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Army Flying Museum takes delivery of Apache AH Mk.1

The Army Flying Museum at Middle Wallop, Hampshire have announced that they will soon have an Apache AH Mk.1 attack helicopter on permanent display, making it the only place in the UK that the public can see this formidable aircraft.

Image by Glenn Stanley - My Digital Memories / courtesy Army Flying Museum

The retirement of the Apache AH Mk.1 in March, after over two decades, marked the end of an era for the British Army, with a packed balcony of visitors at the Museum able to watch a very special fly-past.

By showcasing this stunning new exhibit, the Museum will now be able to ensure its contribution will not be forgotten as the story of the Apache AH Mk.1, alongside the impressive airframe, will bring the history of Army Aviation up to date.

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The first Apache AH Mk.1 came into service with the British Army in 2001 and they were retired in March 2024. The helicopter was initially designated WAH-64 by Westland Helicopters and was later given the designation Apache AH Mk.1 by the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

Visitors to the Museum will be able to see the display from 15th May where it will take pride of place in the breathtaking surroundings of the Hayward Hall.

Major General Neil Sexton, Chairman of the Army Flying Museum said; “We have worked for many years to ensure that when the Apache AH Mk.1 was retired, we would be its custodians.

"Conserving and allowing the general public to view the airframe and its story, will serve as a fitting tribute to a helicopter that played a significant role in the lives of so many men and women who have served in our armed forces, and in British military history.”

Museum supporter, former Army Air Corps Apache Pilot and Astronaut Major Tim Peake, said on its retirement: “Today the British Army said goodbye to the Apache AH Mk.1 after 23 years of service. A real workhorse and a fantastic aircraft to fly.”

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The retirement of the Apache AH Mk.1 marks the handover of the reins to the more advanced Apache AH-64E model now flown by the Army Air Corps with visitors to the Museum able to see the new model regularly flying to and from the adjacent airfield.

Both the Museum and Apache Café will be closed from Wednesday 8th May until Tuesday 14th May 2024 inclusive to enable the installation of the Apache AH Mk.1.  

The Army Flying Museum is a registered charity and located at Middle Wallop, close to Andover, in Hampshire. The Museum tells the story of British Army Flying from the early days of military ballooning to the modern Army Air Corps. It also has a key function in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) education with unique and engaging programmes for children during the holidays, as well as school visits during term time.  
 
The collection was started in 1946 at RAF Andover but later moved to Middle Wallop and first opened to the public in 1974. In 1984, the Museum moved from a location “behind the wire” to a new, purpose-build hangar which is located on the edge of an active airfield. The Museum has since been extended twice more and now comprises two large aircraft halls (the Prince Michael of Kent Hall and the Hayward Hall) a learning centre, a 1940s house display, a play park and conference facilities.

The collection covers the five main branches of Army Aviation: Royal Engineers (1878 – 1912), The Royal Flying Corps (1912 - 1918), Air Observation Post Squadrons (1941 – 1957), the Glider Pilot Regiment (1942 - 1957) and the current Army Air Corps (1957- to date). Over 40 aircraft can be seen in the Museum. These range from a First World War biplane to a HueyCobra attack helicopter plus an example of every Allied glider used operationally during the Second World War.

Highlights of the collection include a Sopwith Pup – an example of a single-seat fighter introduced in 1916 -and a Lynx helicopter which broke the world speed record in 1972 by achieving an average speed of 199.92 miles per hour (321.74 km per hour) in a 100km closed circuit. It was also the first British helicopter ever to complete a barrel roll.
 

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