Yes - I noticed that the rotor is chopped in span from a standard
Blackhawk, and I would think that the collective and cyclic schedules
have also been altered. What it really needs is swept tip main rotor
blades, but the placard on the windscreen was mentioned specifically to me.
Also from what I was told the thing doesn't need to pitch forward in
order to fly forward because of the tail thrust...at least it doesn't
need to pitch as much as a standard helo. I really like the concept,
and I hope someone gets to do a fully engineered airframe employing it
The obvious reference to then Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara
ramming the F-111 down the throat of the U.S. Navy and Air Force was
not lost on me ... okay.
I thought I was just pointing out that there was good and bad in the
McNamara's critics in the services and Congress labeled the F-111 a
failure, but versions of the F-111 remained in Air Force service two
decades after McNamara decided to produce them.
The mistakes learned from the F-111B program had a large impact on the
later design of the F-14 by Grumman, which became an outstanding Navy
The retirement of the F-14 has left a void that cannot be filled by
the Super Hornet. That's where I think every ones beef is with the
Navy JSF. The Air Force has it's hi/lo mix with the F-22/F-35
combination. And the Navy has ..... ? The F-35C and the Super
The main point against this design is that Piasecki tried this concept
in a almost identical form way back in the sixties and the military
didn't want it.
The other problem is that Piasecki has a total of 35 employees, which is
going to mitigate heavily against it putting anything into mass production.
There's a discussion of compound helicopters from one viewpoint here:
know why the military didn't want them? It was all a plot! They
were too fast for small minds!
They neglect to mention that:
1.) The XV-1 didn't fly as fast as expected.
2.) It went through fuel like a SOB.
This statement is downright bizarre:
"However, as a liberal Democrat, the political "pork" of the northeast
where Sikorsky, Bell, Piasecki and Vertol made complex powered
helicopters strangled simpler helicopters that could indeed go faster at
less costs and maintenance headaches. James McDonnell in Missouri
offered many improved simpler helicopters only to have them rejected for
military service by political forces. The legacy of this corruption is
our troops have been damned to slow (under 150 mph), noisy helicopters
easy to shoot down and cannot fly often to do maneuver air support (MAS)
and far enough to do long-range Air-Mech-Strike 3D air-ground maneuver."
If that's the case, why wasn't the Piasecki Pathfinder put into
And unless the new copter can do over Mach 1, it is going to have a hard
time outrunning man-fired SAMs.
This image is also fun:
by upping the weight of the Cobra by adding the wings and ducted
tail rotor, it well then carry sixteen Hellfire missiles and two rocket
pods. I assume it's going to do some sort of rolling takeoff or be
catapult launched. It also could use a tail wheel or skid under the
ducted prop. :-D
That's funny...particularly since I've got a couple Whiskeys on my line...
I never thought Piesecki would mass produce an actual aircraft - I
figure they just got a contract to demonstrate some technology, and the
loan of a Blackhawk to do it. I'd have to assume that the resulting
tech would be owned by DoD, and could be licensed to some other builder
after an RFP and down-select.
Personally, I think any rotary winged aircraft is limited as far as
combat survivability is concerned, but at least such aircraft have a
proven combat record to stand on. The Speedhawk or a platform like it
would almost certainly be less complex than an Osprey, and less complex
is always better.
Unlike a tail rotor, that duct and prop is going to weigh a fair amount
and that would make it smarter to start with a clean sheet of paper
design with the main rotor further aft than try and modify a existing
I wonder if they are compensating for the aft CG by directing some of
the output of the duct downwards right from the moment of lift-off?
That's not going to work if you suffer an engine failure if they are.
Rather than auto-rotating in for a landing, the chopper is going to
start falling tail-end first.
Agreed, and from the video it didn't quite look like they had all of the
stability issues in hand during hover. I could think of a few ways to
solve that problem. Starting with materials and structure. What I read
in the trade mag was that parts of the Speedhawk tail system were
constructed using A-7 rudders, so I'm sure it's not optimal. Even so,
I'd think that this config would have to be handled more like a fixed
wing airplane during an engine out...auto rotating to a hover probably
wouldn't quite work.
One of my Harrier jocks that had formerly been a Cobra pilot once told
me that he single biggest annoyance and limitation on a combat helo was
the tail rotor, though. He said if you could get rid of the tail rotor
on a Cobra you'd really have something...he was a big fan of NOTAR.
The other route is the Kamov coaxial rotors; that also cuts down blade
length, handy when working in urban or forest environments.
They've actually installed a ejection seat in the Black Shark. On
activation a system severs all the rotor blades from their hubs and the
pilot ejects as they all go flying outwards from the helicopter from the
Heh...I met an Apache pilot on the ramp once and noticed that there was
an ACES II seat in his helo and started laughing...then he mentioned the
explosive bolts in the rotor head an I started laughing harder...
Yeah - the Kamov is a good example of what the Colonel was getting at. I
always wondered what sort of G limitations it might have though -
because of blade flexure. I'd think you could fly it into a region
where it could be prone to "blade crash".
We actually looked into a weird-ass ejection seat for helicopters that
shot the crew sideways out of the copter then fired upwards once they
had cleared the rotor disc.
The thing was going to know which way was actually up no matter in what
attitude you ejected, which would be one hell of a wild ride if the the
chopper was inverted when you punched out. :-D
It was possible to do that with a Hind IIRC, and have the blades hit the
tail boom during violent maneuvers.
Someplace I've got some video of an ACES II seat test doing just
that...they fire it inverted from a suspended F-16 or something and the
seat rights itself and then shoots skyward. I think the test was
conducted some tens of feet from the ground...it was impressive.
Have you seen that one of the US helo that clips it's refueling boom off
with it's blades after pulling off the basket? A CH-53, I think. Yeah
- you can do stuff like that.
I was always amazed to see a helicopter refueling from a fixed wing
That just plain didn't look right.
Trying to prevent that happening to the Osprey while aerial refueling
with the prop/rotors spinning right behind the refueling hose and drogue
is supposed to be fun also.
Ahh yes, that paragon of military information, Discovery channel...The Russkies
watched it secretly during the
Cold War, dontcha know, to save money on spy payments.
Don't believe everythig you see on TV, Grasshopper.
(The Aussie one)
Especially on that "Wings" episode where they have the B-17 armed with
the ten _50 mm_ machine guns.
Christ, that would keep the Fw-190s away, wouldn't it?
On the way home they could start picking off Tiger tanks on the ground. :-D
skies watched it secretly during the
Yeah ... your right. Stealthy F-22's are just a spoof. F-15's having
a huge RCS ( radar cross section ) just from the engine intakes is a
made up story. The F-15 USAF officers interviewed for the piece were
lying ... etc etc.
There ain't much on network TV I'll believe anymore without doing some
cross checking...or in the papers. I've seen so many retouched and
composited photos in the papers of late that the AP has lost just about
all credibility with me. If you've spent some time retouching photos
yourself, or even just going over shots for detail it's pretty easy to spot.