Boeing Marks 60th Anniversary Of Chinook First Flight


Boeing is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the first flight of its H-47 Chinook twin-engine multi-role military helicopter on Sept. 21, 1961. The model entered service with the U.S. Army in 1962 and there are currently more than 950 in operation across 20 countries. According to Boeing, the Chinook is its longest running production program as well as one of the longest running in aviation history.

“The mighty Chinook continues to be the most advanced, affordable and battle-tested heavy-lift helicopter in the world,” said Andy Builta, Boeing vice president and H-47 program manager. “This aircraft is positioned to fly for at least 100 years, and that’s a testament to the enduring partnership of Boeing, its industry partners and Chinook users across the globe.”

The Chinook has been used by the U.S. Army, Special Operations Forces and 19 international operators for missions including combat, logistics and humanitarian efforts. The CH-47F Chinook variant offers a top speed of 170 knots, mission radius of 200 NM and useful load of 24,000 pounds. Powered by the Honeywell T55, the CH-47F is equipped with a digital cockpit management system and common avionics architecture system (CAAS).

Kate O'Connor
Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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  1. If there was ever an example of form over function it would be the Chinook. Clearly not made to be pretty.

    I had 3 of them fly over my route while I was cycling a week or two ago. They were in formation and sounded glorious.

  2. From time to time while operating in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta area in 1968 we would get transported by Chinooks. The rumor at that time was that engineers had proven on paper that the Chinook was not capable of flight. The rumors were put to rest when we saw them sling load 105’s, huge rubber fuel bladders with jet fuel and cargo nets filled with all matter of materials needed for field operations. My only complaint about them was they have to be the noisiest most vibrating aircraft ever built. Of course back then no thought was given to ear protection and you couldn’t hear anything for several hours after a flight.

  3. My Chinook passenger experience was at Fort Campbell in the 80’s. Definitely different. We didn’t get the same sort of thrill ride the SOAR guys (and gals) normally provided with the Blackhawks. I think the Chinook doesn’t get the appreciation it deserves.