Forces of Valor FOV821005E US Army Boeing-Vertol MH-47G Chinook Heavy Lift Helicopter - 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment "Night Stalkers", 2014 (1:72 Scale)
"The Chinook is an awesome aviation airframe. It is able to lift single heavy-duty pieces of equipment and light vehicles and is one of the most reliable airframes in service in the entire United States Military. It can lift up to 50,000 pounds and nearly 26,000 can be slung below the helicopter from the center hook. It has redundancy built in that many people do not even realize, which makes it a very safe airframe. Each of the huge rotor blades on the Chinook CH-47 weighs 350 pounds, and the engines work together to turn the rotors. Each of the engines work about 50 percent capacity, if one engine fails the other simply goes into high gear, and functions at 100 percent allowing the helicopter to fly just as well as it does with two engines."
The CH-47 is a twin-engine, tandem rotor helicopter designed for transportation of cargo, troops, and weapons during day, night, visual, and instrument conditions. Development of the medium lift Boeing Vertol (models 114 and 414) CH-47 Series Chinook began in 1956. Since then the effectiveness of the Chinook has been continually upgraded by successive product improvements, the CH-47A, CH-47B, CH-47C, and CH-47D. The amount of load a cargo helicopter can carry depends on the model, the fuel on board, the distance to be flown, and atmospheric conditions.
The MH-47G Special Operations Aviation (SOA) version is currently being delivered to the U.S. Army. It is similar to the MH-47E, but features more sophisticated avionics including a digital Common Avionics Architecture System (CAAS). The CAAS is a common glass cockpit used by different helicopters such as MH-60K/Ls, CH-53E/Ks, and ARH-70As. The MH-47G also incorporates all of the new sections of the CH-47F.
The new modernization program improves MH-47D and MH-47E Special Operations Chinooks to the MH-47G design specs. A total of 25 MH-47E and 11 MH-47D aircraft were upgraded by the end of 2003. In 2002 the army announced plans to expand the Special Operations Aviation Regiment via an additional 12 MH-47G helicopters. The final MH-47G Chinook was delivered to the U.S. Army Special Operations Command on February 10th, 2011. Modernization of MH-47D/E Chinooks to MH-47G standard is due for completion in 2015.
The British MOD confirmed that while the US does not currently export the model, the two countries are currently in discussion regarding the MH-47G.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a US Army Boeing-Vertol MH-47G Chinook helicopter that was attached to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment "Night Stalkers" during 2014. Update: We've had quite a few inquiries as to the exact color being applied to the exterior of this particular helicopter. According to the manufacturer, the specific color being used is called Helo-drab. Essentially, it is a very dark olive drab color that, when viewed under daylight conditions, appears grey. Under nighttime conditions, however, the same color looks like a very deep green and is intended to help camouflage the aircraft while in flight. Moreover, a sandy weathering effect was applied to the lower fuselage of the MH-47G to give it a more weather beaten look. Lastly, a rear-mounted M60 machine gun was affixed to the ramp that is intended to provide the crew with suppressive fire capability against ground targets.
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Historical Account: "Operation Resolute Support Mission" - The Night Stalkers continue to be deployed to Afghanistan as part of NATOs Resolute Support Mission after Operation Enduring Freedom-Afghanistan ended in late 2014 and was replaced with Operation Freedom's Sentinel. Throughout that night of December 5th, 2015, a group of Rangers engaged in a firefight with enemy troops near the Afghan-Pakistan border; after about 5 a.m. their commander called for an extraction after they learned of a larger enemy group approaching. A helicopter from the 160th SOAR arrived and began and received heavy fire from the enemy, an AH-64 Apache helicopter from the 1st Battalion 101st Aviation Regiment escorting the helicopter, put their Apache directly between the U.S. troops, the helicopter and the enemy forces to draw the fire. As a result, the extraction was a success.
The Washington Post reported that 160th SOAR took part in the Yakla raid in Yemen on January 29th, 2017, distinguishing itself when its helicopters flew repeatedly into heavy enemy fire to support U.S. Navy SEALs pinned down on the ground. On August 25th, 2017, a Black Hawk helicopter flown by the 160th SOAR crashed off the coast of Yemen while conducting hoist training when it lost power and crashed into the sea, six servicemen survived, one US service member remained missing. CNN reported that on 27 October 2017, a US helicopter from 4th Battalion 160th SOAR crashed in Logar province, Afghanistan, killing one and injuring 6 more US service members, the crash was not a result of enemy action.