RESIDENTS have been looking to the skies on Tuesday afternoon with a distinct helicopter noise heard above east Dorset

People living in Hurn, Wimborne and Poole would have this afternoon heard a Chinook RAF helicopter flying overhead. 

The military helicopter was hovering over Dorset during training exercises with the crew practising manoeuvres near Bournemouth Airport.

A spokesman for the RAF said: "A Chinook from 28 Squadron RAF Benson, completed routine operational training and low flying in the south of England today, such training ensures that our crews continue to be ready for global operations."Bournemouth Echo: ChinookChinook (Image: Richard Crease)

Known for making a loud noise whilst flying, the Chinook is an extremely capable military helicopter that can reach jungles and deserts. 

Primarily used for trooping, resupply and battlefield casualty evacuation, the Chinook can carry up to 55 personnel or up to approximately 10 tonnes of mixed cargo.

Despite being 18 feet tall and nearly 100 feet long, it can reach speeds of up to 183mph and has a maximum density altitude of 15,000 feet. 

Introduced by the Americans in the 1960s, the Chinook is used by air forces across the world, including the Japanese, the Saudis and the Royal Air Force.

Read more: Chinook pilot on what it's like flying the heavy helicopter

Chinooks have helped British troops in the Falklands War and Afghanistan, whilst also taking part in the Bournemouth Air Festival

In an interview with the Echo at last year’s show, pilot Flight Lieutenant Captain Matt Smyth described the Chinook as looking “like an articulated lorry, but it flies like a sports car.” 

Bournemouth Echo: Flight Lieutenant Captain Matt SmythFlight Lieutenant Captain Matt Smyth (Image: Daily Echo)

He added: “It's got a ridiculous amount of power for what it is and because we fly so light for the display, it means we've got extra power to then use to wow the crowds with some of the manoeuvres we can pull off with it.  

“The manoeuvres don’t look like they should be done by something that looks like a flying truck.” 

Read more: Globemaster military plane circles Dorset several times

The Chinook, famous for having two sets of blades (technically called tandem rotors), has been used for a variety of important missions outside the air show – including delivering beer.  

“I’ve dropped loads on dams, I've carried water, food, beer, all sorts underneath the aircraft. I know the aircraft has taken other fixed-wing aircraft like the Harrier Jump Jet around,” Matt added.