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The Boeing CH-47 Chinook is an American twin-engined, tandem rotor, heavy-lift helicopter developed by American rotorcraft company Vertol and manufactured by Boeing Vertol (later known as Boeing Rotorcraft Systems). The CH-47 is one of the heaviest lifting helicopters that are Western. Chinook, its name, is from the Native American Chinook people of modern-day Washington state. The Chinook was made by Vertol, which had begun work in 1957. Around the same time, the United States Department of the Army announced its intention to replace the piston engine-powered Sikorsky CH-37 Mojave using a new, gas helicopter. Throughout June 1958, the U.S. Army ordered a small number of V-107s from Vertol under the YHC-1A designation; following testing, it was considered by some Army officials to become too heavy for the attack missions and too light for transport purposes. While the YHC-1A would be improved and adopted by the U.S. Marine Corps as the CH-46 Sea Knight, the Army sought a heavier transport helicopter, and ordered an enlarged derivative of the V-107 using the Vertol designation Model 114. Initially designated as the YCH-1B, on 21 the preproduction rotorcraft performed its maiden flight. The HC-1B was redesignated CH-47A under the 1962 United States Tri-Service aircraft designation system. The Chinook possesses several means of loading a variety of cargoes, including doors a broad loading ramp, across the fuselage and a total of three external ventral cargo hooks to carry loads.

Capable of a top speed of 170 knots (196 mph, 315 km/h), upon its introduction to service in 1962, the helicopter was considerably faster than contemporary 1960s utility helicopters and assault helicopters, and is still among the fastest helicopters in the US inventory. Improved and stronger versions of the Chinook have also been developed since its introduction; among the very substantial variants to be produced was the CH-47D, which first entered service in 1982; improvements from the CH-47C standard included upgraded motors, composite rotor blades, a redesigned cockpit to decrease workload, improved and redundant electrical systems and avionics, and the adoption of an advanced flight control system. It remains one of the aircraft to be developed during the 1960s -- along with the Lockheed C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft that is fixed-wing -- that had remained in manufacturing and frontline service for more than 50 years. The military version of the helicopter has been exported to nations across the planet; the U.S. Army and the Royal Air Force (see Boeing Chinook (UK variants)) have been its two largest users. The civilian version of the Chinook is the Boeing Vertol 234. It's been used by civil operators not only for cargo and passenger transport, but also for firefighting and to support logging, construction, and oil extraction industries.

Source: Wikipedia

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