Boeing Accelerates Testing of Upgraded Chinooks.

Author:Mayfield, Mandy

Boeing is moving faster with flight testing for its CH-47 Block II Chinook helicopters for the Army, company officials said.

The first two aircraft--which are in the engineering and manufacturing development phase--were recently delivered to Boeing's facility in Mesa, Arizona, said Andy Builta, vice president of cargo and utility helicopters and program manager for H-47.

In January the first aircraft flew more than 10 hours during flight tests, he said during a call with reporters.

"We're increasing the pace of flight tests as we add in the second aircraft," Builta said.

The EMD phase will continue for approximately nine months.

The helicopter has moved through a significant portion of the training requirements and officials are now focused on continuing to expand the envelope in terms of speed and maneuvers, he said.

The aircraft has performed according to plan, he noted. The souped-up platform has additional lift thanks to new advanced rotor blades. There has also been a weight reduction and improvements to the drive train.

Flight tests began using low gross weights during takeoff, and subsequently raised the load to medium-and medium-high gross weights later, said Randy...

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