Here are a few quotes from those who actually use and appreciate the venerable Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopter.
“The Chinook has served as the backbone of U.S. Army aviation since the Vietnam era, revolutionizing how we move troops and supplies in combat, and save lives and deliver aid in times of need. The latest F-model has ushered in a new era of heavy-lift capability for the U.S. Army. With continued technology insertions, I fully expect that 50 years from now there will be a centennial celebration for Chinooks still in service.”
– Col. Bob Marion, U.S. Army Cargo Helicopter program manager, Aug. 16, 2012.
“The CH-47s are fundamental to the entire Afghanistan campaign. It is one of two or three battle-winning capabilities. We are delivering vital food, water, ammunition and fuel to remote places. Without this delivery service the campaign can’t carry on.”
– Maj. Mark Hammond DFC, Royal Marines.
“It was not only the men and the supply chain that were being pushed to their limits: equipment was suffering too. Every Chinook helicopter was working close to, or in excess of its servicing failure limits to meet the exacting demands of flying near-constant combat operations and their ground crews worked tirelessly to keep them in the air.”
– Col. Stuart Tootal DSO OBE, 3 Parachute Regiment.
“Though the MERT can deploy on a Merlin helicopter, the preferred platform is the Chinook CH-47. The MERT is usually accompanied by a four-man protective force who also assist with casualty care while in flight. The nurses serving with MERTs are highly experienced in emergency medicine. They act as the link with the aircrew, wearing the communications gear. The Chinook can accommodate eight stretchers and 20 walking wounded. Medical gear is stowed in three modular packages; one is kept on the helicopter.”
– Lt. Col. Rob Russell, Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, British Army.
“The MH-47G is large and provides good accessibility to the casualties, thus facilitating care enroute. It is the primary airframe used in Afghanistan because of its ability to operate in higher altitude terrains. The Black Hawk has been used more in Iraq. Hypothermia is a problem in the Black Hawk because it is a doors-open airframe. The Little Birds are rarely used for anything medical.”
– CPT Kyle Faudree/SFC John Dobbins.
“Our forces on the frontline in Afghanistan repeatedly tell me that Chinooks are indispensable on operations. I am therefore delighted to announce plans to deliver more of these robust, effective and proven battle-winning helicopters.”
– UK Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth, announcing Future Helicopter Strategy in December 2009.
“The Chinook has over the years proven itself to be a true workhorse for the Netherlands Air Force. The aircraft proved to be ‘the right tool’ for a difficult and challenging job, especially in austere environments and during the combined air and ground operations in Afghanistan. Both ground troops and aircrew speak highly of it.”
– Air Commodore Theo ten Haaf, Commanding Officer Defence Helicopter Command of the Royal Netherlands Air Force. The RNLAF ordered six more CH-47Fs to supplement their 11 CH-47Ds.
Amazing Chinook Aerial Display
RAF Chinook display at the RAFA Shoreham airshow September 2007, with pilot talk over.