History of War - - H-47 CHINOOK -

The Span­ish army be­came the first Euro­pean force to choose the CH-47C (HT-17) after other heavy-lift heli­copters, such as the CH-53 Sea Stal­lion, CH-46 Sea Knight, SA321 Su­per

Frelon (France) and MI-6 Hook (Soviet Union/ Rus­sia) had all been con­sid­ered.

A new bat­tal­ion named BHELTRA V was formed at Col­me­nar Viejo air­base, sit­u­ated north­west of Madrid. Span­ish army ser­vice com­menced dur­ing 1974/75.

BHELTRA V’s motto is “Detras de Nadie” (be­hind no one) and the CH-47 op­er­ates many mis­sion pro­files, pro­vid­ing troop trans­port and mov­ing heavy ar­ma­ment/equip­ment when tasked with sup­port­ing roles. The Span­ish army CH-47 can also lift up to 10.5 tons of weight us­ing the un­der-slung load ca­pa­bil­ity and sup­port spe­cial forces in­ser­tion/ex­trac­tion, com­bat search and res­cue and hu­man­i­tar­ian task­ing when re­quested.

Spain bought 13 CH-47CS and des­ig­nated them as HT-17S. Nine were up­dated to D stan­dards and an ad­di­tional six new air­craft were pur­chased.

Sev­eral up­grade pack­ages have taken place since 1989, with sys­tems in­stalled in­clud­ing the Ex­tended Range Fuel Sys­tem

II. This sys­tem not only al­lows the CH-47 to in­crease its fly­ing range, it also en­ables the air­craft to re­fuel other air­craft or ve­hi­cles on the ground at a for­ward re­fuel point us­ing the ‘Fat Cow Pro­ce­dure’. VHF/FM se­cure ra­dio com­mu­ni­ca­tion with PR4G ra­dio has been in­tro­duced and Irid­ium phone has been in­te­grated into the satel­lite com­mu­ni­ca­tions sys­tem. Im­proved bal­lis­tic pro­tec­tion against 7.62mm rounds has been added. Honey­well T55-714 tur­bine en­gines with FADEC sys­tem, and a he­li­copter en­gine in­let pro­tec­tion with an en­gine air par­ti­cle sep­a­ra­tor (EAPS) up­grade have also been in­tro­duced. Spain plans to up­grade the CH-47D to the F model in 2019.


Spain’s rugged and moun­tain­ous ter­rain al­lows the Span­ish BHELTRA V crews to train in many dif­fer­ent sce­nar­ios. A ski-fit­ted CH-47 prac­tises snow land­ings in the Sierra de Guadar­rama moun­tain range

Ev­ery 23 June, the Span­ish army cel­e­brates its foun­da­tion. A for­mal cer­e­mony is held with a large fly­past of army heli­copters to fin­ish the event. CH-47S (H-17) from BHELTRA V form a large part of the fly­past

RIGHT: The load­mas­ter/crew­man con­ducts many tasks in the back cabin dur­ing a flight. As well as pro­vid­ing vis­ual as­sis­tance to the pi­lots on the In­ter­com, they make sure cargo and pas­sen­gers are loaded safely and ef­fi­ciently

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