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

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I paid a recent trip to the American Helicopter Museum and discovered a document that featured the Kurt Muse rescue mission. It stated that the two AH-6 Little Birds that flew top-cover for the MH-6s that landed at the prison complex used the call-signs "Air Papa 06" and "Air Papa 07". It also mentions that 06 was "unofficially designated" "Iron Maiden" while 07 was designated "Bad Company". Could "Bad Company" and "Iron Maiden" be nicknames or artwork applied to these individual Little Birds? It seems possible given that artwork that is apparent on the Gothic Serpent Little Birds.

 

LD.

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I think those tanks have been around for at least six or seven years now. There were photos on this forum previously I think.  Still a relatively rare sight.

 

I'd say they might struggle with six and full tanks!

 

I think the next interesting thing that will happen to the MELB fleet will be the Block III upgrade. Some of the mods have been test-flown already and a full Block III prototype might be in testing now but I've heard that the fleet won't be upgraded until 2023. If FVL doesn't deliver an MELB replacement (and it looks like the 160th like the compact characteristics of the MELB and want to retain it for as long as possible) then a Block 3.1 upgrade will see some really new features incorporated into the fleet. They might even build a new fleet of MELBs as some of the current ones might be based on 500D airframes that date back to 1980! It'll be time to freshen up the fleet a bit.

 

LD. 

Edited by Loach Driver

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On 5/29/2019 at 3:30 AM, Loach Driver said:

I think those tanks have been around for at least six or seven years now

It did state that they were still able to perform with a full mission spec on that link, but that has to be taken with a grain of salt since we don't really know until we actually know, if that makes sense. Unless someone has ties to the manufacturer or the guys in 160th, the rest is just speculation.

 

Very curious to see what the block III MELB, will look like. It seems to me that these aircraft (originally MD 530 aircraft for the MELB's is what I read) should inexpensive enough, they just have to cancel one of those fancy F-35 helmets to buy a pair of brand new little birds. These guys deserve a fresh fleet if anyone does. Funny thing, I just watched a video via "the modeling news" showing the very early little birds before they were SF only, very amusing yet informative overview of the different flight characteristics that set this bird apart from others. Even showing us how to check gear oil at both rotor heads and engine oil as well. They showed a couple Gomer Pikes trying to pull her engine as well. Same voice that did all the introduction videos from 1910 to 1990 (how does he live that long?)

 

Anyway, lots of good information on what is probably nearly the favorite helo subject of all modelers. Strange, there are amazing gunships and huge helicopters that carry dozens of men in their belly with a vehicle sling mounted under her, yet we are all fascinated by the smallest and in many ways, least capable helicopter the military flies.

 

Cheers,

 

Anthony

On 5/29/2019 at 2:42 AM, 11bee said:

Article that discusses newly fielded external tanks for the 160th's MH-6s.   

PS. Thanks for linking that, interesting stuff, my comments if interested are above this part of my reply. Cheers!

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Nice find, Tim, and thanks for sharing. Compared to the standard panel on an OH-6A or 500D, there are quite a few changes and upgrades. The illuminated strip indicators for TOT, torque, N2 and NR are a nice touch. Nicely clustered together and much quicker to read. 

 

LD.

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On the pic above, what’s the rectangular display right below the artificial horizon and what’s the one below that showing “86”?  

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The unit below the artificial horizon looks like the Eventide Argus 7000 moving map system. I guess it might be an early-ish GPS system. 

 

I've no idea what the numerical display unit showing "86" is but there is no indication on the display as to what it is so it must be something fairly straight-forward. Could it be an outside air temperature gauge? It's quite possible they are flying somewhere warm on the day the photo was taken! Purely a guess though!

 

LD.

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10 hours ago, 11bee said:

On the pic above, what’s the rectangular display right below the artificial horizon and what’s the one below that showing “86”?  

I doubt that is an OAT instrument.  I have never flow a helicopter where the OAT is place on the instrument panel.  Simple reason is it’s fairly useless in flight unless you going into the clouds and are worrying about icing.  And AH/MH-6's are likely VFR only AC.

In all the birds I’ve flown the OAT gage is placed at the top of the windscreen, or in the case of the CH-47, in the RH overhead window.  You use it for validating your PPC (Performance Planning Card), and the HIT Check, after that you really don’t pay attention to it.  Unless it’s to reinforce how hot and miserable you are like when I landed at Balad AF in Iraq and the OAT gage was stuck on 57C.  I've never seen a military helo OAT gage in anything but C.  So a temp of 89 would be a wee bit uncomfortable...

What is missing from the instrument panel is an RMI, Radio Magnetic Indicator.  There is probably a standby “Wet” compass on the top of the panel.  My guess is your looking at digital readout heading display indicator.  Where ever they are they are flying at 350 MSL, 250 AGL, and just cruising along with a 600 degree C TOT, they are not really “heavy”.  Even if it was an OAT, at 30C/90F you would likely be seeing a higher TOT. 

1996 and you're probably looking at an MH-6J

My best guess...

Bryan

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5 hours ago, Loach Driver said:

The unit below the artificial horizon looks like the Eventide Argus 7000 moving map system. I guess it might be an early-ish GPS system. 

 

I've no idea what the numerical display unit showing "86" is but there is no indication on the display as to what it is so it must be something fairly straight-forward. Could it be an outside air temperature gauge? It's quite possible they are flying somewhere warm on the day the photo was taken! Purely a guess though!

 

LD.

 

The box just above the TACAN is the CUGR GPS (that's still used btw). I think that the Argus would get data from the CUGR and display it as apposed to generating it itself. I also doubt that the "86" is the OAT. Every helicopter I've ever been in uses Celsius for the OAT readings since it's the aviation standard. 

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On 2/9/2019 at 9:29 AM, 11bee said:

no more 50 shades of green.... 

Hey guys, what a great thread. Anyway, thought I would throw my two cents of experience in regarding NVG's, we referred to them as NOD's in the Army. Anyway, I am not the technical guru that many of you guys are and I can't even remember the model we used at the time (2003 thru 05),but ours were the single lense green often seen as rino mounts.

 

Anyway, the 50 shades of green is actually giving them more credit than they deserve. It seemed like 5 shades, and the worst part, shadows were just black, leaving the user with an uneasy feeling that we were about to fall into a hole, they were really that bad. Running thru streets or worse, thru the forest with those on you face, was almost certainly going to lead to a nasty fall, at least in my case.

 

Don't get me wrong, they were better than nothing at all, but once you were required to move with them on your face, the anxiety goes thru the roof. I hope that our guys are using newer, better night vision that eliminates the "black hole" of older units.

 

To be honest, when I first saw the four lens units, I thought they were 3D, too bad it was just the panoramic talked about in this thread. But it would not be out of the realm of possibility for these guys to have NOD's with proper 3D vision and near daylight capabilities. They definitely would benefit from those enhancements, if available.

 

My two cents as a former Cavalry Scout.

 

Anthony

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1 hour ago, Stalker6recon said:

Hey guys, what a great thread. Anyway, thought I would throw my two cents of experience in regarding NVG's, we referred to them as NOD's in the Army. Anyway, I am not the technical guru that many of you guys are and I can't even remember the model we used at the time (2003 thru 05),but ours were the single lense green often seen as rino mounts.

 

Anyway, the 50 shades of green is actually giving them more credit than they deserve. It seemed like 5 shades, and the worst part, shadows were just black, leaving the user with an uneasy feeling that we were about to fall into a hole, they were really that bad. Running thru streets or worse, thru the forest with those on you face, was almost certainly going to lead to a nasty fall, at least in my case.

 

Don't get me wrong, they were better than nothing at all, but once you were required to move with them on your face, the anxiety goes thru the roof. I hope that our guys are using newer, better night vision that eliminates the "black hole" of older units.

 

To be honest, when I first saw the four lens units, I thought they were 3D, too bad it was just the panoramic talked about in this thread. But it would not be out of the realm of possibility for these guys to have NOD's with proper 3D vision and near daylight capabilities. They definitely would benefit from those enhancements, if available.

 

My two cents as a former Cavalry Scout.

 

Anthony

What a timely post about the limitations of those goggles (including depth perception issues). I just tweaked my back pretty bad yesterday (the pain is manageable as long as I minimize moving and breathing, lol).  It’s a continuation of an issue that originally occurred back in my grunt days.  Nighttime movement to contact with full rucks.  Using PVS-7’s.   I looked down and saw there was a shallow depression in front of me so I stepped into it.  Turns out it was a 4’ deep fighting position.   I went down hard and wrenched my back badly.   Haven’t been 100% since.   Hooray technology!

 

I’m off for some more Motrin (Vitamin M from my 11B days) and a beer.   Have a good weekend lads!

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11 hours ago, 11bee said:

shallow depression in front of me so I stepped into it.  Turns out it was a 4’ deep fighting position.

Exactly!

 

OK, this is where I bow down and admit that I am totally incapable of knowing what to build regarding the little bird. Those who know me from here, know that I have not built a model in many decades. I planned to return by building two little birds via CMK conversion kits, one AH, the other MH. Now I realize that I do not have near enough knowledge to choose a proper subject for each bird. I can only tell you what I have as a starting point.

 

I have two MD500 's

308784-23001-81-pristine.jpg

And both conversion kits from CMK

148102-11648-pristine.jpg

149860-10000-pristine.jpg

 

My initial plans were to put every little bit inside this conversion on the kit, but now I realize that this would be inaccurate at the very least, no helicopter had all the antennas supplied in the conversion kits, and apparently the location of the antenna is very vague in the instructions. So I humbly request the help of you guys, to put me on the right footing. Since I choose the kit above, I think that limits my choices to mid/late 80's, but that might not even be right. To do right by these guys, I should at least try to create and accurate representation of the birds they fly. Sure, having all that stuff installed might look cool, but it isn't accurate. Before choosing these birds, I had no idea how different each one is, they are no the cookie cutter aircraft I ignorantly believed them to be. This is what you get when a non-rotorhead tries entering the rotorhead world.

 

Thanks in advance, humbly,

 

Anthony

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2 hours ago, Whiskey said:

Probably want to check out Thomas Brückelt's latest article on the homepage then.

Thanks a lot, bookmarked and reading at this moment (between MOTOGP races anyway)

 

Anthony

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"On the pic above, what’s the rectangular display right below the artificial horizon and what’s the one below that showing “86”?"  

 

It is the digital heading indicator, very easy to read while flying NVGs, Pic is a J model, if I remember right it was used on G/H/J models, don't think it's used anymore. KS

Edited by Killing Stone

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"Anyway, lots of good information on what is probably nearly the favorite helo subject of all modelers. Strange, there are amazing gunships and huge helicopters that carry dozens of men in their belly with a vehicle sling mounted under her, yet we are all fascinated by the smallest and in many ways, least capable helicopter the military flies."

 

 

I had to say something, the OH/AH/MH6 has been in service since the 1960's, I think only the CH47 and B52 have been in continuous service longer in the U.S. military, it may not haul the most men, or carry the most ammo, but it can do both and a whole lot more, (check the flight records it held for a very long time one included longest non refueled flight no landing for a helo not to mention climb rate), you can hide it anywhere, land on anything, a legend for crashing well (if you have to do that sort of thing), flown in every major U.S. combat opn since Vietnam and many more opns not on the books, the only helo to take down a ship that I know of (Iran Ajar), respected by it's customers and it's enemies, ship work/desert work/jungle work been there done that, beat it up and it still runs, cheap to operate for a helo, rapid load ups and offloads, used by civilian police, I could go on but yea it's the least capable helicopter the military flies. :) KS

Edited by Killing Stone

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"I have long been interested in special operations, and I have heard of only one operation by Little Birds during the Gulf War : supporting the lone Ranger operation to attack a communications facility.

  Quote

On 26 February, SOF attacked a radio relay site: first, AH-6 attack helicopters peppered the radio relay compound with mini-gun and rocket fire; Rangers then secured the compound and set charges to destroy the 100-meter tall tower.

The only detailed account I have read of that operations is in Daniel Bolger's book Death Ground, it makes several pages with two sketches of the flight route and the facility itself. He says that four AH-6Gs involved (don't hope for serial numbers). Nice, though not so exciting, reading."

 

 

I read Daniel Bolger's book Death Ground, yea it's close enough if you were not there, my hard bound book didn't have any sketches of the flight route in it but I know what it was anyway. I was surprised to fine some info on that mission and from SOCOM no less. "There were others" KS

Edited by Killing Stone

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used the call-signs "Air Papa 06" and "Air Papa 07". It also mentions that 06 was "unofficially designated" "Iron Maiden" while 07 was designated "Bad Company". Could "Bad Company" and "Iron Maiden" be nicknames or artwork applied to these individual Little Birds?"

 

 

 

No, No, and No. AH's did not have any unofficially designated names, and no artwork at least not up to late 1990s, I can testify to that. Iron Maiden and Bad Company were MH60s as I remember it, MH6's did use nose art but no art anywhere on AH6s. KS

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2 hours ago, Killing Stone said:

used the call-signs "Air Papa 06" and "Air Papa 07". It also mentions that 06 was "unofficially designated" "Iron Maiden" while 07 was designated "Bad Company". Could "Bad Company" and "Iron Maiden" be nicknames or artwork applied to these individual Little Birds?"

 

 

 

No, No, and No. AH's did not have any unofficially designated names, and no artwork at least not up to late 1990s, I can testify to that. Iron Maiden and Bad Company were MH60s as I remember it, MH6's did use nose art but no art anywhere on AH6s. KS

 

I was only passing on the information I had discovered during my research. 

 

LD.

Edited by Loach Driver

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On 9/9/2009 at 11:18 AM, Six Gun said:

You had to release the collective, brace it with your left knee, switch hands on the cyclic, then rotate the focus knob on the right tube, in order to see the instruments clearly. When you had made your crosscheck, you returned the focus knob to infinity, then reversed the procedure. It was done very quickly, for only a glance.

Are you kidding me!!!! And I thought I had respect for you guys just for flying the way you do, having to manually focus your NOD's at speed and low altitude is just crazy!

 

I am in awe of you guys, thank you so much for your service and your ability to do what sane men would quiver from! I wonder is the guys riding the bench really understood what was going on in the cockpit......but they also have a certain kind of crazy that matches the SOAR drivers.

 

I was in Cavalry, but didn't do near as much as you and your fellow pilots did, it is almost embarrassing to try and compare men like me, with men like you. There is serve to the country, then there is SERVICE TO THE COUNTRY! I am definitely a lower case veteran. One of my childhood friends has been a SeAL since the early 90's and still active today. I wonder if you guys crossed paths, for obvious reasons, I can't name him here.

 

Anyway, thank you again for the service to our country and for sharing your experience with us mere mortals. Here is a question that just smacked me square in the face. Using what I have, which can be found on the last pages of this giant thread, can I build a LB that you flew? My kits are the Academy CHP MD500 (2) and two CMK conversion, one Alfa and one Mike.

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On 8/6/2009 at 7:08 AM, EDWMatt said:

The NOTAR

My ignorance is large when it comes to aircraft, but my love is making me learn quickly. I had wondered why the LB's didn't have the rotorless tail, and you have cleared up that thought very nicely, thank you and also thank you for your service!

 

Anthony

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On 10/11/2009 at 11:34 AM, rotorwash said:

Of course i can!

Why is there no option to like/thank/laugh etc, as on Britmodeler? Every post on this thread, every fellow veteran here, you are all worthy of thanks and praise, I just can't reply to each and every post, or I will end up filling the last current pages with my comments. I have already replied too many times. Thanks for the great pictures and to everyone for allowing ignorant fans like myself, to learn more about the LB and the great men who flew them! I feel blessed at having found this thread at all, it's phenomenal!

 

Anthony

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On 8/6/2009 at 7:08 AM, EDWMatt said:

The NOTAR

My ignorance is large when it comes to aircraft, but my love is making me learn quickly. I had wondered why the LB's didn't have the rotorless tail, and you have cleared up that thought very nicely, thank you and also thank you for your service!

 

Anthony

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