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


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Next up is a pair of photos depicting "17168" being loaded into a C-130 Hercules. This looks like it might be a loading/unloading trial to see how best to get a Little Bird into and out of a transport aircraft in double-quick time (purely a guess on my part!). The location looks to be desert-like and certainly doesn't look like anywhere near Mississippi! Can anyone identify the airfield? There is an Army L-23 or U-21 (I think it's one or the other) in the background along with a civilian fixed-wing type so it doesn't appear to be a secret or overly secure airfield unless the civvy plane is a aircraft operated by a defense "contractor". Again, nothing too ground-breaking but if these photos do depict some of the activity that occurred during the planning for "Operation Honey Badger", they are of some historical significance. The photo that will be of most interest to Little Bird fans will be posted tomorrow. 

 

MH-6B Herc1

    

MH-6B Herc2

 

LD.

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Here are the final two photos, as promised.

 

 

EH-6B pre conversion

 

The first photo depicts 68-17358 and this is listed as being one of the EH-6Bs. It looks like it is being worked on here and has yet to be converted into an EH-6. It looks like it has the small antenna box fitted between the rear skid legs but no special ops gear has been added yet. The other interesting thing is that it looks like only one set of flight controls have been fitted, Maybe this was to leave the front left console area free for extra control boxes and switch panels associated with the additional radios that would have been fitted.

 

 

EH-6B

 

The second photo features 68-17301 in what I believe is the full EH-6B configuration. This is the first photo I have seen of the mythical EH-6B and as has been said in the past, it isn’t actually all the spectacular! Still, it is a very elusive aircraft so it’s fascinating to finally see a photo of one. The SATCOM antenna is present on the forward tailboom, as described previously by GT and it looks like the antenna box is present on the rear belly. It also appears that a radio or radar altimeter is fitted to the belly, similar to the system fitted to the MH-6B and AH-6C. The paint finish is weathered a little and looks like it might be CARC green. No Blackhole IR Exhaust is fitted and I believe that these ships were fitted with the standard C-18 engine. The serial “17301” is visible on the doghouse in a non-standard font. It doesn’t look like UNITED STATES ARMY titles are present on the tailboom. I am not sure if the EH-6B was just developed for the “Honey Badger” mission, had it gone ahead or if they were retained for a few years afterwards until they were replaced by the EH-6E. I hope this is of interest.

 

LD.

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On 11/9/2019 at 7:13 PM, Loach Driver said:

 

 

 I am not sure if the EH-6B was just developed for the “Honey Badger” mission, had it gone ahead or if they were retained for a few years afterwards until they were replaced by the EH-6E. I hope this is of interest.

 

LD.

Great pictures LD!!  You certainly have a knack for finding these.   Now the last things on my bucket list (aside from the "Stealth Hawk) would be the EH-6E and better shots of "civilian" Littlebirds as glimpsed in El Salvador and Somalia.

 

With regard to the time frame of the EH-6B, it was obviously retained for a bit after Honey Badger was shelved. The picture above shows one guy wearing BDU's.   They weren't introduced until around 82-83 if I recall....

 

One observation on the pic above, is that square bolted-on panel on the doghouse standard?   Also, it looks like for some reason, they removed the aft greenhouse window and replaced with unpainted sheet metal?

Edited by 11bee
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Glad you like the photo. It looks like there is a wire running from the base of the SATCOM antenna mount into the rear of the doghouse. Maybe the extra access panel is to allow access to the wiring inside the doghouse and to allow it be fed through the cabin ceiling to the radio in the cockpit. I am not sure about the glazing over the rear door. It looks like it might be sun-damaged and full of tiny crazing lines that affects the windows on aircraft. I can't say for sure but it doesn't look like it is a replacement panel, just a worn-out window. Thanks for the information regarding the uniform. Nice to know it was around for a while after the abandoned Honey Badger mission. 

 

LD.

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Few other observations - I wonder if originally, the EH-6B had the round satcom antenna similar to what N1111U had?  Didn't think the batwing SATCOM was around at the time of Honey Badger...  Also, does the passenger door window look strange?  Looks like it has some sort of external plate over part of it. 

 

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In relation to the batwing antenna, it is difficult to say when it was first fitted to the EH-6B. I wonder when was it developed and first deployed? It wasn't fitted to any LBs in Grenada in 1983 and the first deployment where the batwing is visible is Op Prime Chance in 1987. And so it looks like the batwing was introduced in the period between 83 and 87. 

 

I think the large circular antenna on the tailboom of N1111U was a GPS antenna as opposed to a satellite radio but who knows. As for the rear door, it looks like shade and contrast in paint makes it look like there is a panel on the door. If the door had the National Guard badge painted on it, it was probably painted over. 

 

LD.   

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Wonder if you guys (stalker-6 et al) have used the White Phosphorous ANVIS-9's? I use them in the EMS world and love the,

 

ANyway, also as an aside, I read above somewhere, and now I can't find exactly where, about adjusting the infinity focus to read the instrument panel and then refocusing. HOLY COW! Another new world opened, I did not know that was at all possible! Thanks!

 

CHeers

H.

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I have used the white and green phosphorus (officially called High FOM) and they are definitely better than the legacy ANVIS-9s. I don't know of any pilots (at least in the AF) that have different focus settings for each tube. AFAIK that was used back when they had the full face NVGs with which they couldn't scan underneath the goggles to look at the gauges. I know that some fixed with flight deck crew like flight engineers will do this since much of their duties are inside the cockpit but again I do not know of any pilot that does this.

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Thanks! I just focused inside to see what it would look like, we never turn off instrument lights, hard to do with EFIS type displays, but anyway, I didn't think they would focus inside. And as you said, no probs looking under the goggles.

 

Someone up higher in this thread or maybe one of the others said they were operating without lights and would reach up and refocus one side for a quick scan, then refocus out again. Tough to do in a twitchy LB I suppose, particularly if alone on the controls... Never did fly the 500 series, but have some 1700 in the 300 series which share the control system for main and tail rotor as well as the bungie style trim.

 

Cheers

H.

Edited by Winnie
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  • 1 month later...
On 5/30/2019 at 7:29 PM, hawkwrench said:

Found this on FB the other day.

Hope it helps 

Screenshot_20190530-005715_Facebook_zpss

 

Tim 

This is an excellent photo of the cockpit panel. Do you know of any more that are higher resolution or closer up and lower down?  I am modeling a highly detailed cockpit and would like to know what the row of 15 toggle switches are labeled.  Or if any past LB drivers could chime in on what those toggles where for.

Thanks

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I found this photo on a Google search but can't link it to open. I can't access it as a European web user but it shows an MH-6E in Grenada in 1983. It has that mysterious white cross marking on the fuselage behind the rear door. Hopefully someone can link and attach the photo. I saved it to my PC but the image is too large to attach directly to this post.

 

https://timegoggles.com/news/archives/collection_f5fdc7bc-f4e8-11e9-97ce-7ffe267f2666.html

 

LD.

 

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Nice pic.

5daf2f455f48b.image.jpg?resize=750,464

 

5daf2f4a3aec6.image.jpg?resize=750,463

 

Another question though.  What is the four-blade tail rotor in this pic from the same page?

Edited by HeavyArty
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I count four MH-6Es and one AH-6C in the top photo and it looks like the four-blade TR MH-6E is at the end of the line up. The four-blade tail rotor looks like the standard four blade system that was an option for the commercial 500D and the first commercial customer received their "Quiet" 500D in September 1980. It looks like Hughes might have flown a 500D with a four blade TR as early as late-1978. This TR is a direct descendant of the four blade TR from the "Quiet One/500P" project. This TR is heavier, more expensive and induces a little more vibration but apparently is a decibel or two quieter than the NOTAR system so it does deliver a significant noise reduction over the standard two blade TR. It has less tail rotor effectiveness though so for a heavily-loaded Little Bird, it might not be the best option. It would have been more suited to an EH-6E but I'm not suggesting this H-6 is an EH-6E. This is also the only evidence I have ever seen of an MH-6E Little Bird fitted with this four blade TR. Chip Tatum is allegedly the pilot in the photo.

 

So far, MH-6Es involved in Operation Urgent Fury include -23630, -23631 (white cross) and -23651. At least three MH-6Es had the white cross marking so two remain to be identified yet. 

 

The photo below shows two MH-6Es with empty people pods departing the airport in Grenada during UF.

 

 

a-us-navy-sh-3-sea-king-helicopter-prepares-to-land-at-point-salines-airfield-baa2a7 (1).jpg

 

LD.

 

 

Edited by Loach Driver
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“Chip Tatum” was discussed earlier in this thread.   Folks from the 160th who flew in Urgent Fury never heard of him.   If you google his name, you will find lots of “deep-state”, tin foil hat stuff regarding Mr Tatum.   

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I mentioned Chip with regard to that photo only because I believe that same photo was printed in a newspaper and he allegedly was identified as being that man standing near the tail of that Little Bird. How true or not that identification is, I don't know. 

 

This photo below, which might have appeared on the forum previously, is also an MH-6E in Grenada, as far as I can tell. It looks like it is about to be packed up into a transport for the journey back to the States. 

 

LD.

lYWAO3FDR7k_zpsb4f6cef4.jpg

Edited by Loach Driver
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On 1/4/2020 at 1:14 PM, LBModeler said:

This is an excellent photo of the cockpit panel. Do you know of any more that are higher resolution or closer up and lower down?  I am modeling a highly detailed cockpit and would like to know what the row of 15 toggle switches are labeled.  Or if any past LB drivers could chime in on what those toggles where for.

Thanks

Left to Right

1. SCAV Air Switch

2. Pitot Heat Switch

3. Start Pump Switch

4. Reignite Test /Armed Switch (this means reignite is armed not a weapon)

5. Aux Power Switch

6. Anti Ice Switch

7. 4 Position Fuel Switch

8. Battery / External Power Switch

9. Gen Switch

10. Inverter Switch

11. Attitude Indicator Switch

12. Master Radio Switch (turns #2 electrical bus on)

13. LASER / Clock / VAW Switch

14. Position light Power Switch

15. Covert / Norm Switch

 

above that is the Anticollision Top / Bottom Switch

 

We had to memorize these and know them without lights/lite up panels at night.

Edited by Killing Stone
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On 1/10/2020 at 5:11 PM, Killing Stone said:

Left to Right

1. SCAV Air Switch

2. Pitot Heat Switch

3. Start Pump Switch

4. Reignite Test /Armed Switch (this means reignite is armed not a weapon)

5. Aux Power Switch

6. Anti Ice Switch

7. 4 Position Fuel Switch

8. Battery / External Power Switch

9. Gen Switch

10. Inverter Switch

11. Attitude Indicator Switch

12. Master Radio Switch (turns #2 electrical bus on)

13. LASER / Clock / VAW Switch

14. Position light Power Switch

15. Covert / Norm Switch

 

above that is the Anticollision Top / Bottom Switch

 

We had to memorize these and know them without lights/lite up panels at night.

Oh great, thank you KS.

So then I'm assuming on the AH versions the armament panel was located under the pilot's collective?

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On 1/13/2020 at 10:00 AM, LBModeler said:

Oh great, thank you KS.

So then I'm assuming on the AH versions the armament panel was located under the pilot's collective?

The instrument panel in the pic is an MH panel not a AH panel, it would be hard to describe an AH panel without a picture but the AMS would be in the lower left 1/4 of the instrument panel and a gun switch panel would be located on the left side of the lower console (anywhere) in an early J model AH, in a later J model the gun switch panel would be in the lower left of the instrument panel and a CDU with weapon pages would be located on the lower console usually under forward pilot's collective but could be anywhere on the lower console (rare but it happens), you need pics of an AH instrument panel (early or late) to get it close.

Edited by Killing Stone
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On 1/13/2020 at 3:54 PM, Loach Driver said:

Switch Number 6 is the anti-ice for what? Is it for the engine air intake or something else? Thanks.

 

LD.

Engine air intake, sorry some things I take for granted that they are obvious

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On 6/4/2019 at 3:49 PM, Stalker6recon said:

Now this is a complete guess on my part, and it is even harder to prove.

 

My bet, not only do they not mind doing the PR work, shows, NASCAR etc, they hopefully enjoy it! This is the rare opportunity to have the public see these warriors, who work in super secret, never getting recognized for the dangers they face over a career with little more than a plaque to hang in their garage and a list of physical injuries that are under supported by the man eating machine that is the military service. Plus, each place is a new situation to train, sometimes fast ropes are used, other times, landings in confined spaces, all good training that is absolutely required to keep up the sharp skills they must have to fly the way they do.

 

I may be wrong, but I sure hope that I am right on this one.

 

Anthony

 

PS. Yes I know this was poster years ago, but I am reading through the entire thread now, too much good intel to miss.

For the most part PR work was seen as more work on a busy schedule and I didn't know anyone volunteering to do it, however once on site it could be an easy time to rest a little, I wouldn't say I enjoyed it, maybe some did, standing on a flight line display all day wasn't fun and it's amazing some of the questions you get.

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