The Westland Lynx is a British-designed multipurpose military helicopter. The design for the Lynx started in the mid-1960s as a replacement for both the Westland Scout and Wasp helicopters. The first prototype flew in 1971 and became the first fully aerobatic helicopter. A modified Lynx also set a speed record in 1986 as the world’s fastest helicopter, a record that it still holds today.
Both land and ship based versions of the Lynx went into production for the Army and Navy. The British Army Air Corps got their first Lynx in 1979 using them for utility, transport, anti-tank, search and rescue, escort, and reconnaissance missions. In 1981, the British Fleet Air Arm received their first Lynxes. The naval version incorporated many changes including wheels instead of skids, sonar, radar and different sensors for use in its anti-shipping, anti-submarine, anti-pirate, and ship replenishment missions. British Lynxes saw extensive service in several conflicts including the Falklands, Northern Ireland, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, and the Middle East. It is a versatile airframe with over forty different variants that served with the British military and were exported to sixteen other foreign militaries around the world.
The Westland Lynx HMA.8 were upgraded with improved radar, larger tail rotor, and a forward looking infra-red sensor in the nose
Main Rotor Diameter
Royal Navy, 2014
Pima Air & Space Museum