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  • Saunders Roe Skeeter
    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/    Historic Aircraft Flight AAC Middle Wallop
    1962/6416 FltMY Kuching
    1958/??1 Flt
    19566 Flt

    List of Aircraft

    Help Us

    C/NModBuiltID     In this OrgIn other Org

    S2/7154 Skeeter 7 1960     8024M: Jul 1968 to RAF Binbrook as G I Airframe, until c Jun / Jul +
    - XN348: at Bückeberg helicopter museum by Apr 1974, still ther+
    S2/3070 Skeeter 6 1958     XK482: Built at Cowes, to Eastleigh during Mar 1957 and on to Army +
    - G-BJWC: ex XK482; reg G-BJWC during Nov 1982 to a private owner+

    exported to Australia; to Tyabb, Vic for restoration by+
    S2/5066 Skeeter 7 1958     XL735: AOP.12 to British Army May 1958
    S2/5067 Skeeter 7 1958     XL736: AOP.12 built by Saunders Roe, del Aug 1958.
    - XL736: held privately at Moordrecht; Holzerlingen, nr Stuttga+

    stored at IHM Weston-super-Mare, May 2011. Still there +
    S2/5069 Skeeter 7 1958     XL738: AOP.12 del AAC Sep 1958; HTF; 651 Sq
    S2/5071 Skeeter 7 1958     XL739: AOP.12 Built by Saunders Roe del AAC Sep 1958
    S2/5074 Skeeter 7 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, . Still present 2013.
    S2/5075 Skeeter 7 1958     XL763: AOP.12 del AAC Sep 1958; 2 Div; 654 Sq; Air Troop 15/19 Huss+
    s2/5076 Skeeter 7 1958     XL764: dd Sep 1958 to Eastleigh and on to Army Air Corps at Middle +
    Newark (Notts & Lincs) Air Museum XL764: Sold in and displayed at Nostell Priory.

    To Newark Air Museum in Jul 1980, where it wears the co+

    pictured at Newark Air Museum
    S2/5078 Skeeter 7 1958     XL765: 651 Sq 2 Feb 1959; trials at Middle Wallop between Jul and O+
    - XL765: Saunders Roe, ff 19 Sep 1958
    S2/5080 Skeeter 7 1958     XL767: to AAC; until 1969, when sold in Netherlands
    S2/5085 Skeeter 7 1958     XL769: Del Army Dec 1958
    - G-BDNS: Restoration believed incomplete. Reg G-BDNS Jan 1976, c+
    S2/5086 Skeeter 7 1958     XL770: AOP.12 Del AAC Dec 1958.
    S2/5094 Skeeter 7 1959     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

    - G-BLIX:

    - XL809: G-BLIX, to Sywell Oct 1988 in airworthy condition

    to Bedford area by Oct 2015
    S2/5095 Skeeter 7 1958     XL810: while with 9 Flight in Germany, hit power cables, crashed a+
    S2/5096 Skeeter 7 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 until c May 1983+

    to International Helicopter Museum, W-s-M Sep 1992. Sti+
    S2/5097 Skeeter 7 1959     XL812: AAC Skeeter AOP12 d/d 13mar59; to G-SARO
    - G-SARO: to Blackpool for restoration to flying condition, compl+

    UK private Jul78-Nov00; Nov00-Apr10

    Reg Canx by CAA 14apr10
    S2/5098 Skeeter 7 1959     XL813: to Army Historic Aircraft Flight by
    S2/5099 Skeeter 7 1959     XL814: AAC Skeeter AOP12 d/d 06mar59; AAC Historic Flight; preserv+
    S2/5103 Skeeter 7 1959     XM527: AOP.12 for AAC.
    S2/5107 Skeeter 7 1959     XM553: Skeeter AOP.12; preserved at Yorkshire Air Museum, England
    - G-AWSV: ex XM553

    to G-AWSV Oct 1968; visited Farnborough Air Show 1972
    S2/5109 Skeeter 7 1959     XM555: Skeeter AOP.12 d/d 14jul59; to 8027M; on display at NELSAM,+
    S2/5110 Skeeter 7 1959     XM556: to 654 Sq Sep 1959
    - XM556: painted in German colours as SC+117 and exhibited at Ga+
    S2/5112 Skeeter 7 1959     XM557: AOP.12 built by Saunders Roe, del Jul 1959.
    - XM557: held privately at Moordrecht Oct 1969; Holzerlingen, nr+

    stored at IHM Weston-super-Mare, Jan 2011. Still there +
    S2/5116 Skeeter 7 1959     XM561: ff Sep1959. to Army Oct 1959.
    S2/5119 Skeeter 7 1959     XM564: dd Dec 1959 to Army Air Corps; 652 Sq, CFS, 12 Flt, 652 Sq, +
    - XM564: 25jun16 at Bovington Tank Museum, Vehicle Conservation +
    S2/5120 Skeeter 7 1959     XM565: AOP.12 del Nov 1959; 651 Sq
    S2/7147 Skeeter 7 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 Jul 1968, until sold+

    In static display at Chivenor Air Show 1970

    - XN341: To Stondon Transport Museum, Lower Stondon, since at le+

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

    Stands on a roof of a dumpstore in Maasbracht, Holland +
    S2/7150 Skeeter 7 1960     XN344: 652 Sq; 654 Sq
    S2/7151 Skeeter 7 1960     XN345: AOP.12 built by Saunders Roe, del Mar 1960.
    - XN345: held privately at Moordrecht Oct 1969; Holzerlingen, nr+

    stored at IHM Weston-super-Mare, Jan 2011. Still there +
    S2/7154 Skeeter 7 1960     XN348: AOP.12 Del AAC Jun 1960
    - XN348: at Bückeberg helicopter museum by Apr 1974, still ther+
    S2/7157 Skeeter 7 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. Still there+

    to Wales Aircraft Museum 1980 and into restoration, to +

    Preserved in Norwich area by Jan 2014, still in Jan 201+