Chinook a military workhorse
About 1,000 Chinook helicopters have been built for the U.S. military.
August 6th, 2011
11:58 AM ET

Chinook a military workhorse

The CH-47 Chinook that crashed Saturday in Afghanistan is the workhorse helicopter of the military, used for decades to haul large numbers of troops and quantities of equipment.

Depending on the configuration, the tandem-rotor Chinook can carry 33 to 55 troops, plus two pilots on the flight deck, according to Jane's Defence Equipment and Technology.

The Boeing-built copter runs on two Honeywell engines providing 3,000 to 4,000 horsepower each. It is capable of speeds up to 159 mph. The front rotor turns counter-clockwise while the rear rotor turns clockwise. The Chinook's three cargo hooks can lift up to 60,000 pounds of equipment.

The military fleet of nearly 1,000 Chinooks comprises multiple configurations with different types of mission-specific avionics, armor and equipment, including night vision, weather radar, infrared engine noise suppression and infrared countermeasures to ward off heat-seeking missiles.

About 450 Chinooks have been sold to other countries' militaries, according to Jane's All the World's Aircraft.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Aviation • Military • U.S. Navy
soundoff (173 Responses)
  1. Lennybaby

    Now we see where our hard earned tax money goes, building these monstrosities! No wonder our government is broke and these right-wing nutjobs in Congress want to build more of them! This is what outrages me to no end and everyone else should feel the same way if they had any sense at all!

    August 6, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • j n

      Do you realize how many US jobs are created and sustained by building these things? You liberal dolts would rather take the money and give it away on socialist programs that do nothing but keep the revolving door open for the welfare sate.

      August 6, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Psc330

      The CH-47 has been around since 1962 give or take a few years, Lennybaby. You know, back when JFK and Johnson were in the White House and not right wing nut jobs.

      August 6, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • SN

      You liberal minded moron......talk about someone who is brain dead! We should probably just give our money away to more socialist programs....YOU and your ignorant liberal brothers are a major reason our country is going down!

      August 6, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Helicopter specialist

      Helicopters and sand DO NOT MIX.

      I know my way around helicopters and the very fact that they are used at all in desert areas is SUICIDE. I suppose they need another 20 or so crashes to get it through their heads.

      August 6, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Research First

      Yea, these are just horrible machines, aren't they? Since the Chinooks have been around since the early 1960's, I would say we've definitely received our money's worth for them. Not to mention the fact that they've been critical to humanitarian assistance in this country. If you did some research, you would know that Chinooks have repeatedly been used during natural disasters, especially floods, to rescue stranded people and bring in critical supplies. So, sure. Let's get rid of them all and eliminate our ability to help ourselves in times of need.

      August 6, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • drewcadia

      NOW you're seeing?
      thanks for opening your eyes.
      1 tomahawk missile costs over $1 million.

      August 6, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Dave

    I wounder why were so many special forces in one chopper. The commander who set this mission ,should remember
    You don't put all your egges in one basket.

    August 6, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Richie

      I think the concept is that if you need more than one helicopter you split up the leadership but you should not put two birds in the air when you can do the job with one just to accomplish that theory.

      August 6, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • ?

      What is an egges?

      August 6, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Richie

    Also called the flying coffin. There are "rumors" that it can literally take off vertically in an emergency escape in a maneuver called the moon shot.

    Air Assault!!!! you for star piece of hit...

    August 6, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  4. George Patton

    I have a better idea here. They need to start selling these big birds to Russia and sell the rest to China for a profit since we already have about ten times more than we need of them! Otherwise, this country will remain broke with the economy in a constant depression!

    August 6, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Adam

      You have to have a buyer before you sell it... Russia and China make their own...

      August 6, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Research First

      Not to mention the fact that we've already sold many to over 20 different countries from around the world over the last 50 years.

      August 6, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Trenched

      Russia and China use Mi-8's so... no

      August 6, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  5. james

    Disaster is the consequences of this and the past republican administration policy toward
    killing others as well as our own peoples,fighting for freedom and democracy,what a calamity
    See how the rich warmongers control the policies,that will destroy our liberties.Tax the top 1%
    to the limit of these cost laid on the ordinary taxpayer.

    August 6, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  6. HIKER

    60.000 pounds...noise surpression, flying upright...this bad boy is for me!
    @ George Pattion...Right, makes sense to me rather than barrowing from China...duh!

    August 6, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  7. heloguy

    Been in the military helicopter business for about 30 years and I've never heard a CH-47 referred to as a flying coffin. It's a tough, durable machine that is a great performer.

    Of course it can take of vertically, it is a helicopter!

    August 6, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  8. robert breisch

    great workhorse but its not RPG proof-too bad its not like the HIND helicopter-that thing is a flying tank-its what we need in this region-a heavily armored flying copter that RPGs bounce off or has reactive armor to deflect an explosive impact
    RIP Navy seals

    August 6, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Brad

    @ Lennybaby - If you're just now seeing where your tax dollars go, then you're a total moron. Open your eyes and shut your mouth. Your tax dollars allow you to type on the computer you use to make mundane comments. Go away and find an original opinion.

    August 6, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Indy Girl

    Oh, yes, much better to let the republitards bankrupt this country with all their stupid wars, right, j n?
    Don't you get it, dork? With the way the GOP is going, there won't be any money left for any programs, including those closest to your heart, the war machine.

    August 6, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  11. G2

    I think it is pretty sad in a country like the USA, that throughout all the blogs posted before mine, that not one person mentioned the 38 lives lost. The wives, husbands, children, mothers and fathers, other family members, and friends will deeply miss these individuals, Americans and Afghans. It does not matter if you are on the right or left. Where has compassion and decency gone. Our country was founded on the principal that human life is precious. I hope that there are more American who feel the way I do. My prayers and best wishes go out to all who will be impacted by this loss.

    August 6, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • albert

      Unfortunately, this is the world we live in. In general, people have no true love or compassion for their fellow man. Thus the hateful & derogatory self-righteous comments.

      August 6, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • RUFFNUTT

      Let's just start with Pres. Obama and Congress where the people are so arrogant and self righteous that compassion has no place on Capitol Hill. Do you really think that Barack Obama has any genuine concern for human life? He may, but he deems being "politically correct" far more important!

      August 7, 2011 at 3:13 am | Report abuse |
  12. jimbowt

    I have flown many hours in Bell's UH-1H without incedent, but the one time I flew in the CH-47 it was scary – vibrating like a lawn mower with hydrolic fluid leaking at every joint. When we landed I vowed never to get in another one. Haul all the equipment with it you like, but divide up the troops in smaller birds.

    August 6, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  13. meccano

    G2, while I agree in principal with you, these posts are in response to an article that is meant to give a quick reference and background to the piece of aircraft involved in the incident. It is not about the war, the crash or the individuals who lost their lives and/or their friends and family.

    August 6, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • albert

      It is in fact about the war, the crash & the individuals who lost their lives. It is a sub topic of the "Big Picture" of what happened to this soldiers.

      August 6, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Larry L

    Since only about 1% of Americans can now claim to be veterans of military service I'm surprised to see so many experts on this aircraft. The individuals second-guessing the special operations commander, the elite of our elite, must offer unbelievable levels of military expertise and combat experience! The aircraft came down as a result of RPG fire – just like every other helicopter on earth if hit in the right place.

    Americans are more concerned about reality TV than the wars. I sometimes wonder if our people are really worth defending...

    August 6, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Trenched

      Well then thank god it's not up to you to make that decision

      August 6, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry L

      I spent 34 years defending America. I believe I've earned the right to express an opinion.

      August 6, 2011 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • G.S.Hadley

      Take it easy, old timer.........don't get mad, they're just kids............however, if you think about it for a minute, you know it is unlikely, if they were actually shot down......that still remains to be seen.........that they were taken down by a piece of junk like an RPG........it would much more likely have been a thing you and I would have called a SAM-7 or even a SAM-14........a lot like our present day Stinger........they even have a newer nighmare called a SAM-18............an RPG and a SAM is like the difference between an old shotgun and a really expensive hunting rifle as far as capability and accuary at a distance..............as well, if you search you're memories, you know no one will get you killed faster than your commanding officers.... commanding officer................and of course you can have an opinion, even in a technical blog or forum or whatever this is.

      August 7, 2011 at 12:27 am | Report abuse |
  15. More will come down

    Once the Taliban learn to take out a bird this big out of the sky, they will bring down more.
    Except, this time it won't be the stingers as they did for USSR, rather something that comes from Russia, maybe China.

    Time to get out of Afghanistan. No one has ever won the war in those mountains.

    First occupation=>British [Epic fail]
    SEcond Occupation=>British [Epic fail]
    Third occupation=.USSR [Epic fail]
    Fourth Occupation=>USA [Epic Failing]

    August 6, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
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