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Boscombe staff key in helicopter trials
STAFF at Boscombe Down were a key element in the successful upgrading of the Puma Mk 1 helicopter to the all new Mk2, which has just been delivered to the RAF.
The £260m upgrade means the helicopters benefit from new engines that give them 35 per cent more power and improved fuel efficiency to allow them to fly faster and twice as far as the Puma Mk1.
They also have highly advanced digitised glass cockpits and upgraded liquid-crystal display instruments.
The Puma Mk2 can fit into a C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft, which means that it can be transported anywhere in the world and, crucially, can be ready to deploy in support of both combat and humanitarian missions in just four hours.
The aircraft, with improved ballistic protection, is capable of carrying up to 16 fully-equipped troops.
Twin cargo doors and low rotor downwash make it ideal for transporting personnel and equipment in and out of confined urban environments.
Seven of the RAF’s fleet of 24 Puma Mk2s have so far been delivered to RAF Benson, and crews from the RAF’s 33 and 230 Squadrons are carrying out training flights on the upgraded aircraft from their base in Oxfordshire.
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