Westland Lynx XZ233

A very special and historic helicopter.

Combat veteran Westland Lynx having served in the 1982 Falklands Conflict

Unique special livery blue paint scheme applied for the 40th Anniversary of the Lynx entering service

 

  • Serial Number: XZ233

  • Built as a HAS2

  • First Flown: 31/01/1977

  • Last Flown 2012

  • Impressive 35 years of military service

  • Served with the following Naval Air Squadrons:  700L NAS, 702 NAS, 815 NAS, 829 NAS

  • During her flying career was embarked on the following ships: HMS Argonaut, HMS Brilliant, HMS Southampton, HMS Broadsword, HMS Endurance, HMS Polar Circle

  • Known as 'Jason' the nickname given while the helicopter was operating from HMS Argonaut

  • In May 1986 was upgraded to HAS2 ICE for use in the Antarctic Circle

  • In 1987 the Lynx was upgrade to HAS3S standard

  • 2009 XZ233 was chosen for a special 40th anniversary original Lynx livery in all over Oxford blue at RNAS Yeovilton

  • Supplied with the MOD F700 log book and a mass of paperwork and documentation.

  • Total Flying hours: 7239.35

  • Electrically live and capable of battery power being applied. Systems such as internal / external lighting are functional.

 

Prominent history as follows:

 

First flown in January 1977 having been built as a HAS2 variant, XZ233 was deployed to the Falklands in 1982 aboard HMS Argonaut, appropriately nicknamed  “Jason” of the Argonaut. The helicopter took part in the HMS Antelope rescue after the ship had been bombed by Argentine A4 Skyhawks and later sank after one of the UXB's exploded during attempts to defuse it. XZ233 also engaged the Argentine Navy with an Air To Surface 'Sea Skua' missile, but due to an electronics issue couldn't open fire. Towards the end of the war XZ233 was swapped with HMS Cardiff's lynx and returned to the conflict zone for the end of the war. Her most miraculous escapade was in the last days of the war, surviving an aerial engagement with a pair of Argentine Dagger jets which tried to shoot it down. More details on that engagement as well as details of a close shave with an Aermacchi 339 on 21st May 1982 are detailed below:

 

Close shave with an Aermacchi 339

The day of the landings 21st May 1982, in what was the first real air action of the day, Lynx XZ233 was hovering at 400ft above the Falkland sound with an Exocet decoy mounted to the port side of the aircraft. This comprised an experimental 1 meter square metal cube bolted to the port side of the helicopter intended to attract any stray Exocet missiles fired in the direction of Royal Navy ships... During this 'decoy' sortie (read as; sitting duck suicide mission) the Lynx was almost blasted out of the sky by Lieutenant Owen Crippa (Argentine Navy) who had taken off from Port Stanley flying his Aermacchi 339. He positioned the Lynx in his sights and was running in to attack but saw HMS Argonaut at the last second and decided to attack the ship instead with 30mm and 2inch rockets.

 

Engaged and strafed by a pair of Daggers

 On 13 June 1982, around midday, XZ233 was being flown by Lieutenant Chris Clayton and his Observer Lieutenant P Hullett. They were performing the routine forenoon clearance search of the area south of the Falkland Sound. Two Argentine Daggers of Gaucho flight spotted XZ233 and jettisoned their external fuel tanks in preparation to engage. They began strafing the helicopter with their cannons. The first the lynx crew became aware they were being attacked was a ripping noise and red streaks flying past the cockpit! The Daggers had engaged their strafing run from behind. Clayton started to execute some very effective evasive manoeuvres and evaded the attacks with a brilliant piece of flying, his airmanship aided by the Lynx being highly manoeuvrable resulted in them managing to escape. The Daggers returned home empty-handed, their original mission had been to attack British positions on Mount Longdon with retarded bombs. After the initial Argentine surrender, Clayton flew the OC of 40 Commando, Lt Col Malcolm Hunt, to Port Howard aboard XZ233 to accept the surrender of the Argentine garrison stationed there. In recognition of his service during the war, Chris Clayton was awarded a Mention in Dispatches.  He went on to become a senior naval officer retiring as a Rear Admiral.

 

After the Falklands campaign XZ233 was assigned to HMS Endurance on two separate occasions as an Antarctic Lynx deployed into the ice of the Antarctic during the late 1980's.

 

Prior to retirement this Lynx was chosen to receive a 40th anniversary special blue paint scheme as well as being earmarked for the Royal Navy Historic Flight due to the aircraft's significant history, however a decision to dispose of the aircraft was made by the MOD in 2019 with the aircraft being sold into private ownership.

 

The helicopter has survived fairly complete and has been acquired with a mass of paperwork and log book documentation. Having had a very minimal spares recovery carried out prior to disposal the final missing components have now been predominantly sourced to rebuild the aircraft.

Contact us about Lynx XZ233