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Army Historic Aircraft Flight - Afternoon and nightshoot
Middle Wallop
November 7, 2015
Once again Neil Cave of TimeLine Events has managed to arrange a splendid photo-shoot this time with the Army Historic Aircraft Flight (AHAF) at Middle Wallop. Billed as an afternoon, sunset and night shoot it totally lived up to expectations of the 120 or so photographers.

The event was greatly assisted by the sudden change in weather as Neil arrived. All week the weather had been dreadful but as the aircraft began to be towed out to the 'flightline' in front of the Museum of Army Flying there were signs that the clouds were about to part letting the gorgeous winter sun through. Most of the AHAF collection appeared; Auster AOP Mk9, De Havilland Beaver AL Mk1, Agusta-Bell Sioux AH Mk1, Westland Scout AH Mk1 and Saunders Roe Skeeter AOP Mk12, aircraft which had all served the Army well and many had flown from Middle Wallop from one time to another.
The AHAF was formed in 1980 as a flying collection with aircraft the Army Air Corps (AAC) had operated since it was formed in 1957 making it unique in having fixed and rotary wing aircraft performing together. Missing from the photo-shoot were AHAF aircraft; De Havilland Chipmunk T10, Sud Aviation Alouette II and De Havilland DH82 Tiger Moth.
As the sun came down the Auster, Sioux, Beaver and Scout were started up to fly for scheduled pilot currency flights. It was at this time that Terry Martin arrived in his former Royal Navy and New Zealand Navy Westland Wasp HAS Mk1. Retired from service in 1997 it now resides nearby at Wg Cdr (Retired) Terry Martin's farm strip. It was good to compare it with its Army’s cousin the Westland Scout. Hovering and circling around in the near setting sun it later departed just before it set.
The museum’s restaurant put on some nice food and warm drinks which had to be hurried if you were to get the setting sun shots. With all sunlight gone Neil with his comprehensive but unobtrusive lighting in place came the opportunity to shoot each aircraft without any over-crowding from the eager photographers. Again aircraft were started up and there was ample time to shoot each one before they made their way back to their hangar on base.
With money donated to the AHAF it was a win-win situation that was enjoyed by many including the pilots who were happy to talk about their aircraft and flying career.

I would like to acknowledge the aircraft history information gleaned from the AHAF website.
De Havilland Beaver AL Mk1 (XP820 registered G-CICP)
Left to right: Beaver AL Mk1 (XP820 registered G-CICP) was issued to the Army Air Corps (AAC) in October 1961 and was immediately shipped to the Far East for service with 11 Flight, 656 Light Aircraft Squadron AAC. She was transferred to 30 Flight Royal Army Service Corps (RASC) at Seletar, Singapore, where she remained until June 1967. XP820 was then shipped back to the UK and joined 132 Flight Royal Corps of Transport (RCT) at Old Sarum, Wiltshire.
The unit became 132 Aviation Flight in January 1970 and moved to Netheravon, Wiltshire in September 1970. 132 Aviation Flight disbanded in January 1974 and XP820 moved across to 6 Flight AAC where she was used in the VIP transport role. She finished her active service at the AAC Centre, Middle Wallop before being transferred for the last time to the Army Historic Aircraft Flight in May 1989. XP820 was handed over to the Historic Aircraft Flight Trust on 1 February 2015 and registered with the civilian register as G-CICP.
Left to right: Beaver AL Mk1 (XP820 registered G-CICP)
Left to right: Beaver AL Mk1 (XP820 registered G-CICP)

Westland Scout AH Mk1 (XT626 registered G-CIBW)
Left to right: Scout AH Mk1 (XT626 registered G-CIBW) served from 1963 until the late 1980s, seeing out service with the Territorial Army at Netheravon. She joined the Army Historic Aircraft Flight on 30 March 1994 and was handed over to the Historic Aircraft Flight Trust on 1 February 2015. The aircraft is registered with the civilian register as G-CIBW.
Left to right: Scout AH Mk1 (XT626 registered G-CIBW)
Left to right: Scout AH Mk1 (XT626 registered G-CIBW)
Left to right: Scout AH Mk1 (XT626 registered G-CIBW)

Agusta-Bell Sioux AH Mk1 (XT131 registered G-CICN)
Left to right: Sioux AH Mk1 (XT131 registered G-CICN) affectionately referred to as the 'clockwork mouse', it was from the first batch of fifty ordered by the Army Air Corps and built by Agusta SpA at Gallerate in Italy in 1964.
These aircraft were ordered as stop-gaps for the Westland-built Sioux which started coming off the Yeovil production line in the Spring of 1965. The aircraft was taken on charge by the AAC at Middle Wallop on 3 July 1964 and for the duration of her military service was used for flying training and engineering familiarisation at Middle Wallop. XT131 was transferred to the Development and Trials Flight on 18 November 1977 until being subsumed into the AHAF on 11 September 1980. XT131 was handed over to the Historic Aircraft Flight Trust on 1 February 2015 and registered with the civilian register as G-CICN.
Left to right: Sioux AH Mk1 (XT131 registered G-CICN)
Left to right: Sioux AH Mk1 (XT131 registered G-CICN)
Left to right: Sioux AH Mk1 (XT131 registered G-CICN)

Auster AOP Mk9 (XR244 registered G-CICR)
Left to right: Auster AOP Mk9 (XR244 registered G-CICR) started to replace the Auster Mk6 in 1956 and continued in service for a further ten years during which time the AOP Squadrons had been absorbed into the Army Air Corps. The Army Historic Aircraft Flight (AHAF) maintained XR244, which was built at Rearsby in 1961. She remained at Middle Wallop for all of her operational life in the training role.
In her final years she was used to train pilots in the art of Forward Air Controlling and other fixed wing flying training in readiness for the introduction of the Beaver. XR244 officially transferred to the AHAF on 11 September 1981 and subsequently handed over to the Historic Aircraft Flight Trust on 1 February 2015, where she was registered with the civilian register as G-CICR.
Left to right: Auster AOP Mk9 (XR244 registered G-CICR)

Saunders Roe Skeeter AOP Mk12 (XL812 registered G-SARO)
Left to right: Skeeter AOP Mk12 (XL812 registered G-SARO). On 18th January 1957 the first Army Skeeter was collected from Eastleigh and flown to Middle Wallop. However, despite being a delight to fly, the aircraft's service was short-lived owing to limited engine performance and no external load capability. The aircraft left Army Air Corps service in 1967 and she is a non-flying aircraft within the Historic Aircraft Flight.

Visiting Westland Wasp HAS Mk1 (XT787 registered G-KAXT) of the Westland Wasp Historic Flight
Left to right: Wasp HAS Mk1 (XT787) was sold to the New Zealand Navy in 1982 as NZ3905, it retired from service in 1997 and returned to the UK civil register in 2002.
Left to right: Wasp HAS Mk1 (XT787).
Left to right: Wasp HAS Mk1 (XT787).