enter image description here

In the film Act of Valor, two helicopters are used to airdrop troops and their boats onto a river. (Clip here.)

  • Firstly can you identify the aircraft?
  • Second, what is the extremely long probe on the front? It looks to be half as long as the actual helicopter!

My initial guess would be some type of Chinook and refueling probe but that's purely guessing. Can anyone verify or correct?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I swear it is an MH-47 special missions helicopter, because of the refueling probe? Can anyone back me up on this? $\endgroup$
    – anonymous
    Jun 28, 2017 at 13:38

2 Answers 2


enter image description here
By U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Robyn Gerstenslager [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Yes, it looks to be a Boeing CH-47 Chinook. Above is a photo from Wikipedia showing an Army Chinook with a Navy SWCC boat attached to the external cargo hook, looking almost exactly like in the movie.

And yes, the probe is the refueling probe. It needs to stick out from under the rotors, to prevent the rotors from accidentally cutting the fuel hose. (Although it doesn't prevent this from happening.)

  • $\begingroup$ Actually the MH-47 refuel probe is inside the rotor disk. It does not extend out past the rotor system. $\endgroup$
    – J M
    Mar 4, 2020 at 4:57
  • $\begingroup$ JM is not correct on the probe. The probe comes from the nose to create a safe distance from the refueling boom on the other aircraft. Out of the rotor (or anywhere near it) would be absurd. The bird used in the movie Act of Valor was an MH-47 from the 160th SOAR. I know from personal experience. The boom is modified for night-time refueling under NVG's. $\endgroup$ Apr 3 at 3:45

That is in fact an MH-47 variant of the Chinook. I work on CH-47's and they do not have the refueling probe.

Wikipedia image of MH-47E Wikipedia Image - PO2 Tamara Vaughn [Public domain]

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Aviation.SE! Could you perhaps provide a link to more info or a picture? If I search Google it just brings up the Mi-17. You can edit your answer to improve it and/or add more content. You may also want to take our site tour and maybe check the help center to learn how the site works. $\endgroup$
    – Notts90
    Aug 7, 2019 at 21:13
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry I’d typed MH-17 into google by mistake. Found it now, thanks! $\endgroup$
    – Notts90
    Aug 7, 2019 at 21:23

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .