The Royal Moroccan Air Force expects to take into service in Spring 2015 three former US Army Boeing CH-47D Chinooks, the African country gets through the US Foreign Military Sales program. The transformation into a RMAF machine has already started for the ex-USAR rotary wings.
Oregon based Columbia Helicopters started work on the choppers in late August. The company is the only operator of commercial models of the CH-47 Chinook and CH-46 Sea Knight transport helicopters, offering those to customers in the forestry, construction, petroleum exploration, government support, disaster relief and fighting wild fires business. It expects a lot of the military overhaul and maintenance of CH-47s, since the US$ 6 million US-Moroccan deal was enough for Columbia Helicopters to open a new facility at its headquarters in Aurora in Oregan.
“We are excited about this project,” says Scott Ellis, Director of Business Development for Columbia Helicopters. “This contract brings three large helicopters to our facility, where we’ll clean, inspect and repair them. At the end of the process, we’re going to hand Morocco’s Air Force three aircraft that are completely re-conditioned and in excellent shape.”
Per aircraft about 400 hours are required to make it tip-top again, meaning a seven-month project that will also include replacing the US Army’s olive-drab paint scheme into Moroccan’s desert camouflage pattern. The final flight tests will be done in Morocco.
Columbia did a similar project in Australia earlier.
Source: Columbia Helicopters