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Columbia Helicopters Unveils a New Era for the Commercial Chinook

Aurora, Oregon: February 27, 2024 – Columbia Helicopters, a global leader in heavy-lift helicopter solutions, announces a new development program to redefine Chinook commercial operations worldwide. As the OEM of the Commercial Chinook, the Model 234, Columbia plans to create a new model of super heavy-lift aircraft through converting existing CH-47D Chinook aircraft. This development program, named the 234 Special Purpose (234SP), leverages the existing Model 234 design foundation, while retaining the legendary performance of the CH-47D. Coupled with the planned Chinook Integrated Sustainment Program (CISP), these programs are aimed at enhancing opportunity and support for commercial Chinook operators by providing a fully FAA-certified transport category rotorcraft and providing unparalleled affordability, readiness, and on-demand capabilities.

"Our introduction of the 234SP into the market marks a new chapter in Chinook commercial operations," said Mike Tremlett, President and CEO at Columbia Helicopters. "We are thrilled to lead the way in unlocking unprecedented opportunities for operators with this groundbreaking aircraft, enabling them to optimize their fleets and achieve unparalleled performance and efficiency."

The first customer of the 234SP is current CH-47D operator ROTAK of Anchorage, AK. Ely Woods, President of ROTAK Helicopter Services, expressed enthusiasm for this program stating, “We are excited to bring this new opportunity to the industry and offer a new option for clients in the domestic heavy lift market. Our partnership with Columbia and continued support has allowed a unique opportunity to change the industry. We are proud to be the launch customer for this new endeavor.”

With certification and market entry planned for 2025, the 234SP development program signify a pivotal moment in the history of Chinook. It offers operators an opportunity to optimize their fleets and achieve unparalleled performance and efficiency.


Columbia Helicopters, Inc. (CHI) is a global leader in heavy-lift helicopter operations, providing innovative helicopter solutions for a wide range of industries including construction, firefighting, aerial logging, and more. With over 60 years of experience, CHI is renowned for its commitment to safety, reliability, and customer satisfaction.

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