A Marine Corps centric blog, with a view on all things military...
So...guesses anyone? Either it's a heavily modified Blackhawk or a completely new design.I honestly have no idea.
i'm going with heavily modified...but what gets me is that this hasn't crept out into the open.the 160th is BEYOND good at keeping their gear quiet. and to think that they're supposedly stationed at Ft. Campbell in the middle of Kentucky....a better question is why aren't they flowing this stuff out to the fleet.
@Solomon, my guess is the stealthy features are either too cost prohibitive or there is a concern that if used too extensively in the fleet there is too much risk of it falling into enemy hands. I always thought the best spinoff program for the commanche would have been a stealth transport... I guess I got that right.@Patrick, until more recently the "wisdom" was that stealth couldn't be retrofitted. My guess is that if who ever built this was following that idea, this could be an entirely new airframe, using some portion of electronics or drive architecture of an existing aircraft.
A "Silent Seahawk" anyone?? Judging by the naval gray paint scheme, I'm betting this is a one-off US Navy variant used specifically by SEAL teams. Perhaps there was only one, and this is the first & last time we'll hear about this. Very interesting indeed...
Indeed interesting. IMHO it does not look very stealthy to the radar, I would guess the modifications have more to do with sound. Best Regards/RAF
Like it, but it's missing a big portion... There's 5-6 pictures of the tail, and one of them shows a big "boat tail" type of fairing on the aft end of the boom. Also shows the reverse side of the tail rotor.
The dual horizontal stabilizers rule out a modified H-60. The existing helo this most resembles is Sikorsky's S-76. A possible starting point for designing and building this specialized stealth penetration helicopter? While having the necessary speed and range, an S-76 derivative raises questions of payload. Most reports say 2 a/c were involved, though at least one report says there were 4. I suspect two flights of 2 a/c each is more plausible. Reports also indicate at least one MH-47 was called in after the crash. If true, would have been in orbit nearby as ops spare and/or CSAR/QRF force.
Correcting my last post - it's not the dual stabs that rule out H-60, but rather that the tail rotor is on the wrong side. The H-60 tail rotor is mounted on the starboard - or right side of the tail pylon. The tail rotor on the crashed helo is on the left or port side. Also, the angle of the pylon to the tail boom and its shape is more consistent with the S-76 than the H-60.
The CAD image is mirrored, the tail rotor is on the starboard side. And I have to back down from my previous statement that it isn't stealthy to the radar, when you see pictures of the other side of the tail the shaping does look like it is there for LO. Best Regards/RAF
If these components were a "bolt-on kit" as many now postulate, it must involve significant additional weight and produce much altered performance characteristics, particularly in terms of hot & high, HGE and range payload reductions. Not to mention the complexities of building-in retractable landing gear, if that was done. Likewise for sensors like the FLIR turret and TFR. If an H-60 derivative, perhaps the primary mods are the tail, main rotor, engine outlets and paint with the intent to reduce noise and radar signature, while retaining much of the original airframe configuration. We'll have to see what the entire aircraft looks like.....someday.
photo location you can view right now on THE MOON ,of exact location and layout of Structures that were filmed by ASTRONAUTS. This is available for non-believers.