Black Cats 2013
Message from 2013 team.
We really hope that everyone enjoyed seeing the Black Cats displaying in 2012!
We had a meeting this week discussing how the Black Cats will run for the 2013 display season with some interesting results. As most of you will know the Lynx helicopter is now 41 years old and some of the airframes we fly in the displays are reaching 30 years old, so it's time that we gave the Lynx a well deserved retirement and a new aircraft.
The new Royal Navy helicopter - the AgustaWestland A159 Lynx-Wildcat - has just arrived at RNAS Yeovilton from the factory and will hopefully enter service with the Royal Navy at the end of this year. The problem is now that our pilots, observers and engineers need to train to operate the new aircraft, but at the same time we still need to continue to do our front-line tasks of Maritime Security across the globe and UK Counter-Terrorism with our current Lynx helicopters.
So, we have decided that the 2013 Black Cats will be a solo Lynx display - one pilot from each Royal Navy Lynx Squadron - until we can look to try to build the team up to a Lynx/Lynx-Wildcat pair and then onto a Lynx-Wildcat pair. And although we are only flying a solo Navy Lynx, we have plans to join forces with other displays at air shows in 2013 - which will be a lot of fun, so keep an eye out!
The 2012 pilots (Ian and Dave) are now heading back to the front-line to be Flight Commanders in warships on operational deployments, but the new pilots will shortly be taking the reins and will announce themselves and the 2013 display season in the next few weeks.
Thank you so much for all your fabulous support, posts and photos, and the 2013 team will look forward to meeting you at our display trailer (for posters, stickers, caps and T-shirts) at air shows and events throughout this summer!