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Apache evenings

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Posted (edited)

Hi gents,


Now that lockdown has been relaxed here in the UK to some degree I've popped up to the fence of my local airfield on the last two fine evenings as the Army Air Corps seem to have burst into activity this week, which is most unusual - they must have a load of training to catch up on. Which is probably quite accurate if what I'm hearing is true, my cousin is now dating a NCO in the AAC Apache pipeline and his course is way behind schedule. No real virus dangers here, Wattisham airfield is in deep rural Suffolk (which is why many of the Army youngsters don't like it!) and unlike say, Mildenhall or Lakenheath I am pretty certain to be alone on the fence - the biggest danger being the stupid time trial cyclists who charge around these country lanes and blind corners trying to kill themselves!


Photographing Apaches well at Wattisham is quite a task, but occasionally things work out.


Rural Suffolk with a two ship on the approach.




I don't know if any of the guys on here have read the book 'Apache' by the former AAC pilot who wrote under the name of Ed Macy? The finale of his first book is when a pair of AAC Apaches landed at Jugroom Fort in Afghanistan, January 2007 to recover a missing Royal Marine by strapping him and the rescuers to the sides of the Apaches, including Macys. Unfortunately, he was already dead upon recovery. More detail is here;




Reason I mention it, is this is the actual cab that he was flying that day, a former colleague of his confirmed it when 'Macy' checked his logbook; ZJ224.
















Two ship swapping lead over the runway before another circuit.










I notice that the first 'new' AH-64E has been handed over to the AAC in the US only a few days ago. This will eventually return the UK Apache force back to the standard US spec and deletes the UK only engines.I don't know if we will keep the CRV-7 rockets or UK spec HIDAS as yet.



Edited by gary1701

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Jolly good photos! :thumbsup:


I don't know... There's something otherworldly about Apaches. They look really menacing. Cool beasts. :gr_devil:

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Great pictures!   Any idea if they plan to convert the exhausts to the upward discharging UES version used by current US Army Apaches?

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Hi Bee,


Not that I know of. I've always wondered why we've never fitted them myself. The UK spec Apache may have a different engine fitted - although that's now going to change - but the engine nacelles and airframe externally in that area is identical so I don't see why such a simple and surely not that expensive fit hadn't been applied years ago! One of these days I'll ask somebody when I get the chance. 


I've seen the pic of the first of the 'new' UK Apaches after being handed over to the UK at Mesa, just before a crew flew it out, and it still - at that point anyway - has the normal engine exhaust. I suppose once they go on the front line there is a chance it may happen. It's still at least a year before any of these arrive here on the AAC front line Apache force at Wattisham.



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The original Westland built WAH-64s used Turbomeca RTM322 engines, the new E models will have an updated version of the GE T700 engines used in US Army Apaches.  These new T700s still have a lower SHP rating than the RTM322s.

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