The two aircraft have been upgraded by Columbia Helicopters, and feature the firm’s original equipment Manufacturer (OEM) safety modifications, as well as a range of firefighting and external load modifications.
In addition, Columbia will also provide ‘full lifecycle sustainment, airworthiness, and technical publication services for the aircraft’ as part of the deal, as well as full flight and maintenance training for pilots and mechanics.
Modifications to the aircraft include:
- Columbia’s proprietary system to operate the SEI PowerFill Bambi bucket
- Cockpit modifications including Columbia’s proprietary ‘bubble window’, cockpit reconfigurations to improve control, and the removal of the third crewmember station
- Avionics improvements to improve situational awareness of other aircraft and terrain
- Miscellaneous design modifications to improve reliability and availability.
“The Columbia CH-47D Chinook helicopter is an ideal addition to their fleet, providing them with increased lifting power, range, and capability to fight fires, perform vertical construction, and support a variety of other projects requiring unparalleled muscle and lifting power,” added Mike Tremlett, Columbia’s Executive Vice President.