The Blue Eagles are the Army Air Corps’ helicopter display team and perform using the Gazelle, Lynx, Scout, Alouette and now the Apache helicopters.
Following in the tradition of the Army's helicopter display team over the past quarter of a century, the Blue Eagles typify the qualities possessed by army pilots generally. Army flying is not about going from A to B, but about using the aircraft to support troops on the ground. This requires a high degree of training, intense concentration, the ability to fly the aircraft instinctively and to work calmly under pressure.
The Blue Eagles, was formed by instructors at the School of Army Aviation Middle Wallop in 1968, using five Bell-47G3B1 Sioux helicopters. Following various changes in format and aircraft types (including Sioux, Scout Gazelle and Lynx), the team has since continued under the names Eagles, Army Eagles, Sparrow-Hawks and, for the team’s 25th anniversary in 1993, The Silver Eagles.
In 1992 the Eagles were equipped with 4 Westland Lynx helicopters and began to startle crowds with their incredible manoeuvres, however the training cost was too great as the Army needed more and more Lynx crews, and so, in 1993, the mix of aircraft became a more sustainable one Lynx and four Gazelles. This combination proved a winner as the team, under the name Silver Eagles, won the prestigious Wilkinson Sword at the International Air Tattoo, for the "Best Display by a UK Participant".
In 1994, following an unbroken 26 years of Army display flying, the team was allowed to return to its original title, The Blue Eagles.
In 2008, a new team was formed to celebrate forty years of the Blue Eagles in the one hundredth year of Army Aviation, which included the new Apache Attack Helicopter, a Lynx, a Gazelle and two aircraft from an earlier generation of Army Aviation, representing its long and glorious heritage, the Scout and Alouette.
During the 2009 Air Display Season The Blue Eagles will be using an AAC Apache AH Mk1 and Lynx MK 7, with both types flying at the same time in a co-ordinated routine.
During 2010 the Blue Eagles were in abeyance.
Blue Eagles forthcoming displays|
The Blue Eagles are in abeyance for the 2011 season, however, where practicable there will be role demonstration events and/or static displays featuring Apache and Lynx.
The 'Blue Eagles' Westland Lynx photographed during a display at RIAT 2007.