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RAF CHINOOK

The huge twin-rotor Boeing Chinook first flew in prototype form way back in 1961, but modernised versions are still being produced - there is little else that quite matches up. The RAF is the type's biggest operator outside the US Army, its fleet comprising a mixture of variants - the HC2, HC2A and HC3 models are undergoing an upgrade programme which will see them becoming the HC4, HC4A and HC5 respectively, joined by new-build HC6 versions. The Chinooks make for a potent heavy-lift helicopter force, able to transport up to 10 tonnes of freight - internally or underslung from hooks - or 55 troops. They have been worked particularly hard in Afghanistan, providing outstanding support to British and other coalition troops on the ground. No 27 Squadron at RAF Odiham provides the Chinook display for 2015, a performance that must be seen to be believed. For the first time, the updated HC4 version will be used. Flt Lt Brett Jones is the new display pilot.

“It was an epic spectacle, as magical as anything you've ever seen in the West End, and as loud as anything you've ever heard at Knebworth.”

Jeremy Clarkson, Television Presenter

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Jenson Button, Formula 1 Racing Driver

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Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 Astronaut

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