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Meeting with the Apache

PUBLISHED: 00:20 05 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:35 06 July 2010

MEMBERS of Lowestoft Aviation Society were, at the invitation of the Army Air Corps, able to visit Wattisham Station (formerly RAF Wattisham) last month to see all that is needed to keep the British Army's fleet of WAH-64D Apache AH.

MEMBERS of Lowestoft Aviation Society were, at the invitation of the Army Air Corps, able to visit Wattisham Station (formerly RAF Wattisham) last month to see all that is needed to keep the British Army's fleet of WAH-64D Apache AH.1 helicopters safely in the air and to conduct operations far from our shores in Arizona, in the USA, and in the more hostile environment in Afghanistan.

Members were briefed by the Chief of Staff of the UK's Attack Helicopter Force (AHF), on the role of Nos. 3 and 4 Regiments Army Air Corps which fly the Apache helicopters. The visitors were then allowed to climb over and inside one of these purposeful looking machines.

The UK Apaches differ from the home grown US Army versions, in having more powerful Rolls-Royce turbine engines, which means they can operate at heavier weights in hot and high altitude environments.

When in hostile operating areas, refuelling and rearming crews turn the Apaches around in what can only be described as "Formula One Pit Stops”. In a little over 15 minutes an aircraft can be rearmed and refuelled and sent on its way to support troops in active contact.

Coincidentally, this 'pit stop' procedure was explained to the group by Lance-Corporal Shane Tymon, from Gunton in Lowestoft. It was good to see a local lad doing so well at his chosen career.


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