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Boeing Chinook Projects

jsport

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I wouldn't be surprised if Germany also hops on the French interest for the Chinook, so that both forces will have a joint fleet just like with the joint Franco-German C-130J Super Hercules squadron based at Evreux, France. But I really want to know, how well the CH-47 performs with the GE T408 engines of the CH-53K.
One would hope the Germans stick w/ the CH-53 derivatives.
 

yasotay

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I wouldn't be surprised if Germany also hops on the French interest for the Chinook, so that both forces will have a joint fleet just like with the joint Franco-German C-130J Super Hercules squadron based at Evreux, France. But I really want to know, how well the CH-47 performs with the GE T408 engines of the CH-53K.
One would hope the Germans stick w/ the CH-53 derivatives.
I think part of the decision will be that the German Army has equipment designed to fit in a CH-53 that may not fit inside of a CH-47
 

TomS

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How is that possible, given that the CH-47's cargo bay is a couple of inches larger in all dimensions than the CH-53G?
 

yasotay

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How is that possible, given that the CH-47's cargo bay is a couple of inches larger in all dimensions than the CH-53G?
In that case, game on!
(I was under the impression of just the opposite)
 

TomS

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Yeah, I was surprised, but it turns out the CH-47 internal bay is a hair bigger: 366 inches long (6 inches longer than the the CH-53), 90 inches wide (4 inches wider), and 78 inches tall (4 inches taller).
 

yasotay

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Yeah, I was surprised, but it turns out the CH-47 internal bay is a hair bigger: 366 inches long (6 inches longer than the the CH-53), 90 inches wide (4 inches wider), and 78 inches tall (4 inches taller).
Is that still valid with the CH-53K?
 

jstar

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Maybe not. From the Lock/Mart site on the '53K: 'With its external lift capabilities, and a wider cabin (30 cm/12 in), the CH-53K is the ideal choice for transporting more cargo or troops with fewer trips. The larger cabin is able to carry 463L pallets and High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs) which offers flexible configurations for maximum mission effectiveness, and facilitates loading/unloading of cargo without reconfiguring and removing troop seating. '
Wikipedia shows it as wider also. "The CH-53K will also include an improved external cargo handling system, survivability enhancements, and improvements to extend service life.[12] The cabin will be 30 ft (360in) (9.14 m) long by 9 ft (108in) (2.74 m) wide by 6.5 ft (78in) (1.98 m) tall.[55] Its cabin will be 1 ft (30 cm) wider and 15% larger, but will have new shorter composite sponsons ."
 

RLBH

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Yeah, I was surprised, but it turns out the CH-47 internal bay is a hair bigger: 366 inches long (6 inches longer than the the CH-53), 90 inches wide (4 inches wider), and 78 inches tall (4 inches taller).
Apparently (I think it's in one of the RAF Historical Society journals) that's how the RAF fiddled things to make sure they got Chinooks rather than CH-53s, which the Royal Navy had been looking at with interest. They specified that the heavy lift helicopter had to be able to carry a piece of equipment which was a few inches too large to fit in the Sikorsky.
 

A Tentative Fleet Plan

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Yeah, I was surprised, but it turns out the CH-47 internal bay is a hair bigger: 366 inches long (6 inches longer than the the CH-53), 90 inches wide (4 inches wider), and 78 inches tall (4 inches taller).
Apparently (I think it's in one of the RAF Historical Society journals) that's how the RAF fiddled things to make sure they got Chinooks rather than CH-53s, which the Royal Navy had been looking at with interest. They specified that the heavy lift helicopter had to be able to carry a piece of equipment which was a few inches too large to fit in the Sikorsky.
The CH-3E and CH-53s were rejected by the Royal Navy as they would not fit on the Escort Cruiser's lifts according to The Admiralty and the Helicopter.
 

Grey Havoc

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I think the RN were still looking at (primarily land-based) CH-53s despite this. Mine Warfare operations were (and still are) a major concern, for instance.
 

RLBH

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The CH-3E and CH-53s were rejected by the Royal Navy as they would not fit on the Escort Cruiser's lifts according to The Admiralty and the Helicopter.
Here's the relevant passage:

I would like to add to Fred Hoskins’ excellent presentation on the Sea King, to point out that procurement doesn’t always happen like that, the Chinook being a good example. I was sitting quietly in OR, minding my own business, my boss having spun off to have a nervous breakdown, when Wg Cdr, as he was then, Bill Croydon, popped his head round the door and said, ‘We’ve got a little bit of spare money, Hugh, how many Chinooks do you think we ought to have?’ As we’d cancelled them twice already, I said, ‘Well, it’s got to be an order big enough so that cancellation would cause a riot; we’ve got to have at least two squadrons - nine in each - so we’ve got to have eighteen.’

The problem, of course, was holding off competition for the spare money. We did that by persuading the army to insist that a particular gun had to be lifted, one which we knew the CH-53, the only sensible alternative, couldn’t manage. Then we shot round to the navy and said, ‘If you get in our way (because they wanted us to buy the Merlin), we’ll screw the Merlin up.’ Meanwhile, the money surplus grew and the Minister called for my then boss, John Maitland, to talk to him about helicopters. We produced two diagrams to sell our case. One showed cost against payload, the other showed the relative size of the various aircraft in contention. Having ‘cut the rotors off’, we were able to show that the Chinook really wasn’t very big, certainly smaller than the Merlin, and that it was very cost effective. The next thing was a note from the Minister saying, and I quote, ‘The purpose of my committees is to protect me from a bad decision. In this case, I am absolutely convinced that I don’t need protection; we are going to buy the Chinook.’ Now that is another way of procuring a major piece of equipment, so don’t put all your faith in doing it with staff papers. A bit of luck and fast footwork can often absorb a budget deficit!


From RAF Historical Journal 25:

The bit about a Chinook being smaller than a Merlin with the rotors folded is absolutely true, by the way. I didn't believe it myself until I saw the drawings that proved it.
 

A Tentative Fleet Plan

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The CH-3E and CH-53s were rejected by the Royal Navy as they would not fit on the Escort Cruiser's lifts according to The Admiralty and the Helicopter.
Here's the relevant passage:

I would like to add to Fred Hoskins’ excellent presentation on the Sea King, to point out that procurement doesn’t always happen like that, the Chinook being a good example. I was sitting quietly in OR, minding my own business, my boss having spun off to have a nervous breakdown, when Wg Cdr, as he was then, Bill Croydon, popped his head round the door and said, ‘We’ve got a little bit of spare money, Hugh, how many Chinooks do you think we ought to have?’ As we’d cancelled them twice already, I said, ‘Well, it’s got to be an order big enough so that cancellation would cause a riot; we’ve got to have at least two squadrons - nine in each - so we’ve got to have eighteen.’

The problem, of course, was holding off competition for the spare money. We did that by persuading the army to insist that a particular gun had to be lifted, one which we knew the CH-53, the only sensible alternative, couldn’t manage. Then we shot round to the navy and said, ‘If you get in our way (because they wanted us to buy the Merlin), we’ll screw the Merlin up.’ Meanwhile, the money surplus grew and the Minister called for my then boss, John Maitland, to talk to him about helicopters. We produced two diagrams to sell our case. One showed cost against payload, the other showed the relative size of the various aircraft in contention. Having ‘cut the rotors off’, we were able to show that the Chinook really wasn’t very big, certainly smaller than the Merlin, and that it was very cost effective. The next thing was a note from the Minister saying, and I quote, ‘The purpose of my committees is to protect me from a bad decision. In this case, I am absolutely convinced that I don’t need protection; we are going to buy the Chinook.’ Now that is another way of procuring a major piece of equipment, so don’t put all your faith in doing it with staff papers. A bit of luck and fast footwork can often absorb a budget deficit!


From RAF Historical Journal 25:

The bit about a Chinook being smaller than a Merlin with the rotors folded is absolutely true, by the way. I didn't believe it myself until I saw the drawings that proved it.
It seems we've both referring to different attempts to procure the Chinook. I was referring to the early 1960s attempt to procur the Chinook (AST.358) whilst you were referring to the (successful) late 1970s procurement of the Chinook.
 

yasotay

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The CH-3E and CH-53s were rejected by the Royal Navy as they would not fit on the Escort Cruiser's lifts according to The Admiralty and the Helicopter.
Here's the relevant passage:

I would like to add to Fred Hoskins’ excellent presentation on the Sea King, to point out that procurement doesn’t always happen like that, the Chinook being a good example. I was sitting quietly in OR, minding my own business, my boss having spun off to have a nervous breakdown, when Wg Cdr, as he was then, Bill Croydon, popped his head round the door and said, ‘We’ve got a little bit of spare money, Hugh, how many Chinooks do you think we ought to have?’ As we’d cancelled them twice already, I said, ‘Well, it’s got to be an order big enough so that cancellation would cause a riot; we’ve got to have at least two squadrons - nine in each - so we’ve got to have eighteen.’

The problem, of course, was holding off competition for the spare money. We did that by persuading the army to insist that a particular gun had to be lifted, one which we knew the CH-53, the only sensible alternative, couldn’t manage. Then we shot round to the navy and said, ‘If you get in our way (because they wanted us to buy the Merlin), we’ll screw the Merlin up.’ Meanwhile, the money surplus grew and the Minister called for my then boss, John Maitland, to talk to him about helicopters. We produced two diagrams to sell our case. One showed cost against payload, the other showed the relative size of the various aircraft in contention. Having ‘cut the rotors off’, we were able to show that the Chinook really wasn’t very big, certainly smaller than the Merlin, and that it was very cost effective. The next thing was a note from the Minister saying, and I quote, ‘The purpose of my committees is to protect me from a bad decision. In this case, I am absolutely convinced that I don’t need protection; we are going to buy the Chinook.’ Now that is another way of procuring a major piece of equipment, so don’t put all your faith in doing it with staff papers. A bit of luck and fast footwork can often absorb a budget deficit!


From RAF Historical Journal 25:

The bit about a Chinook being smaller than a Merlin with the rotors folded is absolutely true, by the way. I didn't believe it myself until I saw the drawings that proved it.
Thank you for that. It seems there is quite a lot in common with western defense procurement methodologies.
 

aonestudio

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T55-GA-714C.JPG

 

uk 75

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It is interesting to go back to the 60s to see how the major European countries ended up with completely different heavy lift helos.
Germany already used the Sikorsky Wessex original-Choctaw. Initially they were interested in VFW licence building the Skycrane for civil and army use but the CH53 came along and fitted the needs of the Airborne Div which then became a Corps level Air Landing Brigade for each of three Army Corps.
France had its Super Frelon ASW which the Israelis adopted over the Sikorsky Mohawk as their HLH before getting CH53s in the 70s. Oddly despite having it own Airborne Div France only used the medium lift Choctaw and then Puma.
For a long time as described above UK had to make do with Wessex and Puma until the 80s.
Although Italy made the CH47 under licence and Agusta worked closely with Westland, the RAF got its Chinooks direct from Boeing.
Plans for a European successor began in the 80s but the US enjoys huge domestic orders and likely European orders are not large enough.
I dont expect France will go with Chinook. A joint FRGe unit is likely to have Pumas (given NH90 probs) and German Army CH53s.
 

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There is some strong pushes for a Chinook buy. The need among expeditionary contingents is so dire that the opportunity to debate the subject and make a choice is now inexistent (rationally at least).

I was hoping France would buy all large bags Chinook from UK before they were upgraded but now that they are not anymore seen as the unwanted child of the British army, French MoD would have to knock directly at Boeing’s door. That being the main issue remaining.
 
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CJGibson

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The RAF had been trying to procure the Chinook since early 1963 and 'walked Boeing down the aisle' at least three times before finally getting the Chinook, so wan't a case of preferring something else. See The Air Staff and the Helicopter for that rather amusing story.

Chris
 

riggerrob

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That press release mentions XM216 dark flares ... are they to distract infrared missiles?
Are XM216 visible through infrared googles or night sights?

If they already have dark flares to defend helicopters, how long before they deploy flash-bangs that are painful to the naked eye, but invisible to IR googles or NV googles?
 

Apophenia

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Yes, the XM216 Dark Flare (aka LA59) is meant to be "invisible to naked eye". Intended to thwart infrared-homing MANPADS, cost is also lower than earlier flare types -eg: M206, M211, and M212 - while dispensers can handle three times as many engagements.
 

JohnR

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There is some strong pushes for a Chinook buy. The need among expeditionary contingents is so dire that the opportunity to debate the subject and make a choice is now inexistent (rationally at least).

I was hoping France would buy all large bags Chinook from UK before they were upgraded but now that they are not anymore seen as the unwanted child of the British army, French MoD would have to knock directly at Boeing’s door. That being the main issue remaining.
Did the RAF plan to reduce the Chinook fleet? What is meant by LARGE BAGS CHINOOKS?
 
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riggerrob

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CH-47E and some later models have extra-large sponsons (aka. large bags) containing extra-large fuel tanks to improve range. They are most easily identified by looking at the aft end - where tail wheels attach. Wheels are attached to the original sponson, while extra-large fuel sponsons are much wider.
Civilian Chinook, flying-cranes often remove fuel sponsons to reduce empty weight and improve lifting capacity.
 

FXXII

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I've always wondered, why the aft undergear has one wheel each, while the front has double wheels. The rear gear has to support two engines, while the front only has the weight of a gearbox. But then the rear also has that burden. So why the difference in tyre numbers? Anybody an idea?
 

TomS

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I've always wondered, why the aft undergear has one wheel each, while the front has double wheels. The rear gear has to support two engines, while the front only has the weight of a gearbox. But then the rear also has that burden. So why the difference in tyre numbers? Anybody an idea?

See the bottom of the page. Short version: originally the Chinook had two small tires at each rear landing gear, but they tended to sink into hot tarmac, so designers switched to larger tires that matched the front gear. But there wasn't room for two tires aft without redesigning other parts of the aircraft, so they went with only one. Contrary to expectations, the weight balance is actually forward, so the front gear are carrying more weight than the rear and need the extra flotation of dual wheels.
 

riggerrob

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Yes dear TomS,
If you look at a Chinook from the side, you will notice that forward wheels are just slightly forward of the mid-point between rotors. The centre of gravity is near the mid-point. Ergo, the forward wheels support more weight when Chinooks land.
The rear wheels are more like tail wheels on older airplanes. Chinook has a pair of tail wheels to avoid a lump in the middle of the cabin floor.
 

ReprobateJoeshmoe

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I was just wondering if you guys know about the future of the chinook in the us military. Is going to serve for years to come?
 

isayyo2

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I was just wondering if you guys know about the future of the chinook in the us military. Is going to serve for years to come?
Up to 2050 I believe, depends on FVL funding and it's numerous interweaved projects
 

FXXII

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Riggerrob, I have never seen a side view of the Chinook, but what you say makes sense. Thanks.
 

yasotay

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I was just wondering if you guys know about the future of the chinook in the us military. Is going to serve for years to come?
Up to 2050 I believe, depends on FVL funding and it's numerous interweaved projects
Is going to be new upgrades.(kinda redundant)
The CH-47Z will be silently sailing around on anti-grav in 2120.

It will likely be another decade before any serious discussion about replacement of Chinook takes place. The Army will (optimistically) be in the early phases of buying two new aircraft on a zero growth budget. Far more likely the continued upgrades will continue.
 

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Was wondering if the RR engine option was still being touted? I know RR pitched into a couple of comps offering 6/7,000shp engine options for enhanced performance Chinooks (and also pitched engines for the CH-53K (7,500-8,000shp) and also the 9-10,000shp Osprey engine upgrade. All from T406/AE2100 variant upgrades. I am presuming the alternate V-280 engine option is coming from this family as well.
 
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