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CH-47 Chinook: why the timeless helicopter design is still a heavy-lift contender on the modern battlefield

25th September 2023 - 13:15 GMT | by Norbert Neumann

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Over the decades, the Chinook has undergone several upgrades and variations to keep up with evolving operational requirements. (Photo: UK MoD/Crown Copyright)

From its emergence as a ground-breaking design in the 1950s to its widespread deployment in diverse operations worldwide, the Chinook continues to leave an indelible mark on the aviation landscape. Shephard sums up the latest developments and tells you everything you need to know about the workhorse of many armies and air forces in the 2020s.

The Boeing CH-47 Chinook is an iconic twin-engine, tandem-rotor heavy-lift transport helicopter that has served as a workhorse on military and civilian operations since its debut. Revered for its remarkable lifting capacity, endurance and adaptability, the Chinook has left an indelible mark on modern aviation history.

The origins of the Chinook date back to the early 1950s when the US Army recognised the need for a rotorcraft capable of carrying heavy loads and troops over long distances. In 1956, Vertol (later acquired by Boeing) won the development contract and designed an innovative heavy-lift helicopter.

The company's breakthrough design featured a

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Norbert Neumann

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Norbert Neumann


Norbert is the Aviation, Military Training & Simulation reporter at Shephard Media. Before joining Shephard in …

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