Chi­nooks away for cadets

Southport Visiter - - Visiter Active - BY AN­DREW BROWN an­drew.brownNW@trin­i­tymir­ @visan­drew­brown +1 604 278 4604

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.

Pic­tures: Ma­jor Roy Be­van

All the cadets who flew in the Chi­nook

One of the cadets ex­presses her de­light at the trip

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