Category Archives: Helicopters

Video shows Russian Mi-35 gunship helicopters ultra-low altitude flying over Black Sea beaches


Russian attack helicopter pilots must be used to fly well below treetop altitude.

The opening phase of the recent invasion of Crimea saw Russian gunships cross the Strait of Kerch at very low altitude. In the days that followed the first incursion inside the Ukrainian airspace, the Mi-35s were dispatched at low level over the roofs of Sevastopol in Crimea to perform overwatch patrol (and show of force).

Needless to say, ultra-low level flying is part of the daily training of Russian Mi-35M Hind pilots that train for future aerial assaults.

Reportedly filmed at Anapa, Krasnodar, Russia, the following interesting footage shows two Mi-35s flying at low level over the beaches of the northern Black Sea.

H/T to Matt Fanning for the heads-up.


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First AgustaWestland HH-101A “Caesar” for the Italian Air Force makes first flight


The first AW101 for the Italian Air Force, designated the HH-101A “CAESAR”, made its maiden flight at AgustaWestland’s Yeovil facility in the UK

The new helicopter, in an interesting black color scheme, made its first flight at the presence of the Italian Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Pasquale Preziosa and other representatives and dignitaries from military services and public authorities.

The HH-101A will be the backbone of the Italian Air Force’s rotary wing fleet that was already modernized with the HH-139 for Search and Rescue.

The first two examples of the HH-101A will be delivered in Q4/2014 in Personnel Recovery and Special Forces missions configuration.

Italian Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Pasquale Preziosa said “The HH-101A will respond to the Italian Air Force’s needs for Personnel Recovery and Special Forces Operations. It will also support SAR, MEDEVAC and Slow Mover Intercept operations which are extremely important to provide effective support to the Italian community.”

The HH-101A will be able to host a combination of up to five crew members plus twenty fully equipped troops or six crew members plus 8 troops for special operations ensuring maximum flexibility. The helicopters will also feature three M134 7.62 mm pintle mounted Gatling-type machine guns installed on right and left sides and on the rear ramp, armoured cockpit seats, ballistic protection for machine gun operators as well as for critical systems and an Integrated Electronic Warfare System providing self-protection against radar, laser and infrared threats. The HH-101A will also feature an air-to-air refuelling kit for extended range operations.


Image credit: AgustaWestland


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[Video] Russian gunships circling over the roofs of Sevastopol, Crimea

Hind over Crimea

Two Russian Hind choppers having fun at low altitude over Sevastopol in Crimea.

It’s not clear whether they were circling over a specific target or simply performing a show of force.

For sure, the following footages show Russian Mil Mi-24 Hind helicopters low over the roofs of Sevastopol, Crimea, Ukraine, on Mar. 6, 2014.

Here’s from another point of view:

H/T to Marsattaque blog for the heads-up

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New video: Russian gunships cross the Strait of Kerch at low level during first phase of Crimea invasion

Strait of Kerch

Russian Mil Mi-24 Hind gunships entered the Ukrainian airspace flying at ultra-low level over the sea.

A new video taken on Feb. 28, during the opening phase of the Russian invasion of Crimea, shows Putin’s chopper armada crossing the Strait of Kerch at very low level, almost undetectable by Ukrainian Air Defense.

The Mi-24 and accompanying Mi-8/17 Hip helicopters were pivotal to the small scale “blitzkrieg” that enabled the Russian forces to occupy Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula and control some of its key installations, including Belbek airport.


H/T to Giuliano Ranieri for sending the link.

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Syrian Air Force has “upgraded” its gunships: Mi-25 can drop double barrel bomb attack

Mi-24 modified

Assad’s choppers now capable to perform dual barrel bomb attacks.

Footage released lately by SMART Syria news agency shows a Mil Mi-25 (the export version of the Soviet Mil Mi-24 Hind) dropping two improvised barrel bombs, on Free Syrian Army positions.

Since they were used for the first time in combat, single 1,500 – 2,000 lb bombs made of barrels filled with explosives, shrapnel or oil were dropped by the cargo door of the Mi-8/17 Hip helicopter or the wing pylons of the Mi-25 gunships one at a time.

Now it seems the Syrian Hinds have got the capability to drop two at a time, with doubled devastating effects: according to some sources, barrel bombs have caused some 20,000 casualties since the beginning of the uprising in 2011.


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