A CH-47 helicopter operated by the Royal Air Forces leaves spectators stunned during an unrestricted “landing” demonstration. These skilled pilots maneuver the 16.5-ton behemoth through the air with all the style and grace of a flying trapeze artist.
Not only did they pull a move that shocked the crowd, but they also repeated it one more time… backwards.
This video features the iconic tandem rotor made famous by the United States Army and piloted by personnel from the 18(B) Squadron based at RAF Odiham in Hampshire. The Royal Air Force has made their own variations to the famous machine in order to make it their own, because, as we see in the video, the RAF just can’t do anything the traditional way.
The chopper is known as the Chinook, named for the Chinook Native American tribe.
The Chinook was first designed and operated in Vietnam in 1962 but has grown in utilization and is being used today by more than 15 countries.
It is capable of holding up to 26,000 pounds of cargo, and can travel at speeds of up to 160 knots, and is the only heavy-lift cargo chopper to support combat operations, according to the U.S. Army.
The CH-47 is about 100 feet long and is the fourth-largest ever built. Its key job is transporting artillery, ammunition, personnel, and supplies on the battlefield, and performing rescues, aeromedical, parachuting, aircraft recovery, and special operations missions.
The Chinook played a major role in 1991 when an assault was launched on the 101st Airborne Division during Desert Storm. The work of 30 Chinooks, along with 60 Blackhawks, and Apaches and Cobras made the retaliation a success, and was the largest air assault at the time.
Over the years, many versions of the CH-47 were developed and revised. They have sustained improvements in power plant and rotor transmission, integral lubrication and cooling for the transmission system, fiberglass rotor blades, renovated cockpit to decrease pilot workload, redundant and improved electrical system, modularized hydraulics, advanced flight control system and improved avionics.
The Chinook remains a supreme leader in military helicopters despite spending several decades in service. Like most military aircraft, it’s expected to remain in service at least until 2025, and possibly beyond.
These unique helicopters have seen service in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, battle in the Falklands War in 1982, and were integral in peace-keeping missions in the Balkans.
After more than 50 years of hard work on the battlefield, it’s a treat to see the Chinook used in a nontypical display like this.