Fifty years ago today, the prototype Boeing Vertol YCH-1B helicopter made its first flight. Today it's better known as the Boeing CH-47 Chinook.
(This and all subsequent images courtesy of Wikipedia)
It made its combat debut in Vietnam in 1965.
It's still in production, with almost 1,200 having rolled off the assembly lines, and is in service with the US Army and 16 other air arms. Orders are still being placed, ensuring it'll continue in production in upgraded versions for years to come. It's the premier heavy-lift helicopter of the US Army, carrying up to 55 troops and/or up to 28,000 pounds of cargo, the latter both internally and underslung.
It's the backbone of the US Army's airlift capacity in the hot-and-high conditions in Afghanistan.
Special Operations variants can fly in almost any weather conditions, at any time of the day or night, to insert operators for their covert missions.
That's a heck of a track record! Congratulations to all who build and fly the CH-47 on an anniversary that comes to relatively few military aircraft.