CH-47 Chinook
Overview
 
The Boeing CH-47 Chinook is an American twin-engine, tandem rotor
Tandem rotor
Tandem rotor helicopters have two large horizontal rotor assemblies mounted one in front of the other. Currently this configuration is mainly used for large cargo helicopters....

 heavy-lift helicopter
Helicopter
A helicopter is a type of rotorcraft in which lift and thrust are supplied by one or more engine-driven rotors. This allows the helicopter to take off and land vertically, to hover, and to fly forwards, backwards, and laterally...

. Its top speed of 170 knots (196 mph, 315 km/h) is faster than contemporary utility and attack helicopters of the 1960s. It is one of the few aircraft of that era, such as the C-130 Hercules
C-130 Hercules
The Lockheed C-130 Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft designed and built originally by Lockheed, now Lockheed Martin. Capable of using unprepared runways for takeoffs and landings, the C-130 was originally designed as a troop, medical evacuation, and cargo transport...

 and the UH-1 Iroquois
UH-1 Iroquois
The Bell UH-1 Iroquois is a military helicopter powered by a single, turboshaft engine, with a two-bladed main rotor and tail rotor. The helicopter was developed by Bell Helicopter to meet the United States Army's requirement for a medical evacuation and utility helicopter in 1952, and first flew...

, that is still in production and front line service with over 1,179 built to date. Its primary roles include troop movement, artillery emplacement and battlefield resupply.
Encyclopedia
The Boeing CH-47 Chinook is an American twin-engine, tandem rotor
Tandem rotor
Tandem rotor helicopters have two large horizontal rotor assemblies mounted one in front of the other. Currently this configuration is mainly used for large cargo helicopters....

 heavy-lift helicopter
Helicopter
A helicopter is a type of rotorcraft in which lift and thrust are supplied by one or more engine-driven rotors. This allows the helicopter to take off and land vertically, to hover, and to fly forwards, backwards, and laterally...

. Its top speed of 170 knots (196 mph, 315 km/h) is faster than contemporary utility and attack helicopters of the 1960s. It is one of the few aircraft of that era, such as the C-130 Hercules
C-130 Hercules
The Lockheed C-130 Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft designed and built originally by Lockheed, now Lockheed Martin. Capable of using unprepared runways for takeoffs and landings, the C-130 was originally designed as a troop, medical evacuation, and cargo transport...

 and the UH-1 Iroquois
UH-1 Iroquois
The Bell UH-1 Iroquois is a military helicopter powered by a single, turboshaft engine, with a two-bladed main rotor and tail rotor. The helicopter was developed by Bell Helicopter to meet the United States Army's requirement for a medical evacuation and utility helicopter in 1952, and first flew...

, that is still in production and front line service with over 1,179 built to date. Its primary roles include troop movement, artillery emplacement and battlefield resupply. It has a wide loading ramp at the rear of the fuselage and three external-cargo hooks.

The Chinook was designed and initially produced by Boeing Vertol in the early 1960s. The helicopter is now produced by Boeing Rotorcraft Systems. Chinooks have been sold to 16 nations with the US Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 and the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 (see Boeing Chinook (UK variants)) being the largest users. The CH-47 is among the heaviest lifting Western helicopters.

Early development

In late 1956, the United States Department of the Army
United States Department of the Army
The Department of the Army is one of the three military departments within the Department of Defense of the United States of America. The Department of the Army is the Federal Government agency which the United States Army is organized within, and it is led by the Secretary of the Army who has...

 announced plans to replace the CH-37 Mojave
CH-37 Mojave
|-See also:-References:* Harding, Stephen. U.S. Army Aircraft Since 1947. Shrewsbury, UK:Airlife Publishing, 1990. ISBN 1-85310-102-8.* Swanborough, F.G. and Peter M. Bowers. United States Military Aircraft since 1909. London:Putnam, 1963....

, which was powered by piston engines, with a new, turbine-powered helicopter. Turbine engines were also a key design feature of the smaller UH-1 "Huey"
UH-1 Iroquois
The Bell UH-1 Iroquois is a military helicopter powered by a single, turboshaft engine, with a two-bladed main rotor and tail rotor. The helicopter was developed by Bell Helicopter to meet the United States Army's requirement for a medical evacuation and utility helicopter in 1952, and first flew...

 utility helicopter. Following a design competition, in September 1958, a joint Army-Air Force source selection board recommended that the Army procure the Vertol
Piasecki Helicopter
The Piasecki Helicopter Corporation was a designer and manufacturer of helicopters located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the late 1940s and throughout the 1950s. The company was renamed Vertol Aircraft Corporation in the mid-1950s...

 medium transport helicopter. However, funding for full-scale development was not then available, and the Army vacillated on its design requirements. Some in the Army aviation corps thought that the new helicopter should be a light tactical transport aimed at taking over the missions of the old piston-engined H-21 and H-34 helicopters, and consequently capable of carrying about fifteen troops (one squad
Squad
In military terminology, a squad is a small military unit led by a non-commissioned officer that is subordinate to an infantry platoon. In countries following the British Army tradition this organization is referred to as a section...

). Another faction in the Army aviation corps thought that the new helicopter should be much larger to be able to airlift a large artillery
Artillery
Originally applied to any group of infantry primarily armed with projectile weapons, artillery has over time become limited in meaning to refer only to those engines of war that operate by projection of munitions far beyond the range of effect of personal weapons...

 piece, and have enough internal space to carry the new MGM-31 "Pershing" Missile System.

Vertol began work on a new tandem-rotor helicopter designated Vertol Model 107 or V-107 in 1957. In June 1958, the US Army awarded a contract to Vertol for the aircraft under the YHC-1A designation. The YHC-1A had a capacity for 20 troops. Three were tested by the Army to derive engineering and operational data. However, the YHC-1A was considered by most of the Army users to be too heavy for the assault role and too light for the transport role. The decision was made to procure a heavier transport helicopter and at the same time upgrade the UH-1 "Huey" as a tactical troop transport. The YHC-1A would be improved and adopted by the Marines as the CH-46 Sea Knight
CH-46 Sea Knight
The Boeing Vertol CH-46 Sea Knight is a medium-lift tandem rotor transport helicopter, used by the United States Marine Corps to provide all-weather, day-or-night assault transport of combat troops, supplies and equipment. Assault Support is its primary function, and the movement of supplies and...

 in 1962. The Army then ordered the larger Model 114 under the designation HC-1B. The pre-production Boeing Vertol YCH-1B made its initial hovering flight on 21 September 1961. In 1962 the HC-1B was redesignated the CH-47A under the 1962 United States Tri-Service aircraft designation system
1962 United States Tri-Service aircraft designation system
The 1962 United States Tri-Service aircraft designation system is a unified designation system introduced by the United States Department of Defense on 18 September 1962 for all the U.S. military aircraft. Prior to this date, each armed service used their own nomenclature system...

.

The name "Chinook" alludes to the Chinook people
Chinookan
Chinook refers to several native amercain groups of in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, speaking the Chinookan languages. In the early 19th century, the Chinookan-speaking peoples lived along the lower and middle Columbia River in present-day Oregon and Washington...

 of the Pacific Northwest
Pacific Northwest
The Pacific Northwest is a region in northwestern North America, bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the west and, loosely, by the Rocky Mountains on the east. Definitions of the region vary and there is no commonly agreed upon boundary, even among Pacific Northwesterners. A common concept of the...

. The CH-47 is powered by two turboshaft
Turboshaft
A turboshaft engine is a form of gas turbine which is optimized to produce free turbine shaft power, rather than jet thrust...

 engines, mounted on each side of the helicopter's rear end and connected to the rotors by driveshafts. Initial models were fitted with engines of 2,200 horsepower. The counter-rotating rotors eliminate the need for an anti-torque 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 role. 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 later versions

Improved and more powerful versions of the CH-47 have been developed since the helicopter entered service. The US 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. On 15 December 2006, the Columbia Helicopters company
Columbia Helicopters
Columbia Helicopters, Incorporated, or CHI, is an aircraft manufacturing and operator company based in Aurora, Oregon, United States. They are known for operating tandem rotor helicopters; in present times, exclusively the Boeing Vertol 107 and Boeing 234. These helicopters are used in...

 of the Salem, Oregon, metropolitan area, purchased the Type Certificate
Type certificate
A Type Certificate, is awarded by aviation regulating bodies to aerospace manufacturers after it has been established that the particular design of a civil aircraft, engine, or propeller has fulfilled the regulating bodies' current prevailing airworthiness requirements for the safe conduct of...

 of the Model 234 from Boeing. The Chinook has also been licensed to be built by companies outside of the United States, such as Elicotteri Meridionali
Agusta
Agusta is an Italian helicopter manufacturer. It is based in Samarate, Northern Italy. It is a subsidiary of Finmeccanica. The company was founded by Count Giovanni Agusta in 1923, who flew his first airplane in 1907...

 (now AgustaWestland) in Italy, Kawasaki
Kawasaki Heavy Industries
is an international corporation based in Japan. It has headquarters in both Chūō-ku, Kobe and Minato, Tokyo.The company is named after its founder Shōzō Kawasaki and has no connection with the city of Kawasaki, Kanagawa....

 in Japan, and a company in the United Kingdom.

Vietnam War

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 their organic Chinook battalion with them when they 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 Chinooks were limited to 7,000 pounds payload when operating in the mountains, but could carry an additional 1,000 pounds 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 were used for casualty evacuation, 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 Chinooks were generally armed with a single 7.62 millimeter M60 machine gun on a pintle mount on either side of the machine 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, there were 22 Chinook units in operation.

Of the nearly 750 Chinooks in the US and Republic of Vietnam fleets, about 200 were lost in combat or wartime operational accidents. US Army supplied Chinooks to the Australian Task Force as required.

Iran-Iraq war

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
F-14 Tomcat
The Grumman F-14 Tomcat is a supersonic, twin-engine, two-seat, variable-sweep wing fighter aircraft. The Tomcat was developed for the United States Navy's Naval Fighter Experimental program following the collapse of the F-111B project...

, as part of a modernisation programme. After an agreement signed between Boeing
Boeing
The Boeing Company is an American multinational aerospace and defense corporation, founded in 1916 by William E. Boeing in Seattle, Washington. Boeing has expanded over the years, merging with McDonnell Douglas in 1997. Boeing Corporate headquarters has been in Chicago, Illinois since 2001...

 and Elicotteri Meridionali
Agusta
Agusta is an Italian helicopter manufacturer. It is based in Samarate, Northern Italy. It is a subsidiary of Finmeccanica. The company was founded by Count Giovanni Agusta in 1923, who flew his first airplane in 1907...

, the Imperial Iranian Air Force
History of the Iranian Air Force
The history of the Iranian Air Force can be divided into two phases - before the Islamic Revolution, and after it.-Imperial era: The Imperial Iranian Air Force was a branch of the Imperial Iranian Armed Forces and was established by Reza Shah, the Shah of Iran, in 1920. It became operational with...

 purchased 20 Elicotteri Meridionali-built CH-47Cs in 1971. The Imperial Iranian Army Aviation
Islamic Republic of Iran Army
The Islamic Republic of Iran Army is the ground force of the Military of Islamic Republic of Iran. In Iran, it is also called Artesh, which is Persian for "army." As of 2007, the regular Iranian Army was estimated to have 465,000 personnel plus around 350,000 reservists for a total of 815,000...

 purchased 70 CH-47Cs from Elicotteri Meridionali during the period of 1972–1976. In late 1978, Iran placed an order for an additional 50 helicopters with Elicotteri Meridionali, but that order was canceled immediately after the revolution. Despite the arms embargo
Embargo
An embargo is the partial or complete prohibition of commerce and trade with a particular country, in order to isolate it. Embargoes are considered strong diplomatic measures imposed in an effort, by the imposing country, to elicit a given national-interest result from the country on which it is...

 on place upon Iran, they have managed to keep their fleet operational.

In the 1978 Iranian Chinook shootdown
1978 Iranian Chinook shootdown
The 1978 Iranian Chinook shootdown was an incident on June 21, 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...

, four Iranian CH-47C Chinooks penetrated 15–20 km into Soviet airspace in the Turkimenistan Military District. They were intercepted by a MiG-23M
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23 is a variable-geometry fighter aircraft, designed by the Mikoyan-Gurevich design bureau in the Soviet Union. It is considered to belong to the Soviet third generation jet fighter category, along with similarly aged Soviet fighters such as the MiG-25 "Foxbat"...

 which shot down one Chinook, killing eight crew members, and forced a second one to land. Chinooks were used in efforts by the Imperial Iranian loyalist forces to resist the 1979 Iranian revolution. During the war with Iraq, Iran made heavy use of its US-bought equipment, and lost at least 8 Chinooks during the 1980–1988 period; most notably during a clash on 15 July 1983, where an Iraqi Mirage F-1 destroyed three Iranian CH-47s transporting troops to the front line.

Falklands War

The Chinook was used both by Argentina and the United Kingdom during the Falklands War
Falklands War
The Falklands War , also called the Falklands Conflict or Falklands Crisis, was fought in 1982 between Argentina and the United Kingdom over the disputed Falkland Islands and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands...

 in 1982. The Argentine Air Force
Argentine Air Force
The Argentine Air Force is the national aviation branch of the Armed Forces of the Argentine Republic. , it had 14,606 military and 6,854 civilian staff.-History:...

 and the Argentine Army
Argentine Army
The Argentine Army is the land armed force branch of the Armed Forces of the Argentine Republic and the senior military service of the country.- History :...

 deployed four CH-47C (two each) which were widely used in general transport duties. Of the Army's airframes one was destroyed on the ground by a Harrier
Harrier Jump Jet
The Harrier, informally referred to as the Jump Jet, is a family of British-designed military jet aircraft capable of vertical/short takeoff and landing operations...

 while the other was captured (and reused after the war) by the British. Both Air Force helicopters returned to Argentina and remained in service until 2002.

Iraq and Afghanistan

Approximately 163 CH-47Ds served in Kuwait and Iraq during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in 1990–91.

The CH-47D has seen wide use in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom
2003 invasion of Iraq
The 2003 invasion of Iraq , was the start of the conflict known as the Iraq War, or Operation Iraqi Freedom, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq and toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein in 21 days of major combat operations...

 in Iraq. The Chinook is being used in air assault
Air assault
Air assault is the movement of ground-based military forces by vertical take-off and landing aircraft—such as the helicopter—to seize and hold key terrain which has not been fully secured, and to directly engage enemy forces...

 missions, inserting troops into fire bases and later bringing food, water, and ammunition. It is also the casualty evacuation (casevac) aircraft of choice in the British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

. In today's usage it is typically escorted by attack helicopters such as the AH-64 Apache
AH-64 Apache
The Boeing AH-64 Apache is a four-blade, twin-engine attack helicopter with a tailwheel-type landing gear arrangement, and a tandem cockpit for a two-man crew. The Apache was developed as Model 77 by Hughes Helicopters for the United States Army's Advanced Attack Helicopter program to replace the...

 for protection. Its tandem rotor design and lift capacity have been found to be particularly useful in the mountainous terrain of Afghanistan where high altitudes and temperatures limit the use of the UH-60 Black Hawk. The CH-47F is being fielded by more units such as the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade
101st Combat Aviation Brigade
The 101st Combat Aviation Brigade is a Combat Aviation Brigade of the United States Army. It was first organized in July 1968 as an Aviation Group. It was redesignated an Aviation Brigade in 1986. It has served in almost every single military operation since the Vietnam War...

 and 4th Combat Aviation Brigade in the U.S. Army as it continues to operate in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

.

The Chinooks 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. The 38 were NATO forces including about 30 U.S. special forces and seven Afghan troops. The previous biggest single-day loss for Americans also involved a Chinook that was shot down near Kabul in Kunar Province in June 2005 and killed all aboard, including a 16-member U.S. Special Operations team.

Japan

Three CH-47 Chinooks were used to cool Reactors 3 and 4 of the Fukushima Nuclear power-plant
Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant
The , also known as Fukushima Dai-ichi , is a disabled nuclear power plant located on a site in the towns of Okuma and Futaba in the Futaba District of Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. First commissioned in 1971, the plant consists of six boiling water reactors...

 with sea water after the 9.0 earthquake in 2011. To protect the crew from the heightened radiation levels, lead plates were attached to the floor.

Variants

HC-1B

The pre-1962 designation for Model 114 development aircraft that would be re-designated CH-47 Chinook.

CH-47A

The all-weather, medium-lift CH-47A Chinook was powered initially by Lycoming T55-L-5 engines rated at 2200 hp but then replaced by the T55-L-7 rated at 2650 hp engines or T55-L-7C engines rated at 2850 hp. The CH-47A had a maximum gross weight of 33000 pounds (14,968.5 kg). Initial delivery of the CH-47A Chinook to the US Army was in August 1962. A total of 349 were built.

ACH-47A

The ACH-47A was originally known as the Armed/Armored CH-47A (or A/ACH-47A). It was officially designated ACH-47A by US Army Attack Cargo Helicopter and unofficially 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
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

 for testing, with the remaining one retained in the US 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 7.62x51 mm machine guns or M2HB .50 caliber machine guns, provided by the XM32 and XM33 armament subsystems, two M24A1
Hispano-Suiza HS.404
The Hispano-Suiza HS.404 was an autocannon widely used as both an aircraft and land weapon in the 20th century by British, American, French, and numerous other military services. The cannon is also referred to as Birkigt type 404, after its designer. Firing a 20 mm caliber projectile, it delivered...

 20 mm cannons, two XM159B/XM159C
Mk 4/Mk 40 Folding-Fin Aerial Rocket
The Mk 4 Folding-Fin Aerial Rocket , sometimes called the Mighty Mouse, was a 2.75 in diameter unguided rocket weapon commonly used by U.S. military aircraft. It was intended as an air-to-air weapon to allow interceptor aircraft to shoot down enemy bombers with greater range and effectiveness than...

 19-Tube 2.75 in rocket launchers or sometimes two M18/M18A1 7.62×51 mm gun pod
Gun pod
A gun pod is a detachable pod or pack containing machine guns or automatic cannon and ancillaries, mounted externally on a vehicle such as a military aircraft which may or may not also have its own guns....

s, and a single M75
M75 grenade launcher
The M75 is a 40mm automatic grenade launcher that was used primarily as an aircraft weapon in United States service and was one of the first weapons to use the high velocity 40x53mm grenade.-Overview:...

 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
Redstone Arsenal
Redstone Arsenal is a United States Army base and a census-designated place adjacent to Huntsville in Madison County, Alabama, United States and is part of the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area...

, Alabama.

CH-47B

The CH-47B was an interim solution while Boeing worked on a more substantially improved CH-47C. 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 gun
Machine gun
A machine gun is a fully automatic mounted or portable firearm, usually designed to fire rounds in quick succession from an ammunition belt or large-capacity magazine, typically at a rate of several hundred rounds per minute....

s 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
Napalm
Napalm is a thickening/gelling agent generally mixed with gasoline or a similar fuel for use in an incendiary device, primarily as an anti-personnel weapon...

 from the rear cargo ramp onto NLF
National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam
The Vietcong , or National Liberation Front , was a political organization and army in South Vietnam and Cambodia that fought the United States and South Vietnamese governments during the Vietnam War . It had both guerrilla and regular army units, as well as a network of cadres who organized...

 (aka Việt Cộng) bunkers. The CH-47 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 built.

CH-47C

The CH-47C featured more powerful engines and transmissions. Three versions of the "C model" were built. The first had Lycoming T55-L-7C engines delivering 2850 shp. The "Super C" included Lycoming T55-L-11 engines delivering 3750 shp, an upgraded maximum gross weight of 46000 lb (20,865.2 kg) and a pitch stability augmentation system (PSAS). Due to difficulties with the T55-L-11 engines, which were hurriedly brought to war to increase payload, they were temporarily removed from the "Super C" prior to 1970 and the very reliable Lycoming T55-L-7C's were installed until the L-11 engine difficulties could be quantified and corrected. This L-7C engine configuration was affectionately referred to as the "baby C" although it was still a Super C. It distinguished itself from the "C" in that it had PSAS and an uprated maximum gross weight. The CH-47 A, B, and all variants of the C were not able to receive certification from the FAA for civil use due to the non-redundant hydraulic flight boost system drive. A redesign of the hydraulic boost system drive was incorporated in the CH-47D which allowed that model to achieve FAA certification as the Boeing Model 234. 233 CH-47Cs were built.

The CH-47A, B, and all versions of the C saw wide use during the Vietnam war. They replaced the H-21 Shawnee in the combat assault support role.

CH-47D

The CH-47D model was originally powered by two T55-L-712 engines, but most are now fitted with the T55-GA-714A. Models CH-47A, CH-47B, and CH-47C, all used the same airframe, but later models featured upgraded engines. With its triple-hook cargo system, the CH-47D can carry heavy payloads internally and up to 26,000 pounds (for example, bulldozers and 40 feet (12.2 m) containers) externally, at speeds over 155 mph (250 km/h). The aircraft's top cruising speed is 163 mph (142 knots). The D-model was first introduced into service in 1979. In air assault operations, it often serves as the principal mover of the 155 mm M198 howitzer
M198 howitzer
The M198 howitzer is a medium-sized, towed artillery piece, developed for service with the United States Army and Marine Corps. It was commissioned to be a lightweight replacement for the WWII era M114 155mm howitzer. It was designed and prototyped at the Rock Island Arsenal in 1969 with firing...

, 30 rounds of ammunition, and an 11-man crew. Like most US Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 helicopters, the Chinook has advanced avionics and electronics, including the Global Positioning System
Global Positioning System
The Global Positioning System is a space-based global navigation satellite system that provides location and time information in all weather, anywhere on or near the Earth, where there is an unobstructed line of sight to four or more GPS satellites...

.

Nearly all of the Army production CH-47D models were conversions from previous US Army A, B, and C models with a total of 472 converted into D-models. The last US Army D-model built was delivered to the US Army Reserve, located at Fort Hood
Fort Hood, Texas
Fort Hood is a United States military post located outside of Killeen, Texas. The post is named after Confederate General John Bell Hood. It islocated halfway between Austin and Waco, about from each, within the U.S. state of Texas....

, Texas, in early 2002.

In 2008, Canada purchased 6 CH-47Ds for use with the Canadian Helicopter Force Afghanistan from the United States for $252 million. The helicopters were transferred to the Canadian Forces on 30 December 2008.

MH-47D

The MH-47D variant was developed for special forces
Special forces
Special forces, or special operations forces are terms used to describe elite military tactical teams trained to perform high-risk dangerous missions that conventional units cannot perform...

 operations and has in-flight refueling capability, a fast-rope rappelling system and other upgrades. The MH-47D was used by US Army 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. 12 MH-47D helicopters were produced. 6 were conversions from CH-47A models and 6 were conversions from CH-47C models.

MH-47E

The current model used by US Army Special Operations is the MH-47E. Beginning with the E model prototype manufactured in 1991, there were a total of 26 Special Operations Aircraft 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
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 ordered eight Chinook HC3s, effectively a low cost version of the MH-47E for the special forces operations role. They were delivered in 2001 but never entered operational service due to technical issues with their avionics
Avionics
Avionics are electronic systems used on aircraft, artificial satellites and spacecraft.Avionic systems include communications, navigation, the display and management of multiple systems and the hundreds of systems that are fitted to aircraft to meet individual roles...

 fit, unique to the HC3. In 2008, work started to downgrade the HC3s to HC2 standard, to enable them to enter service.

CH-47F

The CH-47F, an upgraded D model, first flew in 2001. The first production model was rolled out on 15 June 2006 at the Boeing facility in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

, and had its maiden flight on October 23, 2006. The CH-47F was designed to extend the service life of the Chinook class beyond 2030. Among its upgrades are new 4,868 shaft horsepower Honeywell engines, improved avionics, and an upgraded airframe with larger single-piece sections to reduce part count and need for fasteners. The new milled construction will reduce vibrations, eliminate points of joint flexing, and reduce the need for inspections and repairs, and reduce maintenance costs. It is also expected to increase service life. The CH-47F can fly at speeds of over 175 mi/h with a payload of more than 21000 lb (9,525.4 kg). The improved avionics include a Rockwell Collins
Rockwell Collins
Rockwell Collins, Inc. is a large United States-based international company headquartered in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, primarily providing aviation and information technology systems and services to governmental agencies and aircraft manufacturers.- History :...

 Common Avionics Architecture System (CAAS) cockpit, and BAE Systems
BAE Systems
BAE Systems plc is a British multinational defence, security and aerospace company headquartered in London, United Kingdom, that has global interests, particularly in North America through its subsidiary BAE Systems Inc. BAE is among the world's largest military contractors; in 2009 it was the...

' Digital Advanced Flight Control System (DAFCS).

Boeing has delivered 48 F-model helicopters to the United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

; on 26 August 2008, Boeing announced that the Army has signed a five-year contract, worth over $4.8 billion for 191 more, plus 24 options. In February 2007, the Netherlands were the first international customer to order the F model; six helicopters were ordered to expand their current fleet to 17. These helicopters will be equipped with an upgraded version of the Honeywell Avionics Control Management System (ACMS) cockpit. The Netherlands also plans to upgrade its current 11 CH-47Ds to the CH-47F configuration. On 10 August 2009, Canada signed a contract to purchase 15 CH-47Fs for delivery in 2013–14, entering service with the Royal Canadian Air Force
Royal Canadian Air Force
The history of the Royal Canadian Air Force begins in 1920, when the air force was created as the Canadian Air Force . In 1924 the CAF was renamed the Royal Canadian Air Force and granted royal sanction by King George V. The RCAF existed as an independent service until 1968...

 after its planned withdrawal from combat operations in Afghanistan. They will be based at CFB Petawawa
CFB Petawawa
Canadian Forces Base Petawawa, commonly referred to as CFB Petawawa, or simply "Pet", is a Canadian Forces Base located in Petawawa, Ontario. It is operated as an army base by Canadian Forces Land Force Command.-Base facts:...

.

On 15 December 2009, the British government announced its Future Helicopter Strategy including the purchase of 24 new CH-47F Chinooks to be delivered from 2012. Australia ordered seven CH-47Fs in March 2010. These aircraft are to replace the Australian Army's six CH-47Ds between 2014 and 2017.

MH-47G

The MH-47G Special Operations Aviation (SOA) version is currently being delivered to the US Army. It is similar to the MH-47E, but features a more sophisticated avionics including a digital Common Avionics Architecture System (CAAS). The CAAS is common glass cockpit used by different helicopters such as MH-60K/Ls, CH-53E/Ks, and ARH-70As. The MH-47G will also incorporate all of the new sections of the CH-47F.

Based on operational experience in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

, the CH-47 was found to be an effective substitute for the UH-60 Black Hawk as an assault helicopter. With its larger payload, range, and higher operating speed, one Chinook can replace up to five UH-60s in this role as an air assault transport.

The new modernization program will improve 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. The expansion would add 12 additional MH-47G helicopters. On February 10, 2011, Leaders and employees from the H-47 program gathered for a ceremony at Boeing's helicopter facility in Ridley Township, PA., to commemorate the delivery of the final MH-47G Chinook to U.S. Army Special Operations Command.

CH-47J

The CH-47J is a medium-transport helicopter for the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force
Japan Ground Self-Defense Force
The , or JGSDF, is the army of Japan. The largest of the three services of the Japan Self-Defense Forces, the Ground Self-Defense Force operates under the command of the chief of the ground staff, based in the city of Ichigaya, Tokyo. The present chief of ground staff is General Yoshifumi Hibako...

 (JGSDF), and the Japan Air Self-Defense Force
Japan Air Self-Defense Force
The , or JASDF, is the aviation branch of the Japan Self-Defense Forces responsible for the defense of Japanese airspace and other aerospace operations. The JASDF carries out combat air patrols around Japan, while also maintaining an extensive network of ground and air early warning radar systems...

 (JASDF). The differences between the CH-47J and the CH-47D are the engine, rotor brake and avionics. To use it by the 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 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
Kawasaki Heavy Industries
is an international corporation based in Japan. It has headquarters in both Chūō-ku, Kobe and Minato, Tokyo.The company is named after its founder Shōzō Kawasaki and has no connection with the city of Kawasaki, Kanagawa....

, 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.

HH-47

On 9 November 2006, the HH-47, a new variant of the Chinook based on the MH-47G, was selected by the US 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
Gao
Gao is a town in eastern Mali on the River Niger lying ESE of Timbuktu. Situated on the left bank of the river at the junction with the Tilemsi valley, it is the capital of the Gao Region and had a population of 86,663 in 2009....

 ordered the CSAR-X project to be re-bid. In February 2010, the US Air Force announced plans to replace aging HH-60G helicopters. The Air Force is deferring secondary combat search and rescue requirements that called for a larger helicopter.

Other export models

The Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 variant of the CH-47C is known as the Chinook HC1. 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
Republic of Korea Air Force
The Republic of Korea Air Force is the air force of South Korea...

. The CH-47DG is an upgraded version of the CH-47C for Greece.

The Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 versions of the CH-47D are known as the Chinook HC2 and HC2A. 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
Republic of Singapore Air Force
The Republic of Singapore Air Force is the air arm of the Singapore Armed Forces. It was first established in 1968 as the Singapore Air Defence Command...

, Hellenic Army
Hellenic Army
The Hellenic Army , formed in 1828, is the land force of Greece.The motto of the Hellenic Army is , "Freedom Stems from Valor", from Thucydides's History of the Peloponnesian War...

 and the Republic of China Army
Republic of China Army
The ROC Army's current operational strength includes 3 armies, 5 corps. As of 2005, the Army's 35 brigades include 25 infantry brigades, 5 armoured brigades and 3 mechanized infantry brigades...

.

Eight CH-47C Chinooks were delivered to the Canadian Forces
Canadian Forces
The Canadian Forces , officially the Canadian Armed Forces , are the unified armed forces of Canada, as constituted by the National Defence Act, which states: "The Canadian Forces are the armed forces of Her Majesty raised by Canada and consist of one Service called the Canadian Armed Forces."...

 in 1974. These Chinooks 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
Royal Netherlands Air Force
The Royal Netherlands Air Force , Dutch Koninklijke Luchtmacht , is the military aviation branch of the Netherlands Armed Forces. Its ancestor, the Luchtvaartafdeling of the Dutch Army was founded on 1 July 1913, with four pilots...

 as CH-47Ds. Additional orders are expected from Italy. Plans are to upgrade the current fleet of CH-47Ds to the F-model standard and eventually enlarge the fleet to 20 aircraft, pending funding.

Civilian models

  • Model 234LR (long range): Commercial transport helicopter. The Model 234LR can be fitted out as an all-passenger, all-cargo, or cargo/passenger transport helicopter.
  • Model 234ER (extended range): Commercial transport version.
  • Model MLR (multi-purpose long range): Commercial transport version.
  • Model 234UT (utility transport): Utility transport helicopter.
  • Model 414: The Model 414 is the international export version of the CH-47D. It is also known as the CH-47D International Chinook.

Derivatives

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 Boeing to design a "Heavy Lift Helicopter" (HLH), designated XCH-62A
Boeing Vertol XCH-62
|-See also:-References:* Wilson, Michael. "". Flight International, 13 July 1972, pp. 44c–47.-External links:* * * at Friends of The Helicopter Museum...

. 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
CH-54 Tarhe
|-See also:-External links:* *...

), 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 at the end of 2005 at Fort Rucker, Alabama.

Military operators

: ordered 6 CH-47s
: see Boeing Chinook (UK variants)
: captured ex-USAF Chinook CH-47A

Civilian operators

  • Helifor Canada Corp (under lease from Columbia Helicopters
    Columbia Helicopters
    Columbia Helicopters, Incorporated, or CHI, is an aircraft manufacturing and operator company based in Aurora, Oregon, United States. They are known for operating tandem rotor helicopters; in present times, exclusively the Boeing Vertol 107 and Boeing 234. These helicopters are used in...

    )

  • Taiwan National Fire Administration (currently operates three 234s)

  • Civil Aviation Administration of China
    Civil Aviation Administration of China
    The Civil Aviation Administration of China , formerly the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China , is the aviation authority under the Ministry of Transport of the People's Republic of China. It oversees civil aviation and investigates aviation accidents and incidents...

    (one month demonstration period)

  • Icaro Air
    Icaro Air
    Icaro Air is an airline based in Quito, Ecuador. It operates domestic passenger services under the name of Icaro Express, as well as fixed-wing and helicopter charters...

     (under lease from Columbia Helicopters
    Columbia Helicopters
    Columbia Helicopters, Incorporated, or CHI, is an aircraft manufacturing and operator company based in Aurora, Oregon, United States. They are known for operating tandem rotor helicopters; in present times, exclusively the Boeing Vertol 107 and Boeing 234. These helicopters are used in...

    )

  • CHC Helikopter Service
    CHC Helikopter Service
    CHC Helikopter Service, previously CHC Norway, CHC Helikopter Service and Helikopter Service was the Norwegian division of CHC Helicopter Corporation. The airline was an independent company until 1999...

     (formerly Helikopter Services)

  • British Airways Helicopters
    British Airways Helicopters
    British Airways Helicopters was a British helicopter airline from 1964 to 1986.-History:From 1947 British European Airways had operated a Helicopter Experiment Unit and five helicopters were ordered from the United States .The unit operated timetabled mail services in East Anglia during 1948 using...

  • British International Helicopters
    British International Helicopters
    British International Helicopter Services Limited is an airline based at Penzance heliport, in Cornwall, England, United Kingdom, with headquarters located at Sherborne, Dorset. It operates seasonal and year round domestic scheduled services to the Isles of Scilly. Its main base is Penzance...


USA
  • Columbia Helicopters
    Columbia Helicopters
    Columbia Helicopters, Incorporated, or CHI, is an aircraft manufacturing and operator company based in Aurora, Oregon, United States. They are known for operating tandem rotor helicopters; in present times, exclusively the Boeing Vertol 107 and Boeing 234. These helicopters are used in...

     (currently operates seven 234s)
  • Era Aviation
    Era Aviation
    Era Alaska is an airline headquartered in Anchorage, Alaska, United States. It operates a network of services from Anchorage as part of an Alaska Airlines Partnership. Its primary hub is Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.- History :...

  • NASA
    NASA
    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

    (14 August 1979 – 20 September 1989)
  • Trump Airlines

Former civil operators are marked by italics

Notable accidents and incidents

  • On 11 September 1982, at an airshow
    Airshow
    An air show is an event at which aviators display their flying skills and the capabilities of their aircraft to spectators in aerobatics. Air shows without aerobatic displays, having only aircraft displayed parked on the ground, are called "static air shows"....

     in Mannheim, Germany a United States Army Chinook (serial number 74-22292) carrying parachutists
    Parachuting
    Parachuting, also known as skydiving, is the action of exiting an aircraft and returning to earth with the aid of a parachute. It may or may not involve a certain amount of free-fall, a time during which the parachute has not been deployed and the body gradually accelerates to terminal...

     crashed, killing 46 people. The crash was later found to be caused by an accumulation of ground walnut
    Walnut
    Juglans is a plant genus of the family Juglandaceae, the seeds of which are known as walnuts. They are deciduous trees, 10–40 meters tall , with pinnate leaves 200–900 millimetres long , with 5–25 leaflets; the shoots have chambered pith, a character shared with the wingnuts , but not the hickories...

     shells that had been used to clean the machinery.
  • On 6 November 1986, a British International Helicopters
    British International Helicopters
    British International Helicopter Services Limited is an airline based at Penzance heliport, in Cornwall, England, United Kingdom, with headquarters located at Sherborne, Dorset. It operates seasonal and year round domestic scheduled services to the Isles of Scilly. Its main base is Penzance...

     Chinook crashed on approach to Sumburgh Airport, Shetland Islands resulting in the loss of 45 lives and the withdrawal of the Chinook from crew servicing flights in the North Sea
    North Sea
    In the southwest, beyond the Straits of Dover, the North Sea becomes the English Channel connecting to the Atlantic Ocean. In the east, it connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, narrow straits that separate Denmark from Norway and Sweden respectively...

    .
  • Major Marie Therese Rossi Cayton
    Marie Therese Rossi Cayton
    Marie Therese Rossi Cayton of Oradell, New Jersey, was a Major in the United States Army. She was the first woman in United States history to serve as an Aviation Commander during combat, and the first woman pilot in United States history to fly in combat during the Gulf War in 1991...

     was the first American woman to fly in combat during Desert Storm in 1991. She was killed when her Chinook helicopter crashed on 1 March 1991 after colliding with a microwave tower during a dust storm
    Dust storm
    A dust / sand storm is a meteorological phenomenon common in arid and semi-arid regions. Dust storms arise when a gust front or other strong wind blows loose sand and dirt from a dry surface. Particles are transported by saltation and suspension, causing soil to move from one place and deposition...

    .
  • On 29 May 2001 a ROK Army CH-47D installing a sculpture onto Olympic Bridge
    Olympic Bridge
    Olympic Bridge or Grand Olympic Bridge is a bridge over the Han River in Seoul, South Korea. The bridge links the Gwangjin and Songpa districts...

     in Seoul
    Seoul
    Seoul , officially the Seoul Special City, is the capital and largest metropolis of South Korea. A megacity with a population of over 10 million, it is the largest city proper in the OECD developed world...

    , South Korea failed to unlatch the sculpture. The helicopter's rotors struck the monument; then the fuselage hit and broke into two. One section crashed onto the bridge in flames and the other fell into the river. All three crew members on board died.
  • On 11 September 2004 a Greek Air Force CH-47SD crashed into the sea off Mount Athos
    Mount Athos
    Mount Athos is a mountain and peninsula in Macedonia, Greece. A World Heritage Site, it is home to 20 Eastern Orthodox monasteries and forms a self-governed monastic state within the sovereignty of the Hellenic Republic. Spiritually, Mount Athos comes under the direct jurisdiction of the...

    . All 17 people on board were killed, including four senior figures in the Greek Orthodox Church
    Greek Orthodox Church
    The Greek Orthodox Church is the body of several churches within the larger communion of Eastern Orthodox Christianity sharing a common cultural tradition whose liturgy is also traditionally conducted in Koine Greek, the original language of the New Testament...

    .

Specifications (CH-47D)


See also

External links

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