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Pinedale Online > News > July 2016 > The Boeing Chinook

Boeing Chinook. Photo by Dave Bell.
Boeing Chinook
Photo by Dave Bell
The Boeing Chinook
by Dave Bell
July 20, 2016

CH 47D ship recently (currently based for the next week at Ralph Wenz Field in Pinedale). This beautiful airship weighs 24,156 pounds empty. It is powered by twin GE-T Turbines of 5,069 horsepower EACH. The ship can lift up to 50,000 pounds dead weight, however, each fully loaded water bucket of 2,500 gallons weighs 24,000--a relatively light lift for this baby, even at our altitude. The ship is 99' 11" from tip to tail. It is a twin rotor counter cyclical operating system. Each rotor has a 60' circumference. Each rotor blade is 32" wide and weighs 350 pounds and is made of fiberglass with a titanium leading edge. It has a maximum operating ceiling of 24,000 feet. It requires a crew of three to operate in flight, three ground crew/mechanics and two drivers/fuelers to support its operation. It burns 350 gallons of fuel per hour and generally operates on two hour cycles returning to base for fueling and maintenance. Truly a masterpiece in aeronautical engineering and a major asset in our efforts to beat down the Cliff Creek Fire. This beautiful ship is owned by Billings Flying Service who was gracious to invite me inside for a tour.

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