Category Archives: Helicopters

HH-60 Helicopter refuels from HC-130 in one of the most awesome aerial refueling photos ever!

Helicopter Air to Air Refueling as you’ve (probably) never seen it.

The image in this post was taken during a training Helicopter Air-to-Air Refueling (HAAR) mission over Alaska.

It was taken from a 210th Rescue Squadron HH-60 Pave Hawk as it refuels from a 211th Rescue Squadron HC-130N.

Both aircraft belong to the 176th Wing (176 WG), a unit of the Alaska Air National Guard, stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER), Anchorage, Alaska, and they are tasked with combat search-and-rescue missions.

The point of view and the stunning background make the photo awesome. By the way,  this video provides another pretty unique point of view, whereas this one shows how difficult HAAR can really be (hence the need to practice a lot).

Image credit: MSgt Sean Mitchell via AFSOC FB page

 

Photos from Aircraft involved in rescue mission to evacuate people trapped on burning ferry

Italian and Greek military and coast guard aircraft, helicopters and boats are battling strong winds and massive waves to rescue 478 people trapped on a burning ferry adrift between Italy and Albania.

A complex rescue mission is underway since early in the morning on Dec. 28, when fire broke out on a car deck of the Italian flagged “Norman Atlantic” ferry, travelling from Patras, Greece, to Ancona, Italy, with 478 people on board.

Italy and Greece dispatched helicopters and maritime patrol aircraft (including an Italian Coast Guard ATR-42MP and Hellenic C-130) to support the rescue mission that will go ahead until everyone aboard is evacuated from the ferry, adrift about 15 nautical miles from the Albanian coast.

Smoke

Italian Air Force HH-139s, Italian Navy SH-212 and EH-101s helicopters are rescuing passengers from the ship and carrying them to the nearby ships or hospitals in southeastern Italy.

Ferry EH101

At 21.43 GMT, 287 people must still be evacuated. One of the passengers has been declared dead. Rescue operations are particularly difficult because of the high seas, darkness and amount of smoke coming from the ship.

Ferry MM 4

Both the ferry and the nearby ships can be tracked by AIS (Automatic Identification System), an automatic tracking system used for identification and geo-localization of vessels that can be considered the naval homologous of the ADS-B used by airplanes and it is used for collision avoidance, search and rescue, and for aids to navigation.

Here below you can see the track followed by the Norman Atlantic until the present position (from MarineTraffic.com):

Norman Atlantic track

Here below you can see the position of the ferry at 21.39 GMT:

Norman Atlantic position

It looks like one of the supporting helicopters is also using broadcasting its flight data by means of AIS and can be tracked. Have a look at the path it has followed.

Norman Atlantic helicopter

Image credit: Guardia Costiera, Marina Militare, Marinetraffic.com

 

Video shows Armenian Mi-24 gunship helicopter hit and shot down with MANPADS by Azeri forces

A video seems to show the downing of an Mi-24 Hind helicopter belonging to the Armed Forces of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic.

On Nov. 12, at around 1.45PM LT, a Mil Mi-24 belonging to Armed Forces of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic was shot down as it flew about 1,7 Km northeast of the village of Kengerli in the Agdam district of Azerbaijan by the Azeri army.

According to Armenian media outlets, the helicopters were involved in a training mission close to the border and the shooting down is the result of ceasefire violation by the Azerbaijani side.

Azeri Ministry of Defense stated that the Mi-24 was shot down while performing an attack run on Azeri troops.

Footage shows what seems to be a MANPADS hit one of the two low-flying Mi-24 Hind helicopters.

Image credit: Armradio.am

H/T Matt Fanning for sending us the link to the video and to Arda Mevlutoglu for providing additional information

 

Spectacular Photo of U.S. Air Force CV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft with the full moon in the background

A quite unusual photo caught a U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command’s CV-22 Osprey with the full moon in the background.

Taken close to RAF Mildenhall, UK, on Oct. 7, 2014, by Gary Chadwick, the spectacular photo in this article shows a U.S. Air Force CV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft with the 7th SOS (Special Operations Squadron) flying a night mission with a full moon in the background.

The 7th SOS is a component squadron of the 352nd SOG (Special Operations Group) whose role is infiltration and exfiltration of troops from hostile, sensitive, behind-the-enemy-lines locations.

Along with the Ospreys, the Squadron flies the MC-130H Combat Talon II (that will eventually be replaced by the MC-130J Commando II) that, along with supporting special operations (including PSYOPS) in contested airspace, in adverse weather conditions, at low-level and long range, can also perform HAAR (Helicopter Air-to-Air Refueling) missions.

Image credit: Gary Chadwick

 

Chinook Forever! First two brand new ICH-47F enter active service with Italian Army

The Italian Army has been delivered the first two examples of a new Chinook variant, designated ICH-47F.

On Oct. 2, during an official ceremony held at AgustaWestland’s Vergiate plant, Italy, the Italian Army received the first two ICH-47F helicopters.

Within the ICH-47F program, the Italian Army Aviation 1st Regiment “Antares” based in Viterbo will receive 16 new Chinooks to replace its CH-47C Chinooks that have been in service since 1973.

The ICH-47F is a customised version of the legendary, legacy Chinook which incorporates a secure communications system, self-protection system and advanced datalink system.

According to AgustaWestland, the new variant has a Maximum All Up Weight (MAUW) of 23 tons, is equipped with two Honeywell T55-GA-714A engines which gives it excellent “hot and high” capability and is suitable for all-weather operations. Even though it can perform a wide variety of missions,  its primary one has obviously remained the same: tactical transportation of troops and equipment, both internally and externally, by means of the aircraft’s cargo hook system.

The ICH-47 is produced by a Joint Industrial Agreement between Boeing and AgustaWestland, that is prime contractor for with responsibility for systems integration, final assembly and aircraft delivery to the Italian Army. Boeing builds the fuselage in the U.S, then final assembly is carried out at Vergiate plant in Northern Italy.

CH-47F new

Image credit: AgustaWestland