Jump to content

CD48206 - 1/48 USAF HH-53/MH-53


Recommended Posts

Just now, YF65_CH53E said:

One of the best resources I have seen in a long long time for USAF H-53's of all T/M/S is the book:

 

"On a Steel Horse I Ride" it is available on Amazon, ebay etc...

 

It's also available as a free PDF file from Air University - I looked at it at the beginning of the project for MH-53 info but not early HH-53 action in Vietnam; I will take a look again.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, KursadA said:

 

It's also available as a free PDF file from Air University - I looked at it at the beginning of the project for MH-53 info but not early HH-53 action in Vietnam; I will take a look again.

 

Kursad,

 

Yes I see the free .pdf, sorry I did not include that.  Great resource!

 

Yes, it covers minimally the SEA introduction of the H-53's.  Some good info in there though.  Not a lot of reference photos as it is a lot of text.  I am not up on USAF H-53's like I should be, there are a lot better guys with Dutch, Andy etc.  There is some great stills of the HH-53C from the movie "Airport 75'". Where the 53 sends a pilot into the cockpit of a flying 747.....pretty cool scenes, one of the USAF FE's I flew with knew all the guys in the super jolly that did the movie....crazy stunt there!!

 

Gunny

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

25 minutes ago, YF65_CH53E said:

There is some great stills of the HH-53C from the movie "Airport 75'". Where the 53 sends a pilot into the cockpit of a flying 747.....pretty cool scenes, one of the USAF FE's I flew with knew all the guys in the super jolly that did the movie....crazy stunt there!!

'Twas a HH-53B, Gunny:

AP75_Heli.thumb.jpg.bc0463afb4616696ea0b41dd5f98aab4.jpg

AP75_Heli_2.thumb.jpg.060079a31abf268ac822e09e5227d2fa.jpg

As queried/suspected by Kursad in a preceding post, a B can't be made straight from the box - of any kit, 1/48 or 1/72...

 

....and I've finally gotten around to On A Steel Horse I Ride - bedtime reading, currently about a third of the way through...

 

Edited by andyf117
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, andyf117 said:

I've never been referred to as an Aztec stone vault before (I'm old, but not that old) - but I do have every issue of SAM up to 2008, along with Scale Models and Scale Aviation Modeller, so I could be regarded as a slightly ancient repository of some sort...


I’ve never been called a repository but I have often been told I’m full of it…..  🤷‍♂️

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Paul Boyer said:

What's so different about a B than the kits?

The external tanks mounts - take a look at the book cover, and you'll see their cantilever 'bat wing' shape, attached to the sponson corners...

....whereas in the head-on movie still, you can make out the 'humped' fairings across the tops of the sponsons, complete with bracing struts...

....in the side view, you can see the fairing's rear curve - the top runs level with the lower window line to the rear edge of the forward window.

 

The second MH-53J page in the walkaround section on the main site has a number of detail photos showing the area well:

http://www.arcair.com/awa01/801-900/awa812-MH-53J-Collings/00.shtm

Edited by andyf117
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/14/2021 at 2:48 PM, KursadA said:

It would be nice to have a serial number & photo for a Vietnam War USAF airframe with some significance - perhaps the Son Tay Raid, or some important action that led to a medal etc.

Further to my initial suggestions (previous page's last post), having discovered that 68-10364 has already been done in 1/72, might I instead suggest the subject of this very well-known photo?

020926-O-9999G-010.JPG

I believe that the serial reads 5793 - making it 69-5793, which would fit the bill in having been flown on a mission which resulted in both an Air Force Cross and a Silver Star being awarded:

On April 13, 1972, the 40th ARRS crew comprising Capt. Bennie D. Orrell (P), Lt. James R. Casey (CP), William T. Liles (FE), Sgt. William D. Brinson (PJ) and Kenneth W. Cakebread (PJ), rescued the pilot of a USMC A-6A (Call sign “Bengal 505”), Maj. Clyde D. Smith, after he and his NFO, 1st Lt. Scott Douglas Ketchie, had ejected from their AAA ground fire damaged aircraft near Ban Bamran, Laos (just across the border from the DMZ) on 09 April 1972. No trace of Lt. Ketchie was found and he was presumed to be KIA. For their actions, Capt. Orrell was awarded the Air Force Cross, and Sgt. Brinson the Silver Star.

Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Bennie D. Orrell, Captain, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as Rescue Crew Commander of an HH-53C helicopter in action near Tchepone, Laos, on 13 April 1972. Captain Orrell voluntarily and with great courage, piloted his rescue helicopter against seemingly insurmountable odds in support of the search and rescue mission of a downed American pilot. With complete disregard for his own personal safety, Captain Orrell Successfully maneuvered his aircraft to a hover over the survivor and retrieved the downed pilot, virtually from the hands of his would-be captors. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of hostile forces, Captain Orrell reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Citation:

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 8, 1918 (amended by act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Sergeant William D. Brinson, United States Air Force, for gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force as a Pararescue Specialist near Tchepone, Laos on 13 April 1972. On that date, Sergeant Brinson was participating in the daring rescue of a downed American pilot. With complete disregard for his own personal safety, he stood on the ramp of his rescue helicopter and though wounded, continued to defend his vulnerable aircraft. This courageous action aided immeasurably in the successful completion of this very dangerous rescue mission. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Sergeant Brinson reflected Great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Another shot shows the serial more clearly:

HH_53-64-900-700-100.jpg.36dd16c20bef58ea749b975610dbc2a4.jpg

In addition, 69-5793 took part in Operation Eagle Pull, the evacuation of Phom Phen, and the following month participated in the SS Mayaguez rescue as Jolly Green 12, during which it was unique in being the sole aircraft to be operated by two different crews (one in the morning, another in the afternoon)...

....in Against the Wind: 90 Years of Flight Test in the Miami Valley, 5793 is listed as assigned to the 4950th Test Wing during 1981...

Edited by andyf117
Link to post
Share on other sites

Andy,

 

I think that would be an excellent subject and one I would model for my overall fleet of 53's I am building in 1/72nd scale, more room and easily I can model multiple aircraft.  But, don't get me wrong, anything done in 1/48th both USAF and USN/USMC I will be buying!!

 

r/Gunny

Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Paul Boyer said:

What's so different about a B than the kits?

Mr. Boyer,

 

Over on the "Research Thread" is the H-53 reference page it has some good information on the differences between the various Type/Model/Series H-53's, USN, USMC and USAF.  Here is a quick shot from one of the posts.

 

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

Link to post
Share on other sites

I had thought of suggesting a TH-53A, in the interests of completeness - pics are few and far between, but initially they wore the 'European 1'  scheme:

14470a.thumb.jpg.13263d01bcb879848bc27946b26de5a0.jpg

DF-ST-91-11167.jpeg

WAPJ4c.thumb.jpg.694c23fc9a50fd93f2daf711efca9257.jpg

14472.jpg.e5eb36e9ebf4f28bf05b0269686eb4a1.jpg

Of note are the outline type 'Rescue' arrows and intake 'Danger' markings; barely discernible in the inflight pic is 'USAF' aft of the rearmost window - whilst in the full view of 14472 (scanned from WAPJ4), the tail rotor 'Danger' marking appears to be on the pylon itself...

 

....the original Pave Low - the HH-53H - shouldn't be overlooked. Fitted with the first SOF equipment mods, it retained the original metal blades:

DF-ST-87-08090.jpeg

DF-ST-86-12128.jpeg

DF-ST-86-12573.jpeg

Note the solid star 'n bar insignia and outline-style tail 'Danger' marking on 73-1650 - same aircraft below, full-size image shows stencils etc. very well...

DF-SN-86-12579.jpeg

Edited by andyf117
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/14/2021 at 9:48 AM, KursadA said:

It would be nice to have a serial number & photo for a Vietnam War USAF airframe with some significance - perhaps the Son Tay Raid, or some important action that led to a medal etc.  WAPJ has a tiny photo of a HH-53B (not even sure if it can be built out of the box) with "Big Bertha" near the cabin door but the details are impossible to see.

I did find this: Sikorsky MH-53M Pave Low IV BuNo 68-10357, converted from HH-53B of the 40th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron which, with call sign Apple 1, participated in the Son Tay Raid

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/40th_Helicopter_Squadron#/media/File:Former_Son_Tay_raider_Apple_1.jpg

https://www.helis.com/database/cn/13572/

and this link has an airframe close to the one above but taken a couple of years after the raid:

https://www.airliners.net/photo/USA-Air-Force/Sikorsky-HH-53C/6661333/L?qsp=eJwtjLEKwkAQBf9lay0kaJEuVum08AeW3UcMRu/YW9Aj5N9dD7thBmYlSS/Hx281g3oqYJM77Siz8bNQv9ID9Z1Mg2kc98dOopZkfq5hlB2DCLJD//5iCvslFGmjKcaHANi1MXWn8DqXvHB7wHleaNu%2BD4UuIw%3D%3D

Edited by fasteagle12
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, fasteagle12 said:

I did find this: Sikorsky MH-53M Pave Low IV BuNo 68-10357, converted from HH-53B of the 40th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron which, with call sign Apple 1, participated in the Son Tay Raid

 

Thanks, it helps to have a serial number that can be tied to the raid with solid information. I will include a full set of white and black digits to build any airframe from this period anyway, but I will make this HH-53B one of the listed options.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/12/2021 at 2:12 PM, KursadA said:

Now that I realized there are too many Navy/Marines CH-53 options to fit on a single sheet, CD48206 will be a 1/48 sheet dedicated to USAF CH-53/HH-53/MH-53.  The previously announced CH-53 sheet (CD48184) will now be a Navy/Marines CH-53/RH-53 sheet.

Ok...I have to ask..any plans for these sheets in 1/72?

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/22/2021 at 5:41 PM, KursadA said:

Thanks, it helps to have a serial number that can be tied to the raid with solid information. I will include a full set of white and black digits to build any airframe from this period anyway, but I will make this HH-53B one of the listed options.

68-10357 was never a B, it was built as an HH-53C - as evidenced in its pics in MH-53M form; even after conversion to Pave Low standard, the ex-HH-53Bs retained the sponson 'fairings' and bracing struts...

....also, the info at helis.com regarding this airframe's exploits is incorrect - a photo of the aircraft which rescued Capt Locher on its return to Udorn is definitely not 10357; the number on its nose appears to be '785', which is supported by evidence documented elsewhere; and the USAF Museum info page for 357 only makes reference to it being 'Apple 1'.*

 

Inclusion of white and black digits is a very good idea - with one or two exceptions, that would allow pretty much any airframe to be modelled at one point or another during its lifetime; though to enable that, two white and three black sets would be required, to cover duplicated digits and/or nose numbers...

....don't overlook Tan (FS30140) for serials (and accompanying USAF titles) - as well as the previously suggested Air Medal and Silver Star aircraft 69-5793, some other airframes also carried their serial in that colour, as seen in these two 67th ARRS examples (links are to copyrighted pics):

https://www.airhistory.net/photos/0092458.jpg

https://s3.eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/abpic-media-eu-production/pictures/full_size_087/1132377-large.jpg

 

 

*Update Edit: Now realised I provided a photo link to 68-10357 on the previous page, as an example in ADC Gray: http://www.gonavy.jp/bbs1/img/8647.jpg

Edited by andyf117
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 months later...
Posted (edited)

This is coming in May. Thirteen USAF options on the sheet, 9 of them MH-53J/Ms. There is a second sheet (not shown) with various stripes/bands, US national insignia in the appropriate styles and spare digits.

 

cd48206.jpg

Edited by KursadA
Link to post
Share on other sites

Any chance this sheet will make it to 1/72? I have several Fujimi and Italeri kits that could use this love. 

 

Dave Fassett

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...