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AH-6C, MH-6 photos from AH6C-SIP-PICS ARE BACK!


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John, my thoughts on the little air intake positioned on the right rear engine clamshell door (just peeking out over the armaments wing in James Green's photo) are that it is a standard air intake fitted to the Allison 250 C-30-engined Little Bird and MD530F. If you have a quick look on google at some civilian 530Fs, you'll see the same intake fitted. I only noticed this myself after you asked the question.

Thanks for the info, I just never noticed that intake on other LB's before. What do you think about that flanged exhaust on the Yakima helo? Is that a standard fitting or something else? I did a quick Google search here at work but only saw a similar flanged exhaust in a picture of a Littlebird deployed in Iraq.

I agree with your opinion that the large left-side intake is likely associated with the exhaust suppression kit.

Thanks for the info on those Mogadishu pictures.

Edited by 11bee
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I have to admit that I hadn't looked closely (until now) at the ring on the end of the exhaust pipe on the Yakima Bird. I see that it has a number of holes drilled in the ring, so maybe the drilled ring is the point on the airframe where the extended exhaust system is mounted?

Looking at the few photos that exist of the extended exhaust system, it looks to me that it starts as a circular section at the point where it mounts onto the standard exhaust pipe (Yakima Bird) and then it appears to bend and form into a rectangular shape at the point where the exhaust is expelled. My guess is that some kind of pre-existing heat-diffuser or heat-exchanger was chosen for the Little Bird at that time and an adapted section of exhaust pipe was used to fit this heat-diffuser/exchanger onto the exhaust pipe of the Little Bird. If I was building a model of a Mog AH-6J, that's how I'd go about shaping the extended exhaust. Also, it appears that the exhaust pipe is facing down vertically, and is not offset to either side. If it was offset to the left, it would be expelling hot gases into the airflow going back towards the tail rotor and would probably cause turbulence problems and control issues for the tail rotor.

I wonder have they ever tried to make some kind of exhaust system lined with the material they used on the tiles on the underside of the Space Shuttle. I recall seeing a piece of video of one side of one of these tiles being heated with a blow-torch and glowing red hot on one side while somebody had the other side resting in the palm of their hand. I always thought this stuff would work well on a Little Bird exhaust system.

LD.

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John, my thoughts on the little air intake positioned on the right rear engine clamshell door (just peeking out over the armaments wing in James Green's photo) are that it is a standard air intake fitted to the Allison 250 C-30-engined Little Bird and MD530F. If you have a quick look on google at some civilian 530Fs, you'll see the same intake fitted. I only noticed this myself after you asked the question.

I mentioned earlier that I thought the AH-6 gunships used in Somalia had the extended exhaust system. I found the photo I was looking for that seems to place it in the Gothic Serpent mission. Have a look at the third photo in Post #72 in this thread.

http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/showthread.php?101123-Little-Birds-used-by-160th-SOAR/page5

That looks like a pair of AH-6s (possibly J-versions) departing the airport at Mogadishu for the big fight downtown. If you download the photo, you'll see the tag on it is "oct320launchjj9" so that seems to indicate the photo was taken on October 3. If you look closely at the nearest Little Bird, it looks like it definitely has the extended exhaust. What is really interesting is that it looks like the large air intake on the Yakima Range Bird also seems to be fitted to this Mogadishu Little Bird. Does that mean that the big air intake is part of this IR Suppression system? It is beginning to look that way, if you ask me!

There are also two other interesting things in that photo; The UH-1V Huey and the Blackhawk in the background, turning and burning, maybe about to lift after the Little Birds. Perhaps it is one of the CSAR Blackhawks.

LD.

The air intake positioned behind and above the right rear gear leg I believe (from memory) is the starter-generator cooling duct. I'll have to check the manuals. There have been design changes on that duct - originally it was squarish but later a new more rounded version came into use. It's not SOA specific - civilian a/c have the same thing.

As far as the the pix on militaryphotos.net, they do indeed appear to show the sugar scoop exhaust in use. The second photo with the a/c rearwards facing has a modified 7 X 7 pixel area right over the exhaust - somebody has altered the photo. As you surmise, there does appear to be the large intake fitted on to the upper left engine cover. Wish those photos were bigger.

Idle speculation about the sugar scoop exhaust: why go to a different exhaust suppression system when they had the "black hole" design? Obviously some sort of new operational threat emerged (at least in some places) as far as heat-seekers, and the IR hot-spots on the LBs had to be suppressed either more than or in a different way than they had been suppressed before. As I say, idle speculation on my part...

John Hairell (tpn18@yahoo.com)

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Idle speculation about the sugar scoop exhaust: why go to a different exhaust suppression system when they had the "black hole" design? Obviously some sort of new operational threat emerged (at least in some places) as far as heat-seekers, and the IR hot-spots on the LBs had to be suppressed either more than or in a different way than they had been suppressed before. As I say, idle speculation on my part...

John Hairell (tpn18@yahoo.com)

What I find curious is that this appears to divert the exhaust downward, whereas all other US helos have the opposite approach. Divert the hot gases upwards into the rotorwash and at the same time, hide the exhaust from seekers on the ground.

Obviously this is something a bit different than the other devices out there.

It stands to reason that these were used in Mogadishu, I read reports at the time mentioning that there was a high probability that the bad guys had SAM's. One report even suggested that one of the MH-60's went down from a SAM hit, not an RPG.

Edited by 11bee
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What I find curious is that this appears to divert the exhaust downward, whereas all other US helos have the opposite approach. Divert the hot gases upwards into the rotorwash and at the same time, hide the exhaust from seekers on the ground.

Obviously this is something a bit different than the other devices out there.

It stands to reason that these were used in Mogadishu, I read reports at the time mentioning that there was a high probability that the bad guys had SAM's. One report even suggested that one of the MH-60's went down from a SAM hit, not an RPG.

What if the threat was from above? They are generally low-flying a/c. I wonder if there was a new generation of MANPAD fielded (or a mod to an existing one) at around that time which may have had a mode where it approached from the top of a target in an attempt to foil IR-suppressor systems which blanked off the view downwards.

Also, generally on the 5XX series, there's two sources of heated air out the back - the exhausts themselves, and also the forced air coming from around the exhaust pipe(s) that's coming from the engine compartment and which exits between the exhaust pipe(s) and the sheet metal (that's why there's a gap there), i.e. all the engine compartment forced air cooling. The big box-like scoop fitted on the upper left side probably augments the heat dissipation from within the engine compartment.

John Hairell (tpn18@yahoo.com)

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Wow, you guys have this thread jumping. I apologize for jumping in the middle of the modified exhaust discussion, but i thought you all might be interested in this photo. It is an official McDonnell Douglas photo taken in 1989. back says " A McDonnell Douglas Defender helicopter fires a salvo of 70mm rockets at the US Army's Youma Proving Grounds. The aircraft is also capable of firing TOW, Hellfire and Stinger missiles and 7.62mm to .50 cal machine guns." Photo is from the Wayne Mutza collection. I hope you find it interesting. Obviously a test bird. If anyone knows more about the specifics of this aircraft, please let us know.

Ray

AH-6.jpg

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Wow, you guys have this thread jumping. I apologize for jumping in the middle of the modified exhaust discussion, but i thought you all might be interested in this photo. It is an official McDonnell Douglas photo taken in 1989. back says " A McDonnell Douglas Defender helicopter fires a salvo of 70mm rockets at the US Army's Youma Proving Grounds. The aircraft is also capable of firing TOW, Hellfire and Stinger missiles and 7.62mm to .50 cal machine guns." Photo is from the Wayne Mutza collection. I hope you find it interesting. Obviously a test bird. If anyone knows more about the specifics of this aircraft, please let us know.

Ray

AH-6.jpg

I have an 8X10 of that specific photo somewhere at home. That a/c has two .50s hung from the plank. From memory that was a bird that was used for mods testing and I think it may have been one of the ones that became a NOTAR test platform for a while. I've seen photos of it with the tailboom and tailfeathers in various shades of primer, and instrumented with cameras and orange wire.

John Hairell (tpn18@yahoo.com)

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Thanks for that photo, Ray. As John H says, it seems to be one of the regular 160th test ships. It has lots of interesting stuff fitted, like;

1. Test gear on the main rotor head.

2. Test gear monitoring the tail rotor.

3. Yellow main rotor tips.

4. Red and white tail rotor.

5. Aerocrafter .50 cal guns.

6. A camera fitted to the front of the right skid.

7. Chromate tail boom and tail fin.

8. Test wiring fitted to the rocket pods.

It looks like it also has the C-30 engine fitted. Not sure if it's a G or a J, though.

LD.

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Thanks for that photo, Ray. As John H says, it seems to be one of the regular 160th test ships. It has lots of interesting stuff fitted, like;

1. Test gear on the main rotor head.

2. Test gear monitoring the tail rotor.

3. Yellow main rotor tips.

4. Red and white tail rotor.

5. Aerocrafter .50 cal guns.

6. A camera fitted to the front of the right skid.

7. Chromate tail boom and tail fin.

8. Test wiring fitted to the rocket pods.

It looks like it also has the C-30 engine fitted. Not sure if it's a G or a J, though.

LD.

You forgot the slime light on the rear engine cover!...:-)

John Hairell (tpn18@yahoo.com)

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John, it looks like a standard MH-6M. It doesn't have too many aerials or bumps under the fuselage so that makes me think it is photographed early in its career as an H-6M. It looks like it is practicing landings and take-offs on a large ship. You can see the reflection of the ship in the glass bubble. It looks like there are two other Little Birds in the circuit. Am I missing anything?

Thanks as well for pointing out the pixilated area in the Mog AH-6 photo. I thought the squared-off bottom part of the pixelated area was actually the flat part of the exhaust. That photo probably still confirms that this AH-6 had the sugar-scoop exhaust.

LD.

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John, it looks like a standard MH-6M. It doesn't have too many aerials or bumps under the fuselage so that makes me think it is photographed early in its career as an H-6M. It looks like it is practicing landings and take-offs on a large ship. You can see the reflection of the ship in the glass bubble. It looks like there are two other Little Birds in the circuit. Am I missing anything?

LD.

You can also get a rough time frame on the picture based on the pilot's uniforms. One guy is still wearing the older style woodland / BDU flight suit. A few years ago, I believe that went over completely to the ACU pattern (as the other pilot is wearing).

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John, it looks like a standard MH-6M. It doesn't have too many aerials or bumps under the fuselage so that makes me think it is photographed early in its career as an H-6M. It looks like it is practicing landings and take-offs on a large ship. You can see the reflection of the ship in the glass bubble. It looks like there are two other Little Birds in the circuit. Am I missing anything?

Thanks as well for pointing out the pixilated area in the Mog AH-6 photo. I thought the squared-off bottom part of the pixelated area was actually the flat part of the exhaust. That photo probably still confirms that this AH-6 had the sugar-scoop exhaust.

LD.

No you aren't missing anything - it's just a nice official photo that is out there but that doesn't get much attention.

John Hairell (tpn18@yahoo.com)

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MH-6E with four-blade tail rotor.

Here are a couple of photos that I think show the MH-6E in Grenada with the four-blade tail rotor. The four-blade tail rotor was commercially available by 1983 so it looks like the 160th decided to try it out on their MH-6Es. From what I've been told, the four-blade TR had less TR authority than the standard two blade rotor but it was a lot quieter.

000101.jpg

I think you can just make out a four blade tail rotor on the MH-6E on the left of the photo above.

grenadash1.jpg

Does anyone have any more photos of the MH-6E with a four blade tail rotor? Thanks.

LD.

Edited by Loach Driver
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Here are the earliest US Army OH-6 pics I have showing a 4 bladed tail rotor. Unfortunately, there was no specific info with these slides so I don't know anything other than it is almost certainly a Aviation Test Board asset. One of your guys who are H-6 experts can probably confirm or deny this based on the T-tail and 5 bladed main rotor, but the white UH-1 medivac birds in the background with the large external fuel tanks date these photos to the 70's sometime, I think. If anyone is familiar with this specific aircraft, I'd love to know the story on the tail rotor mod and the unique camo paint job.

Ray

OH-6028.jpg

OH-6033.jpg

OH-6032.jpg

Edited by rotorwash
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Here are the earliest US Army OH-6 pics I have showing a 4 bladed tail rotor. Unfortunately, there was no specific info with these slides so I don't know anything other than it is almost certainly a Aviation Test Board asset. One of your guys who are H-6 experts can probably confirm or deny this based on the T-tail and 5 bladed main rotor, but the white UH-1 medivac birds in the background with the large external fuel tanks date these photos to the 70's sometime, I think. If anyone is familiar with this specific aircraft, I'd love to know the story on the tail rotor mod and the unique camo paint job.

Ray

OH-6028.jpg

OH-6033.jpg

OH-6032.jpg

I think Hugh Mills flew this bird at Rucker as part of an Army eval, probably around 1974-75 - I'll ask him. This T-tail was an early D-model design, pre-production. As far as the 4-bladed T/R, Hughes was working with them as early as 1968. The 500Ps that the AA/CIA flew had 4-bladed T/Rs circa 1972.

John Hairell (tpn18@yahoo.com)

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MH-6E with four-blade tail rotor.

Here are a couple of photos that I think show the MH-6E in Grenada with the four-blade tail rotor. The four-blade tail rotor was commercially available by 1983 so it looks like the 160th decided to try it out on their MH-6Es. From what I've been told, the four-blade TR had less TR authority than the standard two blade rotor but it was a lot quieter.

000101.jpg

I think you can just make out a four blade tail rotor on the MH-6E on the left of the photo above.

grenadash1.jpg

Does anyone have any more photos of the MH-6E with a four blade tail rotor? Thanks.

LD.

I'm not sure who Chip Tatum is... and his 74 hits, but I was there at that end of that runway waiting to get a C-141 lift out. Can't vouch for the four bladed T/R, but my AH-6C 17191 was the only LB Gun to take any hits at all. NONE of A Company's MH-6's took any fire, because they never got used at all.

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I'm not sure who Chip Tatum is... and his 74 hits, but I was there at that end of that runway waiting to get a C-141 lift out. Can't vouch for the four bladed T/R, but my AH-6C 17191 was the only LB Gun to take any hits at all. NONE of A Company's MH-6's took any fire, because they never got used at all.

I would find it a bit surprising that someone flying with what was then a classified unit would have willingly given his name to a passing reporter. Interesting comment about the "missile-laden" Littlebird. I guess the press doesn't know the difference between a rocket and a missile :)

Edited by 11bee
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John, it looks like a standard MH-6M. It doesn't have too many aerials or bumps under the fuselage so that makes me think it is photographed early in its career as an H-6M. It looks like it is practicing landings and take-offs on a large ship. You can see the reflection of the ship in the glass bubble. It looks like there are two other Little Birds in the circuit. Am I missing anything?

Thanks as well for pointing out the pixilated area in the Mog AH-6 photo. I thought the squared-off bottom part of the pixelated area was actually the flat part of the exhaust. That photo probably still confirms that this AH-6 had the sugar-scoop exhaust.

LD.

The pic was taken on 2007-07-12 according to the photo's EXIF info.

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Good choice on the G model build from the tanker war time period, it was and still is my favorite model, really good solid/stable/reliable gun bird, if you build it, here's a note on "making it real", because we were only using 1 x mini (left side) and 1 x 7 shot rocket pod, we early in the event carried 7 more rockets in the back to allow us to land anywhere that we could and reload our rockets without going back to our launching point which may be quite some distance away. Reload was very minimal amount of time.

Hey my Brother! Did you also still carry a five gallon cans and donkey dick to refuel? GT

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I think Hugh Mills flew this bird at Rucker as part of an Army eval, probably around 1974-75 - I'll ask him. This T-tail was an early D-model design, pre-production. As far as the 4-bladed T/R, Hughes was working with them as early as 1968. The 500Ps that the AA/CIA flew had 4-bladed T/Rs circa 1972.

Follow-up - Hugh says he did NOT fly this bird. He flew a Defender with MMS. He thinks the photos are of an a/c that was at the Night Vision Lab and that the airfield may be Davison AAF.

John Hairell (tpn18@yahoo.com)

Edited by FM-Whip
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I'm not sure who Chip Tatum is... and his 74 hits, but I was there at that end of that runway waiting to get a C-141 lift out. Can't vouch for the four bladed T/R, but my AH-6C 17191 was the only LB Gun to take any hits at all. NONE of A Company's MH-6's took any fire, because they never got used at all.

Doesn't "Chip Tatum" sound like a made-up name?

John Hairell (tpn18@yahoo.com)

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MH-6E with four-blade tail rotor.

Here are a couple of photos that I think show the MH-6E in Grenada with the four-blade tail rotor. The four-blade tail rotor was commercially available by 1983 so it looks like the 160th decided to try it out on their MH-6Es. From what I've been told, the four-blade TR had less TR authority than the standard two blade rotor but it was a lot quieter.

000101.jpg

I think you can just make out a four blade tail rotor on the MH-6E on the left of the photo above.

grenadash1.jpg

Does anyone have any more photos of the MH-6E with a four blade tail rotor? Thanks.

LD.

LD and All, there is something funny going on here. I never knew a Chip Tatum in the 160th, in either A or B Company. And since I was an SIP in both MH and AH aircraft, I would have probably given Chip a checkride. And... no one in either A or B Company were wounded on Grenada. Also, if you Google Chip Tatum you get all sorts of weird results that don't sound right. I cannot remember with certainty if A Co had any four bladed aircraft at the time of the invasion... and that could be possible, but I dont' think this picture of "Chip Tatum" and the four bladed T/R on Grenada is authentic. Maybe someone with better Googling skills can find out for sure. PS, what's up with the Omega brick under the tailboom forward of the TR? Hmmmm

GT

Edited by AH6C-SIP
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LD and All, there is something funny going on here. I never knew a Chip Tatum in the 160th, in either A or B Company. And since I was an SIP in both MH and AH aircraft, I would have probably given Chip a checkride. And... no one in either A or B Company were wounded on Grenada. Also, if you Google Chip Tatum you get all sorts of weird results that don't sound right. I cannot remember with certainty if A Co had any four bladed aircraft at the time of the invasion... and that could be possible, but I dont' think this picture of "Chip Tatum" and the four bladed T/R on Grenada is authentic. Maybe someone with better Googling skills can find out for sure. PS, what's up with the Omega brick under the tailboom forward of the TR? Hmmmm

GT

That sounds like a phoney name. I would have used something better like "Clutch Grabwell".

I wonder if Mr. Tatum flew for a different employer?

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