Boeing delivers the 500th CH-47F Chinook helicopter
Aerospace giant Boeing announced that it has delivered the 500th CH-47F Chinook dual rotor helicopter to the U.S. Army and foreign military sales customers.
The CH-47 “Chinook” has been flown by the United States Army and the military forces of allied nations since 1962. CH-47 model helicopters were used widely in the Vietnam War and in the 1991 Gulf War as well as in Afghanistan and Iraq. CH-47s are immensely important in providing mobility for modern armies.
This latest version of the Chinook–the Army’s heavy-lift workhorse helicopter since the Vietnam War–represents lessons learned in Afghanistan and armed conflicts of recent years.
In Afghanistan, the CH-47D was indispensable because the twin-rotor helicopter could operate in high mountain altitudes too high for the UH-60 Blackhawk and deliver up to 30 troops and thousands of pounds of cargo.
The CH-47F has been engineered to include improvements designed to make the helicopter more reliable and keep it flying longer.
The fuselage has been redesigned to make it more rugged and corrosion-resistant. The new version CH-47 is also designed to make it easier to prepare it for shipment in the fuselage of a C-5 or C-17 cargo plane. Externally the CH-47F looks like a CH-47D, except for a new paint job designed to make the helicopter harder to spot.
The newest version of the helicopter contains new avionics, a redesigned ramp and rear rotor pylon, and incorporate new countermeasures against the ground to air missiles.
The biggest change in the new CH-47 is the all-digital “glass cockpit” instrument array which replaces many dials with integrated computer readouts. Known officially as the Common Avionics Architecture System, the array of computer readouts incorporate information for the aircraft pilots in an easily managed format. The new digital readouts were designed to reflect lessons learned in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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