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CH-47A Kit

Trumpeter 1/72 CH-47A Chinook Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review April 2008 Manufacturer Trumpeter
Subject CH-47A Chinook Scale 1/72
Kit Number 1621 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Excellent detailing inside and out Cons
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $29.95

First Look

CH-47A Kit
CH-47A Kit
CH-47A Kit
CH-47A Kit
CH-47A Kit
CH-47A Kit
CH-47A Kit

In June 1959, the Army issued a specification for a new Battlefield Mobility Helicopter which could carry 40 fully equipped troops or two tons of cargo internally or up to eight tons of cargo via external sling. In addition, the aircraft would have to be able to transport any component of the Pershing missile system.

While a number of designs were submitted, the Model 114 from Boeing/Vertol was selected. This aircraft bore more than a slight resemblance to the Model 107 that was being operated by the US Navy as the CH-46, but the Model 114/CH-47A was a significantly more powerful aircraft. Where the CH-46S was initially powered by a pair of 1,400 shp engines, the CH-47A started off with a pair of 2,650 shp engines.

The Model 114 made its first flight in September 1961 and entered service soon afterwards. Fairing pods on each side of the aircraft housed the non-retractable quadricycle landing gear and large portions of these pods were sealed to provide buoyancy to the aircraft while it operated from water.

I remember a marketing trip that Boeing/Vertol took to South America many years ago and the crew landed their Chinook in Lake Titicaca. What's so impressive about that? Any helicopter operating from water must be able to lift itself back out of the water as well as the weight of any water that naturally enters the aircraft. This is challenging enough at sea level, but Lake Titicaca is located high in the Andes mountains at over 12,500 feet, well above the safe hover altitude for most helicopters. The Chinook took the challenge in stride, attesting to the brute power of the aircraft.

The Chinook didn't have long to wait before its baptism of fire, the CH-47A went to war in Vietnam, proving its worth many times over.

Here is another much-anticipated release from Trumpeter - the CH-47A Chinook in 1/72 scale. How did Trumpeter do in scaling this kit down from their 1/35 scale masterpiece? Let's take a look.

Molded in light gray styrene, the kit is presented on three parts trees, plus two additional trees of clear parts. In addition, the two fuselage halves are packaged separately in a very impressive manner to ensure their survival through shipping. Excellent packaging job Trumpeter! Trumpeter has also done a nice job with the parts breakdown so as to be able to render the CH-47D with a minimum of new parts required.

The parts tree with the rotor blades has an interesting design as the blades are rendered to replicate the natural droop. Once again congratulations go tp Trumpeter!

Assembly begins with the cockpit and this is a nicely detailed affair and you'll have a nice model from what is in the box. The instrument panel is molded with separate overlays on the panel, center console, and pedestal console so that the issue of soft details when molding at angles is not a factor. The center console is nicely detailed and will look great with some dry-brushing to make that detail stand out. The crew seats are also nicely done with seatbelts and harnesses molded in place.

As with the CH-46, the Chinook has a pair of bulkheads that separate the cockpit from the cargo compartment. In between these bulkheads are racks for aircraft avionics and supplies. This is rendered nicely in the kit and would be enhanced with a little cabling if such detailing would be visible from outside the model.

The cargo compartment has detailing molded on the insides for the fuselage halves, and separate cargo floor is provided to 'box in' the compartment.

For a change, the engines in this kit are not over-engineered with lots of details. What Trumpeter has done is provided just what is needed to render the powerplants with the engine nacelle covers closed.

The crew entry door can be positioned open or closed. The rear cargo ramp can also be positioned open or closed

There is a nice array of antenna posts mounted on the port side of the aircraft, which will require significant care in handling considering how early these are installed. I will probably wait until the very end to add these posts. What is interesting is that Trumpeter didn't provide any instructions for routing the HF antenna wire through these posts, so you'll have to hit the internet or your references to see how to properly route your antenna.

This is an impressive kit straight out of the box and will lend itself to some interesting displays and dioramas with the variety of armor/AFV kits that are available in 1/72 scale.

My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!