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The Boeing CH-47 Chinook is an American twin-engine, tandem rotor heavy-lift helicopter. Its primary roles are troop movement, artillery placement and battlefield resupply. It has a wide loading ramp at the rear of the fuselage and three external-cargo hooks. With a top speed of 170 knots (196 mph, 315 km/h) the helicopter is faster than contemporary utility and attack helicopters of the 1960s. The CH-47 is among the heaviest lifting Western helicopters. Its name is from the Native American Chinook people.
The Chinook was designed and initially produced by Boeing Vertol in the early 1960s; it is now produced by Boeing Rotorcraft Systems. It is one of the few aircraft of that era – along with the fixed-wing Lockheed C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft – that remain in production and front-line service, with over 1,179 built to date. The helicopter has been sold to 16 nations with the U.S. Army and the Royal Air Force its largest users.
|National origin||United States|
|Manufacturer||Boeing Rotorcraft Systems|
|First flight||21 September 1961|
|Primary users||United States Army
Japan Ground Self-Defense Force
Royal Netherlands Air Force
|Number built||over 1,179
|Unit cost||$35 million (2008) average
|Developed from||Vertol Model 107|
|Variants||Boeing Chinook (UK variants)|
The CH-47 is powered by two turboshaft engines, mounted on each side of the helicopter's rear pylon and connected to the rotors by driveshafts. Initial models were fitted with Lycoming T-53 jet engines with a combined rating of 2,200 shaft horsepower. Subsequent versions of the Chinook were configured with improved Lycoming engines and later with General Electric turbines. The counter-rotating rotors eliminate the need for an anti-torque 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 role. 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.
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