The Chinook is true multi-mission aircraft, valued in military operations for keeping soldiers off the roads and out of harm’s way and transporting material normally moved in convoys. It’s widely recognized for medical evacuations in military theaters as well. Beyond the war zone, Chinooks are the go-to asset for domestic and international humanitarian missions conducted by armed forces at home and abroad.
At home, the Chinook has deployed in high mountain rescues above 17,000 feet and in cross winds of 70 miles per hour to rescue stranded climbers. It was deployed by the U.S. Army and the National Guard for rescue operations during Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Sandy and Irene.
The Chinooks built today are even more capable with the addition of new air frames and digital cockpits that reduce pilot and crew workloads. Its communications are greater than ever before, and it has moving digital maps, mission management systems and provides greater situational awareness to operators.
Boeing this month delivered to the U.S. Army, 75 days ahead of schedule, the 300th CH-47F Chinook helicopter. “This marks another benchmark for the CH-47F program,” said Lt. Col. Reese Hauenstein, the Army’s CH-47F product manager, Office of the Project Manager, Cargo Helicopters. “More importantly, we have met this benchmark ahead of schedule, within cost, and produced an aircraft that performs as required worldwide. We wouldn't have been able to achieve this if it wasn't for the partnership of the entire Chinook community.”
The CH-47F has a modernized airframe, Common Avionics Architecture System (CAAS) cockpit that improves crew situational awareness and the Digital Automatic Flight Control System (DAFCS), which offers enhanced flight-control capabilities for the multitude of conditions in which the helicopter is used. Since the completion of the first CH-47F Chinook in 2006, 18 U.S. Army and National Guard units have been trained and equipped with the aircraft.