PICTURES: Boeing flies first CH-47F Chinook for Dutch air force

Source: Flightglobal.com
This story is sourced from Flightglobal.com

The Netherlands' first of six new Boeing CH-47F (NL) Chinook transport helicopters has entered flight-testing at the company's Philadelphia site, with the type now scheduled to be handed over at the end of this year. The development means that the heavily-delayed project is now entering its final stage, with the nation's five remaining aircraft due to be delivered within another six months during 2012.

Boeing says the new aircraft made its flight debut on 8 December, and that it should log around 100 flight hours during a test programme scheduled to run until August.

 
© Boeing

Purchased to replace two Dutch Chinooks that were destroyed in Afghanistan and to provide extra capacity for heavy transport and Special Forces support tasks, the new aircraft will be equipped with a forward-looking infrared sensor, an advanced moving digital map display and a self-defence suite. These will enhance safety under difficult flight conditions, such as during bad weather and while landing in a dusty environment. The type (pictured during a 25 January demonstration flight) also features five fast-roping positions.

 
© Boeing

The acquisition - which had originally been due to see all six aircraft in use by late 2010 - will expand the Dutch air force's Chinooks to a future total of 17 aircraft. It already operates D-model examples.

"The Netherlands Ministry of Defence and Boeing also are evaluating a potential upgrade of the current CH-47D (NL) Chinook fleet to the new CH-47F (NL) configuration," the manufacturer says.