Bravo November

Bravo November is the original identification code painted on a British Royal Air Force Boeing Chinook HC6A military serial number ZA718. It was one of the original 30 aircraft ordered by the RAF in 1978 and was in service up to 2022. It has been upgraded several times in its history, now being designated as an HC6A airframe. 

It has seen action in every major operation involving the RAF in the helicopter’s 39-year service life. Since 1982 it has served in the Falkland Islands, Lebanon, Germany, Northern Ireland, Kurdistan, Iraq and Afghanistan. The aircraft has seen four of its pilots awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for actions whilst in command of Bravo November.

It first came to the attention of the general public for its survival of the Falklands War. In April 1982 Bravo November was loaded, along with three other Chinooks, aboard the container ship MV Atlantic Conveyor bound for the Falkland Islands on Operation Corporate. Atlantic Conveyor was hit by an Exocet missile, destroying the vessel along with its cargo. Bravo November was on an airborne task at the time and managed to land on HMS Hermes, gaining the nickname The Survivor. It was the only serviceable heavy lift helicopter available to British forces involved in the hostilities.

The helicopter was retired from service in March 2022, as part of a project to replace the RAF’s nine oldest Chinooks with more modern CH-47F variants.

In April 2022 the aircraft was transported to RAF Museum Cosford, and is now on display to the public in the museum’s new Falklands War display.

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