UPDATED 27 December 2010
The HH/CH/MH-47G "SuperChinook": America's Survival Really Does Depend on It
Now that the Air-Mech-Strike Study Group owns a CH-47---the last surviving prototype HC-1B aka YCH-47A, restoring "The Ghost Ship" as we call it--has given us some hands-on time to experience its size, physical appearance and functionality of this legendary aircraft type which Frank Piasecki created in the 1950s. See our Ghost Ship fly in the video below!
2007 & Beyond
This has generated the following observations and recommendations from simple-to-complex.
NEW! Video clips:
HOW THE CHINOOK FLIES: www.combatreform.org/chinookhowitfliesdemovideo.wmv
THE MIGHTY CHINOOK IN ACTION: www.combatreform.org/ch47inaction.wmv
More Good News: USAF selects HH-47 Chinook to be its next CSAR chopper
Notice HH-47 is GRAY to better blend into sky than the stupid Army dark green Chinooks. HH-47 can air-mech M113 Mini-Gavin to rescue pilots with armored mobility, firepower then drive him back to pick-up into the Chinook! This is similar to how LTC Iceal Hambleton of "BAT-21" fame was rescued: by a M113 Gavin during the Vietnam war.
Officials select developer for combat search and rescue replacement vehicle
11/9/2006 - WASHINGTON (AFPN) -- Secretary of the Air Force Michael W. Wynne announced the selection of Boeing Helicopter of Ridley Park, Pa., to provide the new combat search and rescue replacement vehicle, known as CSAR-X.
The Nov. 9 announcement comes at the end of a fair and open competition, and thorough evaluation of multiple proposals allowing the Air Force to fulfill its number two acquisition priority.
"The Air Force is the only service with forces dedicated to the critical mission of combat search and rescue," said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley. "We take that mission seriously, and this new CSAR platform will greatly benefit all service members who perform vital work deep in hostile, uncertain or enemy territory."
The CSAR-X is a medium-lift helicopter that will replace the Air Force's fleet of HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters, which are quickly approaching their useful service life limit.
The primary mission of the CSAR-X will be to recover downed aircrew members and isolated troops in a combat environment. Rescue forces also may conduct missions such as non-conventional assisted recovery, non-combatant evacuation, civil search and rescue, international aid distribution, emergency medical evacuation, disaster/humanitarian relief, and combat forces insertion/extraction.
"The increased capabilities that CSAR-X will provide our joint force commanders and future civil disaster needs is tremendous," said General Moseley. "From Operations in Iraq, to Afghanistan, to civil support during Hurricane Katrina, Air Force rescue forces do amazing things to ensure that others may live."
The CSAR-X will be designed to deploy quickly and to operate out of austere locations worldwide. Additionally, the combat search and rescue mission requires the helicopter to operate in the day or night during adverse weather conditions and in a variety of spectrums of warfare to include nuclear, biological and chemical environments. On-board defensive capabilities with armor will permit the CSAR-X to operate and survive in a higher threat environment than current systems.
The CSAR-X program office plans to procure 141 of the new helicopters with associated training and logistics support. The Air Force plans to achieve Initial Operational Capability with its first ten new CSAR aircraft by the end of 2012.
HH-47 CSAR-X (Combat Search and Rescue) Helicopter Overview
Boeing has proposed the advanced HH-47 CSAR-X tandem rotor aircraft as its entry in the U.S. Air Force combat search and rescue aircraft program. Built on a new airframe, the Boeing HH-47 CSAR-X rescue aircraft is equipped with advanced countermeasures and survivability enhancements similar to those utilized in U.S. Army Special Operations MH-47G rotorcraft, known as the Special Operations Chinook, which is currently in production.
An affordable, low-risk, highly capable platform with a proven operational and logistics track record; compliant with key performance parameters and incorporates the advanced functionality to perform demanding CSAR missions
Multi-mission capable platform with significant combat experience, at high altitudes, in austere environments and with limited visibility
The Air Force CSAR version will be a new build aircraft that meets all Block 0 requirements and will require minimal upgrades to meet Block 10 requirements
Key features include a net-ready cockpit, forward-looking infrared radar, terrain-following-terrain avoidance radar, and in-flight refueling capability
Improved power, avionics, vibration reduction and transportability enhancements will also distinguish the HH-47 CSAR-X model
Improved digital maps, greater situational awareness, mission planning and management capability enable flight crews to conduct missions with pinpoint accuracy
In use by military worldwide including the Netherlands Air Force, United Kingdom's Royal Air Force, Egyptian Air Force and the defense forces of Singapore, Japan, Australia and many more
Boeing's offer was submitted in November 2005
A flight performance and cabin suitability demonstration was completed using two MH-47Gs leased from USSOCOM
An Air transportability evaluation was completed in December 2005 that demonstrated the ability to prepare the HH-47 for strategic airlift and re-build it to a flight worthy configuration in under three hours at each end
Proposal effort is currently in the Evaluation Notice (EN) phase
Source select announcement is expected August 2006 with a stated Initial Operational Capability of 2012
If Boeing is selected, the HH-47 would be built at the Boeing Integrated Defense Systems' rotorcraft manufacturing facility in Ridley Park, Pa., home of Boeing's MH-47G Special Operations Chinook program
Competition is the Sikorsky S-92 and Lockheed Martin / AgustaWestland US-101
1. The H/CH-47 is "it" for rotary-wing Air-Mech 3D Maneuver: JHL & FCS are shams. If we want to get sub-national terrorists before they can do a nuclear 9/11 attack we had best upgrade our Chinooks and start doing effective 3D maneuver TODAY.
Boeing is building 55 NEW CH-47s for U.S. Army
Rotor & Wing magazine's Day 3 Quad A Pre-Show E-Letter reports:
Five Questions With The U.S. Army's Improved Cargo Helicopter Product Manager, Lt. Col. Anthony Pelczynski
By Frank Colucci
The first production CH-47F is to roll out at Boeing's Philadelphia plant in June. The U.S. Army plans to revitalize its cargo helicopter fleet with 450 F-Model Chinooks delivered through 2020. The new Chinook gives the Army a common fleet configuration with a stiffened, de-tuned airframe that suppresses vibration, the Rockwell Collins Common Avionics Architecture System to manage battlefield data and airframe deployability improvements.
The CH-47F also acquires the Honeywell T55-GA-714A engine previously used on special operations Chinooks to improve the high-and-hot performance of
the cargo helicopter fleet.
Demands of the Global War On Terror pushed MH-47G special operations aircraft to the front of the Chinook recapitalization line. CH-47F production will now include 395 CH-47Fs "renewed" with all-new airframes and refurbished dynamics plus 55 built from scratch. Lean manufacturing initiatives at the Boeing plant have cut the cost of a production CH-47F for the U.S. Army by more than 25 percent compared to the manufacturer's early estimates.
What's the payoff for the Army in transitioning from the CH-47D to the F?
The CH-47F will replace the 40-year-old Chinook body with new, monolithic, machined airframe components, significantly reducing structural repairs.
It will also introduce new avionics and a digital flight control system, and upgrade the cockpit with a fully integrated, digital system.
The mission for the Chinook remains the same. However, our ability to communicate across the battlefield will be increased through the use of digital messaging and moving map displays. Deployed CH-47Ds have the current aircraft survivability equipment (ASE), which will migrate to the F model. Other types of ASE are being explored now and may be added on during further production.
What will the Army save in cost per flight hour due to improvements in the 47F?
At the present time, cost projections per flight hour for a CH-47F are comparable to the CH-47D. However, given the zeroing out of major components and new airframes, the operating-and-support cost is bound to decrease. Greater fidelity will be gained as the CH-47F is fielded and as flight hours are accumulated and data is then available from the Training Resource Model.
How does the CH-47F achieve initial operational capability (IOC)?
The first CH-47F unit commander will determine IOC when the unit has all of its equipment and the personnel are trained to upgrade the unit status to "Fully Combat Ready." The CH-47F first unit equipped (FUE) stands up in May 2007. Under the general support aviation battalion, each cargo helicopter unit will be fielded with 12 aircraft to each combat aviation brigade, with one "float" aircraft, 24 pilots, and 24 non-rated crewmembers.
The CH-47F Transportable Flight Proficiency Simulator is on schedule to be delivered concurrently with aircraft fielding. A total of 15 Transportable Flight Proficiency Simulators will be fielded by 2012.
What does the Common Avionics Architecture System (CAAS) give CH-47F crews?
Results from the limited-objective user demo showed that pilot workload in the CH-47F was comparable to that in the CH-47D, although more situational awareness items have been added. The digital map reduces pilot workload associated with terrain flight navigation. It incorporates many functions that provide superior situational awareness over the CH-47D. (i.e., threat intervisibility, Blue Force Tracker, etc.) .
The CAAS hover display provides additional situational awareness to enable the pilot to safely perform an approach and landing in limited visibility conditions (brown-out, white-out) . Messaging ability allows the CH-47F crew to send and receive critical information across the battlefield. CAAS flight director functionality provides a coupling feature that significantly reduces pilot workload in a variety of flight profiles.
CAAS has been flying on the CH-47F since April 2005. The production airworthiness release is expected in July. Currently, the Army has completed safety-of-flight qualifications on the CAAS components, and we are on track for qualification to allow for first unit equipped by May 2007.
Chinooks returning from Iraq and Afghanistan?
[Reset work undertaken at multiple sites returns Army helicopters to combat-ready status.]
Each CH-47D unit returning from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom sends their aircraft through Reset. Our Reset program accommodates 65 CH-47s per rotation. It is currently taking about 147 days to repair Chinooks to re-deployment condition. The current plan is to Reset as long as deployments continue.
PROBLEM: when the heavy tankers run the Army, they do not want to do any 3D maneuver by aircraft via parachutes or helicopters even with lighter tracked tanks. When the light narcissists run the Army, they do not want to do any tracked armored 2D or 3D maneuver, but only foot-slog from vulnerable wheeled trucks.
The marine egomaniacs always run the USMC and are like the Army light narcissists except are intolerable loud mouths. Currently, the USMC V-22 (which can't even carry a Humvee truck inside) debacle is costing them their CH-53E heavy lift helicopter fleet to wither into unflyable retirement. [UPDATE: the CH-53X HLH has been approved as the "CH-53K" program, if the V-22 doesn't continue to hog up all the money USMC will eventually have a larger fuselage Super Stallion (from current 89 inches wide to 100+ inches) that can roll-on/off AS-IS M113 Gavin armored tracks]. The Army light narcissist "mafia" currently running HQDA is using the 2025 fantasy Future Combat System (FCS) medium-weight tank-of-all-trades-but-master-of-none and Joint Heavy Lift (JHL) helicopter programs to deceive the heavy part of the Army into thinking that they have a future when really they are being bureaucratically squeezed out of existence.
SOLUTION: the good news in this quagmire of weak egotisms is that there is a quasi-war underway in Iraq/Afghanistan and CH-47 Chinooks are getting lost to accidents and enemy actions. This pressing need has forced Army officials to force Boeing (who own the Frank Piasecki-designed Chinook's production rights) to make 55 new CH-47F Chinooks this year. The Chinook is it and is going to be "it" for the next 20 years as long as the heavy and light egomaniacs take turns trying to ruin the U.S. Army into their own self-image.
Since the Chinook is going to be America's heavy lift helicopter for the next 20+ years its time we look at what we can do to maximize this air delivery means to get the job done on the non-linear battlefield.
2. CH-47s in dark green are in the wrong color and are getting shot down
PROBLEM: the Sky is blue and the ground tan in Afghanistan and Iraq. Dark green Chinooks stand out and provide the enemy an easy aimpoint in both day and night.
SOLUTION: The other services have their aircraft painted in sky gray. Its time the Army does the same and paint all 425 of its Chinooks GRAY---and watch its aircraft losses go down. Camouflage. What a concept.
3. The people shooting CH-47s down must be killed/suppressed beforehand
PROBLEM: CH-47s with 3 x M60D 7.62mm medium machine guns left, right and on the rear ramp are fired optically with iron sights; by the time the gunners realize where the enemy is to shoot its because a RPG firing signature has alerted them which is too late.
SOLUTION A: Immediately attach available AN/PAS-13 forward looking infared (FLIR) "thermal" sights on the 3 x M60D MMGs so gunners can pre-emptively locate the body heat signatures of enemies on the ground and fire upon them at least in their general direction to kill/suppress them. Gunners should use image-intensifier Night Vision Goggles (NVGs) during the majority of the flight, but switch to agggressive scanning through their FLIR thermal sights just before landing. We understand AN/PAS-13 FLIR has a narrow field of view but until FLIR NVGs are fielded this is the best we can do and a huge improvement over "spray & pray" with optical "garden hosing".
SOLUTION B: Bring Back ACH-47 Gunships
Army ACH-47 Gunships More Precise than UH-1 Huey 2.75 inch ARA helos: internal ego back-stabbing results in Lost Capabilities
An ACH-47 combat pilot writes:
I, like my peers, appreciated the "Go-Go" ships. They were our best defensive weapons. The enemy dearly loved shooting at Hooks. The target was large, frequently carried many people and supplies, and lacked sufficient firepower for defense. When we moved to a new operational area, it seemed anyone that could hold a weapon shot at us. However, tuck a couple of ACH-47s in a flight, and the firing soon stopped.
From a distance, it was difficult for even Hook drivers to distinguish the "Go-Go" ship from the standard model. And, it became obvious that the enemy couldn't be either. It only took a couple of flights with two ACH-47s in our midst and the enemy soon learned. It was a joy to watch. Some jerk would be standing in the open firing. Suddenly, two of the birds broke formation and headed for the would-be hook-killer. The word spread fast "don't shoot at Hooks".
By the time "Guns-A-Go-Go" joined the 228th their operational procedures were deadly. There were tales that, when the unit first came to 'Nam, flight personnel thought they had an invulnerable, flying pillbox. However, they soon learned that teamwork was an absolute necessity for mission success. And their teamwork maximized their craft's ability to take down tough targets. An example related to me explains how.
One of the enemy's air-defense weapons was a radar controlled, quad .51 caliber weapon. The pilot explained that an indication of being radar tracked was a distinctive sound heard from their FM radio. A certain indication of target acquisition was blue-green tracers streaming skyward in their direction.
One ACH-47 would take the attacking weapon under fire with 20mm cannons. This weapon out-gunned the .51 calibers in range and firepower. As the craft approached the Czech-made weapon's position, their explosive rounds tore into it while the .51 tracers fell short of the ACH-47. When within range, the aircraft fired its 2.75-inch rockets. Meanwhile, the other "Go-Go" had its 20mm fire upon the target.
The lead ship's .50-caliber machine guns rained steel into the enemy's position. By this time, the other ship was firing rockets and the lead bird pummeled the position with 40mm grenades and began its break left or right. The transom mounted .50-caliber brought fire on the target. The two ships worked this "daisy chain" attack procedure to perfection. No one would ever think that this effective firepower would lead to their demise. There are those who firmly believe that it did.
Conventional artillery was a typical fire support option. However, if not within range, the ARA brought their firepower to bear. One of "Charley's" basic tactics was to hold close to their enemy. This reduced fire support effectiveness because they were too close to friendly forces. The CPE of the 2.75-inch rocket immediately caused problems. Too many hit within friendly positions. Beleaguered ground units started calling for "Guns-A-Go-Go" by name.
The ACH-47's varied weapon complement proved excellent for attacking positions close to friendly units. The crews were most adept at placing heavy machine gun and 20mm fires on target. Add to this the 40mm grenades and the "Go-Go" teams could reserve their rockets for targets away from friendly positions. This proved an embarrassment to the ARA leaders and supporters of the ARA concept. The ACH-47 unit was in trouble.
4. CH-47s are too noisy to direct deliver troops safely and these foot troops lack mobility to get fleeting enemies
PROBLEM: CH-47s are noisy and enemy can easily chose to be long gone by the time they land. Foot troops lack the mobility to catch up with enemies forewarned and more mobile on foot via terrain familiarity and light personal loads via caching supplies, horses and in pick-up trucks.
What ground vehicles can go inside the CH-47?
One of the "mysteries" of the CH-47 Chinook is whether it CAN carry a 85-inch wide Humvee truck inside or not? General Maxwell Taylor's Army officer son, Tom Taylor wrote a book on the 101st in Desert Storm, called "Lightning on the Storm" detailing how they HAD TO carry TWO unarmored Humvee trucks inside if they were going to conserve fuel to make it to Forward Operating Base (FOB) Cobra, deep in Iraq. Dangling a pair of Humvees underneath the Chinook would cause a lot of aerodynamic drag and reduce speed and increase fuel burn/reduce range. The problem is that the Humvee drivers would have to be INSIDE their trucks and couldn't take a safer-for-egress-in-case-of-crash-landing bench seat position and get into their trucks shortly before landing. It was "war" so the Fort Rucker and Lee "Safety Nazis" could be over-ruled. The photos below from Fred Pushies' excellent book, "Night Stalkers: 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment" clearly prove a Humvee can be loaded into a CH-47, we gather with SEATS REMOVED.
Out to the west at the same time according to Pushies, Delta Force and the Rangers were flying in Chenowth unarmored Fast Attack Vehicles (high RPM, tire floatation "dune buggies") by CH-47s to hunt for SCUD surface-to-surface missiles.
However, after Desert Storm was over, the 101st reverted back to external sling-loading at Fort Campbell once again and knuckling under to the safety nazis for a dubious end-state. YES, tying down and untying vehicles is more work and causes the Chinook to be on the ground longer than picking-up and dropping off an external sling-load. However, as many people have written in to us after reading our AMS book where we show a M113 Gavin being sling-loaded by a CH-47D have stated; this slows the helicopter down and prevents it from using evasive flight profiles to get terrain masking, making it vulnerable to enemy small arms fire, autocannon and surface-to-air missiles. Certainly, some of the people writing in to us have a hidden agenda to justify continuing the feel-good lightfighter narcissists-walking-from-the-helicopter-dismounted-assault-close-to-or-on-top-of-the-objective non-sense. Funny, how when faced with desert distances that cannot be walked, both Delta, Rangers and the 101st can find a way to internally load vehicles inside CH-47s---and C-130s and C-17s despite their "we-don't-need-vehicles" bravado. What is professionally negligent and dangerous is that after these operations are over, at least the 101st refuses to learn from them and permanently change themselves to have a "mounted" (I know its a curse word--you are now a fat, out-of-shape, "mech pussy") Air Assault capability that comes from inside a CH-47 to keep 3D maneuvers viable in light of enemy air defenses and to improve their combat power on the ground to not get caught into LZ X-Ray type situations or be relegated to mopping up in the wake of more mobile ground units like the 3rd Infantry Division with tracked armored fighting vehicles (AFVs). The 101st, in occupation duty in Iraq, after many casualties driving around in road-bound, unarmored and quasi-armored Humvee trucks is now using cross-country capable M113 Gavin light tracked AFVs and while before they wouldn't even be caught "dead" in one, now they demand they only ride in RPG-proof up-armored "Super Gavins". Details:
The truth the nay-sayers don't want you to know is that INTERNALLY LOADING GROUND VEHICLES into CH-47s to get more mobility and firepower after the Air Assault is not only possible, but was once commonly done in the U.S. Army. The drawing below from TM-55-1000-205-20-1 "AIR TRANSPORTABILITY PROCEDURES FOR M38A1C AND M151A1C 1/4-TON WITH MOUNTED 106-MM RECOILLESS RIFLES IN CH-47 HELICOPTER" [www.tpub.com/content/chhelicopters/TM-55-1000-205-20-1/] shows how TWO small 4x4 jeep with 106mm recoilless rifles could easily loaded into a CH-47 with a mere 8 tie-downs per vehicle.
The jeep is a far smaller truck than the Humvee and you can easily walk by it in flight and take up a bench seat until required to drive it off...how do we know this? Well, because we own a CH-47 and a jeep and do it all the time for static tests.
The point we are making is if there is a WILL to improve Air Assault capabilities with tracked armored fighting vehicles---that has not been ruined by narrow-minded, light infantry foot narcissism---THERE IS A WAY. We can reduce the width of the standard M113 Gavin which the Army has over 14, 655 in service---modifying some of the thousands sitting unused in storage--to be 85 inches wide like the Humvee truck---to fit inside CH-47s for improved 3D maneuvers. We suggest eliminating 1 road wheel of length to reduce weight, too so the CH-47 can carry more fuel for greater range.
The truth is that there is more width inside the CH-47 than the light narcissists will let you know than the 90 inches published. If you take a tape measure you will see that the ramp is indeed 90 inches wide. However, at the ramp hinge width increases to 91 inches. With seats removed, you will see that the actual floor of the CH-47 extends out beyond the CARGO FLOOR'S 90 INCHES to 92 inches where the aircraft ribs join to the actual bottom. If you roll in an 85 inch wide ground vehicle onto the Chinook's CARGO FLOOR, you actually have 3.5 inches of clearance on each side of "wiggle room" for vehicle overhang or a Soldier to squeeze by. If you are not too chubby and are not wearing LBE, you can squeeze by and take off the vehicle tie-downs before landing and get into the driver's seat to drive off. If you are carrying ONLY ONE M113 Mini-Gavin, and the infantry/spec ops troops are behind it on bench seats, the driver can climb in from the back troop door in the rear ramp to take up his driver's position. If you don't want a Soldier or two squeezing past to undo the forward tie-downs, you can have them sit IN FRONT OF the Mini-Gavin and do it upon landing or God forbid! someone has to hussle---have 1 or 2 Soldiers jump out from the front crew chief hatch and run around to the back of the CH-47 to undo the front tie-downs. All of this anal-retentivity-to-find-an-excuse-not-to-do something-necessary-because-its-not-ego-gratifying, notwithstanding is absurd...this is not launching a space shuttle. Certainly, an electrically released tie down strap could be developed for the front of a Mini-Gavin to put an end to any of these concerns. The point is it can be done and we are just not trying because we want to do the lightfighter BS we want to do---instead of the job America needs us to do--which is to get Bin Ladens (sub-national terrorists) which requires tracked AFV ground mobility beyond a foot slog with 100 pounds of "lightweight" equipment on your back.
SOLUTION: Shrink a M113 Gavin to roll-on/off from inside a CH-47 like the Lynx "M113 and a half" used by the Canadian and Belgan armies (see photo above). Propel by stealthy hybrid-electric drive and band tracks for 60 mph speeds and 600 mile range on one tank of fuel. Instead of packing in 44+ foot sloggers per Chinook, carry 1 "Mini-Gavin" with 7 troops inside (Driver, Track Commander + 5 troops) that roll-off into a COVERT landing zone outside of enemy hearing/sight combat-ready with superior armored mobility and firepower to then close in rapidly and when contact is made with the enemy, overwhelms him not pinned down in a M16 versus AK47 evenly matched duel. Mini-Gavins should replace the Humvee trucks in Delta weapons companies and Scout, mortar, S&T platoons in HHC to render armored mobility for A, B and C company infantrymen as needed.
5. CH-47s delivering break-bulk or palletized supplies without mobility means are not helping light infantry to locate & kill the enemy
PROBLEM: Supplies of ammo, food, water delivered by break-bulk via CH-47s endanger the aircraft as it sits and waits for human passing lines to toss out individual items. Even small "kick" pallets of supplies require floor rollers which prevent a rear M60D MMG gunner to be employed in flight, risking the aircraft to enemy destruction. Kick pallets on the LZ lack a means to move them, again creating a supply dump that needs to be defended. In either case the supplies are not with the troops fanning out when they need them. These items are too heavy and too many for foot infantry to transport with them resulting in some troops having to stay back and guard them instead of hunting for the enemy. The Humvee is not used as an internal carry prime mover; under-powered M-GATOR vulnerable wheeled trucks are sometimes used but can only carry limited break bulk supplies in back.
LIGHT INFANTRY RESUPPLY TRANSFORMATION POWER POINT SLIDES
SOLUTION A: supply a Butch Walker Amaze-N-Tow 463L pallet Dis-assembled delivery (ANT-463LD)combination pallet forklift/trailer to every Army light infantry company to use in conjunction with CH-47 prime movers. This will eliminate pallet rollers on the floor so a M60D MMG rear ramp gunner can be employed for rear firepower. ANT-463LDs will insure palletized supplies are mobile and taken along by troops, all of whom fight, non of whom are back guarding supplies.
SOLUTION B: use Chuck Warren's "CopterBoxes" to airdrop light man-packable loads so Chinooks do not need to expose themselves to enemy fire by airlanding:
Further reading: Airborne/Air Assault Logistics: the future of Warfare
6. CH-47s needs at least some armoring to prevent shoot downs
PROBLEM: standard CH-47s lack ANY armor whatsoever. If they are hit in a vital flight component a crash follows.
SOLUTION: We understand whenever you add weight to an aircraft you take away power. However, the Chinook is a fascinating design. It can lift its own weight which makes it the helicopter of choice for operations in the high altitudes and thin air of Afghanistan. Its fuel tanks are all in the left and right saddles along the fuselage. Its huge pip transmission is overhead in the roof. Everyone and everything is in the "box" underneath and in-between. This arrangement offers the possibility of a 2-for-1 benefit because the majority of the threat weapons will be aimed at the SIDES of the Chinook not its bottom: if lightweight kevlar cowling replace the current saddles they will protect both fuel and troops/cargo. Ballistic engine cowlings and bullet proof front glass would protect the "magic BB" from downing the aircraft by an engine fire or taking out the pilots.
We're not big fans of troops stmbling out of helicopters on foot.
However, if they have to be in a 'copter separate from the one delivering
their light tracked AFV, then we need them to be protected and get off quickly.
Often, CH-47 seats are removed to cram more troops in and this is unsafe as
they will be thrown in a crash. We suggest that we utilize the cargo restraint
hooks on the Chinook's floor to add a length of nylon strap and a
carabiner/snaplink that the troops would connect to their rigger's belts at their belly button so if the chopper crashes they are restrained until the wreckage comes to a stop. Now using what we know about bullets and water, if the troops are
sitting on the floor and a bullet enters sideways they are going to get
stopped/absorbed by the huge saddle fuel tanks. The fuel will not explode if fire-resistant powder is used. If the troops are sitting with rucksacks on their back, there's more protection from bullets there. If we are really smart, we will cover these tanks with ballistic material and get a 2-for-1 effect of preventing fuel loss/fire/explosion as well as the troops.
7. Gunners must have gunshields
PROBLEM: side gunners are exposed manning their M60D or M134 7.62mm medium machine guns to enemy fire
A young visitor to the Ghost Ship observed that the side gunners are exposed and should have gunshields attached to their weapons! This was from a 7 year-old boy---who knows more about common sense the most adult DoD and military men. After a church group went through our flight simulation program, several made the same observation/suggestion.
The enemy is not stupid...he's going to fire back at the gunners firing at them...so our guys should have gunshields to protect them.
The picture below shows a scale model of a Piasecki UH-21 "Flying Banana" which the French in Algeria mounted a 20mm cannon with GUNSHIELD to protect the gunner. If a piston-engined fore-runner to the Chinook can find a way to mount a gunshield so can the even more powerful CH-47 today!
8. CH-47s cannot count on gunship escort and must be their own gunships
PROBLEM: there is no CH-47 forward firepower and in high altitude Afghanistan only the Chinook has the power to conduct some missions where Apaches/SuperCobra gunships cannot take part in to suppress the landing zone. With the retirement of the U.S. Army OV-1 Mohawk and USAF/USMC OV-10s, the U.S. lacks today ANY fixed-wing, 2-seat, observation/attack aircraft "grasshoppers". The USAF owns and operates single-seat A-10s and they are often unavailable and they refuse to provide them a second-seat observer.
SOLUTION: We understand whenever you add weight to an aircraft you take away power. However, by not carry 44+ troops packed in like sardines and just 7 troops in a Mini-Gavin, we do free up some payload for armament. We suggest a M230 30mm chain gun be mounted under the Chinook's nose like on the AH-64 and have it slewed to fire by the left Co-Pilot's magnified day optics and night image intensifier/FLIR helmet sighting system.
M230 30mm AH-64 Iraqi kills video clip
The 30mm high explosive incendiary shell offers greater range over the 7.62mm x 51mm NATO cartridges shot from the left/right and rear gunners to suppress possible enemy barrage-fire RPG and MANPADS gunners. The 30mm chain gun also offers self-defense capability from other enemy aircraft. Small stub wings should be fitted to the Chinook fuselage to carry stores like 2.75" Hydra 70mm rockets and smokescreen creating bomblets to mask troop insertions.
Past Precedent: Guns A Go-Go: ACH-47A Chinook Gunships in Vietnam
Toys R US sells a quasi-CH-46 sort of CH-47 Chinook toy helicopter in about 1:18 to 1:35 scale that is very fascinating because it is in a two-tone gray camouflage and has a 30mm chain gun on the NOSE for self-protection.
The bad news is that the toy is made in COMMUNIST CHINA, which means the bad guys are studying our equipment in detail and even have a better appreciation for how to improve it (gray camouflage and nose armament) than the Americans who are actually operating the equipment in combat.
We repainted the toy Chinook in a better light gray camouflage and made the 30mm chain gun more realistic metallic looking.
9. Lightweight .50 caliber (12.7mm) heavy machine guns with low-recoil need to replace the M60D and M134 miniguns that shoot 7.62mm medium machine gun bullets
PROBLEM: 7.62mm x 51mm medium machine gun bullets are only 1, 000 meter range weapons; for them to hit bad guys Chinook must be also in range of their weapons; particularly heavy machine guns
To see what we mean, watch the video clip below of a M134 7.62mm minigun on a UH-1 Huey helicopter spray the ground below and note how LOW it has to be to reach:
The GAU-21 .50 caliber heavy machine gun with shock absorbers and higher rate of fire than the M2 "Ma Deuce" is being bought by the USMC to mount on its CH-46 "Baby Chinooks" and should be bought by the Army for its Chinooks to replace their short-range 7.62mm medium machine guns at least on the left/right...keeping the ramp medium machine gun for rapid removal for rolling cargo and use on foot if the helicopter is downed.
So the answer is YES, we can replace the M60D 7.62mm medium machine guns on the sides of UH-60 Blackhawk and CH-47 Chinook helicopters with a M2 Ma Deuce or M3A single barrel .50 caliber heavy machine gun to improve range from 1, 000 meters to 2, 000 meters for better landing zone suppression....obviously Chuck Myers' GAU-19 triple barrel .50 caliber HMG would have an even higher rate of fire but may require different mounts...
Another heavier option than the GAU-21 that is proving effective o the Colombian Army's UH-60 Blackhawks is the GDATP triple-barrel GAU-19 .50 caliber gatling gun with extremely high rates of fire:
10. CH-47s are too difficult to deploy by USAF aircraft and sealift
PROBLEM: You have to be bigger than the things you carry. This is the old Russian peasant woman-in-another-peasant-woman-in-another-peasant-woman Matryoshka "nesting dolls" toy. As you keep doing this, you eventually shrink to smaller and smaller items you can carry. In military terms you could end up with vehicles so small and unable to be armored that they are more of a threat to you to be in them or worse all you can carry is foot-slogger "bullet sponge" victims--the fate of the USMC's V-22 abomination which is now slated to carry an absurd, warmed-over jeep.
The only way to avoid it and have internal cargo volume is to have a Sikorsky (a Russian aircraft genius) "SkyCrane" type format where you carry items in the open air and/or can accept pods of varying sizes without being wed to always carrying a large internal volume fuselage. The CH-54/S-64 Skycrane/Erickson AirCrane compared to the CH-53E with a large internal volume fuselage does without 6 tons of weight, which is no small matter in helicopter vertical lift.
The Chinook is the largest Army helicopter. Drawing the line there, you have a 12-ton, 144 inch wide, 600 inch long flying "box" to carry Army items that are less than 12 tons and 90 inches in width and 78 inches in height as long as they are less than 33 feet long in total. Even partially dis-assembled, only 2 Chinooks can fly in a an USAF C-5A/B and only one in a C-17. None can fly in a C-130 which itself is roughly the same sized "box". The Chinook is too big to fit inside an ISO container and must be laboriously wrapped in shrink plastic and placed on the top deck to come by way of ships.
SOLUTION: The "G" model Chinook would have Model 347 wings to unload the rotors to improve speed and range to enable self-deployments overseas in retired U.S. Army LTC Chuck Jarnot's "SpeedChinook" concept shown above.
The wings would rotate 90 degrees for hovering take-offs and landings to not block rotor wash ground effect lift. To improve speeds, the Chinook's engines should have props in front to provide forward thrust as the turbines turn to transmit power to the main rotors. These "Prop-Turbines" would require some expensive engine R&D but this is far less costly and would take less time than starting from scratch and building a multi-billion-dollar fantasy JHL.
A small amount of R&D could create a non-standard shipping container that could house a Chinook with rotors removed to enable it to be transported by container ships covertly to any place in the world.
11. Make the Chinook ground-mobile by a special trailer
PROBLEM: The whole point of V/TOL helicopters is that they should be able to be CO-LOCATED with ground maneuver units. ALL Army aircraft should be ground mobile (rotors or wings removed or folded) on trailers and inside ISO container "Battle Boxes" to conserve fuel and flight time "life" for just combat missions. The Chinook is a very large helicopter because it has to be larger than the things it carries, making it currently immobile on the ground. Having to FLY IT TO MOVE IT incurs a 400 gallon/hour fuel cost.
"Easy Money" being transported by Special Trailer
SOLUTION: develop of M1100 military trailer version that can accomodate the Chinook's extra wide landing gear. The AMS-SG found out that special outriggers on the trailer were needed to make it highway transportable, as the restorers of the ACH-47A "Easy Money" learned.
12. Exploit the Chinook's Water landing capabilities for improved Combat Search and Rescue and SEAL Special Operations
PROBLEM: Without seaplanes, SEALs have to parachute themselves and small boats into the water. If something goes wrong they cannot be picked up. Mass survivors in the water have no way of aircraft rescue in time of large-scale nation-state war.
SOLUTION: America does have one aircraft that can land on the water: a heavy lift helicopter, the Chinook. The USAF should select the CH-47 as its next C/SAR and Special Operations aircraft to improve waterborne rescues and special missions. If the Chinook is improved with "G" model speed/ranges then this magnifies the possibilities. If a Navy ship is sunk, an aircraft that can land on the water can pick up more survivors, faster than hovering overhead and winching them onboard in a basket.
Carlton Meyer, editor of G2mil.com e-magazine pointed out that since the CH-47 Chinook can land on water and the high water speed Humdinga 4x4 amphibious truck could drive off it, then swim at 40 mph ashore and provide greater 60 mph ground mobility than 1 mph walking after a small boat insertion. Another option would be a reduced-width M113 "Amphigavin" that could swim ashore with waterjets at 7 mph and then go cross-country on land up to 60 mph with stealth and armor protection.
CHINOOK SECRETS REVEALED!
SECRET #1: you CAN climb UP into the CH-47 from the "hell hole"
Many folks know that rubber boats can be driven up into a CH-47 sitting ramp-down in the water (see "Delta Queen" pics above).
And we know larger boats that cannot fit inside can be picked by external sling-loading....
But here is photographic evidence that the MEN IN THE BOAT DURING THE SLING ATTACHMENT TO THE CARGO HOOKS CAN THEN CLIMB INTO THE CH-47 FROM WHERE THEY ARE!
SECRET #2: Chinooks can fit on aircraft carrier elevators
SECRET #3: FRIES is also an EXTRACTION means
As far back as 1992, we were trying to wake people up to the fact that Fast Rope Insertion Extraction Systems (FRIES) means just that--that you can also be pulled out of an area by wearing a suitable body harness or having a "donkey tail" interface built-into your LBE vest.
SECRET #4: the Chinook is not as big as you might think...
In Pushies' book he shows a pic of an absurd dark green CH-47 double-slinging a Russian Mi-24 Hind attack/transport helicopter which was in a much wiser desert tan and green camouflage for Operation MOUNT HOPE II in northern Chad, Africa. Guess which helicopter is BIGGGER?
The Mi-24 fuselage is a good 10 feet longer and just as wide as the Chinook. This should be factored in when one considers that Iraqi Hinds bettered much smaller Iranian AH-1 HueyCobras in air-to-air combat in the 1980-82 Iran-Iraq war:
This war saw the only confirmed air-to-air helicopter battles in history with the Iraqi Hinds flying against Iranian AH-1J SeaCobras (supplied by the U.S. military) on several separate occasions. These rare battles saw Iraq emerge with a slight edge with ten AH-1Js downed by Hinds compared to six Hinds downed by AH-1Js.
The reason we suspect is that despite being 3 times larger than the HueyCobra, the Hind has lift-creating WINGS that enable it to fly faster by unloading the rotors--which is exactly what the AH-56 Cheyenne---did and we need to do today on our CH-47s, UH-60s and AH-64s with Piasecki VTDP kits.
BUILD YOUR OWN CHINOOK! MAYBE NOT 1:1 SCALE LIKE OUR CH-47 GHOST SHIP...BUT PRETTY AWESOME ANYWAY!
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ACH-47A "Easy Money" on display in Huntsville, Alabama
1st TSG (A) S2 Roy Ardillo writes:
"Easy Money' is on display in Huntsville, Alabama. Just an idea that the Ch-47 airframes can be self-escorting, too.
The Army needs to build new CH-47s for the active services and the National Guard. If you put 12 CH-47s in each non air assault division, 48 in
the air assault division, and 64 in the three remaining Corps Aaviation Brigades, the total number of required airframes would be 444.
Counting spares, SOF aircraft, training aircraft at Fort Rucker and those down for maintenance, maintaining a 100% availability of 444 airframes
means at least 50 airframes not counting battle damage replacements.
Guns-A-Go-Go requirements would be on top of this.
Mark Ash proposes a QUAD-TILT ROTOR CH-47 CHINOOK
"So why is the Osprey FUBAR?
Answer, because they tried to make a plane into a helicopter instead of making a helicopter that can fly like a plane.
The Osprey is nearly 5 tons/50% heavier empty then CH-47, but can only carry 1/2 the cargo (only 1/3 if you want better range, all while burning twice the fuel).
So, does that make tilt rotors impossible or horribly inefficient? No! If you took a CH-47, remove the rotars/engines, mount a wing where the rotors were with large 5 or 7 bladed rotors on the end and a drive shaft out to the out from the engines that are mounted in the middle, you would have a working, safe tilt rotor aircraft that weight less then the Osprey.
It'd have wings like Osprey has, but a pair of them, one where the front rotor is and one where the rear rotor is. Unlike the Osprey, the engines would have a static mount in the center of the wings and would power tilting rotors via a drive shaft.
Because the wings wouldn't have to support engine weight they wouldn't weigh as much. Because you have 4 rotors with more blades instead of just 2 with only 4 you would have a much larger surface area to work with when lift off strait up. Because you are 'lifting from the corners', the aircraft is much safer.
But instead USMC is "staying the coarse" with the wrong aircraft built for the right reasons."
Mike Sparks' reply:
If they don't get twin tilt-rotor V-22 to work, its doubtful there will be a Quad Tilt-Rotor...its a shame they didn't start with a Quad because if one side's engine quits, the other set of rotors could keep the aircraft balanced so it doesn't flip over...
BAD THINGS HAPPEN WHEN ONE SIDE'S ENGINES QUIT AND THERE IS NO POWER ON THAT SIDE!
I'd rather have 1 engine with a recovery parachute or good NASCAR like crash structure like in a Thrush crop duster then two engines in a flimsy tube and wing plane...just look at all the fatalities with twin-engined planes on take-off and landing....this BS that you can take-off and land on one engine is BS....the crashes from planes cartwheeling in with "EXPERIENCED PILOTS" at the helm are too many to ignore. The number of bad things that a malfunctioning engine can do to you on one side far outweigh it acting as emergency power source...If you must go with a twin-engined prop arrangement go inline like the O-2, RU-38 or place them as damn close together as possible...or angled out like the OV-1's....
Realizing all of the above...now turn the engines VERTICAL and depend on them for vertical lift....
4 engines sounds better than two even though its more complexity and cost and possibilities for failures....I don't read many tales of B-17s cartwheeling in cause all power was lost on one side...
Chinook ground-mobile in Iraq....they take a beating but keep on flying!