The CH-47F Chinook aircraft are now cleared for take-off from Australian Navy’s landing helicopter docks as the heavy lift helicopter has completed class trials onboard HMAS Adelaide.
One of two LHD ships in the Australian Navy, HMAS Adelaide embarked the helicopter in early August to assess all aspects of the ship, aircraft and equipment interface to develop recommendations for embarked operating envelopes.
Over seven weeks, Adelaide sailed from Tasmania to Darwin to conduct cold and hot weather aspects of the trial.
During that time, the aircraft flew a total of 119 hours and conducted 625 deck landings. The test team were also able to collect data from 1,342 test points.
Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer, said the results would be used to set operating limits for the aircraft onboard the Navy’s two Canberra class ships, HMAS Adelaide and Canberra.
“This data will facilitate the establishment of a comprehensive suite of enduring operating limits for the Chinook. It will provide a significant capability for Australia’s amphibious forces in ship to object manoeuvres and humanitarian aid and disaster relief.
“This is an excellent outcome and testament to the dedication of those involved. It is an impressive body of work by any measure.” Rear Admiral Mayer said.
During first of class flight trials, ship and helicopter operating limits are developed for all aspects of operations, including launch, recovery, degraded modes/recovery, vertical replenishment, transfer, helicopter in-flight refuelling and on-deck evolutions.
The process identifies conditions in which the ship, aircraft or equipment need to be modified to ensure safe flying activities.