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Boeing marks the 50th anniversary of the Chinook

Friday 17th August 2012 at 16:08

Netherlands Air Force Boeing CH-47D Chinook
Netherlands Air Force Boeing CH-47D Chinook

Boeing marks the 50th anniversary of delivering the first H-47 Chinook military helicopter and is nearing completion of a $130 million renovation of its production line near Philadelphia that will help it meet global demand for the latest model, the CH-47F.

Boeing Chinook Helicopter

"The Chinook has served as the backbone of U.S. Army aviation since the Vietnam era, revolutionizing how we move troops and supplies in combat, and save lives and deliver aid in times of need," said Col. Bob Marion, U.S. Army Cargo Helicopter program manager. "The latest F-model has ushered in a new era of heavy-lift capability for the U.S. Army. With continued technology insertions, I fully expect that 50 years from now there will be a centennial celebration for Chinooks still in service."

RAF Boeing Chinook HC2
Six RAF Boeing Chinook HC2 helicopters at Athens

The Chinook is a multi-mission, heavy-lift transport helicopter. Its primary mission is to move troops, artillery, ammunition, fuel, water, barrier materials, supplies and equipment on the battlefield. Its secondary missions include medical evacuation, disaster relief, search and rescue, aircraft recovery, fire fighting, parachute drops, heavy construction and civil development.

Boeing has delivered more than 1,200 Chinooks to 18 operators around the world since delivering the first to the U.S. Army on Aug. 16, 1962. More than 800 are in operation today, conducting combat, cargo transport and humanitarian relief missions.

"Chinook is Boeing’s longest continuously running production program, and it’s in greater demand today than ever before," said Leanne Caret, vice president, Vertical Lift and H-47 Programs. "Chinooks are being delivered on schedule and operating at a higher rate than any time in history, thanks to our team's innovation, efficiency, and focus on meeting our customers' needs."

The production line updates will enable Boeing to continue to affordably increase Chinook production rates. Boeing is scheduled to deliver nearly 60 Chinooks this year and has submitted a multiyear, firm fixed-price proposal to the Department of Defense to provide 155 CH-47Fs to the U.S. Army with deliveries beginning in 2015.

Boeing CH-47D/F Chinook Technical Specifications


  • Two Textron Lycoming T55-L712 engines

Chinook dimensions

Rotor System:

  • Three blades per hub (two hubs)
  • Fiberglass construction
  • Speed: 225 r/min
  • Manual folding blades

Performance at 50,000 lb:

SL cruise: 143 kn.

Rate of climb: 1,522 ft/min.

Range: SL and ISA, 230 nmi.


Cockpit-crew seats: 2

Cabin-troop seats/litters: 33/24


Max gross: 50,000 lbs.

Empty: 23,401 lbs.


Boeing Chinook photos

Report by Derek Pedley

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