Sponsors invited to meet ‘The Team’ and take an exclusive flight over London.
LPA employees recently attended a Partners day at the CH47 Chinook Display Team’s Base at RAF Odiham. Companies providing much needed sponsorship to the Display Team were invited for a behind-the-scenes look into the life of Chinook crew and engineers.
The day began with a detailed and fascinating briefing into the history of the iconic Airframes and how they have been deployed and updated over the past decades. Starting from its inception in 1960 and role in Vietnam to the latest, modernised configuration; the HC.Mk6A and how it now serves in a National Resilience role as well as Operational capability.
This was followed by a tour of the Chinook hanger and a hands-on experience with the Airframes and the onboard weapons – including a minigun!
The highlight of the day for all was, without doubt, an hour-long flight over central London following a route along the Thames. Flying right into the heart of the Capital, taking in all it’s famous sites; Tower Bridge, Canary Wharf, The London Eye and The Shard to name a but a few! With the rear ramp lowered during the flight it provided the perfect viewing platform to take in the unique perspective.
Once they returned back to base and adrenaline levels had subsided, everyone was treated to a personal demonstration from the Team – a routine they have to practise every week to keep their skills up to scratch! LPA and all the other Companies represented would whole-heartedly agree Master Aircrewman Vince Bartlett and the team gave everyone a rare and fascinating experience not-soon forgotten!
About the Display Team & Aircraft
The RAF Chinook Display Team, based at RAF Odiham in Hampshire, aims to demonstrate the RAF Chinook’s capability. As well as part of the RAF Chinook Display Team, the crew are also part of a fully operational Squadron where they combine their daily training demands with practising their display sequence.
The Chinook is an extremely capable and highly versatile support helicopter that can be operated from land bases or seaborne vessels into a range of diverse environments, from the Arctic to the desert or jungle. The aircraft may be heavily armed and is fitted with a suite of self-defence equipment allowing it to operate across highly contested battlespace. Chinooks are primarily used for trooping, resupply and battlefield casualty evacuation (casevac) but the crews are trained to accomplish these tasks under threat from both ground and air based enemies.
With its triple-hook external load system, internal cargo winch, roller conveyor fit and large reserves of power, the aircraft can lift a wide variety of complex underslung or internal freight, including vehicles. It can carry up to 55 troops or up to approximately 10 tonnes of mixed cargo.
Its secondary roles include search and rescue (SAR), and supporting a wide variety of specialist tasks, including the National Resilience commitment. A Chinook crew traditionally comprises two pilots and two crewmen, supplemented by specialists dependent upon mission requirements.