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The 2007 RAF Chinook HC Mk2

RAF Chinook HC Mk2
The RAF operates the largest fleet of Chinook Support Helicopters after the US Army, with a total of 34 HC2s, 6 HC2As and 8 HC3s (the HC3 has yet to enter operational service). The Chinook Wing, which forms the heavy-lift element of the Joint Helicopter Command (JHC), is based at RAF Odiham in Hampshire. Odiham supports three operational squadrons, No 7 Squadron, No 18 Squadron and No 27 Squadron, and the Operational Conversion Flight.

The HC2 and HC2A aircraft are used primarily for trooping and for carrying internal and/or underslung loads and can carry up to 55 troops or 10 tonnes of freight. The cabin is large enough to accommodate two Land Rovers, while the three underslung load hooks allow a huge flexibility in the type and number of loads that can be carried externally. Secondary roles include search and rescue and casualty evacuation, in which role a total of 24 stretchers can be carried. The crew consists of either two pilots, or a pilot and a weapon systems officer (WSO), and two air loadmasters. The pilot captain is responsible for the safe operation of the aircraft and completion of the mission, while the co-pilot or WSO operates the mission-management systems, navigation, communications and the self-defence suite. In the cabin are two air loadmasters who are responsible for passenger safety, load or cargo restraint, weapons operation and voice marshalling of the aircraft.

The Chinook is well equipped with defensive aids and has a Radar Warning Receiver, an Ultraviolet and Doppler Missile Approach Warning System, infrared jammers and chaff and flare dispensers, which can be manually or automatically fired. The aircraft can be armed with two M134 six-barrelled Miniguns, one in each front side window, and an M60D machine gun on the ramp.

RAF Chinook HC2 at RAF Waddington 2006
RAF Chinook HC2 at RAF Waddington 2006.

7 Squadron
7 Sqn Badge.
7 Sqn
Aircraft: Chinook HC2
Motto: Per diem, per noctem - By day and by night.
Badge: On a hurt, seven mullets of six points forming a representation of the constellation Ursa Major - approved by King George VI in June 1939.
Battle Honours: Western Front 1915-1918, Ypres 1915, Loos, Somme 1916, Ypres 1917, Fortress Europe 1941-1944, Biscay Ports 1941-1944, Ruhr 1942-1945, German Ports 1942-1945, Berlin 1943-1945, France and Germany 1944-1945, Normandy 1944, Rhine, Kosovo, Iraq 2003*.
Previous Aircraft: R.E. 8 - 1918, Vimy - 1923, Hampden - 1939, Stirling B Mk I - 1940, Lancaster B Mk III - 1943, Valiant B Mk 1 - 1956, Chinook HC1 - 1982, Chinook HC2 - 1993

18 Squadron
18 Sqn Badge.
18 Sqn
Aircraft: Chinook HC2
Motto: Animo et fide - 'With courage and faith'.
Badge: Pegasus rampant - approved by King Edward VIII in May 1936. The Pegasus commemorated the unit's co-operation with the Cavalry Corps on the Somme during World War I.
Battle Honours: Western Front 1915-1918*, Somme 1916*, Somme 1918*, Hindenburg Line*, Lys, France and Low Countries, Invasion Ports 1940*, Fortress Europe 1940-1942, Channel and North Sea 1940-1941*, Egypt and Libya 1942, North Africa 1942-1943*, Mediterranean 1943, Sicily 1943, Salerno, South East Europe 1943-1944, Italy 1943-1945*, Gothic Line, South Atlantic 1982*, Gulf 1991.
Previous Aircraft: Hart - 1931, Hind - 1936, Blenheim Mk I - 1939, Blenheim Mk IV - 1940, Canberra B2 - 1953, Valiant B Mk I - 1958, Chinook HC1 - 1981

27 Squadron
27 Sqn Badge.
27 Sqn
Aircraft: Chinook HC2
Motto: Quam celerrime ad astra - 'With all speed to the Stars'.
Badge: An elephant - approved by HM King Edward VIII in October 1936. The badge was based on an unofficial emblem first used in 1934 and commemorates the Squadron's first operational aircraft - the Martinsyde G100 'Elephant' - and the unit's long sojourn to India.
Battle Honours: Western Front 1916-1918*, Somme 1916*, Arras, Ypres 1917*, Cambrai 1917*, Somme 1918*, Lys, Amiens, Hindenburg Line, Mahsud 19420, Waziristan 1920-1925, Mohmund 1927, North West Frontier 1930-1931, Mohmund 1933, North West Frontier 1935-1939, Malaya 1941-1942*, Arakan 1942-1944*, North Burma 1944*, Burma 1944-1945, Gulf 1991. Previous Aircraft: Canberra B2 - 1953, Vulcan B2 - 1972, Tornado GR1 - 1980

2007 Display Team
Captain - Flt Lt Dave Traill
Flt Lt David Traill is a 44 year old Scot, born in Stenhousemuir in Central Scotland. He joined the RAF in 1987 as a direct entrant cadet and started RAFC Cranwell in February of that year. Following officer training he conducted flying training at RAF Swinderby and RAF Linton-on-Ouse before commencing Helicopter training at RAF Shawbury in 1988. He was posted to 7 Sqn in 1989 and was immediately deployed to the Middle East in time for the first Gulf War. Dave has completed tours on 7, 18, 27 and 78 Sqn and has served in both Gulf Wars, Northern Ireland, Bosnia and The Falkland Islands. He currently serves as a Helicopter Flying Instructor on the Chinook Operational Conversion Flight on 18(B) Sqn at RAF Odiham. Dave has 4000 hrs flying experience, of which around 3800 are on the Chinook.

Technical Specifications of the Chinook HC2

Engines: Two Avco Lycoming turboshafts
Length: 51ft 0in (15.54m)
Rotor Diameter: 60ft 0in (18.29m)
Top Speed: 185mph (298 km/h)
Accommodation: Crew of two to four plus up to 54 troops or 28,000lb payload

RAF Chinook HC Mk2 at the Royal International Air Tattoo 2006
RAF Chinook HC Mk2 at the Royal International Air Tattoo 2006.

Co-pilot - Sqn Ldr Andy Lamb
Sqn Ldr Lamb joined the Army Air Corp in 1986, undergoing officer training at Sandhurst followed by initial pilot training at Middle Wallop, flying the Chipmunk and Gazelle. On successful completion of the course he converted to the Lynx Mk 1/7 and was posted to Soest in Germany. He was subsequently posted as an exchange officer to 427 Tac Hel Sqn in Canada flying the Jet Ranger and Bell 212 for 3 years. On return, Lamb was posted to 7 Flt AAC in Brunei where he again flew the Bell 212 in support of the Jungle Warfare Centre and Special Forces. Sqn Ldr Lamb transferred to the RAF in 2003, joining the Chinook Wing at RAF Odiham and is currently serving on 18(B) Sqn. Sqn Ldr Lamb has a total of 3500 hrs a nd has served in a wide variety of theatres from Alaska to Afghanistan..

Co-pilot - Flt Lt Chris Middleton
Flt Lt Chris Middleton is 34 years old and was born in Inverness. Whilst attending the University of Glasgow he became a member of the University Air Squadron before joining the RAF in 1995. He commenced navigator training in 1996 and 2 DHFS ME at RAF Shawbury in 1998 before entering the Chinook OCU in 1999. During his time on Chinooks he has been a member of all 3 Squadrons. Recently returned from Operations in Afghanistan, he has also spent time on Operations in Iraq, Bosnia, Turkey and Northern Ireland.

RAF Chinook HC2 at RAF Cosford 2006
RAF Chinook HC2 at RAF Cosford 2006.
               RAF Chinook HC2 at RIAT 2006
RAF Chinook HC2 at RIAT 2006.

Co-pilot - Flt Lt Rich Simpson
Flt Lt Rich Simpson is 29 years old and was born in Bridgend, South Wales. He joined the RAF in 2000 following 3 years at Portsmouth University, and was a member of Southampton University Air Squadron. Following his commissioning in 2001 he was posted to the DHFS at RAF Shawbury. In 2002 Flt Lt Simpson was selected to attend 18 Squadron's Chinook OCF at RAF Odiham before beginning his operational career in 2003 with B Flt 27 Squadron. Since then he has completed Operational Detachments in Iraq and more recently Afghanistan. Other exercises and detachments include the Falkland Islands, Northern Ireland, Norway, USA, Poland, Europe and the Middle East. Flt Lt Simpson is an Air-test Captain and has 1300 hours total flying.

Crewman - FS Sam Norris
FS Norris joined the RAF in Aug 1999. Previously, he served 25 years in the Royal Navy; initially as a submariner and from 1983, as a Search and Rescue diver/crewman. He has over 2000 hours Wessex and Seaking and has participated in more than 300 rescues. He completed No 15 Chinook course in May 2000 and was posted to 18 (B) Sqn. He has since flown 1300 hours and operated in diverse places such as Norway, Sierra Leone, Morocco, Iraq and Afghanistan. He is currently the crewman Standards Officer.

Crewman - Sgt Bob Larcombe
Sgt Larcombe joined the RAF in 1987, on completion of an Engineering Apprenticeship he was posted to 7 Sqn as an airframes and propulsion technician on Chinook. During this time he served in Northern Ireland, the Falkland Islands and Bosnia. After ten years Sgt Larcombe remustered to become an Air Loadmaster and was posted to the Chinook fleet in 1999, this time to 18 Sqn he has served in the Falklands, Northern Ireland and and has been on operations more recently in Afghanistan. A qualified Helicopter Tactics Instructor, he has amassed nearly 2000 hours on Chinook.

Crewman - Flt Sgt Jason Hollingsworth
FS Hollingsworth joined the RAF as a direct entrant in 1997. After training as an Air Loadmaster at RAFC Cranwell he was posted to DHFS RAF Shawbury to undertake Helicopter Crewman training. On completion of flying training he was posted to 27 Sqn at RAF Odiham to convert to the Chinook HC2. Upon completion of the OCF he remained with 27 Sqn B flt for two tours, during which he was involved in operations in nearly all the theatres in which the Chinook saw service. These included the former Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, West Africa, Northern Ireland and the Falkland Islands. He was posted to 18(B) Sqn in 2005 before returning to CFS at RAF Shawbury to undertake his training as a Qualified Helicopter Crewman Instructor. He currently serves as an instructor on the OCF with 2500 hrs on type.

Crewman - Sgt Mark Yardley
Sgt Yardley joined the RAF as a direct entrant in 1995. After training as an Air Loadmaster at RAF Finningley he was posted to 2 Sqn at RAF Shawbury to undertake Helicopter Crewman training on the Wessex. On the award of his flying brevet he was posted to 60 Sqn RAF Benson to complete the Wessex OCU, and subsequently to 72 Sqn at RAF Aldergrove where he attained his Air Gunnery Instructor and Qualified Helicopter Tactics Instructor qualifications. After nearly four years and 1600 hours, he was sent to 18 Sqn RAF Odiham to convert to the Chinook HC2, an aircraft that has accompanied him back to Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan as well as exercises in Oman, Jordan, Norway, Belize and the United States for another 1700 hours. He is currently the SNCO I/C Tasking cell at RAF Odiham.

RAF Chinook HC2 courtesy of Sqn Ldr Dave Morgan.
RAF Chinook HC2
courtesy of Sqn Ldr Dave Morgan.
               RAF Chinook HC2 courtesy of Sqn Ldr Dave Morgan.
RAF Chinook HC2
courtesy of Sqn Ldr Dave Morgan.

Team Chinook 2007 Display Dates & Venues
Date Location
6 May 07 Abingdon Fayre
20 May 07 Duxford
27-28 May 07 Southend

2- 3 Jun 07 Biggin Hill
10 Jun 07 Cosford
15-16 Jun 07 Volkel
17 Jun 07 Kemble
30 Jun 1 Jul 07 Waddington

7 Jul 07 Yeovilton
13 - 15 Jul 07 RIAT
25 Jul 07 Odiham Fam Day
27 Jul 07 Shawbury
28 Jul 07 East Fortune
29 Jul 07 Sunderland

1 Aug 07 Culdrose
11 - 12 Aug 07 Ayr
17 - 19 Aug 07 Eastbourne
18 - 19 Aug 07 Dawlish
26 Aug 07 Dunsfold W&W
29 Aug - 1 Sep 07 Dartmouth regatta

1 - 2 Sep 07 Lydd
8 - 9 Sep 07 Duxford
13 Sep 07 Jersey/Guernsey
15 -16 Sep 07 Shoreham

                  Thanks to Sqn Ldr Dave Morgan and the rest of the Chinook Display Team.