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Christmas highway check 2021: RAF Chinook helicopter | Autocar

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A Chinook can carry 55 troops along with its crew of three to 5: two pilots, plus one to 3 air crew, or ‘loadmasters’. However in fight, RAF Chinooks are identified to have transported greater than 70 troops at a time. “We’ll normally bulk out earlier than we weight out,” a loadmaster instructed us.The Chinook’s cargo bay is 9.3m lengthy, 2.29m extensive and 1.98m tall, so sufficiently big to take a automobile, and it has a 10-tonne load capability. It will probably maintain as much as 24 stretchers, or be fitted with a curler flooring system to make it simpler to load pallets. It will probably additionally be fitted with rubberised Medical Emergency Response Group (MERT) f looring – blood mats, informally – when evacuating casualties, partly for hygiene but additionally as a result of bodily fluids could be corrosive to the airframe. Finally, no matter wants transporting, if they will, they’ll carry it. “We’ve taken every thing from Vary Rovers, pallets of {dollars} and gold bars to donkeys,” we had been instructed.

Loaded from the surface, however managed by a loadmaster from the cabin, are the three load hooks, rated for greater than the Chinook is supposed to elevate. The ahead and rear ones have a capability of 7711kg every or 10,433kg collectively. The centre hook, seen straight beneath the opening hatch within the f loor, by way of which the loadmaster will supervise operations whereas giving directions to the pilots, is rated for 11,793kg. All three hundreds could be jettisoned by the loadmaster in an emergency: “We wouldn’t put something beneath that we wouldn’t give to the enemy.”

Entry to the cockpit from the cargo maintain is thru an open doorway, nevertheless it’s a fragile step throughout low-mounted change panels and into the seats. As soon as in, ahead visibility is superb from the 2 side-by-side seats. To the again, not a lot, therefore the significance of the air crew.

Early Chinooks had analogue shows and controls however all have been upgraded to digital glass cockpits, and this 12 months the final of them was additionally upgraded with Boeing’s DAFCS (Digital Automated Flight Management System). Behind the right-sided pilot is one other jet-fuelled turbine, however this one is a cabin heater.

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