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The Other Chris
September 28, 2014 8:46 am

Both are cracking aircraft.

September 28, 2014 9:30 am

The old girl reminds me most kindly of our VERTREP workhorse the Wessex 5 – she straddled more than a few RN vessels sterns delivering goodies – “Aye Days of Yore”.

September 28, 2014 12:03 pm

And both looking relatively clapped out :D

Hope the RN gives ’em a good home.

Ace Rimmer
September 28, 2014 5:46 pm

Mike, the ‘weathered’ look is in at the moment, nothing a respray won’t cure…

Has the Merlin got the folding blades yet?

September 28, 2014 7:12 pm

@ Ace R.

Oh I know, the Merlin HC’s in particular get that stressed look pretty quickly. Ditto with the Hercs, when I worked on them it was a bother just explaining it to everyone who thought we didn’t take care of them :)

Not at the moment, though a temporary fix will be given to around 8 airframes so the CHF can start exercising and writing the book on Commando ops with them.
What we’re seeing here is just the RN finally getting enough crews through training at Benson to warrant actual airframe transfer to the CHF.

September 29, 2014 1:24 pm

They flew over my house on Friday.

Just flown over my house were 4 Merlin HC3s, flanked by to Seakings with a Chinook bringing up the rear. I have a photo on my iphone if anyone’s interested.

September 30, 2014 1:50 pm

Related: The Germans apparently have 3 FE@R out of 21 Sea Kings and 4 out of 22 Lynx, but actually it looks like their serviceability rate is terrible for all their rotary wing stuff – 16 out of 83 CH-53Ks, 8 out of 33 NH-90s, 10 out of 31 Tigers.


Phil Darley
October 1, 2014 1:03 pm

Had my own show yesterday. Two loops of the house. I believe the 30th of September was the formal hand-over of the Merlins to the FAA.

Will add my feeble iphone pictures but take a look at this: