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Watch Great Planes online: Episode 33 Boeing CH-47 Chinook

The genius of the Chinook design lies in its 60-foot-long contra-rotating rotors. These eliminate the need for a rear vertical rotor, allowing all power to be used for lift and thrust. But the Chinook isn't just about muscle - this bird is fast and agile too. First deployed to Vietnam in 1965, the Chinook CH47-A was tested to the max. In just two years it put in 161,000 hours of flying time, carried millions of passengers and transported more than 1.3 million tons of equipment. In a single flight it could carry a platoon of soldiers into the heart of battle, and with its dual hooks hanging underneath, it fast became the king of swing.

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