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Chinook is 60 years old! BIRDS Hub introduced in India

On September 21, 1961, H-47 Chinook’s prototype, known as the YCH-1B the tandem-rotor helicopter made its first flight and is expected to lead heavy-lift readiness for decades to come.

“With the Block II program, the aircraft will continue to evolve and dominate the heavy-lift landscape well into the future – making the aircraft a true 100-year (at least) aircraft,” Boeing officials tell Financial Express Online. (Images Credit: Boeing Company)

This past Tuesday marked the 60th anniversary of Chinook first flight. While the iconic shape of the Chinook hasn’t changed much over time, the capability of the aircraft has evolved remarkably since the 1960s.

“With the Block II program, the aircraft will continue to evolve and dominate the heavy-lift landscape well into the future – making the aircraft a true 100-year (at least) aircraft,” Boeing officials tell Financial Express Online.

On September 21, 1961, H-47 Chinook’s prototype, known as the YCH-1B the tandem-rotor helicopter made its first flight and is expected to lead heavy-lift readiness for decades to come.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has 15 Chinooks in its fleet. The Boeing Chinook is the most advanced, affordable, battle-tested heavy-lift helicopter in the world.

Which militaries in the world have these helicopters in their fleet?

In addition to the IAF, the Chinook is in use by the US Army, US Army Reserve, National Guard and the defence forces of more than 19 countries, including Canada, the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Japan, Italy, Greece, Spain, South Korea, Australia and the United Arab Emirates.

Are there plans to set up MRO facilities in India?

According to the Boeing executive “From performance-based logistics contracting and integrated fleet support to vertical lift maintenance, modifications and repairs, Boeing provides a broad spectrum of innovative products and services which directly support and enhance capabilities while reducing total cost of ownership for our Chinook customers globally.”

Boeing’s investments in services infrastructure, building local capabilities, workforce training and partnerships in India are aimed at ensuring the Indian armed forces successfully complete their missions, operate their assets at peak condition and do so affordably. Boeing is working with Indian customers to provide exceptional operational capability and readiness for defence platforms that includes the Chinooks with the IAF.

Earlier this year, Boeing India Repair Development and Sustainment (BIRDS) Hub was introduced. BIRDS is an initiative to bring together ecosystem partners to shape India as a strategic destination for aerospace engineering, maintenance, repair and sustainment services.

The first of its kind initiative that provides customers with best-in-class solutions, efficient turnaround times, and optimal economical value, all available in-country

Is the Chinook production line open?

According to the company, they continue to build Chinooks for the US Army and global customers. The Chinook continues to be the most preferred multi-mission helicopter with market-leading vertical lift capabilities for forces around the world.

Are these helicopters still being delivered?

Yes.

Deliveries are ongoing for US Army Special Operations MH-47G Block II aircraft. Outside of the US, in June this year, the Australian Army accepted the first two of four additional aircraft to their existing fleet of 10 Chinook CH-47F, with the third and fourth expected in mid-2022. Deliveries for Spain’s fleet of modernized CH-47F Chinooks started in August.

Any components being made in India?

Yes.

Several Indian suppliers are involved in the manufacturing of Chinook parts and components.

Boeing’s industrial partners in India are raising the bar as they become an important part of the company’s worldwide supply chain for some of the most advanced airplanes in the world including the Chinooks.

Rossell Techsys manufactures the wire harness. Tata Advanced Systems Ltd (TASL) manufactures the crown and tail cone assembly. Dynamatic Technologies manufactures complex aerostructures including the ramp and aft pylon.

Boeing Celebrates 60th Anniversary of Chinook First Flight

The helicopter as part of its 60th anniversary celebrations, took off in Philadelphia, this is the region where this rotorcraft has been built and every version has been incrementally improved.

In an official statement issued by the company on the occasion, Andy Builta, Boeing vice president and H-47 program manager, said, “This aircraft is positioned to fly for at least 100 years. And, that is a testament to the enduring partnership of Boeing, Chinook users across the globe as well as its industry partners.”

When did the US get its first Chinook?

The US Army got its first delivery in 1962, and this was flown three years later into combat in Vietnam. Later, the company launched the CH-47F, a modernization program under which 472 earlier models were converted into an essentially new fleet. The lift capacity of the original CH-47A was doubled.

The MH-47, a modified series of Chinooks, is operated by the United States Army Special Operations Forces.

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