Newark Air Museum Chinook Restoration Update

Museum volunteers restoring veteran RAF helicopter for display and educational use

[Photo by Howard Heeley, Down To Earth Promotions]


Following the arrival of Boeing Chinook HC.1 ZA717 from RAF Cranwell back in February 2018 Newark Air Museum (NAM) became the first Accredited Independent museum in the UK to acquire and display a Royal Air Force (RAF) registered Chinook helicopter.

Chinook HC.1 ZA717 in Royal Air Force service. [Photo via Newark Air Museum]
Chinook HC.1 ZA717 in Royal Air Force service. [Photo via Newark Air Museum]

Since its arrival NAM staff and volunteers have worked tirelessly to acquire missing airframe panels and structures from many normal disposal sources, including the original manufacturer. Sadly these efforts have been to no avail, so the museum’s resourceful volunteers have now started to fabricate missing and damaged items for the nose section and side sponsons on this unique Chinook rebuild project.

Chinook ZA717’s interior is well on the way to being restored to how it appeared in RAF service. [Photo by Howard Heeley, Down To Earth Promotions]

The majority of the damage that is being repaired was caused during a non-fatal flying incident on July 25th, 1989 that saw ZA717 ‘written off’ at RAF Mount Pleasant, in the Falkland Islands. Having been transported back to the UK, ZA717 was later used at RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire to train Aircrew Loadmasters in slinging techniques and load securing methods.

These ongoing repair and restoration works will soon be more visible as the NAM is planning to reposition the Chinook and nearby Westland Puma HC.1 XW208 helicopter, to make them both more accessible. This move will also benefit the museum’s long-term plan to use ZA717 as an interactive education space and resource for visiting groups of school children, Scouts, Cubs, Beavers, and Air Training Corps cadets.

If you have or know of any parts which can be used to aid in the restoration of Chinook ZA717 please contact the NAM via their website.


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