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30th Anniversary of G-LYNX Flight

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30th Anniversary of G-LYNX Flight

Post by ramjet » Thu Aug 11, 2016 2:10 pm

Thought this worthy of note

30th Anniversary of G-LYNX Flight

The Absolute World Helicopter Speed Record
Held for 30 Years and Counting
By Geoff Byham

At the beginning of 1986, the British helicopter manufacturer Westland experienced a crisis brought about by a shortage of orders and needed to attract financial backing. It was felt that a demonstration of the company’s technical capability would attract interest from the business world and allay the savage press comments that had arisen from the situation. The company had achieved significant success in many technical areas, none more so than with its new rotor technology, first flown on August 8, 1985, so it was considered that attempting to take the world speed record would provide a dramatic demonstration of the company’s potential.

The new British Experimental Rotor Programme (BERP), which had been developed by Westland working with the UK Ministry of Defence, had produced a rotor blade, recognizable through its distinctive tip geometry, that had shown all of the predicted advantages to the rotor flight envelope, delaying the retreating blade stall problems by some 35 kt (65 km/h). At practical weights, a Westland Lynx could readily exceed the existing Mil Mi-10 outright helicopter world speed record of 198 kt (367 km/h) using this rotor. So Westland decided that a Lynx had to be configured and cleared to make an attempt on the outright helicopter speed record providing a dramatic demonstration of the company’s capability.

Starting with a basic utility Lynx the main problem areas, not surprisingly, were a need to increase installed power and transmission clearance from the production standard. Solutions to these problems were available from other projects that could furnish more powerful engines (the Rolls-Royce Gem 60 boosted by water-methanol injection), and clearance to run the transmission at one engine inoperative (OEI) contingency power with both engines running. Indeed, the engine power was likely to exceed the transmission capacity by a modest margin on a cool day and the opportunity was taken to fit smaller exhaust pipes to make use of the excess thermodynamic energy that did not get into the gearbox.

The other threat was the high internal load level that the tail rotor would experience at the speed record high torques and advance ratio. With this issue unresolved, the project would not be viable. Again the problem had a largely ready-made solution from a Lynx stablemate, the Westland 30. Its low set, double sided tail-plane with endplate fins angled to lift to starboard would offload the tail rotor. Confidence was such that the company invited all the major suppliers and project partners to hear the plan. There was unanimous support.

The Ministry of Defence loaned the instrumented development components used in the blade flight-test program and Rolls-Royce prioritized the engine clearance program needed for the flight release.

Work commenced in early May with the provision of the disassembled company demonstrator G-LYNX and critical engine testing started in mid-May. It was planned to be ready to fly with all changes in place by August 4th and to make the first record attempt on August 11th, in order to make an impact at the Farnborough airshow. First flight was on August 1st with a hectic week of problem solving as aircraft trim and tailplane loads became obstacles that had to be resolved — the self-sufficient team was able to deal swiftly with routine servicing issues.

And so in the calm hazy evening of August 11, 1986, G-LYNX flew over a measured 15 km (8 nn) course in Somerset and achieved an average speed 400.87 km/h (216.5 kt), setting two Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) official records that remain unbroken today. Everything worked as planned, leading to lots of publicity at Farnborough. Afterwards G-LYNX and most of the dynamic components went back to routine test flying duties.
The whole exercise was a team effort, not only for those directly involved, but by their colleagues who supported them throughout the company. The whole workforce took pride in the achievement, and this August will celebrate the unbroken records after 30 years.

Note: High-speed compound flights have not been recognized as official FAI records.

About the Author
Geoffrey M. Byham joined Westland in 1968 as a research aerodynamicist, and was closely involved in the BERP rotor development. He was later appointed as chief aerodynamicist, and played key roles in what is now the AW101, serving as chief engineer, chief scientist and finally as head of engineering at Westland Helicopters.
Info via http://vtol.org/news/30th-anniversary-of-g-lynx-flight

Cheers, Rog

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Re: 30th Anniversary of G-LYNX Flight

Post by ChrisGilligan » Thu Aug 11, 2016 7:52 pm

Thank you for posting this. A really interesting piece and one that has inspired me to finally pay the Helicopter Museum in Weston a visit shortly to see the Lynx itself. Many thanks

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Re: 30th Anniversary of G-LYNX Flight

Post by The Phantom » Fri Aug 12, 2016 7:31 am

Interesting article - thanks for posting :thumb:
Fantastic that the record has stood for 30 years (showing how advanced the Lynx was) :thumbs:

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Re: 30th Anniversary of G-LYNX Flight

Post by T_J » Fri Aug 12, 2016 10:32 am

It is a remarkable achievement to hold the record for so long.

I wonder if the Russians will attempt to beat the Lynx record with the test-bed Mil-24K Hind? This modified Hind first flew in 2015 and the record was previously held by a Hind.
The flying testbed derived from the Mil Mil-24K (NATO reporting name: Hind) for testing components of the future high-speed helicopter flew for the first time on December 23, 2015, a defense industry source told journalists on Thursday, Dec. 24.

According to the source, the airborne laboratory got off the ground for the first time at the Mil Helicopter Plant’s (a Russian Helicopter subsidiary) flight test facility in Tomilino (Moscow Region). It is equipped with a main rotor embodying the latest Russian aerodynamic, strength and manufacturing technologies.

As was reported in the press, the flying testbed is designed for the full-scale flight testing of the rotor system of the future high-speed helicopter and is a derivative of the Mi-24K. It was unveiled at the MAKS 2015 air show.

A scientific and technical groundwork is to be laid as part of the future helicopter’s development to drive the rotorcraft’s speed up to 400 km/h at first and up to 450 km/h later on. The results to be produced will be applicable to upgrading the in-service helicopters and developing advanced ones. Russian Aerospace Force Commander-in-Chief Viktor Bondarev said the future high-speed helicopter would enter full-scale production in 2022 and would be capable of 500 km/h.
Image of the test-bed Mi-24K at following link.

https://50skyshades.com/news/manufactur ... den-flight

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