Visit to the SEAE Arborfield, 22nd July 2009
A visit was arranged here following the recent arrival of the former 8 Flt Agusta A.109AM which has previously been operating in support of Special Forces operations with the SAS. The A.109s have only recently been replaced in service by Eurocopter Dauphins, and this elusive airframe was of particular interest to a number of members of the group.
SEAE at Arborfield trains up future Army Air Corps technicians who go on to repair and maintain a variety of types including Lynx and Apache helicopters, and it is here that the potential technicians can be trained and assessed, and the ones who don't make the grade can be weeded out.
Following our groups arrival and signing in to the unit, we were escorted to view some Lynx helicopters which were outside in the sun as part of some students "in the field" examinations. Then back to the main hangar and we were given a free and complete access to view and photograph all the helicopters contained there.
Aircraft noted during the visit:-
|XP848||Scout AH1||Preserved at SEAE gate|
|ZJ449||Phoenix||Preserved at Museum car park|
|XZ332||Gazelle AH1||c/n 1661|
|TAD017||Gazelle AH1||c/n 1159, (XW888)|
|TAD018||Gazelle AH1||c/n 1160, (XW889)|
|TAD021||Gazelle AH1||c/n 1096, (XW860)|
|XZ187||Lynx AH7||665 Sqn badge|
|XZ207||Lynx AH7||No boom|
|TAD009||Lynx||Gloss light grey|
|TAD013||Lynx Mk.28||c/n WA028, G-BFDV, (QP30)|
|TAD16||A||Lynx Mk.28||c/n WA034, (QP32)|
|ZE412||A.109AM||White scheme, with red and blue trim|
As usual, our members donations went directly to the host unit, whom we thank for their time and courtesy in arranging and hosting our visit.