10 February 2010

Blast From the Past: S-67 "Black Hawk"

I remember finding this video in the academic video archives at Fort Rucker when I was in flight school. It's an advertisement by Sikorsky for the S-67 "Blackhawk", which was a prototype gunship developed in the 1970s as a proposed replacement for the AH-1 Cobra.

It's interesting that the aircraft looks like it's modeled after the Soviet Mi-24 Hind helicopter, with its wide, lift-producing wings and engines mounted high above the cockpit. If you listen to the narrative, you'll discover that, like the Hind, it's capable of being a gunship and a troop-carrying helicopter at the same time, carrying six troops internally.

The S-67, however, was not without its problems; and the lone prototype crashed at an air show, killing both pilots. Nevertheless, a number of innovations in the S-67 Blackhawk were later incorporated into Sikorsky's UH-60 Black Hawk (two words), such as the horizontal stabilator, cambered tail fin and swept rotor tips.

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