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Unusual Vietnam Hueys

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  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Auburn, Alabama
Posted by rotorwash on Saturday, August 11, 2007 1:44 PM

Chief,

  Great stuff there. i know I still have a lot to learn.  Thanks for the info. Check this out:

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

Check out the bracing on the M-5.  As you can see, the info for this pic gives a specific date of October 4, 1971.  This bird is a C/M because I have other pics of it that show the  540 rotor, roof mounted pitot, and most inportantly, no fuel filler on the rt side.  She also has the nose mounted FM antennas and would show the chunker fitted nose if refitted.  I think there is a decent chance that this is the bird in the TOW test configuration above.  Can you tell if it's the NUH-1M?  I can post the other pics of her if you would like. Actually, I already have farther back in the thread.  By the way, this bird is fitted with the XM-50 weaons system incorporating M5 and M21 weapons systems. 

   Thanks,

           Ray
 

  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: phoenix
Posted by grandadjohn on Saturday, August 11, 2007 2:45 PM
 Chief Snake wrote:

I think I see what you're pointing at. The B's had -5 engines in them originally, the -11 became the standard B engine later in development. So for some B's the -5 is standard, others -11 was standard. If all B's got the -11, I don't know. Maybe they did. I'd guess you would have to look at each individual aircraft maintanence history data to compile a listing of what was in what and how many there were of each type. Same for -13 engine applications in B airframes, plausible for sure but known applications probably uncompiled. I don't know how widespread that practice could be or was taken. And since the UH-1D upgrade to UH-1H was mainly the -13 engine going into the airframe it sure looks like taking the -11 and retrofitting it to -5 airframes would be desirable.

 

Chief Snake 

 

Thanks, just wanted clarifiation, but you are right, a lot of mods were made and never recorded or if they were examination of each a/c records would need to be made. Plus how much was done in the field to expidite repairs and parts available?

  • Member since
    February 2007
Posted by skypirate1 on Saturday, August 11, 2007 2:53 PM

Ray,

What a fantastic shot!!!!!

Ive never seen a gunship armed with thumper, rockets AND minigunsShock [:O]. I think in the Huey thread, you, me and everyone else had concluded that a configuration like that would be far to much weight and probably didnt exist. Im very happy to say your pic has just blown that theory straight out of the water! Great stuff (opens up some more modelling options aswell).

Please post the other pics Tongue [:P]

Andy

While the rest of the crew may be in the same predicament, it's almost always the pilot's job to arrive at the crash site first.
  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Auburn, Alabama
Posted by rotorwash on Saturday, August 11, 2007 3:17 PM

Andy,

  Ask and you shall recieve!:

Here's a tighter shot of the photo above: 

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I thought this may have been the same bird as well, but the above pic has a date of 71 and this one 66.  I wonder if the date on the above pic is incorrect since these birds have the nose mounted FM antennas and the bell mouth intakes only seen on early Charlies?  Unfortunately, the TACOM site doesn't give test dates for this system :

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Here is another test bird:

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

 All of these birds are C/M models and all have M158 rocket pods.  Finally, here is the exact configuration sold as the Monogram HUEY HOG (quad m60C's and M157 rocket pods):

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

Note that the caption leads you to believe that this is a Bravo, but it is clearly a C/M.  This photo is from the GUNSLINGERS squadron book.  NEVER say NEVER!

     Ray
 

PS; I'd swear I posted these before, but I can't find 'em anywhere!

  • Member since
    February 2007
Posted by skypirate1 on Saturday, August 11, 2007 4:17 PM

Ray,

Thank you my good man Make a Toast [#toast].

I think i should probably go back and edit some of those old posts now Smile [:)]. Gotta hand it to the Monogram researchers, either they knew their stuff or they were very lucky Big Smile [:D].

Great stuff Ray! Bow [bow]

Andy

 

 

While the rest of the crew may be in the same predicament, it's almost always the pilot's job to arrive at the crash site first.
  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Auburn, Alabama
Posted by rotorwash on Saturday, August 11, 2007 4:27 PM

Andy,

  The Monogram  "researchers" missed a lot of stuff (just ask Chief Snake).  Not the least of which is the fact that no Marine Huey ever carried that loadout! Let's not get carried away!

          Ray
 

  • Member since
    February 2007
Posted by skypirate1 on Saturday, August 11, 2007 5:07 PM

Ray,

Ok i take back my praise for the Monogram researchers Big Smile [:D] and point a disapproving finger at the Monogram decal choosing guys. Its still nice to know that you can use the thumper, rockets and quad 60s from the Monogram kit or the miniguns from the MRC kit and still have an accurate UH-1C. (Armament configuration i mean)

Andy.

While the rest of the crew may be in the same predicament, it's almost always the pilot's job to arrive at the crash site first.
  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Auburn, Alabama
Posted by rotorwash on Saturday, August 11, 2007 5:13 PM

Andy,

  Perhaps you could usher in a whole new era of huey modelling, Test Birds!  Has anyone else ever seen a model of experimental armamant configurations for the Huey?

       Ray

  • Member since
    February 2007
Posted by skypirate1 on Saturday, August 11, 2007 5:27 PM

Ray,

Did any of those test birds you posted make it to Vietnam or are we back to the usual Vietnam UH-1B/C configurations? have i jumped the gun? Grumpy [|(]

Andy

While the rest of the crew may be in the same predicament, it's almost always the pilot's job to arrive at the crash site first.
  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Auburn, Alabama
Posted by rotorwash on Saturday, August 11, 2007 5:34 PM

Andy,

  Sorry, as far as I am aware, no XM-50 birds made it in country.  You listening, Marko.  Please prove me wrong!  I'd love to be mistaken.

       Ray

  • Member since
    August 2004
  • From: Maryland
Posted by Chief Snake on Saturday, August 11, 2007 7:43 PM

I think the photos you're showing are largely Army classification photos, they show a valid combination of weapons on an airframe and are assigned a classification description. The M-5 was so nose heavy and the ammunition supply so tricky that it seems to have precluded itself in most possible combinations other than the 7 shot rocket pods. Thinking practically, they don't work well in combination because the weight factors are so far to the extreme that having the aircraft loaded like that requires the most optimal takeoff parameters that it just wasn't a likely combination. There are known circumstances of an aircraft having to take short fuel loads to compensate for maximum munitions and then struggling to get airborne even to the point that crewchiefs and gunners literally ran alongside the bumping aircraft until it grabbed into translation. Those events were extreme and not commonplace but borne of neccessity. Never say never but it would be a questionable practice to accept the worst set of circumstances when able to choose a better set of circumstances.

As for the NUH-1M, there isn't too much pointing at that second set of photos that convinces me it is the NUH-1M. But it does show that C type airframes had the FM posts fitted. Not commonplace, but proven to be in existence. The serial for the NUH-1M is within the window for a line production C model to wind up having the FM posts. Adding the -13 engine to it makes an M, easy as that. As for the dates on the photos, may have something to do with when the photo was provided as information to an inquiry. The FM posts on the nose have me leaning heavily to "military" airframe as opposed to civil airframe, which was the case with 64-18261. Civil airframe given a military serial for expedience in acquiring the airframe in light of the demand for "military" compliant airframes. 

If you look at the nose of the aircraft in the second photo showing the XM-50, you can see the plates that were installed over the holes were the FM posts had been. This too was an early production UH-1C. 

 

Chief Snake 

  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Auburn, Alabama
Posted by rotorwash on Saturday, August 11, 2007 8:37 PM

Chief,

  It wasn't just stateside Charlies that had the nose mounted FM antennas.  These two pics that I posted earlier from the 2/20th ARA are of one of the earliest C models in country.  It has both the nose mounted antenna and the bell mouth intake as well as th M16 armamant system with M157 rocket pods.  Very old school Charlie gunship!:

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

So are you saying you don't think the XM-50 ever flew armed?  It seems strange that at least two (probably three) seperate airframes would be configured for a weapons system that wasn't at least tested.  

You said:

"The M-5 was so nose heavy and the ammunition supply so tricky that it seems to have precluded itself in most possible combinations other than the 7 shot rocket pods."

What about heavy hogs with both the M3 24 shot or M200 19 shot pods and a thumper.  they were fairly common and were able to get off the ground.  My understanding was that the major impediment to an XM-50 arrangement ws space for all the ammo boxes, since the M5 would use the same space as the M21. I'm just going on what I read and have seen, of course, since i never actually flew a Huey.

   Ray
 

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Aaaaah.... Alpha Apaches... A beautiful thing!
Posted by Cobrahistorian on Saturday, August 11, 2007 9:02 PM

Ray,

Sure they tested the XM-50 system, but with all three weapons systems on board and all of the associated ammo, they wouldn't even be able to do a running takeoff.  The C/M model Hueys had enough trouble getting off the ground with just two weapons and ammo aboard (and had balance fuel and ammo in many cases) the third system would make it next to impossible to get off the ground.  

High density altitude, high temperature and high gross weight make for very limited performance.  You had all of those in Vietnam and therefore, chances of the XM-50 system ever flying in Vietnam were slim.  Literally, with that much weight on board, they may not have been able to pull enough torque to get off the ground before getting into a limiting range.

Jon 

"1-6 is in hot"
  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Auburn, Alabama
Posted by rotorwash on Saturday, August 11, 2007 9:13 PM

Jon and Chief Snake,

  I never said it the XM-50 flew in country. I have NO evidence that it did.  The XM designation woudl lead one to surmise that it was simply a tested weapons combination.  Jon, do you have any documentation on this system?  I want to know if there was ever a loaded XM-50 fitted bird that flew ANYWHERE and made a gun run or expended live ammo.  If I ever do see a picture of this system from VN, it will be the eqivalent of proof the Loch Ness Monster is real!Cool [8D]

    Ray

  • Member since
    August 2004
  • From: Maryland
Posted by Chief Snake on Saturday, August 11, 2007 9:33 PM

The heavy hogs are the circumstance that had to be balanced with finesse. That combination demonstrates the highest value loading figures that could be accepted without placing the aircraft and crew in alarmingly high jeapordy. If ever there was circumstance where trading fuel for firepower was applicable, that's it. Trading flight duration for super whallop can be done when the battlefield conditions favor the weapons system, engagement in close proximity to departure point, target in fairly fixed or confined space and readily identifiable. The risks associated with maximum weapons loading AND maximum fuel loading simply cannot be ignored but they can be adjusted by manipulating certain factors. 12 rockets per pod beats 7 rockets per pod any day of the week. 800 lbs of fuel and 14 rockets per pod plus a 40 chuncker rounds certainly will make the enemy wary for few moments and when done at the right moment will kick his butt into next week. But put 19 rockets in each pod, load the chuncker to the max and take on a full bag of gas? Not with me on board you won't.

Yup, space is a major impediment. Overloading is a path to destruction. 

 

Chief Snake 

  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Auburn, Alabama
Posted by rotorwash on Saturday, August 11, 2007 9:52 PM

Chief,

   I hear ya on that one!  Is there any chance that the photo below was the NUH-1M before conversion:

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

I don't have any data on this bird, but the photo was in the Museum archives and I assume it has something to do with the Army.  The number on the airframe doesn't seem to match the one you gave, but I didn't know if civil numbers are different that Army ones.  Anyway, it's a wierd bird to be in an Army archive, don't you think?

     Ray

  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Auburn, Alabama
Posted by rotorwash on Sunday, August 12, 2007 12:46 AM

I knew I had posted those XM 50 birds before.  Way back on page 9 Marko and I discussed them and he posted the following:

" I think we might at least have a chance of seeing M5/M16 combo on Vietnam Hueys. And I've got two reasons for believing that this combo was at least tested in Vietnam:

1) I have a 1972 UH-1B maintenance manual, and there is a note under the armament subsystems section saying that M5 could be used in conjunction with the M16-this is further referenced to M16 armament subsystem manual. So if anybody following this forum happens to have a M16 armament subsystem manual, I would really appreciate if they could check it up and possibly provide some additional info on M5/M16 combo.

 

2) I stumbled upon this image of Lou Drendel's painting of what was suppose to be a UH-1B of C troop 1st Squadron 9th Cavalry at Phu Cat in 1966. Since Lou Drendel's artwork is usually historically accurate, we may assume that he painted this UH-1B according to some photographic reference... Huey buffs will immediately notice the short rotor mast associated with UH-1A (mistake on Lou's part, I guess :)."

 

Any thoughts gentlemen?  I'd be especially interested in any info on Lou Drendels painting.

  Ray
 

  • Member since
    November 2005
  • From: Southport, North West UK
Posted by richgb on Sunday, August 12, 2007 7:08 AM

Any ideas on these? The first two pics say that the Huey is carrying a sidewinder missile. No idea about the last one though.

 

Rich

...this is it folks...over the top!
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Aaaaah.... Alpha Apaches... A beautiful thing!
Posted by Cobrahistorian on Sunday, August 12, 2007 8:19 AM

Ray,

Lou Drendel's a great artist, but I've noticed in a couple of his paintings that things aren't 100% correct.  For example, he's got an AH-64 painting that he did for the OIF book for Squadron.  At first glance it looks like a plain old Alpha.  But if you look closer, it has the EFABs (sponsons on the side of the cockpit area) of a Longbow.  I wouldn't take that Huey painting as 100% accurate.  

Plus, I just don't see a UH-1B in 1966 carrying that much gear on it, especially with a -9 engine.

Jon
 

"1-6 is in hot"
  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Auburn, Alabama
Posted by rotorwash on Sunday, August 12, 2007 8:48 AM

Rich,

  Wow!  that's some interesting stuff alright.  Thank for sharing.

Jon,

  Yeah, I fgured the artwork was jut a mistake, but I would like to see the TM regrding using the M16 and M5 together.  Who knows it may say "don't ever do this!"

    Ray

  • Member since
    August 2004
  • From: Maryland
Posted by Chief Snake on Sunday, August 12, 2007 8:53 AM

That white aircraft is civil, no question. The rotor brake visible about the pilot's head is a sure identifier. Notable blades sticking out under the cargo door, over the road truck driver seats leads me to think this was some kind of survey use aircraft. Nothing there makes me think its any more than a civil version of the UH-1B, it could be a C, but I don't know.There is also some sort of panel blocking the left door in the front seat. Whether that is for protective purposes or not is an interesting question. It looks like an intentional instal, but for what?

 

Chief Snake 

  • Member since
    November 2003
  • From: Oklahoma
Posted by chopperfan on Sunday, August 12, 2007 9:14 AM
 rotorwash wrote:

Rich,

  Wow!  that's some interesting stuff alright.  Thank for sharing.

Jon,

  Yeah, I fgured the artwork was jut a mistake, but I would like to see the TM regrding using the M16 and M5 together.  Who knows it may say "don't ever do this!"

    Ray

I don't have any of the written explanation from the TM, just the chart. 

Randie [C):-)]Agape Models Without them? The men on the ground would have to work a lot harder. You can help. Please keep 'em flying! http://www.airtanker.com/
  • Member since
    August 2004
  • From: Maryland
Posted by Chief Snake on Sunday, August 12, 2007 9:15 AM

Having the M-5 and M-16 together isn't impossible but is limiting for several reasons. The first was space as you noted. The second is balance. If you have to short yourself any of the items you must balance you degrade the whole system and reduce it's potential effectiveness. If you reduce fuel you shorten flight duration which can often be the most critical factor. Using a modified ammunition load leaves little room for missing the target, having 25 rounds of 40mm ammo means you better hit what you're aiming at pretty quick. Shorting your 7.62mm ammo leaves strafing ability at short duration and the whole point of that is area saturation. Same with the rockets. To carry 7 rockets would be the optimal, they were very effective anti-people weapons. So shorting everything to carry some of everything has to be applied in very specific practice with a very narrow set of circumstances that act in your favor. The likelyhood of that seems at the low end of the scale and makes the choice for fewer systems at effective loads a more efficient choice.

 

Chief Snake 

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Lafayette, LA
Posted by Melgyver on Sunday, August 12, 2007 11:13 PM
If you look at the swashplate of the white civilian Huey in question you will see it has "ears" with the trunnions that are typical of the "B" rotor head and not the "forked" type for the "540" of the "C" or "M".  I would think it was a civil Bell 204B especially with the seating arrangement. 

Clear Left!

Mel

  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Auburn, Alabama
Posted by rotorwash on Sunday, August 12, 2007 11:22 PM

Mel,

  Thanks for the info.  That is one wierd bird, though.  Maybe when I get back to the museum I can get more info.  I know I should look this up, but what's a "trunnion?"

    Ray

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Lafayette, LA
Posted by Melgyver on Sunday, August 12, 2007 11:28 PM

I haven't checked out this thread in a while and saw the pictures of the bird with the M-5 and M-21 weapons systems.  If you flew without the Crew Chief and Gunner you probably would have an extra 700 lbs of additional weight you could carry so both weapons systems could probably easily be carried.  However I think in combat most Huey pilots would rather have the CE and GN back there with their free 60's covering thier "butts"!  As they say, anything is possilbe in therory, just always falls short in practical application!

Clear Left!

Mel

  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Auburn, Alabama
Posted by rotorwash on Monday, August 13, 2007 12:00 AM

Jon and Chief,

  I was looking through my archive pics again and found this one:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket[

That has to be one of the TOW birds with the anti-strella AND the cammo, right?  If so, it looks like the pic I posted of the TOW bird firing is the same aircraft because this closeup shot doesn't seem to have a cammo engine cowling just like the photo above:

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

This one should be 554 based on the FM antenna in the bove pic, right?  perhaps this explains the photo I posted of her without the anti-strella kit.  Maybe that pic was before the anti-stella was installed since it now seems clear it was done AFTER the initial cammo paint was applied.   Does my logic make sense or am I off in lala land again?

   Ray

Edit: Here's another pic of 554 without the anti-strella but with cammo.  Based on the setting, it looks to be in country. You'll notice she already has some kill marks.  I think she fired a few TOWs without the kit installed. Also looks like she had different cammo paterns througout her sevice.  Or were there three birds in country?! (after all I don't see the emblem on the nose):

  [img]http://Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket" border="0" />

  • Member since
    July 2007
Posted by KrazyCat on Monday, August 13, 2007 6:42 AM

Hello guys!

 

I was away for the weekend and couldn't check the forums, but boy You've certainly been busy :)

 

Ray, thanks for finding those helmet sight pictures, I really appreciate it! Great stuff!!!

 

As for the XM50 debate-I guess the chance of seeing both M5 and M21 on the same Huey in Vietnam is pretty slim, but as we have seen on this forum one should never say never :) I browsed through my UH-1 manuals and dug up some weight values for armament subsystems:

 

M21:

a) 6000 7.62mm rounds/M158 7-shot pods/14 2.75-inch rockets with 10-pound warheads:

        1108 lb.

 

b) 6000 7.62mm rounds/M159 19-shot pods/38 2.75-inch rockets with 10-pound warheads:

        1768 lb.

 

M5:

 

a) 150 40mm rounds:

          392 lb.

 

b) 300 40mm rounds:

          506 lb.

 

So, if You put M5 with 150 40mm rounds and standard M21 (7-shot pods/6000 7.62mm rounds) on the same Huey it would come up to 1500 lb, which is below the weight of the ''Heavy M21'' (1768 lb.). And we did prove that some Army units flew ''Heavy M21/M16'' armed Hueys in Vietnam! Unfortunately I haven't found any images of M5/M21 armed Hueys in Vietnam yet, so I guess it is safe to say that even if this configuration was tested/used in Vietnam it saw very very very limited use... and if we ever come to see M5/M21 armed Vietnam Huey I bet it's gonna be from one of the Delta based units.

 

And the closest thing to M5/M21 armed Huey I've ever seen is this 1967 shot of 114th AHC UH-1C armed with M5, XM157 7-shot rocket pods and door mounted miniguns; so it at least had some components of the M21 on it :)

 

 

Marko 

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Aaaaah.... Alpha Apaches... A beautiful thing!
Posted by Cobrahistorian on Monday, August 13, 2007 7:21 AM

Thanks Marko! 

So, we're working with a load of 1,750lbs.  That allows us 1,250lbs of useable weight before we hit max gross weight (an area you DON'T want to be operating in in combat).  With a full bag of gas that's 242 gallons of JP4.  JP4 weighs 6.5 lbs per gallon, which brings us to 1,573lbs of fuel.  We're over gross by 300lbs.  So, trade off 50 gallons of gas for a full ammo load.  That leaves us 190 gallons or 1,235lbs of gas.  Right up near Max Gross still.  With the environmental conditions (temp, humidity, high DA) a running takeoff MAY be possible. 

Of course, now that I've calculated all of this, I forgot one other crucial element.  The flight crew and all of their gear.  Figure each crewman at 160lbs.  Add 35lbs for each chicken plate vest (yes, they are that heavy, I have one sitting in my hobby room).  23lbs for each M60.  400rds for each M60.  Not to mention the sundries that one finds in the cabin of a Huey.  Smoke grenades, frags, thermites, you name it.  Figure another 1300lbs for all of that stuff?

When it comes down to it, the XM50 system MAY have flown in Vietnam, but it wouldn't have been good for anything but short duration anti-mortar patrol around a base.  It'd probably burn off half of its fuel just trying to get airborne!

BREAK

Ray,

I think the first pic with the closeup of the anti-strela exhaust is 553.  Comparing the camo on the tailboom there and on the color pic of the one we know to be 554, there is a definite difference in pattern.  It could definitely have been redone, but it is my hunch that the closeup pic is 553 having maintenance done on it. Judging from the lack of camo paint on the cowlings, I'd say it was probably in the middle of getting "camo'd up"! 

 

Jon

"1-6 is in hot"
  • Member since
    August 2004
  • From: Maryland
Posted by Chief Snake on Monday, August 13, 2007 8:47 AM

That has to be 533 being fitted with the toilet bowl and heat guard for anti-Strela measures. The cammo pattern is unique to 553 with smaller leaf looking splotches. As the other photo shows the first flights and engagements must have occured prior to the fitment of those pieces. Remember, the deployment was done in amazingly fast time and with only the most basic of desirable components. Everything else was catch up in the middle of fighting. According the Bentley Hill, with whom I have communicated, the nose logo appeared a bit after the two teams came online. There was some measure of friction between the original in-country trained crews and the replacement crews who arrived to take the places of pilots whose time in country was expiring. I gave Jon my original communications with Mr. Hill for his research, the information in the sketch he supplied me with can be augmented by what is contained in the information Jon has already amassed and that which remains in NARA files. Stay tuned for that.

 Chief Snake

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