Westland Lynx 3: The Strong Cat

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Introduction: In the world of technology, it is always necessary to remain at the cutting edge in order to remain relevant as well as keeping ahead of the competition. This is most certainly true with military aviation, helicopters included. This is where today’s suggestions comes in, the Lynx 3, a highly upgraded Lynx variant which would be influential for later developments.

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Description: The Lynx 3 was developed as a private venture by Westland to bring the Lynx family into the 1980’s. The helicopter was built from mostly standard components of the Lynx, with a 30cm stretch in the forward fuselage. The Lynx 3 would keep the rotor of the standard Lynx, but this was later replaced by a BERP (British Experimental Rotor Programme), improving performance significantly. A new tail rotor made of composites and an uprated transmission was also added. In addition, a new engine intake system would be implemented as well, with sideways-looking entrances. The biggest change was the undercarriage, with the skids being removed in favour of a new tricycle undercarriage, capable of surviving a sink rate of 6.10m (20ft) per second. The aircraft was capable of 5896kg (13000lb), which is more than the standard AH.1. This allowed for the ability to carry more cargo or weapons, with more advanced systems being added.

Service: One helicopter was built, being given the registration ZE477. Ground runs began on 6th June 1984, with the first flight occurring on the 14th June of the same year. In July of the same year at the Army Air Corps Centre Middle Wallop Airshow, after which it was used in trials. In 1986 it was fitted with the BERP rotors, and displayed at Farnborough. The Lynx 3 had a short service life, as many technology demonstrators do, being retired in 1987. In 1988, it was sent to the Helicopter Museum in Weston-super-Mare. Despite remaining a one-off, the Lynx 3 would pave the way for future developments of the Lynx, as it aided in the development of the SuperLynx family, and would ultimately lead to the Wildcat. Additionally, the Westland would take the landing gear and put it on an AH.7 (which was in development at that time) and call it the Battlefield Lynx, which would eventually enter service as the AH.9.

Performance:

Spoiler

Registration: G-17-24/ZE477
Country of origin: UK
Built: Yeovil, England, 1984
Manufacturer: Westland Helicopters
Constructor’s Number: 319/001P
Engine: Two 1260shp Rolls-Royce Gem 60 turboshaft engines

Performance:
Max Speed: 306 km/h (190 mph)
Empty Weight: 3355 kg (7396 lb)
Range: 620 km (385 miles)
Capacity/Load: 12 persons / 2542 kg (5604 lb)
Power: 2x 1115 shp Rolls-Royce Gem 60 turboshafts
Weapons: 20 mm cannon, 7.62mm-mini-gun inside cabin, 8 x anti-tank missiles (TOW and Hellfire show), air to air missiles (Stingers most likely).

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Conclusion: I think that this would make a great addition to the tree in the attack helicopter line, helping bolster up the lines.

Sources:

Spoiler

Westland Lynx 3

Popular Mechanics - Google Books

https://www.helis.com/database/model/1187/

https://web.archive.org/web/20121105091057/http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1983/1983%20-%200402.html
https://www.aerialvisuals.ca/AirframeDossier.php?Serial=67262
Westland Lynx 3 ZE477 Weston-super-Mare 2-10-90 | C/n 310/00… | Flickr
File:Westland WG-13 Lynx 3, UK - Army AN2063234.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

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