Squirrel HT1

Powered by a single Ariel 1D1 gas-turbine engine, which drives a conventional three-blade main rotor and a twin-blade tail rotor, the Squirrel is an ideal platform to teach the rudiments of rotary-wing flying. It has an endurance of three hours, a cruising speed of 115 kts (132mph) and seating for a crew of two and four passengers. The Squirrel can be configured either to meet the demands of SEBRW and SEARW, or to meet any secondary transport or communication tasks.

The initial flying-training course, teaches basic rotary-wing skills and emergency handling, culminating in a first solo and a handling check prior to SEARW training. The SEARW phase of the course, is where basic skills are consolidated and developed into more applied techniques. The syllabus includes non-procedural instrument flying, basic night flying, low-level and formation flying, mountain flying and an introduction to winching for RN students. In addition to DHFS, the Squirrel HT1 is used by the Central Flying School (Helicopter) Squadron at RAF Shawbury for instructor training, and by 670 AAC Squadron, based at Middle Wallop, in Hampshire, for operational training.

Images: Ian Forshaw

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