David Doyle and Schiffer Books combine to highlight the twin-rotor CH-47 Chinook.


When asked after World War Two what kind of helicopter it would like, the US Army basically said "a flying two-and-a-half ton truck."

Boeing listened, and the CH-47 Chinook is basically just that: a twin-rotor, heavy lifting platform that has so filled the bill that it has seen over sixty years of service already, and may reach a century at the rate it's going.

David Doyle and Schiffer Books have combined for another in the series "Legends of Warfare: Aviation" with the title CH-47 Chinook: Boeing's Tandem-Rotor Heavy Lifter.


The 144-page hardcover book includes five chapters:

  • The Chinook Through Vietnam
  • CH-47D: The Post-Vietnam Workhorse
  • CH-47F: Twenty-First Century Chinook
  • MH-47: The Special Ops Taxi
  • The Chinook in Service

The Review

David Doyle reference works are always solidly-researched and brimming with excellent, clear photos, and this volume is no different. It's actually a "________ Walkaround" and a "___________ in Action" combined in one, with two sections on the Vietnam and post-war variants, followed by a substantial selection of color and B&W action photos showing the chopper in service.

The initial section includes a chart of all the Chinooks up through the "G" variant. This is helpful for modelers looking to "backdate" kits to earlier or later versions than the ones released as kits. A section of color photos lays out the interior, which is crucial to modelers intent on fleshing out the suggested interiors of most kits. No matter how detailed any model might be, the manufacturers always leave out details and features that can be important and take an ordinary or "out-of-the-box build" to a higher level. For example, quilted soundproofing panels were hung inside to suppress noise from the two massive rotors, a feature that is only suggested my detailing on the inside of the fuselage halves.

The cockpit is very thoroughly-explored, again a boost for super-detailers, along with features like the screens installed over the engine intakes for the CH-47A (Late). Jet engines have a nasty habit of sucking up trash and debris that can damage or even bring down a chopper. There is also a detailed illustration of the CH-47B's squared-off trailing edge on its tail section. Since I could find no current models of a B variant, the book could set an inventive modeler in the right direction.

After a hard slog in Vietnam where 85% of the Chinooks built prior to 1973 serving, the Army directed changes that we so extensive, a new variant (CH-47D) came into being. The photos of the D's interior show extensive additions, some of which did not make it into commercially-available kits.

Following on the D is the F with its modern avionics and fewer components, intended to reduce vibration and the accompanying maintenance. A more-powerful Honeywell T-55 engine and redesigned rotors make the CH-47F an improved Honeywell T-55 engine. In tandem with the upgrade came the special ops MH-47 loaded with all sorts of radars and coms gear meant to assist special ops troops inserting into sensitive areas.

The final section of the book is the Chinook in service, which is basically a chance to show a collection of really cool photos from the helicopter's time in the field. A lifetime of diorama ideas can be found here, including 60+ Chinooks on the deck of the USS Boxer off Qui Nhon, Vietnam; ferrying gear and equipment or being ferried themselves by the CH-54 Tarhe; on skis delivering a Bob Hope show to the troops of Korea; schlepping artillery, jeeps, light tanks and broken helos; etc.

Photos & Illustrations

One feature that continues to impress me about David Doyle books are the photos he sources from archives and corporate sources. American corporations lavish extensive visual resources on their creations, and Boeing didn't stint when it came to its prototype. This is modeling gold for us, and Doyle has done his homework thorough to our advantage.


There are lots of reference works about Tiger tanks and Spitfires, but getting solid "one stop shopping" for helos is often harder. This book has both the detail that modelers look for, as well as excellent "in action" photos for inspiring dioramas and finishes. Highly recommended as with all David Doyle books.

Thanks to David Doyle and Schiffer Books for this review copy. Be sure to mention you saw it reviewed on Aeroscale when ordering yours.



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