Category Archives: Helicopters

This cool shot shows Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey generating Kopp-Etchell’s effect in the dust

A U.S. Marine Corps Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft is depicted with seemingly solid rotor disks.

The image in this post shows a U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey assigned to Special Purpose MAGTF – CR – CC during a TRAP (tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel) drill at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia, on Nov. 16, 2015.

What makes the shot particularly interesting (and vaguely Star Wars-like…) is the halo effect caused by the sand hitting the blades and eroding their metal surface. The effect is more visible around the blades’ tips where the peripheral speed is higher.

Caused by the oxidation of eroded particles, the so-called “Kopp-Etchells effect” (named by war correspondent Michael Yon after Cpl. Benjamin Kopp, and Cpl. Joseph Etchells, two fallen American and British soldiers) makes the tilt-rotor aircraft more visible from distance, hence more vulnerable.

Image credit: U.S. Marine Corps. H/T @DCDude1776 for the heads-up

Stunning video will bring you aboard a NASWI MH-60S during sea, land and mountain SAR missions

Naval Air Station Whidbey Island (NASWI) Search and Rescue (SAR) as you have never seen it before.

Tasked to be the first responder for the aircraft and personnel stationed at NAS Whidbey Island, Washington, and to support Washington State agencies in case of emergencies, medical evacuations and search and rescue activities, NAS Whidbey Island SAR  is a one of a kind rescue unit, equipped with the MH-60S “Knighthawk” helicopters.

The team, consisting of three helicopters, 10 pilots, 10 rescue aircrewmen and 3 SAR Medical Technicians (SMT’s) is “the premier in Navy Search and Rescue:” personnel of NASWI are highly trained in day and night both overwater and mountain rescue including helicopter rappel and hoist, and mountain landing.

For SAR missions, the unit typically maintains either a 15-minute or a 30-minute alert posture.

This video, provides an insight into what NASWI SAR does, bringing you aboard MH-60S during land, sea and mountain operations.

H/T David J. Ljung for the heads-up

The MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft in this video looks like a transformer in the act of transforming

Before you look at this video, you must be aware they’re not filming the new Transformers movie.

The following footage shows a Bell Boeing MV-22, the U.S. Marine Corps variant of the Osprey tilt-rotor, on the flight deck of the amphibious ship USS Boxer, before taking off.

Filmed during well deck operations, this Osprey was taking part to Exercise Dawn Blitz 2015, a multinational training exercise conducted from Aug. 31 to Sep. 10 by Expeditionary Strike Group 3 (ESG-3) and 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade (1st MEB) to build U.S., Japan, Mexico and New Zealand’s amphibious, and command and control capabilities through live, simulated, and constructive military training activities.

Maybe it’s because it was taken as it was unfolding its wings, but don’t you think this Osprey looks like a Transformer in the act of transforming?

Dramatic videos show Mi-24 Hind gunships fighting rebels in Syria

Impressive: Mi-24 Hind helicopters performing rocket runs at low altitude in Syria

The following videos were filmed in Syria in the last hours and show Mi-24 Hind helicopters (Russian  ones, deployed to Latakia along with the rest of the RuAF contingent, according to the first unverified reports), fighting rebels.

The first footage shows two Hinds (a type of helo flown also by the Syrian Arab Air Force and frequently used against revolutionaries since the beginning of the uprising) during a rocket attack at very low altitude in Kafr Nabudah, in northwestern Syria. The two choppers can be seen overflying the village and releasing plenty of flares to deceive potential MANPADS (Man Portable Air Defense Systems) in the hands of rebel forces.

MANPADS have been successfully used against Mi-24/25s in Syria, Ukraine and Armenia.

And here is another video, showing Syrian rebels shooting at an Mi-24 helicopter with their AK-47s. This footage was allegedly filmed in Latakia.

What looks like a mortar can be briefly spotted in this second video at 0:46: did the Mi-24s attack that position in order to wipe out a mortar possibly threatening the RuAF base at al-Assad International Airport?


H/T to Alessandro Borsetti for sending the links to these interesting videos.


Images show that parts of U.S. Army 160th SOAR MH-60M that crash landed off Okinawa were covered to hide some details

A Special Operations Black Hawk performed a “hard-deck landing” on the USNS Red Cloud off Okinawa, Japan.

Seven military were injured after an MH-60M Black Hawk helicopter belonging to the U.S. Army’s 160th SOAR (Special Operations Aviation Regiment) performed a “hard-deck landing” on the USNS Red Cloud, 20 miles off Okinawa, Japan.

Aerial footage broadcast by several media outlets showed the helicopter (coded “63”) with part of its tail broken off: screenshots posted on Social Media (special thanks to @AbraxasSpa) shows that main and tail rotors were covered, most probably to hide some details (maybe noise reduction devices and other interesting sensors) of the Special Operations helicopter.

MH-60 Japan 4

Therefore, not a Silent Hawk like the one involved in the Abbottabad raid to kill Bin Laden, but a highly modified chopper with plenty of details that is better to keep away from cameras.

MH-60 Japan 3

Screenshots via @AbraxasSpa