A CH-47 helicopter operated by the Royal Air Forces leaves spectators stunned during an unrestricted “landing” demonstration. Watch as 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 will they pull a move that leaves you standing there, mouth agape, asking “How?” They’ll do it one more time… backward.
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 also known as the Chinook. The Chinook was first designed and operated in Vietnam in 1962 but has grown in size and is being utilized today by more than 15 countries, according to the U.S. Air Force.
The Chinook was named after the Chinook tribe of Native Americans. It is capable of taking off with 22,000 lbs of cargo or up to 55 combat troops, the Military Machine reported.
The CH-47 is about 100 feet long and is the fourth-largest ever built. Its key job is “moving artillery, ammunition, personnel and supplies on the battlefield, and it also performs rescue, aeromedical, parachuting, aircraft recovery and special operations missions,” per the U.S. Air Force.
The Chinook played a major role in 1991 when an air assault was launched on the 101st Airborne Division. The work of 60 Chinooks made the retaliation a success and the Air Force says, “after 50 years of flight service, the Chinook still retains its supreme position in its field.”
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 and dedication, we think it’s time to let loose and show us what they can do.
The Air Force said, “It will remain the US Army’s heavy lift helicopter until at least 2025.”
Over the years, many versions of the CH-47 were developed and revised. They have sustained “upgraded power plant and rotor transmission, integral lubrication and cooling for the transmission system, fiberglass rotor blades, redesigned cockpit to reduce pilot workload, redundant and improved electrical system, modularized hydraulics, advanced flight control system and improved avionics,” the Air Force said.