Tag Archives: Boeing AH-64 Apache

China Debuts New Indigenous Attack Helicopter for Export Market in First Flight

New Z-19E Black Whirlwind Flies for First Time in Harbin, China.

Chinese aircraft company AVIC Harbin Aircraft Industry Group debuted its new Z-19E “Black Whirlwind” attack helicopter during its first flight at Harbin Airport in Harbin, Heilongjiang, northeastern China.

The first flight of the Z-19E Black Whirlwind, also referred to as the AH-19E in Chinese media, was a basic lift-off to hover and then several basic low-speed flight maneuvers over the airfield. The aircraft was carrying eight large, white missiles that bear resemblance to the U.S. designed Hellfire guided missile along with what may have been a gun pod and a launch canister for high-velocity aircraft rockets (HVARs) possibly analogous to the U.S. 2.75” folding fin aircraft rocket (FFAR).

The crew arrangement seems to be similar to that of the U.S. AH-64 Apache helicopters where the pilot sits in the rear and the weapons operator sits in the front of the helicopter.

A noteworthy feature of the Z-19E is the “Fenestron” protected, shaft-driven tail rotor assembly. This is different from many attack helicopters such as the U.S. AH-64 Apache, European Tiger and Russian Mi-28 that use conventional, exposed tail rotors mounted outside the fuselage tail boom. The Fenestron enclosed tail rotor reduces lost thrust by ducting the drive forces generated by the rotating blades, reduces audible signature (quieter) and is safer in ground operations.

Fenestron is also noticeably quieter than a conventional external tail rotor improving audible stealth. The most common Fenestron equipped helicopter in use today is the U.S. Coast Guard’s HH-65C Dolphin. Fenestron is also seen on the Russian Kamov Ka-60- and the Kawasaki OH-1 light observation/attack helicopter. Fenestron tail rotors are generally more expensive to manufacture and heavier than a conventional external tail rotor however.

This is China’s first attempt at a locally produced, advanced attack helicopter intended for the export market. Their current primary attack helicopter is the CAIC Z-10 or WZ-10, an indigenously produced attack helicopter of primarily Russian design. It is an older looking helicopter with external tail rotor and cockpit arrangement that resembles the European Tiger attack helicopters. It was originally developed under a secret contract with famous Russian helicopter builder Kamov. The program for the Z-10 began in the early 2000s; an unusually late arrival for China to attack helicopter development compared to the U.S. and Russia who have been building dedicated attack helicopters since the 1960’s.

Depending on cost, capabilities and import/export restrictions the new Chinese Z-19E Black Whirlwind could have interested export clients in African and Middle-eastern/Asian countries where there is no locally built, advanced, fully capable attack helicopter.



Top image credit: Reuters

 

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Shocking video shows Greek AH-64D Apache helicopter crashing into the sea

Dramatic footage of an AH-64D Apache helicopter crashing into the sea.

On Sept. 20, at around 09.00AM LT a Greek Army Apache helicopter crashed into the Aegean

The AH-64D helicopter crashed for reasons unknown in the waters of the Strimonikos Gulf near Asprovalta, in northern Greece while taking part in SARISA 2016 exercise.

The footage below shows the helicopter crashing into the sea and capsizing. Fortunately, both crew members escaped safely.

The helicopter is believed to belong to either the 1st or 2nd Battalion of Attack Helicopters from Volos, central Greece.

This the third loss of D-model out of 12 initially procured by the Greek Army.

The incident reminds a famous U.S. Army AH-64 crash in Afghanistan or the Italian Army NH-90 helicopter that crashed into the Bracciano Lake, north of Rome, in June 2008. One of the pilots was killed, the other two crew members were rescued from the water after the helicopter almost disintegrated in the impact.

H/T @robotpig for sending the link to the video.

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Watch a Chinook lift a stuck Apache helicopter from a rice field in Texas

A massive CH-47 Chinook retrieved a smaller AH-64D Apache attack helicopter near Houston Texas.

On Aug. 30, a Texas Army National Guard AH-64D Apache, was forced to perform an emergency landing on a rice field near Wallisville, 30 miles to the east of Houston.

Although the landing was successful and nobody was hurt, the attack chopper had to be moved away from the field and, two days later, the disabled Army helicopter was rescued by a CH-47 that lifted the AH-64 a carried it for 16 miles to the Baytown Airport.

With a 26,000-lb sling load capacity on the central hook the Chinook is capable to lift and carry other aircraft: for instance, in August 2013, a CH-47F Chinook helicopter transported a U.S. Air Force A-7K Corsair II to the Goldstar Museum at Camp Dodge, in Johnston, Iowa.

Top image: screenshot from AP video

 

Watch South Korean and U.S. combat planes drop bombs on range hills during massive show of force

That’s a live firing exercise!

The following video was filmed in mid August 2015, at Seungjin Training Field, South Korea, during 2015 Integrated Live Fire Exercise.

It shows, among the others, ROKAF (Republic Of Korea Air Force) F-15Ks and KF-16s, dropping bombs on the range, ROKA AH-64, MD500 and KUH-1 helicopters, MRLS as well as some U.S. Air Force A-10s using its GAU-8 Avenger 30 mm hydraulically driven seven-barrel Gatling-type.

The drills were also supported by a South Korean Boeing 737 AEW&C Peace Eye that can be seen at the beginning of the video releasing flares.

The interesting footage shows an air power demo (to flex muscles against North Korea and China) rather than actual firing training: needless to say, no combat plane would ever use purple or yellow smoke during a real combat sortie.

Many thanks to @andiegewehre for the heads-up

 

More than 100 Greek warplanes (including last A-7E Corsair jets) conduct live firing exercise

The Hellenic Air Force stages large exercise at the Kranea Firing Installation in Larisa.

On Jul. 3, more than 100 Greek fighter jets of all types demonstrated their air strike capabilities using various types of weapons, including guided missiles, bombs and cannons, at the Kranea Firing Installation in Larisa, Greece

Formation

Hellenic Air Force’s F-16s Block 30 up to Block 52M, Mirage 2000-5, F-4E AUP Phantom, A-7E Corsair jets (at one of their last appearances before being retired in September) supported by an Erieye EMB-145H AEW&C took part in the exercise, which also featured AH-64DHA Longbow Apache attack helicopters of the Hellenic Army, that fired salvo of AGM-114K1 Hellfire missiles.

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The drills, included aerial tactical reconnaissance provided by the UAV PEGASUS, High Value Air Asset (HVAA) Protection/Attack and virtual dogfights, CSAR (Combat Search And Rescue) operation, supported by AH-64DHA Longbow Apache attack helos.

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F-4 Phantom

Image credit: Hellenic Air Force

H/T to Strategy Reports for the heads-up.