Chinooks away for cadets
DID you hear the heavy thud of the Chinook helicopter above Southport and Formby last week?
The American tandem-rotor, heavy-lift chopper was at Altcar Army Camp in Hightown on Thursday to support cadets.
With 120 cadets, plus officers and instructors, the aircraft flew 30 people at a time around the Sefton area.
Major Roy Bevan said: “St Mary’s College Combined Cadet Force, jointly with a supporting Parachute Regiment Reservists, managed through a contact to arrange with RAF Odiham, which is a Front Line Support Helicopter base, for a Chinook to visit Altcar Camp for their cadets to have a trip-of-a-lifetime in one.
“Wishing for it to be a combined cadets opportunity, St Marys CCF put out a general invitation to other cadet units so the event could be shared.
“The Air Training Corps from Maghull and also Woolton, plus Merseyside Sea Cadets and Royal Marines Cadets took up the offer.
“For the cadets, it will be something to always remember and the quote from the Chinook crew was that they had also achieved by supporting the cadet forces and promoting the success of the RAF image.”
The Boeing Chinook’s primary roles are troop movement, artillery placement, and battlefield resupply. It has a wide loading ramp at the rear of the fuselage and three external ventral cargo hooks.
With a top speed of 196mhp (170 knots 315 km/h), the helicopter was faster than contemporary 1960s utility helicopters and attack helicopters, and is still one of the fastest helicopters in the US inventory.
Its name is from the Native American Chinook people and it was designed and produced by Boeing Vertol in the early 1960s; it is now produced by Boeing Rotorcraft Systems.
It is one of the few aircraft of that era – along with the fixed-wing Lockheed C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft – that remain in production and frontline service.
All the cadets who flew in the Chinook
One of the cadets expresses her delight at the trip