Boeing to modernise next-generation Chinook helicopter

Boeing is to build and test three U.S. Army CH-47F Block II Chinook helicopters as part of modernization plans that is envisaged will bring another two decades of work to the company’s Philadelphia site.

A recent $276 million contract will fund the helicopters, which will make technology advancements to increase the iconic helicopter’s lifting power.

An improved drivetrain will transfer greater power from the engines to the all-new, swept-tip Advanced Chinook Rotor Blades, which have been engineered to lift 1,500 additional pounds on their own.

The current configuration of six fuel tanks, three on each side, will become two, allowing the aircraft to carry more fuel and shed weight.

The fuselage’s structure will also be strengthened in critical areas to allow the aircraft to carry additional payload.

Chuck Dabundo, Vice President, Cargo Helicopters and program manager, H-47 said: “This latest upgrade for the Chinook fleet is a tribute to the robustness of its original design and exemplifies its 55-year legacy of technological advancements.

“The fact that the U.S. Army continues to use and value this platform and they are intending to continue to upgrade it to keep it flying for decades to come is a testament of the capabilities the Chinook team continues to bring.”

Boeing will begin building the test aircraft next year, with the test program beginning in 2019. The first delivery of the Block II Chinook is expected in 2023.

image © Boeing

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