Army delivers D model Chinook to the Australian War Memorial

PSAD4275_PAUL SADLER
Army CH-47D Chinook A15-202 landing at Exhibition Park In Canberra. (Paul Sadler)

The Australian Army has transferred one of its remaining CH-47D Chinooks, A15-202, to the Australian War Memorial (AWM) in Canberra as part of the type’s withdrawal and disposal from service.

A15-202 departed C Squadron’s flight line in Townsville on April 16 in company with CH-47F A15-303, with the pair of Chinooks making the journey down to Canberra via Rockhampton, RAAF Base Amberley, Tamworth and Wagga Wagga, arriving at the Fairbairn Defence Establishment, Canberra Airport on the Tuesday morning.

After collecting VIPs for the ceremonial final flight to Exhibition Park In Canberra (EPIC), in Canberra’s north, A15-202 took off from Canberra Airport and joined up with A15-303 to conduct a session of air-to-air photography over some Canberra landmarks including the Royal Military College Duntroon, Defence Headquarters at Russell, Old Parliament House and the new Parliament House.

A15-202, callsign “Brahman”, made its final landing at EPIC shortly after 1030 local time in front of the Deputy Chief of Army, Major General Rick Burr, Head Helicopter Systems Division, Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group Major General Andrew Mathewson and the Director of the AWM Dr Brendan Nelson.

An Airservices ARFF tender was on standby at EPIC for the arrival.

Named Centaur after the mythological creature with the upper body of a human and the lower body of a horse, A15-202 was one of two additional CH-47Ds acquired under Project AIR 130 in 2001 and was one of a total of eight CH-47Ds to be operated by 5 Aviation Regiment’s C Squadron, based in Townsville.

The Chinook was one of Army’s first CH-47Ds to be deployed to Afghanistan in March 2006, and made four rotations there to support International Security Assistance Force operations, serving in theatre for a total of 513 days.

On the evening of April 21, A15-202 will be towed the short distance up Flemington Road from EPIC to its new home at the AWM’s Mitchell annex, adding to the museum’s National Collection alongside some of its other large aircraft including the last operational RAAF Caribou, A4-140.

Only two CH-47Ds remain in service with C Squadron. Their retirement and disposal plans are pending.

Here is how photographer Paul Sadler captured A15-202’s final flights before retirement:

Army CH-47D Chinook, A15-202 and CH-47F, A15-303, on approach to Air Force's 34SQN, Fairbairn. (Paul Sadler)
Army Chinooks CH-47D, A15-202, and CH-47F, A15-303, on approach to Canberra Airport.
Army CH-47D Chinook, A15-202, arrives at Canberra. (Paul Sadler)
A15-202 arrives at Canberra.
Army CH-47D Chinook, A15-202 and CH-47F, A15-303, approaching Fairbairn. (Paul Sadler)
CH-47F A15-303 and CH-47D A15-202 on the ground at Canberra Airport.
Army Chinook CH-47D, A15-202, on the ground at Fairbairn. (Paul Sadler)
Ahead of final flight to Exhibition Park In Canberra.
Army CH-47D Chinook, A15-202, will be towed to the Australian War Memorial on April 21. (Paul Sadler)
A15-202 will be towed to the Australian War Memorial’s Mitchell annex on April 21.

Comments

  1. mick181 says

    I’m sure the RAAF service will be mentioned in the display, though this is not one of the ex RAAF aircraft.

  2. Peter Stevenson says

    I live in Canberra myself but didn’t get to see the Chinooks flying around. I did through my childhood to teenage years get to watch a variety of Chinooks and Iroquois landing and taking off from Albury Airport during the 1970s which were a sight to see back then. This would have been during the Vietnam War conflict when training flights were taken between the RAAF Base at Wagga and the Albury Airport at that time.

    I always thought the Chinnok helicopters looked like a Praying Mantis grasshopper as a kid as Albury during my childhood years had a lot of paddocks with various insects and wildlife.

    I am sure the Chinooks will be well looked after in their retirement.

  3. Martin says

    I still recall the time when the ADF thought it could do without the Chinooks and that the Blackhawk could fill the gap. Two model upgrades later and with plans to expand the F fleet…

    …will be a worthy addition to the AWM.

  4. mick181 says

    Funny thing about the Chook is everyone is going back to them or building up their fleets. The Canadians got rid of theirs and then a few years later went and got new ones. The Dutch have just ordered 14 more. They have been around since Vietnam and will be for decades yet.

  5. Martin says

    Paul,
    As I understand it, the Mitchell Annex is only very occasionally open to the public. It houses a number of rare aircraft including WW2 German military aircraft a V1 or V2 rocket and armoured vehicles etc.

  6. Alan says

    Ugly things… but beautiful.
    Great to see one preserved.
    Must get back to the AWM to see..
    Well done to all.

  7. says

    @Paul

    I hear that the next “Big Things In Store” – the Mitchell annex open day – will be held on a date( TBC) in September. If you go, get there early as it’s ‘very popular’.

    P

  8. Tony Moclair says

    Will the Mitchell Annex now be called ‘The Chook Shed’?

    Great to see a magnificent aircraft like this being preserved. Kudos all round, I say.

  9. Jennifer says

    Flew in a ‘Chook’, whilst on ARes ops.
    Loved them!

    Very different to aircraft types I was used to flying in, that’s for sure!

    Glad their preservation is taking place.