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Foxtrot Chinooks undertake deck handling trials on board Navy LHD

written by australianaviation.com.au | May 23, 2016

An Australian Army CH-47F Chinook helicopter is lowered from the flight deck, on the aft aircraft lift, to the hangar during trials onboard HMAS Canberra.The Navy’s Aircraft Maintenance and Flight Trials Unit (AMAFTU) has commenced deck handling trials with the Army’s new CH-47F Chinook heavy lift helicopters on board the LHD amphibious assault ship HMAS Canberra.

Two Foxtrot Chinooks, A15-304 and -307, from C Squadron, 5 Aviation Regiment landed on board the Canberra for the first time while it was alongside at Garden Island, Sydney on May 17.

The deck handling trials are a prelude to first of class flight trials, expected to be held later this year, and checked that flightdeck markings, securing fittings, associated ground equipment, hangar arrangements and procedures are suitable for the Foxtrots when they are embarked on the LHDs.

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The trials also assessed the removal of the Chinook’s six giant blades and lowering the helicopter below to the hangar deck via the LHD’s rear aircraft lift.

The Army’s CH-47F fleets surpassed the 1,000 flying hour mark last month, less than 12 months after the type entered service.

All images Department of Defence

A Chinook CH-47F aircraft from the 5th Aviation Regiment in Townsville makes an approach to HMAS Canberra while the ship is alongside in her home port of Sydney.

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Leading Seaman Aviation Support Michael Wenzel directs a Chinook CH-47F aircraft, from the 5th Aviation Regiment in Townsville, as it lands on HMAS Canberra while the ship is alongside in her home port of Sydney.

An Australian Army CH-47F Chinook helicopter has its rotors removed in order to be lowered into the hangar of HMAS Canberra.

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6 Comments

  • BH

    says:

    It would be interesting to see the rotor assembly and removal process while underway on a windy, rolling and pitching deck…

  • Scott M

    says:

    DO they not come with a blade folding mechanism? and if not is it an option?

  • TSV

    says:

    Is there an option for folding blade heads on the CH-47? If so looks like it would be a welcome modification!

  • Steve

    says:

    No, there is no blade folding system available on these as seen on other types..There was a method available for use on the older C-models, which basically consisted of disconnecting the Lead-Lag Dampers on two blades of each head, then swinging them all around to gather them in a support bracket assembly attached to the roof of the aircraft. But this also involved de-phasing (decoupling) the drive train at the combining transmission, a feature no available on newer mosel Chinooks. The only alternate to this would be to remove one of the forward rotor drive sync shafts to allow the blades to be brought together. Also, the blades on the later Chinooks are a wider chord than on the old C’s, so they may not be able to be gathered on the roof (too big). This is a task that really isn’t needed often as these aren’t permanent ship-base aircraft like dedicated helicopters such as the CH46 Sea Knight which did have a proper blade folding system.

  • Guy

    says:

    It appears that the older chinooks didn’t have a blade self-folding capability, but the blades could be de-linked at the lead/lag damper and swung into an “administratively stowed” position resting on specially constructed blade stands over the central fuselage (see http://www.chinook-helico…lades/Folded_Blades.html). This site (http://www.ingeniumtech.com/services/design/details/?id=4) suggests that newer Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopters are equipped with automatic blade folding and that older versions can be retrofitted.

  • ray Godfrey

    says:

    very interested to see how they operate in rough seas.
    They reckon that Chinooks cannot get ground resonance maybe so but I was sitting on a runway in Dong Tam SV when the chinook in front of me started dancing on four wheels before chopping off an engine and slicing open the centre of the cabin.
    Say no more!!

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