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Westland Lynx (XZ720)

Westland Lynx (XZ720)

Falklands War History

In April 1982, XZ720 was on the Frigate HMS Alacrity as 206 flight, part of 815 Naval Air Squadron. Alacrity, along with HMS Antelope, was engaged in sea trials and work-up at Portland, then a major UK naval base. When the call to join the Task Force, Alacrity went to Devonport to take on supplies and XZ720 left with her, bound for the South Atlantic on the 5th April 1982. A low visibility paint scheme was applied in transit and a stop made at Ascension Island between 16th & 18th April for further supplies and preparation. During this time XZ720 was used for training and submarine spotting patrols.
In 1982 this aircraft was not fitted with Sea Skua anti-shipping missiles so before the Task Force reached the Falkland Islands XZ720 was transferred to HMS Invincible, the Royal Navy’s latest aircraft carrier.  On the 4th of May it was flown to RFA Fort Austin where it joined Newcastle flight.  On the 17th May it was flown to HMS Hermes, the Task Force’s other aircraft carrier and its flagship.  During this time it undertook Electronic Surveillance Measures (ESM) work and Exocet Missile decoy duties.

Between the 10th and 17th June it was loaned to Invincible's trials flight before XZ720 departed the Falklands from Port William, aboard HMS Hermes, on the 3rd July arriving back in the UK on 21st July 1982.

This Westland Lynx XZ720 started life as an HAS.2 and first flew in April 1980. It joined 815 Squadron at Yeovilton (HMS Heron) in November 1981 and was then assigned to HMS Alacrity. XZ720 served in the first Gulf War (Operation Granby) in 1991 firing Sea Skua missiles with great success and retired from service in 2009. This historic aircraft was refurbished to its Gulf War configuration and paint scheme by the Lynx Project Team at RNAS Yeovilton and was presented to the Museum on the 26th April 2012.

Statistics

Type: Helicopter Anti-Submarine

Crew: 2

Length: 11.9mtrs (39ft 1 1/4ins)

Rotor Diameter: 12.8mtrs (42ft) 

Engine: 2x Rolls-Royce Gem 41-1 turbine

Speed: 144mph

Dates Service: 1978 - Present


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