Tag Archives: helicopter

MQ-8C extended-endurance Fire Scout unmanned helicopter caught “on the road” in California

An MQ-8C Fire Scout was spotted on a trailer on I-405 Northbound at Newport Beach, California

The MQ-8C Fire Scout is a Bell 407 helicopter modified with autonomous controls from the MQ-8B drone copter.

It weighs 2.7 tons, has a 1,000 lb payload, can fly for 24 hours and can carry AGM-176 Griffin missiles, APKWS II guided 70 mm rockets, and AGM-114 Hellfire missiles.

It first flew in October 2013 and the first two unmanned choppers currently involved in flight testing have already surpassed 100 flight hours.

The Navy plans to operate 28 MQ-8Cs for naval special operations forces. One of those (188688) was seen on a trailer moving northbound on Interstate 405 near Newport Beach, California.

 

MQ-8C on the road

Image credit: “Spencer”

 

These videos show the alleged attack of Ukrainian Gunship Helicopters against their own troops

16 Ukraine soldiers were killed in deadly checkpoint attack. Ukrainian Air Force helicopters strafed their own troops? Most probably, no.

A Ukrainian checkpoint at Blagodatnoe village, near the town of Volnovakha, was assaulted on May 22. 16 soldiers were killed and about 30 wounded.

According to RT, the attackers arrived in transit vans, with combat helicopters providing cover for them.

The attackers began shooting at the soldiers at the checkpoint and one of the shells hit an ammunition depot, causing a huge explosion.

Some eyewitnesses captured the events unfold on video. One of these videos shows Mil Mi-24 Hind gunships flying at very low altitude above the area, deploying flares.

Here’s an another video which shows the same scene from the ground. This video is even more interesting as it shows the attack from the soldiers point of view. The footage clearly shows the helicopters flying at ultra-low altitude in the aftermath of the massive explosion.

According to some sources, the helicopters that can be seen in the video strafed the Ukrainian soldiers at the checkpoint in a blue-on-blue episode.

However, both videos may show a different story.

They arrived over the checkpoint after the first explosion. Then they circled in the vicinity deploying flares, most probably because they were concerned by MANPADS (Man Portable Air Defense Systems).

There is no evidence any of the helicopters really fired and the gun fire that can be heard in the footage may come from the ground.

Obviously, the entire scene must have been confusing from the air and on the ground, hence the reports of friendly fire or mutiny.

H/T to Steppen Wolf for sending the links and providing additional information.

 

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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.

HH-101A

Image credit: AgustaWestland

 

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This video shows how AgustaWestland brought an 8-ton AW189 helicopter to North America

Provided that it can be easily, partially disassembled, a large, heavy, multi-role helicopter can be carried inside an airlifter (a large one).

Heli-Expo 2014 at Anaheim Convention Center, California, is one of those events companies which have to deal with helicopters can’t miss: it is expected to host 20,000 industry professionals, +700 exhibitors and feature more than 60 helicopters on display.

AgustaWestland plans to display (for the first time in North America) the AgustaWestland Family of new generation helicopters: the AW169, AW139, AW189, plus the PZL-Swidnik SW-4 five seat single engine helicopter. Furthermore it will perform customer demo flights with the AW609 Tilt Rotor plane and the AW189, the brand new multirole chopper “optimised to operate in harsh conditions undertaking long range, deep water missions typical of the Offshore industry.”

Do you how a 8-ton chopper is moved across the Pond?

You need a helicopter that can be partially disassembled (the rotor, at least) and the “help” of a large cargo plane, as the AN-124 Ruslan you can see in the footage below.

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