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Apache Country Middle Wallop
 
Apache AH1 - 673 Squadron - Army Air Corps   Apache AH1 - 673 Squadron - Army Air Corps   Apache AH1 - ZJ192 - 673 Squadron - Army Air Corps   Apache AH1 - ZJ192 - 673 Squadron - Army Air Corps
 
Gazelle AH1 - XZ340 - 29 (BATUS) Flight - Army Air Corps   Gazelle AH1 - ZB671 - Army Air Corps   Gazelle AH1 - ZB689 - Army Air Corps   Gazelle AH1 - XX405 - Army Air Corps
 
Apache AH1 - ZJ192 - 673 Squadron - Army Air Corps
 
Lynx AH7 - XZ615/Z - Army Air Corps   Lynx AH7 - XZ661/V - 671 Squadron - Army Air Corps   Gazelle AH1 - ZB692/Y-C - 671 Squadron - Army Air Corps   Gazelle AH1 - ZB691 - 671 Squadron - Army Air Corps
 

Apache Country Middle Wallop

Words and photographs Mike Freer

The Army Aviation Centre at Middle Wallop airfield is situated near Stockbridge in Hampshire and is the home of 2 (Training) Regiment; the ground aspect of AAC training and 7 (Training) Regiment, comprising 670 Squadron (Squirrel HT2); 671 Squadron (Gazelle AH1 and Lynx AH7) and 673 (AH) Squadron (Apache AH Mk1) helicopters, plus other attached units. The author had a unique opportunity to study the Army Air Corps at close hand while being a guest of the Vulcan to the Sky Club during their recent visit.

Our first port of call was the Gazelle Depth Support Hub hangar which contained numerous examples of this versatile helicopter in various stages of overhaul. Numerous attempts have been made to “retire”  this ageing helicopter, but she still soldiers on and will do so for another five years. Of interest was Westland Gazelle XZ340  due to be returned to BATUS (British Army Training Unit Suffield). This unit is based at CFB Suffield in Alberta Canada and this was a rare opportunity to see this helicopter, as once delivered to Canada, she will not return to the UK.

The Army Air Corps Historic flight hangar revealed several of the fleet’s aircraft undergoing their winter overhaul. All the aircraft are flown by volunteers in their spare time and attend numerous air shows around the UK. The fleet comprises Westland Scout, de Havilland Beaver, de Havilland Chipmunk, Aerospatiale Alouette, Westland Sioux, Auster AOP6, Auster AOP9 and SARO Skeeter.

Numerous helicopters of 670 Squadron (Squirrel HT2) and 671 Squadron (Gazelle AH1 and Lynx AH7) were noted during our visit in and around the hangars. The highlight of the visit was the opportunity to get up close to the Agusta Westland WAH-64D Longbow Apache AH Mk1 of 673(AH) Squadron and several of these were noted under overhaul and also in the  Conversion to type Apache compound. The Agusta Westland Apache is built under licence from Boeing and differs in a number of ways including the installation of RTM322 engines and increased fuel load. Pilots who are selected to fly the Apache undergo an intensive 12 month training programme including how to use its computer assisted weapons systems.

The author wishes to thank the VTTS Club, Mr Ian Waudby and Warrant Officer 2 Stuart Girdler. The whole spectrum of Army aviation was on view during our superb visit to Middle Wallop. From the humble Auster to today’s Apache - a huge advance.

Apache AH1 - 673 Squadron - Army Air Corps
 
Squirrel HT2 - ZJ245 - 670 Squadron - Army Air Corps   Squirrel HT2 - ZJ249 - 670 Squadron - Army Air Corps   Lynx AH7 - ZD279 - Army Air Corps   Sud Aviation SE3130 Alouette AH2 - XR379 - Army Air Corps Historic Flight - United Kingdom
 
Apache AH1 - ZJ215 - 673 Squadron - Army Air Corps
 
Westland Scout AH1 - XT626 - Army Air Corps Historic Flight - United Kingdom   Taylorcraft Auster AOP9 - XR244 - Army Air Corps Historic Flight - United Kingdom   De Havilland Chipmunk T10 - WD325 - Army Air Corps Historic Flight - United Kingdom   De Havilland Beaver AL2 - XP820 - Army Air Corps Historic Flight - United Kingdom
 
Taylorcraft Auster AOP6 - G-ARXU - United Kingdom - Privately Owned - United Kingdom
 
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