Crews Support Aviation Brigade Flights
There have been a lot of different aviation aircraft that have been brought to bear in the Iraqi conflict. With the participation of the CH-47 Chinook, there has been a welcome addition of a stalwart workhorse, one that has seen service all the way back to the Vietnam War. Other helicopters such as Apache and Cobra warrior helicopters have served and are serving in the region, but for true heavy lift capability and durable service, the coalition goes to the Chinook every time.
The Chinook is an awesome aviation airframe. It is able to lift single heavy-duty pieces of equipment and light vehicles and is one of the most reliable airframes in service in the entire United States Military. It can lift up to 50,000 pounds and nearly 26,000 can be slung below the helicopter from the center hook. It has redundancy built in that many people do not even realize, which makes it a very safe airframe.
Each of the huge rotor blades on the Chinook CH-47 weighs 350 pounds, and the engines work together to turn the rotors. Each of the engines work about 50 percent capacity, if one engine fails the other simply goes into high gear, and functions at 100 percent allowing the helicopter to fly just as well as it does with two engines.
The Chinook seats 32 people and can carry more in a pinch. It can carry one humvee inside and sling another underneath on the central hook.