An event to mark the opening of Boeing’s newly renovated H-47 Chinook manufacturing plant also commemorated the 50th anniversary of helicopter’s first flight in 1961.
The US$130 million factory revamp will allow Boeing to increase Chinook production rates to six aircraft per month, up from the current rate of four per month, helping it to complete an August 2008 contract to deliver 215 CH-47F Chinooks to the US Army. So far 143 CH-47Fs have been delivered.
“Boeing has made a $130 million investment to create a world leading aircraft manufacturing facility to support continuing US and international demand for the unmatched vertical lift capabilities of the Chinook,” said vice president and general manager of Boeing’s Ridley Township based Mobility division, Jean Chamberlin.
“This upgraded facility will allow Boeing to increase production and work toward securing a second CH-47F multi-year contract, with the potential to generate taxpayer savings in excess of $400 million.”
The Chinook’s first flight was on September 21 1961.