UH60FtRucker
Topic Author
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Forget Fixed Wing! Top 10 Helicopters!

Thu Mar 08, 2007 7:26 pm

Enough of the silly fixed wing threads! Helicopters are where the men are separated from the boys!  Wink

So what are the greatest military helicopters of all time?

Here's my list:

#10 - Mil Mi-24 Hind

I really didn't want to put this turkey on the list. Having actually had the chance to crawl all over this helicopter... and having seen it in action... I echo many of my colleagues disappointment. However, the fear factor cannot be denied. This helicopter was a bogeyman to Western militaries for many years. It's capabilities were thought to be far greater than they really were - and propelled western military forces to continue improving/advancing their own helicopter fleets. The Hind is by far one of the most overrated helicopters... but its effect on the helicopter community is undeniable.


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#9 - Focke-Wulf Fw 61

It's where it all began. The Germans were way ahead of their time. When the rest of the world mocked the notion of helicopters... Germany saw the great potential in them. And when everyone else was still messing around with autogyros, Heinrich Focke was building the first controllable helicopter. No small feat.

*no photo in database*

#8 - Mil Mi-26 Halo

Perhaps never very practical - this helicopter still put everyone else to shame. CH-47? CH-53? Both look like toys compared to this monster. The Russians always had a knack for building mammoths - and the Halo is no exception. With the ability to carry over 100 people, travel roughly 1000nm, and take off at 123,500lbs! The Halo is in a class unto itself.


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#7 - Sikorsky CH-53 Super Stallion

It's a real toss up between this and the CH-47 Chinook. Both aircraft gained fame in Vietnam as outstanding helicopters. Both are massive in size... and can haul an ungodly amount of cargo. But I think the CH-53 wins out simply because it frequently does what the CH-47 community tries to avoid - flying directly into combat. How many missions has the MH-53 performed, that the public is unaware of? Definite beast of a helicopter.


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#6 - Westland Lynx

The sport car of helicopters. 249kts!? Flight maneuvers akin to a fixed wing aircraft? It's a fantastically designed aircraft that pushes the envelope.


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#5 - Sikorsky H-3 Sea King

Probably one of the best naval helicopters of all time. A true work horse, whether it was hunting subs, med-evacing wounded, search/rescue, hauling cargo... or hauling VIPs. And how many downed pilots have this helicopter to thank for being rescued?


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#4 - Bell AH-1 Cobra

Before this beautiful looking helicopter, gunships were only modified utility helicopters. The Cobra revolutionized the modern helicopter gunship. It brought military thinking and tactics into an entirely new direction. And increased the helicopter's lethality on the battlefield, exponentially. And it has served proudly in the militaries of many nations, and is still seeing combat with the USMC in both Iraq and Afghanistan.


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#3 - Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk

Alright... maybe I am a bit bias on this one! But I couldn't NOT put it in the top three! What an incredible helicopter. It took the best of the UH-1 and improved on it. The solid design has saved my life on a number of occasions. It's logging more flight hours than any other helicopter in Iraq, and it's vital to the daily operation of the US Army. It replaced the UH-1 with the US Army, it replaced the H-3s in both the US Navy and USCG, it has performed admirably as a SpecOp platform... and it serves as an outstanding VIP transport. FANTASTIC helicopter.


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#2 - Bell H-13 Sioux

When you see this helicopter - you think of M*A*S*H, Korea and med-evacing thousands of wounded soldiers to safety. In the Korean War, how many soldiers were saved from injuries that would have killed men only a few years prior, in WWII? This is the helicopter that convinced the world that helicopters could serve a useful purpose. And it still flies commercially today - training many students how to become good pilots.


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#1 - Bell UH-1 Iroquois (Huey)

This is a no brainer. The Huey revolutionized helicopter tactics in the militaries of not only the US, but throughout the world. It is probably the most recognized helicopter, by both look and sound. The very image of a Huey symbolizes an entire war - the Vietnam War. And with over 70 nations operating the UH-1, it is unquestionably the most prolific helicopter of all time.


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So what do y'all think?

-UH60
Your men have to follow your orders. They don't have to go to your funeral.
 
heliflyerPDC
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RE: Forget Fixed Wing! Top 10 Helicopters!

Thu Mar 08, 2007 9:21 pm

My top 10


#1 Sikorsky/ Westland SeaKing


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#2 AgustaWestland EH/US 101


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Photo © Remco Donselaar - Touchdown Aviation



#3 Skorsky UH-60 Blackhawk


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Photo © Mike -Rotor- Nowak



#4 Sikorsky SA)">CH-53 Super Stallion


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Photo © Neil Jones - Angels-20



#5 Bell UH-1 Iroquois (Huey)


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Photo © Air2Air



#6 Sud SA-318C Alouette II


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Photo © Emiel bonte



#7 McDonnell Douglas AH-64A Apache


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Photo © Dariusz Jezewski "FotoDJ Photography"



#8 Boeing CH-47 Chinook


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Photo © Greencap



#9 Eurocopter Dolphin II


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Photo © Suresh A. Atapattu



#10 MBB BO-105P


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Photo © Rickard Gillberg / Nordic Rotors


and one of my alltime favorites (but not really a helicopter)

the Bell-Boeing MV-22B Osprey

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grtz PDC

[Edited 2007-03-08 13:23:17]

[Edited 2007-03-08 13:31:54]
grtz PDC
 
Arniepie
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RE: Forget Fixed Wing! Top 10 Helicopters!

Thu Mar 08, 2007 9:24 pm

I would put the Jet ranger also on that list because it must be the most widely used helo all over the world for all possible tasks and also it must be a timeless design because it still is one of the most popular helo's after all these years.

The same goes for the MIL MI8,which can also not be forgotten and is therefore on my list.

The 2 coolest helicopters are the Kamov Ka 50 and the cayuse used in MAGNUM PI.


PS: UH60, which helicopters have you flown up until now and which one would you still want to fly in?
Just a question out of curiosity.



Edited for PS

[Edited 2007-03-08 13:27:42]
[edit post]
 
ghostbase
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RE: Forget Fixed Wing! Top 10 Helicopters!

Thu Mar 08, 2007 11:26 pm

Good to have a thread starter with such a keen sense of history! The Focke-Wulf Fw 61 was also a 'first' in being uniquely marketed to senior Nazis in Feb 1938 when it was flown by Hanna Reitsch *inside* the Deutschlandhalle in Berlin.

I think that there are two other military helicopters which should be considered. The first is the Kaman H-43 Huskie which borrowed heavily upon the German WW2 Flettner designs with intermeshing rotors. When combined with the relatively new gas turbine this produced a very useful specialist airborne crash and fire-rescue vehicle which was used on most USAF bases. I believe the Huskie was also the original CSAR helo in the mid-sixties in Vietnam although perhaps more by circumstance than design. One Huskie actually plucked a Thud driver, one Major Robert Wilson, from an opposed crash site in North Vietnam on 23rd June 1965. The type was rapidly replaced by the HH-3 in this role but nevertheless the flimsy little short-legged Huskie was the first of the CSARs!

The other helicopter is the Sikorsky S-55. This was designed just a tad too early to take advantage of the gas turbine and so had to rely upon a 600hp P&W Wasp radial. It was very innovative in that the fuselage and therefore cabin was a large box hanging under the main rotor, also the engine was easily accessible for maintenance in the field. The H-19 and HRS-1 military derivatives really pioneered the art of helicopter airborne assault and served in Korea, Vietnam and Malaya. The UH-1 owed a great deal to the S-55.

 ghost 
"I chase my dreams but I never seem to arrive"
 
egronenthal
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RE: Forget Fixed Wing! Top 10 Helicopters!

Thu Mar 08, 2007 11:50 pm

What about the Robinson R22 and R44? At last count (Aviation Week March 5, 2007), Robinson had delivered 4,100 R22s and 3,400 R44s, with production running around 800 helicopters per year! And don't forget that nearly all of these have been civil orders, i.e. no big military contracts to prop up the numbers. If anyone has made the helicopter even remotely affordable for the average man on the street, it's Frank Robinson.
 
heliflyerPDC
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RE: Forget Fixed Wing! Top 10 Helicopters!

Fri Mar 09, 2007 12:00 am

Quoting Egronenthal (Reply 4):
What about the Robinson R22 and R44

These are great helicopters, I know I fly on R22 for my training and later this year the R44.
The reason that no one has mentioned these ,is because of this:

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Thread starter):
So what are the greatest military helicopters of all time?

grtz PDC

ps this is my instuctor and me on a training flight near ANR


[Edited 2007-03-08 16:02:27]
grtz PDC
 
heliflyerPDC
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RE: Forget Fixed Wing! Top 10 Helicopters!

Fri Mar 09, 2007 12:05 am

Quoting Egronenthal (Reply 4):
made the helicopter even remotely affordable for the average man on the street

the R22 startprice is at about $200.000 (usd), something I for one can't affort  Wink

THis makes me wonder, How much do the other helicopters , mentioned in this threat actually cost

grtz PDC
grtz PDC
 
sovietjet
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RE: Forget Fixed Wing! Top 10 Helicopters!

Fri Mar 09, 2007 12:59 am

I don't understand why you would underestimate the Mi-24 so much. It was and still is quite a formidable attack helicopter. Also I think the Mi-8/17 deserves the spot of the Mi-26 since it has been far more useful and practical and been in service in much greater numbers for much longer. If you wanna base it on size alone, the Mi-6 was bigger...
 
KevinSmith
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RE: Forget Fixed Wing! Top 10 Helicopters!

Fri Mar 09, 2007 7:29 am

Quoting Ghostbase (Reply 3):
The UH-1 owed a great deal to the S-55.

Building on that the UH-60 wouldn't be half the helo it is without lessons learned by the Huey's combat experience in Vietnam.
Learning to fly, but I ain't got wings.
 
2H4
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RE: Forget Fixed Wing! Top 10 Helicopters!

Fri Mar 09, 2007 8:35 am



Man, how could we not include the Mil Mi-12?


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Open up the large version of the lower-right photo to get an idea of the scale.....those are men walking around on the wing....


2H4


Intentionally Left Blank
 
fridgmus
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RE: Forget Fixed Wing! Top 10 Helicopters!

Fri Mar 09, 2007 1:32 pm

Great thread, "Rotorhead"!!!  praise 

I've had a love affair with helicopters since I was a boy. Too bad I was born with lousy vision. Although a sympathetic Huey driver at Fort Bragg, NC took pity on me one Sunday morning and gave me an hour of stick time! Didn't do too bad and I'll remember every second of that flight for the rest of my life!  veryhappy 

I love you guys/gals! ROTORHEADS RULE!  bigthumbsup 

Thanks,

Marc
The Lockheed Super Constellation, the REAL Queen of the Skies!
 
L-188
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RE: Forget Fixed Wing! Top 10 Helicopters!

Fri Mar 09, 2007 2:34 pm

I was wonder what was going to be next.

My top ten list....sorry don't have time to provide photos-American Chopper is on  Big grin

I'll come back later and explain the choices.

10. Eurocopter Super Puma
9. Sikorsky CH-54
8. Pilaski H-21
7. Sikorsky R-4
6. Sikorski Sea King
5. Boeing Vertol CH-47
4. Hughes 500/OH-6
3. Mil-8/17
2. Bell 47
1. Bell UH-1 Huey

Honorable Mentions....

Sikorsky UH-60
Flettner FL265
Bell AH-1
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
Beta
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RE: Forget Fixed Wing! Top 10 Helicopters!

Fri Mar 09, 2007 2:43 pm

UH60, I'd like to know why you left out the CH47, one of the most successful twin rotor helicopters, and a versatile platform. It has performed very well in the rugged, mountainous battlefield of Afghanistan, where many other helicopters are not as versatile. Interested in hearing your reasoning. thanks.
 
UH60FtRucker
Topic Author
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RE: Forget Fixed Wing! Top 10 Helicopters!

Sat Mar 10, 2007 12:47 am

Quoting Arniepie (Reply 2):
I would put the Jet ranger also on that list

The Jet ranger is a decent helicopter - but I was think just in military terms. And the Jet ranger has had far more success in the civilian world, than in combat. Granted the OH-58 is a nimble little helicopter... but I'm not sure it's one of history's "best".

Quoting Egronenthal (Reply 4):
What about the Robinson R22 and R44?

Again, I was only thinking in military terms. But yes - these are two excellent helicopters. Perfect for training.

Quoting Arniepie (Reply 2):
PS: UH60, which helicopters have you flown up until now and which one would you still want to fly in?
Just a question out of curiosity.

Aircraft I am rated in:

- UH-60A/L
- OH-58C
- TH-67

Aircraft I have flown, but not rated in:

- R-22
- UH-1
- CH-47 (shhh... this wasn't technically within the rules  Wink )

Military helicopters I have flown on:

- CH-46
- MH-60
- British Puma
- Polish Mi24

Quoting Sovietjet (Reply 7):
I don't understand why you would underestimate the Mi-24 so much. It was and still is quite a formidable attack helicopter.

Because it is totally overrated. There is a thread somewhere here on Anet where I wrote an indepth evaluation of the Mi-24 Hind. And I really don't have the time to rewrite it all... but I will give you the quick version.

It is very vulnerable to heat-seeking manpads.

It makes a crappy troop transport. You can't do efficient fast rope or rappelling insertions. You cannot do SPIE or FRIE extractions. You can't use a bambi bucket or hoist. You cannot perform paradrops. And the troop doors are cumbersome and do not allow for quick exit, when such is needed in a hot LZ.

As a former crew chief - I thought the Mi-24, SUCKED. When you were coming into a tight LZ/PZ you cannot stick your head out and monitor the tail. It is very easy for the pilots to stick that tail rotor into a tree or building. Totally unacceptable.

It's weapon systems were mediocre. Night systems were substandard. Laser designator was 10years behind US/NATO.

The cockpit was inefficient. Cluttered with hundreds of small buttons, pressure gauges, dials, etc... And while the armored bathtub that you sit in, is very nice for protection, it totally obstructs your vision. And again... as a helicopter pilot, you need to know where EVERYTHING around you is.

The pilot controls were horrible. With a helicopter of that size and power... you need better pilot assist systems. SOMETHING needs to relieve the pilot of constantly flying that helicopter! When you are coming in to a hot LZ in a high altitude environment, with high temperatures, and near max payload weight... you don't want the pilot straining to fly that helicopter!

-----------------------

Look I could go on... but the point is... the Mi-24 is grossly overrated. For the reputation that it has built up in the West, it is a very big disappointment when you actually get to put it through its paces. Sorry - but the thing is NOT a great helicopter.

Quoting Beta (Reply 12):
UH60, I'd like to know why you left out the CH47, one of the most successful twin rotor helicopters, and a versatile platform. It has performed very well in the rugged, mountainous battlefield of Afghanistan, where many other helicopters are not as versatile. Interested in hearing your reasoning. thanks.

Well I really didn't leave it out. It was a close choice between the CH-53 and CH-47 for the #7 slot. Both are amazing work horses. Both made their name, and proved themselves in Vietnam. Both can sling-load an amazing amount of weight. Both can go higher/faster than anything else we've got. BUT... I think the CH-53 wins out simply because just look at the K model... 83,000lbs max gross! And look at the history of the CH-53, it has repeatedly been flown into combat, and performed admirably. And the truth still remains, the CH-47 community still trains their crews to avoid combat and unless we're talking MH-47s... the Chinook rarely flies into the teeth of the monster. But the -53 does.

-UH60
Your men have to follow your orders. They don't have to go to your funeral.
 
sovietjet
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RE: Forget Fixed Wing! Top 10 Helicopters!

Sat Mar 10, 2007 7:55 am

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 13):
Look I could go on... but the point is... the Mi-24 is grossly overrated. For the reputation that it has built up in the West, it is a very big disappointment when you actually get to put it through its paces. Sorry - but the thing is NOT a great helicopter.

I'll respect your opinion, but having talked to several Mi-24 pilots they have all told me they love it and think it is a great machine. It is outdated nowadays without upgrades though, I'll agree with you on that. Also, while it had the ability to carry people, it was used more in a CAS role and not airdropping.
 
CTR
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RE: Forget Fixed Wing! Top 10 Helicopters!

Sat Mar 10, 2007 8:27 am

UH60, I agree with the rest. Great Thread Starter!

Many can argue the rankings of 2 through 10. But it is hard to argue that the Bell UH-1 Huey should be crowned number 1.

How many aircraft have been in continous production for over fifty years and have used up the entire alphabet in versions?

I once heard a USMC General say "When they retire the last UH-60, the crew will be transported to their new replacement aircraft in a UH-1".

Have fun,

CTR
Aircraft design is just one big compromise,,,
 
KevinSmith
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RE: Forget Fixed Wing! Top 10 Helicopters!

Sat Mar 10, 2007 10:10 am

Quoting CTR (Reply 15):
"When they retire the last UH-60, the crew will be transported to their new replacement aircraft in a UH-1"

He stole that from "When the last B-2 goes to DMAFB, the crew will be carried home by a B-52"
Learning to fly, but I ain't got wings.
 
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par13del
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RE: Forget Fixed Wing! Top 10 Helicopters!

Sat Mar 10, 2007 11:26 pm

I am somewhat confused by the UH-60, and the high regard it is given, I hope this is not a thread hijack. UH-60 are being used to death in the US current conflicts, so much so that they are removing all that are in reserve positions to place them in frontline service - DEA and others are giving them up -, this displays the strength of the decision to equip the reserve and fronline units with the same equipment, so why not buy more UH-60's, why replace them in the reserve units with a/c not capable of frontline service? If another conflict arises, there will either be no fall back or frontline units will have to fall back using less capable a/c.

I'm missing something with the UH-60, with that said, I think the Cobra should be ranked above the Blackhawk.
 
9MMAR
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RE: Forget Fixed Wing! Top 10 Helicopters!

Sun Mar 11, 2007 4:29 am

I watched a film, Blood Diamond recently, and there was a scene when Leonardo Dicaprio's Colonel (played by actor Arnold Vosloo), attacked the diamond mine using an extremely beautiful, powerful and impressive helicopter.

What type of helicopter is that? I am totally fall over it.
 
wing
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RE: Forget Fixed Wing! Top 10 Helicopters!

Sun Mar 11, 2007 6:21 am

I have to say this thread is one of the most interesting all around the forums for a while.Although flying the big jets for a living I always remember my feet's very first leaving from the ground with a UH1-H on a open public day of the Turkish AirForce.A flight around the airfield less than 20 minutes was enough to win my heart.

Unfortunately that very same helicopter(the same msn number) broke my heart forever 2 years later,after crashing on a lake, killing 3 occupants including my very own brother.Sadly this was the first time ever he flew on a flying machine.

UH60FtRucker,

Although I 100% agree with your list, I wonder why you left AH64 Apache out of top 10?

[Edited 2007-03-10 22:23:31]
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A342
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RE: Forget Fixed Wing! Top 10 Helicopters!

Sun Mar 11, 2007 6:34 am

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Thread starter):
#8 - Mil Mi-26 Halo

Perhaps never very practical - this helicopter still put everyone else to shame. CH-47? CH-53? Both look like toys compared to this monster. The Russians always had a knack for building mammoths - and the Halo is no exception. With the ability to carry over 100 people, travel roughly 1000nm, and take off at 123,500lbs! The Halo is in a class unto itself.

The Mil Mi-26 isn't useful ??? LOL, do you know what you're talking about ? Without that thing, the exploitation of gas and oil fields in Siberia would have been MUCH harder. In fact, it is so useful that it is also used in Canada now.
You don't need the Mi-26 very often, but when you do, you can be glad to have it.

BTW, the 1000nm range figure is exaggerated. With the full payload of 20 tonnes, 450nm are much more realistic.
Exceptions confirm the rule.
 
Acheron
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RE: Forget Fixed Wing! Top 10 Helicopters!

Sun Mar 11, 2007 7:27 am

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 13):
t makes a crappy troop transport. You can't do efficient fast rope or rappelling insertions. You cannot do SPIE or FRIE extractions. You can't use a bambi bucket or hoist. You cannot perform paradrops. And the troop doors are cumbersome and do not allow for quick exit, when such is needed in a hot LZ.

The role of troop transport in the Hind is secondary, almost tacked on, so you can't expect it to be a good transport ship when its main role has always been the attack one.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 13):
As a former crew chief - I thought the Mi-24, SUCKED. When you were coming into a tight LZ/PZ you cannot stick your head out and monitor the tail. It is very easy for the pilots to stick that tail rotor into a
tree or building. Totally unacceptable.

Maybe I'm off here, but I don't think Apache pilots can "stick their heads out" and monitor the tail rotor, either.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 13):
It's weapon systems were mediocre. Night systems were substandard. Laser designator was 10years behind US/NATO.

The cockpit was inefficient. Cluttered with hundreds of small buttons, pressure gauges, dials, etc...

Most of those issues are solved on the Mi-35M2, with improved weapons systems and cockpit. Two large, color MFD's replace that silly paper-map rotator of the old hinds and reduce the amount of "steam gauge" instruments by quite a lot; and the cockpit allow's NVG use(being black, etc.). The old rangefinder was replaced with a FLIR turret that uses sensors based on SAGEM's technology.

The old 12,7 gaitling was replaced with double-barreled GSh-23L 23mm gun, and the capacity to carry up to 16 Ataka-V(or Shturms) missiles instead of only 4 Spirals

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 13):
And while the armored bathtub that you sit in, is very nice for protection, it totally obstructs your vision. And again... as a helicopter pilot, you need to know where EVERYTHING around you is.

New seat can have its height adjusted, although, admitedly, I still find the foward-view a bit too clutered with the HUD and the missile alert system. Still had a decent view of my surroundings when I sat in it.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 13):
The pilot controls were horrible. With a helicopter of that size and power... you need better pilot assist systems. SOMETHING needs to relieve the pilot of constantly flying that helicopter! When you are coming in to a hot LZ in a high altitude environment, with high temperatures, and near max payload weight... you don't want the pilot straining to fly that helicopter!

The system has been replaced with new ones derived from the Mi-28, including main and tail rotors with composite blades, and the gear retracting system has been removed, reducing weight by a good 300kg, and the wings have been shortened, improving perfomance and finally giving the Hind the ability to hover on ground effect. And new engines of course, the VK-2500 with 2400hp(2700 in emergency mode) and includes FADEC systems.

I think the only thing it probably keeps from the original Hind, besides a few subsystems here and there, the remaining gauges and HUD, is the fuselage.


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KevinSmith
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RE: Forget Fixed Wing! Top 10 Helicopters!

Sun Mar 11, 2007 7:32 am

Quoting A342 (Reply 20):
Without that thing, the exploitation of gas and oil fields in Siberia would have been MUCH harder. In fact, it is so useful that it is also used in Canada now.

The thread is dealing with military application for helicopters. That's why it's posted in the military av forum. Exploration of oil and gas fields is not a military application.

Quoting A342 (Reply 20):
LOL, do you know what you're talking about ?

Being that this thread deals with helicopters in military av yes, UH60 does know what he is talking about. Do you have any idea what he is currently doing? He is flying COMBAT missions in Iraq. Every second of everyday some one is trying to kill him whether it be with IEDs on the ground or RPGs in the air. If that doesn't qualify him to judge whether or not a helicopter is a good military machine than I don't what would.


On a different note, you weren't born on the old Soviet part of Germany were you?
Learning to fly, but I ain't got wings.
 
XT6Wagon
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RE: Forget Fixed Wing! Top 10 Helicopters!

Sun Mar 11, 2007 9:20 am

Quoting Wing (Reply 19):
Although I 100% agree with your list, I wonder why you left AH64 Apache out of top 10?

The Apache eats money like a 5year old eats candy. Its had huge issues with requiring huge MX and not making the grade for being available for a mission at any given time.

Basicly it was sold as the second coming, and turned out it couldn't even replace the much older cobra for many missions. Or for the marines at all.
 
pelican
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RE: Forget Fixed Wing! Top 10 Helicopters!

Sun Mar 11, 2007 9:40 am

Quoting KevinSmith (Reply 22):

The thread is dealing with military application for helicopters. That's why it's posted in the military av forum. Exploration of oil and gas fields is not a military application.

Sure it deals with miltitary apllication, nonetheless the Mi 26 was mentioned by UH60FtRucker in this thread. The Mi 26 was build with the huge solitude of Sibiria in mind.
BTW UH60FtRucker said

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Thread starter):
Perhaps never very practical

- which doesn't look like a final judgement on its abilities...

pelican
 
Boeing4ever
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RE: Forget Fixed Wing! Top 10 Helicopters!

Sun Mar 11, 2007 11:58 am

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 13):
Because it is totally overrated. There is a thread somewhere here on Anet where I wrote an indepth evaluation of the Mi-24 Hind. And I really don't have the time to rewrite it all... but I will give you the quick version.

Speaking of which, how are those Polish Hinds coping with the Iraqi climate? IIRC, Soviet Hinds had a rough time in Afghanistan. The airframes are prorbably getting on in years too for that matter.

 airplane B4e-Forever New Frontiers airplane 
 
KevinSmith
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RE: Forget Fixed Wing! Top 10 Helicopters!

Sun Mar 11, 2007 1:15 pm

Quoting Pelican (Reply 24):

Sure it deals with miltitary apllication, nonetheless the Mi 26 was mentioned by UH60FtRucker in this thread. The Mi 26 was build with the huge solitude of Sibiria in mind.
BTW UH60FtRucker said

What I was trying to point out was that A342 was defending the usefulness of the MI 26 by citing it's service exploring gas and oil pipelines, a non-military role. UH60 was talking about it's military usefulness when he said. Henceforth A342s point is moot.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Thread starter):
Perhaps never very practical
Learning to fly, but I ain't got wings.
 
heliflyerPDC
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RE: Forget Fixed Wing! Top 10 Helicopters!

Sun Mar 11, 2007 7:28 pm

My #10 the MBB BO-105P recently celebrated it's 40th birthday. It's first flight was in February 1967.
This is something only a few airplanes of helicopters can say of them self.

grtz PDC

(ps: I know the Huey is the one no other helo can become, a real legend)
grtz PDC
 
keesje
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RE: Forget Fixed Wing! Top 10 Helicopters!

Mon Mar 12, 2007 4:34 am

Good list IMO UH60FtRucker

I think the "Huey from the other side" also deserves attention, thousands in use all over the world, first flight more then 45 yrs ago, still in production: the Mil Mi 8/17.

"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
A342
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RE: Forget Fixed Wing! Top 10 Helicopters!

Mon Mar 12, 2007 4:44 am

Quoting KevinSmith (Reply 26):
What I was trying to point out was that A342 was defending the usefulness of the MI 26 by citing it's service exploring gas and oil pipelines, a non-military role. UH60 was talking about it's military usefulness when he said. Henceforth A342s point is moot.

In fact, it is also useful for military applications. Sure, it is a bit large for a battlefield transporter, but nothing can beat it when operating in a more "strategic" role.
Exceptions confirm the rule.
 
columba
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RE: Forget Fixed Wing! Top 10 Helicopters!

Mon Mar 12, 2007 4:59 am

My list:
#1 Bell UH 1 best looking with the best sound of all helicopters

#2 Bo 105 If you ever saw this one at an airshow you will know why this is so high up on my list. First Heli that was able to fly a loop

# 3 SA)">CH 53

#4 Mil 8/Mil 17

#5 Sikorsky S-58/Wessex A real classic

#6 Sikorsky/Westland Seaking

#7 Aérospatiale SE313/318 Alouette and Bell 47 has to be a tie between these two oldtimers.

#8 Aérospatiale SA-319 Alouette 2

#9 SA)">CH 47 Chinook

# 10 NH 90 and EH 101 best next generation helicopters but still have to proof themself to be a worthy replacement
for the Huey
It will forever be a McDonnell Douglas MD 80 , Boeing MD 80 sounds so wrong
 
sovietjet
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RE: Forget Fixed Wing! Top 10 Helicopters!

Mon Mar 12, 2007 10:27 am

The Mi-26 is very useful in military applications....in fact it was used quite often in the Chechnya wars and is still used in several countries to great advantage. However, it's predecessor the Mi-6 has proven itself far more than the Mi-26.
 
UH60FtRucker
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RE: Forget Fixed Wing! Top 10 Helicopters!

Tue Mar 13, 2007 1:36 am

Quoting Par13del (Reply 17):
UH-60 are being used to death in the US current conflicts, so much so that they are removing all that are in reserve positions to place them in frontline service - DEA and others are giving them up -, this displays the strength of the decision to equip the reserve and fronline units with the same equipment,

Well yes and no. Yes all of the Army's UH-60s are being removed from "home front" missions. They will no longer be used for domestic RAID, DEA, med-evac, search and rescue, etc... This is for a couple reasons. We need those COMBAT helicopters on the battlefield. They don't serve the Army's needs when they are flying in the US. So the Army is purchasing the UH-72 Lakota (a modified Eurocopter EC145). These helicopters will never see combat, and be used solely for domestic missions. They will "free up" all Army combat helicopters to move towards the battle lines.

Quoting Par13del (Reply 17):
so why not buy more UH-60's, why replace them in the reserve units with a/c not capable of frontline service? If another conflict arises, there will either be no fall back or frontline units will have to fall back using less capable a/c.

We are replacing the fleet - the UH60M.

FANTASTIC helicopter that is already being initially fielded. Many advanced features and new systems to help make the UH-60 even more efficient. We're buying new ones, and also remod'ing older L-models. Sorta like how the Army switched over to the Apache D Longbows.

Quoting Wing (Reply 19):
I wonder why you left AH64 Apache out of top 10?

Good question... I actually considered giving a single spot to all of the major attack helicopters, like the AH-64 / Eurocopter Tigre / Augusta A129 Mangusta / Mil Mi-28 Havoc / Denel AH-2 Rooivalk.

All of them provide essential close air support to the boots on the ground, and all of them can certainly ruin your day. But I decided against it because none of them really stand out. Even the Apache. Yes, the AH-64 is an incredible helicopter. Yes it packs an amazing punch. Yes its electronic wizardry is impressive. But lets face it... it has never accomplished the mission it was designed for: a massive tank battle on the plains of Europe. It's not optimized for urban combat - as proven in Iraq. And it's a very complex, and very expensive piece of equipment to be pitted against a $100 RPG.

Quoting A342 (Reply 20):
The Mil Mi-26 isn't useful ??? LOL, do you know what you're talking about ?

No need to act like a jerk.  Yeah sure

The fact that I gave the helicopter my #8 slot proves that I deeply respect it! But I stand by my comment when I said it has never been all that practical. (And yes, I was referring solely to the military aspect.) It's large. It's loud. It's expensive. It consumes a lot of fuel. It is not well protected against enemy mad-pads. It is NOT a particularly tactical helicopter. IE: It's not that practical on the battlefield. But nonetheless, it is an amazing helicopter and deserves a spot on the top 10 list.

You know, some people amaze me. It seems like they enjoy complaining, just for the sake of the complaining.  yuck 

Quoting Acheron (Reply 21):
The role of troop transport in the Hind is secondary, almost tacked on, so you can't expect it to be a good transport ship when its main role has always been the attack one.

Nonetheless, even in that role, it has deep issues.

Quoting Acheron (Reply 21):

Maybe I'm off here, but I don't think Apache pilots can "stick their heads out" and monitor the tail rotor, either.

Apache pilots aren't coming into tight and confined LZs to unload troops. If the Mil-24 is to be thought of as a serious troop transporter, then the ability to unload a infantry squad in confined areas is essential. And when you're maneuvering within that space, you need a set of eyes watching that tail.

And you need a large and efficient exit, for the troops to quickly extract from. (The Mi-24 doesn't have one)

You need the ability to perform unconventional insertions/extractions. (The Mi-24 cannot do many of these)

And the list can continue. In all reality, a true debate on the abilities of the Mi-24 deserves a separate thread.

Quoting Acheron (Reply 21):
Most of those issues are solved on the Mi-35M2, with improved weapons systems and cockpit. Two large, color MFD's replace that silly paper-map rotator of the old hinds and reduce the amount of "steam gauge" instruments by quite a lot; and the cockpit allow's NVG use(being black, etc.). The old rangefinder was replaced with a FLIR turret that uses sensors based on SAGEM's technology.

That sounds great. But as a percentage, how many Mi-24 Hinds flying around currently meet those specs? The vast majority do not have those modifications.

Perhaps the modified version is truly a flying marvel. I haven't seen one, so I cannot make a judgment. But the ones I have seen and flown on are not what their reputation makes them out to be. They are overrated. Two thumbs down.

Quoting Boeing4ever (Reply 25):
Speaking of which, how are those Polish Hinds coping with the Iraqi climate? IIRC, Soviet Hinds had a rough time in Afghanistan. The airframes are prorbably getting on in years too for that matter.

Someone really ought to simply start a new thread on the Mi-24. It would probably be a good thread with a strong debate.

But to answer the question: it suffers. Plain and simple - they have many flaws that are unbecoming of a helicopter of such fame.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 28):
the Mil Mi 8/17.

Yes, another great helicopter(s). I considered them, just as I seriously considered adding a slot for all of the major attack helicopters.

I hesitated adding this helicopter because of the vulnerability to heat seeking missiles. But if I did the Top 15 - this helicopter would definitely be on that list. I dunno - it was a close call.

---------------------------------


Anyway, I am currently in the process of redeploying home. (I am in Kuwait at the moment) and I won't be home for another week, and I doubt I'll be online for a few weeks after I get back (the wife needs attention  Wink ) So I won't be able to contribute much more to this thread for sometime. Great debate though, hope it continues!

See you all in a few weeks!

-UH60
Your men have to follow your orders. They don't have to go to your funeral.
 
A342
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RE: Forget Fixed Wing! Top 10 Helicopters!

Tue Mar 13, 2007 4:29 am

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 32):
It is NOT a particularly tactical helicopter. IE: It's not that practical on the battlefield.

Did you even bother to read reply 29 ?  Yeah sure

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 32):
It's expensive.

No, it isn't.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 32):
It's expensive.

No, at least not when you consider its performance.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 32):
It is not well protected against enemy mad-pads.

Compared to which other helos ?


BTW, if it wasn't useful for military applications, why do you think it was bought by export customers ?
Exceptions confirm the rule.
 
Acheron
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RE: Forget Fixed Wing! Top 10 Helicopters!

Tue Mar 13, 2007 7:27 am

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 32):
It is NOT a particularly tactical helicopter.

Like you said, its not tactical, but I think it fits the strategic role very well, being able to transport BMP/BTR's into areas where a C-130/An-12 wouldn't be suitable because of lack of space, for example.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 32):
Apache pilots aren't coming into tight and confined LZs to unload troops. If the Mil-24 is to be thought of as a serious troop transporter, then the ability to unload a infantry squad in confined areas is essential. And when you're maneuvering within that space, you need a set of eyes watching that tail.

The only role I think the Transport "capability" of Hind would actually be usefull is the insertion of SpecOps in a pre-set point that's adecuate for the helo, other than I that, it would be sheer lunacy to use it a la "Huey", were any spot counts.
But if needed maybe the infantry on the back could stick their head out and see, but that would probably get them killed.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 32):
And you need a large and efficient exit, for the troops to quickly extract from. (The Mi-24 doesn't have one)

You need the ability to perform unconventional insertions/extractions. (The Mi-24 cannot do many of these)

Like I said, the transport role of the Hind is almost tacked on, and it should be taken into consideration most of the time.
Mind you, the Mi-28N has a compartment for pax, but mostly for wounded troops/downed pilots, or maybe to support such task like the AH-64's of the Royal Marines had to perform by carrying troops on their wings.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 32):
That sounds great. But as a percentage, how many Mi-24 Hinds flying around currently meet those specs? The vast majority do not have those modifications.

Perhaps the modified version is truly a flying marvel. I haven't seen one, so I cannot make a judgment. But the ones I have seen and flown on are not what their reputation makes them out to be. They are overrated. Two thumbs down.

Well, at the moment, there are probably only 11, counting the prototype, the rest serving in the Venezuelan Army and Brazil bought some, too, I believe, but they probably don't even make 2% of the total. There is a video of the M2 somewhere in youtube, I'll try to find it.
 
fumanchewd
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RE: Forget Fixed Wing! Top 10 Helicopters!

Tue Mar 13, 2007 10:32 am

Quoting Columba (Reply 30):
#2 Bo 105 If you ever saw this one at an airshow you will know why this is so high up on my list. First Heli that was able to fly a loop

Licensed aerobatic helicopter pilots are a tiny fraternity in Europe. Pilot Rainer Wilke, a former German military pilot and the Flying Bulls’ only licensed helicopter pilot so far, is now training two more pilots–one for the U.S. Red Bull team and one in Europe for the Flying Bulls. He conducts most of the training in the U.S., where the weather is better. “We fly helicopter aerobatics under experimental rules, which impose fewer restrictions,” Wilke told AIN. Separately, there are two other licensed aerobatic helicopter pilots in Europe (a former and current Eurocopter test pilot), but they do not fly for the Flying Bulls.

Wilke said the group chose the BO 105 because it is the only helicopter authorized for such operations. “Normally, you need a legally aerobatic-licensed helicopter, but none exist,” he said. The only solution is therefore to get a special authorization from the manufacturer, which is what the team did. The Flying Bulls petitioned Eurocopter for permission to use the twin turbine for aerobatics, and the company gave its blessing.

“MBB [which later merged into Eurocopter] engineers had aerobatics in mind when they designed the BO 105 in the 1970s,” Wilke said. As a result, it can perform some of the same maneuvers–rolls and loops, for example–as a fixed-wing aircraft.
A feature of the BO 105 is its rigid (hingeless) rotor. “As an early rigid-rotor design, it has a huge safety margin built in,” Wilke said. Perhaps the most important safety benefit is that it is impossible for the rotor to touch the tailboom.


http://ain.gcnpublishing.com/content...tines/?no_cache=1&cHash=7cc71f37d4



I liker her alot. tongue 

I wonder if a performing a loop would help lose a SAM?  Wink
In the time of chimpanzees, I was a monkey...
 
Boeing4ever
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RE: Forget Fixed Wing! Top 10 Helicopters!

Tue Mar 13, 2007 10:50 am

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 32):
Someone really ought to simply start a new thread on the Mi-24. It would probably be a good thread with a strong debate.

I'm on it.  Wink

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 32):
But to answer the question: it suffers. Plain and simple - they have many flaws that are unbecoming of a helicopter of such fame.

Figured as much. Lucky the Poles don't operate them in some of the much 'hotter' zones in the country.

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L-188
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RE: Forget Fixed Wing! Top 10 Helicopters!

Tue Mar 13, 2007 10:52 am

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 32):
These helicopters will never see combat

Famous last word Big grin

Right up there with "This Harbor is too shallow for torpedos"

Quoting Acheron (Reply 34):
but I think it fits the strategic role very well, being able to transport BMP/BTR's into areas where a C-130/An-12 wouldn't be suitable because of lack of space, for example

Agreed, it would be a rear area bird.

But compare that with the CH-47 which has an extensive front line role.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
sovietjet
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RE: Forget Fixed Wing! Top 10 Helicopters!

Tue Mar 13, 2007 12:10 pm

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 32):
I hesitated adding this helicopter because of the vulnerability to heat seeking missiles

As if most of the helicopters on that list aren't  Yeah sure
 
fumanchewd
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RE: Forget Fixed Wing! Top 10 Helicopters!

Tue Mar 13, 2007 1:26 pm

Quoting Sovietjet (Reply 38):
Sovietjet From Bulgaria, joined Mar 2003, 1174 posts, RR: 7



Quoting A342 (Reply 33):
A342 From Germany, joined Jul 2005, 2174 posts, RR: 0

He placed the MI-26 in the his top 10, what more can you want? Its just his opinion and you look a little silly complaining about someone's opinion of a helicopter. Do you actually think that the MI-26 should be placed in anyone's top 5? That's a little over the top.
In the time of chimpanzees, I was a monkey...
 
A342
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RE: Forget Fixed Wing! Top 10 Helicopters!

Tue Mar 13, 2007 9:09 pm

Quoting Fumanchewd (Reply 39):
He placed the MI-26 in the his top 10, what more can you want? Its just his opinion and you look a little silly complaining about someone's opinion of a helicopter.

I'm not complaining about anyone's opinion. After all, everybody has the right to have his own opinion, and everybody has to respect it.
I'm just contesting the arguments with whom he is explaining his opinion.
Exceptions confirm the rule.
 
GDB
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RE: Forget Fixed Wing! Top 10 Helicopters!

Wed Mar 14, 2007 5:39 pm

Great thread, though I find myself almost entirely agreeing with UH-60FtRucker's choices, I'd have put CH-47/CH-53 in joint position.

Glad to see the Lynx get a mention, the Naval version sold well, it's Sea Skua ASM's saw action in the Falklands, wrecked a good part of Saddam's fast attack craft force in 1991. IMHO, the best small ships naval chopper ever built.
The army version was provided light lift, from Northern Ireland to Afghanistan.
Never a gunship, though the TOW's fitted killed Iraqi armour in 1991, and just before replacement by Apaches, in 2003 too.
The basic soundness of the design is proved by the recent contract to renew the design, from improved airframe to new engines and all new avionics.

Where does the AH-64 Apache figure in all this? Certainly in a top 20 list, though I agree the AH-1 was the pioneering type here, so deserves the higher billing.

I'd put the Mi-8 in a top 20 list too. Almost a DC-3 of choppers, there are so many out there. (Of course, on a smaller size scale, UH-1 is a rotary wing DC-3 too).

Mi-12 was an impressive monster, but it never entered service, to me, this is telling.

Mi-6 was a very impressive machine, two could carry a load of the fixed wing AN-12 transport.
Mi-26 is another very impressive bird, we have a shortage in the UK forces of choppers, I'd like to see a batch, say 6-10, of Mi-26's procured, fit UK standard avionics, self defence systems, though not a close to the battlefield type, it would release CH-47's for other duties, take a lot of the strain off them, the airframes would be cheap to buy too.

(Of course what also should be done is stop screwing around, and buy a shitload of new Merlin Mk.3's to replace RN Sea King HC.4 and RAF Puma support choppers)

Merlin itself looks very impressive, the ultility versions have seen action in Bosnia and more paticulary, right now in Iraq, the Naval version provided surveillance (including overland) and C3 in Iraq in 2003, way beyond their basic ASW role. Another one for the top 20, list.

I agree with L-188 on the Super Puma, but I'd put the combined Puma/Super Puma (or whatever EADS calls the latter right now), in a top 20 list. The RAF have always liked the Puma, (even re-furbing some ex South African AF ones for RAF service recently).
 
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vzlet
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RE: Forget Fixed Wing! Top 10 Helicopters!

Wed Mar 14, 2007 8:02 pm

Quoting Columba (Reply 30):
Bo 105 If you ever saw this one at an airshow you will know why this is so high up on my list. First Heli that was able to fly a loop

I'm not sure if the CH-53 was the first helicopter to loop and roll, but it predates the B0-105 by several years. Here's some great footage of it. (And that's not at all to take away from Zimmerman's amazing Bo-105 antics!)
"That's so stupid! If they're so secret, why are they out where everyone can see them?" - my kid
 
Pyrex
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RE: Forget Fixed Wing! Top 10 Helicopters!

Fri Mar 16, 2007 3:25 am

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Thread starter):
So what do y'all think?

I agree with most of it but somehow I believe there should be a place on that list for another European helicopter, even if it is just to pay tribute to Eurocopter who has produced some really great military (and civilian) helicoptpers.

Quoting 9MMAR (Reply 18):
Blood Diamond

Fantastic movie.

Quoting 9MMAR (Reply 18):
What type of helicopter is that? I am totally fall over it.

That is an Mi-24 (the mercenaries call it the "da-kadak").
Read this very carefully, I shall write this only once!
 
sonic67
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RE: Forget Fixed Wing! Top 10 Helicopters!

Sat Mar 17, 2007 12:57 pm

Kamov Ka-50

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Photo © Sergey Riabsev - Russian AviaPhoto Team



The Hokum was designed to be small, fast, and agile it can perform loops, rolls, and "the funnel".
Black Shark has a co-axial rotor system that enables it a higher top speed. Unfortunately it was built in small Numbers because of funding problems but is in service with Russian special forces.

# Maximum speed: 350 km/h (189 knots, 217 mph)
# Cruise speed: 270 km/h (146 knots, 168 mph)
# Range: 1,160 km (720 miles)
# Service ceiling: 5,500 m (18,000 ft)
# Rate of climb: 10 m/s (1,970 ft/min)
 
Devilfish
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RE: Forget Fixed Wing! Top 10 Helicopters!

Sun Mar 18, 2007 9:39 am

Quoting Sonic67 (Reply 44):
Unfortunately it was built in small Numbers because of funding problems but is in service with Russian special forces.

I would include the Kamov Ka-50 Hokum and Ka-52 Alligator in the "almost" category together with the Comanche in the sense that they were not built or fielded yet (for the RAH-66, maybe never) in significant numbers to earn their "wings". A pity.


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Photo © Fyodor Borisov - Russian AviaPhoto Team
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Photo © Oscar Bernardi



But there's a newsbrief in the Mar 07 issue of Air Forces Monthly which says that up to 12 Ka-50 and Ka-52 will again be built until 2015 mainly for the Main Intelligence Directorate(?) for special operations use and intelligence.
"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield

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