XZ329 | Westland Gazelle AH.1

  • Aircraft type: Westland SA.341B Gazelle AH.1
  • Construction number: 1648
  • Military serial: XZ329
  • Civilian registration: G-BZYD

XZ329 was first flown on 24 June 1977 and flown from the Westland Helicopters factory at Yeovil, Somerset to RNAY Wroughton, Wiltshire for short term storage, before on 8 August 1977 it was ferried to the Westland Helicopters factory at Weston, Somerset for modification works.

On 12 September 1977 it was again sent to RNAY Wroughton for short term storage. In December 1977 it finally made it into service with 664 squadron Army Air Corps at AAC Aldergrove, then with 656 squadron based at Farnborough, Hampshire which was deployed on operation AGILA in Rhodesia during 1979-1980.

After 1982 it was based at the AAC centre at Middle Wallop, Hampshire where it was used by a range of squadrons, however we are unsure of the exact assignments.

It was assigned to Middle Wallop until it was sent to RAF Shawbury, Shropshire for long term storage after being deemed surplus to requirement on 30 January 1998.

XZ329 in civilian hands, registered as G-BZYD. Image via Chris Globe.