Thursday 22nd August 2019
Aircraft of all shapes and sizes are a fairly familiar sight over Salisbury, however uniquely on the 21 Aug an Ex RAF Hawk made its way from MOD Boscombe Down to Old Sarum with the help of a Chinook Helicopter.
The Chinook and crew from 27 Sqn based at RAF Odiham helped with the unusual transportation of the Hawk to its new home as part of the Boscombe Down Aviation Collection at Old Sarum Airfield. Flying the relatively short distance across the Wiltshire countryside, it offered a unique sight to those travelling between Salisbury and Amesbury.
This move marks the 45th anniversary of the Hawk aircraft, and is in fact the original prototype aircraft flying with the Empire Test Pilots School making it a unique piece of history within the Boscombe Down Aviation Collection based at Old Sarum Airfield.
The Royal Air Force Chinook is rarely far from the news recently seen supporting efforts to secure the Dam at Whaley Bridge, it moved in excess of 620 Tonnes of aggregate over the 5 days. This awesome lift and precision make it the perfect aircraft for transporting unusual loads. Utilising its 3 hooks, the aircraft can lift nearly its own weight, and deliver it precisely to a location with less than 1 foot of accuracy.
All the pilots at RAF Odiham regularly train on unusual loads, carrying anything from Shipping containers to Artillery Guns, this allows them to turn their hand to almost any situation and is used almost daily on operations.
This particular load comes with its own set of unique challenges, its relatively unconventional shape makes it more complex to rig for transport, also, by design it can create its own lift. To overcome this, we fly slowly to ensure these effects are minimised while under the aircraft.
Flt Lt Chris Greensides – Pilot
Top image: Ex RAF Hawk was moved from MOD Boscombe Down to Old Sarum by a RAF Odiham based Chinook Helicopter. Credit: SAC Charlotte Hopkins (RAF)