ST. LOUIS, April 07, 2008 -- The Boeing Company's [NYSE: BA] CH-47F Chinook helicopter has been fielded by Bravo Company, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, based at Fort Hood, Texas. This is the second U.S. Army unit to field the CH-47F since the aircraft was certified combat-ready in July 2007.
"This aircraft is light-years ahead in flight-management systems compared with our older aircraft," said Col. Patrick Tierney, commander, Combat Aviation Brigade. "The F-model Chinook has the same systems as the latest civilian aircraft."
Lt. Col. Dave Fleckenstein, commander, 2nd Battalion, 4th Aviation Regiment, Combat Aviation Brigade, Huntington, W.V. -- who pilots one of the new Chinooks -- noted that the aircraft's radar altitude hold "keeps the aircraft a set number of feet off the ground and negates making multiple passes to land. Also, the all-digital cockpit gives us five displays, with each capable of showing several different pages of flight plans, alternate routes and data from different sources processed by the central processing unit."
Since the Chinook's combat-ready certification by the U.S. Army, units have completed in excess of 1,000 flight hours, performing a wide range of training exercises under night-vision goggles simulating air assault, combat re-supply and transport operations. The CH-47F has successfully completed all evaluations, including airworthiness, functional testing and operational testing.
"There is a great deal of enthusiasm for the CH-47F from pilots and crews in the field," said Jack Dougherty, vice president, Boeing H-47 Programs. "This advanced aircraft provides greater capability to meet our military forces' growing range of mission demands."
Built at Boeing's Rotorcraft Systems facility in Ridley Township, Pa., the CH-47F helicopter features a newly designed, modernized airframe, a Rockwell Collins Common Avionics Architecture System (CAAS) cockpit and a BAE Digital Advanced Flight Control System (DAFCS).
CAAS greatly improves aircrew situational awareness, and DAFCS provides dramatically improved flight control capabilities through features such as "hover hold," "altitude hold" and "beep down" that improve performance and safety in brownout situations, as well as the entire flight envelope.
Advanced avionics also incorporate improved situational awareness for flight crews with an advanced digital map display and a data transfer system that allows storing of preflight and mission data. Improved survivability features include Common Missile Warning and Improved Countermeasure Dispenser Systems. The entire suite of improved cockpit capabilities will apply to other H-47 models.
Powered by two 4,733-horsepower Honeywell engines, the new CH-47F can reach speeds greater than 175 mph and transport more than 21,000 pounds. The CH-47F, with the Robertson Aviation Extended Range Fuel System, has a mission radius of more than 400 nautical miles.
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