Boeing is celebrating it's 50th year of production for the CH-47 helicopter after delivering the first one in 1962 to the military. Still going strong, Boeing is completing a $130 million dollar renovation of their new model CH-47F Chinook assembly line do to it's global demand.
Since the Vietnam era the Chinook has served as the work horse for the Army by revolutionizing how we move troops and supplies in combat, and save lives and deliver aid in times of need," said Col. Bob Marion, U.S. Army Cargo Helicopter program manager. Col. Marion also stated, "The latest F-model has ushered in a new era of heavy-lift capability for the U.S. Army. With continued technology insertions, I fully expect that 50 years from now there will be a centennial celebration for Chinooks still in service."
Leanne Caret, vice president, Vertical Lift and H-47 Programs made the following statements, "The Chinook is Boeings longest continuously running production program, and its in greater demand today than ever before," and "Chinooks are being delivered on schedule and operating at a higher rate than any time in history, thanks to our team's innovation, efficiency, and focus on meeting our customers' needs."
Since August 16, 1962 more than 1,200 Chinook's have been delivered to 18 operators around the world, and more than 800 still fly today. Boeing plans to deliver 60 this year, and has a contract with the U.S. Army for 155 to begin delivery in 2015.
Boeing maintains manufacturing facilities in Kansas and contracts with Spirit Aerosystems in Wichita, and Chanute, Kansas to manufacture many of its fuselage sections. With its beginnings as the headquarters of Stearman Aircraft and later Boeing Military Airplanes and Boeing Commercial Airplane, Spirit Aerosystems builds fuselage sections for all current Boeing programs -- 737, 747, 767, 777 and 787. Wichita is also the home of nacelle production for 737, 747, 767 and 777 airplanes.