Westland Helicopter

The Westland Lynx is a British multi-purpose military helicopter designed and built by Westland Helicopters at its factory in Yeovil.


Westland WS-61 Lynx

Design and development

The Lynx is a multi-purpose twin-engine battlefield helicopter, of which specialized versions have been developed for both sea and land-based warfare. A distinguishing feature between early and later aircraft is the undercarriage: early Army versions of the Lynx were equipped with skids, while the Naval and later models have been outfitted with wheels, a requirement for easy ground handling on the deck of a warship. Early versions of the Lynx were powered by a pair of Rolls-Royce Gem turboshaft engines, which powered a four-blade rotor. Mounted on a rigid titanium monobloc rotor head  of the kind pioneered by the MBB BO105 a few years earlier. The innovative blade design comprised a honeycomb sandwich structure and made out of composite material. For shipboard stowage, both the rotor blades and tail can be folded. Lag dampers were incorporated but these are not required in flight (owing to the rigidity of the
monobloc rotor head).In flight, the main rotor is kept at a constant speed, simplifying aircraft control; the rotor also features a vibration absorption system.


The Lynx is an agile helicopter, capable of performing loops and rolls, and of attaining high speeds. The agility of the type led to its use as an aerial display aircraft, having been operated with by the Blue Eagles and Black Cats helicopter display teams. The efficiency of the main rotor, as well as the overall top speed of the Lynx, was substantially improved with the adoption of BERP rotor blade technology. During the 1990s, the hot-and-high performance of the type was considerably boosted in the later Super Lynx 200 series, at which point the type's Gem engines were replaced with the newer LHTEC T800 turboshaft engine with associated FADEC system; the Lynx can also maintain a good level of performance under moderate icing conditions. The FADEC controls eliminated the requirement for a throttle or manual speed selection switches, further simplifying flight control. Later aircraft feature automatic stabilisation equipment; functions such as auto-hover are optionally installed on some Lynx.

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Several land and naval variants of the Lynx have been produced along with some major derivatives. The Westland 30 was produced as a civil utility helicopter; it did not become a commercial success and only a small number were built during the 1980s. In the 21st century, a modernised variant of the Lynx was designed as a multi-role combat helicopter, designated as the AgustaWestland AW159 Wildcat; the Wildcat is intended to replace existing Lynx helicopters. The Lynx remains in production by AgustaWestland, the successor to Westland Helicopters.


Westland Helicopter
Westland WS-61 Lynx

The Westland Lynx is a British multi-purpose military helicopter designed and built by Westland Helicopters at its factory in Yeovil. Originally intended as a utility craft for both civil and naval usage, military interest led to the development of both battlefield and naval variants. The Lynx went into operational usage in 1977 and was later adopted by the armed forces of over a dozen nations, primarily serving in the battlefield utility, anti-armour, search and rescue and anti-submarine warfare roles.

Westland WS-61 Lynx: Specifications

  • History

    Role Multi-purpose military helicopter

    National origin United Kingdom

    Manufacturer Westland Helicopters


    First flight 21 March 1971

    Introduction 1978

    Retired 2017 (Royal Navy), 2018 (British Army)

  • General info

    Status In service

    Primary users British Army

    Royal Navy (historical)

    German Navy


  • Performance

    Produced 1978–present

    Number built 450 (as of 2009)

    Variants AgustaWestland AW159 Wildcat

    Developed into Westland 30

    Specifications click here


Westland WS-61 Lynx



The British Army and Royal Navy Lynx fleets were to be replaced to a new common advanced Lynx variant based on the Super Lynx 300, with a new tail boom, undercarriage, cockpit, avionics and sensors. Initially referred to as the Future Lynx, and later as the Lynx Wildcat, this type has since been re-designated as the AW159 Wildcat.


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