The Main Cabin



          A View out the Rear

A view out the back of an RAF HC Mark II Chinook in Afghanistan.

             A Royal Air Force crewman from 27 Squadron mans an M60 machine gun mounted on the ramp of his Chinook helicopter, as it makes its way across the Afghan countryside on Thursday, 18 April 2002. The helicopters were being used for a variety of jobs including the movement of heavy artillery and troops, as well as logistical resupply missions.



             The CH-47, models A through F, provided standard seating for a total of 36 personnel. Two seats were in the cockpit - utilized by the pilot and copilot. The Troop Commanders (TC) seat, located in the Companion Way - aft and in between the pilots seats - was available for passenger use. 33 seats were in the main cabin area. Normally two seats, numbers 3 and 32, would be occupied by the Flight Engineer (FE) and the Crew Chief (CE), leaving 31 seats available for passengers. In many cases, either the FE or CE would simply sit on a box strapped to the floor near the main cabin door, freeing up a seat for a passenger. More often than not, seat 1 was not available for passenger use. Equipment, repair manuals and fluids used to operate, service, and maintain the helicopter was stowed in that area. The specific mission usually dictated how many personnel were transported by the Chinook. When push came to shove, stories abound that, during the Vietnam Conflict, upwards of 50 personnel were carried into combat operations and on morale, welfare and recreation (MWR) trips to various rest and relaxation (R and R) facilities. As many as 99 enemy prisoner of war (EPWs) were crammed aboard during Operation Desert Storm. On missions in Afghanistan, some photographs show as many as 46 personnel on board a Chinook helicopter. The CH-47 could also be configured as a mass casualty evacuation helicopter. Up to 24 litters could be installed at any one time to transport injured personnel.


Boeing CH-47 Chinook - Seat and Litter arrangement in the main cabin.


             The cargo compartment is 366 inches long, 90 inches wide, and 78 inches high. These dimensions are uniform throughout the cargo compartment.


Boeing CH-47D Chinook Main Cabin Dimensions.


             A lower rescue door, located at mid-cabin, is opened for rescue operations, aerial loading, and external cargo transport operations. A hydraulically operated door and ramp at the aft end of the helicopter provides a means for quick and efficient straight-in loading and unloading of cargo.


Boeing CH-47D Chinook - Station locations and tiedown fittings in the main cabin.


             The Cargo Compartment (Main Cabin) floor is made of extruded aluminum or magnesium panels, riveted together in sections. Raised extruded ridges, running the entire length of the floor, provide surfaces on which cargo is moved. The flooring in the cargo compartment contains sections on either side of the centerline which are strengthened to serve as vehicle treadways. The flooring, from station 200 to 400 and from butt line 44 left to 44 right, rests on rubber vibration isolators which reduce overall internal load vibrations. Tie down fittings for securing cargo are installed in the floor. There are also studs for attaching troop seats, litter supports, and the base plate for the maintenance crane. The flooring is covered with a walkway compound which provides a non-skid surface for personnel and for vehicles. In construction, the ramp floor is identical with the cargo floor.


Boeing CH-47D Chinook - Cargo loading through the ramp.



Boeing CH-47D Chinook - A view up the ramp of Flipper 85-24353.


             Shown above is Flipper aircraft 85-24353 configured to carry four litter patients. The remaining seats are left down to transport medical attendants and / or other passengers.



Boeing CH-47D Chinook - In certain configurations, the Chinook can carry 55 troops in the main cabin.

          A Tight Squeeze


             In certain configurations, the Chinook can carry up to 55 personnel in the main cabin. It is indeed a tight squeeze and there is room for little else, except perhaps for some air.



The main cabin area of 89-00171 while the helicopter was undergoing phase maintenance in April 2002.

             The main cabin area of Sugar Bear's aircraft 89-00171 is shown above as the helicopter was undergoing phase inspection in April 2002. Way up front on the left is the avionics compartment. On the right is the heater and winch compartment.



CH-47D Heater, April 2002.

          The CH-47D Heater



CH-47D Winch, April 2002.

          The CH-47 Winch



CH-47 Winch Limit Switches diagram.

          The CH-47 Winch Limit Switches. Click-N-Go Here to view a larger image.



The forward main cabin area of CH-47D Chinook helicopter 88-00089.

             The forward main cabin area of CH-47D Chinook helicopter 88-00089. The crashworthy seats are installed for the left and right door gunner poistions. Click-N-Go Here to view a larger image.



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          The CH-47 - 40 years old and still circling the world.


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