News Bin Laden Raid Reveals Possible Stealth Helicopter

Ark

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http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/05/aviation-geeks-scramble-to-i-d-osama-raids-mystery-copter/





How cool is this? A helicopter with stealth lines and clearly stealthy paint, possibly based on a heavily modified Blackhawk airframe. I wonder if they applied some lessons learned from the Comanche project. :hmm:
 

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Some newsclips showed kids holding pieces of the helicopter, and they looked to be made of that honeycombed composite material some aircraft use - is that stealthy?
 

Urwumpe

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The only difference I see to known Black Hawk variants is the disk at the tail rotor mechanics. Black Paint alone does not make things stealthy.
 

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The only difference I see to known Black Hawk variants is the disk at the tail rotor mechanics. Black Paint alone does not make things stealthy.

Then again, stealth paint applied to the F-117 was black. Hence the name 'Nighthawk'. But I'm pretty sure you already knew that. And before anyone says it, I'm not saying that paint alone made the Nighthawk stealthy.
 

Fabri91

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I might be missing something, but thw tail section shown above looks nothing like the one on a Black Hawk.


And neither does it look like the one of a CH-53 or derivatives thereof.
 
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Urwumpe

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I might be missing something, but thw tail section shown above looks nothing like the one on a Black Hawk.

Don't get cheated by the perspective, you rarely see the helicopter from above.



Compare for example with this one.
 
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Eli13

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Blackhawks actually just flew over my house (theres a military base and airport somwhere nearby, they flyover all the time. Them and the C-130's.) and the tail rotors never look like what was shown in the thread's start. They look like what Fabri posted.
 

Urwumpe

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Wow... a tiny fairing over the mechanic in the rotor head and you don't realize it again? A slightly different shape of the stabilizer? A fairing that covers more of the tail mechanics?

The differences are just different or new fairings at two places and a different shape of the stabilizer.

It even still has the same tail rotor blades.
 

anemazoso

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Wow... a tiny fairing over the mechanic in the rotor head and you don't realize it again? A slightly different shape of the stabilizer? A fairing that covers more of the tail mechanics?

The differences are just different or new fairings at two places and a different shape of the stabilizer.

It even still has the same tail rotor blades.

Look again. The H-60 has 4 rotor blades, this variant has 5 and appear to be canted outward a bit. Also, there are no rivets or sheet metal seams, unlike the H-60 or other known operational helos.

The exterior appearance was not the main story though but shows us that there were likely several other stealth features such as sound dampening the rotors and cooling the exhaust, in addition to all the likely electronic countermeasures and other electronics improvements.

Speculation abound! fun though :thumbup:
 

Urwumpe

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Look again. The H-60 has 4 rotor blades, this variant has 5 and appear to be canted outward a bit. Also, there are no rivets or sheet metal seams, unlike the H-60 or other known operational helos.

Not five, just four. I initially also thought there must be five, but the angles do not fit in the first image (the blades are not evenly spaced) and in the second you can see it much better to have a 90° angle there.

I suspect the fifth blade in the first image is a small wooden pole near the wall.

And since 60% of the noise of a classic tail rotor helicopter is produced by the tail rotor blade tips, and this one having none of the features that had been investigated by aerodynamics in the past 30 years to reduce the blade tip turbulence, it isn't very likely that this one was silent. Maybe silent compared to the old Huey.
 
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dougkeenan

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Not five, just four. I initially also thought there must be five, but the angles do not fit in the first image (the blades are not evenly spaced) and in the second you can see it much better to have a 90° angle there.

I suspect the fifth blade in the first image is a small wooden pole near the wall.



Which is not a rotor blade?
 

Quick_Nick

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That twitter guy seemed to hear it pretty well before the crash.
 

Urwumpe

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Which is not a rotor blade?

Try to make a five bladed rotor with 4 rotor blades pointing in the same direction. And then spin it.

1,2,4 and 5 are about 90° apart in both images. If you would have 5 blades, the angle would be just 72° - a noticeable difference (18°)

(Or 2 and 5 would 144° apart, which is 36° off from the 180° line)
 
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Hlynkacg

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Look again. The H-60 has 4 rotor blades, this variant has 5 and appear to be canted outward a bit. Also, there are no rivets or sheet metal seams, unlike the H-60 or other known operational helos.

The exterior appearance was not the main story though but shows us that there were likely several other stealth features such as sound dampening the rotors and cooling the exhaust, in addition to all the likely electronic countermeasures and other electronics improvements.

Speculation abound! fun though :thumbup:

Doug, number 4 is not a rotor blade.

The aircraft was most likely a MH-60M with the optional sound attenuation package (Shrouded rotor head, and redesigned fairings). I remember seeing mock-ups of one at the Sikorsky plant in Strattford but this is the first I heard of them actually being operational.
 

dougkeenan

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Doug, number 4 is not a rotor blade.

The aircraft was most likely a MH-60M with the optional sound attenuation package (Shrouded rotor head, and redesigned fairings). I remember seeing mock-ups of one at the Sikorsky plant in Strattford but this is the first I heard of them actually being operational.

Thanks. So it does seem like something new in operation to you?

And ok so far either #3 or #4. I just can't see #1 or #2.
 

Hlynkacg

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As an aside, the jointed drive shaft and IGB visible towrds upper right side of the picture is a rather distinctive feature of the H60 series and it's derivatives.
 

dougkeenan

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You know a lot more about them than I do. :)

I threw a quick five-bladed rotor together. Yes it is difficult to see that it resembles the object in the photo.

Plus it's just hard for me to disagree with Urwumpe. I like him.
 

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