A look at newly-adapted Chinook for Afghanistan

#1
The first of the Chinook Mk 3 helicopters bound for Afghanistan have arrived at a military base in Hampshire after an eight-year delay.

The two helicopters - refitted by Boeing at Boscombe Down, Wiltshire - were unveiled at RAF Odiham.

The Chinooks, bought in 1995 for £259m, could not be used because they did not meet airworthiness regulations.

Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth said they would give an uplift in capability to support "coalition efforts".

Mr Ainsworth added: "I am delighted that the first of the Mk 3s are now joining the Chinook fleet.

"By the end of this year we expect to have all eight of these refitted aircraft in service, increasing our Chinook fleet to 46 aircraft."

Software problem

At the end of last year, he revealed the government planned to purchase 22 more Chinooks.

The Commander of Joint Helicopter Command, Rear Adm Tony Johnstone-Burt said: "These aircraft will be vital in helping us expand our ability to train our crews and to support operations.

"They really will make a difference."

When the helicopters were delivered by Boeing (which had met its contractual obligations) to the MoD in December 2001, it was discovered that the avionics' software was unable to meet UK regulations.

The entire cockpit had to be refitted to meet British requirements.

In 2004, the Committee of Public Accounts described the original purchase of the Chinooks as "one of the worst examples of equipment procurement" that it had seen.

The refitted helicopters, which are considered vital to operations in Helmand, also have extended-range fuel tanks and more powerful engines - enabling them to lift heavier weights.

The government has come under heavy pressure in recent months over the number of heavy-lift helicopters in Helmand.

Conservative leader David Cameron has previously called the shortage "a scandal".

The BBC's Robert Hall takes a ride on a Chinook helicopter adapted for use in Afghanistan.

The machine, the first of eight to be adapted, was unveiled at RAF Odiham in Hampshire.

The helicopters will carry troops after being grounded for more than eight years because of software problems.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8457783.stm



The first of eight Chinook helicopters converted for use in Afghanistan have been unveiled at RAF Odiham in Hampshire.

The helicopters which will carry troops, had been grounded for more than eight years because of software problems.

The BBC's Robert Hall has taken a tour of the aircraft.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8457565.stm
 
#2
jarrod248 said:
Now I know nothing whatsoever about helicopters, why new engines?
Ill try to put this simply

Most helecopters in service were designed to operate at relitivly low levels i.e. 2 or 3000 ft above sea level, where the air is quite dense, in Afghanistan they are operating well above these hights this means that they cannot carry large loads and full fuel ect so more powerfull engines will hopefully enable the Chinook fleet to operate with higher loads at these high alltitudes
 
#3
For Info

Central Afghanistan, a plateau with an average elevation of 1,800 m (6,000 ft), contains many small fertile valleys and provides excellent grazing for sheep, goats, and camels. To the north of the Hindu Kush and the central mountain range, the altitude drops to about 460 m (1,500 ft), permitting the growth of cotton, fruits, grains, ground nuts, and other crops.
Source: Topography - Afghanistan - average, growth, crops http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/Asia-and-Oceania/Afghanistan-TOPOGRAPHY.html#ixzz0cWDbJ8i6

Felt a bit weezy, when I first got there.... but then again that might have been the fact that it was also -40 at night :D

PoGs
www.pocketcomms.co.uk
 
#4
Funny thing is that it took the Canadians four months to aquire six Chinooks, it took the Afghan National Army Air Corps 35 days to aquire four new Mi 17s , but it took the MOD the best part of 15 years from the first order to aquire 8 Chinooks, info from Airforces monthly Magazine, amazing
 

Pararegtom

LE
Book Reviewer
#5
tropper66 said:
Funny thing is that it took the Canadians four months to aquire six Chinooks, it took the Afghan National Army Air Corps 35 days to aquire four new Mi 17s , but it took the MOD the best part of 15 years from the first order to aquire 8 Chinooks, info from Airforces monthly Magazine, amazing

And they got them a lot cheaper than the British payer Tax paid for ours!!
 
#6
Any one know what these New Engines are ?
Must put my neck on the chopping bloke and say I think it will turn out to be the Normal Allison T 55 with the Fuel Control Unit er 'Tweaked'.
john
Old T 55 mech.
 
#7
They're T55-714, jon - can't recall off the top of my head what the changes/improvements are beyond the standard headline statement that the engines are more powerful.
 
#8
The T 55 is an old and proven Gas Turbine.
Like it's 'Baby brother' the T 53, as fitted to the Huey, it would be easy to "Turn up the Power" by a quick adjustment on the Fuel Control Unit.
This would cause the Compressor to run faster and the Jet pipe temp to increase.
I will have to assume that internal redesign has taken place to allow this increase to be kept within new limits.
It's over 20 years ago that I read Chickenhawk, but I still remember the Pilot saying how good his mechanic was, for his engine would give more torque and so enable his Huey to lift more.
Very easy to do but absolutely forbidden as it just 'Burns' out the engine quickly.
Mind you in a Real all out War with cabs having a short life, memory says the Yanks lost over 4,000 Huey's in Nam, I suppose it one of those things that happen.
john
 
#9
Amazing what Google will tell you if you put in T 55-714.

"The new T55-714A engines deliver 4,868 horsepower each, enabling the CH-47F to reach speeds in excess of 175 mph and transport up to 21,016 pounds. As a point of comparison, the original CH-47A’s twin T55-L7 engines generated 2,650 SHP each, and the CH-47D’s T55-L-712 turboshaft engines produced 3,750 SHP. This power increase is especially useful in hot and high-altitude conditions. Chinook-Helicopter.com has more pictures and information concerning the T55 engine family."

john
 
#10
jonwilly said:
Any one know what these New Engines are ?
Must put my neck on the chopping bloke and say I think it will turn out to be the Normal Allison T 55 with the Fuel Control Unit er 'Tweaked'.
john
Old T 55 mech.
much like they did with the Wolf then.

MoD says 'The Wolf has an upgraded Land Rover 300Tdi Engine'

Reality 'The Wolf has a Land Rover 300Tdi with a properly calibrated manual fuel pump, rather than a badly calibrated electric one'

A mod which Land Rover specialists JE Engineering do for about £400 IIRC.

Don't get me wrong, it's a great mod. That and JE's 'Stage 2' mod push the properties of the Tdi to that of the Td5. But re-calibrating a fuel pump is hardly an 'upgraded engine'!!
 
#11
Bloody hell lads who gives a toss about the engine details.All that matters is a few more cabs out in Helmand. You geeks need to get out more.
 
#14
tally_target said:
Yep silly stupid boy, that needs more cabs in ganners and doesnt give a toss about what engine they have.
Oh right, I presume you to actually want them to work when they get there?
You know, get to the place you want them carrying the gear you would like to hope it should be?
In which case the engine question is quite important :D
 
#15
jagman said:
tally_target said:
Yep silly stupid boy, that needs more cabs in ganners and doesnt give a toss about what engine they have.
Oh right, I presume you to actually want them to work when they get there?
You know, get to the place you want them carrying the gear you would like to hope it should be?
In which case the engine question is quite important :D
A chinook without decent engines in high country is about as much use as a shipping container cos it wont fly. Some of the older models the Septics had there would only carry about half a doxen bodies, and had to do running take offs as the could not hover
 
#16
tropper66 said:
Funny thing is that it took the Canadians four months to aquire six Chinooks, it took the Afghan National Army Air Corps 35 days to aquire four new Mi 17s , but it took the MOD the best part of 15 years from the first order to aquire 8 Chinooks, info from Airforces monthly Magazine, amazing

Ah yes, but MOD will tell you that the Cannucks didn't have them specially modified to use bespoke Cannuck kit like we have to do, even though the Cannuckistanian Army seems to find the off the peg Wokkas perfectly fit for purpose.
 
#17
Semper_Flexibilis said:
tropper66 said:
Funny thing is that it took the Canadians four months to aquire six Chinooks, it took the Afghan National Army Air Corps 35 days to aquire four new Mi 17s , but it took the MOD the best part of 15 years from the first order to aquire 8 Chinooks, info from Airforces monthly Magazine, amazing

Ah yes, but MOD will tell you that the Cannucks didn't have them specially modified to use bespoke Cannuck kit like we have to do, even though the Cannuckistanian Army seems to find the off the peg Wokkas perfectly fit for purpose.
Yer, but, the Cannuks sold there old CH47s to the Dutch some years ago and then had to hire them back for use in Afghanistan untill they got around to buying six off the US Army in 2008
 
#18
Gents you miss my point. I know how a cab works, I know that even the lower areas of Afghan are at about 2300 AMSL. Let the powers that be square away the technical gumf, frankly its nothing to do with me or my lads. The RAF do a gleeming job as the RN and of course the AAC.

I just get a little fed up with arm chair experts talking completely pointless drivel ref ganners from the comfort of there own home. Its a fact that we need more cabs however I am aware you cannot just magic them from nowhere.
 

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