The S-70B Seahawk is 19.76 metres long
The striking S-70B Seahawk is 19.76 metres long and painted with Tiger stripes to reflect the 816 Squadron Crest, which depicts the head of a Bengal tiger, with the motto, 'Imitate the Action of the Tiger' drawn from William Shakespeare's 'Henry V'.
Conservation work behind the scenes - conservators Katie Wood and Nick Flood. Image: ANMM
Over the course of its 29-year career, N24-006/875 made multiple deployments to the Middle East and other international trouble spots, and was one of two Seahawks aboard HMAS Newcastle that participated in the search and rescue operation associated with the ill-fated 1998 Sydney-to-Hobart yacht race.
The helicopter is joining the museum’s permanent collection, offering a dramatic renewal opportunity for the Navy Gallery to represent the Navy’s role in civilian rescue operations.
The Seahawk replaces the older Westland Wessex helicopter, which is being transferred to the Australian War Memorial ensuring it remains in a national collection as an integral chapter in Australian Navy history.
The complex and breathtaking de-install of the Wessex helicopter, and installation of the new Seahawk is taking place from Monday 1 July to Friday 5 July. Visitors to the Museum may be able to catch glimpses from the Tasman Light Gallery of the helicopter being lifted 10 metres into the air and impressively rigged into place in the 15 metre ceiling space above the Navy Gallery.
The Museum is very grateful to the Royal Australian Navy for adding this exciting piece of naval history into the Australian National Maritime Collection.
Main image: Seahawk helicopter in action, courtesy of www.navy.com.au