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. amarjit

    It is saddest occasion of military history that 30 soldiers including those got valor award fro killing UBL. Those Navy Seals who killed UBL should have deployed elsewhere as a matter of reward for the task well done. It is very appropriate & correct that America should replace old & obsolete weapon systems keeping in view the safety of America as well to maintain its war worthiness by replacing the aging logistics systems & weapons as well. It takes more than decades to have a tested & tried soldier with inputs of thousands of hours in hard & stressful operations. God bless the souls & sacrifices of the families who dedicated their family members to this great task of war against terrorism who were responsible for 911 attacks on WTC & other vital places.

    August 6, 2011 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Davin

    Most police and soldiers in their 20s and 30s are there for the excitement. To think otherwise is to be fooling yourself. Also, many young men simply like to be able to fire a gun for a job. I have no idea how a 20 year-old from middle America somehow has just undying reverence for America. Has he or she ever been anywhere to be able to compare the US to other countries?! What is so great about America?! Industrial food, no culture at all, no community, everyone fat as can be on McDonalds?! I am unclear on why it is wrong to say that the US military industrial complex is a fool's mission. You will never get anywhere by killing people. Short-term , ok, yes, but long-term, good luck! The US creates enemies.

    August 6, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • fearlessdude

      Can you spell mercenaries?
      The mercenaries don't know that after their employment is over they will be kicked to the curb.
      Burocrats use them and dispose of them.

      August 6, 2011 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Henerietta

      Most of these kids are there because there are no jobs for them in this country and they are led to believe that they will get training and help to get jobs when they get out of the service. They don't want to kill or shoot people and they sure don't want to be in a senseless war that is political and not one we should be in. The U.S.A. needs to keep our jobs here and let other countries fight and kill amoung themselves and only interfer if the US is attacked and then retaliate immediately not wait for NATO to tell them to.

      August 6, 2011 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jesse

      While you make a valid point about the motivation of why some young men join the service, your overall viewpoint is so sadly cynical it just makes me wonder who did what to you when you were young. And clearly you're not American, but it's interesting that you troll an American news website for kicks. But if you are American, you're all the more sadder a person.

      August 6, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • QRIS

      @ Henerietta. Two flaws in your thinking. Firstly, the US should not wait until attacked before acting. That is the equivalent of "go back in Afghanistan after the next 9/11-style attack". A lot of folks have already forgotten that the 9/11 hijackers all trained and honed their rhetoric in Afghanistan.
      Secondly, we don't check with NATO before acting; you probably meant UN

      August 7, 2011 at 2:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Zel

      Wrong. They did not train at all in Afghanistan, but rather trained in FLORIDA with a FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR featured as an interview on this very site you're posting on.

      August 7, 2011 at 5:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill Hoffman

      Um, Davin, this article is on a HELOCOPTER. And a HELOCOPTER only. Since you talk like a troll and sound like an imbecile, I think I might just leave you alone. Me? I have had the honor to serve this country and also had the honor to fight for this country(Gulf War vet here). I have flown many missions in the Chinook. We commonly refer to it as the Sh!thook, just because of it's condition. I mean, the ones we used were probably from the Vietnam era or just slightly newer. If it weren't leaking somewhere, it wasn't working right.
      But all in all, it is a workhorse, with an outstanding crew, can take you anywhere. I have seen some knucklehead pilots too who tried to squash us a few times on our howitzer's. But definitely have had enough flight time in between stops to take a nap on the Sh!thook....good times, good times....

      August 7, 2011 at 6:25 am | Report abuse |
  3. Davin


    August 6, 2011 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. frootyme

    Go back in the history as much as you can. These people in Afghanistan have learned to defend against occupiers and aggressors for centuries. Starting from Aryans, Alexandar, Ghingis Khan, Moghuls and Soviets. This place is the only land access to rich and flourishing India in ancient and medivial times. All these conquerers had bite the dust and most of them recruited locals to win the wars. Unless US or any foreign force win the hearts and minds of locals – this war cannot be won. Dropping bombs on civilians and saying sorry is not the solution. We must realize that life is a life no matter an Afghan life or American life. Fight against the evil – not every Afghan is an evil as simple as that.

    August 7, 2011 at 12:23 am | Report abuse |
    • codifex

      You forgot The Great Game.

      August 7, 2011 at 3:17 am | Report abuse |
  5. Davin

    The US military has slaughtered the Afghan people. Countless innocent civilians have been obliterated by the ehaveist bombing runs ever conducted in the history of warfare.

    August 7, 2011 at 12:25 am | Report abuse |

      Thank you, Davin. You're 100% correct unlike all these warmongering ignoramuses here! Yes, the vast majority of our young men are there for the "thrill" of war. The right-wing fanatics here were only too successful in making them see the "glory" in this obscene war!!!

      August 7, 2011 at 2:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Axman

      You really have no idea what your talking about at all. Very few join the military to "shoot guns" and we are not slaughtering the afghan people. The soviets slaughtered them. Your like fox news, you make up the facts so the work towards your agenda. Go troll elsewhere.

      August 7, 2011 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Axman

      Sorry folks, I take back what I posted above. I know that wasn't true. I just got a little carried away.

      August 7, 2011 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
  6. Qev

    When I was in the Corps (late 80s-early 90s) we were still using Vietnam era Chinooks. They were hand me downs from the Navy.

    These things were so rag-tag that we referred to them as; "a very close formation of flying nuts and bolts". They were always breaking much so that the brass would factor how many "birds" (and consequently Marines) they could expect to lose per deployment into their mission plan.

    I mean your "stick" would "board" the thing and it's shaking all to the most unnerving manner, and the crew chief is running around taping up leaking fuel lines here and there with duct tape.

    August 7, 2011 at 12:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Frank Rizzo

      I agree brother Semper Fi.

      August 7, 2011 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
    • FlyGuyTiliDie

      WRONG!!! You were using the CH-46 you knucklehead.

      August 7, 2011 at 12:52 am | Report abuse |
  7. Frank Rizzo

    First major mistake was to use this old horse, too loud and no anti ground electricnic countermeasures, the families should sue the USG for not providing the multi -million dollar new heleicopters for our special forces troops. It's shameful they had to die like this my heart is broken RIP my brothers someone ass is roast for this.

    August 7, 2011 at 12:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Craig

      Didnt know there was a special helicoptor that was made for SpecOps that could defeat direct RPG hits. Please enlighten us.

      August 7, 2011 at 12:53 am | Report abuse |
  8. Afghanvet2008

    I ususally dont respond to posts, but, in this case, I thought it wise. First of all, most likely, we will find that the Chinook version that was downed was a MH-47, not a typical CH-47. The MH-47 version is used exclusively by our "high end" spec op forces in Afghanistan. It is a much more specilized and updated with high tech features available no where else. So, for those commenting about the Seal's using substandard equipment, that it not at all the case. As for the discussion about the war itself, I myself am torn. Having served proudly in support of our most elite forces back in 2008, I can testify that much planning and care is taken to ensure the least risk to non-combatants. I have watched live feeds where Predator drones followed terrorists back to their staging area, but we did not engage them because the risk of civilian casualties. My heart goes out to the families of these fallen warriors. They were not just Sailors and Seals. they were FATHERS, SONS, and HUSBANDS, sent to a far-away land in the hope that their efforts would make our homeland safe. My prayer is that some day soon, no man, nor woman, from either side, need to fall in battle. Until then, thank you warriors and family members for your sacrafice.

    August 7, 2011 at 1:30 am | Report abuse |
  9. G.S.Hadley, you're quite the snide and disrespectful little punk, aren't cha Craigy-poo.

    August 7, 2011 at 2:20 am | Report abuse |
  10. Lyndsie Graham

    Does Barack Obama really care or is he just shedding alligator tears just to make himself look good? If he had any true compassion, he'd have had us out of there ages ago but the fact that we're still there proves otherwies!!!

    August 7, 2011 at 2:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Axman

      Thank you, Lyndsie. How true that rings! Barack Obama is a complete sociopath or we'd have been out of Afghanistan long ago!!!

      August 7, 2011 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |

    yeah? but what type of gas mileage does it get?

    August 7, 2011 at 2:57 am | Report abuse |

    they really need to install airbags on it..

    August 7, 2011 at 2:58 am | Report abuse |

      Must you Tea Partying trolls make a sick joke out of this, too? If so, please quit using my name to do it, will you? Enough is enough!!!

      August 7, 2011 at 3:02 am | Report abuse |
  13. The Peak Oil Poet

    A Hammer of God
    in death's sandals was shod
    by a foe in who's hearts was no pardon

    what they did not foresee
    from the depths of the sea
    rose the ghost of Osama bin Laden

    August 7, 2011 at 7:29 am | Report abuse |
  14. saywhat

    @ Davin,@ frootyme

    Both right on mark. History bears witness.

    August 7, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Cesar

    It's getting to be quite corny to see how so many people are bawling over these guys who were killed yesterday. After all, these guys were not the saints that CNN portrays them to be as they went over there on their own accord! Get over it, will you? After all, we chose to get into this obscene war where we have absolutely no legitamate business!

    August 7, 2011 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
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