DH - Defence Helicopter

HMS Queen Elizabeth completes helo trials

28th March 2018 - 09:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The Royal Navy’s aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, has returned to UK waters after completing Chinook and Merlin helicopter trials.

The trials were carried out by QinetiQ and the Air Warfare Centre under the Air Test & Evaluation Centre (ATEC) partnership to support the helicopters’ clearance to land on the carrier. The two helicopter type trials were carried out in tandem, ensuring the time available on deck was used to maximum effect and avoiding a second voyage out to sea later in the year.

Before the trials, QinetiQ designed and installed flight instrumentation for two Merlin Mk 2 and two Chinook Mk 5 helicopters and delivered pre-trial simulator training to their test pilots.

The aircraft then deployed to HMS Queen Elizabeth in the Atlantic and over a period of four weeks, conducted landings at different weights and in varying conditions. The helicopters also conducted landings in the dark using night vision equipment. The ATEC team undertook data analysis and reporting to establish each aircraft’s safe operating limits.

John Anderson, managing director air and space, QinetiQ, said: ‘We are proud to contribute to the Royal Navy’s carrier programme, which forms such a vital part of the UK’s defence capability. These deck trials have been among the biggest ever conducted, and mark an important step towards enabling the carrier’s rotary wing capability, ahead of the F-35 trials planned later in 2018.

'Combining the trials delivers on our strategy to help customers make best use of their available funding when conducting mission-critical test and evaluation work.’

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