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Other Unusual Vietnam Helicopters. (No Hueys Allowed)

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  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Aaaaah.... Alpha Apaches... A beautiful thing!
Posted by Cobrahistorian on Wednesday, July 25, 2007 12:04 PM

Hey guys,

I'm sorry if that came off as me being mad, I meant nothing of the sort!  I was just kidding around.  I'd been researching the AH-2 testbed a bit and was thinking about posting those pics.  They're up for everyone to enjoy, that's what counts!

Now here's an intersting bird, just cuz you don't see many of these with the armament kit.

OH-58A 69-16114 served with HHB, 4th Infantry Division DIVARTY and later had a brief stint with D Troop 1-10th Cav.  Her whole time in Vietnam was spent in II Corps with the 4th ID. 

Jon

"1-6 is in hot"
  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: phoenix
Posted by grandadjohn on Wednesday, July 25, 2007 8:26 PM
Jon, I didn't think you were mad, sorry if the tone of my post gave you that impression
  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Auburn, Alabama
Posted by rotorwash on Wednesday, July 25, 2007 8:41 PM

Grandad and Jon,

  I guess we're going to have to use those darn emoticons!Pirate [oX)]

     Ray 

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Aaaaah.... Alpha Apaches... A beautiful thing!
Posted by Cobrahistorian on Wednesday, July 25, 2007 9:11 PM

Dunce [D)]

Thumbs Up [tup]

nuff said!

 

 

"1-6 is in hot"
  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Auburn, Alabama
Posted by rotorwash on Wednesday, July 25, 2007 10:39 PM

Jon,

  You want Cobras, here's some Cobras:

First up is a repost of the cool bird I posted in the unusual cammo thread:

[img]http://Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

As I said, she don't look quite finished yet!

Next, anothe pic of N209J in her OD phase. Are those teeny little things on the wings rocket pods?:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket[

A couple more CONFICS pics.  You probably have these as well since they were in the same set of pics as the one you posted:

[img]http://Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket[img]http://Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket[

Finally, another picture of the SMASH cobra, this one has a mini and a thumper in the turret instead of the twin thumpers your bird had:

[img]http://Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

 

I hope I didn't steal anymore of your thunder!Whistling [:-^]

  • Member since
    July 2007
Posted by KrazyCat on Thursday, July 26, 2007 6:11 AM

Wow guys! Superb photos of unusual H-2s and AH-1Gs. Please keep 'em coming :) I'am especially interested in some cockpit shots of CONFICS and SMASH Cobras. Do You have any info on wheather any of these Night Fighter AH-1Gs were tested in Vietnam? According to my references they weren't, but then again... The AN/AAQ-5 FLIR on SMASH AH-1Gs was tested on UH-1Ms in Vietnam integrated with the M21 subsystem as was the INFANT. Just to provide some additional info on the SMASH: the sensor pack included the nose mounted AN/AAQ-5 FLIR and AN/APQ-137 Moving Target Indicator Radar pod on the right outboard wing station.

 

Well, I got a couple of unusual or rare Vietnam birds. First a couple of HH-2C-a CSAR version of the Seasprite flown by the HC-7 Seadevils in Vietnam. It was fitted with armor and TAT-102K minigun turret for fire suppression. HH-2Cs of the HC-7 went under the callsign ''Clementine''.

 

 

And two shots of a AH-G of the D troop 3rd Squadron 5th Cavalry, tail No. unknown, that was used to test mk81 250lb bombs, October 1968. According to my info D/3/5 conducted several successfull drops, but the bombs would not detonate for reasons unknown (maybe the USAF provided them with duds Wink [;)]). Anyway, not many photos of choppers armed with bombs around...

 

 

Marko 

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Aaaaah.... Alpha Apaches... A beautiful thing!
Posted by Cobrahistorian on Thursday, July 26, 2007 6:38 AM

Marko,

From what I've been able to discern, CONFICS never made it to Vietnam, but SMASH did.  I do have cockpit shots of the SMASH Cobra and will post em later today when I get home.  I'll be up at my unit in-processing for most of the day, but I'll see what I can do tonight... and they're color shots!


Jon

"1-6 is in hot"
  • Member since
    January 2006
  • From: Baton Rouge, Snake Central
Posted by PatlaborUnit1 on Thursday, July 26, 2007 10:10 PM

For all of you that have the Lindberg "Cobra" kit, the Model 209 here is what comes in the box...

David

 

Build to please yourself, and don't worry about what others think! TI 4019 Jolly Roger Squadron, 501st Legion
  • Member since
    July 2007
Posted by KrazyCat on Sunday, July 29, 2007 11:51 AM

Jon,

 

I did some some research into SMASH and CONFICS AH-Gs deployment to Vietnam and I keep getting contradictory information!?! For example, in Simon Dunstan's ''Vietnam Choppers: Helicopters in Battle 1950-1975'' the author claims that both systems were deployed to Vietnam on experimental basis. However Mike Verier in his ''Bell AH-1 Cobra'' notes that neither of the systems lived up to expectations and were never deployed to Vietnam...Confused [%-)] Anyway I can't wait to see those cockpit shots :)

 

And a couple of images of a OH-6A 66-07915 of B troop 7th Squadron 17th Cavalry at Camp Enari, Vietnam in 1968; it was armed with XM27 minigun subsystem on the left side and a four-tube rocket launcher mounted on the right side. The rocket launcher was not an in-the-field modification but an experimental unit developed by the Rock Island Arsenal. Does anybody have any more info on this rare rocket system?

 

 

 

 

  

 Marko

  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Auburn, Alabama
Posted by rotorwash on Sunday, July 29, 2007 1:00 PM

Marko,

  Here's another pic of the OH-6 rocket system.  I know I have other pics, but I'll have to dig for them.  This one is from the Army Aviation Museum archives, and It has no info with it.  Ray

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket" border="0" /> 

  • Member since
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Posted by KrazyCat on Tuesday, July 31, 2007 6:32 AM

Guys,

 

Here are some photos of a pretty rare and impressive verison of the Loach used by the CIA on a 1972 Vinh wire tap mission (project Main Street) in North Vietnam!!! Initial version of this helo (NOH-6A) was built by the Hughes under Army/ARPA programme and was named ''the Quiet One''. In fact it was so silent that it could not be heard when passing overhead at 300ft under normall ambient background sounds!!! The Army stopped there, but the project cought the eye of the CIA, who wanted to place wire taps on North Vietnamese communication lines. So the Hughes built an improved version designated NOH-6P/Hughes 500P and boy was it something else!!!

 

The heart of reducing the sound signature of the loach was a new 5-bladed main rotor with titanium hub and blades with 8-inch trapezoidally shaped tips that reduced tip vortexing (and by that the sound signature). Also a more powerfull -20 Allison enigine was installed with water/ethanol injection system that boosted engine power for take-offs. Tail rotor was replaced with a 4-bladed staggered mounting unit and 3.5-inches longer blades and was also mounted more to the rear to compensate for longer blades (some sources claims that main rotor blades were also longer, but I am not 100% sure of that). Engine and transmission compartments were fitted with sound-proofing material, engine intake was shrouded to further reduce trasmission/engine whine, exhaust was fitted with a resonator to lower the roar of the engine, ... All the gears and transmission elements were smoothened to eliminate ''grinding'' noises. The extra main rotor blade allowed the bird to operate at 66% normal rotor rpm (an important contributing factor to reducing noise levels).

 

Now, if You think this is pretty impressive, wait to hear for the electronic/avionics package description...

 

LORAN C and INS navigation systems were fitted inside two aerodynamic pods mounted on both sides of the chopper. OH-6Ps were equiped with Radar altimeter and Radar Warning Receivers. AN/AAQ-5 FLIR with two liquid nitrogen coolant bottles was installed under the chin. Some Infra-red spot lights were fixed to skids and fuselage of the Quiet ones to enhance performance of SU-50 NVGs worn by the pilot :) Of course, radical modifications to the cockpit were also done (still trying to find cockpit shots).

 

Not only were these birds able to take-off with all this load and two pilots, but they also carried two Lao commandos, who would place the wire taps!!!

 

The original Army/ARPA NOH-6A:

 

 

Close-up of the NOH-6A main rotor hub:

 

 

Close-up of the tail rotor (note the extended tail skid, which was neccessary to compensate for longer tail rotor blades):

 

 

A colour image of a CIA operated Hughes 500P in late 1972 at PS-77 (Laos):

 

 

Head-on shot of a CIA operated Hughes 500P (note the AN/AAQ-5 FLIR turret under the nose and how much smaller it was when compared to AN/AAQ-5 on UH-1M or AH-1G SMASH):

 


 

Here are some Taiwanese AF (RoCAF) officials examining the Hughes 500P cockpit (it was initially planned to have RoCAF pilots flying the 500Ps on the actual mission, but US pilots did in the end):

 

 

The last shot of a NOH-6P was taken in early 1990s, but it is the only I could find that shows the FLIR turret (at least I think this is the original AN/AAQ-5 turret) and main rotor tips in some detail (the larger nose mounted FLIR turret was a later addition; not used in 1972):

 

 

Enjoy the images guys,

 

Marko 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Auburn, Alabama
Posted by rotorwash on Tuesday, July 31, 2007 7:46 AM

Marko,

  What can I say?! Bow [bow]
              Ray

  • Member since
    January 2005
  • From: Portland, Oregon
Posted by fantacmet on Friday, August 3, 2007 5:08 PM

Skypirate1, the bomb says Excedrin Headache 10,000 and then some symbol after it for pound I believe.  Pretty funny actually.  Just like some of the slogans on the bottom of our bombers over in Iraq, but they are not appropriate for posting on this forum.

Michael

    

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Aaaaah.... Alpha Apaches... A beautiful thing!
Posted by Cobrahistorian on Saturday, August 4, 2007 5:27 AM

In keeping with the unusuals thread and my current interest in the H-2, I'll put forth these pics that popped up on ARC.  This is UH-2A 149761 from HC-7 in Vietnam 1967.  You can also find pics of it in Squadron's "Bent and Battered Rotors: Vol 3" after it had been badly shot up off the coast of North Vietnam.  Apparently, she survived the war, was converted to an F model and is currently at AMARC. 

"1-6 is in hot"
  • Member since
    July 2007
Posted by KrazyCat on Tuesday, August 7, 2007 7:42 AM

Jon,

 

It seems that this UH-2A went through a lot of camouflage changes-in that B&W shot it appears to sport a SEA style camouflage-pretty rare for Navy birds! Are You sure those ''desert'' camouflage pics are from Vietnam era?

 

By the way Jon, how are those AH-1G SMASH cockpit images coming up? No pressure, I just hope You didn't forget :)

 

And another thing: I posted this in the unusual Hueys thread, but it applies to this thread as well (I would really appreciate any input on this system):

 

I came across a very interresting piece of information while reading the 162nd AHC history: under 1968 part of the history You can find the following paragraph (direct copy/paste):

 

''In the October-November period the 162nd was chosen to experiment with helmet sights for the XM-21 Minigun system. Sperry Rand sent a technician over to work with the Copperheads on the test of what was called the Viper Sight, or “the Look of Death”. SP5 John Ohmer (armorer) and WO Dennis O’Brien helped install and test the system which electrically/mechanically linked the pilots’ helmets to both miniguns and the M-5 grenade launcher. Wherever the pilot looked, the miniguns would be automatically aimed. It worked well under ideal conditions but the dust, heat and humidity played havoc with the small servos attached to the helmet. The system wasn’t quite ready for field conditions. This was the forerunner of the helmet-mounted sight used in the current day Apache gunship.''

 

Here's the link to the pdf:

 

http://www.vhpamuseum.org/companies/162ahc/162ndHistory.pdf

 

Now, I did some research, but couldn't find much additional info on this Helmet sight system except that it was supposedly also tested on AH-1Gs (some sort of helmet sight system was  also offered as a part of avionics package for Bell 309 King Cobra in 1971). I guess this ''Viper Sight'' was a prototype version of the later M128/M136 Helmet sight system that was used on post-Vietnam Army and USMC Cobras.

 

Jon, did You come across any info regarding helmet mounted sights on AH-1Gs in Vietnam, while doing research for Your AH-1 units in Vietnam book?

 

Marko

 

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Aaaaah.... Alpha Apaches... A beautiful thing!
Posted by Cobrahistorian on Tuesday, August 7, 2007 10:11 PM

Marko,

Unquestionably those UH-2 shots are pre-1968.  That particular bird was remanufactured as an HH-1D and then an SH-2F.  I'm not sure if the two-tone desert scheme was stateside or not, but it is definitely a very early shot.

As for helmet mounted sights, there was a lot of experimentation going on at that point.  Remember, the Cheyenne program was in full swing and it incorporated an HMS.  I wouldn't be surprised if some test articles made it to Vietnam for "proof of concept" trials.

I'll see what I can do about getting the cockpit pics together for you.  The new job has me running in circles like mad.  I did get into the photo archives today though.  Some really good stuff.  Found a UH-1D with a really broad chord tail on it.  That was kinda odd!

Jon

 

"1-6 is in hot"
  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Auburn, Alabama
Posted by rotorwash on Tuesday, August 7, 2007 10:35 PM

Jon,

  Don't tempt me with tails of wide chord D models, post the pics, man!  Seriously, glad to see the job is going well.

      Ray

 

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, August 11, 2007 1:38 PM
Marcko,

Great Photos! Here is a current photo of the CIA Loach that was used in operation "Phone-Tap" still in service with the Snohomish County Sheriffs Office flown by ret. Army Pilot Bill Quistorf. It has modern versions of the FLIR & Night Sun, etc...




Tail# 66-17825

Bob
  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: phoenix
Posted by grandadjohn on Saturday, August 11, 2007 2:49 PM
Alot of surplus aircraft were sold to law enforcement agencies in the early 70's at dirt cheap prices. Glad to see some still flying
  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Auburn, Alabama
Posted by rotorwash on Thursday, August 16, 2007 1:59 PM

Cobra Fans,

  I think this is an unusual Cobra, but I admit I haven't seen as many Cobra's as I have Hueys.  I hasitate to say for certain, given my recent history with missile IDs, but I believe based on the clear seeker heads and fins this is a AH-1G with Hellfire missiles:

[img]http://Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketSo is it unusual or not?

     Ray

  • Member since
    August 2004
  • From: Maryland
Posted by Chief Snake on Thursday, August 16, 2007 6:29 PM

I don't see a thing that says you're wrong. Since the hellfire required a laser designator to show it where to go, that funny looking nose cap may house the laser. Wonder how the gunner used it. I don't see an obvious sighting unit. Maybe the laser beam was very visible at the range it was being tested. Sure seems it would be difficult during daylight hours without some sort of sight to focus on the target, a sight slaved to the laser would be the obvious choice but then again I never would have thought about a G model airframe being used to validate the system. Guess they considered the employment on the CObra long before the Apaches came online. Maybe that's why the TOW was as high a system the Cobra got, it was not intended to be Hellfire equipped.

 

Chief Snake 

  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Auburn, Alabama
Posted by rotorwash on Thursday, August 16, 2007 6:45 PM

Chief,

  Thanks. What do you make of the middle missiles?  It looks to me like there are three on each weapon pylon and the middle one doesn't seem to have the clear seeker head.  Maybe nothing, but that's what it looks like to me.  I think you may be right about the nose cap housing the laser.  Good call on that one!

     Ray

  • Member since
    July 2007
  • From: Miami, FL
Posted by leadfooterm535i on Thursday, August 16, 2007 7:26 PM
You know how the Apache carries 4 missiles under each pylon? I've seen missiles mixed like that on our sister batallion's Apaches (1st BN/ 1st AVN regt.) when we went to the field together. Not sure what the deal is though.

U/HH-60 CE "Embrace The Suck, Phantoms!!!" "I work for Pedro!" Kris

  • Member since
    June 2003
Posted by supercobra on Thursday, August 16, 2007 8:56 PM

Having shot many Hellfires, Sidewinders, and Sidearms off Cobras, I know that Cobras evolved well beyond TOW.  In fact I believe the Marine Cobra loadout is more versatile than any other type Helo.  I know you were probably talking Army Cobras Chief but I had to rub that in.  Wink [;)]

As for the picture...  the thing on the nose looks like a laser spot tracker vice a laser designator.  Of course for the validation (or operationally for that matter) you don't need an onboard designator.  AH-1Ws carried Hellifires for years before they got an onboard designator. 

The middle missile looks like it could be a dummy missile - just there for the weight.

I've got a picture of an AH-1J carrying Hellfires that I'll post when I find it.

  • Member since
    June 2003
Posted by supercobra on Thursday, August 16, 2007 9:03 PM
  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Auburn, Alabama
Posted by rotorwash on Thursday, August 16, 2007 9:27 PM

Supercobra,

  Thanks for the pic.  8 hellfires seems to be the norm.  Did you ever fly with the 6 missile loadout?
   Ray

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Aaaaah.... Alpha Apaches... A beautiful thing!
Posted by Cobrahistorian on Thursday, August 16, 2007 9:41 PM

Hey guys,

 Yes, that is, in fact a laser designator in the nose of that G model Cobra.  Ya beat me to it Ray!  The triple missiles were an experimental configuration (brought back for the Comanche, but it died with the program).  The center missiles are dummies while the outer ones have live seeker heads.  Those triple racks interfered with the inboard pylons, so they were done away with.  Plus, the Hellfire was developed sorta concurrently with the Apache, so they didn't see much reason to put the Hellfire on the Snake, since it is bigger and heavier than the TOW.  

As far as Apache Hellfire loadouts, I've flown with six on board (all dummies or training missiles, mind you) plus an FCR and she handled like a pig.  Gimme 2 missiles and full pods any day!

 

Jon 

"1-6 is in hot"
  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Auburn, Alabama
Posted by rotorwash on Thursday, August 16, 2007 10:00 PM

Jon,

  Thanks for the info.  I knew you would knwo about that one.  Sorry I stole your thunder.  I should really stick to Hueys anyway, but I thought maybe you had missed it in the thousands of photos. My hats off to you, Chief and Supercobra, you guys are the Snake Charmers!Cowboy [C):-)]

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Aaaaah.... Alpha Apaches... A beautiful thing!
Posted by Cobrahistorian on Friday, August 17, 2007 5:59 AM

Funny you say that.  In 1991 when I was working at the Intrepid, I was working on their F-4N and designed a "what if" piece of nose art for her.  Since she flew with the Marine "Diamondbacks", I called the nose art "Snake Charmer".  That nose art has evolved with my interest in rotary wing aviation. Since then it has adorned every flight helmet I've ever flown with! 

 Jon

  

"1-6 is in hot"
  • Member since
    July 2007
  • From: Miami, FL
Posted by leadfooterm535i on Friday, August 17, 2007 6:50 AM
have you flown with a 250 gal. tank on your inboard yet?

U/HH-60 CE "Embrace The Suck, Phantoms!!!" "I work for Pedro!" Kris

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