Museum of Army Flying to add ex-Argentine A109A

Museum of Army Flying to add ex-Argentine A109A 18 Mar, 10, Source: HeliHub.com

Back in 1982, British Forces captured two Agusta A109A helicopters from the Argentine Army during the conflict to recapture the Falkland Islands.  Within 3 years, these were then added to with a second pair of 109s bought new from Italy, and these four helicopters became dedicated to the Special Forces

In order to camouflage the four helicopters, they were painted up in a variety of civilian type colour schemes, and also repainted a few times in an attempt to confuse most onlookers.  From early 2009, the Agustas withdrawn from use and replaced by Eurocopter AS365N3 Dauphins.

Serialled ZE411, and in a blue scheme shown in the accompanying photo, HeliHub.com confirmed yesterday that this aircraft is currently stored at the Army Air Corps’ centre at  Middle Wallop and will be going into the adjacent Museum of Army Flying.  The only delay in making the move is to decide that militarily-sensitive equipment needs to be removed from it before putting it on public view.

It has been a slow process determining where the four 109s will end up being located, and up to now only one has been traced – to the School of Electrical and Aeronautical Engineering at Arborfield.  The general consensus is that one will be with the Fleet Air Arm Museum at Yeovilton and one displayed in the Hereford area and we look forward to confirming the appearance of these in due course.

Middle Wallop is also home to the Army Air Corps Historic Flight.  This amazing collection of airworthy exhibits receives no funding from UK Government whatsoever, a true embarassment when the country is spending so much in Afghanistan – pilots were being actively trained on Squirrel, Gazelle, Lynx and Apaches during our visit, ultimately creating pilots for that Middle East engagement.  Alongside a variety of small fixed wing aircraft, the Historic Flight also comprises examples of Skeet, Sioux, Alouette and Scout helicopters, flown by current servicemen in their spare time and on their own insurance.  They raise charitable funding for the fuel even!  HeliHub.com encourages you to support the Army Air Corps Historic Flight.

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