The World’s Fastest Helicopter returns to The Helicopter Museum at Weston-super-Mare in July, following a four year restoration to its original 1986 World Speed Record configuration by Apprentices at the AgustaWestland factory in Yeovil, Somerset. This August marks the 25th Anniversary of the Lynx helicopter setting up the new record at an average 400.87kmph (249.1mph). Coincidentally 2011 is also the 40th Anniversary of the original WG-13 Lynx first flight.
The record-breaking aircraft, identified by its unique registration G-LYNX, was acquired by The Helicopter Museum in 1995 after it had been stripped for spares, following previous modifications and use as an engine testbed. This had required major alterations to the engine bay and surrounding structure. Over the next several years museum volunteers found and fitted a number of the missing parts but were unable to de-modify the engine bay to install the original Rolls-Royce Gem 60 power-plants.
In 2007 Apprentices at the Westland factory volunteered to take the project on and G-LYNX, together with a pair of engines and other salvaged components was relocated to Yeovil, where a team worked to original drawings, photographs and anecdotal evidence to put the helicopter back into its streamlined world record configuration. Earlier this year the almost completed restoration was moved into the Westland paint shop for repainting in the gloss World Speed Record colour scheme and since then the Apprentices have been refitting the interior, including the unique 400mph airspeed indicator.
Chairman of The Helicopter Museum Trustees, Elfan ap Rees, who witnessed the breaking of the record on the Somerset Levels in 1986 said “The Yeovil apprentices have done a marvellous restoration, with first class attention to detail and are to be congratulated on their perseverance. Coupled with the fact that it is a British helicopter that has held this official record for the past 25 years, the task now facing the Museum is to ensure that it is displayed in pride of place upon its return”.
G-LYNX is due to be unveiled to the AgustaWestland workforce on 8th July and will return to The Helicopter Museum shortly thereafter. To celebrate the 25th Anniversary there will be special lecture with guest speakers on Saturday 6th August at 19.00 for 19.30, with G-LYNX as a backdrop, explaining how the aircraft set the record and the speed modifications.
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