No not really. Just someone who can shoot...

US Coast Guard Mako


2nd Nov 2005, 16:17
Interesing. He's using a red-dot sight on the MG. Looks line a 1X EOTech.

2nd Nov 2005, 16:50
Mmm... Speedboat tries to outrun a Lynx... and an armed one at that. Maybe the boys were using too much of there own product...

B Sousa
2nd Nov 2005, 18:34
I bet the dead give away was the white streak that followed the boat.
Or the Brown streak following the occupants after receiving fire..........
Hats off and a Big Yahoooo to the Helicopter crew.

2nd Nov 2005, 22:15










Impressive shooting! :ok:

3rd Nov 2005, 06:09
thats good news but also bad news.

the poor traffickers are probably going to get busted up and loose their jobs instead of the drug lord.

its a sad world

Red Wine
3rd Nov 2005, 06:38
Interesting precedent of legal jurisdiction?

Were they [the crooks] in International waters?

If a ricochet from shooting up the engines killed a runner, would that be nearly manslaughter.

Don’t get me wrong…..shoot all of them, but this is a Coast Guard or Customs job, not the navies.

Good job thou that this load will never be sold on the streets [will just push the price up and more crime - Catch 22].

3rd Nov 2005, 08:42
Thanks for the reply BigMike. Was that a 50 cal the sniper was using?? I know how hard it is just filming out of a machine let alone precision shooting! I might try that on the pigs at the farm - just kidding......

Genghis the Engineer
3rd Nov 2005, 08:54
Somehow I can't see the UN security council or any local governments taking a particularly dim view of the Royal Navy's actions, regardless of what waters it was in so long as the boats "crew" get handed over for trial in an appropriate court, and I'm sure they will be.

Damned good bit of work all concerned, a credit to the Navy and the UK. (Well organised photographic section on the ship too!)


3rd Nov 2005, 09:11
The crewman by the Lynx in the last picture is holding a British made Accuracy International AW50 which is 50 cal. The Coast Guard Rifle is a 50 cal as well but I'm not sure what type.
The machine-gun is to "wake them up" and the 50 cal to disable the engines. Very effective.

Well done to the RN crew.

Farmpilot, if you want to shot pigs out of your helicopter there's plenty of Kiwi's and Aussie's on this site who will give you advice!

3rd Nov 2005, 09:25
BigMike I seem to remember some law in South Africa about the machine becoming a gun ship if you shoot out of it...... Could be wrong. I think I'll stick to shooting targets! Would love to have a go with the 50 though!

Genghis the Engineer
3rd Nov 2005, 12:09
Just occurred to me.

If Hornblower had had a helicopter on board.......


Ian Corrigible
3rd Nov 2005, 14:03
The Mako employs a Robar RC50 50cal.


3rd Nov 2005, 15:30
What is "Mako"?

3rd Nov 2005, 18:35
The MH-68A Mako is an Agusta A-109 Power used by the USCG for precisiely this type of operation amongst others. They operate from USCG cutters.


4th Nov 2005, 16:53
On this picture it' clearly visible that it's a Accuracy in .50 BMG with an EoTech sight without magnification.

4th Nov 2005, 22:24
I don't want to belittle the effort made by the Royal Navy to bust "these" guys and seize the dope. Although I'd say the fleet of colombian submarines partaking in the drug trade sailed off and inked the deal.:E

Ian Corrigible
29th Dec 2005, 20:01
There is no official FAI record class for sideways or rearwards flight. When introduced in the '70s, the Lynx was famed for being able to fly at 70 mph sideways and rearwards, but similar claims have been made by several platforms since, including the Comanche.


Matthew Parsons
29th Dec 2005, 21:52
Helicopter records don't mean much unless you can use them to make money.

Landing on Everest won't occur too often, but doing so indicates a performance capability. One that is an economic draw. The same occurs with forward flight.

Flying backwards only has a minimal value. Very few operators need to routinely use the maximums, and attaining a higher maximum might not be an economic draw if it takes exceptional piloting skill to operate in that environment. I put this into the same category as the hours flown inverted or consecutive barrel rolls by an aerobatic fixed wing.

What I think should make helicopter headlines is consecutive maintenance free flying hours.

All that being said, I still hold in esteem those who pursue these records because doing so could expand the capabilities of our machines.


Letsby Avenue
29th Dec 2005, 22:00
The Eagles display team in 92 used to start the routine with four Lynx in a tight diamond running in from crowd right at 70 knots. All looked fairly routine until you noticed that Eagle lead was flying backwards:uhoh: I can tell you it looked great from the cockpit:ok:

29th Dec 2005, 22:03
what are all the dangers of flying sideways or backwards at break neck speed ?

Matthew Parsons
29th Dec 2005, 23:47
Dangers of flying backwards or sideways quickly depend on the machine. It could be additional stress on the machine leading to maintenance, it could be handling difficulties which could lead to control problems (loss of control?), the aircraft attitudes may be uncomfortable or offer poor visibility, airflow around the engines may be disrupted, ...

Most of the limits are not piloting limits but rather engineering limits that may require better than average piloting. Landing on Everest is a good example.

The risk of breaking the helicopter or losing control exists, but I doubt that any serious record breakers don't carefully analyze the manoeuvres they will attempt to accomplish in order to mitigate the risks.


30th Dec 2005, 15:55
One main problem with pushing rear/side flight parameters is simply running out of either power/Tq and or control movement. And of course this all depends upon the W/V.

Airframe control surface stress has nothing to do with it. Design stress limits cannot be reached before the above factors affect you.

30th Dec 2005, 17:57
Lynx is in a good class regarding tail rotor authority, also shared by most of the modern Westland and Sikorsky family, and caused by the Naval heritage, where a large tail rotor is needed.

There is no great stress on a machine in large side or rear speeds, it is a measure of the tail rotor excess thrust, mostly.

Lynx is good, but by no means the best here. The FANTAIL S-76 demonstrator regularly showed 85 knots pure side flight, and 90 degree pedal turns at 120 knots either left or right. The Comanche had virtually identical numbers. The Kamov KA-50 coaxial is reported to have similar numbers, too (why not, no tail rotor at all, right Dave Jackson?)

Matthew Parsons
30th Dec 2005, 19:33
That surprises me about design limits. Are you saying that every helicopter out there given enough tail rotor power will go xx knots sideways without blowing out windows, covers, shifting transmissions beyond limits (206), ...

I have flown more than a few helicopters at a maximum sidewards/rearwards speed with plenty of power, torque and control margin remaining.


Two's in
31st Dec 2005, 13:48
The obvious danger with going anything other than forwards at high speed (certainly when low level) is if anything unfortunate happens requiring an immediate landing. Running it on from 70 kts is fine going forwards, but if you have to turn through 180 degrees, pick your spot and then run on, while also performing the engine failure IA's, you have given yourself an interesting challenge.

Yes, in a Lynx or any other twin you have more options available, but it's not a good habit to get into unless you are prepared for such an eventuality (eg. display or test flying).

31st Dec 2005, 13:58
I seem to remember a thread similar to this one about 18 months ago re the records of the Lynx, memory chips tend to loose a little with age but I think the highest ever speed of the Lynx was alledgedly 247.9 or 249.9 mph in a straight line record attempt about 2 years ago:ok:


Letsby Avenue
31st Dec 2005, 14:05
The trick when flying at high speed backward is to do it downwind - for display purposes it looks better as the G/S is that much greater - but when things go wrong, the only way is up, tail first, let things sort themselves out and then land into wind. Very little pilot input required as the machine does it all quite naturally.

Flying sideways at speed is a different matter...

31st Dec 2005, 14:57
I assume the Lynx has set records for serviceability and mission readiness as well? How's the accident rate for the Lynx compared to other service aircraft?

Letsby Avenue
31st Dec 2005, 16:36
Errr - Touchy subject old chap:ugh: I feel lucky to have survived:}

1st Jan 2006, 11:29
While the flying capabilities of the Lynx are quite good, it is not however head and shoulders above the military helicopters in its class in any particular property, such as sideward or rearward speed.

It has one enormous achievement that overshadows this statement, however, and that is the awesome achievement of its high speed world record, where it shattered the previous record by about 20 MPH. The flight to 249 MPH is a unique achievement that has stood for decades and is not likely to be challenged for several years to come. Hats off the theWestland team that performed this tremendous feat! I have a signed print from my friends at Westland commemorating this event hanging on my study wall, the only non-Sikorsky item there, as a tribute.

Thomas coupling
1st Jan 2006, 13:24
The trick when flying at high speed backward is to do it downwind - for display purposes it looks better as the G/S is that much greater - but when things go wrong, the only way is up, tail first, let things sort themselves out and then land into wind. Very little pilot input required as the machine does it all quite naturally.

Flying sideways at speed is a different matter...

Letsby, how is flying at high speed backwards...affected by being "downwind"?? The helo doesnt know its downwind?


Flying Lawyer
1st Jan 2006, 14:13
Because the higher G/S will be more impressive to the crowds at displays?

1st Jan 2006, 20:17
Although the speed record held by G-LYNX is the most well-known, I'm pretty sure that the Lynx has held one or two other records, such as the fastest flight backwards.

Your best bet would be to email or write to Westalnds direct.

If you email to [email protected] and ask for it to be passed to the Lynx Chief Designer, Alan Staples, you might get a response.

If you don't, PM me and I'll try and bend his ear for you.


1st Jan 2006, 22:20
Flying Lawyer is right, using the wind to exaggerate the groundspeed is a fine airshow trick.

However, when I showed off the Fantail at Paris, we purposely went up wind at peak speed, since 5 knots of wind is meaningless when you have 85 knots of airspeed to play with, and the professionals who were viewing would understand the conceit.

2nd Jan 2006, 01:07
N.L.:Flying Lawyer is right, using the wind to exaggerate the groundspeed is a fine airshow trick.
However, when I showed off the Fantail at Paris, we purposely went up wind at peak speed, since 5 knots of wind is meaningless when you have 85 knots of airspeed to play with, and the professionals who were viewing would understand the conceit.

Now THERE'S a Freudian slip of the first magnitude!

Conceit, indeed!

Mike Adam-Swales
2nd Jan 2006, 08:34
To my certain knowledge, the Lynx has never officially set a rearwards flight record, though being short-coupled with relatively low directional stability, it may well be capable of such a feat. In service, it's rearwards flight envelope is limited to 40 kn for obvious stress reasons, though there is plenty of rearwards cyclic control and pedal remaining to go faster, particularly at lighter AUM.

Fast rearwards flight really serves no purpose at all (ather than the ability to hover downwind in a gale), since the pilot cannot see where he is going! The windscreen was fitted for this purpose when flying forwards! I cannot ever envisage helicopter manufacturers joining in a race to see who can fly fastest backwards .... they have enough to do to ensure that the rest of the flight envelope is safe and competititive.

2nd Jan 2006, 17:44
During acceptance flight testing on the Lynx we did go up to about 60kts backwards as I recall, although it's 30 odd years ago now so I may have got that number slightly wrong.

As one of, if not the first, rigid rotor designs the Lynx did create a few helicopter "firsts" at the time, although I have no idea if anyone registered them as records. I can well recall other rotary wing pilots standing open-mouthed as we performed manouevres well outside the envelope of more conventional aircraft.

As I type this I'm looking at a picture on my wall of a Lynx 1 upside down at the top of a loop. I can recall being in a trials aircraft in the mid 70's that barrel rolled over the airfield on the return from a test flight sortie (I was only the humble FTE in the left seat mind). I will openly admit that fast back-flips always gave me the willies, but the TP was particularly fond of them when "demonstrating the capability of the aircraft" for some reason..............

I've no idea if the Lynx was the first helicopter capable of these manoeuvres or not, but would be interested if anyone else can confirm or deny this.

I'll lay even money that it held the record for being the most vibration riddled helicopter of it's day though. Everything you put on it broke back in the early days!


12th Jan 2006, 22:02
I agree with VP about the vibration

I had to return one to Yeovil that was way outside the acceptable limits and it was then discovered that the airframe had been used for some stress testing. It had been given a new head, gearbox and four matched rotor blades by the WHL test team just ot get it up to scratch.

It was eventually accepted into Naval Service (as it had been mostly paid for!) but went on to give enormous problems ot the Flight that took it to sea.

23rd Jan 2006, 00:06
Just curious to know if there are any civilian westland Lynx's out there,
I know that they originaly made some for the civilian market just wondered if any made it ?

Genghis the Engineer
23rd Jan 2006, 07:03
Not quite, there was a civilian aircraft based upon the Lynx made called the WS30. The only sales were bought by HMG and given to India as foreign aid (=propping up Westlands who were going through a bad patch at the time).

Infortunately they were something of a disaster in that role and after a few years the Indians gave them back in disgust. So far as I know, none are now flying.


23rd Jan 2006, 07:31
Can someone explain the operation of this for me on the Navy Lynx....thanks.

A hydraulically operated harpoon deck-lock securing system secures the helicopter to the deck.

How does it work exactly ?


Genghis the Engineer
23rd Jan 2006, 07:37
In the centre of the deck is a hexagonal grid of very high strength (titanium alloy?) "chicken wire".

In the bottom of the aircraft is the harpoon, a hydraulically fired harpoon with "barbs" that splay out so that when the harpoon is pushed through the grid it locks.

Once the aircraft is in the hover above the deck (with the harpoon armed) the pilot(s) reverse the rotor pitch - pushing the aircraft hard into the deck. A weight-on-wheels switch fires the harpoon which hopefully locks through the deck-grid (often referred to, I believe, as the "chicken wire"). If it doesn't lock first time, it recycles and has another go after a couple of seconds.

Once locked, the harpoon partially retracts, pulling the aircraft hard down onto the deck.

All requiring specially strengthened deck, a reversible rotor system, and an incredibly tough energy absorbing undercarriage.

Once landed, it's possible to rotate the wheels so that they effectively form a circle about the harpoon, and the helicopter can be rotated on deck around it.


23rd Jan 2006, 08:32
Just a little correction from a former navy lynx pilot, if I may....

The harpoon is not fired while the helicopter is in the hover and it does not have barbs.....

It is really just a deck lock device. The helicopter is landed normally over the 'harpoon grid' on the flight deck (a 6 foot diameter(approx) mega-strong steel plate with approx 2 inch holes drilled all over its area).... the deck markings and good training ensure that it is pretty rare to miss the grid area!! I did so once in 18 months!

Once landed on the deck, the pilot presses a button on the collective and the harpoon is extended hydraulically into the deck grid. On the end of the harpoon is a 'two fingered probe or claw' that finds its own way between a pair of grid holes. As it does so, the claw closes under the grid and in effect grabs onto the bit of metal between the pair of grid holes. The hydraulic ram then automatically switches direction and pulls the aircraft downwards holding it on deck.

When ready to take off again, the pilot presses a button on the collective and the harpoon disengages. Once this is confirmed visually by the deck crew the pilot initiates a standard RN deck take off profile. I can tell you that the lynx harpoon is a brilliant system and allows the lynx to operate to relatively small warships (e.g. frigates/destroyers) in very rough conditions; it was essential in cold war north Atlantic conditions and gave a very warm feeling when the aircraft was locked to the deck after landing.

It is possible on the navy lynx to swivel the nose wheel through 90 deg and use the tail rotor to swing the aircraft left or right as required.... a very handy feature.

The Lynx also has the ability to go into what is known as 'sub-min collective pitch'; really negative collective pitch which pushes the aircraft onto the deck. This is almost never used as it seriously stresses the rotor head but in extremis it could allow you to push the aircraft harder onto the flight deck to avoid slipping over the side (!) if you missed the grid, allowing enough time for the flightdeck crew to lash the aircraft to the deck. Again, this is not normal procedure - I never had to use it but nice to have up your sleeve.

The harpoon is probably mis-named as it sounds as though it is fired down into the deck when it isn't. Also not to be confused with the Canadian Bear-trap system which actually winches the helicopter down onto the deck from a hover.... someone with experience of that might be good enough to tell us what that is like!

23rd Jan 2006, 08:42
"Once the aircraft is in the hover above the deck (with the harpoon armed) the pilot(s) reverse the rotor pitch - pushing the aircraft hard into the deck"

Not quite I'm afraid! The negative pitch is only used once on deck, and before the harpoon locks in place.

Genghis the Engineer
23rd Jan 2006, 09:23
I stand corrected, whilst I have studied the system, it was some years ago and in a classroom.


23rd Jan 2006, 13:54
How is the negitive pitch applied ? I presume some kind of lock on the lever and then a downward motion ?

Thanks for all of your replies.


23rd Jan 2006, 15:05
How is the negitive pitch applied ?
The pilot pushes the collective down against a detent.

23rd Jan 2006, 15:07
To apply sub-min pitch on the Lynx you just push the collective through MPOG there is no lock in the system and if you let go it will return to MPOG. When you apply sub-min pitch there are set of marks on the top of the cyclic and on the floor between the yaw pedals which you line up to position the rotor head in the min stress position for sub-min pitch. Applying sub-min pitch puts a lot of stress on the rotor head so we very rarely use it.


Jucky :ok: FLY NAVY!:ok:

Ian Corrigible
23rd Jan 2006, 20:04
The Indian (and Pan Am) WG30 fleet used to have the habit of 'reappearing' every 12 months or so as one entrepreneur after the other looked into buying the fleet at a couple of cents on the dollar and putting it back into service. I suspect strong pressure from Yeovil (along the lines of "You want spares for a WG30? You gotta be s**tting me !!") influenced the decision not to...



23rd Jan 2006, 21:36
That's what got me interested Ian - One was sitting in a London area hanger - I climbed all over it, intrigued - next time I went in it had " gone for scrap. " Someone had bought it from out in India to force it back onto the UK register, but I guess it didn't work out !!

To partially answer the original question - click below....thanks Gem.


Blind Bob
24th Jan 2006, 21:10
Just for the spotters out there, the Lynx still holds the world speed record and the 20th anniversary of the flight will be on 11th August. G-LYNX now resides in the Helicopter Museum in Somerset, but in her prime she went 60 kph faster than the S-76 that held the record at the time and achieved 400.87 kph (216 Kts) over the 15km course.:8

2nd Jul 2006, 13:49
I will be interested to see how F Lynx (Naval Version) is used to support land ops (coastal). With the Sea Spray 7000, they will have a GMTI capability as is used by SK Mk7 to detect and track land vehicles. In addition they will have a SAR (Synthetic Apeture Radar) mode to find stationary targets and gather intel. I am very surprised that AAC would not get this capability which the Sea King Mk7 uses very well to support AH. Opens up the land war to navy F Lynx....RN Observers should be looking forward to what good be a great platform to fight in.

R 21
2nd Jul 2006, 18:26

Am I being a bit daft? As the current Lynx is on the way out (5Reg is no longer a Reg but a Sqn) and I am sure there will be a large gap between Lynx and FLynx entering service. If we can do without the Lynx for so long and it has been very limited in the hot and dusty places why do we really need another Lynx ???

Surely the money would be better spent on more support for AH and SH ??

Heads down !!!!!!!!!!

2nd Jul 2006, 19:25
Why is the current Lynx on its way out|? I understood the OSD is 2018 and so with F.Lynx ISD Circa 2014 there will be a few years where we operate a mixed fleet (Much like we do at the moment really - IIRC There are currently 11 different types of Lynx in RN Service)

10th Aug 2006, 23:42
In case people have forgotten, Britain gained an absolute speed record that still stands. :D
Of course I am talking about G-LYNX across the somerset levels on 11th Aug 1986, 400.87kph / 249.1 mph in level flight, a fine example of applied British research.
So I for one will be raising a glass to the WHL team that did the deed, many of whom still work at WHL and will no doubt be doing the same in other Yeovil pubs.
I wonder what the next Westland blade will manage?

11th Aug 2006, 00:06
That was a marvelous record, very much THE helicopter flight of the last 25 years! The execution of the record was pure engineering triumph and piloting skill.

Don't place too much emphasis on the BERP blade, it is actually a fairly poor performer in comparison to the blades being flown by the competition. For example, if the BERP blades on the EH-101 had the efficiency of the S-92's blades, it would gain over 2000 lbs of hover performance, with the same engine power.

11th Aug 2006, 14:52
The efficiency argument may ,just may, be true Mr Lappos but the Westalnd blade is a lot quieter and you don't have to slow down in the Merlin when approaching Aberdeen like the S-92 boys have to !!

11th Aug 2006, 15:03
Please don't take my comment on the blade as a slap on the aircraft.

I just marvel that the BERP blade has its own PR department to sell its wonderfulness! While it is funny-looking, it is really a pretty middling blade, with less hover performance and poor stall characteristics relative to the blades on half a dozen helicopters of the same vintage. Just look at the stall speeds of the EH-101 to verify that it doesn't have to slow down, because it never got to that high speed!

Capn Notarious
11th Aug 2006, 15:40
Is this record on any video or download.

11th Aug 2006, 15:52
Thats what he would say

The record speaks for itself, if the blade is no big deal why hasnt anybody beaten it?

Eurocopter tried (and failed)

Boeing tried (and failed)

Did sikorsky even bother?

It is unfair to compare the 101 to the Lynx, as you well know Nick there are lots of other criteria defining a helicopters characteristics and the reasons for a particular blade design.

we will just keep em flying with the best blade in the world doing its thing


11th Aug 2006, 19:42
The blade was not the only contributer, the awesome power, excellent control margins, audacious engineering and piloting moxie all were factors as well. To credit the blade is to discredit the rest, and that is not fair. For example, new exhausts were shaped so that the extra thermodynamic power of the engines was used to make jet thrust, which was worth enough to cancel a great deal f the fuselage drag. The exhaust was tuned to be sure there was just enough thrust to do this without making the aircraft a compound helicopter, which would have disallowed its record in the helicopter class.
To say this was a blade record is pure PR hogwash. This was a stunning engineering triumph, enough so that the signed artist print of the record hung in my office at Sikorsky Aircraft, because after all, we are helicopter people first.

And BTW, the previous record which stood for about 15 years was the S-67 Blackhawk, flown by a two friends, Byron Graham and Kurt Cannon, both extremely good engineering test pilots. At 221 MPH it was very noce for 1970! But 249 MPH in the modified Lynx is even nicer.

Ian Corrigible
11th Aug 2006, 21:33

The record broken by G-LYNX was actually the 199 kt milestone set by a Mil A-10 (Mi-24) in 1978.

You're spot on about it being the flight of the last quarter century, though. It's sad I know, but I still remember exactly where I was when the confirmation of the new record came through. Though how they got 1,550 shp out of a Gem - even with water/meth - I'll never know. :eek:


12th Aug 2006, 08:59
Of course I am talking about G-LYNX across the somerset levels on 11th Aug 1986, 400.87kph / 249.1 mph in level flight, a fine example of applied British research.

A beautiful machine standing proud in the Heli Museum is Weston-Super-Mare when i last saw it - a true testament to boffin know-how and pilot gumption. I imagine it now takes pride of place in Yeovil.

I suspect that with high speed rotorcraft development taking various different directions (too avoid retreating tip stall), this single main rotor pure helicopter record may well stand the test of time.


Brilliant Stuff
12th Aug 2006, 13:30
G-LYNX is still parked up nicely at the Museum as of last Saturday, don't have a picture of it though because I mainly was interested in the FBW white Dauphin.
Just for info when you pay for your entrance ticket it stays valid for 12 months, how cool is that?

13th Aug 2006, 02:41
I just wanted to add my best wishes to those members of the Westland team that took the record. The real genius was "retired" from Westland a few years ago - John Perry.

John spent endless hours in the wind tunnel, pounding young apprentices to punch those IBM cards, with a dry humor that only fellow Canadians could ever understand. His dream of the BERP rotor never faded and the success that he felt that day must have been overwhelming. Nick - it was not just the blade, but it was a huge part. :D

John called me the night before the record to "keep your ears open for something special" - I was a few miles away at the time (maybe 3000!) but the guys who were there said you could feel it WELL before you heard it!

Having said that, lets clean up a 53 and REALLY go for it! :ok:

29th Sep 2006, 09:57
Anyone remember a video (I think it might have been on Noel Edmonds programme) of a Lynx doing loops and stuff to the track 'don't stop me now' by Queen ?

Anyone know where we can get a copy.



Letsby Avenue
29th Sep 2006, 17:42
The track was 'It's a Kind of Magic' - My suggestion if I remember correctly:) I didn't know there was a vid...

29th Sep 2006, 21:59
Try here


John Eacott
30th Sep 2006, 01:45
I've hosted that one here, (http://www.helicopterservice.com.au/photos/pprune/Videos/Blue%20Eagles%201.mpg) along with a few from 847NAS (http://www.helicopterservice.com.au/photos/pprune/Videos/).

Large downloads, beware :ok:

30th Sep 2006, 07:20
Thanks guys

great stuff but my other (better ?) half insists it's 'don't stop me now' (unfotunately I think she's right too.....)

and yeah that second download is massive !!!!!



phil gollin
30th Sep 2006, 21:57
Just to ask a question I've often wanted to ask, why or how does a Lynx manage loops when other (?) helicopters can't or don't ?

30th Sep 2006, 22:13
It's all to do with its rigid rotor. That's it. That's all I know. (Cue some chopper mate who knows a lot more about it than I do.)

30th Sep 2006, 23:06
Lots of Helicopters can loop, including Gazelle and even CH53.
The difference is that you have to get it right everytime or chop your tail off and die in most, and in a Lynx you cannot chop your tail off.

Two's in
1st Oct 2006, 02:23
Most helicopter blades are attached to the Main Rotor head via physical horizontal and vertical hinges, the horizontal hinges (fwd and aft movement of the blade from the extension arm) have a drag damper to control the movement, but the vertical movement (up and down movement) of the blade is a function of aerodynamic forces, other than a droop stop stopping it going down too far. The Lynx, by comparison, achieves this with a rigid Titanium extension arm that holds the blades in place, and all vertical and horizontal movement of the blade is a function of the flexing action of the titanium. The reaction of the controls input is far more rapid with a rigid head (and is actually damped out by the AFCS), but when inverted, the blades can not "clap hands" as they can with a conventional head when negative G is encountered, because the titanium head holds then in place. The secret of rolling or looping in conventional helicopter is holding positive G, so the aerodynamic force on the blade (which would force the blades to "cone" up into a V, relative to the fuselage) is countered by gravity. As Tourist says, failure to maintain positive G usually results in the rotor cutting off some fairly important bits down the back end and a guaranteed seat (posthumously) at the BOI.

The Gazelle was limited to max 90 degrees in Pitch/Roll for this reason and the Elphinstone loop is actually an optical illusion, in that it stays within the pitch limits (usually). Although anyone who has seen the photo of the Gazelle over the (insert name of Large TV tower with cafe near Detmold, Germany) in 654 Sqn AAC crewroom knows that it will go inverted quite nicely.

Apologies to all POF buffs for simplifying the reply.

For spotters, when parked on the dispersal, blades on conventional heads always droop down, blades on rigid rotors stay erect.

1st Oct 2006, 17:43
Nice explanation, two's.

Why didn't they make groundschool that straightforward:ok:

1st Oct 2006, 19:23
[QUOTE=Two's in;2881902].....Although anyone who has seen the photo of the Gazelle over the (insert name of Large TV tower with cafe near Detmold, Germany) in 654 Sqn AAC crewroom knows that it will go inverted quite nicely.

I never got to do that but show us the photo......:E :ok:

1st Oct 2006, 19:50

1st Oct 2006, 20:39
Thanks Tourist,
That's the H53, nearly big enough to fly a Gazelle inside. Got the video somewhere of if being rolled.:ok:

1st Oct 2006, 20:58
What I thought I had posted was the link to that very video.
Go to this site, fourth down on the left.

2nd Oct 2006, 07:24
You did indeed but I did'nt click it as, despite some rather good red, I could see it was'nt the Gazelle :p
Some more excellent fixed and rotary stuff at www.patricksaviation.com
HD :ok:

Flying Lawyer
25th Nov 2006, 22:35
Lynx video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbzKmP9bUqk)

26th Nov 2006, 17:48
Don't think this has appeared in this thread, seems appropriate.

Its the lynx manoeuverability trials video



26th Nov 2006, 18:27
Hey guys,

Does anyone have information or can lead me to a good website about the BERP blades?



26th Nov 2006, 19:04
Take your pick:


Remember, Google is your friend. ;)

30th Mar 2013, 10:15
Andrew Performs Lynx 3 Sim Decommissioning Flight

RNAS Yeovilton, 28th March 2013

The Duke of York visited RNAS Yeovilton today to mark the end of service of the Lynx Mk3 Full Mission Simulator (FMS) having himself first flown in it in 1984. The Royal Navy's Lynx Mk3 helicopters have come to the end of their operational lives so the simulator is also being withdrawn. It has helped ensure the helicopter crews are ready to deal with anything for over three decades.

The Duke of York with crews at RNAS Yeovilton

Commodore Jock Alexander and the Duke of York at 702 Naval Air Squadron

Staff, students and industry partners in front of the "Box" - the simulator that has helped trained so many Lynx crews over 33 years

Prince Andrew flies final helicopter simulation | West Country (E) - ITV News (http://www.itv.com/news/west/2013-03-28/prince-andrew-flies-final-helicopter-simulation/)

Ian Corrigible
28th Sep 2014, 22:55
World's fastest helicopter receives Engineering Heritage Award (http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-somerset-29399749)

Cue protests from the X³ and X2 teams... :E


29th Sep 2014, 10:54
World's fastest helicopter receives Engineering Heritage Award

Cue protests from the X³ and X2 teams... :E


Doubt it, I think the clue is in the headline :rolleyes: