Special Operations Aviation


The CH-47 Chinook is a versatile, twin-engine, tandem rotor heavy-lift helicopter. The contra-rotating rotors eliminate the need for a rear vertical rotor, allowing all power to be used for lift and thrust, giving a top speed of 173 mph (150 knots, 278 km/h). Its primary roles include troop movement, artillery emplacement, and battlefield resupply. Chinooks have been sold to 16 nations, the largest users of which are the US Army and the Royal Air Force (see RAF Chinook). A commercial model, the Boeing 234 Chinook, is used worldwide for logging, construction, fighting forest fires, and supporting petroleum exploration operations.

General Characteristics

  • Crew: 3 (pilot, copilot, crew chief/combat commander)
  • Capacity: 30 troops or 24 litters and 2 attendants
  • Length: 98 ft 9 in (30.1 m)
  • Rotor diameter: 60 ft 0 in (18.3 m)
  • Height: 18 ft 8 in (5.7 m)
  • Empty weight: 22,450 lb (10,185 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 26,680 lb (12,100 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 50,000 lb (22,680 kg)
  • Power plant: 2× Lycoming T55-L-714 turbo shaft engines, 3,750 hp (2,800 kW) each


  • Maximum speed: 183 mph (295 km/h)
  • Range: 1,280 miles (2,060 km)
  • Service ceiling: 8,500 ft (2,590 m)
  • Rate of climb: 1,980 ft/min (10.1 m/s)
  • Disc loading: lb/ft² (kg/m²)
  • Power/mass: 0.28 hp/lb (0.46 kW/kg)


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