Germany will purchase 60 Chinook heavy lift helicopters from Boeing to replace its ageing fleet of CH-53, Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht said on Wednesday, dealing a setback to Boeing's rival Lockheed Martin, which was also in the race for the order.\"With this model we are strengthening our ability to cooperate in Europe,\" added Lambrecht during a speech to the Bundestag lower house of parliament.With this model we are strengthening our ability to cooperate in Europe
The Boeing CH-47 Chinook is a tandem rotor helicopter developed by American rotorcraft company Vertol and manufactured by Boeing Vertol. The Chinook is a heavy-lift helicopter that is among the heaviest lifting Western helicopters. Its name, Chinook, is from the Native American Chinook people of Oregon and Washington state.
The military version of the helicopter has been exported to nations across the world; the U.S. Army and the Royal Air Force (see Boeing Chinook (UK variants)) have been its two largest users. The civilian version of the Chinook is the Boeing Vertol 234. It has been used by civil operators not only for passenger and cargo transport, but also for aerial firefighting and to support logging, construction, and oil extraction industries.
During 1957, Vertol commenced work upon a new tandem-rotor helicopter, designated as the Vertol Model 107 or V-107. During June 1958, the U.S. Army awarded a contract to Vertol for the acquisition of a small number of the rotorcraft, giving it the YHC-1A designation. As ordered, the YHC-1A possessed the capacity to carry a maximum of 20 troops. Three underwent testing by the Army for deriving engineering and operational data. However, the YHC-1A was considered by many figures within the Army users to be too heavy for the assault role, while too light for the more general transport role. Accordingly, a decision was made to procure a heavier transport helicopter, and at the same time, upgrade the UH-1 \"Huey\" to serve as the needed tactical troop transport. The YHC-1A would be improved and adopted by the Marines as the CH-46 Sea Knight in 1962. As a result, the Army issued a new order to Vertol for an enlarged derivative of the V-107, known by internal company designation as the Model 114, which it gave the designation of HC-1B. On 21 September 1961, the preproduction Boeing Vertol YCH-1B made its initial hovering flight. During 1962, the HC-1B was redesignated the CH-47A under the 1962 United States Tri-Service aircraft designation system; it was also named \"Chinook\" after the Chinook people of the Pacific Northwest.
The CH-47 is powered by two Lycoming T55 turboshaft engines, mounted on each side of the helicopter's rear pylon and connected to the rotors by drive shafts. Initial models were fitted with engines rated at 2,200 hp (1,600 kW) each. The counter-rotating rotors eliminate the need for an antitorque 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 and dropping. While hovering over a specific location, a twin-rotor helicopter has increased stability over a single rotor when weight is added or removed, for example, when troops drop from or begin climbing up ropes to the aircraft, or when other cargo is dropped. 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 more powerful versions of the CH-47 have been developed since the helicopter entered service. The U.S. 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 (3,529 kW) Honeywell engines.
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 its organic Chinook battalion (three Chinook companies) when it 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. CH-47 crews quickly learned to mount an M60 machine gun in each of the forward doors. Sometimes they also installed an M60 or M2 machine gun to fire from the rear cargo door.
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 was used for casualty evacuation, and 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.
At the Vietnam war's peak the US Army had 21 Chinook companies in Vietnam. Pilots discovered the CH-47A's transmission system could not handle the two gas turbines running at full power, and high humidity and heat reduced the maximum lift by more than 20% in the low lands and 30% in mountain areas. More powerful, improved transmission and strengthened fuselages arrived in 1968 with the CH-47B, followed a few months later by the CH-47C. The CH-47s in Vietnam were generally armed with a single 7.62 mm M60 machine gun on a pintle mount on either side of the aircraft 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. Of the nearly 750 Chinook helicopters in the U.S. and South Vietnam fleets, about 200 were lost in combat or wartime operational accidents. The U.S. Army CH-47s supported the 1st Australian Task Force as required.
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, as part of a modernization program. After an agreement signed between Boeing and Agusta, the Imperial Iranian Air Force purchased 20 Agusta-built CH-47Cs in 1971. The Imperial Iranian Army Aviation purchased 70 CH-47Cs from Agusta between 1972 and 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; 11 of them were delivered after multiple requests by Iran.
In 1976, the Libyan Air Force purchased 24 Italian-built CH-47C helicopters, 14 of which were transferred to the Libyan Army during the 1990s. The Libyan Air Force recruited Western pilots and technicians to operate the CH-47 fleet. The Libyan Chinooks flew transport and support missions into Chad to supply Libyan ground forces operating there in the 1980s. Chinooks were occasionally used to transport Libyan special forces in assault missions in northern Chad.
In 2002, Libya sold 16 helicopters to the United Arab Emirates, as due to the Western embargo and lack of funds, maintaining them was difficult. The sale to UAE was a $939 million package that included equipment, parts, and training. How many CH-47s are still in existence or operational during the ongoing Libyan civil wars that started in 2011 is not known.
The Argentine Air Force and the Argentine Army each deployed two CH-47C helicopters, which were widely used in general transport duties. Of the Army's aircraft, one was destroyed on the ground by 30 mm cannon fire from an RAF GR3 Harrier, while the other was captured by the British and reused after the war. Both Argentine Air Force helicopters returned to Argentina and remained in service until 2002.
The CH-47D has seen wide use in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq. The Chinook is being used in air assault missions, inserting troops into fire bases, and later bringing food, water, and ammunition. It is also the casualty evacuation aircraft of choice in the British Armed Forces. In combat theaters, it is typically escorted by attack helicopters such as the AH-64 Apache for protection. Its lift capacity has been found of particular value in the mountainous terrain of Afghanistan, where high altitudes and temperatures limit the use of helicopters such as the UH-60 Black Hawk; reportedly, one Chinook can replace up to five UH-60s in the air assault transport role.
The Chinook helicopters 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.
In May 2011, an Australian Army CH-47D crashed during a resupply mission in Zabul Province, resulting in one fatality and five survivors. The helicopter was unable to be recovered and was destroyed in place. To compensate for the loss, the ADF added two ex-U.S. Army CH-47Ds to the fleet which are expected to be in service until the introduction of the CH-47Fs in 2016. 59ce067264