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The Army is bidding farewell to the Lynx helicopter with a commemorative flight.The aircraft is to be decommissioned after almost 40 years in service.Four remaining Mk9 Lynx left from RAF Odiham in Hampshire on an aerial tour taking in military bases and locations associated with the helicopter.The flight will culminate in a V-shaped “air procession” along the River Thames in central London.
Commanding Officer of 657 Squadron, Maj James Peycke said the Army was saying “farewell to the iconic machine”.”It is hugely emotional saying goodbye to the Lynx after six years of flying, and it carves out a big chunk of your heart.” Maj Peycke, who is flying in the lead Lynx, called the aircraft “hugely manoeuvrable”.There is “never a dull day when you are flying”, he added.
Described as a primary battlefield utility helicopter, over the decades the Lynx has also destroyed tanks, evacuated wounded personnel, gathered intelligence and provided humanitarian support.The British-made aircraft entered service in 1978 and has been used during military deployments to Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Sierra Leone.It is set to be replaced within the British Army by the Wildcat, which has more powerful engines and can operate at a higher altitude.The helicopters took off shortly after 09:00 GMT and are due to reach London at 15:50 for a formation flight over the Thames led by a Chinook helicopter.The Royal Navy mounted a similar tour in March last year to say farewell to its Mark 8 Lynx before decommissioning the aircraft.
Source: Worcester News