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October 2005 edition

Work begins on military helicopter programme

Boeing has started production of the new CH-47F Chinook heavy-transport helicopter, as part of the US Army Cargo Helicopter modernisation programme. The new airframe is constructed by replacing built-up sheet metal structures and aluminium honeycomb formers with large single piece components, thus reducing operating and support costs and helping to improve structural integrity.

“The inclusion of the new airframe in the remanufacture programme will greatly reduce required maintenance on the existing Chinook airframes, which, in some cases, are almost 40 years old,” explained Col. Tim Crosby, US Army product manager for the Chinook.

Structural improvements include air transportability modifications, which reduce the time required to prepare the aircraft for cargo transport and advanced corro....

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