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H-53 Reference photos for 2020!!


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8 hours ago, 11bee said:

Don't recall seeing pics of Navy -53's with countermeasure dispensers before, i assume that's a recent mod?  Also, pretty unusual to have them loaded with flares in a setting with civilians, is it not?  Great pics as always, thanks for posting. 

11bee, the MH-53Es have received the updated ALE-39 v2 pods just as the USMC Ch’s have. The MH’s have been pulling more and more combat area missions these past few years. They required updated ASE gear as well as they received the new GAU-21 .50 cals for their ramp, for rear hemisphere protection. 

 

Wether Marine or Navy the CH/MH-53E’s capabilities are in high demand. Long range heavy lift, assault support seems to be the theme these days. The CH-53K can’t get to the fleet fast enough. The CH/MH fleet are getting tired. 

 

Those ALE buckets do appear loaded don’t they. But I don’t believe this bird is at an air show per say. Those civilians may be related to the crews. Just a guess. But, highly unusual none the same to be loaded with flares and not on a base or headed to a range for a mission etc. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi,

was able to score MH-53E from Italeri in 1:72 with ResKit rotor head and folding tail 🙂

I was looking again at my Gulf war H-53D/E pics and noticed, that some of them had nose and tail RWRs, I guess AN/APR-39. But, not all of them. And they were on CH-53D/E, but not on MH-53E. So, why was it that some had them and some not ? Different stages of updates ?

Thanks !

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13 hours ago, JakubJakepilot said:

Hi,

was able to score MH-53E from Italeri in 1:72 with ResKit rotor head and folding tail 🙂

I was looking again at my Gulf war H-53D/E pics and noticed, that some of them had nose and tail RWRs, I guess AN/APR-39. But, not all of them. And they were on CH-53D/E, but not on MH-53E. So, why was it that some had them and some not ? Different stages of updates ?

Thanks !

Jakub,

 

The MH-53E's did not get their APR-39's until very late in the 1990's.  So some of the MH-53E units that deployed to the Gulf War may have done so without that ASE gear installed.  

 

For the USMC CH-53D/E's the APR-39 v1 and v2 mods were ongoing well into 1995.  they were being accomplished as fast as possible by in the field/afloat by "tiger teams" hired by NAVAIRSYSCOM, by the NADEP Depots, and at our home bases of MCAS New River & MCAS Tustin.  I would say that about 80-90% of the USMC CH-53D's had the APR-39's installed front and rear, the CH-53E'ss not nearly as many.  The photos I have seen of HMH-465 and HMH-466 none of the birds have the APR's on the nose yet.  I have not seen as many HMH-461, or HMH-464 aircraft from Desert Storm (East Coast units) they may have had more CH-53E's with the APR's as they would've received the MODs earlier.

 

Gy Dan

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Hi, big thanks for the answer. One more question - I noticed that later in the service, they had "small" and "big" RWRs on nose and tail. I guess the "small" is AN/APR-39 and the "big" is AN/AAR-47 ?

And what about AN/ALE-39 ? Mixed load of chaff and flare ? Are there specific colors of caps for chaff and flare ?

Thanks !

Edited by JakubJakepilot
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13 hours ago, JakubJakepilot said:

Another FOIA request came through 🙂

So, now we know what happend to CH-53E BuNo. 161390/YJ-22 and 161393/YJ-20 and their crews. You can check it out here - https://www.dstorm.eu/pages/en/other/losses.html

Jakob,

 

i though I posted what happened already to 161390?  Two engines back during refueling then attempted takeoff with engines still at ground idle. Resulting in a rollover. Crew Chief LCpl Don Swanzy. 

 

161393, was a no2 engine fire inflight. The zero bearing failed and the engine caught fire. Pilots safely got the aircraft to a albeit rough landing. But no crash fire rescue was available and the aircraft burned up. Crew Chief Sgt Bruce Innes. 

 

Thank goodness no deaths. 

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Hi Dan,

thanks for more info. Yeah, I asked FOIA mainly for the crew names. I also was asking for some H-3 and H-46 accidents, so was able to fill it up 🙂

Thanks !!

P.S. What about my other questions ? Thanks !

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Jakub,

 

The small you are correct is APR, the large is AAR.  I am not sure on the colors for the buckets, as the load outs vary so much, and those specifics are not really appropriate for a modeling forum.  I am sure there are pictures on line of various military load outs if you are just looking for colors.

 

Gy Dan

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Andy,

 

Love the 'ol "Evil Eyes" of HMM-163.  I was with HMM-163 from 1993 - 1994, we were with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) aboard the USS Peleliu.  Here are a few shots from Operation "Distant Runner", the Rwandan conflict took us and three of our CH-53E's to Burundi to await a possible hostage rescue in Kigali Rwanda.  

 

Evil Eye-63, BuNo 164363, Evil Eye-64 BuNo 164364 and Evil Eye-65 BuNo 164365.

 

63 - Crew Chief Cpl Bobby Lijan

64 - Crew Chief Sgt Anthony Huntington

65 - Crew Chief Sgt Daniel Hammer

 

50924095467_d7d45c4577_b.jpg

 

50923970376_6d81224089_b.jpg

 

50923971426_7f4c6d27bd_h.jpg

 

50923285088_1462949812_h.jpg

 

 

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How about some more photos from a Vietnam era (SEA pattern) "Jolly"?

 

I'm very close to finishing Italeri's HH-53C with a SEA, and I'm looking for photos that show the extent of weathering these "ladies" used to have (not the best kit but, good enough for my collection).

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As requested,

 

I do not have the end all be all of HH-53B/C SEA pictures but I do have some and will post more as I dig them out.

 

A little mishap here.....

50933077421_8173cbae34_z.jpg

 

With a few "Sandy's" I am sure off to a CSAR mission:

50933076736_2bbcbca01b_z.jpg

 

In revetments:

50932388123_dd820554cb_b.jpg

 

Coming aboard I believe USS Midway CV-41 during the evacuation of Saigon:

50933200202_6b587d9fef_c.jpg

 

Nice belly shot here

50933199272_b2ac3cf017_c.jpg

 

50932387578_1674122fb2_c.jpg

 

50933199057_2e8572da23_c.jpg

 

50932387183_2a3f5a7250_c.jpg

 

You can see even in the B&W images the weathering on these Super Jolly Green's.  Mostly exhaust stains and some wearing along the walkways which is typical of any H-53.  The USAF SEA paint scheme did pretty well to hide the fluid leaks, but you can see some.  Overall the USAF paint seemed to not fade as poorly as the USMC flat green painted CH-53A/D's of the same time period.  Interesting note that some of these HH-53C's carry flat insignia white modex numbers and some carry black.

 

I will continue to research more USAF HH-53's for this reference group.

 

r/Gunny Dan

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On 2/9/2021 at 9:30 AM, SERNAK said:

How about some more photos from a Vietnam era (SEA pattern) "Jolly"?

 

I'm very close to finishing Italeri's HH-53C with a SEA, and I'm looking for photos that show the extent of weathering these "ladies" used to have (not the best kit but, good enough for my collection).

SERNAK,

 

Hopefully some of these help out Sir.

 

s/f

Gy

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Nice pics, Dan...

....pretty sure the aircraft with the white nose numbers are CH-53Cs, as evidenced by the lack of refuelling probes - interesting that none of them carry national insignia, whereas the ARRS HH-53Cs above all do; also note that the CH's have different external tanks, slightly larger and 'nose up' when compared to those on the Rescue Jollies...

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57 minutes ago, YF65_CH53E said:

The USAF SEA paint scheme did pretty well to hide the fluid leaks, but you can see some. 

 

r/Gunny Dan

Many thanks for the photos gunny Dan.

 

I do need to study the photos in order to determine the weathering "pattern" I will follow but, as you said the USAF SEA did pretty well.

 

Again, many thanks!

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3 hours ago, andyf117 said:

Nice pics, Dan...

....pretty sure the aircraft with the white nose numbers are CH-53Cs, as evidenced by the lack of refuelling probes - interesting that none of them carry national insignia, whereas the ARRS HH-53Cs above all do; also note that the CH's have different external tanks, slightly larger and 'nose up' when compared to those on the Rescue Jollies...

Andy,

 

According to my records with Sikorsky, the USAF did have (20) CH-53C's, that were not delivered with AR probes.  However, you can see the probe caps on these CH-53C's are installed.  But many times both USAF and USMC/Navy crews could pull the AR probe very quickly for ship board operations.  However like you stated the aux tanks are the give away, as well as the squadron designations of the time and research to see which type/model/series they operated during "Operation Frequent Wind".

 

Some data on the variants, since this is a research post, put everything in one spot:

 

USAF requirements language for CH-53A CSAR Variant:

The HH-53B, as it was designated, featured:

1. A retractable in-flight refueling probe on the right side of the nose
2. Spindle-shaped jettisonable external tanks with a capacity of 650 US gallons (2,461 L), fitted to the sponsons and       braced by struts attached to the fuselage
3. A rescue hoist above the right passenger door, capable of deploying a forest penetrator on 250 feet (76 m) of steel cable
4. Armament of three pintle-mounted General Electric GAU-2/A 7.62 mm (.308 in) six-barreled Gatling-type machine guns, with one in a forward hatch on each side of the fuselage and one mounted on the tail ramp, with the gunner secured with a harness
5. A total of 1,200 pounds (540 kg) of armor
6. A Doppler navigation radar in the forward belly

 

Early HH-53Bs featured T64-GE-3 turboshafts with 3,080 shaft horsepower (2,297 kW) each, but these engines were later upgraded to T64-GE-7 turboshafts with 3,925 shaft horsepower (2,927 kW). Five crew were standard, including a pilot, copilot, crew chief, and two pararescuemen.

 

HH-53C requirements:

1. The HH-53B was essentially an interim type, with production quickly moving on to the modestly improved Air Force HH-53C CSAR variant. The most visible difference between the HH-53B and HH-53C was that the HH-53C dispensed with the fuel-tank bracing struts. Experience with the HH-53B showed that the original tank was too big, adversely affecting performance when they were fully fueled, and so a smaller 450 US gal (1,703 L) tank was adopted in its place. Other changes included more armor and a more comprehensive suite of radios to improve communications with C-130 tankers, attack aircraft supporting CSAR actions, and aircrews awaiting rescue on the ground. The HH-53C was otherwise much like the HH-53B, with the more powerful T64-GE-7 engines.


2. A total of 44 HH-53Cs were built, with introduction to service in August 1968. Late in the war they were fitted with countermeasures pods to deal with heat-seeking missiles. As with the HH-53B, the HH-53C was also used for covert operations and snagging reentry capsules, as well as snagging reconnaissance drones. A few were assigned to support the Apollo space program, standing by to recover an Apollo capsule in case of a launchpad abort, though such an accident never happened

 

3. In addition to the HH-53Cs, the Air Force obtained 20 CH-53C helicopters for more general transport work. The CH-53C was apparently very similar to the HH-53C, even retaining the rescue hoist, the most visible difference being that the CH-53C did not have an in-flight refueling probe. Since CH-53Cs were used for covert operations, they were armed and armored like HH-53Cs. 

 

A good number of Super Jollies were converted into Pave Low special-operations helicopters. PAVE or Pave is an Air Force code name for a number of weapons systems using advanced electronics.

 

USAF Variants up to 2008 when retired for the CV-22B:

TH-53A – training version used by US Air Force (USAF)
HH-53B – CH-53A type for USAF search and rescue (SAR)
CH-53C – heavy-lift version for USAF, 22 built
HH-53C – "Super Jolly Green Giant", improved HH-53B for USAF
YHH-53H – prototype Pave Low I aircraft
HH-53H – Pave Low II night infiltrator
MH-53H – redesignation of HH-53H
MH-53J – "Pave Low III" special operations conversions of HH-53B, HH-53C, and HH-53H.
MH-53M – "Pave Low IV" upgraded MH-53Js

 

r/Gy

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4 hours ago, andyf117 said:

Nice pics, Dan...

....pretty sure the aircraft with the white nose numbers are CH-53Cs, as evidenced by the lack of refuelling probes - interesting that none of them carry national insignia, whereas the ARRS HH-53Cs above all do; also note that the CH's have different external tanks, slightly larger and 'nose up' when compared to those on the Rescue Jollies...

20th SOS had 53's at the end of the war IIRC. No A/R needed.

ARRS HH-53's would have had A/R probe.

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Two of my favourite CH-53C pics - the first one a rare overall ADC Gray example recovering a test ALCM:

DF-SC-82-10596.jpeg

The second, an equally rare example of Air Force helo nose art - assigned to the 601st TASS at Sembach AB, 'Headhunter' appeared at various airshows here in the UK during the 1980s:

DF-ST-83-07898.jpeg

Edited by andyf117
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Just a little info on 928.  I flew this helicopter when I was assigned to the 601st in Germany.  And then again when she was modified into a Pave Low.   She is now sitting on display on Hurlburt AFB.  

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1 hour ago, hawg53 said:

Just a little info on 928.  I flew this helicopter when I was assigned to the 601st in Germany.  And then again when she was modified into a Pave Low.   She is now sitting on display on Hurlburt AFB.  

hawg53, 

 

I too have been on 928.  I will have to look in my logbook to verify, myself and another Marine SSgt (E-6 for us) came over to the PAVE side for tail gun training.  Once we flew about 8 hours with you guys, we modified a CH-53E with a PAVE ramp borrowed from Kirtland, and we conducted a tac-demo of rear hemisphere protection for the CH-53E.  Flew (6) sorties out in Yuma AZ during Weapons and Tactics Instructors course WTI 1-00, and WTI 2-00.

 

50950658506_6b82b62db0_z.jpg

 

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50950755222_5e90a3d5a2_c.jpg

 

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So the birth of the Ramp Mounted Weapon System (RMWS) on the CH-53E came from a MH-53J PAVE LOW system.

As the Tac-Demo went to print we then began the FNH M3M Tac-Demo for the CH-53E windows, CH-46E windows, and the UH-1N DAS Mount.  Eventually that program turned into the procurement of a new .50 cal  defensive armament system for the USMC and the USN, the GAU-21.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just saw the picture below over on FB.   Pretty unique paint job.  It's a relatively recent picture since the helo has DIRCM pods mounted, anyone seen other pics of this ship?     BTW, If anyone thinks I should take down this picture, please advise and I'll do so, not sure if it's a party foul to re-post this from FB.

 

153563942_10160687738008294_9127884586516370274_o.jpg?_nc_cat=101&ccb=3&_nc_sid=b9115d&_nc_ohc=g2RmpZpkgTEAX9Efsjo&_nc_ht=scontent-bos3-1.xx&tp=7&oh=323c77b7ed4348ce18e026755852cfc9&oe=605EC6F4

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6 hours ago, 11bee said:

Just saw the picture below over on FB.   Pretty unique paint job.  It's a relatively recent picture since the helo has DIRCM pods mounted, anyone seen other pics of this ship?     BTW, If anyone thinks I should take down this picture, please advise and I'll do so, not sure if it's a party foul to re-post this from FB.

 

153563942_10160687738008294_9127884586516370274_o.jpg?_nc_cat=101&ccb=3&_nc_sid=b9115d&_nc_ohc=g2RmpZpkgTEAX9Efsjo&_nc_ht=scontent-bos3-1.xx&tp=7&oh=323c77b7ed4348ce18e026755852cfc9&oe=605EC6F4

I did see this over on FB.  Cool pic.  it is of the PAX River test aircraft CH-53E 163086. It apparently has been transfered to VMX-1 down in New River NC for FOT&E missions.  This aircraft has carried the original MC green since it was delivered to HX-21 in the late 90's.  The gray no 1 engine cowlings are a test cowling made of newer materials.  The engine cowlings on these 53E's are extremely maintenance intensive, so the test panels installed here came in the fleet gray color.

 

The odd "green-brown" paint you see, is the fleet answer to touching up this aircraft for corrosion control purposes.  It looks like a "new-camouflaged" scheme but it is not.  Cool tail art of VMX-1 squadron logo on the tail.

 

Dave Roof is trying to get some details on the bird as he wants to include it in a CH-53 run of decals.

 

Thanks for posting, now I don't have to.  😉

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A trio of Ironhorse -53Es stopped by the local airport on Sunday.  One of them appeared to be in a new scheme I had not seen before.  It looked to be overall 35237 with black, or VERY dark gray, markings.  Like this:

 

CH-53E Tiger 01

 

It isn't as noticeable in this photo (not mine), but having the one sitting on the ramp next to the other two in the traditional multiple grays scheme, it was obvious that the overall gray on this one is clearly darker and more blue than the 36375 used on most of the airframe in the previous scheme.  Is this truly a new scheme the whole fleet will be transitioning to?  Are the markings actually black?

 

On a different note, like other flights of Echos that have stopped at our airport, these did not shut down, and did hot refuelings.  Army helos (Chinooks, Blackhawks, Lakotas and Apaches) always shut down to refuel.  Is there a technical reason to do hot refueling vs. shutting down, or is it just a cultural difference been the USMC and the Army?

 

 

 

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