Visit to Middle Wallop, 13th October 2009

    Middle Wallop is the headquarters of the Army Air Corps, and is located just off the South East edge of Salisbury Plain, and ideal training area for helicopter crews. All AAC pilots are trained here, from the initial basic fixed wing training, through to the conversion courses for the operational Lynx and Apache units.

    Middle Wallop airfield has seen operational service since the Second World War and is now a very active Army Air Corps airfield, despite not having a hard surface runway. 

    Our visit started after lunch, and our host met us and briefed us on the schedule for the day, along with the appropriate Health and Safety and security considerations.

    Our first port of call was the Gazelle Depth Support Hub. In here Gazelle and Lynx helicopters are stripped down to a surprising extent as major maintenance tasks are undertaken. For some of the Gazelles especially, it is the end of the line for them, as after many years of service this light utility and observation helicopter is nearing the end of it's Army Air Corps career. The time-expired examples are stripped of all useable components, and the empty carcasses then disposed of for scrap.

    The Army Air Corps Historic Aircraft Flight is based at Middle Wallop, and with only private funding manage to display a disparate variety of aircraft and helicopters at many airshows throughout the year.

    670 Sqn operate Squirrel helicopters as a basic training airframe, to convert crews to rotary wing flight.

    After this, 671 Sqn operating Gazelle and Lynxes converts and refreshes crews to the more tactical type operations associated with these military types.

    The last flying unit we visited was 673 Sqn, who train and convert crews to the awesome Westland WAH-64 Apache. This helicopter introduced a massive change in capability and provides the Army Air Corps an unsurpassed means of supporting the troops on the ground. This aircraft, with it's state of the art defensive suite and avionics sensors, coupled with the immensely powerful RTM engines is a world beating system that the crews have absolute faith in. It's operations in Afghanistan are widely published and the availability or otherwise of Apache helicopter support will often determine if a ground operation can proceed or not.

    Thanks again go to our enthusiastic and informative host, and as usual, a donation was presented by the society to them for their designated cause.

Listed below are the aircraft noted during our visit:-

WD325 N Chipmunk T10 AAC Historic Aircraft Flight
WZ724 Auster AOP9 Preserved, main gate
XL812 Skeeter AOP12 Private
XP820 Beaver AL1 AAC Historic Aircraft Flight
XP822 Beaver AL1 Preserved, museum
XP884 Scout AH1 Stored
XP910 D Scout AH1 Preserved, museum
XR244 Auster AOP9 AAC Historic Aircraft Flight
XR379 Alouette AH2 AAC Historic Aircraft Flight
XT131 B Sioux AH1 AAC Historic Aircraft Flight
XT151 Sioux AH1 Stored
XT626 Q Scout AH1 AAC Historic Aircraft Flight
XT638 N Scout AH1 Preserved, main gate
XT827 D "XT123" Sioux AH1 Preserved, main gate
XW904 Gazelle AH1 cabin Stored outside
XX385 Gazelle AH1 cabin Stored outside
XX389 Gazelle AH1 cabin Stored outside
XX392 Gazelle AH1 Preserved, domestic side
XX399 D (also marked "B") Gazelle AH1 671 Sqn
(XX419) Gazelle AH1 cabin GDSH
XZ173 Lynx AH7 GDSH
XZ176 Lynx AH7 671 Sqn
XZ181 Lynx AH7 cabin Outside Stockwell Hall, for gunnery trainer
XZ193 Lynx AH7 GDSH
XZ195 Lynx AH7 GDSH
XZ196 T Lynx AH7 671 Sqn
XZ203 F Lynx AH7 671 Sqn
XZ214 Lynx AH7 667 Sqn
XZ290 Gazelle AH1 667 Sqn
XZ296 Y Gazelle AH1 671 Sqn
XZ313 Gazelle AH1 (no boom) Stored outside
XZ323 J Gazelle AH1 671 Sqn
XZ340 Gazelle AH1 GDSH
XZ345 M Gazelle AH1 671 Sqn
XZ349 G Gazelle AH1 671 Sqn
XZ611 X Lynx AH7 GDSH
XZ613 Lynx AH7 Stockwell Hall, towing trainer
XZ615 Z Lynx AH7 671 Sqn
XZ655 A Lynx AH7 671 Sqn
XZ661 V Lynx AH7 671 Sqn
XZ663 Lynx AH7 cabin Stored outside
XZ669 I Lynx AH7 671 Sqn
XZ672 Lynx AH7 GDSH
XZ675 H Lynx AH7 671 Sqn
XZ676 N Lynx AH7 671 Sqn
XZ680 E Lynx AH7 671 Sqn
ZB669 Gazelle AH1 GDSH
ZB691 Gazelle AH1 GDSH
ZD272 W Lynx AH7 671 Sqn
ZD281 K Lynx AH7 671 Sqn
ZG848 Islander AL1 1 Flight
ZJ168 Apache AH1 673 Sqn
ZJ173 Apache AH1 673 Sqn
ZJ192 Apache AH1 673 Sqn
ZJ194 Apache AH1 673 Sqn
ZJ195 Apache AH1 3 Rgt, visiting
ZJ206 Apache AH1 673 Sqn
ZJ211 Apache AH1 673 Sqn
ZJ212 Apache AH1 673 Sqn
ZJ213 Apache AH1 673 Sqn
ZJ215 Apache AH1 673 Sqn
ZJ220 Apache AH1 3 Rgt, visiting
ZJ221 Apache AH1 673 Sqn
ZJ222 Apache AH1 673 Sqn
ZJ223 Apache AH1 673 Sqn
ZJ245 45 Squirrel HT2 670 Sqn
ZJ246 46 Squirrel HT2 670 Sqn
ZJ250 50 Squirrel HT2 670 Sqn
ZJ252 52 Squirrel HT2 670 Sqn
ZJ253 53 Squirrel HT2 670 Sqn
(ZJ780) Dauphin 8 Flt
ZK067 Bell 212 JHC