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New RAF Mk6 Chinook completes first flight

15th April 2013 - 17:28 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


Boeing has revealed that the first flight of the newest CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift helicopter for the Royal Air Force (RAF) took place on 15 March at the Boeing helicopter facility near Philadelphia. The successful flight took place ahead of schedule and confirmed initial airworthiness for the Mk6 Chinook.

The Mk6 Chinook features advanced technology including UK-specific avionics, a forward-looking infrared system, and interoperable communication and navigation equipment. It is undergoing comprehensive testing in Mesa, Arizona in the US, before delivery to the UK later in 2013.

Capt. David Childs, Chinook team leader, UK Defence Equipment & Support, said: ‘This is a truly impressive achievement for both Boeing and the project team. To see the first aircraft fly less than 20 months after contract signature is a source of great pride for all those involved in this key project.’

The UK Ministry of Defence announced that it would purchase 14 new Mk6 Chinook aircraft in August 2011. The aircraft will join the RAF’s current Chinook fleet of 46 aircraft. The existing fleet is undergoing an upgrade programme as part of Project Julius to provide a new cockpit, upgraded engines, and a common configuration which will ensure coherence with the new Mk6 aircraft. The first upgraded Mk4 Chinook helicopters deployed to Afghanistan in late November 2012.

The Shephard News Team


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