Royal Navy’s Wildcat helicopter lands at St Helena Island airport for the first time

25 October 2015 (Last Updated October 25th, 2015 18:30)

The UK Royal Navy completed a milestone achieved after a Wildcat helicopter on-board its Duke class Type 23 frigate, HMS Lancaster, landed at the new airport on St Helena Island, becoming the first rotary-wing aircraft to land at the airport.

St Helena airport

The UK Royal Navy completed a milestone achieved after a Wildcat helicopter on-board its Duke class Type 23 frigate, HMS Lancaster, landed at the new airport on St Helena Island, becoming the first rotary-wing aircraft to land at the airport.

St Helena Island is located 1,200 miles off the African coast and is claimed to be one of the most remote islands in the world.

Currently under construction, the new airport is expected to be opened early next year.

Flight commander Dave Neyland said: "Landing at St Helena airport was a fantastic opportunity to bring a brand new helicopter to a brand new airport, particularly during such an historic period for the island.

"The airport will usher in a new era for the local community and I was delighted to be a part of that."

"Landing at St Helena airport was a fantastic opportunity to bring a brand new helicopter to a brand new airport."

HMS Lancaster's Wildcat, the latest generation of maritime attack helicopter, is designed to carry out a number of missions, including anti-ship, anti-submarine, ship protection, casualty evacuation, battlefield reconnaissance and general utility.

Meanwhile, HMS Lancaster has now completed seven months of its nine-month deployment. During the deployment, the vessel has travelled 28,000 miles and performed 16 port visits over four continents.

According to the Royal Navy, Lancaster is also the first Royal Navy frigate to deploy with the advanced maritime attack helicopter, that performs reconnaissance and captures aerial photos of the island.

In September, a Beechcraft King Air 200 plane landed at St Helena Airport for the first time, prior to conducting a series of calibration flights.


Image: The UK Royal Navy's Wildcat helicopter became the first rotary-wing aircraft to land at the airport in St Helena Island. Photo: courtesy of Royal Navy.