The squadron has had new facilities built for them and the 15 brand new F Model Chinook helicopters it now operates. The building is huge, 53,000 square metres, and it's 800m in length. Just HUGE, and a very far cry from the facilities we had when I was flying the C Model Chinooks back in the mid-1980's at CFB Uplands in Ottawa.
As I was given the tour of the hangers and training facilities the thought came to me that the Chinook world had gone from the era of the Flintstones to that of Star Wars in the time since I had left the squadron. The changes really were mind blowing for me.
Outwardly the machines are the same, but mechanically they are very different. For example the engines in my day were rated for 3,700 shaft horsepower each, today the new engines are rated for 4,777 shaft horsepower each. That's a lot more usable lift capability, especially in an emergency.
I really have to thank LCol Chris McKenna, the Commanding Officer, for allowing the visit, and the the guys and girls on the squadron who made the visit so memorable.
|Getting ready to do the hook up|