A joint flight with both specially painted Chinook HC.6 (ZD984) and Puma HC.2 (XW224) helicopters took place on November 25 to celebrate the combined 90 years of service between the aircraft.
From RAF Benson, Oxfordshire, the Puma celebrates 50 years of service whilst the Chinook from RAF Odiham, Hampshire has clocked up 40 years of service. Each aircraft’s paint scheme was commissioned to commemorate the significant anniversaries of their entry into service with the Royal Air Force.
The joint formation flight flew over multiple locations including, the Isle of Wight and over central London. A second Puma from RAF Benson joined the flight with RAF photographers onboard to gather imagery of the celebratory flight.
Both helicopters have operated as part of the Joint Helicopter Command for over two decades. The Puma entered service in January 1971 and has supported combat and humanitarian operations in multiple global theatres, including, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan as a medium-lift support helicopter.
The chinook and its unique tandem rotor system commenced service for the RAF in November 1980, like the Puma, it has participated in multiple global operations including the Falklands War in 1982, utilising its heavy lift capabilities for emergency medical evacuations and cargo supply.
The special schemes currently visible on the two-anniversary aircraft are due to be removed, and the aircraft are to be returned to standard operational schemes in early 2022.