Boeing delivered the 20thth CH-47F Chinook to the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF), completing the country’s latest fleet update.
“Our ongoing partnership with the Royal Netherlands Air Force illustrates the value of a modern and versatile Chinook fleet,said Ken Eland, vice president and H-47 program manager. “These state-of-the-art aircraft will greatly enhance their defense and humanitarian assistance capabilities.”
The Netherlands is one of eight NATO countries to operate the Chinook and has used the aircraft continuously since receiving the first CH-47D models in 1995. In 2016, the RNLAF acquired 14 new CH-47F Chinooks through the United States Department of Defense’s Foreign Military Sales Program. In 2017, the RNLAF signed an agreement to upgrade its remaining six D-model Chinook helicopters to the latest F-model configuration to ensure commonality of systems across its fleet of 20 aircraft.
“This is a milestone for us. We have newer radios and newer gear that help our pilots operate better in different environments than we already do.said LTC Wil van Rijn, lead system integrator of the Chinook, Dutch Ministry of Defence.
The CH-47F Chinook is an advanced multirole helicopter with a fully integrated, digital cockpit management system compatible with the Common Avionics Architecture System. The digital automatic flight control system allows pilots to fly in restricted visibility situations, such as B. Brownouts to hover or land in place. Its advanced cargo handling capabilities further complement the aircraft’s mission performance and handling characteristics. An upgraded airframe increases stability and improves the aircraft’s survivability.
It has now been over 60 years since the Chinook made its maiden flight (September 21, 1961). Since then, the machine has evolved a lot. Whether flying in difficult combat conditions, carrying loads of cargo and troops, or performing humanitarian missions, the Chinook has made a career of doing the unthinkable.
“I have no doubt that Chinook will be an airplane for at least 100 yearssaid Patrick Serfass, Boeing’s global sales and marketing representative for Vertical Lift. “It will work and work well beyond 2060 for the United States and its allies.”
Retired pilot Herman Richardson, who flew Chinooks for the US Army and later worked at Boeing, recalls that the Chinooks were only a fraction of their current performance. Looking back on his service during the Vietnam War, Richardson said: “We couldn’t fly them like we do now.“
During his career, Richardson had a front-row seat in the development of the Chinook. He flew all versions of the Chinook as it progressed from A to G models and saw rotorcraft power becoming its greatest attribute. “Since then it has been a pleasure,” he said. “There is no better plane to fly than the Chinook.”
The countries where the F version of this air giant is in daily service are: Australia, Canada, Greece, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States. Germany is also expected to join the list with an order of 60 helicopters and India with an order of 15 helicopters. All versions together, it works in many other countries like Argentina, Libya, Morocco, Thailand and Iran, among others.
Some features of this extraordinary aircraft: a top speed of 302 km/h, a MAX takeoff weight of 22 tons, a fuel payload capacity of 3914 liters, a long fuselage of 15.46 m and a height of 5.68 m.