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Tugger
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Mon May 02, 2011 5:12 pm

I know the aircraft weren't the star of the show, that honor belongs entirely to the Naval Special Warfare Development Group unit that took him out (and whom we should never know the identities of). But the aircraft and air support were a critical element in its success.

So far this morning I have read and/or heard that the attack team was inserted with helicopters and that there was additional fire support from A-10's during the assault. Additionally I would assume there were several drones used to provide imagery before the during the attack.

I wish I could provide links to support this but I can only say that I have heard this on various news channels this morning. I am trying to find more information but of course most news agencies don't care about this aspect yet.

My question is what was used and how? What type of helicopter, how many? How many drones and what types? How many aircraft total were used? Did the same ones that brought the team in bring them out?


So I am hoping we can compile, with your help, a solid picture of what was used and how it was used.

Thanks,
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studedave
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Mon May 02, 2011 5:19 pm

This story states that MH-60s were the helos used, and that one didn't make it back~

http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_exclus...-secret-team-that-killed-bin-laden

That narrows it down, don't it...? I know- not really.




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GDB
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Mon May 02, 2011 5:41 pm

Whatever they were, when they are retired, stick them in the Smithsonian and other museums.
 
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Mon May 02, 2011 5:45 pm

Quoting GDB (Reply 2):
Whatever they were, when they are retired, stick them in the Smithsonian and other museums.

  

Very historical mission and moment.
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studedave
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Mon May 02, 2011 5:51 pm

Now I find this story and mention of an CH-47~

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/inside...bin-laden/story?id=13506413&page=2

"One of the U.S. helicopters, a CH47 Chinook, was damaged but not destroyed during the operation,
and U.S. forces elected to destroy it themselves with explosives."

 Wow!    StudeDave
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mffoda
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Mon May 02, 2011 6:04 pm

harder than woodpecker lips...
 
chuchoteur
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Mon May 02, 2011 6:16 pm

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...hief-near-Islamabad-Paskistan.html

a third of the way down, they've got a pic of the tail rotor of the chopper that went down.
I'd be tempted to say it looks like an MH60 tail rotor? definitely not Chinook.

The story says they were under RPG fire.
If that really is the case, kudos to the pilot for getting down ok, and those guys on board must've had a hell of a ride!

Apparently they then had a mechanical issue and they burnt the chopper before evacuating on foot... pretty active evening by anybody's book!

[Edited 2011-05-02 11:27:09]
 
Spacepope
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Mon May 02, 2011 6:54 pm

Quoting chuchoteur (Reply 6):

a third of the way down, they've got a pic of the tail rotor of the chopper that went down.
I'd be tempted to say it looks like an MH60 tail rotor? definitely not Chinook.

The stabilizers are in the wrong place for an SH-60. Looks like part of an MI-8/17. US SOF owns them, and would draw less attention since the Pakistanis do too. http://www.strategypage.com/military...photos/20100612472.aspx?comments=Y

Not a CH-46/47/53 either. hrrrm.
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Devilfish
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Mon May 02, 2011 8:39 pm

Quoting tugger (Thread starter):
How many drones and what types? How many aircraft total were used?

The DEW Line suggests the RQ-170 Sentinel .....

http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-dewline/

Quote:
"The killing of Osama bin Laden reportedly included a starring role for the Lockheed Martin RQ-170 Sentinel -- the stealth unmanned aircraft system (UAS) acknowledged to exist by the US Air Force on 16 months ago.

The National Journal's Marc Ambinder got the scoop about 1am this morning, when he tweeted: 'US Joint Special Operations Command SMU -- from DEVGRU (Navy SEALs), did the shooting. RQ-170 drone overhead. JSOC spotters on ground'."


[Edited 2011-05-02 13:40:18]
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Moose135
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Mon May 02, 2011 10:24 pm

Quoting tugger (Thread starter):
I know the aircraft weren't the star of the show

This is A.net...it's always about the airplanes!  
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bthebest
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Tue May 03, 2011 12:01 am

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 7):
The stabilizers are in the wrong place for an SH-60. Looks like part of an MI-8/17. US SOF owns the

definitely not an mi-8 - stabilizer is far too large. Looks lot more like H-60 as their the only ones that have a stabilizer that large and square I can think of. Am having a hard time working out the orientation of the aircraft though   
 
Spacepope
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Tue May 03, 2011 12:33 am

Quoting Bthebest (Reply 10):
definitely not an mi-8 - stabilizer is far too large. Looks lot more like H-60 as their the only ones that have a stabilizer that large and square I can think of. Am having a hard time working out the

I can't say for sure, but the top of the tail fin of the MH-60 is rounded, not flat. It also has a nav light.strobe that is missing on this aircraft. The H-60 series stabilizers also have 2 cutouts at the rear on each side for handles. Most also have a deicing boot on the vertical fin which the crashed aircraft lacks.
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scbriml
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Tue May 03, 2011 3:25 am

The BBC news was reporting that a total of 4 helos were used - 2 x CH-47s & 2 x H-60s (of some model). The Chinooks carried ground troops who were dropped in and setup a perimeter around the compond. The two Blackhawks dropped the special forces onto the roof of the main compound building.

It was reported that one of the H-60s collided with the compound wall and was destroyed on the ground by the team before they left. It may or may not have been brought down by RPG fire.
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dragon6172
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Tue May 03, 2011 9:42 am

Quoting Bthebest (Reply 10):
Looks lot more like H-60 as their the only ones that have a stabilizer that large and square I can think of. Am having a hard time working out the orientation of the aircraft though
Quoting Spacepope (Reply 11):
but the top of the tail fin of the MH-60 is rounded
Quoting Spacepope (Reply 11):
The H-60 series stabilizers also have 2 cutouts at the rear on each side for handles.

Leaning towards H-60 as well. The large flat spot you see at the top of the tail (bottom of wreck in pic) is actually a piece of glass leaned against the wreckage. I think the rounded cowl and tail light are hidden by it. Not sure about the stab handles, could be the angle and light. There also should be some form lights at the ends of the stab, although not sure if the Army has them installed on every aircraft.
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Tue May 03, 2011 11:52 am

Quoting StudeDave (Reply 4):

"One of the U.S. helicopters, a CH47 Chinook, was damaged but not destroyed during the operation,
and U.S. forces elected to destroy it themselves with explosives."

The article said a blackhawk (not chinook).
Seems a waste unless the helo was badly damaged! surely one of the chinooks could have airlifted the damaged blackhawk (they can do this).
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bthebest
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Tue May 03, 2011 11:54 am

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 14):
surely one of the chinooks could have airlifted the damaged blackhawk (they can do this).

Probably not at sure notice with fuel, equipment etc.
 
max550
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Tue May 03, 2011 12:02 pm

What would have caused the stall? The only thing I've read was that it was caused by a lack of air because of the high walls of the compound. What type of stall would that be? I know very little about helicopter dynamics so I apologize if any of that doesn't make sense.
 
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Moose135
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Tue May 03, 2011 12:06 pm

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 14):
Seems a waste unless the helo was badly damaged! surely one of the chinooks could have airlifted the damaged blackhawk (they can do this).

You're in the middle of an op, at night, somewhere in "Indian Country", and one of your helos goes down. Are you going to stop to determine the extent of damage, connect a sling (assuming they even have the equipment with them...) and lift it - assuming you have the capacity to lift a broken bird while carrying the guys from it out as well...while worrying about someone shooting at you? Or are you going to blow it up, load everyone up on the remaining birds and beat feet?

[Edited 2011-05-03 05:08:08]
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Zkpilot
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Tue May 03, 2011 12:21 pm

Quoting moose135 (Reply 17):

You're in the middle of an op, at night, somewhere in "Indian Country", and one of your helos goes down. Are you going to stop to determine the extent of damage, connect a sling (assuming they even have the equipment with them...) and lift it - assuming you have the capacity to lift a broken bird while carrying the guys from it out as well...while worrying about someone shooting at you? Or are you going to blow it up, load everyone up on the remaining birds and beat feet?

It was hardly Afghanistan or even the Pakistan lawless border region... once the AQ threat in the compound was taken out, the fact that it was a compound would have provided protection from outside attacks. If it was too much for the helos then guarding it for an half an hour whilst one lot of SEALs is airlifted to a safe zone to allow the helo to return empty/or another empty helo deployed would surely make sense.... Blackhawks ain't cheap and the US has lost enough of them already! Average flyaway price is apparently US$44m and these are SEAL birds with extra gear most likely so closer to $50m... Sure you can't put a price on life, but its a risky job and once the compound was secure, they could have surely kept it that way for at least a brief period of time... After all the US Federal deficit is how much? $#,###,000,000,000 and overall debt 10x that!
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max550
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Tue May 03, 2011 12:33 pm

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 18):
It was hardly Afghanistan or even the Pakistan lawless border region... once the AQ threat in the compound was taken out, the fact that it was a compound would have provided protection from outside attacks. If it was too much for the helos then guarding it for an half an hour whilst one lot of SEALs is airlifted to a safe zone to allow the helo to return empty/or another empty helo deployed would surely make sense.... Blackhawks ain't cheap and the US has lost enough of them already! Average flyaway price is apparently US$44m and these are SEAL birds with extra gear most likely so closer to $50m... Sure you can't put a price on life, but its a risky job and once the compound was secure, they could have surely kept it that way for at least a brief period of time... After all the US Federal deficit is how much? $#,###,000,000,000 and overall debt 10x that!

We were removing a person from a sovereign nation and I don't believe the complex was ever fully secured from the Pakistani military. I would much rather they blow it up and lose the $100million or whatever it is instead of risking a failure. The last thing we need is a helicopter going down and messing things up (see Iran and Somalia).
This is probably a discussion for another thread though.

Does anyone know what caused the stall?
 
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Tue May 03, 2011 1:39 pm

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 18):
Blackhawks ain't cheap and the US has lost enough of them already!

Specially Special Ops Blackhawks. However, for operations like this, the helicopters (and maybe even the troops are expendable if you can achieve your objectives).

Trying to save a helicopter would be a foolish move if the Pakistani jets have been scrambled. Sure, we can shoot down those jets, but then we would have to pay the Pakistani to replace those jets  

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chuchoteur
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Tue May 03, 2011 2:27 pm

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 18):
It was hardly Afghanistan or even the Pakistan lawless border region...

... so you've just dropped in unannounced on a sovereign nation's territory, 100 yards from one of their biggest military establishments, in the middle of a garrison town.

You've proceeded to blow up a compound and found a neat little firefight with some bad guys... the last thing you want is to hang around until the next door neighbors have organised themselves and decided to close that 100 yards and investigate the noise...  
Quoting bikerthai (Reply 20):
Trying to save a helicopter would be a foolish move if the Pakistani jets have been scrambled.

Quick entrance, quick exit, leave the paperwork to someone else. Besides, they didn't have to pay that prize money in the end, so it goes some way to offset the helicopter?
 
BladeLWS
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Tue May 03, 2011 4:18 pm

Equipment can be replaced, men and the mission cannot. Standing around even one more minute then that had to only increases the chances or another downed bird or men killed. The right decison was made.
 
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Tue May 03, 2011 4:24 pm



Uhm..... wtf?
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dragon6172
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Tue May 03, 2011 4:32 pm

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 23):
Uhm..... wtf?

Interesting. This one of those Dale Brown stories?
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studedave
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Tue May 03, 2011 4:38 pm

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 11):
Most also have a deicing boot on the vertical fin which the crashed aircraft lacks.

Really? In my 20 years of Naval Aviation Maintenance (13 years or so on H-60s) I NEVER saw any such thing.
I doubt the ARMY/AF/USCG have it either. I have seen lots of birds (in other services) with it painted flat black, though.

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 14):
The article said a blackhawk (not chinook).

It didn't at the time, or I wouldn't have said what I did.
Sometimes news folks do this thing called an 'update', you see.
That must be the case here.



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Spacepope
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Tue May 03, 2011 4:47 pm

Quoting dragon6172 (Reply 24):

Interesting. This one of those Dale Brown stories?

Even if the thing was based on the UH-60, it is super highly modified. Cat's out of the bag on this new thing. Guess i'll have to be worried about the Grey helicopters tonight, instead of the black ones...

Pics here, halfway down the page

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...g-Al-Qaeda-leader-die-live-TV.html

Quoting StudeDave (Reply 25):
Really? In my 20 years of Naval Aviation Maintenance (13 years or so on H-60s) I NEVER saw any such thing.
I doubt the ARMY/AF/USCG have it either. I have seen lots of birds (in other services) with it painted flat black, though.

I was corrected about that yesterday. Guess it covers a radio antenna.
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dragon6172
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Tue May 03, 2011 4:50 pm

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 26):
Even if the thing was based on the UH-60, it is super highly modified. Cat's out of the bag on this new thing. Guess i'll have to be worried about the Grey helicopters tonight, instead of the black ones...

It actually looks somewhat familiar to me... but I am not sure where I have seen the image.
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Tue May 03, 2011 5:00 pm

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 26):
Guess it covers a radio antenna.

Nope- the tail driveshaft lives under there. That panel is hinged on one side, and is easily removed as well.
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Tugger
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Tue May 03, 2011 5:04 pm

Quoting moose135 (Reply 9):
Quoting tugger (Thread starter):
I know the aircraft weren't the star of the show

This is A.net...it's always about the airplanes!

Yep! Of that there is no doubt! "Great job!!!! Osama is dead!... now tell us about the aircraft you used..."  
Quoting Spacepope (Reply 23):
Uhm..... wtf?

That is very odd looking, I cannot yet match it up with others I have seen. Also check out the picture in the link that Spacepope posted, talk about completely destroyed! It appears that they were intent on destroying the entire thing and that the only part that survived is the part that was over the wall (and someone is probably very unhappy about that).
It looks like there is nothing left of the main wreckage.

Tugg
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studedave
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Tue May 03, 2011 5:31 pm

Looking a bit closer at the pictures that have been posted-
I am not gonna say what I wanna say...




StudeDave

[Edited 2011-05-03 10:41:54]
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Spacepope
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Tue May 03, 2011 6:00 pm

AvWeek has come out and said what I've been thinking:

Stealth helos. Probably a super H-60 derivative.

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs...=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest
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spudh
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Tue May 03, 2011 6:14 pm

Quoting dragon6172 (Reply 24):
Quoting Spacepope (Reply 23):
Uhm..... wtf?

Interesting. This one of those Dale Brown stories?

Hmm, forward swept tail planes, five bladed tail rotor with a stealth cover on a fat fuselage??

I think we've got a live one here. This is going to be real interesting  

I've seen that rotor cap before, I can't remember if there used be one like that on the Dauphin 2 main rotor but I'm sure there was one on the Commanche.
 
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Tugger
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Tue May 03, 2011 6:15 pm

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 31):
Stealth helos. Probably a super H-60 derivative.

Well changing from the 4-blade tail rotor to a 5 or 6 blade rotor allows it to run at a slower speed and decreases its noise.

Wouldn't be surprised to find this thing had a 6-blade main.

Tugg
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bthebest
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Tue May 03, 2011 6:19 pm

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 31):
Stealth helos. Probably a super H-60 derivative.

Definitely looks like that. Will be very interesting to find out the true identity.
 
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Tue May 03, 2011 6:23 pm

Quoting StudeDave (Reply 30):
Looking a bit closer at the pictures that have been posted-
I am not gonna say what I wanna say...

I've no problem sayin it  

After all, if you're going to bury several billion into a procurement for the VH 71 and then cancel it, surely you're going to want some couple of choppers in return for that investment. Remember it was Lockheed who were developing it after all, maybe all is alive and well with the Sunkworks hehe  
 
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Tue May 03, 2011 6:30 pm

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 31):
Stealth helos. Probably a super H-60 derivative.

I think the fuselage is too fat to be a H-60 derivative, its someting bigger.
 
bthebest
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Tue May 03, 2011 6:38 pm

What other helos have a horizontal stabiliser like the H-60?
 
studedave
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Tue May 03, 2011 6:41 pm

Quoting spudh (Reply 35):
I've no problem sayin it

That wasn't what I was gonna say, but it's just as good!!!

Now here's a random thought~

if indeed this was some sort of 'stealth' bird why also send in two H-47s as has been reported?
Seems to me that those would alert folks something was up. Then again- they in fact may have,
as reports say that fighters went looking for 'unidentified' aircraft since no notice was given of this op.



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Tue May 03, 2011 6:45 pm

Quoting StudeDave (Reply 38):
why also send in two H-47s as has been reported?

I was going to ask this. I heard somewhere that the H-47 was for the Rangers that were to secure the area outside of the compound (in case trouble came from the outside).

This teaming was in evident in "Blackhawk Down" where the Special Ops does the kill and the Rangers provide support.

Can someone confirm this?

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Tue May 03, 2011 6:47 pm

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 39):
This teaming was in evident in "Blackhawk Down" where the Special Ops does the kill and the Rangers provide support.

The Israelis also took this into account at Entebbe and made sure there was a team to stop the Uganda forces from entering the airport as they rescued the hostages.

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canoecarrier
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Tue May 03, 2011 6:54 pm

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 23):
Uhm..... wtf?

Someone else did the work on this, so I can't take credit. I've not seen this before.



Very interesting...by the way, how come they don't use NOTAR conversions on these birds? Seems like it would reduce noise. But, then again I've never seen NOTAR on anything but a Hughes 500.

[Edited 2011-05-03 12:20:03]
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BladeLWS
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Tue May 03, 2011 7:07 pm

Quite interesting. Note the lack of rivets and inspection plates, also no markings of any kind. She's a black project of some type, maybe took over funding/development from the RAH-66 Comanche project? I'm surprised it's not a ducted fan though.
 
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Zkpilot
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Tue May 03, 2011 7:19 pm

Quoting max550 (Reply 19):
We were removing a person from a sovereign nation and I don't believe the complex was ever fully secured from the Pakistani military.
Quoting bikerthai (Reply 20):

Trying to save a helicopter would be a foolish move if the Pakistani jets have been scrambled. Sure, we can shoot down those jets, but then we would have to pay the Pakistani to replace those jets

Um... the Pakistan Military is supposed to be allied with America... Sure they are corrupt and some of them are helping the Taliban/AQ etc but there's no way they would want to be attacking US forces capturing OBL! Yes they kick up a stink when a drone bombs something, but this was a precision op by actual troops which in all likelihood have been given permission to do an op like this by Pakistan a long time ago.
The reason why it was s secret/stealthy mission was to avoid tipping off OBL and to have the element of surprise in taking out his people.
If this helo was some kind of special project/experimental aircraft then even more reason to retrieve it!
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BladeLWS
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Tue May 03, 2011 7:45 pm

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 41):

Very interesting...by the way, how come they don't use NOTAR conversions on these birds? Seems like it would reduce noise. But, then again I've never seen NOTAR on anything but a Hughes 500.

Thermal signature? Would not do well to have a blow torch flying out the back end for a SAM to see.
 
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Tugger
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Tue May 03, 2011 8:51 pm

Quoting BladeLWS (Reply 42):
I'm surprised it's not a ducted fan though.
Quoting BladeLWS (Reply 44):
Thermal signature?

The "duct" glows in infrared.... with open rotor there is not "tip friction".

Tugg
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bikerthai
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Tue May 03, 2011 9:00 pm

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 43):

If this helo was some kind of special project/experimental aircraft then even more reason to retrieve it!

I suspect that the more sensitive equipment would have been the electronic equipment inside the aircraft. Those items would have had their encryption erased/retrieved prior to the aircraft being destroyed. The hardware left undestroyed may be new to some of us here on A-net. But I venture to guess that the Chinese, Russians, Israelis etc . . . already know what the system is for and how to replicate it.

If it was really that important, they would have sent somebody over the wall to blow that portion up too. The team on the ground would have been really meticulous and would not have left the loose ends without reasonable justification.

  

bikerthai
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
TPAJAY
Posts: 29
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 1:22 am

Aircraft Used In The Assault On Osama Bin Laden

Tue May 03, 2011 10:31 pm

Guys Guys..... It's just a weather balloon, nothing to see here, just move on, move on!


On a side note, someone might want to tell the Pentagon that their new stealth helicopter does not land so well.

Jay
 
YANQUI67
Posts: 358
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 2:57 pm

Aircraft Used In The Assault On Osama Bin Laden

Wed May 04, 2011 1:44 am

What I would like to know is why the media is not asking questions about this "black helo". I would love to hear how they will spin this....
 
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scbriml
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Aircraft Used In The Assault On Osama Bin Laden

Wed May 04, 2011 2:46 am

Quoting yanqui67 (Reply 48):
What I would like to know is why the media is not asking questions about this "black helo".

Because the average media can't tell an Airbus 737 from a Boeing A380 Superjumbo?   
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