What is the difference between a CH-46 and CH 47?

What is the difference between a CH-46 and CH 47?

Modern Military


A door gunner manning a pintle-mounted .50-caliber M2 machine gun aboard a Marine CH-46, August 2006. Cpl. Jonathan K. Teslevich – (Original text: USMC websitehttp://www.usmc.mil/_layouts/imagemeta.aspx?

Moreover, the CH-46 Sea Knight and CH-47 Chinook are both helicopters used by the United States military. However, they have distinct differences in terms of design, capabilities, and purpose.

Design & Size?


A CH-46 departing after dropping off Marines of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit in South Central Afghanistan, 2004.

The CH-46 Sea Knight, manufactured by Boeing Vertol, is a medium-lift tandem rotor helicopter. It features two large rotors mounted on top of the aircraft, in addition, a single engine. Furthermore, has a length of about 45 feet and can carry up to 25 troops or about 7,000 pounds of cargo.

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On the other hand, the CH-47 Chinook, also manufactured by Boeing, is a heavy-lift tandem rotor helicopter.

CH-47 Chinook helicopter flyby.jpg

A U.S.Army CH-47 Chinook helicopter assigned to U.S. Army Europe’s 12th Combat Aviation Brigade departs a landing zone after unloading Soldiers from USAREUR’s 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne) during a Combined Arms Live-Fire Exercise at the Grafenwoehr (Germany) Training Area, March 28, 2014. The CALFEX at the Joint Multinational Training Center was part of a Mission Rehearsal Exercise that brought the two brigades together along in addition with F16 fighters from U.S. Air Forces in Europe to prepare the 12th for it’s upcoming deployment to Afghanistan. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Glenn M. Anderson, USAREUR Public Affairs / Released). SPC Glenn Anderson – www.dvidshub.net

Posessing a larger size, additionally with a length of approximately 99 feet and a greater payload capacity. As a result, the CH-47 finds itself capable of carrying up to 55 troops or around 28,000 pounds of cargo.

Mission Purpose & Capabilities!


HC-1B during in-flight evaluation. Unknown author – http://www.history.army.mil/books/Vietnam/Airmobility/p269.jpg

The CH-46 Sea Knight had a primarily design inteneded for the transportation of troops and cargo.

Serving as a medium-lift utility helicopter and used for various missions, including troop transport, resupply, casualty evacuation, and search and rescue operations. Thus, the CH-46 became widely utilized by the U.S. Marine Corps for several decades until its retirement in 2015.

The CH-47 Chinook, on the other hand, a heavy-lift helicopter designed for the transportation of troops, equipment, in addition, supplies in both military and civilian applications. It has enhanced lifting capabilities and can operate in various challenging environments. The CH-47, known for its versatility and has become employed for a wide range of missions. Including troop transport, cargo resupply, humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief operations.

A CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter from Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 268 (HMM-268) flies over Al Taqqadum, Iraq, Feb. 24, 2008. HMM-268 is deployed with Multi National Force – West in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in the Al Anbar province of Iraq. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Jason W. Fudge) (Released)

A CH-46E of VMM-268 deploying its onboard countermeasures during Operation Iraqi Freedom, 2008

What is the difference between a CH-46 and CH 47?

Performance & Upgrades?


Canadian Forces Boeing Vertol CH-113 Labrador helicopter from CFB Gander, landing on tip of sea stack near Bell Island in 1987. Captain Randy Price (check pilot) and Captain David Barkes at the controls. The rock sea stack is locally known as Coadys Island.

In terms of performance, the CH-47 Chinook has a greater speed and range compared to the CH-46 Sea Knight. The CH-47 is capable of flying at higher speeds and covering longer distances, allowing it to operate in larger areas of responsibility.

Both helicopters have undergone several upgrades and modernization efforts over the years to enhance their capabilities and extend their service life. The latest versions of the CH-47, such as the CH-47F Chinook, incorporate advanced technologies, improved avionics, and increased payload capacities to meet the evolving operational requirements of the US Army and other users.


A CH-47 Chinook airlifts a MIKE Force Hurricane Aircat airboat from Don Phuc to the Seven Mountains in Vietnam. George Marecek, US Army Green Berets – https://books.google.com/books?id=ryoH975mHtIC&printsec=frontcove&pg=PA222

In conclusion, the CH-46 Sea Knight and CH-47 Chinook helicopters differ in terms of size, payload capacity, capabilities, and purpose. The CH-46, a medium-lift helicopter primarily used by the U.S. Marine Corps.

Lastly, while the CH-47 operates as a heavy-lift helicopter employed by various military branches and civilian operators.

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What is the difference between a CH-46 and CH 47?

What is the difference between a CH-46 and CH 47?

(4) Chinook? – Quora : military – – Aviation Stack Exchange