The Boeing CH-47 Chinook is the military helicopter for the US Army which has twin engines and tandem rotor for making it a heavy lift helicopter. The Boeing CH-47 Chinook was designed by an American rotorcraft company by the name Vertol while the manufacturing was carried out by the company Boeing. At the moment, Boeing CH-47 Chinook is considered to be the heaviest of all the heavy lifting Western helicopters. As for the word Chinook in its name it is taken from the Native American Chinooks living in the modern-day Washington.
The earliest work on its design was started by Vertol back in 1957 which they designated as Vertol Model 107. US Army ordered Vertol for an order of delivering Vertol 107 under the army designation YHC-1A for testing. After testing it was deemed by the officials as being too heavy for attack missions and too light for transport missions.
For our reader today we have gathered a bunch of amazing facts about the Boeing CH-47 Chinook which made it an indispensable military asset for the US Army these days.
The Boeing CH-47 Chinook is renowned for its amazing carrying capacity; it can carry a cargo weight in the worth of nearly 2000 lbs or has the ability to transport nearly 55 army combat troops. This rotary-wing aircraft is nowadays considered as the backbone for the US Army.
The cargo is mostly entered into the aircraft through its rear entrance. As for the cases of transporting troops, they can enter inside through its side doors. In addition to internal cargo transportation, it also has the ability to accept external cargo loads which means that it can deliver the cargo from one place to another without ever landing. The aircraft is considered so versatile 9n its cargo loading capacity and delivery that it has been in use of not only UDS Army and UK’s Royal Air Force but also in the armies of 176 other nations across the world.
Service in Vietnam War
The very first of the Boeing CH-47 Chinook entered the active military service back at the start of 1962. The primary mission role for the Boeing CH-47 Chinook at that time was to perform heavy lift missions of carrying both troops and equipment.
The very first active mission deployment for Boeing CH-47 Chinook was in the Vietnam War back in 1965 where it was deployed to serve the 1st Cavalry Division.
Once there, the Boeing CH-47 Chinook proved itself to be a valuable military asset in moving large amounts of troops, cargo, and equipment from the hostile territories rather quickly.
Service for War On Terror
Since its successful role in the Vietnam War, the Boeing CH-47 Chinook has been sued by the US Army in nearly all of its future missions where the US needed their troops to be delivered immediately.
In the US military’s campaign in Afghanistan for their War On Terror, the Boeing CH-47 Chinook amassed nearly 86000 combat flight hours in total with its mission readiness to be at 86 percent. Both of these feats are a testament to aircraft’s superior engineering as well as its insane endurance to bear such an abuse.
There are many military variants for the Boeing CH-47 Chinook but the most common one that is in use of the US army is the CH-47D/E/F. back in 2006, the Department of Defense gave a go-ahead on the upgrade of their CH-47D/E to undergo retrofitting and be the CH-47D/E/F.
While the retrofitting started back in 2006, it is still in process. This modernization program from the Department of Defense expects to increase the support of this helicopter in service to the military until 2040 or even beyond that.
At the moment there are nearly 1100 Boeing CH-47 Chinooks that are in active use of US Army. According to the financial reports of recent years, Boeing is expected to deliver the army with an additional 114 to 255 of these Boeing CH-47 Chinooks in the coming years.
As for the weapons of the Boeing CH-47 Chinook, it includes it having three positions for machine guns with one being on each of its shoulders and one located at the loading ramp. The most common machine guns that are fitted on a Boeing CH-47 Chinook are the NATO M240 7.62 mm machine guns.
As for its evasive maneuvers, it can avoid the attack of an incoming missile by using its missile approach warner ATK AN/AAR-477 system which is also equipped with the abilities to give the Chinook a wide range of electric warfare capabilities.
If the missile approach warning system fails, then in such extreme cases, the Chinook still has its M-130 chaff and flare that it can deploy to upset its own heat signature for the attacking SAM (surface-to-air missiles).
The transport capacity of the Boeing CH-47 Chinook can be readily apparent from its ability to easily transport 2 of the HMMWVs or a piece of 105 mm artillery along with 1 of the HMMWV.
In extreme cases, the Boeing CH-47 Chinook is able to load inside it a cargo of 22000 lbs or a number of 55 troops. The Boeing CH-47 Chinook can also be set for the load out of the medical evacuation as well as emergency treatments. In such medical evacuation missions, the Boeing CH-47 Chinook has the ability to transport 12 stretchers.
In the recent modernization, the Boeing CH-47 Chinook has been fitted with additional fuel storage options which allowed it to have improved range as compared to its previous 400 miles range. The aircraft can travel at a speed of 196 mph at an altitude of 2000m0 feet.
The additional fuel tanks of Boeing CH-47 Chinook can either be loaded inside its cargo hold. Boeing CH-47 Chinook also has the ability to accept aerial refueling.
The Boeing CH-47 Chinook is powered by two of the Honeywell T55-GA-714A turboshaft engines. Each of these two engines allows it to produce a power of 3000 shp (shaft horsepower).