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


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4 hours ago, hawkwrench said:

I found this on the net tonight over on Twitter. It's Bob Fladry in a MH-6. Don't know what model or year it was taken. Just figured you guys might like to see it.

38485244914_157f0f55a6_c.jpgthe tail # is 23635.

Tim

 

I think that photo is one of GT's photos from August 1981, according to the original caption. Never knew that was Bob Fladry in the hot seat. This is the MH-6E, the first version of the Little Bird based on the Hughes 500D airframe. Thanks.

 

LD.

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The grey aircarft were probably used in the Tanker War in the Persian Gulf (Op Prime Chance/Earnest Will, '87-'89).  Grey 160th MH-60s were used then as well.  They were grey to blend in with USN helicopters.  Floyd includes markings for these aircraft on his 160th SOAR decal sheets.

 

Barge-Hercules-with-UH-60-Grayhawk.jpg

Edited by HeavyArty
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6 hours ago, hawkwrench said:

Here's a flightline pic from 1986-1987 time frame. Didn't know the 160th had grey little birds till know.

25346167998_a490f67989_c.jpg

Tim

Great photo, Tim. :thumbsup:  

 

There is a lot going on in that photo! The nearest Little Bird has a belly-hook fitted, which is fairly rare. There are ten MH-6s in total along with another two MH-6C trainers (second- and fourth-last from the far end). One MH-6 has a FLIR fitted and another has a FLIR mount. I think this photo might be later than 1987 though. The MH-6E was still in use on deployments in 1987 and these have the C-30 engine fitted which makes them MH-6Hs or MH-6Js. I think that puts this photo into the 1989 time-frame or thereabouts. 

 

As for the two grey Little Birds, I don't know what the story is with them. The two MH-6Es deployed for Operation Earnest Will/Prime Chance were, as far as I know, painted in the standard black paint scheme. The few photos of the AH-6Fs used in the Persian Gulf show black paint schemes so I'd guess the MH-6Es deployed were black too. It appears they did most of their Earnest Will ops at night. I was fortunate to receive some information a while back on these Grey Little Birds (GLBs?) and it suggests a few things about them.

  • First of all, there is the possibility that there was a third GLB, in the same configuration as the two above.
  • Secondly, the information seems to indicate that the GLBs were employed on a still-classified operation.
  • The grey colour suggests that they were deployed on a naval vessel for use on an operation that might require them to fly during daylight hours and so the grey scheme would allow them to appear as if they are standard naval aircraft. Inserting operators onto ships/oil rigs/naval installations was and is part of the 160th's brief and perhaps these GLBs were prepared for use on just such an operation. I think a Little Bird package was deployed to Europe for the Achille Lauro incident in October 1985, for example, with a view to performing an aerial boarding of the ship. 
  • Perhaps these GLBs were retained in this paint scheme as part of a "Quick Reaction Maritime Package" where they could be deployed at short notice for ship-based operations.   
  • The fact that there were two or possibly three GLBs would suggest that these weren't some kind of experiment with alternative paint schemes. If it was a markings experiment, surely one GLB would have sufficed. This paint scheme had already been applied to MH-60 Velcro Hawks on Op Earnest Will in 1987/88 so the use of this paint scheme had already been tried, tested and used on a real-world mission.   

As per standard operating procedure, take my assessment of the GLBs with a pinch of salt. I am probably way off the mark! 

 

It does appear that the colour used might possibly be FS36375 and no serial or US ARMY markings are visible. Maybe the three-digit serial appeared on the nose. The antenna fit appears to be similar to the standard helicopters and main and tail rotor blades are in black with the rotor beanie hat, people planks and skids in grey too. The antennae haven't been painted-over and no FLIR mount is fitted. It is one interesting Little Bird that is worthy of modelling. Hopefully, in time, we will learn the truth about the GLB.

 

LD.    

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  • 4 weeks later...

Folks, that's not Bob (Flapper) Fladry in the photo above.  That is my copilot Joe C.  Bob had a very serious NVG accident some month back, while flying with our first CO Maj Mike Grimm.  Grimm was killed and Flapper was literally ejected, seat and all from one of the original OH-6A's we had in the beginning.  Bob was lucky that he landed in water.  Sad night... I was fourth ship back and saw them hit high power wires.  Really lights up your goggles.  Read about Mike Grimm at the link below.  He was a great leader and CO. 

 

LTC Mike Grimm

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Awesome info and pics, gents !! I have one more question about the grey MH-60A Velcro Hawks. I can see there is hoist mounted on what appears to be a ESSS mount. Is there any drawing/pic/info on this ? I can see this type of hoist on this Prime Chance birds only.

And when was it used ? Why was it used this way ? Why not the standard hoist ? Or the cabin mounted one ?

Thanks !!! 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 13/11/2016 at 12:56 AM, Floyd S. Werner, Jr. said:

While I'm here, I'm looking for the type MH-6J (? may have been too early for that version) and tail number of the aircraft that attempted to pull Kurt Muse out of Panama.  Anybody?  Bueller?  Bueller?
Floyd

 

I found this link on the Aviation Safety Network. 

 

https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=77585

 

It mentions the write-off of an MH-6H Little Bird in December 1989. The date for the accident is 30/12/1989 while the Kurt Muse rescue took place on the 20th of December 1989. If there is a mix-up between the date of the incident and the date recorded on that web page, could 81-23637 possibly be the "Kurt Muse Bird"? If we can confirm that this was the only 160th MH-6H write-off in December 1989, it probably is the "KMB".

 

LD.

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I never saw the gray birds in the pic but i talked to the pilot directly involved with them, there were 4 of them, they were gray for less than a month, it was only a test, after test they were repainted asap. Pilot involved is well known and extremly reliable. The pic was taken at Destiny AHP at Campbell, it shows the mh6 parking row at Destiny, the ah6 acft were parked in a row just out of site in the pic on the left side of the pic, we hovered them in and parked them that close together all the time. Prime Chance ah6 aircraft were all black G models, mh6 were all black E models, there is a pic somewhere in this site with a mh6 with minigun mounted on the herc, post called it a F model which is incorrect, a serial number check will confirm that i believe. MH 6E aircraft in prime chance were armed with one mini gun. One MH6H was armed with one mini and one rocket pod in desert storm i know i flew it. The exhaust on top of the engine cowl is called the black hole exhaust it is on c20 engines (e and f models), never on c30 engines (g, h, j, m models)

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35 minutes ago, Killing Stone said:

I never saw the gray birds in the pic but i talked to the pilot directly involved with them, there were 4 of them, they were gray for less than a month, it was only a test, after test they were repainted asap. Pilot involved is well known and extremly reliable. The pic was taken at Destiny AHP at Campbell, it shows the mh6 parking row at Destiny, the ah6 acft were parked in a row just out of site in the pic on the left side of the pic, we hovered them in and parked them that close together all the time. Prime Chance ah6 aircraft were all black G models, mh6 were all black E models, there is a pic somewhere in this site with a mh6 with minigun mounted on the herc, post called it a F model which is incorrect, a serial number check will confirm that i believe. MH 6E aircraft in prime chance were armed with one mini gun. One MH6H was armed with one mini and one rocket pod in desert storm i know i flew it. The exhaust on top of the engine cowl is called the black hole exhaust it is on c20 engines (e and f models), never on c30 engines (g, h, j, m models)

Great information.  I'm still trying to figure out the actual shape of the black hole exhausts to do an E/F conversion for the Kitty Hawk and/or Dragon kit.

Floyd

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14 hours ago, Killing Stone said:

I never saw the gray birds in the pic but i talked to the pilot directly involved with them, there were 4 of them, they were gray for less than a month, it was only a test, after test they were repainted asap. Pilot involved is well known and extremly reliable. The pic was taken at Destiny AHP at Campbell, it shows the mh6 parking row at Destiny, the ah6 acft were parked in a row just out of site in the pic on the left side of the pic, we hovered them in and parked them that close together all the time. Prime Chance ah6 aircraft were all black G models, mh6 were all black E models, there is a pic somewhere in this site with a mh6 with minigun mounted on the herc, post called it a F model which is incorrect, a serial number check will confirm that i believe. MH 6E aircraft in prime chance were armed with one mini gun. One MH6H was armed with one mini and one rocket pod in desert storm i know i flew it. The exhaust on top of the engine cowl is called the black hole exhaust it is on c20 engines (e and f models), never on c30 engines (g, h, j, m models)

 

Mr. Stone,

 

You mentioned that you flew Little Birds in Desert Storm.   Just wondering if you have any details and/or pics that you could share with us?   Given that it's been quite some time, I'm hoping some of the details could finally be released.  We seem to have a good deal of info coming out on Prime Chance and Mogadishu, yet there is hardly anything out there about 160th operations during Desert Storm.  Especially as it pertains to AH/MH-6's.   

 

Regards,

 

John

 

 

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19 hours ago, Floyd S. Werner, Jr. said:

Great information.  I'm still trying to figure out the actual shape of the black hole exhausts to do an E/F conversion for the Kitty Hawk and/or Dragon kit.

Floyd

Floyd, 

 

Look at:

 

 http://www.airliners.net/photo/Untitled/Hughes-500MD-Defender-369MD/166056/L

 

http://www.airliners.net/photo/South-Korea-Army/Hughes-Korean-Air-500MD-Scout-Defender-369MD/1451928

 

http://www.airliners.net/photo/Israel-Air-Force/Hughes-500MD-Lahatoot-369MD/1447906

 

http://www.airport-data.com/aircraft/photo/000348895.html

 

Close-up from back (photos not mine):

 

md-500_06_of_62.jpg

 

Tail cone detail:

 

md-500_53_of_62.jpg

 

 

Edited by FM-Whip
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The "belly hooks" were available for the E, F, G, and H models, yes the AH,s had hooks which were sometimes mounted, but rarely used, the hook release was only mounted on the right cyclic it was a vertcal lever in the forward top area of the cyclic. To mount or remove the hook ( not a big job) you had to have access to the inside of the cargo area so when the bolted down planks came in use the hooks went away. Hook Lift was not a popular think to do. I believe the rated hook weight was 600 lbs it may have been 1000 lbs this was a long time ago. Use was mainly for moving thinks too big to fit in the cargo area but light enough for the hook rating, think resupply things in a net. They were used operationally.

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On ‎2‎/‎9‎/‎2018 at 6:28 PM, Killing Stone said:

i have only seen two LB pics from desert storm both taken on flt ramp the day before we came home, just an AH6 G with flir/plank/two mini guns and two 7 shot pods with personnel standing in front of it. We went we attacked we won and then we came home

I have a few photos that will eventually go into the book, IF I can get approval.  Which I may have some inside help with.  Fingers crossed.

Floyd

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Mr. Stone, great info on DS ! Any more, please ? So far I was thinking that AHs were armed and MHs were with planks/insertion ? What is the difference between them ? If both can be equipped with weapon pylons, why two separate designations ? So far I have this listed for DS, any update/correction is more than welcome. DS AH-6G

Thanks !

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3 hours ago, JakubJakepilot said:

So far I was thinking that AHs were armed and MHs were with planks/insertion ? What is the difference between them ? If both can be equipped with weapon pylons, why two separate designations ?

 

There is no real difference betwen the aircraft themselves.  As you say, the designation is based on the mission equipment installed on them.  When they have the weapons installed, it becomes and Attack Helicopter (AH).  When it has the operator planks, it is a Multi-mission Helicopter (MH) as it can be used in a variety of ways.  It is just the way the US military designates helicopters.  Ther same is true with the USAF MH-60G and HH-60G, different mission equipment and under a different HQ (Air Combat Command; ACC vs. Air Force Special Ops Command; AFSOC).  Same aircarft, different jobs, different designation.  Under ACC, they are HH-60G; the designation for a rescue helicopter with a mission of CSAR (Combat Search and Rescue).  Under AFSOC, they were MH-60G; Multi-mission Helicopter supporting special operations units.

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22 hours ago, HeavyArty said:

 

There is no real difference betwen the aircraft themselves.  As you say, the designation is based on the mission equipment installed on them.  When they have the weapons installed, it becomes and Attack Helicopter (AH).  When it has the operator planks, it is a Multi-mission Helicopter (MH) as it can be used in a variety of ways.  It is just the way the US military designates helicopters.  Ther same is true with the USAF MH-60G and HH-60G, different mission equipment and under a different HQ (Air Combat Command; ACC vs. Air Force Special Ops Command; AFSOC).  Same aircarft, different jobs, different designation.  Under ACC, they are HH-60G; the designation for a rescue helicopter with a mission of CSAR (Combat Search and Rescue).  Under AFSOC, they were MH-60G; Multi-mission Helicopter supporting special operations units.

Thanks Gino for explaining this. So in one mission the helo could be AH-6 and in next mission MH-6 ? What a mess for modellers :) Now I hope Mr. Stone will shed more light on DS action ...

 

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3 hours ago, JakubJakepilot said:

Thanks Gino for explaining this. So in one mission the helo could be AH-6 and in next mission MH-6 ? What a mess for modellers :) Now I hope Mr. Stone will shed more light on DS action ...

 

The 160th pilots who frequent this forum can answer definitively but I'm fairly certain that they don't switch out gear like that on a mission by mission basis.  Most AH's stay in that configuration, same for the MH's.   

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