The first remanufactured CH-47 Chinook helicopter was delivered to the Spanish Army at a ceremony held at the headquarters of the Spanish Army Airmobile Forces in Colmenar Viejo, Madrid. The aircraft is the first of 17 that will modernize the Spanish Chinook fleet, upgrading their existing CH-47D-model aircraft to the newer CH-47F model.The Spanish modernization effort coincides with its European counterparts across the region. The Netherlands recently retired its last CH-47D Chinook in favor of the F-model configuration, while the United Kingdom purchased additional aircraft to upgrade its fleet.
In 2001, the first CH-47F, an upgraded CH-47D, made its maiden flight; the first production model rolled out on 15 June 2006 at Boeing’s facility in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania, and first flew on 23 October 2006. The CH-47F features a digital automatic flight control system, common avionics architecture system and advanced cargo handling to meet the Spanish Army’s modernization needs for increased operational capacity, while ensuring interoperability with allied nations. The CH-47F can fly at speeds of over 175 mph (282 km/h) with a payload of more than 21,000 lb (9,500 kg).
“We are pleased to celebrate this major milestone with the Spanish Army,” said Heather McBryan, director of Business Development for Boeing Cargo Helicopters and Future Vertical Lift programs. “The Chinook continues to exceed our customers’ expectations and the F-model will provide Spain with an advanced and reliable aircraft from delivery through sustainment.”
The Boeing CH-47 Chinook is a tandem rotor helicopter developed by American rotorcraft company Vertol and manufactured by Boeing Vertol. The Chinook is a heavy-lift helicopter that is among the heaviest lifting Western helicopters. Its name, Chinook, is from the Native American Chinook people of Washington state.With more than 950 aircraft in service with 20 international operators, including eight NATO nations, the Chinook brings the right mix of current and future capabilities to meet customers’ needs, including a global supply base for around-the-clock part availability, immediate international interoperability and streamlined maintenance procedures. Chinook remains one of the few aircraft to be developed during the early 1960s – along with the fixed-wing Lockheed C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft – that has remained in both production and frontline service for over 50 years.