Boeing Integrated Defence Systems has selected BAE Systems to develop the digital flight control computer for the newest version of the US Army’s CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift transport helicopter, the CH-47F.
BAE Systems will design the system and produce seven development shipsets in support of flight tests scheduled for 2005. Installation on production CH-47Fs is scheduled for 2006.
The work is expected to lead to production orders for 300 Army helicopters. The digital control will replace analogue flight controls on CH-47D helicopters as Boeing upgrades 300 of those aircraft to the F-model standard under contract to the Army.
According to BAE Systems, its digital design will provide significantly greater reliability, maintainability, and flexibility than the existing analogue control. The system also will incorporate a built-in diagnostic system for detecting and analysing system failures and faults.