21 September – On this day

The Boeing CH-47 Chinook is an American twin-engine, tandem rotor heavy-lift helicopter that completed its maiden flight on this day in 1961.

The Chinook was designed and initially produced by Boeing Vertol in the early 1960s; it is now produced by Boeing Rotorcraft Systems. It is one of the few aircraft of that era – along with the fixed-wing Lockheed C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft – that remain in production and frontline service, with over 1,200 built to date. The helicopter has been sold to 16 nations with the U.S. Army and the Royal Air Force being its largest users.

Its primary roles are troop movement, artillery placement and battlefield resupply. It has a wide loading ramp at the rear of the fuselage and three external-cargo hooks. With a top speed of 170 knots (196 mph, 315 km/h) the helicopter was faster than contemporary 1960s utility helicopters and attack helicopters. The CH-47 is among the heaviest lifting Western helicopters. Its name is from the Native American Chinook people.