Our replica aircraft trailer of the Boeing Chinook for the RAF was built from photographs and some blueprints. The journey started when we were asked to go to to RAF Odiham to look at the feasibility of building the Chinook for their recruitment drive. We were then asked to look at a crashed Chinook which was located in the cellar at Cranwell for training.
Out of all this we managed to get hold of a few components such as wheels and cyclic sticks and pedals from the Chinook in the cellar and we began construction of the trailer building our own chassis then adding an aluminium and fibreglass superstructure with everything including all the patternwork being done in house. The rear rotor tower was too high when it was on the road so we made it lower down hydraulically and we designed and built a hydraulic fork to secure the rotors when they were in transit. Each rotor was made from aluminium and had a hydraulic ram to fold it in. The whole rotor then turned on a hydraulic rotary actuator and stowed itself neatly.
We even made the prop gun which was housed in the side rear door, and all the cockpit interior except for the parts rescued. We fitted a satellite communication dish to the roof for computer internet reception and we had a large screen at the rear to represent the ramp opening, one in the floor showing winching and 4 in the cockpit showing a view out of the cockpit during flight.
The ultimate accolade was when an RAF officer who didn’t know it was a replica came onto the parade ground at Cranwell where it was set up and told the guys to move it as he didn’t want oil leaking onto his parade ground from the engines!