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Vector Aerospace may lay off 60 in UK

Vector Aerospace may lay off 60 in UK

A local news outlet in Portsmouth is reporting that 60 jobs at the local Vector Aerospace facility at Fleetlands are at risk after the company lost s contract. Portsmouth News says Vector had bid for the Digital Automatic Flight Control System upgrade programme for the Royal Air Force’s Chinook helicopter fleet. Steve Burnell from Boeing Defence… Read more »

Source: HeliHub.com, 10-Aug-16

RAF donates Sea King to Falklands museum

RAF donates Sea King to Falklands museum

The Royal Air Force has donated a Sea King (Sikorsky S61 built in UK under licence) to the Falkland Islands Museum and National Trust.  The aircraft is serialled XZ593. RAF Commodore Darren Bone said: “For over a generation the Sea King has been a reassuring sight across the Falkland Islands. It has gone to the… Read more »

Source: HeliHub.com, 11-May-16

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CAE to upgrade two Royal Air Force Chinook simulators

CAE to upgrade two Royal Air Force Chinook simulators

The United Kingdom Ministry of Defence (MOD) has awarded a contract amendment to CAE to upgrade two of the CH-47 Chinook dynamic mission simulators at CAE’s Medium Support Helicopter Aircrew Training Facility (MSHATF) at RAF Benson. CAE will install the digital automatic flying control system (DAFCS) in each of the simulators to ensure concurrency with… Read more »

Source: CAE, 06-Apr-16

RAF passes 10,000 hours on upgraded Pumas

RAF passes 10,000 hours on upgraded Pumas

Wednesday 17th February marked a significant milestone for the Puma Force as they reached a staggering 10,000 flying hours for the Puma 2. The extensively upgraded helicopter declared Initial Operating Capability in February 2015 and just over three weeks later deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation TORAL; the ongoing NATO training and support mission…. Read more »

Source: RAF, 22-Feb-16

UK receives 60th Chinook

UK receives 60th Chinook

Boeing has confirmed delivery of the 14th Mk.6 Chinook to the UK’s Royal Air Force, taking its fleet to 60 aircraft.  The event also coincided with the 35th anniversary of Chinook operations for the UK. “Since they were introduced into service in 1980, our Chinook fleet has played an integral supporting role for British forces and… Read more »

Source: HeliHub.com, 07-Dec-15

Bristow winchman recognised by the Queen

Bristow winchman recognised by the Queen

Bristow winchman Duncan Tripp has been recognized as a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in recognition of his service to the Royal Air Force (RAF). Tripp served as winchman paramedic based at RAF Lossiemouth with 202 Squadron for 18 years before transitioning to Bristow’s UK SAR base at Inverness in April… Read more »

Source: Bristow, 09-Nov-15

First Chinooks arrive at RAF Benson

First Chinooks arrive at RAF Benson

The first Chinook helicopters and around 150 personnel moved to RAF Benson on Wednesday as the Chinook Operational Conversion Flight joined their Puma colleagues. The Chinook Operational Conversion Flight, which will eventually see 6 Chinook aircraft based at RAF Benson, joined the Puma Operational Conversion Flight to form the combined Puma and Chinook Operational Conversion… Read more »

Source: Chinooks, 27-Oct-15

Royal Air Force to receive AW109SP GrandNew

Royal Air Force to receive AW109SP GrandNew

Previously unannounced by AgustaWestland, it would appear that the Royal Air Force in the UK are soon to receive an AW109SP GrandNew.  In a sneak photo here, we can see the full standard 32 Squadron colour scheme including RAF roundels, the British flag on the tail and the squadron crest just below the cabin windows…. Read more »

Source: HeliHub.com, 23-Oct-15

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11-Oct-15 XW229 Airbus SA330 Kabul, Afghanistan (5F)

Two UK RAF servicemen, two US servicemen and one French civilian contractor died in the crash after reportedly striking the cable of a tethered surveillance balloon.  The two British fatalitites were named as Flight Lieutenant Geraint Roberts and Flight Lieutenant Alan Scott, while the American pair were named as Major Phyllis Pelky and Master Sgt…. Read more »

11-Oct-15

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Royal Air Force bows out of UK SAR responsibility

Royal Air Force bows out of UK SAR responsibility

The Royal Air Force bowed out from it’s Search And Rescue role in the UK on Sunday 4th October, as the last base stood down – RAF Chivenor, it confirmed on Twitter.  Although planned for 30 September, a last minute hitch meant that Bristow Helicopters were not able to start operations until Sunday, with their… Read more »

Source: HeliHub.com, 04-Oct-15

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UK – Boulmer SAR base closes as RAF ferries Sea Kings to storage

UK – Boulmer SAR base closes as RAF ferries Sea Kings to storage

RAF Boulmer, a long-established SAR base in the north-east of the UK, has closed that role as the SAR responsibility for the UK is gradually handed over to Bristow Helicopters.  As part of the phased plan to retire Royal Navy and Royal Air Force helicopters, 202 Squadron retired its two yellow Sea Kings with a… Read more »

Source: HeliHub.com, 01-Oct-15

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Selex ES to update UK RAF Puma electronic warfare capability

Selex ES to update UK RAF Puma electronic warfare capability

Selex ES has won a contract worth around €27M (£19M) to provide an ongoing radar warning capability for the UK Royal Air Force’s fleet of Puma helicopters. The company was selected by the UK Ministry of Defence to provide its SG200-D Radar Warning Receiver (SG200-D RWR). SG200-D is a UK-specific product from the family of… Read more »

Source: Selex ES, 05-Aug-15

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08-Jun-15 ZD981 Boeing Chinook HC.2 Manchester, UK

Emergency landing at Manchester Airport and engineer called.

08-Jun-15

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Airbus to Build Helicopter Plant in Romania

Airbus to Build Helicopter Plant in Romania

Airbus has announced it intends to build helicopters at a new plant at Ghimbav, close to the central Romanian city of Brasov, in an investment worth about 40 million euro. See Full Story

Source: Balkan Insight, 20-May-15

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RAF SAR Sea King crews celebrate with mountain-top meal

RAF SAR Sea King crews celebrate with mountain-top meal

Members of a Snowdonia mountain rescue team shared a formal dinner with RAF colleagues – on top of a 3,000ft peak. See Full Story

Source: grough, 19-May-15

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Billy Deacon SAR Memorial Trophy awarded for 2015

Billy Deacon SAR Memorial Trophy awarded for 2015

The Billy Deacon SAR Memorial Trophy will be presented at the Air League’s Annual Awards Ceremony at St James Palace, on Tuesday 05th May 2015 by HRH Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh. Sponsored by Bristow Helicopters Ltd and Breitling UK, the Trophy has been established to further the memory of Mr Billy Deacon who was… Read more »

Source: Bristow, 08-May-15

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RAF Valley Sea King flies 10,000th mission

RAF Valley Sea King flies 10,000th mission

The rescue happened at night in the Ogwen Valley of Snowdonia, when a young London woman with an ankle injury was winched aboard and flown to hospital at Bangor.  See Full Story

Source: North Wales Chronicle, 21-Apr-15

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19-Apr-15 Boeing CH-47 Lisvane, UK

Chinook dropped part of its underslung load in farm field.  Chinook was flying as part of the Joint Warrior exercise

19-Apr-15

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Bristow Group Names Government Portfolio Director

Bristow Group Names Government Portfolio Director

Bristow Group today announced that Carl Dixon has joined Bristow as Director, Government Portfolio. Dixon will lead Bristow’s activity to build its global search and rescue (SAR) business, engaging with governments and public sector institutions around the world. Dixon has a military background; as Air-Vice Marshal, he served as Commander of the UK Joint Helicopter… Read more »

Source: Bristow, 17-Apr-15

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Anger at RAF Sea King event cancellation in Moray

Anger at RAF Sea King event cancellation in Moray

The cancellation of a party marking the retirement of Sea King helicopters has been met with anger. See Full Story

Source: BBC, 24-Mar-15

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Upgraded RAF Puma – first NATO mission deployment

Upgraded RAF Puma – first NATO mission deployment

On a dark winter’s night, illuminated by runway lights, the first Puma HC Mark2 aircraft was loaded on to a single C17 transport aircraft at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire for the 3,608 mile journey to Kabul. Its departure came just days before the MOD announced that the new Puma, and the RAF’s latest version… Read more »

Source: RAF, 23-Mar-15

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Canada – 443 Maritime Helicopter Sqn invests new honorary colonel

Canada – 443 Maritime Helicopter Sqn invests new honorary colonel

Colonel Patrick MacNamara, commanding officer of 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron, invested the squadron’s new honorary colonel in a December 8, 2014, ceremony in Patricia Bay, British Columbia. Honorary Colonel Michael Sudul stepped into the position vacated by outgoing Honorary Colonel Jeffrey Morris, who served since 2009. Colonel Lise Bourgon, 12 Wing’s commander, presided over the… Read more »

Source: RCAF, 20-Mar-15

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Will UK Military upgrade RAF Northolt or close it to civilian traffic?

Will UK Military upgrade RAF Northolt or close it to civilian traffic?

•The safety of all civilian aircraft using government owned military aerodromes is the sole responsibility of the Civil Aviation Authority not the Military Aviation Authority or MOD. •The CAA is now responsible for deciding if RAF Northolt is safe for use by civil aircraft •An assessment by the CAA is required and this may require… Read more »

Source: LBHA, 03-Feb-15

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Chivenor Sea King switchover delayed until October

Chivenor Sea King switchover delayed until October

The transfer of Chivenor’s search and rescue helicopter service to Wales has been postponed, the Gazette understands. See Full Story

Source: North Devon Gazette, 16-Jan-15

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UK – Wattisham issues closure date for Sea King SAR

UK – Wattisham issues closure date for Sea King SAR

Once a fully operational RAF Station, Wattisham is now only home to a search and rescue helicopter unit, ‘B’ Flight of No 22 Squadron, equipped with 2 Sea king HAR3A helicopters. The final bell is now being prepared for this operation, as it has been announced the Sea Kings will cease operations on 1st July…. Read more »

Source: HeliHub.com, 15-Jan-15

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RAF officially hands over Merlins to Royal Navy

RAF officially hands over Merlins to Royal Navy

30th September marked the end of an era for the Royal Air Force with the official handover of the Merlin to the Royal Navy and the disbandment of 78 Squadron in a formal ceremony at RAF Benson in Oxfordshire. The formal Royal parade marked the next stage in the transition of the Merlin helicopter from… Read more »

Source: RAF, 02-Oct-14

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General Dynamics develops Tactical Processing System for AW101 Merlin upgrade

General Dynamics develops Tactical Processing System for AW101 Merlin upgrade

General Dynamics UK, in partnership with AgustaWestland, has commenced development work to modify its Tactical Processing System for integration into the AW101 Merlin Mk4. This development work is part of the Merlin Life Sustainment Programme (MLSP), a contract awarded to AgustaWestland in January 2014 to convert 25 AW101 Merlin helicopters for maritime operations. It will… Read more »

Source: General Dynamics, 15-Jul-14

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Vector team achieve Boeing’s supplier gold rating

Vector team achieve Boeing’s supplier gold rating

Vector Aerospace UK (Vector – www.vectoraerospace.com), a leading provider of aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services, announced today that its Project Julius Team, responsible for the embodiment of the avionics upgrade to the UK MOD’s fleet of 46 Chinook aircraft, has obtained supplier ‘Gold’ status for their First Time Quality (FTQ). This is an… Read more »

Source: Vector Aerospace, 09-Jul-14

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RAF unveils first new CH-47F Chinook

RAF unveils first new CH-47F Chinook

The first of the RAF’s fourteen new Chinook helicopters have been unveiled today by the Defence Secretary, Philip Hammond, following its entry into service on time. During a visit to RAF Odiham in Hampshire, the home of the Chinook force, Philip Hammond also announced a new £115 million agreement with Boeing Defence UK to maintain… Read more »

Source: Royal Air Force, 17-Jun-14

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New Commandant at UK’s Defence Helicopter Flying School

New Commandant at UK’s Defence Helicopter Flying School

Captain Paul Shawcross Royal Navy handed over command of the Defence Helicopter Flying School (DHFS) at RAF Shawbury this week to Colonel Julian Facer. Colonel Facer was commissioned into the Army Air Corps (AAC) in 1991 and is an experienced Apache Attack Helicopter pilot. His recently commanded 7 Training Regiment (AAC) at Middle Wallop, where… Read more »

Source: RAF, 29-May-14

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Puma Mark 2 trials hosted by Vector Aerospace UK

Puma Mark 2 trials hosted by Vector Aerospace UK

Vector Aerospace UK (Vector – www.vectoraerospace.com), a leading provider of aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services recently supported the characterisation trials of the Radar Warning Receiver on the Puma Mk 2 at its Fleetlands site in Gosport, Hampshire. Working alongside Airbus Helicopters and the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), the company hosted two separate weeks… Read more »

Source: Vector, 31-Mar-14

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29-Mar-14 Boeing CH-47D Akamas, Cyprus

Emergency field landing

29-Mar-14

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Royal Norwegian Air Force head visits RAF Valley training base

Royal Norwegian Air Force head visits RAF Valley training base

THE head of the Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF) joined the RAF’s training chief at RAF Valley recently to view the world-leading technology that is helping to shape the fighter pilots of the future. Major General Finn Kristian Hannestad, Inspector General of the RNoAF and Air Vice-Marshal Mike Lloyd, Air Officer Commanding 22 (Training) Group… Read more »

Source: Royal Air Force, 24-Mar-14

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08-Dec-13 Boeing CH-47D Jericho, Israel

Royal Air Force Chinook made emergency landing while en route from Amman (Jordan) to Akrotiri (Cyprus).  Some reports suggest location is in or near a minefield

08-Dec-13

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RAF begins training on the Puma Mk2

RAF begins training on the Puma Mk2

Pictures released today show crews from 33 and 230 Squadrons carrying out training flights of the upgraded aircraft from their base at RAF Benson in Oxford. The multi million pound upgrade means that the helicopters benefit from new engines which give them 35 per cent more power and improved fuel efficiency to allow them to… Read more »

Source: RAF, 26-Nov-13

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Selex ES awarded £6.8M contract to equip more RAF Chinooks with Titan HD turrets

Selex ES awarded £6.8M contract to equip more RAF Chinooks with Titan HD turrets

Selex ES, a Finmeccanica company, has been awarded a contract worth €8.1M (£6.8M) from the UK Ministry of Defence to supply further Titan 385ES-HD electro-optic turrets for the Royal Air Force’s fleet of CH-47 Chinook transport helicopters. The contract follows the successful delivery of 45 Titan turrets procured under previous contracts and will see 15… Read more »

Source: Selex ES, 29-Oct-13

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British Chinook Pilot Commended

British Chinook Pilot Commended

A Royal Air Force Chinook pilot who skilfully guided his helicopter through dense fog to try and save an Afghan soldier’s life has been awarded a Queen’s Commendation for Bravery in the Air. Chinook Pilot Flt Lt Christopher Gent31-year-old Flight Lieutenant Chris Gent, of 27 Squadron at RAF Odiham, Hampshire, was among 23 RAF personnel… Read more »

Source: RAF, 04-Oct-13

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RAF Merlin Force returns from 10 years of continual operational deployments

RAF Merlin Force returns from 10 years of continual operational deployments

The RAF Merlin Force is celebrating its return from 10 years of continual operational deployments following the withdrawal from Afghanistan. The RAF Merlins, which are based at RAF Benson, Oxfordshire first deployed to Bosnia in 2003 and have since provided essential helicopter lift for land forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. With the first Merlin helicopters… Read more »

Source: RAF, 27-Sep-13

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20-Sep-13 Westland Sea King Nigg Hill, UK

Precautionary landing after bird strike with a goose.  16 hours later it was flown to Lossiemouth for more detailed examination

20-Sep-13

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Prince William completes role as RAF SAR Sea King pilot

Prince William completes role as RAF SAR Sea King pilot

His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge is to leave operational service in the Armed Forces. He completes his Tour with the Royal Air Force Search and Rescue Force at RAF Valley, Anglesey, after more than seven-and-a-half years of full-time military service. He will continue to support the work of The Queen and the Royal… Read more »

Source: Royal Family, 12-Sep-13

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07-Aug-13 ZJ122 AgustaWestland AW101 Old Colwyn, UK

An RAF helicopter was forced to land in a field in Conwy county as a precaution after encountering tail rotor issues

07-Aug-13

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RAF Chinook display team wins two more awards

RAF Chinook display team wins two more awards

THE RAF Chinook Display Team repeat last year’s success and returned home with two more awards from the world’s largest military airshow, a grand total of four awards for the team so far this display season. The team picked up the Sir Douglas Bader Trophy for the Best Individual Flying Display and the Crew Challenge… Read more »

Source: RAF, 05-Aug-13

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Helicopter Pilot becomes RAF Chief of Staff

Helicopter Pilot becomes RAF Chief of Staff

Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford KCB CBE ADC RAF a former Wessex and Chinook pilot has taken over as Chief of the Air Staff – the most senior RAF Officer and first helicopter pilot ever to be professional head of the Royal Air Force. He has taken command of the RAF from Air Chief… Read more »

Source: Royal Air Force, 01-Aug-13

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UK – MBE for AW101 Merlin pilot

UK – MBE for AW101 Merlin pilot

Squadron Leader Toby Sawbridge has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2013 for his services both to the Merlin Force and the wider community. Toby, a Merlin helicopter pilot who is currently the Second in Command of 28 (Army Co-operation) Squadron at RAF Benson, has been honoured for outstanding contribution to… Read more »

Source: RAF, 19-Jun-13

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RAF awards Eurocopter UK three year Puma Mk2 fleet support contract

RAF awards Eurocopter UK three year Puma Mk2 fleet support contract

Eurocopter UK’s role in maintaining the United Kingdom’s military helicopter capabilities has been further expanded with the award of a three-year support contract for the fleet of 24 Royal Air Force Puma Mk2 helicopters being upgraded by the company to extend their life, enhance performance, mission capability and operational safety. The contract – valued at… Read more »

Source: Eurocopter UK, 07-Jun-13

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RAF Merlin helicopters end Afghan operations

RAF Merlin helicopters end Afghan operations

The RAF’s Merlin helicopter fleet has finished operations in Afghanistan after providing nearly 4 years of continuous front line support. The Merlins have flown more than 18,000 hours in the dust and heat of Helmand – moving more than 7,900 tonnes of kit and stores and transporting over 130,000 personnel during that time. The Merlin… Read more »

Source: Royal Air Force, 05-Jun-13

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RAF confirms Chinook Display Team for 2013

RAF confirms Chinook Display Team for 2013

The captain for 2013 will be Flight Lieutenant Paul Farmer. This will be his second year with the Display Team. This year’s Co-Pilot is Flight Lieutenant Gareth Allen, the Display Manager Flight Lieutenant Kyle Thomas and the Rear Crew are Sergeants Andy Caldwell and Steve Jones. The season this year will be made all the… Read more »

Source: RAF, 03-May-13

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Royal Air Force VIP flight reduced to one AW109E

Royal Air Force VIP flight reduced to one AW109E

UK’s Royal Air Force has reduced its fleet of VVIP AgustaWestland 109E Powers from two to one from the end of March 2013, two years after taking another of the original three away. The remaining aircraft is expected to fly 500 hours a year The unexpected move of serial ZR323 back to the UK civil… Read more »

Source: HeliHub.com, 01-May-13

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World Helicopter-Championship Competitors Win Prestigious Award

World Helicopter-Championship Competitors Win Prestigious Award

On 23 April 2013 Squadron Leader Craig Finch, Lieutenant Jim Fraser RN, Flight Lieutenant Mark Lazenby and Flying Officer Ryan Stowe from the Defence Helicopter Flying School, RAF Shawbury, attended the Royal Aero Club’s awards ceremony held at the RAF Club in London. This is a very prestigiousannual event during which the Club presents awards… Read more »

Source: RAF, 01-May-13

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RAF Cosford Air Show Confirm Eye-Opening Helicopter Displays

RAF Cosford Air Show Confirm Eye-Opening Helicopter Displays

The RAF Cosford 75th Anniversary Air Show team is excited to announce that a Chinook and an Apache helicopter from the MOD Joint Helicopter Command (JHC) will be coming to the event on Sunday 9th June. The Chinook helicopter, operated by the Royal Air Force primarily to support troop movements, will be joined by an… Read more »

Source: RAF, 23-Apr-13

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Helicopter Instructor Reaches Flying Milestone

Helicopter Instructor Reaches Flying Milestone

A Qualified Helicopter Instructor with the Central Flying School (Helicopters) at RAF Shawbury has achieved a flying milestone in passing an incredible 6000 hours of flying. Flight Lieutenant Jim Hobkirk is a Qualified Helicopter Instructor with Central Flying School (Helicopters) at the unit. He spends his days training future Qualified Helicopter Instructor pilots on the… Read more »

Source: RAF, 23-Apr-13

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First flight of the newest UK Chinook

First flight of the newest UK Chinook

Boeing recently completed the first flight of the newest CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift helicopter for the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force. The March 15 flight, at the Boeing helicopter facility near Philadelphia, happened ahead of schedule and confirmed initial airworthiness for the Mk6 Chinook. “This is a truly impressive achievement for both Boeing and the project… Read more »

Source: Boeing, 16-Apr-13

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GKN Aerospace to upgrade UK RAF Puma fuel tanks

GKN Aerospace to upgrade UK RAF Puma fuel tanks

GKN Aerospace has been contracted by Eurocopter UK to develop upgraded fuel tanks as part of the UK RAF’s life extension programme (LEP) for its fleet of Puma helicopters. The new self-sealing fuel tanks will enhance the helicopter’s survivability in today’s theatres of operation, providing extended protection for the crew against weapons such as heavy… Read more »

Source: GKN Aerospace, 27-Mar-13

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RAF Chinook Pilot Honoured for Courage

RAF Chinook Pilot Honoured for Courage

He is among a total of 27 RAF personnel named in the latest Armed Forces Operational Awards and Joint Commanders Commendations for their service in Afghanistan, Britain and around the world. Flight Lieutenant Christopher Gordon used his helicopter to shield the troops as they boarded the aircraft, resulting in the loss of one of his… Read more »

Source: RAF, 26-Mar-13

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RAF appoints new Search And Rescue Force Commander

RAF appoints new Search And Rescue Force Commander

Group Captain Sara Mackmin has taken over as the RAF Search and Rescue Force Commander from Group Captain Frazer Nicholson The RAF SAR Force is now being commanded by the most senior female aviator within the UK’s Armed Forces. Group Captain Sara Mackmin’s recent appointment as the RAF SAR Force Commander marks the first time… Read more »

Source: Royal Air Force, 15-Feb-13

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Heli-One signs 13-year contract to service RAF Puma engines

Heli-One signs 13-year contract to service RAF Puma engines

On Feb. 7  Lars Landsnes from Heli-One, joined Ian Craddock, head of helicopters for the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), to sign a multi-million pound, 13-year contract to provide long-term logistic support for the Makila 1A1 engines fitted in  new Puma HC2 helicopters used by the Royal Air Force (RAF). The RAF fleet of 24… Read more »

Source: Heli-One, 12-Feb-13

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08-Feb-13 Boeing CH-47 Rowsley, UK

Shattered windscreen from bird strike.  Emergency field landing

08-Feb-13

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Brighter hangars and lower bills at RAF Benson

Brighter hangars and lower bills at RAF Benson

Maintenance staff at a frontline RAF helicopter base are enjoying a better working environment, thanks to new lighting that not only brightens their working day but also saves energy and money. The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) has worked with its regional industry partner PriDE to improve lighting in hangars at RAF Benson, in Oxfordshire, as… Read more »

Source: DIO, 05-Feb-13

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UK military awards CAE two simulator contracts

UK military awards CAE two simulator contracts

The United Kingdom Ministry of Defence (MoD) has recently awarded CAE two contracts for simulator upgrades and training services at CAE’s Medium Support Helicopter Aircrew Training Facility (MSHATF). A contract to provide both ground school and simulator aircrew training services at MSHATF for the Royal Air Force (RAF) on the Puma HC2 helicopter has been… Read more »

Source: CAE, 05-Feb-13

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RAF appoints helicopter pilot as Chief of the Air Staff

RAF appoints helicopter pilot as Chief of the Air Staff

Air Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford was commissioned into the Royal Air Force as a pilot in 1977 and, after flying training, joined No 72 Squadron, flying Wessex helicopters, beginning an association with the Support Helicopter Force which would last 25 years. During his flying career he accumulated over 5,000 hours on both Wessex and Chinook… Read more »

Source: Royal Air Force, 25-Jan-13

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Upgraded British Chinook operational in Afghanistan

Upgraded British Chinook operational in Afghanistan

With an initial release to service granted in May 2012, RAF Chinooks crews were able to begin their operational work-up on the Mk 4 before declaring an initial operating capability in June 2012. This in turn allowed the first RAF crews to operate the Chinook Mk4 in support of UK security operations during the London… Read more »

Source: Royal Air Force, 11-Jan-13

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Afghanistan heroism earns DFC for selfless Chinook pilot

Afghanistan heroism earns DFC for selfless Chinook pilot

An RAF Chinook helicopter captain has been honoured for his ‘outstanding bravery and airmanship’ evacuating battlefield casualties while under heavy fire during a mission in southern Afghanistan. Flight Lieutenant Gerald Wyatt, known as ‘Gez’, has been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) for his actions in last week’s Operational Honours and Awards List. His citation… Read more »

Source: UK MoD, 07-Oct-12

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Eurocopter hands over first Puma Mk2 to UK military

Eurocopter hands over first Puma Mk2 to UK military

The upgrade of UK Ministry of Defence Puma aircraft took a further major step forward yesterday when Eurocopter handed over its first Puma Mk2 aircraft to MOD. This upgrade will significantly enhance the aircraft’s performance, mission capability and safety. The first modified aircraft will fly from Oxford into QinetiQ’s Boscombe Down facility where it will… Read more »

Source: Eurocopter, 13-Sep-12

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20-Jul-12 Boeing CH-47D Summerhill, UK

Aircraft damaged after hitting powerlines on a training flight out of Odiham

20-Jul-12

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Olympic airspace restrictions begin

Olympic airspace restrictions begin

Extra airspace restrictions around London and the Southeast, designed to ensure a safe and secure London 2012 Olympic Games, began on Saturday 14th July. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), National Air Traffic Services (NATS) and the Ministry of Defence have worked together to inform airspace users about the restrictions and how people can continue to… Read more »

Source: Royal Air Force, 16-Jul-12

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RAF Pumas arrive at Territorial Army Centre for Olympics role

RAF Pumas arrive at Territorial Army Centre for Olympics role

RAF Puma helicopters have arrived at Ilford Territorial Army Centre as they prepare for a key role providing air security for the London 2012 Olympic Games. The aircraft from 33 Squadron, based at RAF Benson in Oxfordshire, are part of a multi-layered air security plan. These additional security measures build on the RAF’s existing air… Read more »

Source: Royal Air Force, 16-Jul-12

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Major milestone achieved on Eurocopter’s Puma Mk2 upgrade program for RAF

Major milestone achieved on Eurocopter’s Puma Mk2 upgrade program for RAF

The upgrade of UK Ministry of Defence Puma aircraft took a major step forward last week with Eurocopter completing its first internal qualification of the Puma Mk2 aircraft. This upgrade will significantly enhance the aircraft’s performance, mission capability and safety. The first modified aircraft will fly into the UK in the coming weeks to conclude… Read more »

Source: Eurocopter, 09-Jul-12

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Prince William qualifies as an operational Royal Air Force SAR captain

Prince William qualifies as an operational Royal Air Force SAR captain

The Duke of Cambridge has qualified as an operational captain within the Royal Air Force Search and Rescue Force. Flight Lieutenant Wales, as he is known in the military, will now command Search and Rescue operations in RAF Sea King helicopters. Until now, Flight Lieutenant Wales has only co-piloted the aircraft. The operational captaincy check… Read more »

Source: Prince of Wales website, 07-Jun-12

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06-Jun-12 ZJ121 AgustaWestland AW101 Stanwick, UK

Emergency field landing due to loose/missing tail rotor blade tape.  Stayed overnight and cleared for flight next day

06-Jun-12

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RAF Odiham unveils Chinook gate guardian

RAF Odiham unveils Chinook gate guardian

Government defence secretary Philip Hammond  was at RAF Odiham last Thursday to meet serving RAF personnel and unveil a new ‘Gate Guardian’ – a retired Chinook helicopter which had been donated by Boeing Rotorcraft UK. (see full story) File photo Editor update – the said aircraft flew as 03-08003 in the US Army, and the… Read more »

Source: Basingstoke Observer, 01-Jun-12

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UK – SAR Training Unit celebrates 50 years

UK – SAR Training Unit celebrates 50 years

For the past half century Royal Air Force search and rescue helicopter crews trained by an RAF Valley based unit have saved countless lives. On station to rescue downed arcrew military helicopter crews have been there to pluck to safety all in peril. With search and rescue being, by it’s very nature, often extremely dangerous… Read more »

Source: Royal Air Force, 06-May-12

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07-Apr-12 Boeing CH-47D Yuma, US-Arizona

Royal Air Force Chinook suffered unspecificed “mishap” during training exercise.  It is known that Chinooks ZA671, ZA711 and ZA712 (and maybe a fourth?) are all currently based in Yuma on training work, so subject aircraft will be one of these.

07-Apr-12

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20-Mar-12 AgustaWestland AW101 Colchester, UK

The downdraft of a Merlin helicopter on a training exercise at Colchester General Hospital damaged support poles holding up a covered walkway linking Gainsborough Ward with the main hospital building so badly it had to be taken down.  Cars in the car park – including a police vehicle – suffered broken windscreens.

20-Mar-12

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UK helicopter fleet trains in “Pashtun Jaguar” exercise

UK helicopter fleet trains in “Pashtun Jaguar” exercise

Seventeen aircraft from the UK’s Joint Helicopter Command (JHC) are taking part in a major pre-deployment exercise on Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire, providing support for British land forces due to begin operations in Afghanistan during April. (see full story)

Source: Flightglobal, 14-Mar-12

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UK – National Maritime Museum Cornwall takes delivery of Sea King

UK – National Maritime Museum Cornwall takes delivery of Sea King

National Maritime Museum Cornwall has just installed its biggest object to date as part of the forthcoming blockbuster Search & Rescue exhibition – a 70ft long, 16ft high, 6 tonne Sea King helicopter which had just 1½ inches of clearance through the Museum’s doors. National Maritime Museum Cornwall’s new Search & Rescue exhibition is just… Read more »

Source: National Maritime Museum, 28-Feb-12

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