British Helicopter Tech Tree - Discussion Topic

To illustrate the problem:

Hawkswing used the standard diameter crossbeam pylon on Lynx and Scout fit checks/trials as used for AS.11 on Scout.
hawkswing
Close up of the beam on Lynx was shown in the photo with the LSBC with recce flares. But here on Scout with the same kind of 8-bolt interface to secure it to the stub frame, and AS.11s equipped.
scout

A far as real life AS.11 fit for Gazelle goes, it can be evident from aircraft operated by Syria and those captured by Israel
1565310937_sirijskij-sa_342k


Again, using 8-bolt interface securing this kind of standard length+diameter crossbeam pylon to weapon stubs

Challenge we face applying this to Gazelle AH.1 is that its operational crossbeam pylon for searchlight, Ultra 4000 etc. was a single unit that went direct to the fuselage via the aperture covered by the white/bare metal plate shown below.


We can see from the larger ring of bolts in that photos, that the strengthening frame in the fuselage for securing the Syrian/Israeli style stubs for AS.11 pylon extensions was retained in the AH.1, but it seems the UK modifications were made such that the beam’s axis was moved higher up off the ground or away from the landing skids.
That’s the beam we’ve seen adapted for carrying SNEB, and in the Westland video with recce flares. It appears to be the exact same diameter as the pylon used on these other airframes for AS.11 and Hawkswing but it’s not exactly the same pylon setup seen on the three helicopters pictured, and we haven’t seen actual missiles on the Gazelle AH.1’s iteration of the crossbeam.

At this point with no media showing missile fit checks or trials we have to guess that either:

  • Stubs similar to the Syrian/Israeli Gazelles would be installed on the larger ring of bolts that is still visible on the Gazelle AH.1
  • The UK would have a smaller diameter weapon stub to mount the AS.11/Hawkswing pylon on, using the smaller aperture used for the in-service crossbeam.
  • That mounting the crossbeam aperture higher means they were considered to have more clearance from the skids, and missiles could simply be mounted closer to the fuselage; Directly on standard AS.11/Hawkswing pylons, without an additional weapon stub.

The latter option is not dissimilar to how we see Hawkswing mounted on Lynx as the Hawkswing pylon seems a bit longer than an AS.11 pylon. But the interface directly on the Gazelle fuselage appears to be 6 bolts rather than 8 on the Lynx’s stub frame.

5 Likes

Great conclusion and very logical. Just sadly not what the developers consider sufficient for implementation.

As mentioned previously, the Gazelle is not off the table. Just with the current level of information, it’s not being actively considered to come right now.

7 Likes

If I recall there was a French-made Gazelle prototype in AAC colours, though I don’t think it had any weapons shown as far as I’m aware.

Does anyone have any information about the tests carried out by G-LYNX using the R-550 Magics?

Another two things.

  1. Do we have enough info about the Gazelle to make a suggestion?

  2. Why didn’t the Lynx AH.9 carry any weapons? I’ve heard various reasons as to why, but the prototype (Battlefield Lynx, essentially an AH.7 with the Lynx 3’s undercarriage) did have weapons on display with it.

LMM is up.

2 Likes

so that’s Wildcat that’s now a viable addition.

2 Likes

This is the closest thing I have found to the Battlefield Lynx prototype, G-LYNX with a wheeled undercarriage. Battlefield Lynx was essentially the undercarriage of the Lynx 3 mated to the body of an AH.7. It kept the Gems used by the AH.1/7 and it seems it also eventually received the composite BERP rotorblades, perhaps suggesting an interim phase retaining the metal ones (which may allow us to find the performance of the AH.1GT and AH.5). The Battlefield Lynx then eventually became the AH.9 in UK service, though it never carried weapons bigger than machine guns by that point, likely due to the introduction of the Apache. Some photos are labelled as “Lynx 800” (a Lynx with the T800 engines); this is not the case, as explained further down in this post

Here are some photos from ABPic (Aviation photographs of Registration: G-LYNX : ABPic)


image

Compare the photos I posted compared to those of ZB500, it is clear that G-LYNX retains the Gems.
https://abpic.co.uk/pictures/model/Westland%20WG-13%20Lynx%20800

2 Likes

First photo is just a handler trolley set for towing the Lynx around with skids, rather than installed wheeled undercarriage

Westland produced concept images for Battlefield Lynx with armament and what looks like the Gem 60 engine fit from Lynx 3, but if you look closely they are airbrushed (a bygone art from before the digital age and Photoshop) rather than straight up photographs



Apparently from a 1987 brochure a year before ZB500/G-LYNX was mocked up with the undercarriage at Farnborough
Opposite angle of G-LYNX at Farnborough 1988, but the undercarriage isn’t so prominent apart from the rear strut

1 Like

I just realised that now, thanks for pointing that out

It makes sense, as all other advertising for the Battlefield Lynx either show a standard Lynx or in this case a Lynx 3. So it’s either trying to represent what it would look like or simply giving something to advertise because the prototype was not yet ready.

My question is this: was the undercarriage a real on or a mockup then? As ZB500 was later recnfigured back to skids when testing the T800 later on in its career.

The Helicopter Museum where G-LYNX/ZB500 resides today, describes them a mockup undercarriage for the Farnborough static display

They don’t appear to be completely identical to the production AH.9 landing gear in terms of how they’re fixed to the fuselage, and it’s not clear from the photos how functional they were in terms of having hydraulic buffers and such that the AH.9 ones have. But Farnborough '88 seems to be their only public appearance

XZ170 was the first actual aircraft converted for AH.9 trials, flying from Nov. 1989


It’s got all the AH.7/AH.9 features in this case with the reversed tail rotor, main rotor head “bonk”, BERP/CMRB and shortened stab with the Gurney flap.

Makes sense, and it also explains why it was so hard to try find the AH.9 prototype; I was looking for the wrong aircraft. It’s possible then that G-LYNX was used to market the Battlefield Lynx, which would eventually become the AH.9.

Then that begs the question: do we have photos of Battlefield Lynx and/or AH.9 with weapons?

AH.9 didn’t carry weapons in service but (what I thought was the prototype) did show weapons being mounted.

Westland’s advertisement in Interavia Vol.44 Issue 3

Spoiler

11 Likes

image

8 Likes

That picture looks like it has As.12 and AS.11 at the same time, that would be neat

It does

1 Like

image
image

2 Likes

Hell yeah! Love to see it! Penguins and Sea Eagles next pls!

Wildcat with 20 Martlets please
image
4 Sea venoms
image
and mix of them


would also be cool

9 Likes

Let’s not forget which missile uses the same launcher as Martlet… >:)

13 Likes