DCMA ensures Chinooks are ready for the fight
DCMA, December 02, 2011 - Defense Contract Management Agency, RIDLEY PARK, Pa. - Near Philadelphia, Defense Contract Management Agency personnel play a critical role in two of the most distinct military aircraft in the U.S. inventory: the Boeing CH-47 helicopter and the Bell-Boeing V-22 tilt-rotor aircraft.
For the CH-47, everything from production to test flights is done on-site at Ridley Park. Commonly called the Chinook, the CH-47 is the tandem-rotor, medium/heavy-lift helicopter used by the Army. There have been more than 1,000 produced since being developed by Boeing Vertol. It is the fastest helicopter in the Army’s inventory. In September 2011, Boeing and defense leaders celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Chinook’s first flight, making it the longest continuously operating program in Boeing’s history.
For Army Maj. Dan Henzie, DCMA Boeing Philadelphia chief of CH-47 flight operations, the ability to affect the final product being delivered to the warfighter is very rewarding.
“I know a lot of the guys, the end-users around the world, who rely on these machines,” said Henzie. “That really brings it home.”
Henzie is two years into a three year assignment at DCMA, after which he may return to an operational position. A career Chinook pilot, Henzie said being involved in the aircraft’s production has made him a better pilot. In addition to flying dozens of new helicopters prior to final delivery to their units, Henzie also has a greater understanding of the machine. “I know what a ‘perfect’ aircraft is supposed to feel like, and it makes me much more in tune with things that aren’t performing right.”
“Seeing it being built gives me more confidence in the aircraft,” Henzie added, “particularly knowing the care that DCMA people put into their work.”
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Boeing 414 - H-47D Chinook in US Army Aviation