Expanding the operating envelope in Adelaide

This article has photo gallery Published on POIS Paul McCallum (author and photographer)

Topic(s): HMAS Adelaide (L01)

An Australian Army CH-47F Chinook helicopter conducts night time flying serials from the flight deck of HMAS Adelaide, off the coast of northern New South Wales. (photo: POIS Paul McCallum)
An Australian Army CH-47F Chinook helicopter conducts night time flying serials from the flight deck of HMAS Adelaide, off the coast of northern New South Wales.

Two giants of the Australian Defence Force, amphibious ship HMAS Adelaide, and the CH-47F Chinook helicopter are expanding Defence capability in the waters off Australia’s northern coastline, conducting first of class flight trials.
 
Adelaide
 sailed from Sydney with two Chinooks to conduct cold and hot weather trials, coordinated by the Navy’s Aircraft Maintenance and Flight Trails Unit.
 
Trials began in the sheltered waters of Jervis Bay in a ‘crawl, walk, run’ approach establishing helicopter operating limits for different weather conditions and other base level integration procedures, before chasing colder and rougher weather in the waters off the south-eastern coastline of Tasmania.
 
Adelaide’s
 Commander Air, Commander Mathew Bradley  said that safe flying could easily be achieved though very limited wind and ship movement but the importance of the trials was to broaden the envelope.
 
“Whenever a new platform is introduced to Navy that has an aviation capability, we need to establish the safety limits for the operation of each aircraft for that platform,” Commander Bradley said.
 
“To fully employ aircraft and ship capabilities, in harsh environmental conditions such as strong winds and extreme temperatures, real world data is required.
 
“Specialist test qualified pilots and engineers conduct a graduated flying program to evaluate and establish the safe operating limits of the aircraft.” 
 
Adelaide’s
 Amphibious Operations Officer Major Taya Smith said the inclusion of the Chinook into the available air asset inventory of the ship provided a significant increase to the ability to conduct core functions.
 
“The capacity of the CH-47F to move large numbers of personnel and equipment into difficult terrain, and in a wide range of weather conditions, gives us a significant capability to respond to government tasking, whether that is projection of force over the shore, or deploying humanitarian aid and assistance,” Major Smith said.
 
The latest variant of the Chinook, the CH-47F has the capacity to transport more than 10,000 kg of equipment, 33 troops, or 24 patients at speeds in excess of 300km/h, with an operational range of about 400 nautical miles.
 
After successfully completing the cold weather component of the trials in the southern waters of Tasmania, Adelaide is now in Darwin conduct hot weather performance evaluations, and support Exercise KAKADU.