Wings Over Illawarra 2017: Squirrel Pairs Display Team

Royal Australian Navy Eurocopter AS-350B Squirrel helicopters operated by 723 Squadron have been in operation since 1984 and are normally used in the lead in helicopter training role (earlier on they did fly off navy frigates in the surveillance and utility role). Every now and then though they put on a bit of a show.

Royal Australian Navy723 Squadron Eurocopter AS-350B Squirrel training helicopters at Wings Over Illawarra 2017
Royal Australian Navy 723 Squadron Eurocopter AS-350B Squirrel training helicopters at Wings Over Illawarra 2017
Royal Australian Navy723 Squadron Eurocopter AS-350B Squirrel training helicopters at Wings Over Illawarra 2017
Royal Australian Navy 723 Squadron Eurocopter AS-350B Squirrel training helicopters at Wings Over Illawarra 2017

At Wings Over Illawarra 2017 we got to see one of the last public air show performances of the RAN AS-350BA Squirrel Pairs Display Team. Watching the two Squirrels perform paired maneuvers and almost dancing in the sky was great to see, especially given this is likely to be their send off show as they head into retirement.

Royal Australian Navy723 Squadron Eurocopter AS-350B Squirrel training helicopters at Wings Over Illawarra 2017
RAN Squirrel Pairs Display Team in action at Wings Over Illawarra 2017
Royal Australian Navy 723 Squadron Eurocopter AS-350B Squirrel training helicopters at Wings Over Illawarra 2017
RAN Squirrel Pairs Display Team in action at Wings Over Illawarra 2017 – Cross Over
RAN Squirrel Pairs Display Team in action at Wings Over Illawarra 2017
RAN Squirrel Pairs Display Team in action at Wings Over Illawarra 2017
RAN Squirrel Pairs Display Team in action at Wings Over Illawarra 2017
The Squirrel has been in RAN service since 1984 but is soon to retire – it was great to see one of their final public air show performances over Illawarra
RAN Squirrel Pairs Display Team in action at Wings Over Illawarra 2017
The RAN Squirrel Pairs Display Team is an entertaining performance – dancing mid air
RAN Squirrel Pairs Display Team in action at Wings Over Illawarra 2017
Away they go!
RAN Squirrel Pairs Display Team in action at Wings Over Illawarra 2017
Squirrels break!
RAN Squirrel Pairs Display Team in action at Wings Over Illawarra 2017
Diving away
RAN Squirrel Pairs Display Team in action at Wings Over Illawarra 2017
Dance of the Squirrels
RAN Squirrel Pairs Display Team in action at Wings Over Illawarra 2017
RAN Squirrel Pairs Display Team in action at Wings Over Illawarra 2017
RAN Squirrel Pairs Display Team in action at Wings Over Illawarra 2017
Heading towards the crowd line at Illawarra Regional Airport
RAN Squirrel Pairs Display Team in action at Wings Over Illawarra 2017
Precision flying
RAN Squirrel Pairs Display Team in action at Wings Over Illawarra 2017
Farewell RAN Squirrel Pairs Display Team

The 12 AS-350B Squirrel helicopters currently in service with the RAN are soon to be retired and replaced by new Airbus EC-135 T2+ military training helicopter that feature a glass cockpit and advanced avionics. 15 of the new helicopters will be operated at HMAS Albatross for joint training of Navy, Army and civilian helicopter pilots.

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