Image courtesy of Cyril Williams
The Boeing Vertol CH-47 Chinook, a twin-engine, tandem rotor, heavy lift cargo helicopter. Developed from the Vertol Model 107, its first flight was on 21st September 1961. The Chinook is easily recognisable by the two rotor blades and can reach speeds of up to 170 knots (196 mph, 315 km/h), this made it one of the fastest helicopters of the ’60s. There have been over 1,179 Chinooks built since the early 1960s. The main roles of the Chinook have been troop movement, artillery emplacement and battlefield resupply. The Chinook was originally designed by Boeing Vertol but is now produced by Boeing Integrated Defense Systems. The Chinook helicopter has been sold to various nations including the Netherlands and Japan.
During 1956 The Department of the Army were looking to design a turbine-powered aircraft to replace the current piston-engined CH-37 Mojave. A design competition was held in September 1958 and it was recommended by a joint Army-Air Force source selection board that the Army should use the Vertol medium transport helicopter. Others felt that the new helicopter should be bigger to have the ability to be used as an artillery prime mover and also to accommodate the Pershing Missile System. Vertol started work on a new tandem rotor helicopter with the designated name Vertol Model 107 or V-107 during 1957. Vertol was awarded a contract by the US Army in June 1958 for the aircraft under the YHC-1A designation. After being tested the YHC-1A was deemed too heavy for the assault role and also too light for the transport role. It was decided that a heavier transport helicopter was needed. The YHC-1A was improved and adopted by the marines as the CH-46 Sea Knight in 1962. The army ordered the larger model, the HC-1B. The HC-1B was redesignated CH-47A under the 1962 United States Tri-Service Aircraft Designation System. The name Chinook was taken from the Chinook people of the Pacific Northwest.
Over the years various models of Chinook helicopters have served in the Vietnam War, Iran-Iraq War, Falklands War and the UH-60 Black Hawks in Iraq and Afghanistan.
All above image courtesy of Aled Jones