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Netherlands Chinooks destined for aerial firefighting in the US

The Netherlands Ministry of Defence is in talks to sell six twin-rotor Chinook transport helicopters for private aerial firefighting work in the US.

The Netherlands Ministry of Defence is in talks to sell six twin-rotor Chinook transport helicopters for private aerial firefighting work in the US.

The now-outdated aircraft are reportedly being offered to Montana-based aerial firefighting company, Billings Flying Service.

Netherlands State Secretary of Defence Christophe van der Maat has notified the Dutch Parliament of the possible sale and a Netherlands Ministry of Defence statement was released on 15 March.

Billings is well known as the first commercial owner and operators of CH-47 Chinook helicopters after they were granted a restricted type certificate for Chinook CH-47D helicopters by the US Federal Aviation Administration in 2014.

The company specialises in aerial construction, power transmission line construction, aerial firefighting, equipment transportation, geo-seismic exploration, and passenger air charter.

Chinook helicopters fitted with CH-47D aerial firefighting tanks are capable of holding 2,500 gallons of water, have a fill rate of 4,000 gallons per minute, and a full load release of three seconds, according to Billings.

The Royal Netherlands Air Force retired its CH-47D Chinook helicopters in 22 December after more than 25 years of service since 1995. They are replaced by modern Boeing CH-47F Chinook aircraft, built in 2016.

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