Wednesday, February 07, 2007

In the skies of Iraq

It appears that lately, people who do not like the U.S. military presence in Iraq are getting better at doing something about it, as though they needed much improvement. The latest fashion is shooting down helicopters, and being as I run/have run in circles that include military helicopter pilots, I thought it would be interesting to have a quick look at what kinds of birds are in use.

Here's a quick look at the makes and models that have been shot down - and have therefore been in use - over the past few years.

UH-60L Black Hawk

A general-purpose aircraft, "used for troop transport, cargo lift, anti-submarine warfare, search and rescue, drug interdiction, anti-ship warfare and special operations," according to a U.S. Air Force profile. Carries a crew of four.

OH-58 Kiowa

A small reconnaissance helicopter that can carry missiles, guns or a couple of stretchers in an emergency medevac situation. Carries a crew of two.

AH-64 Apache

A heavily armed attack helicopter. Carries a crew of two.

CH-47 Chinook

In use since Vietnam, a heavy transport helicopter capable of hauling up to 33 combat-laden troops or heavy gear such as two humvees. Carries a crew of two.

CH46 Sea Knight

Superficially similar to the Chinook, but carries less stuff: Up to 14 troops and a crew of four or five, depending on the mission.

Other aircraft that have been used - and shot down - include an OH-6A flown by contractors and an Mi-8 HIP that also was being used by contractors. Other helicopters may be in use, but haven't had the misfortune of crashing/being shot down, and of course, fixed-wing aircraft are also heavily used, but helicopters are cool and airplanes pretty much are not.

4 comments:

Johnny Yen said...

I read in Michael Killian and James Coates' "Heavy Losses" that there were over 5000 helicopters shot down in Vietnam. Basically, the enemy figured out something that my brother, who worked on helicopters in the Marines, could have told them-- that there are miles of hydraulic lines in a helicopter, and that they're pretty easy to shoot down with small arms fire.

Chase said...

I don't know what was more informative...the post or Johnny's comment but it's all interesting!

Holly said...

Yes, very interesting indeed. My dad was a chopper pilot back in the day, so he would ad that helicopters (and their pilots) are superior to airplanes and their pilots because flying helicopters require both hands and feet!

Anonymous said...

THANKS FOR THE COMMENT ON THE HELOS! TRY TO ADD THE HUGHES OH-6 IF YOU CAN FIND A PHOTO. THAT WAS A FUN BIRD! SEE YA DAD