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All Forums > Boats, Planes, Other > Stealth Blackhawk Helicopter Used in Osama Raid > Post Reply
Post #1 Thu, May 5, 12:14 PM
daisho13
Supercar Messiah - 3574

http://www.armytimes.com/news/2011/05/army-mission-helocopter-was-secret-stealth-black-hawk-050411/

The helicopters that flew the Navy SEALs on the mission to kill Osama bin Laden were a radar-evading variant of the special operations MH-60 Black Hawk, according to a retired special operations aviator.

The helicopter’s low-observable technology is similar to that of the F-117 Stealth Fighter the retired special operations aviator said. “It really didn’t look like a traditional Black Hawk,” he said. It had “hard edges, sort of like an … F-117, you know how they have those distinctive edges and angles — that’s what they had on this one.”

In addition, “in order to keep the radar cross-section down, you have to do something to treat the windshield,” he said. If a special coating was applied to the windshield it is “very plausible” that would make the helicopter more difficult to fly for pilots wearing night-vision goggles, he said. The helicopters carrying the SEALs arrived over the bin Laden compound at about 1 a.m. Monday local time. One crash-landed in the courtyard and was so badly damaged it was unable to take off again.

That crash landing might have been caused by a phenomenon known as “settling with power,” which occurs when a helicopter descends too quickly because its rotors cannot get the lift required from the turbulent air of their own downwash. “It’s hard to settle with power in a Black Hawk, but then again, if they were using one of these [low-observable helicopters], working at max gross weight, it’s certainly plausible that they could have because they would have been flying so heavy,” the retired special operations aviator said, noting that low-observable modifications added “several hundred pounds” to the weight of the MH-60, which already weighs about 500 to 1000 pounds more than a regular UH-60 Black Hawk.

The special operations troops on the bin Laden mission destroyed the stricken aircraft — most likely using thermite grenades — but the resultant fire left the helicopter’s tail boom, tail rotor assembly and horizontal stabilizers intact in the compound’s courtyard.

Photographs of the wreckage taken the next day raced around the Internet, creating a firestorm of speculation among military aviation enthusiasts because the tail of the helicopter did not resemble any officially acknowledged U.S. military airframe.

This was to be expected, the retired special operations aviator said. “Certain parts of the fuselage, the nose and the tail had these various almost like snap-on parts to them that gave it the very unique appearance,” he said. He and another source referred to the disc-shaped device that is seen covering the tail rotor in the photographs as a “hubcap.”

If the radar-evading technology worked, it “would be a true statement” to say that the use of the low-observable Black Hawks was evidence that the United States gave Pakistani authorities no advance warning of the mission, the retired special operations aviator added.

The low-observable program started with AH-6 Little Bird special operations attack helicopters in the 1980s, said the aviator. During the 1990s U.S. Special Operations Command worked with the Lockheed-Martin Skunk Works division, which also designed the F-117, to refine the radar-evading technology and apply it to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment’s MH-60s, he said. USSOCOM awarded a contract to Boeing to modify several MH-60s to the low-observable design “in the ’99 to 2000 timeframe,” he said.
Discuss:

The secret stealth Black Hawk

Initial plans called for the low-observable Black Hawks to be formed into a new unit commanded by a lieutenant colonel and located at a military facility in Nevada, the retired special operations aviator said. “The intent was always to move it out west where it could be kept in a covered capability,” he said.

USSOCOM planned to assign about 35 to 50 personnel to the unit, the retired special operations aviator said. “There were going to be four [low-observable] aircraft, they were going to have a couple of ‘slick’ unmodified Black Hawks, and that was going to be their job was to fly the low-observables.”

SOCOM canceled those plans “within the last two years,” but not before at least some of the low-observable helicopters had been delivered to the Nevada facility, the retired aviator said. “I don’t know if it was for money or if it was because the technology was not achieving the reduction in the radar cross-section that they were hoping for,” he said. In the meantime, MH-60 Black Hawk crews from the 160th’s 1st Battalion, headquartered at Fort Campbell, Ky., would rotate to Nevada to train on the stealthy aircraft, he said.

The low-observable MH-60s were armed with the same sort of door mini-guns as standard MH-60s, he said. “There was not a DAP conversion,” he added, referring to the MH-60 variant known as the Direct Action Penetrator, which is equipped with stub wings upon which can be fitted a variety of armaments.

The early versions of the low-observable Black Hawks were not fitted with air-to-air refueling probes, the retired special operations aviator said. “The probe would disrupt the ability to reduce the radar cross-section,” he added. “There was no way to put some kind of a hub or cowling over the probe that would make it stealthy.” However, he said he did not know whether the models that flew the bin Laden mission had been equipped with such probes.

USSOCOM spokesman Army Col. Tim Nye said his command had no comment for this story.

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Post #2 Thu, May 5, 11:25 PM
Aaron
Supercar Messiah - 13464

i reckon this drawing is a better representation of what it may have been
a blackhawk with a few minor modifications, not a completely new aircraft design

oh, and i also think that most of this would be done to make it quieter, not lower the RCS (its a fairly pointless excersise to do with a helicopter). you dodge radar in a helicopter by flying low and fast


Edited by Aaron - Thu, May 5, 11:29 PM
Post #3 Thu, May 5, 11:43 PM
daisho13
Supercar Messiah - 3574

I agree noise would be the main thing, and not even reduction maybe, but making it non directional. But the skin on that tail is pretty overdesigned for the rear of an aircraft if the rest of the aircraft is not at least as carefully designed.

But from the half arsed nature of the programme description I've been reading, it wouldn't surprise me.

Interested to see it either way.

http://russellsteapot.com/comics/

Post #4 Fri, May 6, 2:03 AM
RLQ
new member - 71621

I want one.
"People who own guns but don't support abortion don't matter anyway because their penises are so small that they can't even get a girl pregnant." SupraMan

Post #5 Fri, May 6, 6:01 AM
Baklava
Supercar Messiah - 25103

you would think somebody would have seen it before these actions. pretty wild that they can keep it so secret.
Post #6 Fri, May 6, 8:44 AM
EliseS2
Supercar Messiah - 15202

Quote from Aaron
i reckon this drawing is a better representation of what it may have been
a blackhawk with a few minor modifications, not a completely new aircraft design

oh, and i also think that most of this would be done to make it quieter, not lower the RCS (its a fairly pointless excersise to do with a helicopter). you dodge radar in a helicopter by flying low and fast
The shaping of the tail looks like lowering the RCS was a priority, why obviously focus on the tail. I would think that picture in the first post is closer than what you posted. Yours has some weird tube going along the tail, no way it would have that, that would have a fairly large reflection. Also, the landing gear would probably be retractable, not just for RCS, but also for noise.

Sure the RCS would never be reduced to the point of a fixed wing aircraft. But for a helicopter flying low and relatively slow, the RCS reduction could be very effective.

I am a leaf on the wind, watch how I soar.

Post #7 Fri, May 6, 10:45 PM
Pierog
Supercar Messiah - 6715

It's pretty badass that special black ops equipment actually exists.
LastFM + Xbox Live: Pierog13

Post #8 Sat, May 7, 12:00 AM
944turb0
Supercar Messi - 130735

i bet the ground never saw it comming
One of my favorite misinformed "opinions" about the 9/11 event is the hilariously overblown claims that part of the reason the Twin Towers collapsed was the extremely high temperature of burning jet fuel caused the steel structures to warp and partially melt. Anybody that knows anything about both fire and metal should recognize this is a complete fallacy and utter lunacy. Steel is a conductor of heat, it isn't something that just absorbs it and melts down. Have you ever tried to burn a paper clip, or a nail? Fire just doesn't work like that.

Post #9 Tue, May 17, 1:40 AM
phanofmuzik2
Supercar Messiah - 42693

Quote from daisho13
I agree noise would be the main thing, and not even reduction maybe, but making it non directional. But the skin on that tail is pretty overdesigned for the rear of an aircraft if the rest of the aircraft is not at least as carefully designed.

But from the half arsed nature of the programme description I've been reading, it wouldn't surprise me.

Interested to see it either way.
By the time you can hear it, its probably too late.
Probably because you speaking Dutch sounds a lot like people from Wisconsin speaking English.

Post #10 Tue, May 17, 4:30 PM
Lucky Strike
Supercar Messiah - 21749

Quote from Baklava
you would think somebody would have seen it before these actions. pretty wild that they can keep it so secret.
This is why they have places like Area 51
ಠ_ಠ

Post #11 Wed, May 18, 3:22 AM
Baklava
Supercar Messiah - 25103

Quote from Lucky Strike
This is why they have places like Area 51
i know, but they have to transport these helicopters somehow? how does it go to pakistan undetected.
Post #12 Wed, May 18, 5:52 AM
daisho13
Supercar Messiah - 3574

Quote from Baklava
i know, but they have to transport these helicopters somehow? how does it go to pakistan undetected.

http://russellsteapot.com/comics/

Post #13 Wed, May 18, 6:56 AM
Baklava
Supercar Messiah - 25103

Quote from daisho13
lol
Post #14 Wed, May 18, 8:24 AM
Lucky Strike
Supercar Messiah - 21749

Quote from daisho13
It wouldn't surprise me if they sent it in pieces like that then assembled it in Afganistan
ಠ_ಠ

Post #15 Wed, May 18, 7:43 PM
Gunman
Supercar Messi - 3061

Probably used some Comanche technology.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkQJOsqV8rw

Post #16 Wed, May 18, 7:47 PM
Vanilla Ice
Supercar Messiah - 12464

Quote from Lucky Strike
It wouldn't surprise me if they sent it in pieces like that then assembled it in Afganistan
There is easy access to Pakistan from both the Indian ocean and through Afghanistan. If it were based from Afghanistan, a blackhawk-sized helicopter can fit into the cargo hold of a C-17 without any modification or disassembly what-so-ever. This one's Australian, but the hardware is the same.
Post #17 Thu, May 19, 8:25 AM
daisho13
Supercar Messiah - 3574

Quote from Vanilla Ice
There is easy access to Pakistan from both the Indian ocean and through Afghanistan. If it were based from Afghanistan, a blackhawk-sized helicopter can fit into the cargo hold of a C-17 without any modification or disassembly what-so-ever. This one's Australian, but the hardware is the same.
Cool.
http://russellsteapot.com/comics/

Post #18 Thu, May 19, 9:12 AM
Vanilla Ice
Supercar Messiah - 12464

Quote from daisho13
Cool.
What? Was I just supposed to keep mocking w00t instead of trying to explain it instead? Sorry that wasn't news to you. You weren't the target audience.
Post #19 Thu, May 19, 10:46 AM
Baklava
Supercar Messiah - 25103

Quote from Vanilla Ice
What? Was I just supposed to keep mocking w00t instead of trying to explain it instead? Sorry that wasn't news to you. You weren't the target audience.
thats neat.
Post #20 Thu, May 19, 6:41 PM
CrystalBaller
Supercar Messiah - 36841

Quote from Vanilla Ice
What? Was I just supposed to keep mocking w00t instead of trying to explain it instead? Sorry that wasn't news to you. You weren't the target audience.
defensive
Founding Member of the screaming Chicken Faction.

Is it a bird ... is it a plane ... no, it's Superbaby! -fump

Post #21 Fri, May 20, 3:18 AM
daisho13
Supercar Messiah - 3574

Quote from Vanilla Ice
What? Was I just supposed to keep mocking w00t instead of trying to explain it instead? Sorry that wasn't news to you. You weren't the target audience.
No, I meant that's cool. Bloody hell. SCnet makes even a simple post sound #$%#ed.
http://russellsteapot.com/comics/

Post #22 Fri, May 20, 6:47 AM
bananatucker
Supercar Messiah - 18206

Quote from EliseS2
The shaping of the tail looks like lowering the RCS was a priority, why obviously focus on the tail. I would think that picture in the first post is closer than what you posted. Yours has some weird tube going along the tail, no way it would have that, that would have a fairly large reflection. Also, the landing gear would probably be retractable, not just for RCS, but also for noise.

Sure the RCS would never be reduced to the point of a fixed wing aircraft. But for a helicopter flying low and relatively slow, the RCS reduction could be very effective.

"well she earned every penny!"-my buddy J after leaving a $.50 cent tip to a lousy blond bartender chick

Post #23 Fri, May 20, 9:16 PM
ryanator117
Supercar Messiah - 26468

Quote from daisho13
No, I meant that's cool. Bloody hell. SCnet makes even a simple post sound #$%#ed.
maybe you shouldn't have said it so sarcastically!
Post #24 Fri, May 20, 10:54 PM
Vanilla Ice
Supercar Messiah - 12464

Quote from ryanator117
maybe you shouldn't have said it so sarcastically!

Post #25 Sat, May 21, 7:12 AM
daisho13
Supercar Messiah - 3574

Quote from ryanator117
maybe you shouldn't have said it so sarcastically!
Yeah, like that would have helped.






http://russellsteapot.com/comics/

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All Forums > Boats, Planes, Other > Stealth Blackhawk Helicopter Used in Osama Raid > Post Reply
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