Feature Story

Making a 'cool' Chinook

Members of the U.S. Army at Fort Riley, Kan., test out the COOLS upgrade to the Chinook.

Boeing

Members of the U.S. Army at Fort Riley, Kan., test out the COOLS upgrade to the Chinook, turning over rollers that are used for cargo loading into a flat surface to haul passengers.

Whether responding to natural disasters or flying into the heat of battle, the CH-47 Chinook continues to be one of the most versatile aircraft ever built.

One example of this is the aircraft’s new Cargo On/Off Loading System, or COOLS, which allows Chinook crews to quickly reconfigure the floor of the helicopter to accommodate passengers or carry cargo.

“You can take off on a cargo mission with the rollers installed,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Joe Hoecherl, Product Manager, CH-47 Modernization. “If you have a change of mission in route, in 15 minutes or less you can flip over to a flat floor so it’s safe to take passengers.”

“COOLS really gives the Army the flexibility of performing a variety of troop missions and cargo missions without any restrictions,” said Boeing CH-47F Project Manager Greg Solakian.

The Army plans to retrofit its entire CH-47F fleet, as well as some D models, with COOLS. By 2015, COOLS will be standard during production.

To see COOLS in action, watch the video.