PATUXENT RIVER, Md., Aug. 22 (UPI) -- Britain's Royal Air Force flight crews have completed testing the new MK6 helicopter, an upgraded variant of Boeing's CH-47 Chinook.
The flight tests took place at the U.S. Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., with the help of the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division.
The MK6 features a new digital automatic flight control system, a COBRA fire suppression system, the external rescue hoist and a rotor brake.
The new frame structure of the MK6 allows for lower maintenance and vibration signatures for longer life.
"This(helicopter) is going to give us increased control in degraded visual environments, when operating in very difficult conditions such as in the dark or with dust and snow that prevent the pilot from seeing," said RAF Flight Leader Chris Boddy. "This gives control to the aircraft so the pilot can monitor the profiles of the aircraft flying and not be overworked."
Employees of Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division provided assistance to the RAF under a commercial service agreement with Boeing Co.