Research Paper: Ch-47d Helicopters. It Focuses

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[. . .] Furthermore, the engines having internal fuel tanks holding a maximum of 1,034 gallons and can be equipped with additional 800-gallon fuel tanks.

The CH-47D helicopters are capable of doing 170 knots at maximum and 160 knots minimum speed. The helicopter's cruising speed is 143 knots while the service ceiling is 11,100 feet with the maximum hover-ceiling being 3,300 feet. Besides, when operational on internal fuselage, the CH-47D and maximum take-off weight, the helicopter can achieve 651 nautical miles.

The other significant feature of the CH-47D helicopters is that they are equipped with automatic blade folding techniques that allow for easy and quick storage of the aircraft. The CH-47D additionally have integrated failure protection against back drive that protect user while manually folding blades and overload that is useful in limiting torque thus protecting the mechanical system.

The cockpits are fitted with Common Avionics Architecture System (CAAS) giving the planes improved electrical, avionics and communication systems. The CAAS include, five multi-function displays, moving map display; digital modem; data transfer system storing preflight and mission data among other features (Apostolo, 1984). In addition, the cockpit is equipped with multifunction liquid crystal displays and electronic flight instruments to help the pilot during the course of the flight.

The CH-47D helicopters have jam resistant HF and UHF radio systems for communication among the passengers or between airplanes (Warwick, 2008). The helicopters are further equipped with an/APX-100 Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) interrogator from AlliedSignal. Besides, the IFF is encrypted to minimize chances of intrusion during communications among the passengers and the crew. For self-defense the Chinook is equipped with an/APR-39(v) 1 radar warning receiver, the AN/ARR-47 passive missile warning system, the AN/ALQ-156 missile approach sensor as well as the M-130 chaff/flare dispenser.

Development Issues

The major challenge the developers of the CH-47D helicopters faced was the pressurization of accumulators required during flights. The developers realized that manually pressurizing the accumulator was diverting manpower and resources from critical missions and causing costly delays as well as increasing the potential for personnel injuries. For this reason, the developers searched for a faster and safer startup mechanism for the CH-47D helicopter. Their search was successful as they received a system developed by Eaton known as Electric Pump for Utility System Hydraulic Accumulator (EPUSHA).

Solution

The EPUSHA electric accumulator recharge system is able to pressurize the accumulator in at least two minutes via the flip of a switch; a process far much lower than the former manual system which was used. This process enhances crew safety and reduces costs as well as improves aircraft readiness. The old process required that at least two people go to the rear of the helicopter hand pumping the accumulator in an up-and-down motion, for almost 20 minutes until the pressure reaches 3,200 psi.

With the EPUSHA system, a single person flips a toggle switch located within the control box to start the electric motor pump, which automatically pressurizes the hydraulic start accumulator in less than two minutes. The rest of the start-up process is also done automatically after the switch has been activated. When the auxiliary power unit is running, it turns a starter pump that provides hydraulic power to starters on the main engines. The major benefit of this accumulator recharge system is that with a full battery charge of the airplanes, it can be done almost four times before returning to the hand pumping process. This means that four flips of a toggle switch to start the APU as opposed to manually pumping; a process taking at least 20 minutes.

References

Anderton, D., & Miller, J. (1989). Boeing Helicopters CH-47 Chinook. Arlington: Aerofax Inc.

Apostolo, G. (1984). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Helicopters. New York: Bonanza Books.

Combet, G. (2010). New Chinook CH-47 Helicopters. Sydney: Australian Department of Defence.

Crawford, S. (2003). Twenty-First Century Millitary Helicopters: Today's Fighting Gunships. Zenith Imprint.

Dunstan, S. (2003). Vietnam Choppers: Helicopters in Battle 1950-75. Osprey Publishing.

Frawley, G. (2002). The International Directory of Military Aircraft. Aerospace Publications Pty Ltd.

Spenser, J.P. (1998). Whirlybirds, a History of the U.S. Helicopter Pioneers. Washington D.C: University of Washington Press.

US Department of the Navy. (1982). Recognition Study Cards-U.S. And Foreign Aircraft. Orlando, Florida: U.S. Department of the Navy.

Warwick, G. (2008). Chinook: CAAS Unites Rotorcraft Cockpits. Flight International. [END OF PREVIEW]

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