H-47 Chinook Successfully Tested With Significantly More Powerful Engine

The Boeing H-47 Chinook is one of the oldest aerial workhorses of the American military. It was introduced in 1962 as one of the very few tandem rotor helicopters ever made and has been so successful that it has remained in use ever since.
Boeing H-47 Chinook 10 photos
Photo: Boeing
CH-47 ChinookCH-47 ChinookCH-47 ChinookCH-47 ChinookCH-47 ChinookCH-47 ChinookCH-47 ChinookCH-47 ChinookCH-47 Chinook T55 engine
Like most other military machines, the Chinook has to go through significant upgrades from time to time to stay relevant in an ever-advancing technological society. Although retaining the same shape and overall design, the Chinooks we see flying today are no longer the ones that came to be more than half a century ago. Chances are they will change some more in the future as the American military continues to find uses for the range.

One possible major change coming the helicopter’s way might concern its engine. For the past two years, the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center (DEVCOM AvMC), Boeing, and General Electric (GE) have been testing to see whether the Chinook could be fitted with a much more powerful engine.

Currently, some of the flying Chinooks move about using the so-called T55 engines, developed by Honeywell and capable of developing 4,800 shaft horsepower. However, the powerplant presently tested is much more potent than that.

Called T408 turboshaft engine, GE’s solution has been designed to develop 7,500 shaft horsepower, all of which have been put through their paces in 18 ground and seven flight tests conducted starting in 2019 and completed earlier this month.

According to General Electric, the T408 was put through its paces using three gross weight configurations, maximum torque, airspeed up to 140 knots, turns up to 60 degrees angle of bank, and altitudes up to 4,000 feet (1.2 km).

The results of the tests are encouraging, with the company saying they proved “the ability to successfully integrate heavier and more powerful engines into an H-47 aircraft while enabling the aircraft to operate and maneuver up to the aircraft limits at light, medium and heavyweight points.“

For now, the military did not say if and when it will go for the GE powerplant, but at least this is an option. Most recently, Honeywell was awarded a contract to make enough spare engines for the Chinook to last for the next four years.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram X (Twitter)
press release
About the author: Daniel Patrascu
Daniel Patrascu profile photo

Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories