Who flys the Griffin HAR2
The Griffin HAR2 is used as multi-role helicopter by 84 Squadron at RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus.
- 84 Squadron
The Squadron operates three aircraft, supplied and maintained by civilian company FB Heliservices, and operated by experienced military aircrews. The HAR2 is used for Search and Rescue, both over sea and mountainous terrain.
- Engines: Two Pratt & Whitney PT6T- 3D turboshafts
- Thrust: 900shp each
- Max speed: 140kts
- Length: 17.11m
- Max altitude: 20,000ft
- Span: 14.02m
- Aircrew: 3/5
Equipped with night-vision goggles and the Griffin’s FLIR/TV turret, the crews are capable of conducting operations at night. Due to the hot climate, the HAR2 is regularly required to provide a vital fire fighting capability using 84 Squadron’s Bambi Bucket water drop system.
In the Support Helicopter role, the Griffin HAR2 carries six (eight if operationally essential) fully equipped troops in the dustiest of conditions. The Griffin is also used in its HT1 and HAR2 forms by The Defence Helicopter Flying School (DHFS) at RAF Shawbury and the Search and Rescue Training Unit (SARTU) at RAF Valley.
The Griffin HAR2 is a twin-engined helicopter derived from the civilian Bell Textron 412EP helicopter and is powered by two Pratt and Whitney turbo shafts rated at 1800shp. The aircraft has an advanced, composite material, four-blade main rotor system, and pendulum dampers on the rotor hub to reduce vibrations at higher cruise speeds. The composite main-blades can be interchanged and folded easily for storage.
The electrical hoist will lift three personnel and the cabin will accommodate two stretcher casualties. With full life-support equipment available in the cabin, the paramedic-trained winch men can provide the highest level of patient care en-route to hospital.
The aircraft is equipped with a modern avionics suit which is fully IFR compliant in which couples to a four axis duplex autopilot. The Griffin's radar is used for weather avoidance and as a shipping search radar when operating over the sea. The aircraft has a 2hr 45mins endurance, a 120 knot cruise speed and a 3000lb payload. 84 Sqn has a total of 15 aircrew to maintain their 24/7 role. Six pilots operate in their single pilot role, whilst a total of nine WSOs share the search, rescue and paramedic duties when operating on SAR missions.
Readily identifiable as the development of the famous "Huey" series of helicopters, the cabin is wide and flat topped, with a bulky engine installation in the centre of the cabin roof (1). The large, four-bladed rotor sits prominently above this. The cockpit retains the large glazed panels of the original, with the panels at the pilots feet also glazed, another feature held over from the earlier aircraft (2). The tail boom is long and tapering, ending in a swept fin that carries the tail rotor at the tip.
The capable and versatile Chinook is one of the most recognisable RAF aircraft.