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The cockpit of the CH-147F is complex, but thanks to the dedication of air force technicians, like Cpl Taylor Hartnell, they will do their best to ensure that the Chinooks will be mission ready. Mike Reyno Photo Avionics technician AT WORK TWO CH-147F CHINOOKS WILL SOON BE DEPLOYING TO MALI IN SUPPORT OF A UN MISSION. FOR MAINTAINERS LIKE CPL TAYLOR HARTNELL, KEEPING THEM FLYING REQUIRES A WHOLE TEAM EFFORT. BY KEN POLE T here is a long-running joke to the effect that any helicopter is fundamentally a collection of vibrating parts all trying to fly in the same direction. Turbines are inherently smoother than piston engines, but there’s no escaping vibration, something original equipment manufacturers have invested vast sums trying to address over the years. As for the parts themselves, there are clearly a lot and, in the case of the 15 Boeing CH-147F Chinooks flown by the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), they number well into the tens of thousands. Some parts are obviously huge in an aircraft with a maximum gross weight of 24,494 kilograms, but flying it depends on the myriad small parts. The multi-mission Chinooks have an extensively upgraded electrical system that provides additional power and redundancy, while a fully integrated Common Avionics Architecture System cockpit and Digital Automatic Flight Control System reduce pilot workload and provide greater situational awareness. The aircraft also has an advanced 112 RCAF Today 2018 Aircraft Survivability Equipment suite that includes a Directional Infrared Countermeasures system for increased crew safety in a wide range of threat environments. Among the newest additions to the RCAF fleet, the Chinooks have been deployed mainly within North America since delivery by Boeing in 2013 and 2014. Prior to the deployment in August of two Chinooks, with four Bell CH-146 Griffon armed escorts, as part of the ongoing United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali, the RCAF’s only overseas Chinook operation was in July 2017 when one was transported in a Boeing CC-177 Globemaster to the Royal International Air Tattoo in England, the world’s largest military air show, in support of the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust. The mission also included joint training and a flight with an RAF H2 Chinook to France for a fly-by of the Vimy Memorial. RCAF deputy commander MGen Tammy Harris said it showcased “the RCAF’s ability to provide agile, strategic airlift of essential assets anywhere in the world, demonstrating our strategic reach to support operations … in Canada or abroad.”