The Boeing CH-47 Chinook is an American twin-engined, tandem rotor, heavy-lift helicopter developed by American rotorcraft company Vertol and manufactured by Boeing Vertol (later known as Boeing Rotorcraft Systems). The CH-47 is among the heaviest lifting Western helicopters. Its name, Chinook, is from the Native American Chinook people of modern-day Washington state.
The Chinook was originally designed by Vertol, which had begun work in 1957 on a new tandem-rotor helicopter, designated as the Vertol Model 107 or V-107. Around the same time, the United States Department of the Army announced its intention to replace the piston engine-powered Sikorsky CH-37 Mojave with a new, gas turbine-powered helicopter. During June 1958, the U.S. Army ordered a small number of V-107s from Vertol under the YHC-1A designation; following testing, it came to be considered by some Army officials to be too heavy for the assault missions and too light for transport purposes. While the YHC-1A would be improved and adopted by the U.S. Marine Corps as the CH-46 Sea Knight, the Army sought a heavier transport helicopter, and ordered an enlarged derivative of the V-107 with the Vertol designation Model 114. Initially designated as the YCH-1B, on 21 September 1961, the preproduction rotorcraft performed its maiden flight. In 1962, the HC-1B was redesignated CH-47A under the 1962 United States Tri-Service aircraft designation system.
The Chinook possesses several means of loading various cargoes, including multiple doors across the fuselage, a wide loading ramp located at the rear of the fuselage, and a total of three external ventral cargo hooks to carry underslung loads, as well. Capable of a top speed of 170 knots (196 mph, 315 km/h), upon its introduction to service in 1962, the helicopter was considerably faster than contemporary 1960s utility helicopters and attack helicopters, and is still one of the fastest helicopters in the US inventory. Improved and more powerful versions of the Chinook have also been developed since its introduction; one of the most substantial variants to be produced was the CH-47D, which first entered service in 1982; improvements from the CH-47C standard included upgraded engines, composite rotor blades, a redesigned cockpit to reduce workload, improved and redundant electrical systems and avionics, and the adoption of an advanced flight control system. It remains one of the few aircraft to be developed during the early 1960s – along with the fixed-wing Lockheed C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft – that had remained in both production and frontline service for over 50 years.
The military version of the helicopter has been subject to numerous export sales from nations across the world, typically using it as heavy-lift rotorcraft in a military context; the U.S. Army and the Royal Air Force (see Boeing Chinook (UK variants)) have been its two largest users. The civilian version of the Chinook is the Boeing Vertol 234. It has been used for a variety of purposes by a range of different civil operators, having often been used for passenger and cargo transport, along with niche roles such as aerial firefighting and to support various industrial activities, including logging, construction, and oil extraction.
|A U.S. Army CH-47 departs a landing zone in 2014 after unloading soldiers.|
|National origin||United States|
|Manufacturer||Boeing Defense, Space & Security|
|First flight||21 September 1961|
|Primary users||United States Army|
Japan Ground Self-Defense Force
Royal Netherlands Air Force
See CH-47 operators for others
|Number built||Over 1,200 as of 2012|
US$38.55 million (CH-47F, FY13)
|Developed from||Vertol Model 107|
|Variants||Boeing Chinook (UK variants)|
During late 1956, the United States Department of the Army announced its intention to replace the Sikorsky CH-37 Mojave, which was powered by piston engines, with a new, gas turbine-powered helicopter. Turbine engines were also a key design feature of the smaller UH-1 "Huey" utility helicopter. Following a design competition, in September 1958, a joint Army–Air Force source selection board recommended that the Army procure the Vertol-built medium transport helicopter. However, funding for full-scale development was not then available, and the Army vacillated on its design requirements. Some officials in Army Aviation thought that the new helicopter should be operated as a light tactical transport aimed at taking over the missions of the old piston-engined Piasecki H-21 and Sikorsky H-34 helicopters, and be consequently capable of carrying about 15 troops (one squad). Another faction in Army Aviation thought that the new helicopter should be much larger, enabling it to be able to airlift large artillery pieces and possess enough internal space to carry the new MGM-31 "Pershing" missile system.
During 1957, Vertol commenced work upon a new tandem-rotor helicopter, designated as the Vertol Model 107 or V-107. During June 1958, the U.S. Army awarded a contract to Vertol for the acquisition of a small number of the rotorcraft, giving it the YHC-1A designation. As ordered, the YHC-1A possessed the capacity to carry a maximum of 20 troops. Three underwent testing by the Army for deriving engineering and operational data. However, the YHC-1A was considered by many figures within the Army users to be too heavy for the assault role, while too light for the more general transport role. Accordingly, a decision was made to procure a heavier transport helicopter, and at the same time, upgrade the UH-1 "Huey" to serve as the needed tactical troop transport. The YHC-1A would be improved and adopted by the Marines as the CH-46 Sea Knight in 1962. As a result, the Army issued a new order to Vertol for an enlarged derivative of the V-107, known by internal company designation as the Model 114, which it gave the designation of HC-1B. On 21 September 1961, the preproduction Boeing Vertol YCH-1B made its initial hovering flight. During 1962, the HC-1B was redesignated the CH-47A under the 1962 United States Tri-Service aircraft designation system; it was also named "Chinook" after the Chinook people of the Pacific Northwest.
The CH-47 is powered by two Lycoming T55 turboshaft engines, mounted on each side of the helicopter's rear pylon and connected to the rotors by drive shafts. Initial models were fitted with engines rated at 2,200 horsepower each. The counter-rotating rotors eliminate the need for an antitorque vertical rotor, allowing all power to be used for lift and thrust. The ability to adjust lift in either rotor makes it less sensitive to changes in the center of gravity, important for the cargo lifting and dropping. While hovering over a specific location, a twin-rotor helicopter has increased stability over a single rotor when weight is added or removed, for example, when troops drop from or begin climbing up ropes to the aircraft, or when other cargo is dropped. If one engine fails, the other can drive both rotors. The "sizing" of the Chinook was directly related to the growth of the Huey and the Army's tacticians' insistence that initial air assaults be built around the squad. The Army pushed for both the Huey and the Chinook, and this focus was responsible for the acceleration of its air mobility effort.
Improved and more powerful versions of the CH-47 have been developed since the helicopter entered service. The U.S. Army's first major design leap was the now-common CH-47D, which entered service in 1982. Improvements from the CH-47C included upgraded engines, composite rotor blades, a redesigned cockpit to reduce pilot workload, improved and redundant electrical systems, an advanced flight control system, and improved avionics. The latest mainstream generation is the CH-47F, which features several major upgrades to reduce maintenance, digitized flight controls, and is powered by two 4,733-horsepower Honeywell engines.
A commercial model of the Chinook, the Boeing-Vertol Model 234, is used worldwide for logging, construction, fighting forest fires, and supporting petroleum extraction operations. In December 2006, Columbia Helicopters Inc purchased the type certificate of the Model 234 from Boeing. The Chinook has also been licensed to be built by companies outside the United States, such as Agusta (now AgustaWestland) in Italy and Kawasaki in Japan.
The Army finally settled on the larger Chinook as its standard medium-transport helicopter, and as of February 1966, 161 aircraft had been delivered to the Army. The 1st Cavalry Division had brought its organic Chinook battalion when it arrived in 1965 and a separate aviation medium helicopter company, the 147th, had arrived in Vietnam on 29 November 1965. This latter company was initially placed in direct support of the 1st Infantry Division.
The most spectacular mission in Vietnam for the Chinook was the placing of artillery batteries in perilous mountain positions inaccessible by any other means, and then keeping them resupplied with large quantities of ammunition. The 1st Cavalry Division found that its CH-47s were limited to a 7,000-pound (3,200 kg) payload when operating in the mountains, but could carry an additional 1,000 pounds (450 kg) when operating near the coast. The early Chinook design was limited by its rotor system which did not permit full use of the installed power, and users were anxious for an improved version which would upgrade this system.
As with any new piece of equipment, the Chinook presented a major problem of "customer education". Commanders and crew chiefs had to be constantly alert that eager soldiers did not overload the temptingly large cargo compartment. It would be some time before troops would be experts at using sling loads. The Chinook soon proved to be such an invaluable aircraft for artillery movement and heavy logistics that it was seldom used as an assault troop carrier. Some of the Chinook fleet was used for casualty evacuation, and due to the very heavy demand for the helicopters, they were usually overburdened with wounded. Perhaps the most cost effective use of the Chinook was the recovery of other downed aircraft.
The CH-47s in Vietnam were generally armed with a single 7.62-mm M60 machine gun on a pintle mount on either side of the aircraft for self-defense, with stops fitted to keep the gunners from firing into the rotor blades. Dust filters were also added to improve engine reliability. At its peak employment in Vietnam, 22 Chinook units were in operation. Of the nearly 750 Chinook helicopters in the U.S. and South Vietnam fleets, about 200 were lost in combat or wartime operational accidents. The U.S. Army CH-47s supported the 1st Australian Task Force as required.
During the 1970s, the United States and Iran had a strong relationship, in which the Iranian armed forces began to use many American military aircraft, most notably the F-14 Tomcat, as part of a modernization program. After an agreement signed between Boeing and Agusta, the Imperial Iranian Air Force purchased 20 Agusta-built CH-47Cs in 1971. The Imperial Iranian Army Aviation purchased 70 CH-47Cs from Agusta between 1972 and 1976. In late 1978, Iran placed an order for an additional 50 helicopters with Elicotteri Meridionali, but that order was canceled immediately after the revolution; but 11 of them were delivered after multiple requests by Iran.
In the 1978 Iranian Chinook shootdown, four Iranian CH-47Cs penetrated 15–20 km into Soviet airspace in the Turkmenistan Military District. They were intercepted by a MiG-23M which shot down one, killing eight crew members, and forced a second one to land. Chinook helicopters were used in efforts by the Imperial Iranian loyalist forces to resist the 1979 Iranian revolution.
During the Iran–Iraq War, Iran made heavy use of its US-bought equipment, and lost at least eight CH-47s during the 1980–1988 period, most notably during a clash on 15 July 1983, when an Iraqi Mirage F1 destroyed three Iranian Chinooks transporting troops to the front line, and on 25–26 February 1984, when Iraqi MiG-21 fighters shot down two examples. On 22 March 1982, in Operation Undeniable Victory, a key operation of the war, Iranian Chinooks were landed behind Iraqi lines, deployed troops that silenced their artillery, and captured an Iraqi headquarter; the attack took the Iraqi forces by surprise.
Despite the arms embargo in place upon Iran, it has managed to keep its Chinook fleet operational. Some of the Chinooks have been rebuilt by Panha. Currently 20 to 45 Chinooks are operational in Iran.
In 1976, the Libyan Air Force purchased 24 Italian-built CH-47C helicopters, 14 of which were transferred to the Libyan Army during the 1990s. The Libyan Air Force recruited Western pilots and technicians to operate the CH-47 fleet.
The Libyan Chinooks flew transport and support missions into Chad to supply Libyan ground forces operating there in the 1980s. Chinooks were occasionally used to transport Libyan special forces in assault missions in northern Chad.
In 2002, Libya sold 16 helicopters to the United Arab Emirates, as due to the Western embargo and lack of funds, maintaining them was difficult. The sale to UAE was a $939 million package that included equipment, parts, and training. How many CH-47s are still in existence or operational during the ongoing Libyan civil wars that started in 2011 is not known.
The Argentine Air Force and the Argentine Army each deployed two CH-47C helicopters, which were widely used in general transport duties. Of the Army's aircraft, one was destroyed on the ground by a Harrier, while the other was captured by the British and reused after the war. Both Argentine Air Force helicopters returned to Argentina and remained in service until 2002.
Three British Chinooks were destroyed on 25 May 1982 when Atlantic Conveyor was struck by an Exocet sea-skimming missile fired by an Argentine Super Étendard. The sole surviving British Chinook, Bravo November, did outstanding service in the Falklands, even lifting 81 troops on one occasion.
The CH-47D has seen wide use in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq. The Chinook is being used in air assault missions, inserting troops into fire bases, and later bringing food, water, and ammunition. It is also the casualty evacuation aircraft of choice in the British Armed Forces. In combat theaters, it is typically escorted by attack helicopters such as the AH-64 Apache for protection. Its lift capacity has been found of particular value in the mountainous terrain of Afghanistan, where high altitudes and temperatures limit the use of helicopters such as the UH-60 Black Hawk; reportedly, one Chinook can replace up to five UH-60s in the air assault transport role.
The Chinook helicopters of several nations have participated in the Afghanistan War, including aircraft from Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Canada, and Australia. Despite the age of the Chinook, it is still in heavy demand, in part due its proven versatility and ability to operate in demanding environments such as Afghanistan.
On 6 August 2011, a Chinook crashed near Kabul, killing all of the 38 aboard. It was reportedly shot down with a rocket-propelled grenade by the Taliban while attempting to assist a group of U.S. Army Rangers. The 38 were members of NATO and allied forces, including 22 Naval Special Warfare operators, five U.S. Army Aviation soldiers, three U.S. Air Force special operations personnel, and seven Afghan National Army commandos. A civilian translator and a U.S. military working dog were also killed in the crash. The crash was the single deadliest during the entire Operation Enduring Freedom campaign. The previous biggest single-day loss for American forces in Afghanistan involved a Chinook that was shot down near Kabul in Kunar Province in June 2005 with all aboard killed, including a 16-member U.S. Special Operations team.
In May 2011, an Australian Army CH-47D crashed during a resupply mission in Zabul Province, resulting in one fatality and five survivors. The helicopter was unable to be recovered and was destroyed in place. To compensate for the loss, the ADF added two ex-U.S. Army CH-47Ds to the fleet which are expected to be in service until the introduction of the CH-47Fs in 2016.
Since the type's inception, the Chinook has carried out secondary missions including medical evacuation, disaster relief, search and rescue, aircraft recovery, fire fighting, and heavy construction assistance. According to Suresh Abraham, the Chinook's ability to carry large, underslung loads has been of significant value in relief operations in the aftermath of natural disasters. Chinooks operators have often deployed their fleets overseas to support humanitarian efforts in stricken nations; Chinooks of the Republic of Singapore Air Force assisted in relief operations in neighboring Indonesia following the 2004 Asian tsunami, and after the 2005 Kashmir earthquake, the Royal Air Force dispatched Chinooks to Northern Pakistan to assist in recovery efforts.
Three Japanese CH-47s were used to cool Reactors 3 and 4 of the Fukushima Nuclear power plant with sea water after the 9.0 earthquake in 2011; to protect the crew from heightened radiation levels, lead plates were attached to the floor.
The pre-1962 designation for Model 114 development aircraft that would be redesignated CH-47 Chinook
The all-weather, medium-lift CH-47A Chinook was powered initially by Lycoming T55-L-5 engines rated at 2,200 horsepower (1,640 kW), but then replaced by the T55-L-7 rated at 2,650 hp (1,980 kW) engines or T55-L-7C engines rated at 2,850 hp (2,130 kW). The CH-47A had a maximum gross weight of 33,000 lb (15,000 kg), allowing for a maximum payload around 10,000 lb (4,500 kg) Initial delivery of the CH-47A Chinook to the U.S. Army was in August 1962. A total of 349 were built.
The ACH-47A was originally known as the Armed/Armored CH-47A (or A/ACH-47A). It was officially designated ACH-47A as a U.S. Army Attack Cargo Helicopter, and unofficially referred to as Guns A Go-Go. Four CH-47A helicopters were converted to gunships by Boeing Vertol in late 1965. Three were assigned to the 53rd Aviation Detachment in South Vietnam for testing, with the remaining one retained in the U.S. for weapons testing. By 1966, the 53rd was redesignated the 1st Aviation Detachment (Provisional) and attached to the 228th Assault Support Helicopter Battalion of the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). By 1968, only one gunship remained, and logistical concerns prevented more conversions. It was returned to the United States, and the program stopped.
The ACH-47A carried five M60D 7.62 × 51 mm machine guns or M2HB .50-caliber machine guns, provided by the XM32 and XM33 armament subsystems, two M24A1 20 mm cannons, two XM159B/XM159C 19-Tube 2.75-inch (70 mm) rocket launchers or sometimes two M18/M18A1 7.62 × 51 mm gun pods, and a single M75 40 mm grenade launcher in the XM5/M5 armament subsystem (more commonly seen on the UH-1 series of helicopters). The surviving aircraft, Easy Money, has been restored and is on display at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.
The CH-47B was an interim solution while Boeing worked on a more substantially improved CH-47C. The CH-47B was powered by two Lycoming T55-L-7C 2,850 shp (2,130 kW) engines. It featured a blunted rear rotor pylon, redesigned asymmetrical rotor blades, and strakes along the rear ramp and fuselage to improve flying characteristics. It could be equipped with two door-mounted M60D 7.62 mm NATO machine guns on the M24 armament subsystem and a ramp-mounted M60D using the M41 armament subsystem. Some CH-47 "bombers" were equipped to drop tear gas or napalm from the rear cargo ramp onto NLF (Việt Cộng) bunkers. The CH-47B could be equipped with a hoist and cargo hook. The Chinook proved especially valuable in "Pipe Smoke" aircraft recovery missions. The "Hook" recovered about 12,000 aircraft valued at over $3.6 billion during the war; 108 were built.
The CH-47C principally featured more powerful engines and transmissions. Three sub-versions were built; the first had Lycoming T55-L-7C engines delivering 2,850 shp (2,130 kW). The "Super C" included Lycoming T55-L-11 engines delivering 3,750 shp (2,800 kW), an upgraded maximum gross weight of 46,000 lb (21,000 kg), and a pitch stability augmentation system. The T55-L-11 engines suffered difficulties, as they had been hurriedly introduced to increase payload; thus, they were temporarily replaced by the more reliable Lycoming T55-L-7C. The type was distinguishable from the standard "C" by the uprated maximum gross weight.
The type was unable to receive FAA certification to engage in civil activities due to the nonredundant hydraulic flight boost system drive. A redesign of the hydraulic boost system drive was incorporated in the succeeding CH-47D, allowing that model to achieve certification as the Boeing Model 234. A total of 233 CH-47Cs were built. Canada bought a total of eight CH-47Cs; deliveries of the type began in 1974. Receiving the Canadian designation "CH-147", these were fitted with a power hoist above the crew door; other changes included a flight engineer station in the rear cabin: operators referred to the configuration as the "Super C". The CH-47C was used widely during the Vietnam War, eventually replacing the older H-21 Shawnee in the combat assault support role.
The CH-47D shares the same airframe as earlier models, the main difference being the adoption of more powerful engines. Early CH-47Ds were originally powered by two T55-L-712 engines, the most common engine is the later T55-GA-714A. With its triple-hook cargo system, the CH-47D can carry heavy payloads internally and up to 26,000 pounds (12 t) (such as 40-foot or 12-metre containers) externally. It was first introduced into service in 1979. In air assault operations, it often serves as the principal mover of the 155 mm M198 howitzer, accompanying 30 rounds of ammunition, and an 11-man crew. The CH-47D also has advanced avionics, such as the Global Positioning System. Nearly all US Army CH-47D were conversions from previous A, B, and C models, a total of 472 being converted. The last U.S. Army CH-47D built was delivered to the U.S. Army Reserve, located at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2002.
The Netherlands acquired all seven of the Canadian Forces' surviving CH-147s and upgraded them to CH-47D standard. Six more new-build CH-47Ds were delivered in 1995 for a total of 13. The Dutch CH-47Ds feature a number of improvements over U.S. Army CH-47Ds, including a long nose for Bendix weather radar, a "glass cockpit", and improved T55-L-714 engines. As of 2011, the Netherlands shall upgrade 11 of these which will be updated to the CH-47F standard at a later date. As of 2011, Singapore has 18 CH-47D/SDs, which includes twelve "Super D" Chinooks, in service. In 2008, Canada purchased 6 CH-47Ds from the U.S. for the Canadian Helicopter Force Afghanistan for $252 million. With 1 CH-47D lost to an accident, the remaining five were sold in 2011 after the end of Canada's mission in Afghanistan and replaced with seven CH-147Fs.
The MH-47D variant was developed for special forces operations and has inflight refueling capability, a fast rope-rappelling system, and other upgrades. The MH-47D was used by U.S. Army 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. 12 MH-47D helicopters were produced. Six were conversions from CH-47A models and six were conversions from CH-47C models.
The MH-47E has been used by U.S. Army Special Operations. Beginning with the E-model prototype manufactured in 1991, a total of 26 Special Operations Aircraft were produced. All aircraft were assigned to 2–160th SOAR(A) "Nightstalkers", home based at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. E models were conversions from existing CH-47C model airframes. The MH-47E has similar capabilities as the MH-47D, but includes an increased fuel capacity similar to the CH-47SD and terrain following/terrain avoidance radar.
In 1995, the Royal Air Force ordered eight Chinook HC3s, effectively a low-cost version of the MH-47E for the special operations role. They were delivered in 2001, but never entered operational service due to technical issues with their avionics fit, unique to the HC3. In 2008, work started to revert the HC3s to HC2 standard, to enable them to enter service. They have since been upgraded to HC5 standard with a digital automated flight control system.
In 2001, the first CH-47F, an upgraded CH-47D, made its maiden flight; the first production model rolled out on 15 June 2006 at Boeing's facility in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania, and first flew on 23 October 2006. Upgrades include 4,868-shaft-horsepower (3,630 kW) Honeywell engines and the airframe featuring greater single-piece construction to lower maintenance requirements. The milled construction reduces vibration, as well as inspection and repair needs, and eliminates flexing points to increase service life. The CH-47F can fly at speeds of over 175 mph (282 km/h) with a payload of more than 21,000 lb (9.5 t). New avionics include a Rockwell Collins Common Avionics Architecture System (CAAS) cockpit, and BAE Systems' Digital Advanced Flight Control System (DAFCS). AgustaWestland assembles the CH-47F under license, known as the Chinook ICH-47F, for several customers. Boeing delivered 48 CH-47Fs to the U.S. Army through August 2008; at that time Boeing announced a $4.8 billion contract with the Army for 191 Chinooks.
In February 2007, the Royal Netherlands Air Force became the first international customer, ordering six CH-47Fs, expanding their fleet to 17. On 10 August 2009, Canada signed a contract for 15 extensively modified and upgraded CH-47Fs for the Canadian Forces, later delivered in 2013–2014 with the Canadian designation CH-147F. On 15 December 2009, Britain announced its Future Helicopter Strategy, including the purchase of 24 new CH-47Fs to be delivered from 2012. Australia ordered seven CH-47Fs in March 2010 to replace its six CH-47Ds between 2014 and 2017. In late 2015, Australia has sought permission to order three more CH-47Fs. In September 2015 India approved purchase of 15 CH-47F Chinooks. On 7 November 2016, Singapore announced that the CH-47F would replace its older Chinooks, which had been in service since 1994. This would enable the Republic of Singapore Air Force to meet its requirements for various operations, including Search and Rescue (SAR), Aeromedical Evacuation (AME), and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations.
A CH-47F Block 2 is planned to be introduced after 2020. The Block 2 aims for a payload of 22,000 lb (10,000 kg) with 4,000 ft (1,200 m) and 95 °F (35 °C) high and hot hover performance, eventually increased up to 6,000 ft (1,800 m), to carry the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle; maximum takeoff weight would be raised to 24,500 kg (54,000 lb). It features the composite-based Advanced Chinook Rotor Blade (derived from the cancelled RAH-66 Comanche) 20% more powerful Honeywell T55-715 engines, and the active parallel actuator system (APAS); the APAS enhances the digital advanced flight-control system, providing an exact torque split between the rotors for greater efficiency. A new fuel system combines the three fuel cells in each sponson into one larger fuel cell and eliminating intracell fuel transfer hardware, reducing weight by 90 kg (200 lb) and increasing fuel capacity. Electrical capacity is increased by three 60 kVA generators.
The U.S. Army plans for a Block 3 upgrade after 2025, which could include a new 6,000 shp-class engine with boosted power capacity of the transmission and drive train developed under the future affordable turbine engine (FATE) program and a lengthened fuselage. The Future Vertical Lift program plans to begin replacing the Army's rotorcraft fleet in the mid-2030s, initially focusing on medium-lift helicopters, thus the CH-47 is planned to be in service beyond 2060, over 100 years after first entering service.
The MH-47G Special Operations Aviation (SOA) version is currently being delivered to the U.S. Army. It is similar to the MH-47E, but features more sophisticated avionics including a digital Common Avionics Architecture System (CAAS). The CAAS is a common glass cockpit used by different helicopters such as MH-60K/Ls, CH-53E/Ks, and ARH-70As. The MH-47G also incorporates all of the new sections of the CH-47F.
The new modernization program improves MH-47D and MH-47E Special Operations Chinooks to the MH-47G design specs. A total of 25 MH-47E and 11 MH-47D aircraft were upgraded by the end of 2003. In 2002 the army announced plans to expand the Special Operations Aviation Regiment via an additional 12 MH-47G helicopters. The final MH-47G Chinook was delivered to the U.S. Army Special Operations Command on 10 February 2011. Modernization of MH-47D/E Chinooks to MH-47G standard is due for completion in 2015.
The British MOD confirmed that while the US does not currently export the model, the two countries are currently in discussion regarding the MH-47G. On 19 October 2018, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of a possible sale of 16 H-47 Chinooks (Extended Range) to the UK.
The CH-47J is a medium-transport helicopter for the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF), and the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF). The differences between the CH-47J and the CH-47D are the engine, rotor brake and avionics, for use for general transportation, SAR and disaster activity like U.S. forces. The CH-47JA, introduced in 1993, is a long-range version of the CH-47J, fitted with an enlarged fuel tank, an AAQ-16 FLIR in a turret under the nose, and a partial glass cockpit. Both versions are built under license in Japan by Kawasaki Heavy Industries, who produced 61 aircraft by April 2001.
The Japan Defense Agency ordered 54 aircraft of which 39 were for the JGSDF and 15 were for the JASDF. Boeing supplied flyable aircraft, to which Kawasaki added full avionics, interior, and final paint. The CH-47J model Chinook (N7425H) made its first flight in January 1986, and it was sent to Kawasaki in April. Boeing began delivering five CH-47J kits in September 1985 for assembly at Kawasaki.
On 9 November 2006, the HH-47, a new variant of the Chinook based on the MH-47G, was selected by the U.S. Air Force as the winner of the Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR-X) competition. Four development HH-47s were to be built, with the first of 141 production aircraft planned to enter service in 2012. However, in February 2007 the contract award was protested and the GAO ordered the CSAR-X project to be re-bid. The CSAR-X program was again terminated in 2009. In February 2010, the USAF announced plans to replace aging HH-60G helicopters, and deferred secondary combat search and rescue requirements calling for a larger helicopter.
The export version of the CH-47C Chinook for the Italian Army was designated "CH-47C Plus". The HH-47D is a search and rescue version for the Republic of Korea Air Force. The CH-47DG is an upgraded version of the CH-47C for Greece. While the CH-47SD (also known as the "Super D") is a modified variant of the CH-47D, with extended range fuel tanks and higher payload carrying capacity; the CH-47SD is currently in use by the Republic of Singapore Air Force, Hellenic Army and the Republic of China Army.
Eight CH-47Cs were delivered to the Canadian Forces in 1974. These helicopters were in Canadian service until 1991, with the designation CH-147. These aircraft were subsequently sold to the Netherlands and are now operated by the Royal Netherlands Air Force as CH-47Ds. Older aircraft will be phased out by 2020 and replaced by CH-47F-NL models.
In 1969, work on the experimental Model 347 was begun. It was a CH-47A with a lengthened fuselage, four-blade rotors, detachable wings mounted on top of the fuselage and other changes. It first flew on 27 May 1970 and was evaluated for a few years.
In 1973, the Army contracted with Boeing to design a "Heavy Lift Helicopter" (HLH), designated XCH-62A. It appeared to be a scaled-up CH-47 without a conventional body, in a configuration similar to the S-64 Skycrane (CH-54 Tarhe), but the project was canceled in 1975. The program was restarted for test flights in the 1980s and was again not funded by Congress. The scaled-up model of the HLH was scrapped in late 2005 at Fort Rucker, Alabama.
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
The 1978 Iranian Chinook shootdown was an incident on 21 June 1978, when four Boeing CH-47 Chinook of the Imperial Iranian Air Force strayed into Soviet airspace during a training mission, with the end result being that two of the aircraft were shot down by the PVO.2011 Afghanistan Boeing Chinook shootdown
On 6 August 2011, a U.S. CH-47D Chinook military helicopter operating with the call sign "Extortion 17" (pronounced "one-seven") was shot down while transporting an Immediate Reaction Force attempting to reinforce a Joint Special Operations Command unit of the 75th Ranger Regiment in the Tangi Valley in Maidan Wardak province, southwest of Kabul, Afghanistan. The resulting crash killed all 38 people on board - 25 American special operations personnel, one pilot and two crewmen of the United States Army Reserve, one pilot and one crewman of the United States Army National Guard, seven members of the Afghan National Security Forces, and one Afghan interpreter, as well as a U.S. military working dog. At 31 American military personnel killed, the shoot down of Extortion 17 represents the greatest single-incident loss of American lives in Operation Enduring Freedom - Afghanistan, surpassing the sixteen lost in the downing of Turbine 33, a 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) MH-47, during Operation Red Wings on 28 June 2005.2nd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment (United States)
The 2nd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment fly the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk and the Boeing CH-47 Chinook. It provides aerial C3 support, limited air assault, aeromedical evacuation and air movement for the 1st Cavalry Division.3rd Aviation Regiment (United States)
The 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade is a regiment of the United States Army Aviation Branch. It operates the Boeing AH-64 Apache attack helicopter, Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, and Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopter. It has been associated with the 3rd Infantry Division (United States) for some time.Boeing CH-47 Chinook in Australian service
The Australian Defence Force has operated Boeing CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift helicopters for most of the period since 1974. Thirty of the type have entered Australian service, comprising twelve CH-47C variants, eight CH-47Ds and ten CH-47Fs. The helicopters have been operated by both the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and Australian Army.
An initial order of eight Chinooks for the RAAF was placed in 1962, but soon cancelled in favour of more urgent priorities. The Australian military still required helicopters of this type, and twelve CH-47C Chinooks were ordered in 1970. The CH-47s entered service with the RAAF in December 1974. The eleven surviving Chinooks were retired in 1989 as a cost-saving measure, but it was found that the Australian Defence Force's other helicopters could not replace their capabilities. As a result, four of the CH-47Cs were upgraded to CH-47D standard, and returned to service in 1995 with the Australian Army. The Army acquired two more CH-47Ds in 2000 and another pair in 2012. The CH-47Ds were replaced with seven new CH-47F aircraft during 2015, and another three were delivered in 2016.
The Chinooks have mainly been used to support the Australian Army, though they have performed a wide range of other tasks. Three Chinooks took part in the Iraq War during 2003, when they transported supplies and Australian special forces. A detachment of two Chinooks was also deployed to Afghanistan during the northern spring and summer months for each year between 2006 and 2007 and 2008 to 2013, seeing extensive combat. Two of the CH-47s deployed to Afghanistan were destroyed as a result of crashes. The helicopters have also frequently been assigned to assist recovery efforts following natural disasters and undertook a range of civilian construction tasks while being operated by the RAAF.Boeing Chinook (UK variants)
The Boeing Chinook is a large, tandem rotor helicopter operated by the Royal Air Force (RAF). A series of variants based on the United States Army's Boeing CH-47 Chinook, the RAF Chinook fleet is the largest outside the United States. RAF Chinooks have seen extensive service including fighting in the Falklands War, peace-keeping commitments in the Balkans, Northern Ireland and action in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
The Chinook aircraft, normally based at RAF Odiham, provides heavy-lift support and transport across all branches of the British armed forces, and is supported by the smaller, medium-lift helicopters such as the AgustaWestland Merlin HC.3 of the Royal Navy's Commando Helicopter Force and the RAF's Westland Puma HC.2, based at RNAS Yeovilton and RAF Benson.The RAF has a total of 60 active Chinooks in inventory as of 2015. In 2018 the UK issued a request to the United States to purchase 16 additional aircraft. The Chinook is expected to remain in RAF service until the 2040s.Helicopter deck
A helicopter deck (or helo deck) is a helicopter pad on the deck of a ship, usually located on the stern and always clear of obstacles that would prove hazardous to a helicopter landing. In the United States Navy, it is commonly and properly referred to as the flight deck.In the Royal Navy, landing on is usually achieved by first lining up on the port quarter parallel to the ship's heading, then once the deck motion is deemed to be acceptable the pilot sidesteps the aircraft laterally using a white painted line (the bum line) as a reference.
Shipboard landing for some helicopters is assisted though use of a haul-down device that involves attachment of a cable to a probe on the bottom of the aircraft prior to landing. Tension is maintained on the cable as the helicopter descends, assisting the pilot with accurate positioning of the aircraft on the deck; once on deck locking beams close on the probe, locking the aircraft to the flight deck. This device was pioneered by the Royal Canadian Navy and was called "Beartrap". The U.S. Navy implementation of this device, based on Beartrap, is called the "RAST" system (for Recovery Assist, Secure and Traverse) and is an integral part of the LAMPS Mk III (SH-60B) weapons system.A secondary purpose of the haul-down device is to equalize electrostatic potential between the helicopter and ship. The whirling rotor blades of a helicopter can cause large electrical charges to build up on the airframe, large enough to cause injury to shipboard personnel should they touch any part of the helicopter as it approaches the deck. This was depicted in the 1990 film The Hunt for Red October, when Jack Ryan is flown out to a submarine by helicopter. Ryan is lowered to the submarine, but brushes the officer charged with trying to hook him who receives a minor injury.
Coaxial rotor helicopters in flight are highly resistant to side-winds, which makes them suitable for shipboard use, even without a rope-pulley landing system.
Marine and offshore helicopter decks on board offshore oil platforms and ships are typically regulated by the rules defined within CAP 437, which defines standards for the design, marking, and lighting of marine/offshore helicopter decks, and is produced by the Civil Aviation Authority. The largest marine heli decks will accommodate the Boeing CH-47 Chinook, which requires a D value of 30 metres (98 ft), and has a weight of 21.3 tons. More typical for vessels would be decks that will accommodate the Sikorsky S92 with a D value of 21 metres (69 ft) and 11.9 tons.List of Boeing CH-47 Chinook operators
This is a list of military units using the Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopter.List of most-produced rotorcraft
This is a list of the most-produced rotorcraft. Production runs typically include variants and licensed production. Aircraft still in production are highlighted in blue.National Helicopter Museum
The National Helicopter Museum is a non-profit museum focused on the history of the helicopter and aviation industry around Stratford, Connecticut in the United States.
The museum was founded in 1983 by Dr. Raymond Jankowich and Robert McCloud. The museum is housed in the eastbound railroad station building of the Stratford station of the Metro-North Railroad.
The National Helicopter Museum collects and exhibits images and objects related to the long history of the aviation and helicopter industry in Stratford, the home of Sikorsky Aircraft company. Sikorsky Aircraft built the experimental helicopters developed by inventor Igor Sikorsky.
The National Helicopter Museum traces the evolution of the rotary wing from early predecessors like the boomerang and Chinese tops to designs by Leonardo da Vinci and George Cayley to early motorized experiments to modern helicopters of today.
Igor Sikorsky's first helicopter success in Stratford on September 14, 1939 is documented as well as his subsequent productions.
Also displayed are the small gas turbine engines developed locally by Dr. Anselm Franz at Avco Lycoming which power such helicopters as the Bell Helicopter UH-1 Iroquois or
Huey and the Boeing CH-47 Chinook.
Other exhibits include ones on tilt rotor development; current photos and models of aircraft by Bell, Boeing, Kaman Aircraft, Robinson Helicopter, and Sikorsky; and a working cockpit of the Sikorsky S-76 helicopter.No. 3 Aircraft Depot RAAF
No. 3 Aircraft Depot (No. 3 AD) was a maintenance unit of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). Formed in March 1942 at RAAF Station Amberley, Queensland, its prime function initially was the assembly and despatch of combat aircraft from the United States; it also performed salvage operations. From 1942 until 1947 it took on the role of administering the Amberley base. The depot was responsible for heavy maintenance of the RAAF's English Electric Canberra jet bombers following their entry into service in 1953. In the 1970s it began maintaining and upgrading the General Dynamics F-111C swing-wing bomber, along with Bell UH-1 Iroquois and Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopters. No. 3 AD merged with No. 482 Maintenance Squadron in March 1992 to form No. 501 Wing, which maintained the F-111 until disbanding in 2001.No. 97 Wing RAAF
No. 97 Wing was a temporary formation established on 24 October 1997 to command the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) elements deployed for drought relief purposes to Papua New Guinea during Operation Ples Drai. It was led by Wing Commander Chris Richards, who was also the commander of the Air Component of Joint Task Force 105 which had been established for this operation.The size of the Air Component varied over time, but the RAAF aircraft assigned to it typically included two Lockheed C-130 Hercules and three de Havilland Canada DHC-4 Caribou transport aircraft. The Air Component usually also included three Sikorsky S-70 Black Hawk and two Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopters provided by the Australian Army, and was staffed by around 100 personnel.All of the aircraft assigned to Operation Ples Drai returned to Australia in April 1998.Northeastern Pennsylvania Air Show
The Northeastern Pennsylvania Air Show, also called the NEPA Air Show, is an annual air show that occurs sometime in the summer at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport in Pittston Township, Pennsylvania. The event features dozens of military, commercial and general aviation aircraft from around the world.Sikorsky CH-54 Tarhe
The Sikorsky CH-54 Tarhe is an American twin-engine heavy-lift helicopter designed by Sikorsky Aircraft for the United States Army. It is named after Tarhe (whose nickname was "The Crane"), an 18th-century chief of the Wyandot Indian tribe. The civil version is the S-64 Skycrane.Sikorsky HLH
The Sikorsky HLH was a proposed aircraft design to meet the United States Army requirement in 1970 for a Heavy Lift Helicopter capable of carrying 45,000 lb (20,000 kg; 20 t), a lifting capacity more than twice that of Sikorsky's most powerful helicopter at that time.
Sikorsky's HLH design was an enlarged version of the successful CH-54/S-64 with a simplified and improved single main rotor powered by three General Electric TF34-58 turboshaft engines rated at a combined 21,000 hp (15,660 kW). A crew of five would operate the aircraft from the forward cockpit with pushbuttons replacing the traditional cyclic stick and collective lever. Behind the cockpit an aft cabin provided capacity for 12 combat troops.Sikorsky submitted their design in February 1971 then in May the Army declared the Boeing Vertol XCH-62 winner of the contract, ending the Sikorsky HLH program.Tactical Transport Group RAAF
Tactical Transport Group was a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) group. It was established on 1 June 1988 as part of a broad-ranging reform of the RAAF's organisation.The group commanded the RAAF units which were primarily responsible for providing tactical airlift for the Australian Army. These included No. 5 Squadron with Bell UH-1 Iroquois helicopters, No. 9 Squadron, which was equipped with Sikorsky S-70 Black Hawk helicopters, No. 12 Squadron with Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopters, No. 35 Squadron which operated both Iroquois helicopters and de Havilland Canada DHC-4 Caribou fixed-wing aircraft and No. 38 Squadron which also operated Caribous.At the time that Tactical Transport Group was formed the RAAF was in the process of preparing to transfer its helicopters to the Army. This change took place over 1989. No. 9 Squadron was disbanded on 14 February that year, with its helicopters and personnel becoming the 5th Aviation Regiment. No. 12 Squadron's Chinooks were withdrawn from service on 30 June and the squadron was disbanded on 25 August. On 5 December No. 35 Squadron transferred its Iroquois to the Army. No. 5 Squadron's Iroquois were also transferred to the Army during 1989, and the unit was absorbed into the Australian Defence Force Helicopter School on 9 December.The Tactical Transport Group was disbanded in February 1991. The two squadrons equipped with Caribous became part of the Air Lift Group.Troop carrier
A troop carrier is a means of transporting soldiers. A troop carrier vehicle may be configured for troop transport while used for other purposes at other times.Yakovlev Yak-60
Yakovlev Yak-60 (known as Yak-32 in some sources) is the possible designation for an experimental Yakovlev tandem-rotor heavy-lift helicopter design of the late 1960s. This design never progressed beyond the model stage.