Monday, July 23, 2007

The Longbow Apache helicopter

For those of you who listen to the Bombay Gunrunners, you'll hear me talk about the aviation camp that I covered here in the OC. The highlight of the camp was the Longbow Apache attack helicopter that the Army was gracious enough to send in for the kids to see and get into and learn about.

Here are a few photos from the experience.

The pilots that brought the chopper in were a part of the 101st Aviation crew known as the Killerspades which is totally cool. Notice the aces and 8's dead man's hand.

Here is the chopper taking off. It had some dummy Hellfire missiles and dummy rocket arrays loaded on. One type of rocket they use contains 1,100 three inch needles and it is designed to explode in front of the target so it releases the needles onto the target. Insane.

Here they are hovering in front of the kids. Notice the 30mm cannon below the front pilot is tracking with the front pilot's head. Wherever the front pilot looks, the cannon instantly follows his sight. So when he wants to shoot something he simply has to look at it and pull the trigger.

They took the Apache out and came at the crowd and banked hard away from us. This helicopter is scary when it goes over you, but the crazy thing is that when they get about a mile away you can't hear them at all. It's not really all that loud even though it had two 17,000 horsepower turbine engines.

Here the chopper is coming back at us for a second pass. They obviously couldn't show us how maneuverable the Apache is, but each blade on the main rotor and tail rotor can twist and change angles which most choppers can't do. With that and the power it has it is actually able to do an upside down loop.

They headed off to Fort Campball after this pass at a high rate of speed.

It was a really cool day and the pilots went over just about everything they could about this $35 million helicopter. It even gets email so they don't have to use their radios.

Listen to the Bombay Gunrunners podcast for a little more about the day.

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