Army Chinook takes flight with GE Aviation T408 engine

The U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center achieved its first flight of a Chinook with GE Aviation’s T408 engines, a milestone that could expand the capabilities of future Chinook heavy-lift missions.

This first flight is the culmination of a five-year effort under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement between AvMC, Boeing and GE Aviation to evaluate the feasibility and benefits of higher-power engines while assessing and reducing the technical risks of integrating advanced engines in a Chinook aircraft.

This flight demonstration, which consisted of hover and pedal turn testing to assess multiple critical aircraft parameters supported by live telemetry, is part of a research project to show how the integration of more powerful engines on the CH-47 Chinook helicopter supports future cargo helicopter capability needs. It also supports the Army Future Vertical Lift modernization priority.

Despite travel restrictions posed by COVID-19 and social distancing measures while on post at Fort Eustis, the combined team — which also includes Parker LORD Corporation — was able to successfully and safely complete all required ground tests leading up to first flight.

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