RAF Unloading Merlin Helicopter from C17 Aircraft in Afghanistan by Defence Images on Flickr.
A Royal Air Force Merlin helicopter is carefully unloaded from a C17 Globemaster, transporter aircraft at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan. This image was a winner at the 2012 RAF Photographic Competition.
The rotary wing aircraft, from RAF Benson in Oxfordshire, is destined to become the latest addition to the Merlin fleet based in Afghanistan. In order to meet time critical operational tasking, RAF Aircraft Engineers worked around the clock to prepare it for flight.
The C-17 Globemaster III is the latest addition to the RAF’s inventory of transport aircraft. It is capable of rapid, strategic delivery of troops and all trypes of cargo to main operating bases anywhere in the world, or directly to more temporary forward operating bases owing to its short field capability. The design of the aircraft allows it to carry out high-angle, steep approaches at relatively slow speeds, thus allowing it to operate into small, austere airfields onto runways as short as 3,500 feet long and only 90 feet wide.
Cargo is loaded on to the C-17 through a large rear door that can accomodate military vehicles and palletised cargo. It can carry almost all of the Army’s air-transportable, outsized combat equipment, from three Warrior armoured vehicles or 13 Landrovers, to a Chinook helicopter or three Apache-sized helicopters. It carries all its own role-equipment and can fit centre-line seating, which increases the seating capacity from 54 side-wall seats to 102 seats. The aircraft can also be configured in the aeromedical evacuation role to carry a full stretcher fit. The C-17 needs little or no ground support equipment and if none is available it can perform a combat off-load where pallets are dropped from the aircraft ramp on to the taxiway or hardstanding.
This image is available for high resolution download at www.defenceimages.mod.uk subject to the terms and conditions of the Open Government License at www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/. Search for image number 45154462.jpg
Photographer: Corporal Mike Jones
Image 45154462.jpg from www.defenceimages.mod.uk
For latest news visit www.mod.uk