Finding new life for military surplus helicopters is the ultimate in recycling, and Portland, Ore.-based Columbia Helicopters (Booth No. 4706) has everything it needs to recycle the three rugged Boeing CH-47D Chinooks it purchased recently from the U.S. government.
Military surplus aircraft sold to commercial services are restricted in their operations by the FAA. Columbia Helicopters has acquired the FAA type certificates from Boeing for the 234 Chinook and Vertol 107-II–the former being a commercial version of the CH-47D and the latter being derived from the CH-46. The company also holds a production certificate that allows it to produce FAA-approved parts for these civil aircraft.
“We are uniquely positioned to operate and maintain these helicopters,” said Stan Wilson, president of Columbia Helicopters. “The aircraft will come into our maintenance facility for refurbishment before [they are put] to work,” he said.
Columbia Helicopters announced during Heli-Expo 2014 that it is now an authorized service center for the Honeywell T55-714 engine series used on the CH-47, with a Honeywell-certified turbine engine test cell on site at its Portland facility.