US Army, April 20, 2011 - PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - The last remanufactured MH-47G Chinook was delivered from the Boeing Military Aircraft Mobility Division in Ridley Park, Pa., to Lexington Bluegrass Army Depot in Kentucky, March 14, by Defense Contract Management Agency Boeing Philadelphia flight crews.
This was the 62nd MH-47G produced by the Boeing Company and marks the completion of the Service Life Extension Plan that has been in existence for more than 10 years. Following production and initial contractor flights, the aircraft was flight-tested, accepted and delivered by the DCMA Boeing Philadelphia flight test team.
Army Maj. Dan Henzie, DCMA Boeing Philadelphia chief of flight operations and an MH-47G acceptance pilot, said, “This program has been a model of cost effectiveness and accelerated fielding. Had the Army Special Operations Command decided to engineer and build a new airframe, Boeing would probably be close to delivering the first one today. Because each MH-47G began its life as either a CH-47D or MH-47E, Boeing was able to accelerate the engineering and begin production years earlier than it could have provided a new airframe to the Army to support their critical mission. Having this technology and combat power in the air over the past several years has undoubtedly saved American and allied warfighters’ lives.”
The remanufacture timeline for each MH-47G took approximately 16 months. The process began at Summit Aviation in Middletown, Del., and continued at the Boeing manufacturing plant in Ridley Park. DCMA Boeing Philadelphia maintained oversight of these two operations.
At Summit Aviation, CH-47D and MH-47E models were dismantled, prepared and shipped to Ridley Park where the remanufacturing process began. Upon completion of the remanufacturing and after passing flight acceptance, the MH-47G was flown to Lexington Blue Grass Army Depot, where post-production modifications were made to the aircraft. Because the modifications required major disassembly, the aircraft were delivered from the factory with a unique look consisting of only a yellow coat of primer paint. They received their final coat of black paint prior to delivery to the Army, once the modifications were complete.
During aircraft production, the DCMA Boeing Philadelphia Program Support Team was involved every step of the way. This joint military/civilian team represents all functional areas. including: quality, engineering, production management, supplier management, software integration, flight acceptance and contracts. The team works together with the Technology Applications Program Office, the contractor and supporting DCMA offices. Whether it is conducting process surveillance, managing government furnished equipment or tracking over and above charges, this is an enormous team effort between all parties involved.
Although the last remanufactured aircraft was recently delivered, there are plans to build additional MH-47Gs. The program office is currently planning the production of eight new build aircraft. The timeline for production has not been finalized, but production could possibly begin in the next three years.
Navy Capt. Steve Labows, DCMA Boeing Philadelphia commander and H-47 pilot, commented, “The delivery of this aircraft is not only a significant programmatic milestone, but it continues bringing an essential capability to the warfighter. The missions the Night Stalkers execute on a daily basis rely on the tremendous mission bandwidth that the MH-47G brings to the fight. The DCMA team has every right to take pride in their critical contributions to the success of the program and overcoming the challenges of providing a rebirth to airframes that have been ridden extremely hard in the field.