CH-47D Recapitilization Program Comes to a Close at CCAD
by Nicole Plascencia, CCAD Public Affairs
CH-47D in HGR 45 in Final Assembly Inspection (FAI) preparation. Photo by Nicole Plascencia. (RELEASED).
Corpus Christi, TX (March 29, 2012) – The Corpus Christi Army Depot is adding the final touches to the very last CH-47D Chinook helicopter.
The CH-47 recapitalization program is coming to a close after 11 years at the depot. Artisans are finishing up the 31st and final bird in the program.
Through the course of the program the depot has saved the Army nearly one billion dollars. There is about a $27 million savings per aircraft for remanufactured versus new.
Aircraft Mechanic Abel Acosta has been with the CCAD program since it started 11 years ago.
“When I first started we had four shops. Each shop had four to six aircraft, then we started the recap program and we leaned everything out to three phases,” said Acosta.
“In the old days, it used to take them 120-160 days to get [Chinooks] out of assembly but this one took under two months,” said Aircraft Mechanic Supervisor Jeff Kraus.
As CCAD artisans learned what it took to recapitalize a Chinook, they were able to find ways to save time and money, getting the aircraft to the Warfighter sooner while costing the American taxpayer less.
The final Chinook assembly phase was completed in 40 days.
The Army is currently upgrading the CH-47 fleet with the new F model Chinooks. The F model will offer better machined components that will reduce operating and support costs and improve the structural integrity of the aircraft through reduced vibrations and advanced corrosion protection. Other structural improvements include air transportability modifications which reduce time necessary to prepare the aircraft for cargo transport and deployment.
CCAD certainly has not seen its last Chinook. Artisans will continue to repair crash battle damage CH-47F models and the special ops MH-47G.
Aircraft Mechanic Abel Acosta (right) works alongside National Guard soldiers doing depot-level work on CCADs last CH-47D recap. Photo by Nicole Plascencia. (RELEASED).