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Boeing Delivers First New-Build MH-47G Special Operations Chinook

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World Aviation Defense and Security Industry News - Boeing
 
 
 Boeing Delivers First New-Build MH-47G Special Operations Chinook
 
Boeing completed initial flight and delivery of the first, new-build MH-47G configured Chinook helicopter to the U.S. Army Special Operations Aviation Command Sept. 29, 2014 – a full month ahead of schedule. “It is an honor to be trusted to design, produce and deliver this advanced capability for the Army Special Operations customer,” said Steve Parker, vice president, cargo helicopters & H-47 program manager.
     
Boeing completed initial flight and delivery of the first, new-build MH-47G configured Chinook helicopter to the U.S. Army Special Operations Aviation Command Sept. 29, 2014 – a full month ahead of schedule. “It is an honor to be trusted to design, produce and deliver this advanced capability for the Army Special Operations customer,” said Steve Parker, vice president, cargo helicopters & H-47 program manager.
Boeing MH-47G Chinook transport helicopter
     
The advanced technology inherent in the new-build MH-47G ensures that the users and operators will have the superior mission capability that they require. This delivery also begins a new chapter that will carry the Chinook forward for many more decades and is the latest demonstration of Boeing and the wider Team Chinook’s commitment to delivering upon promises made.

The new-build aircraft has a machined airframe mated to extended fuel tanks that double its range over the standard CH-47. It includes a digital advanced flight control system (DAFCS) and extensive sensor suite and electronic warfare capabilities, the details of which are classified. Its engines are outfitted with infrared-signature suppressors and it sports a terrain-scanning radar pod. The aircraft also has an aerial refueling boom, which is unique to special operations.

The first aircraft must undergo strain and vibration flight testing, so it will not deliver to the 160th until August 2015, says Helen Miller, H-47 product manager at the army’s technology application programme office (TAPO). The following seven MH-47Gs will not have to undergo that testing and so will deliver faster once production is complete.

“Our intent was to capture as many of the modifications here in the factory, but our configuration never stops evolving. There are things that we will go to a post-production facility to catch these aircraft up for.

Col Dean Heitcamp, deputy commander of US Army Special Operations Aviation., says “This aircraft inherently incorporates the best capabilities that our special ops air crews are demanding.

The aircraft also represents a convergence of conventional and special operations aviation within the army. The conventional force’s CH-47Fs are scheduled to return to the Boeing facility in 2018 for Block-2 upgrades that will improve their lift, speed and avionics. Special operations command also plans to perform Block-2 upgrades on their MH-47Gs to increase the commonality of parts and systems with the conventional aircraft, says Colonel Paul Howard, TAPO programme manager. Commonality among the various H-47 fleets reduces the logistics and maintenance burdens on maintainers in the field. Special operation will lean on the conventional army’s existing research and development effort that will result in the Block-2 upgrades.

This aircraft very well may be the first stepping stone on which the army, both conventional and special operations, will base the future of the CH-47 fleets,” he says.

Block-2 upgrades include advanced rotor blades that could add 680.38-816.46kg (1,500-1,800lbs) of lift, among other weight-saving modifications.

If this vision of greater commonality is realized, the H-47 Block II effort, we can all benefit from greater lift, capacity, structural enhancements, torque loading ,” Howard says.

The entire program, valued at approximately $300 million, calls for eight aircraft deliveries through 2015.