Saunders Roe skeeter in
united kingdom Army Air Corps

Del'd: 67 - 1958 to 1967

The Skeeter AOP.12 was introduced to Army Air Corps service in Oct 1958 and within weeks was in trouble. As well as revealing itself as underpowered - throughout its service life - it was grounded several times during its early career with a series of faults including excess vibration, problems with the cooling fans, snapping fan belts, overheating cylinders and difficulties with the undercarriage.
By about 1961, most of these teething troubles had been overcome but it had diverted a lot of engineering and maintenance attention at the expense of flying experience. Despite this, and the decision of the Ministry of Aviation in Mar 1960 to abandon further attempts to improve its performance, it was highly manoueverable and generally loved by those who flew it. However, much was learned through the Skeeter and it contributed a great deal to the development of both British Army flying doctrine and the tactical use and requirements of helicopters in the field. By Mar 1961, 4 Flight (Hildesheim) had become the first unit to be completely equipped with the Skeeter.
The Skeeter was ordered between 1956 and 1959 and was delivered in 4 batches from 1958 until Sep 1960. Three AOP.10s were built, of which the last was converted to AOP.12 standard before it left the line at East Cowes, followed by the delivery of AOP.12s from Jun 1958, Apr 1959 and Dec 1959.  They served worldwide, although never with great success where it was hot or high, or both. The Skeeter also served in Northern Ireland between 1960 and Aug 1966, before the type was finally retired from the AAC in 1967.

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YearsUnitsbold : Current base of the Unit
1969/nowHistoric Aircraft Flight AAC Middle Wallop
1962/6416 FltMY Kuching
1958/??1 Flight

Construction Numbers Help Us

C/NModBuiltID     In this OrganisationIn other Org

    S2/5074 1958     XL762: AOP.12. Appeared at 1958 SBAC Farnborough Air Show, dd AAC S+
Museum of Flight, East Fortune XL762: Acquired by Museum of Flight, 1975. Still present 2013+
    S2/5094     XL809: AAC Skeeter AOP.12 unk to PH-SRE
- PH-SRE: ex XL809 unk to PH-HOF

- PH-HOF: ex PH-SRE 03may84 to G-BLIX

    S2/5095     XL810: while with 9 Flight in Germany, hit power cables, crashed a+
    S2/5096 1959     XL811: to AAC. 651 Sq, 652 Sq, 17 Flt., Air Troop 9/12 Lancers. w/o+
- XL811: to Northern Aircraft Preservation Society Dec 1968

to Historic Aircraft Museum, Southend 1972 until c May +

to International Helicopter Museum, W-s-M Sep 1992. Sti+
    S2/5097     XL812: AAC Skeeter AOP12 d/d 13mar59; AAC Historic Flight; to G-SAR+
- G-SARO: Jul78-Nov00; From Nov00-

Reg Canx by CAA 14apr10
    S2/5099     XL814: AAC Skeeter AOP12 d/d 06mar59; AAC Historic Flight; 2013 pre+
    S2/5107     XM553: Skeeter AOP.12; preserved at Yorkshire Air Museum, England
- G-AWSV: ex XM553
    S2/5119 1958     XM564: dd Dec 1959 to Army Air Corps. 652 Sq, CFS, 12 Flt, 652 Sq, +
- XM564: 25jun16 at Bovington Tank Museum, Vehicle Conservation +
    S2/7147 1960     XN341: dd Feb 1960 to AAC. 651 Sq, Air Troop 3 RTR, soc c 1970
Royal Air Force XN341: arr 4 SoTT as 8022M at St Athan by Dec 1971, until sold+

- XN341: To Stondon Transport Museum, Lower Stondon, until it cl+

13/21 Sep15 for sale on Ebay from seller in Shrewsbury,+

Stands on a roof of a dumpstore in Maasbracht, Holland +
    S2/7157 1960     XN351: 651 Sq, 652 Sq, 3 RTR Air Troop, Wroughton, Shuttleworth Col+
Torbay Aircraft Museum XN351: on loan to Torbay Aircraft Museum May 1971

to Wales Aircraft Museum 1980, to G-BKSC reg 13 Dec 199+

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